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Annie in Austin
Welcome! As "Annie in Austin" I blog about gardening in Austin, TX with occasional looks back at our former gardens in Illinois. My husband Philo & I also make videos - some use garden images as background for my original songs, some capture Austin events & sometimes we share videos of birds in our garden. Come talk about gardens, movies, music, genealogy and Austin at the Transplantable Rose and listen to my original songs on YouTube. For an overview read Three Gardens, Twenty Years. Unless noted, these words and photos are my copyrighted work.
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Friday, March 27, 2009

A Hail of A Spring Storm

The garden looked pretty good when the Kitchen Garden post went up on Wednesday morning, but by that evening it was a pitiful sight! Around 6 PM Wednesday a major hailstorm hit parts of Austin and our neighborhood was on the hit list. If you read the comments on the last post you know that some hailstones were 2 and 1/2 inches in diameter. Hail dented my car, destroyed the patio umbrella, did some damage to the house and covered our streets and yards in shredded small branches and leaves. So no catastrophe, just a lot of stuff that needs addressing. An interesting thing happens when you are a blogger - sometimes you can avoid panic in an unpleasant situation by going into reporter mode and picking up the camera. That's why we have video taken during the storm and photos afterward. We made this YouTube so you can share the excitement. (If you can't see a video image to click below, try going right to our YouTube station Kaefka



Pam/Digging gave me some African aloe last year and one pot had put up a bloom stalk. The flower was chopped off and just look at the impact craters on the plant!


The magnolia has lost about 1/4 of its leaves...and some of them now have windows in them.

The tree itself is probably okay but will look raggedy for awhile.

The ground under the loquat is covered in leaves and knocked-down fruit, but the tree itself just bent and blew.

Both Philo and I have friends who were driving home from work when the storm grew strong - several of them had windshields shattered as they drove, which must have been terrifying.
I'm sure we'll all be cleaning and repairing for awhile. Hmmm....the
Zilker Garden Festival takes place this weekend in Central Austin - maybe we'd better go there and pick up a few replacement tomato plants.

41 comments:

  1. Very dramatic footage - I don't think I've ever seen hail like that. I hate to see the destruction to your plants.

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  2. I see what you mean about the "creepy" impact craters on the aloe. Poor plants! But I'm just glad to know you weren't on the highway at that time.

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  3. My father was a weekend farmer and I remember in Colorado one year a hail storm destroying most of the new spring crops of various things he has planted. So glad you were not injured.

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  4. Oh my gosh. I am so glad you gize are ok. I have never seen hail that big. It sounded like golf balls bouncing at one point on your video. Those poor aloes. It looks like someone tried to use a hole punch on them but couldn't quite get it punched through.

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  5. My goodness, I had a feeling after watching that video that the umbrella was a goner. In the past, we'd hear about big hailstorms like that on the news, but they were always some place far away, like "Texas", and more an oddity to us.

    BUT now, knowing that the hailstorm hit my friend Annie in Austin's garden, it's quite different. I'm very glad you all are okay. Will you need a new roof on your house?

    Wish I could come visit and help you clean up your garden!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

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  6. Goodness, Annie, that was a devastating storm! Those perfect circle impact craters on the aloe are amazing, but oh, the poor plant! I'm cringing at the thought of your poor damaged garden, but I had to smile at your description of avoiding panic by going into reporter mode. You're right, blogging does make us amateur reporters :)
    How horrifying for those drivers who had their windshields smashed.
    I've never seen hail like that and hope I never do in real life! Sorry for all the damage it did, but I'm glad you shared the excitement with us.
    Perhaps the Zilker Garden Festival will help to take your mind off the shattered plants, ruined umbrella and dents in the car. I hope you have a pleasant weekend.
    We have warm sunshine for the second day in a row. Perfect spring weather - pure bliss!

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  7. What a mess, but glad that everything that broke can be replaced or will regrow. Those aloe circles are funky - I wonder how they'll look in a few weeks.

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  8. Annie, I am so sorry you were hit so hard. We did have some damage, but nothing like yours! Some of the neighborhoods I went through on Thursday looked like a war zone! I can only imagine how scary it was to be caught in it and have the car windows busted out.

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  9. Perfect circles on the aloe as if someone was trying to make biscuit cuts~~The video was off by the time I tried to watch it but, wow, that is a lot of hail in your yard!
    Nature can be fearsome..Glad you and Philo are ok! gail

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  10. Annie, that was incredible! I'm glad you and Philo were safe at home when that hit. I hope y'all are on your way to Zilker this morning to replace some of those damaged plants.

    My sister's neighborhood in central Austin didn't get any hail at all, she said. Weather is so strange and fascinating. We've had quite a year for it in Texas, haven't we? Here's to calmer days for all of us!

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  11. You must live close to me, we got hit REALLY hard, broken windows, skylights, car windshields, broken siding, and holes in the roof. I lost some seedlings too. But thankfully everyone was safe.

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  12. Annie - So sorry you were devastated by that awful storm. We just got a thunderstorm and very little rain. I can't imagine how sad you must be to see your plants take a beating like that, not to mention the umbrella, house and all. We had 38 here this morning, so I am hoping my veggies weren't too cold.

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  13. Oh no, those poor plants.

    But my husband's car repair shop also in N. Austin is getting a lot of hail business!

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  14. Dear Annie,

    Never seen hailstones this big! Looks like a scene inside a salt shaker. Hope your dearly beloveds made it through okay.

    Did you see the photo on the Statesman of the poor car dealer -- ALL the cars on the lot damaged. (As if those people aren't having a tough enough time). Plants at least tend to be self-repairing.

    Down in Travis Heights, we got only the dandy part-- good rains -- this time.

    Also, love your old photos of veg gardening.

    I guess for us this March has been in like a lamb, out like a lion!

    Julie

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  15. I am so sorry that your garden was mutilated! That poor aloe. Well - at least you didn't get the softball size specimens a few people around town got. One of my friends lost her greenhouse in the hail storm - it is now full of holes!

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  16. I was thinking about you when that storm hit and hoping you weren't in the hail's path. I'm sorry to hear about the damage!

    I definitely think you deserve to treat yourself to some replacement tomato plants. Glad y'all weren't driving in the storm.

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  17. That was quite a vicious hail storm! I'm glad you were able to get video of it. I imagine that it would be terrifying to dive in it.

    Hopefully your plants will recover from the damage.

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  18. Annie, I heard that gardener's sorrowful sigh at the end of the video. I know how you feel. We had a hailstorm at 2:30 this morning, lightning, heavy rain, and wind all night. The hedge protected some of the plants from the worst of the wind, but the hail took a toll on some of the plants. I hope your plants will recover soon.

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  19. The photo of the Aloe leaves says it all - holy cow!

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  20. Carol put it very well, Annie; we used to hear of weather-tantrums in some other spot, and now we worry that a gardening/blogging friend might be hit by the tantrum. I'm glad you're all safe and that the plant damage wasn't worse. The damage to the aloe, though hard to see, was also kind of interesting; those perfect round 'bruises' were something I'd never seen before.

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  21. Wow, you're right about those impact craters on the aloe. Creepy. I hope it recovers its good looks before too long.

    I can't imagine how terrifying it'd be to have your windshield shattered while driving! I think I need to clean out my garage so I can fit my car in there again in case we get hail like this in South Austin!

    Have you read Mark Murray's post about March 25 hailstorms on his weather blog? Interesting stuff: http://www.beloblog.com/KVUE_Blogs/weatherblog/2009/03/what-is-it-about-march-25th.html

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  22. Oh! Oh! Oh!

    That's so depressingly devastating. My heart is breaking for you.

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  23. Annie, those are impressive videos! It really was quite a storm, wasn't it? I'm glad your cars were not damaged. I called my dh and asked him not to drive home until the worst had passed. Unfortunately, our neighbor was stuck on 183 and his car was totaled; the windshield breaking out on him. Yikes!

    I hope your plants recover quickly. Have fun buying something fun at Zilker.
    :-)

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  24. Wow - now that's something impressive hail! It must have been horrible, watching it come down on all of your plants - at least it's spring, and it'll be unnoticeable soon (except for that magnolia - 25% of it's leaves!). Anyway, good luck with manuevering through the recovery - and I hope you get a reprieve from any more storms this spring!

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  25. First time I saw hail was in Borneo. We couldn't believe it. We all went out to pick the hail, including my almost 80 year old grand father.

    I hope the dents in your car didn't cause too much to fix.

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  26. Annie, that was a terrible hail storm. We've had two this spring, but nothing bad like that. I am truly sorry. It broke my heart to see your plants with windows in their leaves. For folks who have never seen hail, your video was a revelation.~~Dee

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  27. That is one nasty hailstorm, Annie! Thanks for being so brave to record this for us; thanks to Philo, too, for showing us how large the hailstones actually were. I hope all your plants recover, but it may take them awhile. Most of all, I hope you didn't sustain too much damage. We had a really bad storm about 12 years ago, and we had to have both cars repainted and a new roof put on our house. Thank heavens for insurance!

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  28. Great footage! We have seen hail that large, but never for as sustained a period. I've also found that hail is very localized.

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  29. Hi Annie,
    Wow, that was one horrific hail storm! Sorry that you suffered a lot of collateral damage (so to speak) and I hope everything will pull through given time, but still... that's awful! At least when we had that hail/rain storm back in February nothing much was up and growing at that point. I agree with MMD, those circular hits on the aloe say it all!

    BTW, I picked up Iron Man off the sale table this weekend and we both loved it! Thanks for the nudge in that direction... also got Vicky Cristina Barcelona and quite enjoyed that as well. But my new pet film (going to review soon) is Persepolis ... have you seen that? Quite an impressive film!

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  30. I'm so glad you weren't injured and suffered no bad building damage. Hail has got to be one of my biggest gardening nighmares, right after hard freezes in the spring.

    The impact craters on the aloe are amazing, scary. Nature has a very violent way of pruning at times.

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  31. I've heard about hail like that, but it's usually just pea-sized where I am. Must everything in Texas be Texas-sized?

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  32. Wow that video is scarey the way the hail is coming down in an X pattern...not much chance of survival for tenders...glad you were home safe:)

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  33. You know, I've always wondered how many wild critters like deer and rabbits lose an eye in storms like that; they're probably scared stiff and don't know to protect their eyes!
    Don

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  34. Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!
    ccent

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  35. Annie: Yowza! That was some storm. I think those hailstones might have broken a record in addition to leaves, umbrellas and plants.

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  36. How sad. It's a good job that gardeners have lots of fortitude. Our agaves had hail damage last year but nothing like that.

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  37. Annie,
    There has been hail all around us this year and so far we've missed out thank goodness. The strange this is we usually have marble or nickle sized hail. Out of the four storms that have passed thru this year, not a single one had hail smaller than a ping pong ball. It's most all been golf ball sized. That's scary! I can't see your video at work because the link is blocked, but I'll check it out when I get home.--Randy

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  38. My dear friend, I love nature too. Don't forget to visit my blog. you and all of your friends are invited. I really appreciate your support. Thanks...

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  39. Annie, so sorry about your plants, I hope they all have a speedy recovery. My veggie garden got the same treatment last year so I know how upsetting it can be to have pot holes in your plants. Despite that, the video was great. It really did show the amazing phenomena of a spring hail storm in Texas.

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  40. I am trying to catch up on my blog reading...I can't believe this happened so long ago and I'm just now seeing it. I hope things are perking back up and the plants are recovering. It must have been very difficult to have to stand there and watch that happening...I'm just glad the two of you were safe!

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