Its 9:30 AM, Driftwood weather says 29 degrees with a wind chill of 17. Houses in the neighborhood have white spots in the corners (ice, frozen rain?). But the neighborhood roads are dry and I’ve seen cars out driving on them. Somehow we are supposed to get up to 46. We’ll see.

We warmed up to the mid 40’s, but with the breeze it was cold outside. In the sun it was warm enough for the boys (dogs) to spend time outside. One dog spent time in the sun, sitting out on the grass. But I don’t hold my breath for it to stay this nice. Tonight is supposed to be cold. Not sure what tomorrow will bring.

UPDATE: its about 9PM and we’re down to 28. It will be cold tonight!

Cold front is here

They’ve been warning about a cold front hitting the US. Here in Austin we are getting the cold front today. The weather forecasters have said here, Austin but closer to Driftwood, we are due to get down to 27 tonight and 25 tomorrow night.

This morning, around 10AM it was a balmy 70 degrees, with humidity. We left the house at 10:50 and it was 69, humid enough to wonder about rain. Since its been overcast rain is a definite possibility. By the time we finished our appointment, around 1:30, it was down to 55 and a fine mist/sprinkle outside. We stopped at the grocery store on the way home, and by the time we got home it was 45 and light rain (jacket suggested). Now at 5PM it is still 45, windy, and still light rain. They are calling for thunderstorms, and it definitely looks like that could happen. And we have a wind advisory for this evening.

Where the 45 I have listed is what I show here at our house (thank you Oregon Scientific and LaCrosse Technologies), the weather as listed on other websites show 37 right now. I believe it. My units sit on the back patio so they may read a bit warmer than if they were outside the patio. But that’s where I have them, so that’s where I get the temperature from.

The weather radar does show a wintry mix not far away from us, and that might make it here to us this evening. I expect it will. They are saying rain and freezing rain plus wind for tonight. Tomorrow we hopefully will hit the mid 40’s, then drop down to 25. We’ll see how it pans out, but it is a definite freeze hitting our area. I’ve covered what I can and pulled some plants inside the house. Let’s hope I’ve done what needs to be done.

Happy Halloween

and all that…

Well it was a cold night last night. And tonight is due to be cold again. Some weather people are saying its the coldest Halloween in 28 years. I believe it. We did hit a high of just over 50, but we are due to hit a low of freezing. Its just after 7pm and we are down to 46 already. Its cold out there.

I was good and covered the lemon tree, moved the succulents, and anything I thought might freeze close to the house. But its cold enough that some of my joints hurt, or better put my wrists ache. So do my hip joints and knees. Such is getting on with age. But better that than the alternative. I’d rather be alive than not. Even with the aches and pains. And I figure if its cold enough for me to ache, plants need to be cared for from the cold.

Well tonight is Halloween. We got our first kids around 6:45PM. I really expected to get some earlier, but no such luck. Its cold for the kids to be out so a lot of kids are well covered. And since we live in a neighborhood, we are getting kids. We probably still have too much candy, but who knows. DH is sitting by the front door handing out candy. We have the candy in a large bowl (my popcorn bowl) and we’ve been letting children just pick what they want. One bag was about 350 pieces so I’m thinking we have more candy than we will have kids. But who knows. This is a large neighborhood, we could have lots of kids come.

At any rate, tomorrow we should be up to low 60’s for our highs, though the lows will still be hovering around freezing. But by Monday we will be back into the 70’s with our lows back in the 60’s. How’s that for Texas weather.

But this is our first real cold. Will Cedar Fever follow?

Texas Weather

Last week I had the pleasure of attending Oktoberfisch. It was a fly fishing event held in Junction, TX. I was able to drive to it, though it was about 2.5 hours from Austin. That was including the fact that some sections of the drive had 80 mph speed limits.

Junction, TX is what I would call a small town. But it does have part of the Llano River run through it so there was a place to fish. The event was held at one of the RV parks in Junction. This was not a large convention size event, but I enjoyed myself. That had a variety of classes such as casting, bug (entomology), knot tying, and even how to make furled leaders (I didn’t know what those were). They had other classes that I did not attend. They also had items for sale including flies. They even had kayaks you could use. Since this was my first time at the event, I spent more time watching than anything else, my choice.

So what does this have to do with Texas weather? Well, last weekend was hot and sunny. I even had some issues with getting overheated (possible heat exhaustion) which was my own fault. I didn’t expect it to be that hot. But this week, days after the event, we have had colder temperatures. As in we actually got down to the mid 40’s here in Austin. That is Texas weather. In a matter of days we went from low to mid 90’s to mid 40’s, and this coming week we are due to hit low to mid 30’s. That is why I give you this information.

We have gone from definite heat to cold, we even had rain. Actually the other night we had rain for a couple of hours. And yet today, Saturday we are in the low to mid 70’s with bright sunshine and not a cloud in sight. That is Texas weather for you.

Autumn in Austin

The fun thing about central Texas and its weather is how much it stays the same (hot) yet how much it can change. Today we’ve gone from pretty warm, to rain, humid and muggy, sun, to rain, back to now overcast and its still in the 80’s. So it may change (sun, overcast, rain), but still stay the same (hot). But that’s the weather in this part of Texas.

On the good note, that means though its hot, its not blazing hot, plants are doing better, and with the rain I won’t have to water the next day or so.

We are due for more rain over today, tonight, tomorrow on through possibly Monday. Being central Texas we may get more of what we have today – changing from sun to rain then back again. But it also means if you begin planting seed or plants, they will get a wonderful combination of sun and rain all in the same day. So expect that we will begin seeing plants outside showing new growth.

I know seed I have put in is actually coming up. Since I’m doing it in commercial raised beds I can only hope for the best and see what happens. This past week I put in new seed. Some of my previous seed didn’t sprout. Considering that some of the seed is 3-5 years old, I can’t complain. I’ve been overseeding in the hope some will sprout. And some has, but not all of it.

And I need to get seed in as mid November is often when the weather cools and we can get our first frost. Scary thought, as that is not that far away. But we’ll see when the weather cools enough to concern ourselves with a frost.

On a different note, as we have been settling into the new house I have found a weather station. Its boxed, has all the parts, and looks fairly new. So given some help I hope to actually get it set up, and somehow figure out how to put the information online. Don’t expect this done quickly, I’m still doing most things myself while being a caregiver to my spouse. So bear with me as things take me some time. But with luck, I can get a weather station up and running, and with more luck get it online.

Wish me luck.

Funny but true

How do you really know when the weather is cooling down? Well over here I can tell by the hot water. When we are hot and just stay hot, hot water comes out of the tap quickly, quickly enough for you to burn yourself if you’re not careful. We’ve gotten blasting hot water out of the tap first thing in the morning in well under 3 seconds. But as the weather cools down we actually have to wait a couple of seconds, not much more than 10-15 seconds if that, to get hot water. But that’s nice because it means the cold water can actually be at least cool instead of lukewarm. Fun notes about weather and how it affects various things in our lives.

This is all a nice way of saying we’re starting to slowly cool down. Our highs are down in the low 90’s instead of triple digits. And our evenings have even hit a low of 70, instead of upper 70’s. This is Austin’s way of saying we are working our way into Autumn.

Hopefully we’ll get a weather station set up here at the house and I’ll be able to get more accurate readings and data. Hopefully that can happen soon.

Happy Labor Day weekend

What is up with this crazy weather! we are still in the 90’s. Today will be a cool down to all of 91, that’s a cool down. But we won’t stay there long. Tomorrow, Labor Day we will be back up to 97, with 99 by the end of the week.

This is not helping my garden. Plants are drying up. Even those in the shade part of the day are not faring well. Though the peas are still coming up. The tomato plant is alive but not producing anything but one small cherry tomato.

And don’t forget about Hurricane Dorian hitting the Bahamas, and expected to just touch the outer edge of Florida. But the Bahamas, the northern parts are expected to take the brunt of the storm. As of this post, I’ve heard Dorian is a category 5 hurricane, with sustained winds of 180 mph. They are calling it the strongest hurricane in modern records.

And yet here in Texas its hot and dry. We’ve had occasional rain but not that much. More would be nice. Lots of areas are on burn bans, no burning of trash or things. Some cooler weather and rain would be nice right about now. How it shows up soon.

Strange rain

Yes, once again we have 90-100 degree weather, but yesterday we got it coupled with rain. A short, probably no more than 15 minutes, thunderstorm down pour. This is just the way Texas likes to do rain. Keep it hot, and let it pour. Who knows why Texas does it this way? I don’t.

When I check out weather radar, you might see little patches of rain. And during this time of the year, it may develop slowly or suddenly. One minute its nice and sunny, maybe a few puffy clouds, then 10 minutes later you realize its dark outside. Then of course, it begins to pour. It starts with a few fat drops going splat all over the place. Then those few drops get their friends together and that heavy droplet sprinkle becomes a down pour. Yesterday we even got it with lightning and thunder.

Today we still have some clouds, but at least they are still light in color. Once that changes, if they become dark, I’ll move us all inside and wait for the rain. Not sure if it will rain, but if the clouds are dark there’s a pretty good chance it will happen.

We’ll see how today’s weather progresses. The next few days are still supposed to hover around 100. So much for it cooling down. It has to cool down sometime, I’m just not sure when that will happen.

Its hot -still

Is this crazy Austin weather, or should we consider this the new norm? That is anybody’s guess. But we are still in a heat wave. Today, Sat. Aug 17, 2019 is set to be the 26th day this season with 100+ degree weather. Kind of warm, what can I say.

One nice thing about the design of this new house is that we have a patio that is only open to sun on one side. In our case that means that it is in shade all the time. I don’t know how that will be in the winter time, but right now that means you can sit outside and still be in shade all day. It also means we can give the dogs a place to stay outside in the shade all day long. Yes, we keep a large gravity feed water bottle outside for the dogs so they always have fresh water.

The other nice thing about this patio area is it has steps down to the grass. Not many steps, just a couple. But the landing area and steps area means we actually have a small area that gets shade in the afternoon. The only other areas that get any shade are close to the wood fencing on the sides. I’ve used this area next to the landing to place my felt planting pots. If you saw the previous post you would have seen the area I’m talking about.

This area gets just enough shade that the plants in the pots are actually coming up. My peas, beets, and lettuce have all sprouted. I have to keep them well watered, but so far they are still alive and growing. In this weather I consider that an accomplishment.

Hopefully the weather service will be correct and we will get some relief from this heat later this month. But who knows if that will happen, and how much heat relief we will get.

Its Texas, just wait and see.

And the new garden

The new garden is nothing like the old garden. The old garden was a very large back fenced yard with rock walled raised beds. The new yard, not even close. This is a small, fenced, regular sized lot. Its like a U around the house, with wood privacy fence on the sides, and metal fencing in the back.

The nice thing is the back butts up to a green belt area. My understanding is this area will not be built on, in part because its not all that wide nor deep. You can easily hear the neighbors on the other side of the greenbelt.

But what this design also means is the sides of the house, with the wood privacy fence do not get a lot of sunlight. There’s enough sun to grow grass, and as the area opens to the back yard there is a lot more sun. So in the back area, even along the side fence line there is enough sun to plant and probably grow quite a big. The back area with the metal fence has what wild animals we get back there. So far we have seen deer and some rabbits. Both potential veggie harvesters.

But that’s okay. I like being able to look at the deer and animals we get. We have does and fawns, though I have seen a buck elsewhere in the community.

But the yard is easily large enough for some plants and the dogs. Actually in many ways its a great size for the dogs. Its large enough for them to run in, but not so large its tough to catch them, provided the gates are closed.

A couple of weeks ago a friend came over and helped get plants into the ground. So the fruit trees and roses we brought with us now have permanent homes instead of just living in pots. Now not everything ended up in the ground. We still have quite a few large pots with plants in them.

Potted plants
Permanent in the ground plants

Even though we don’t have as much yard are as before its still possible to garden. Since I do have less room, and I expect we will have more work to do in the garden before long, I have decided to make use of fabric pots.

Fabric pots

Now if you are wondering what fabric pots are, they are just that. Instead of pots being made out of some sort of hard material – plastic, metal, ceramic, etc., these are like thick felt material. When not in use they fold flat, or at least pretty flat. They come in a variety of sizes. And, as you can see, they have handles on them so you can pick them up and move them around.

These are not very large pots, just five gallon. If you look online you can see their size, not large. These five were filled from left over potting mix from the in ground plantings. That’s also why they are not filled to the brim with dirt.

Where these are easy to use, and a good temporary solution they do have drawbacks. They are cloth (of some sort) so they can dry out easily. Also if you don’t have enough soil in them, they don’t stand up well. They will break down, and can tear (watch out for dog claws!). If you are growing something like carrots, beets, or potatoes (anything that grows below ground) you need to check how tall these stand so you get something deep enough. I wouldn’t want to grow potatoes in this small of a fabric pot, but a larger size might work.

So I’m trying them out to see how they do. I’ll keep you posted.