This is shaping up to be a good day to sit on the porch, if porches were anything other than architectural curiosities these days, with a Beardsley Funeral Home fan, if there were any of those left either, and a tall glass of ice water (that's still available).
There are no porches left in this neighborhood --- not a one. Newer houses like this were built without them; they've been ripped off the older ones. So those of us who can most likely will cower inside, air-conditioned, as the steam-heated south of Iowa pushes well into the 90s. It's going to be hotter to the southeast, headed for 100.
I know, I know --- it gets hotter elsewhere. But it's not the heat here, remember, it's the humidity. Honest. Folks from Louisiana who wander in this time of year just laugh at us, however.
The water continues to rise over along our Missouri River-bordered west coast as more and more waves flood down from those big stagnant ponds in South Dakota. About 600 have been evacuated at Hamburg, way down in the southwest corner, because a full breach in a nearby levee is feared. Little Modale, upstream from Council Bluffs, is practically empty by now.
At least we're high and dry here, although these sorts of days sometimes explode into fearful storms --- and those are predicted for the end of this new week.
I waited until fairly late last evening to head down to the marsh after struggling to finish up a newsletter that's due at the printer today (not done yet) and was rewarded by water that had turned to glass, reflecting the woods along the far shore.
Blue flags (iris versicolor), top and here, are in full bloom. They prefer to have wet feet, although damper areas were drying out and I was able to wade close.
Grasses that two or three weeks ago were ankle high have by now shot to waist high and are fully headed, whole fields are blooming white (penstemon digitalis Nutt), and there are touches of pink (crown vetch) here and there amid the overwhelming greeness of it all.
For some reasons, mosquitoes are lacking. I spent about 45 minutes down there, including some time just sitting like a log on a bench, and didn't get bitten once. Not that this is a complaint.
Swallows and other smaller birds were twittering and swooping, feeding on such bugs as were aflight at that hour; a handsome meadowlark perched atop some other bird's nesting box nearby; and the redwings were performing "champaign music," as Paul Gruchow put it.
I'm going to head back down now and see what's on the program this morning.