From Pipi’s Pasture: Heat, wind and smoke
July 6, 2018
Here it is July already at Pipi's Pasture, and the weather is just what nearly everyone predicted it would be after such a mild winter. Each day brings the heat and afternoon wind, and with the wind comes the smoke from area fires. Now everybody is trying to remember what kind of a fall and winter followed the last summer like this one. What will happen this time?
Anyway, one thing is for sure. We know what's going on this July 2018.
- It's as dry as a bone.
- Doing laundry, plus other activities requiring water, while running hoses on two lawns and a garden requires some planning.
- The cattle have been moved across the road at summer pasture so that we don't have to worry that ponds will dry up.
- The garden plants are growing, but, except for the zucchini that is thriving, they look "a little worse for wear."
- The weeds are prolific, but even they are dry in some areas of the garden.
- We've resorted to buying an already-started tomato with blossoms and some green peppers with fruit on them — all of which are on the front porch — and they're way ahead of the windblown garden plants.
- The corn isn't knee-high, but it's getting there.
- This is the summer of big beautiful butterflies, even a White Admiral, and they sit on the flowers.
- The grasses are maturing early.
- Hay is short on some ranches, and the price of hay is high already.
- There are reports of rattlesnakes in residents' yards.
- We smell smoke a lot and cringe when we hear the sound of sirens.
- Everybody is going through a lot of iced tea, water, and lemonade.
- Everybody has a craving for cold foods, like pasta salads.
- The wind blows the sandy soil through the open door and windows so that everything in the house is covered with dust, no matter how often we clean it up.
- Putting hay across the corral fence is almost impossible some windy afternoons; it blows right back.
- Incredibly, most mornings are cool.
- Plant sales in Craig stores signal the end to the planting season.
- There are little chokecherries on the bushes around the house.
- The robins are busy where we water, probably grateful for some moist soil.
- Turbo, the backyard bottle calf, goes through two or more buckets of water each day.
- On summer pasture, the cattle are enjoying some green grass in the creek bottom — lucky cattle.
- We rely on the window cooler day and night; even our granddaughter's dog Jewel relies on it to sleep.
- Some days when it is hot, the leaves on the lilacs curl up, a signal that they need to be watered.
- The large trees around the house seem to soak up the water from the lawn.
It's a July not much different from the usual, except for the hotter temperatures and drier-than-usual conditions. We all wonder what the rest of the summer has in store.