Wednesday, June 24, 2009

We're having a heatwave, but ...

...come on, Jeriann and Brad, it's not that bad! This is Iowa and it is summer, but watching those two, Jeriann the weather person and Brad in charge of monitoring traffic, sqwak and flap inside WHO-TV's air conditioned chicken house early mornings, you'd think the world was about to incinerate.

Brad's distressed because when he arises on Sherman Hill to leave for work he has to use windshield wipers to clear the condensation before driving downtown. Jeriann advises everyone to stay inside unless they absolutely have to be out and suggests that an afternoon at an air-conditioned mall, a season in hell if ever there was one, would be the best bet for an outing. And what's this business of "today's high will be 92 but it will feel like 178?" It's either going to be 92 or it isn't I'd think. What sort of alternate universe are those two occupying?

But it did feel like walking headfirst into a warm moist washcloth when I stepped out the front door about 5:30 Tuesday morning, then I stepped back inside, flipped the switch that activates two of the four table lamps in the living room and made a new discovery about my shaky link to the brave new world as digitallly televised. With those lamps off, WHO comes in loud and clear; once they're on, it's goodbye Jeriann and Brad.

So I had my coffee, oatmeal and banana, then headed down to the marsh --- wondering as I crossed it what the guys at work replacing the decking on the Highway 14 overpass were making of Jeriann's advice and thanking my lucky stars I wasn't out there with them, or loading bales or pitching loose hay (even worse), memories from a former life.

What it is around here is way too wet with thunderstorms every other day for farmers who need to get into the field --- too late now for row crops, a constant irritation for those who need to put up hay.

But it was a great morning at Pin Oak with the heat rising, all those shades of green simmering in the early sun. The guardian cormorants were parked in the dead trees toward the east shore of the big pond (I know you can't see them clearly here, but a telephoto lense is not in my budget plan), fish were jumping, red-winged blackbirds, wrens, meadow larks and goldfinches were out and about and the swallows, swooping over the water scooping up bugs.

Two foreigners and a native daughter were in full bloom along the path. First, crown vetch (Coronilla varia L.), an import that is one of the most common plants in Iowa now because it has been and continues to be so widely planted as an erosion control measure.

Then birds-foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.), that extremely pretty bright yellow import from Europe that has naturalized itself after being extensively planted as forage.

And finally the native daughter, Penstemon digitalis Nutt. (with more nicknames than you can shake a stick at), one of the showiest white flowers around.

Coming home, I spent a good chunck of the day outside, despite Jeriann's advice, doing the chores slowly with adequate periods of rest and doses of lemonade in the shade enjoying the heat, the breeze --- and listening to the air conditioner condenser cool the house I wasn't inside.


Ed Abbey said...

I talked with Brad at the farmer's market a week and a half ago. He is a lot older in person without all the makeup.

Wanda Horn said...

Wow, Frank! What photos! All that beauty makes me SO proud to be a Lucas Countyan! I'll be there this Friday for a weekend family reunion and then will stay on for a good old-fashioned "Chariton Fourth." Can't wait!

Frank D. Myers said...

If you're in the neighborhood, stop in or call (I'm in the book, although under Dad's name). Looks like things might even dry out for my church picnic Sunday and your visit! And maybe I'll even be able to get a couple of things planted today.

Wanda Horn said...

Maybe we can get together for a cup of coffee sometime during the week. I'll be staying with my cousin Bonnie Cox in Chariton -- maybe you know her. She's the undisputed genealogy queen of our family! I just read your post about your flowers. Outstanding! What kind of camera do you use?

Frank D. Myers said...

No, I don't know Bonnie exactly but I've corresponded with her about the Coxes I believe, read her genealogical contributions, etc., so I almost feel as if I know her --- which is the long way of saying It'd be great to meet her. So give a call and come over, or I'll travel --- whatever works out best. I use a little Canon that I think is just great (barring telephoto capabilities). A friend who is a professional photographer ordered it, but it's not a professional's camera and I happened to be in the right place at the right time and got it second-hand (within a week or two of new) from him --- one of the best investments I've made.