Friday, July 13, 2012

Drought, Heat Wave, Vacation, Drought

This spring and summer so far have been extremely out of the normal for the area.  First, spring arrived much earlier than it normally does, by a whole month.  Then it left briefly and came back giving us very nice mild temperatures and lots of nice sunshine.  But very little rain.  Granted I did not miss the storms, but this spring for the first time in more years than I can count, I had flower gardening plans.  My daughter and grandson helped me out by helping to plant and water a LOT of perennial seeds of all kinds of flowers.  I was really looking forward to having them to take photos of after they bloomed.  But even watering them didn't help.  Without rain only a few of them have survived and they are so far behind in growth that if they manage to bloom, let alone survive, it will be a miracle.  We planted so many beautiful flowers and so many colors to attract all kinds of butterflies and hummingbirds and none of them grew at all.  I was so disappointed!  I was so excited to think that so many beautiful butterflies would come to the flowers and I could get photos of them.  The bird feeder is the only thing still out there attracting any nature at all and it seems like even most of the birds except the usual sparrows, robins, and mourning doves have disappeared.

In addition to the drought, summer hit us with a vengeance.  The heat has been almost unbearable with 90's and 100's in F degrees for much of the summer.  It's cooled down a bit now but still no rain.  During the heat wave we got a massive wind storm I had never heard of or seen in my lifetime before.  It's called a derecho and is a straight-line wind storm with a bow-echo effect shape that is connected to certain thunderstorms.  It devastated much of the US from Chicago to Washington D.C. with wind damage and total losses of electrical power along it's path.  You can read more about the storm here and here.

A few days after the derecho, my daughter, grandson, and I left for our vacation.  This was my second vacation ever in my life.  Unfortunately with the heat wave, and some unplanned on storm damage at the location, we all had our plans changed a bit.  For my daughter it just meant no hiking the trails as they were all closed due to wind damage and they had not had time to open them.  For me it just meant that I stayed in the cottage almost the entire time because unless I went out in the mornings, the rest of the day was too darn hot for me to handle.  So for me, there were very few photo opportunities apart from right at the cottage itself.  Also because we requested the cottage with the least amount of stairs, we got one with no view of the lake at all so it was pretty boring for everyone.  My daughter invited a couple friends to join us since the cottage sleeps 6.  They all went out swimming most of the time, either in the lake or in one of the pools at the lodge.

After a very hot drive back home from vacation, the heat wave finally surrendered to much more normal temperatures in the 80's, but still no rain.  We have a slight chance of thunderstorms this weekend, but as the weatherman says, along with the thunderstorms is a big chance of high winds since we are live in this environment we are stuck in.  I don't think anyone is ready for anymore wind right now.  

What I want to know is what happened to all the nice summer rain showers we used to get all the time?  We didn't get nearly as many thunderstorms as we get now and we got regular nice soaking rains, some overnight and some that lasted all day long.  I remember how as kids we used to go outside on hot days and play in the rain and the puddles since it wasn't storming.  Now it's like every time we get a weather report of any rain it is in a severe thunderstorm and we wait to find out if we have to head to the basement once again.

I am ready to move.  Any ideas where I can go to escape this???

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