June 11, 2021
I believe we have officially jumped into summer. I know, there are still ten more days until the official summer, but it feels like it already. The last several days have been over 90F which really is not too bad. The problem is we have also had high humidity. That means the heat index has been over 100F all week. Today I decided I would beat the heat and get out into the yard early. Even getting out in the morning the heat was oppressive. I was able to weed two of the small succulent beds and the flower bed around the mailbox. As usual, I threw the weeds into the yard since I planned on mowing later. I also got most of the weed eating done at the front of the house. By that time, it was around 11 am and the temperatures were rising. Thankfully, a longtime friend of Melissa’s stopped by, and I had an excuse to stop. I was just about done in.
Weather forecasters seem to always be looking for new ways to describe the weather. The official record has always been the temperature recorded at six feet above the ground on either the Fahrenheit or Celsius scale. Then forecasters realized the official temperature could feel way colder or far warmer than the temperature recorded. Now they talk about wind chill factor (winter) and heat index (summer). During both seasons the forecasters now talk about the “feels like.” Wind chill comes as the wind causes exposed skin to freeze. Heat index combines temperature with humidity, and as the humidity increases, the heat index will rise. While a temperature of 90F is not dangerous to most people, if the body cannot regulate heat because of 95% humidity, the heat index is dangerous and could cause heat heat-related disorders.
Melissa’s friend had a good visit and lunch, and I did not get back outside until after 3. That meant I was mowing in the hot part of the day. While the heat may have affected me, the combination of hot temps and scattered showers have been perfect for my grass to grow. The problem is, I still cannot get into the back stretch of lawn. The grass in this stretch is about 4 inches high and provides perfect cover to keep the low-lying soil damp. I made one swath along the fence and decided that was all that was going to get cut. I had gotten soaked when I weeded earlier, and even mowing got me there again. When I checked my weather app, it said the official temperature was 90F. The Feels Like was 100.
Thoughts: I went out on the back deck to check my feeders after I finished mowing and noticed despite the nightly showers and official low temperature, the heat was causing my vegetables to dry out. The tops of the tomatoes were wilted, and the bottom leaves and stems were yellowed. I did notice the flowers were still intact and there was fruit on many of the plants. It was late enough in the day that my plants were now in the shade, so I went ahead and broke out the hose to give them all a good dousing. The effects of covid on some last beyond their official recovery. These persons have become known as “long-haulers,” as some people report lingering symptoms of the illness for months. While the official infection has run its course, secondary symptoms linger for months. Another reason to get the vaccine. Follow the science. Change is coming and it starts with you.