The Heat Is On

The rest of the country is burning up and we still have the kitchen space heater on.  This morning it’s 44 degrees, 48 in the hoop house.  I look at the newspaper weather map of the contiguous U.S.A. and picture Mother Nature Herself dipping the entire country in fire, but her thumb is over us.  Achilles’ heel.

Sixteen hours of light here on the 47th parallel at Midsummer, the most northern latitude of any major city in the USA outside of Alaska.  The days get longer and longer but no warmer.  We work feverishly preparing for the coming heat (late July through September), eat dinner at 9pm when it’s still light out, and go to bed at night with barely enough energy left to shake hands. 

This week our Twenty-Something son helped roll out 400-500 feet of 5-foot no-climb goat (horse...) fencing over hill and dale.

The only place on the farmlet that has hit 80 degrees is in the hoop house, which I can see out the window.  It magnifies the heat, like a mini-Earth, trapping the heat once it gets in.  The plastic is all foggy with condensation right now (and just a smidgen warmer than outside), so its less-than-clearness, a disappointment to me at the beginning, is academic.   But change is afoot!  The heat is coming.  If any sun comes out and stays out, the hoop house zooms up toward 100 degrees, water dripping like a rain forest.  We have to keep the doors open so that it stays at about 85 degrees.

Last year the cold and slugs wiped out half of the beans and all the zucchini and cucumbers.  So this year, I’ve started all the beans (bush and pole), squashes (pumpkins and zucchini) and corn in pots in the hoop house.

The plan is to transplant the starts to the circle garden in 3 weeks.

It’s two steps forward, one step back — is that a Law of Nature? — on the security front, though.  At night, slugs doodle their way across the hoop house plastic, leaving loopy trails in the condensation.

A slug was here.

Garfield actually carried a live, unharmed crying baby bunny down the driveway, up the deck stairs and through the cat flap in the gate, then down the stairs into the backyard and carefully sat it in the Circle Garden.  Our bunny-proof yard.  We scooped it up and carried it to a nice thicket outside the fence.

Security blowback

He’s just as crazed and confused as the rest of us, though.  Ditto, our daughter’s visiting cat, still does not like him, so until we find a new home for her, we have to keep them separated.  Which means Ditto has the enclosed front porch we call the cat condo.  Garfield now has an auxiliary residence on the back porch.  A cat carrier we call the trailer house.  He likes it.

Garfield's trailer house

It’s a weird time.  The numbers are in.  So far this year, the average temperature is 10 degrees lower than normal.  There are hardly any bees.  This is two years in a row.  Crazy.  At least the baby tomato plants are thriving, upside down, in the hoop house.  Maybe Topsy Turvy is the new normal.

Tomato planters.

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6 responses to “The Heat Is On

  1. Ahahaha the ‘trailer house’ ! How funny! So many funny names, one might need a directory or translator to understand and navigate all the cute names and references ya’ll have!

  2. Christine Widman

    Dear Christi, Here in the burning part of the country I am using up probably precious drinking water for the human masses trying to protect our parched paper thin prickly pear cactus. Last night the little javelina herd came through to slurp up every drop of water in the bird baths…then they wallowed in the soft cool basins of earth hollowed out by their bodies. Den & I went for a 3 mile walk in Saguaro Park at 5:30am – sign at the entrance – “EXTREME FIRE POTENTIAL – with all warnings about smoking, campfires, etc. I am feeling in my bones that “Topsy Turvy is the new normal.”
    I laughed out loud at your “we go to bed at night with barely enough energy to shake hands.” lol lol boy do we understand that as B&B owners during high season.
    LOVE the baby bunny/Garfield story.
    C

    • Christine, I’ve been reading about the Arizona fires. It’s hard to imagine so much area burning, so much thirst. I choose the cool wetness, and will stop complaining very soon. 🙂 Thanks as always for your wonderful comment. Kisses!

  3. kathie prater

    I was hoping that by this week, the twookitties would have reached detente….it sounds more like a standoff! I’ve noticed the weird weather here too. We don’t have spring anymore, unless you count the 2 week period where it thunderstorms everyday and drops to 33 degrees or so at night. We go from winter, to 80degrees plus in less than a month. It snowed here in April, and by late May we had already had a few 90 degree days.Topsy turvy for sure. Global warming, as I understand it, means more extreme temperatures world wide, changes in tides and currents, and changes in the jet stream too. I am feeling nostalgic for the weather of my 20’s. I’m too old for the bitter cold, and then for the 90plus days. No happy medium at all! I think your weather sounds better about now, but I just got home from work, and it was about 120 in there. Love you Christi, no e, and I’ll talk to you this weekend!

  4. Love the photos and the information. Can see it all and I think the hoop house is a warm home in the midst of these cool temps–for you (love the chair and table/bench) as well as the plants!

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