Thursday, July 5, 2012

AUTUMN OR HELL??

On Tuesday, I drove to North Arkansas via a very scenic route to reconnect with a friend of mine from Florida who is visiting family in Mountain Home.  I was quite stunned to see splashes of color along the drive.   Pale yellows and browns dotted the mountains and road side.

Thanks to the wonders of climate control, it is not always easy to tell the  season  merely by looking out a window. Just looking at the browning trees and grass  while in cool comfort,  one could mistakenly think autumn is here.


Or, if you look at the blistered leaves of my Liriope at home, you might think frost has come and done its damage.



 But these things are being seen from the comfort of air conditioning.  They have nothing to do with Fall. It has to do with this. That was yesterday's temp.  We have been consistently over 100 for about two weeks.
   

Along with the blistering heat, we are also in serious drought conditions. 

Most all of us around the country are feeling the burn of the sun these days. Those of you in the Northwest, just enjoy your paradise and know you are envied.

The rest of us, like the bull below, are looking for a shady spot and a cool drink.  Sure would hate to be wearing his black leather coat in this heat.


That poor bull is all alone these days. My neighbor had to sell off his herd except for the bull. No grass and little hay available made the sell off necessary. Beef should be cheap in the short run with the glut, then likely will be very expensive later. Luckily I eat very little beef.

I am losing most of my new plantings for this year. I really went gung-ho with new shrubs to line my fence and put in lots of annuals this spring which I am now regretting. Hindsight is so intelligent.

In an effort to conserve water,  I am trying to only seriously water  food plants. My poor pretties are suffering from neglect. In this blistering heat, skimpy watering of my eye candy has done little good.  Taps will sound any day now.

Thankfully with careful water management, my cantaloupe, malibar spinach, onions and sweet potatoes are hanging in.  They have gotten the most attention.  We will still eat and eat well.


 As bleak as our landscape looks to me right now, I feel so fortunate.  The A/C still works, water is still available and so far, few fires in Arkansas.  This too shall pass.  

Those unfortunates in the West whose homes are being leveled by fires  and those in the East who are still in the sweltering dark of damaged homes, and those who suffered flood damage in the South, all have my attention and compassion. 

Hoping the rest of you are cool, comfortable, hydrated and had a fun, safe 4th of July.

45 comments :

  1. I hope the temp drops and becomes more comfortable. I don't know if your launder your clothes at home or not, but if you do you should look for a way to empty your washing machine into an outdoor rain barrel. Mine was designed to work this way. I have a small pump to get the water out but if you have a barrel with a spigot at the base gravity works very well. I have kept a garden going this way. the soapy water doesn't seem to harm anything. I think it helps kill off little bugs too. I use a 'free and clear' detergent and no other additives

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  2. It's awful here in KC too. BF's corn crop is all but ruined. Hay is down at least 20%...not good. I haven't been watering my yard and it looks it. I did plant some pretties, but I chose drought resistant, perennials. Not as much fun, but trying to be smart about it. Who knows???

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  3. I cant imagine those sort of temperatures ...I am thankful you still have A/C and have not been devistated by fires. Each year seems to be getting worse ...no sense of seasons and such extremes in some areas. I think 'smartcat's idea is worth looking in to. Take Care xx

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  4. I think there's a LOT of us ready for some cooler weather. This has been one hot and crazy summer. Malibar Spinach ~ I didn't plant any this year; but had it last year. LOVE IT! I even had a few plants over winter last year inside for houseplants and would snip a few leaves to add to my salad. They have the prettiest little flowers on them.

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  5. I don't feel smug at all, living here in the Pacific Northwest, but saddened at the devastation across the country. People and animals unable to live in their environment. I know the rain is a hassle for some here in this part of the country, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. My old home in Boulder is burning up!

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  6. Praying for rain for all those areas that need it. Here in northern Wisconsin, we have very high temperatures for our area. Because of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, we are quite humid, and when that wonderful cooler Canadian air is added to the mixture, we get storms, sometime quite severe. We had one on Monday that knocked out our power for 17 hours.

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  7. Hi Patti, dang, you are right it has been a sjmmer from hell for much of America. I recogmize how fortunate we are weatherwise here in Oregon right now. I enjoyed your pictures and pray that things will cool down soon. That is a bummer about your plant investments and your neighbors animal situation. I hope that you have a fun trip!

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  8. I feel so much for those who are suffering the effects of what appears to be a cranky Mother Nature. Imagine what it must be like for those where electricity, clean water, adequate food are not part of everyday life.

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  9. Looks like we will have temps up to 92 this week. I hate it when that happens. Heat is one of the reasons I left Texas. Today the wool knitting will go in the closet until we're back in cooler temps.

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  10. It has been a scorcher of a summer these past few weeks. Hoping we don't have another dust bowl in our future.

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  11. Yes, this too shall pass. In the long run we will all be dead.

    Sorry, but I am pretty bummed out about the continuous heat and feel very badly for the Midwest and West too. I think Carbon Taxes are in order. Got to bite the bullet. If I don't vote Republican in the fall it will be for this issue alone. The environment is all we got.

    Dianne

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  12. This weather is pretty scary stuff. I have friends and family in Virginia who are still without power. I sure hope things change soon, and temps get back into their normal averages. If the heat and fires of this summer so far are a sign of changing climate, it's pretty ruthless and relentless. Stay cool, patti.

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  13. The weather back there sounds horrific, Patti!! I feel for you, my dear, and I hope there is a break in this horrible HEAT & Lack of Humidity...
    So far, I cannot complain about the weather here, Thank God, but the Summer has just begun.
    Those who deny "climate change" truly have their heads in the sand. This Spring and Summer seem particularly terrible for so many people around the country....It is scary.

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  14. Yes, I, too, feel so fortunate. Sorry about your pretty plants. Hope you at least manage to harvest something good to eat. The weather here in Hawaii is pretty good - mid 80s at noon and low 70s at night.

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  15. I'm beginning to wonder if the awful 100 degree plus temps will ever ease up as we are just heading into the usually hottest summer months. I'm thankful for good central air! I feel for the folks without power and of course for those in the fire zones. I also feel for the animals out in this heat.
    My annuals are taking a beating, too. I've already lost many and did replace a few with plants I found on a 50-75% off sale rack. My water bill should be interesting next month! I will continue to water and keep alive what I can. The few garden plants are surviving so far.
    Take care and stay cool!

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  16. Hi Patti, I keep telling myself to quit complaining about our weather. Afterall--we haven't had any fires here nor have we had any bad storms or floods....

    BUT--like you, this summer is our hottest yet --and it's very dry here. We are watering our roses and flowers --but the grass is brown.

    Sorry about your garden and pretty flowers... It's sad for sure.

    Try to stay COOL.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  17. It's hot here in the mountains, but so far not over 100. I feel so sorry for the farmers all over.

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  18. Since overheating causes my heart to act up, I have made the decision to abandon my annuals, mainly in hanging pots. The heat is destroying both plant and pot. The plastic rims from which the hangers are attached, are separating and falling to the ground.

    My husband can water the shrubbery and hens/chicks which do not demand much water.

    Then the pests and varmints like mice, ants and spiders are moving into the house. and I expect more, despite we had pest control blanket sprayed our and our neighbor's yard as well as inside the house.

    So far our AC is holding up. I would have to move in a motel if it goes out of take up residence in ER, a costly solution.

    It heat "bubbLe" dome is supposed to break up in about 10 days but I am not convinced

    I stopped and took a picture on the way home today from my Thurs. church office unpaid job. I checked it and had flashbacks of many heat waves in Texas. Will publish later.

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  19. I feel kind of humbled reading that. I cannot begin to imagine the heat that you people are having to put up with. It took me back to a few years ago when some farmers in this area were forced off the land by a long drought, (but nothing like the same amount of heat) and it was heartbreaking to see the land parched and growing almost nothing at all. Big hugs and my heart felt sympathy to you. Pxx

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  20. It's awful, isn't it?!!! Our temperatures are about like yours.

    It's so sad to watch the farm crops, because for awhile we had several good rains and the corn was so pretty a couple of weeks ago, I even stopped to take a picture. It was taller than I am.

    Poor, lonely bull...!

    PS. Wonder how that "no such thing as global warming" is holding up these days?!

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  21. Dear Arkansas Patti, like you, we here in Missouri have experienced temperatures in the triple digits the past two weeks. The grass has burnt and today I am watering my fourteen shrubs as there is no water restriction yet, but it surely will happen soon.

    The drought in the West and the fires there as well as what is happening in the South and the East bring such suffering and tragedy to those living in those areas.

    All this makes me wonder why some people still doubt that we are experiencing global warming.

    Peace.

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  22. smart cat,
    Thanks though today was 108. That is a great idea about washer water. I will check into it.

    turquoisemoon,
    So sorry about BF's corn. You guys have had it just as bad. Water would sure help.

    Angie,
    So glad you all aren't suffering. I think that is worth looking into also.

    mel,
    Isn't that spinach amazing. Mine is thriving in this heat. I love it raw in salads and on sandwiches. Think I will try bring a plant in this winter like you. Thanks.

    Djan,
    After years of Florida droughts and fires, I always say that I could be knee deep in water and not complain. So glad you all are being spared.

    Muffy,
    Yikes, high temps and no power, not a good thing. I have been watching the Marlins playing the Brewers and the on field temperatures were over 100. Not too many states have been spared this year.

    Kathy,
    I did enjoy visiting, thanks. Enjoy your cool.It is so nice someplace has been spared.

    Olga,
    You are so right. Thinking about them makes me appreciate my own condition.

    Linda,
    Yep, working with wool is not a high temp activity. Hopefully you all will cool down soon.

    islandwonder,
    I was thinking about the dust bowl not long ago. Hopefully we don't get that bad. That was awful.

    Dianne,
    I totally agree. Our health and our environment should be the only things that matter. If either of those is bad, all the money in the world won't help.

    robin,
    I am so sorry for your friends. I did that in Florida too many times. It is rough.
    This all makes one wonder how anyone can doubt it.

    OOLOH,
    I so agree Naomi. This past winter should have been a warning. I feel so sorry for those who are losing homes or sweltering in the heat. I have A/C, not everyone has.

    gigi,
    I heard on the news that Hawaii was doing well. Hope it stays that way. My food plants are doing well so far.

    Cheryl,
    Well my water bill came and it wasn't too bad. However my light bill is another matter. I am not complaining. I enjoyed my company and I am enjoying being cool.
    Be kind to my Marlins. They are coming to St. Louis tomorrow to play in the heat.
    May we get relief soon.

    Betsy,
    I know you and George are on top of your lovely flowers and hope they survive nicely.

    NCMountain woman,
    I know those who make a living relying on weather either farming or ranching are in such jeopardy now.Hopefully we all get a break soon.

    nitwit,
    I do worry about those like you with health problems. I went out to get the mail, pulled just a few weeds and boy did I feel it. Felt like I was breathing soup. It is impossible to work outside now for folks our age.
    Do be careful and I hope we get relief soon.

    Peter,
    Thanks for your kind words dear friend. I know in years past Australia and you too had awful heat and fires.
    Seeing the dry cracked earth is appalling.

    Dee,
    I know, how can they possibly keep saying it is just cyclical? Each day we set new records. May we all get some relief soon or food may become a problem. The farmers and ranchers are really hurting.

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  23. Mary lee,
    We haven't had any rain since early April. That would solve a bunch of problems if we could all get some--and not enought to tear roofs off of homes and down power lines. Guess we have to be careful what we ask for.

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  24. It's hard to imagine heat when we've got weeks and weeks of cool and drizzle. Finally yesterday, the sun has arrived in the Pacific Northwest.

    Thinking of you all, though, and hoping for cooler temperatures and some rain.

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  25. Hi honey
    Just thinking about you so I wanted to come by and check on you.
    Yep these high temps for weeks are starting to work it's havoc on all of us. I think today it actually had me a little depressed. Too much to do and too hot to do it.
    You mentioned you were surprised I went to the parade in the heat yesterday. Believe me if it had not been for my landlady I would have been home in the AC. haha She has a way that makes it hard to say no to her.
    So glad you veggies are doing good. I wanted to try the cantaloupe this year but did not. Your plants look so healthy. Sorry about your flowers. Even with watering mine they still are not as pretty as they should be.
    Take care dear friend and keep cool.
    Love
    Maggie

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  26. Patti, I don't think I could survive your heat! I think of people with no AC. How do they live? Still, we remain so dry in the West. Fire is a constant threat. We live day by day, hoping for moisture.

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  27. The whole weather pattern is just too weird for words. We here is the Northeast have been lucky. It's been hot, but not insufferable, and so far we've had enuf. rain to keep things growing. But then I like the heat; don't turn on the a/c until it gets over 90.

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  28. You are such a sweet soul to think about the others in different dilemma from you own. Still, I did the same thing you did and bought so many lovely flowers and now....they are fried. Oh well, maybe my smarts will return in the fall. Oma Linda

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  29. That is so hot!!! It is so dry here, things are burning up everywhere.
    Sandy

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  30. Oh my I had no idea the drought and temps you are having, so sad for all the plants and animals.

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  31. I'm hoping the temps drop soon, and more so that we get some much needed rain. It's ridiculously hot down here in southern Arkansas too!

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  32. I could say "ditto" to this post. This weather has been unbelievable. We had the same temps, and our greens are not green this year. They are brown. I don't know what to think of it all.

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  33. Linda Myers,
    I have a sky full of sun I will trade you even for a full day of drizzle.
    We certainly are a diverse country.
    Enjoy your cool.

    Maggie,
    I know, the plants don't want water out of a hose, they want God's water. Boy does that make a difference. May we both get some soon.

    Barb,
    Not sure I could make it with out A/C. I so feel for those with out power or just don't have a system.
    Hopefully we will all get some rain soon and cool down.

    Sightings,
    Well now, you are a real spartan. I thought I was tough to set the temp at 80. You make me feel quite whimpish:))

    Linda,
    You too?? Lets hope our hindsight will be foresight next year.

    Mom of 12,
    I realize you all have had the fires to deal with. How frightening.

    Linda Starr,
    Not too long ago, you all were wading in water. Mom nature sure is cranky this year.

    Terri,
    Did I see on the news just now that your area got rain?? Boy I hope you got some of it and it may even happen up here soon. Can't wait.

    Retired English Teacher,
    This really has been a strange year. Winter, spring and summer have all been bizarre.

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  34. I am so sorry you are being hit with the hot that bad - 110? Yikes. That is rough. And the poor plants. We have had it to 104 but mostly around 100! sandie

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  35. Oh wow, Patti! I just talked to my 4 year old granddaughter on Skype. She'd come in from outside and was dripping with sweat. It was 8:00 PM! It made me wish they were still with us in Hawaii. I sure hope it cools off for all of you tomorrow!

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  36. We have had intense heat for the last 2 weeks and I am so grateful for air conditioning. Also grateful that I didn't waste money or time trying to plant anything, since it would all be dead by now. We are not in drought conditions, but our grass is dry or gone anyway.

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  37. It appears that we are all having extreme weather at the moment. Here in the UK we have more flood alerts. The water damage in some areas of the country is awful. I long for some dry warm weather but I'm sure if I had it for too long I'd be praying for some rain too.

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  38. oh to see those pictures of 'home'... I've been traveling where it's cool! My home is in Little Rock and my son is doing construction work!

    He is young but I still worry. Beautiful in Mountain Home... glad we haven't had the fires!

    I ain't coming home until October! I'm in Port Townsend, Washington and wearing a light jacket. I'm not doing a nanner nanner because I KNOW that heat....

    just not acceptable... 104º ... boo hiss

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  39. Call me crazy, but to me there is something most crazy about the weather...

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  40. I wonder if we are beginning to pay for our excesses and not caring about the warming of the earth and all the rest. Heat is normal here, we are in the desert after all, albeit the desert mountains.Our real hot weather is on the way, it has not reached us yet, but it's hot. I feel so bad for everyone who is suffering in both heat and humidity w/o electricity. Terrible.

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  41. Sandie,
    Fortunately, we have had two rains since I wrote that, one of them going on right now. How beautiful rain is.

    Kay,
    Thanks, It has gotten down to the high nineties since the first rain. That is sooo doable and almost comfy.

    Kenju,
    Next year, think I will keep my pocketbook closed. We have had a couple of rains that have helped some but still most things are toast.

    LLCool Joe,
    We usually want what we don't have. Rainy English days look marvelous from here.

    Carolyn,
    Stay put for a while at least. This has been a bear of a summer and you are in the right place.

    Introverted Art,
    It must be hard being a naysayer these days about global warming. Don't think you are crazy at all.

    Inger,
    I totally agree and just hope we don't wake up too late.

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  42. Aaaaaah! 100 degrees is too much! We are in 70s here.

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  43. Wow, Patti, reading these testimonial responses to your blog post makes much more of an impact on me than the weather reports. We're finally getting sun here in the Pacific Northwest; hoping you get our rain soon.

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  44. Wow, Patti, reading these testimonial responses to your blog post makes much more of an impact on me than the weather reports. We're finally getting sun here in the Pacific Northwest; hoping you get our rain soon.

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  45. The heat has reached us in Toronto where we've broken reveal records last week. Our crops of corn are struggling too. Every thing is.

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