Wicked weather.  We've been cold, cool, and still no real rain.  The weather has been up and down, some cold and cool days - right now at 8:30 am its all of 35, after a low of 32.  We've even had some below freezing nights.  But not any real rain.  I say not any real rain because the other day we had heavy fog - the houses across the street were mere shadows.  That much moisture registered on the rain gauge, but no rain fell from the sky.  So the water catchment tanks didn't get any new water.  So I can't say it really rained.

And with some of these cold days, the humidity has varied widely.  One day it was cold and blustery, very windy, and the humidity level was down to 11% - that is dry.  Right now humidity is 78%.

But the holidays were nice.  We saw some family on Christmas Day.  Then the day after Christmas we went to see some other family here in Austin.  That day it was so cold I wore one of my down jackets.  That's how cold it was around Christmas.  By New Years Eve we were just foggy.  Today its clear enough to see across the hills.  Not much wind, but its expected to be cold/cool for the next few days. Next week it should warm up enough for the nights to be out of the low 30's and into the 40's.  That will be good for the plants.

That might also be good for the deer.  The poor deer have not been looking too good out there.  Actually some of them look a bit scrawny.  And since its so cold, they are eating whatever green shrubbery they can find.  Between the deer and the cold I'm sure we'll be replacing plants come spring.

The lantana is not taking this cold well.  It actually looks in pretty bad shape.  The plumbago is well eaten by the deer now, but what is left of it also looks pretty scrawny.  And the esperanza has been munched on and looks almost black from the cold.  The bulbs I put in are putting out their tops and those tops are being nibbled on by the deer.  I know most of the deer will survive, but I'm not sure which of my plants will.  Sone of the irises have been pulled out by the deer.  The deer don't seem to care for eating the irises but they seem to try them anyway.

I'm starting to think about plants for the spring and what and how I want to plant things.  I'm thinking I may just figure out where and how to do some raised beds.  I'm hoping to find some sort of recycled material raised beds on Amazon.com.  I'm not sure what I will find, but its either that or large pots.  I did pick up some large pots but right now the photinia are living in them.  When we got back from the Nov. trip and I was watering plants I realized the photinia were not absorbing water well.  So I purchased three large whiskey barrel type plastic pots and put the photinia in them.  This way I could water and let the photinia sit in the water a bit to absorb some.  The good news is I'm pretty sure the plants absorbed the water well before we hit this cold weather.  Though I'm not too worried about them as they are sitting right next to the house.  The house type plants I had in the front of the house are not sitting under the sheltered back patio.  Hopefully they will survive the cold. I'm sure I put them back there a bit late, but we'll see what happens and if they survive.

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