Saturday, July 23, 2011

July in the sun garden

At last, the sunny portion of my garden is bursting into bloom.

Purple coneflowers, which began with three tiny plantlets, run rampant along the fence. Gorgeous yellow daylilies just glow, even when the sun has moved to the other side of the house.

Spikes of liatris help attract butterflies...

as do the butterfly weed and milkweed, blooming in pink and white this season.

Phlox is just beginning to open, and its sweet smell never fails to remind me of my childhood.

I've seen a few butterflies enjoying the garden, and I hope slightly cooler temperatures bring even more of them in coming weeks. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hot enough fer ya?

We used to say in Minnesota if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes and it will change. This week, not so much. At 1 p.m. today, the temperature was 91 degrees Fahrenheit and the heat index was 107. The sun is out; it will get hotter. It will not cool off below about 80 at night, and this will last at least until the weekend. And the pattern covers what, about 40 states?

Yesterday I was driving home from northern Minnesota (where it was equally hot), and when I stepped out of my air-conditioned car my glasses fogged up. This morning the windows of our house were covered in condensation. And those are positives, because they mean we are able to be inside, in air-conditioned comfort.

Lots of people don't have that luxury. I think about the construction workers and police officers and others who have to work in the heat, and about the people living in hot houses that won't cool off, and about the people for whom this is not just an annoyance but a health threat. I worry about the damage we are causing by running all this air-conditioning, and I worry about brownouts and power failures (the power went out at my hotel for a couple of hours early Sunday morning, enough to serve as a warning).

Wherever you are, I hope you have at the very least some protective shade, excellent cross-breezes, and lots of cold water.

How are you keeping cool in all this heat?

(PS, DJan, this is a good time to be living in Bellingham, Washington!)


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