Monday, 14 June 2010

Flippin' Frost!

In New England (the region in the north-east of the United States composed of 6 states: Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island and my home state - Massachusetts) there's a saying attributed to Mark Twain...  "If you don't like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes."

I knew this to be true of New England, but I didn't think it would be the case in New Zealand as well.  But it is!  Though not to the same extremes.  We don't have sunny shorts and t-shirt days devolving into snowshoe days, but we do have sunny shorts and t-shirt days that devolve into huddle around the radiator nights.

Which leads to this in the morning:
(The grass in normally green, even in the winter.)

Which wouldn't be such a problem, but in January, the middle of our summer, we took a gamble and planted a tamarillo tree seedling.  I knew that here in Napier we get a frost or 2 a year, and that tamarillo trees are subtropical and can't handle frosts, but I figured I'd be able to protect it on the rare occasions.

Well, this winter frosts are not such a rare event.  We had 1 or 2 early frosts and I could feel the chill in the air as night descended, so I covered the tree with an old bed sheet.  And it did fine.  As recently as last week I took photos of my thriving tamarillo tree to show my mom back home.

And then we had the frost to end all frosts, which struck quite unawares, bringing to mind the Mark Twain quote above.  I didn't cover the tree since it had been so warm during the day.  And then last night we had another surprise attack.  When I went to bed it was raining, and everyone knows it can't frost when it's raining.  But apparently it can frost when it stops raining in the middle of the night and a cold front moves through. This is our tree now.



Justine said...

Oh no! That really sucks. We have only had a couple of big frosts here. How is 'Hugo's' Fig tree going?

Kya said...

Hi Justine! You know how I had planned to dig up the fig tree to put in the garage over winter? Well, I hadn't gotten around to it in time for that first big frost. :( But it didn't look as bad as the tamarillo. So then I dug it up and put it in the container, but because it was raining the other night, I thought I'd leave it outside overnight to get watered first, and the second big frost happened! But it still isn't totally black, so it's safely ensconced in the garage now. Fig trees are supposed to be resilient, so here's hoping it'll spring back when we replant it in the spring. :)

Calgaroo said...

I absolutely love your photos..they are gorgeous..