Gardening where the sidewalk ends

Too Hot to Blog August 1, 2009

Filed under: fauna,weather — greenwalks @ 8:14 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

My brain has shut (mostly) down in this extreme heat wave we’ve been having in the Pacific Northwest. Weather whining has reached a fever pitch, and although it has cooled off from record-setting 103 degrees on Wednesday to a comparatively reasonable but still unpleasant high-80s today, I have just not had the energy to take photos, upload them, think of something to write, or otherwise contribute anything of even miniscule interest to blogland.

We also had relatives in town for a visit, which was fun but since it was their first trip up here, they felt like they had to see and do everything and it was hard to contemplate walking around town showing them the sights in the wilting heat and horrendously bad-quality air (not typically an asthma sufferer, I was coughing and wheezing every time I opened a window or stepped outside). We ended up letting them do some stuff on their own, and spent more time than I care to admit in their air-conditioned hotel room and indoor pool, just to revive a bit and feel like humans for a few hours.

It is also the time of the dreaded (by me) Seafair, Seattle’s annual bonanza of beer-fueled water activities, featuring gas-guzzling hydroplane races and the loudest planes in the sky, the Blue Angels. The combination of the heat and the noise have meant that I’m not spending really any time in the poor old garden. Plants are wilting along with me, so I’ve been out with the sprinkler and hose in the dark at times, just trying to keep most of everyone from expiring until the rains return. Which they seem like they never will.

All of this complaining has made me think about the poor unfortunates who don’t have any access to fans or AC or even a cool sip of water – yes, the elderly and those who work outside have my sympathy, but I’m talking about the furry wildllife, who must really not be used to these temps either. Hugh at Rock Paper Lizard had a really lovely post related to this recently, complete with super cute animal pics – read it here if you have a minute. We have noticed a squirrel who seems to be moving rather slowly at the moment – hope it’s not sick, and will recover when the weather cools. S/he hangs out on top of the fence near our dining room, and seems to stay there for long periods. I took this photo the other day with my daughter’s stuffed animal shark in the foreground, I thought the two “S” animals looked pretty funny together.

Shark & squirrel

Are you a stoic when the mercury hits the extremes? Or do you take your hot weather, as I do, with a glass of WHINE?


19 Responses to “Too Hot to Blog”

  1. Cynthia Says:

    I agree completely Karen. It has been far too hot for me to blog or even go near my hot air breathing laptop. I have avoided it entirely this week. I am incredibly sick of being hot and am whining about it like crazy today! We hit the triple digits once more in my neck of the Pacific Northwest. It is still hovering in the 80’s as I type this at close to midnight. I should be asleep by now but am up as it is far too warm to sleep…..This hot spell had better end here soon as I am growing more and more cranky (not to mention sleep deprived!) with each passing day! 😦

  2. Tatyana Says:

    Hi Karen! Opposite here. Since I can’t do anything outside in such heat, I am sitting in front of my computer, reading, picking, answering, commenting… What else to do in such terrible weather?! Although, the morning was very pleasant and nights are still cool. I think the worst has already passed. Stay cool! BTW, we don’t have AC. Our builder told us that we won’t need it here (we moved here from the midwest)! So, every year we suffer for several days.

  3. Kanak Says:

    A tall glass of WHINE, Karen! I have been feeling this too…taking photos/writing… Thank God the rains have eased things a bit. Whatever I do outside the house, I come and cool down with the AC (on). Then I’m ready to brave some of that horrendous heat and humidity. I hope your weather does not get worse!!

  4. Hi Karen, I am with you in this and also worried about the garden and the weather in general; how many “coldest winters” and “hottest summers” are we going to get in the coming years? I really am hoping for the rain to come and give some relief for everything growing.

  5. Bonnie Story Says:

    The tomatoes and zucchini seem to love the heat, but NOT ME. I’m with you – this Palm Desert dry heat is not OK! I have some friends in Quilcene that are ready to move to Alaska now to avoid this stuff! I do believe that it’s becoming more normal outside for the moment thankfully. But I agree, the coldest/snowiest/hottest/driest weather stuff is really too much. I’m amazed that any of my plants are doing well out there. I have a pretty 5-year old Dove tree that dropped all her leaves in one afternoon last week – eek!! Make mine a jumbo glass of whine.

  6. Catherine Says:

    I’m with you! It’s too hot, even though I did blog those hot days, I was pretty much forcing myself, to distract me a bit from the heat. Only problem is the hottest room in the house is where the computer is.
    I kept our birdbaths full and noticed they were very busy in the morning and evenings. I’ve notice no raccoon activity in our pond at all this summer which seems really strange. I’m glad they aren’t tearing it up as usual, but wonder where they are.
    I think when it finally rains I’ll be standing in until I’m soaked 🙂

  7. Marci Says:

    Hah! Nice try, Karen–you Northwesterners role out this unbearable heat wave routine at least once or twice every year–so transparent a ruse to discourage the rest of us from migrating westward. And Mt St Helens is due to blast off any
    week now, right?

    Well, Im coming anyway, will take my chances.

    Cheers, Marci (in Vermont but not for long)

  8. Jen Says:

    Sorry it’s been so miserable there. We’ve just had humidity and rain, rain, rain and hardly any days over 85, which is not at all characteristic. My dad lives in Florida on the beach and we’re going to camp down there later this month, so I’m sure I’ll get a good dose of heat then. Do you have watering restrictions?

  9. keewee Says:

    It really is hard on us here in the PNW when we have these extreme temperatures. I’ll admit, I was one of the whiners.

  10. Hugh Says:

    Not to worry, Karen. They’re now saying rain and cooler temps on Wednesday. Soon you and the squirrel will be perky again. (Not so sure about the shark.) Thanks for the plug!


  11. Grace Says:

    Hi Karen~~ Here, here! Call me a weather wuss. I hate extremes. I like moderate. That’s why I chose to live here in the PNW. When the extremes take hold, I take cover. I’m a bona fide weather wuss.

    It’s hot [my husband says 90 is the new 80] but I am just [this is gross] dripping sweat every time I step outside so the humidity must be up there along with the temps. I’ve been getting up early and staying out late to get my gardening fill.

    Speaking of wildlife, thirsty chickadees are flocking to my little fountain. It looks like your squirrel needs a drink too. Poor things.

    I kind of enjoy the Blue Angels but the noise would make me crazy. I hope the winds pick up and dilute the horrid exhaust.
    You’ve got my sympathies.

  12. Paula Says:

    Karen – I started to add to my heat post, but didn’t, about how much work was involved in dealing with the heat. Care for the animals, plants, harvest, unexpected things. I cannot imagine visitors, too! It is tiring! Like your winter weather “what plants did you loose” posts, I see I’m starting to loose some heathers. Fingers cross for that Wed forecast mentioned above!

  13. Megan Says:

    Same here. The wheezing, the coughing, what IS that? Is it asthma? I’ve just been telling people I need a sip of whisky and I’ll be fine, but the coughing is starting to annoy the office mates.
    Oh, those Blue Angels. The thing I don’t get about air shows is, aren’t you constantly reading about horrible accidents with those things? Seems like flying close together in formation for showmanship is a terrible reason to put oneself into such a risky situation. If it were up to me, everyone would stay safe, firmly on the ground unless air travel were truly required.

  14. I am a horrible whiner when it comes to this weather. I HATE IT. And Seafair…OMG…I never ever got what the attraction was. I avoided it usually planning a trip to Spokane to visit family that weekend. I remember when I worked downtown Seattle I was on the 23rd floor when the blue angels were practicing. I swear the flew w/in inches of the building. Craziness!

  15. Jane Says:

    I’m managing with the heat pretty well, if I do say so myself. We don’t have AC, but we have big trees on the west side of our house (the messy acer negundos I warned you off, but they do make shade!) I take comfort in the xeriscaping I’m trying to instill in my garden, and although I seem to be doing more watering than usual (well, duh!) I like knowing it will be better next year when everything is more established…but probably I’ll get a bunch of new plants that need to be coddled through NEXT summer’s heat wave, so who am I trying to fool?

  16. jean Says:

    Karen I have never seen a squirrel resting like that. These are strange times indeed.

  17. Aerie-el Says:

    I woke and thought, I’m back in the Mojave Desert. Every day, sunshine, blue skies, and the feeling you opened the oven door and stepped into it when you walked outside. Blah. I’m ready for the 80s to return, or maybe even the 70s. Temps, not fashions 🙂

  18. RainGardener Says:

    Hi Karen, Gee, I think everyone in the PNW is responding to your post. I, too, am sick of this. Don’t do heat or cold well. We’ve been having 109 and the day we spent with my parents (only 20 minutes down the road) it hit 113.
    I haven’t been able to post either. I’ve managed to do one on Friday but that’s it. Guess it is the weather as I’ve seen others mention not feeling like posting either.
    We have a squirrel that runs out of the woods across the road every day straight for one of my bird baths and sits there and drinks water then heads back home again. Yesterday he stopped to chew on a fir cone before crossing the road. How funny. It seems to be his daily trek now and we were wondering if he does one in the evening too.
    Well, try to stay cool – take a shower in your clothes – I’ve found that works. If ya take them off to shower you’re hot the minute ya get out. But if ya leave them on you’ll be heading outside to get warm for a minute. A little messy before getting dabbed off but it really works if you’re desperate to be cool like I was the first time I tried it! LOL

  19. Hi there-I went to Florida last week end…I tell you what…I could not live there. Even the birds had left.
    GartenGrl at Planning Plants to Plant

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