Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Cool

The interior of our house is dark; all curtains drawn against Sun's strong rays. Even the windows are closed...battened down against the searing Wind. The temperatures, for the last week, have hovered around the 40C mark, with little cool of the night occurring.

Lucky and Nate cannot find comfort.  They wander from place to place inside, and then...they want outside. Where they dig. They are digging for the cool. But there is none...even a foot or two underground, the cool only lasts an hour. The dry North Westerly Wind sees to that.

I gave them raw frozen bones this afternoon. This is the doggy equivalent of ice cream cones, in our house. Nate will worry it all day, while Lucky will mess around with it for awhile.  Perhaps long enough to find the cool.

The garden looks torched.  Certain shrubs, tender young things who are not yet accustomed to Sun's punishing, golden rays, have curled, dry leaves.  I am under no doubt they will recover, should this heat wave recede, yet I have no assurance it will, in the immediate future. The long range forecast calls for this weather to continue into the weekend.

The Tomatoes and Cucumbers in the greenhouse seek the watering can twice a day. Their pots completely dry out in eight hours.  I know. I have timed it.  Each time I water, I feel as if I had just done the deed, only just watered them a minute ago...

Water is becoming a concern, as well.

Wildlife has gone underground.  I see little activity besides the amazing population of Bird species who inhabit this place. We recently bid goodbye to a family of Swifts, who decided to work on the bathroom vent until they found entrance...

But the Ant population loves this hot, dry weather.  They pay no never mind to the hot breath of Wind...they continue to do what they were born to do. Did you know male Ants need do nothing other than fertilize the Queen?  They are looked after entirely by female Ants, who run the place. Huh.

I wouldn't mind those Ants, but they must move one of their nests, which is right in the middle of a flowerbed. They lay their eggs in the roots of the plant, leaving Air holes.  The plants dry out.

I've attempted to persuade them to go by flooding them out, but I understand their nests can go 15 feet deep. I am barely scratching the surface with my 'flooding'. We will see where this one goes, since I don't like Ant poisons.

They are such industrious creatures...a heat wave brings about no sloth-like behaviour in these Insects. I tend to admire them; therefore, more than likely they will be allowed to continue their single-minded quests.

And the Wild Asters! They are simply astounding...there is no other word for it. They bloom everywhere, singly, in groups, against the fence, down the bank...their purple hue lights up in the strong Sunlight. With nary a drop of Water, these plants have life in the heat down to a fine Art.

A couple of days ago, whilst waiting for the cool to arrive, I vowed I would continue my own chores, even in the face of the heat. Perhaps I would be slow; however, I wanted to make sure I continued to be mobile and active.

There may be whining, but at least it would be productive whining.

With this in mind, early this morning I watered the garden, a little. With Wind blowing sprinklered Water everywhere, instead I water by hand. I made sure to water the roots; leaves love the moisture, but if those same leaves shield their roots, the plant is in trouble.

I harvested greens...the Mesclun and Lettuces will soon bolt in this heat.

It was time to retire inside, after a few other gardening chores were done. Sun and Wind together created a convection oven-like atmosphere, and my body rebels against it.

Yesterday I picked Saskatoon berries, who are quickly drying up into shrivelled, raisin-like buttons on the plant. And so, today, I extracted the juice from them, after cooking them down. Then, I made Saskatoon/Cherry jelly. How does that sound with a Peanut Butter sandwich?

After this, I made No-Brainer Pasta Salad, which is basically a mix of favourite vegetables, pepperoni and cheese, pasta and an oil and vinegar dressing. I placed it into the refrigerator to marinate until dinner. After a hot day, in an over-heated home, there is nothing better for me than a cold Salad.

Yet, I find I am becoming acclimatized to being in very warm temperatures. I wanted to roll my body into the refrigerator at the beginning of this heat wave.

But now, it appears sweat rarely runs down my face...only if I am foolish and attempt to work at physical labour, in the heat of the day. Or night.

The Ant and Aster population is still ahead of this poor human...

Even with their example, right there in front of me, the female Ants working desperately, so singlemindedly, at the breach in their nest, in the blazing Sun...even with that!

I am still, along with our two dogs, trying to find the cool.

But there is a Lake, not far from me.

Deep and I'm told, very, very cool...


  1. Anonymous10:16 p.m.

    Hello Marion,

    Love the wild asters!
    It is a sizzler alright. Sounds like you are making the best of this hot weather. I enjoyed your productive whining. :D

  2. Hi... Looking ways to market your blog? try this: http://bit.ly/instantvisitors

  3. Anonymous9:42 a.m.

    Hi...Just droppin' by... If you are looking for ways to market your blog, I may help you in some way that I can. Visit Me Here! i will be glad to help you!

  4. I had to convert your temperature to 104°F for it to register with me. That is hot even for someplace like Texas. We are getting cool fronts down from Canada, keeping us at a record cool July (75 °F or so) so it must be tolerable somewhere in central Canada.
    I would be in that lake water in a New York minute (as they say). I suppose buying a small window air conditioner would be out of the question?

    You have a nice batch of tomatoes there. When we have that many to deal with, I cut them up and put them into the slow-cooker pot overnight. Then after stirring and cooling put them into plastic quart containers and freeze. This is a handy size for making spaghetti sauce -- and it gives you the added benefit of having to remove all of the peeling pieces while it cooks giving you the chance to ponder the sauce and how much garlic and dill weed to put in. I guess you could blanch and remove the peelings beforehand, but I am lazy!!

    Our dogs dig shallow spots under the bushes near the house on the north side in which to keep cool.

  5. Miruh,

    I heard about the humidity on the Coast earlier this week. At least it's dry here, which helps a little. With all the fires burning in the province, it would be great to have some rain, but the forecast doesn't promise much!


    I hear the Eastern part of Canada is not having a very good Summer. I imagine you would be getting their weather coming your way.

    75F sounds wonderful. I think the thermometer is stuck right there on the 40C degree mark! It is sooooo hot and so far, no relief in sight, except for afternoon Thunderstorms, which only create more fires near the interfaces of towns and cities.

    I wish these were my tomatoes, but mine are still green, although big and full of promise. Your way of making tomato sauce is similar to mine...right down to picking out the skins at a later date.

    Tomato season will begin about a month from now. Right now, I'm busy with the Saskatoon berries...they are very big this year, filled with juice. I tasted them last year and didn't like them at all. They were entirely different this year, just full of sweet goodness.

    My dogs have given up. They look up at me with sad eyes, wondering why I can't make things more comfortable for them in the heat.

    We do have the fan from the furnace, which helps some. It brings up the colder air from the crawl space. It's not perfect, but it does make the house more comfortable than it is outside.

    As Miruh said on my last post...we are being tested.

  6. The dogs might like the lake?
    You can tell I like to swim myself, but my dogs don't go near the pond except to drink. And one is a retriever!
    I still can't believe that it gets that hot in Canada!!
    Meanwhilst, we just had the second coolest July on record (since 18- something). Global warming upsetting the patterns?

  7. My dogs won't go in the water, either. Nate might, if I throw a stick. But once he retrieves the stick, he continues to swim in the opposite direction from the shore. We almost lost him once...just as we were trying to find a boat to get him back, he turned back by himself. Scary, for a minute there! Today, a bath will be in order for the two of them...that might help.

    We've had some American friends visit when the weather has been hot...they can't believe it either. All of BC and Washington suffered through this heat wave. The interior of the province is always hot in summer. This time, an interior outflow wind brought those high interior temps. to the Coast, as well. Many records have been broken.

    I heard a forecaster for Weather Canada say the other day the weather has been strange...and changing weather patterns might be to blame. Perhaps. Maybe. Those weather guys never want to commit on that.

    But the extreme temps ( that cold front last Winter and the heat wave this summer)sure make me feel as if global warming is to blame. What else?

  8. Mruh,
    The Wild Asters look absolutely stunning. It is lovely to see such beauty amidst the heat and dryness that has enveloped the land. I fill a kiddy pool and keep in in the backyard ion the afternoons in case my dogs Buddy and Terri want to cool off.

  9. Jessica,

    Thank you for visiting! Having a pool would be a great idea. For Lucky and Nate, I would have to have a pool which their nails could not penetrate...and rather a large pool at that, since both dogs are big. I use the hose and water them down...this seems to work for a bit.

  10. thanks you have a good blog