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Copyright © Sheryl Williams - Yardfanatic 2016. All rights reserved.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Crazy In The Heat

Last week I flew back to Southern Oregon to visit with my family. Oregon is having the exact opposite weather that we are suffering through in Central Texas; it has been a record year for rainfall and cool temperatures. In the Rogue Valley, the peaches are at least three weeks behind, which means I didn’t get to eat myself silly on my favorite fruit during my visit.

It was great to be there. They finally had some summer and the temperatures were in the high 90s. My Mom had the AC cranked and everyone was complaining. Not me. Sure, it was warm in the afternoon, but the air was not laden with moisture and in just a few hours it would cool back down to the 60’s. Mornings were glorious. It gets light much earlier in the north, so I could get up early and go outside to garden. I did some tree pruning and compost building and it was sensational. My energy just soared through the roof and I could not breathe enough of that air. My family fussed over me being outside in the heat, but as I told them; hey, it’s like March in Central Texas.

And then I came home.

Right off the plane the blast of hot air reminded me that my little jaunt was over. Hurricane Don turned out to be a whiny little brat that didn’t provide any rain or heat relief, so I returned to the same sad state of affairs that I left. My heat stressed okra is covered in white flies and the squash is barely hanging on. Plants that I thought were looking okay when I left are spent and forlorn. Of course I am sure my eyes are still jaded by the lushness of the Oregon landscape.

This morning I slept in late, and by the time I got out into the garden it was already hot. And then something unexpected happened. I got mad. I was mad at the heat, mad at the sun, mad at my poor excuse of a vegetable garden. How dare you! There is no reason for being so hot! Knock it off this minute!

Crazy. Ranting at the weather is not very productive. I go back into the house and sit under the ceiling fan. The cat gives me a knowing glance and then heads off to the bedroom. Anna has the right idea. Just go with the flow and find a nice cushy cool spot to wait it out. I grab my Territorial Seed catalog and prepare a seed order.

Sanity at last.

11 comments:

  1. You paint a very convincing picture with your words. I (as an Oregonian) am finally starting to realize how good I've got it. So are you at all happy to be in Austin?

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  2. I AM happy in Austin but it is quite challenging to garden here because of the heat. My Oregon DNA tells me that if the sun is shining I need to get outside, so it's hard to hide in the house during the summer. However, the rest of the year is absolutely glorious. I'm a better gardener here in Austin because I can't take anything for granted. Last week I fussed over a friend's garden in Oregon because she didn't have enough mulch, was wasting water, and made some water-hog plant choices. Funny that my sensibilities have already changed.

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  3. I felt the same, after returning from Seattle. The only time I can stand to be outside is early morning, early evening, and the five minutes it takes to walk to my car after 8 hours in a 70-degree office. But this too shall pass. Cooler temperatures will arrive in October, and the 1950s Texas drought lasted, what, seven years?

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  4. Seven years! Bite your tongue!

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  5. Sure wish I could move to Oregon, North Carolina, Washington, Colorado or anywhere where you can go outside in the summer and be human. I'd give Texas up in an instant. I've lived here since the 4th grade...40years...and while I like Austin a lot, I'm sick of the heat and the drought, and I don't care if I sound whiney! Laura

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  6. It's hard not to be whiney. I can tell you though, that Oregonians are just as vocal about the gray and rain and wish they could move someplace where it sunshines all the time and moss doesn't grow on their house! Areas like Central and Eastern Oregon get less moisture but more cold and also suffer from periods of extreme drought. Honestly, if the choice were on climate alone, I'm not sure what I would do. I have a feeling I would miss Austin very much.

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  7. My sister who still lives in Austin just visited me here in Eugene for a week...she kept marveling at being able to be outside during the day..."oh my god, its noon, and we're (fill in the outdoor activity.) It took me quite awhile after moving here to get over my lifelong habit of getting outside as soon as it was light to get everything done by nine or so, before the heat set in. It still amazes me when I realize that I'm weeding, or turning compost, at three o clock on an August afternoon! Kelly.

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  8. Kelly, you make me laugh. Running outside at the crack of dawn is exactly what I did when I visited my folks. I am NOT a morning person and my Dad kept blinking at me like I was a ghost.

    I think the thing I miss most about the Pacific Northwest is the smell of those fir trees. It wasn't until I moved here to Austin that I realized that it doesn't smell like anything here. I'm as used to the heavy perfume in the air as my Austin friends are to humidity. You don't notice it until it's gone.

    Glad to hear you are turning into an Oregonian. You know the saying, you weren't born in Oregon but you got there as fast as you could...

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  9. Having just returned from Oregon and Seattle myself, it's interesting to read these comments. The Pacific NW was beautiful. I think I would rather complain about gray winters than blistering summers, but I could be fooling myself. I do love Austin weather from late October until late April, which is a good chunk of the year. I think it's the terrible drought this year that's adding insult to injury for us gardeners.

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  10. I think so too Pam. And the climate guys say we're going right back into La Nina. That means less rain for us and more downpours in Oregon. Good news for my Mom, I think this means I'll visit more. :-)

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  11. I loved our visit to the NW. The gardens and scenery were just outstanding. We 'did' the Oregon coast after the fling. Beautiful. Every day was perfect but I know that is not always the reality of a coastal climate. After all, I grew up in one on the NW coast of England. Gardening was a challenge their too. Just a different one. Then I spent 12 years in the frigid cold where, when summer didn't arrive until July and then left almost immediately, you had to face another winter. No, I'm happy here in Austin, but am at the stage when I can go somewhere cooler in the summer, if I choose. I love the sun and despite the challenge of gardening in such a climate it keeps me on my gardening toes. Right now I am lamenting the loss of many plants but more to my having been gone for 7 weeks and 5 weeks before that. At least the pool is green!!!! but that's not my job.

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