Country Living Series

Monday, July 1, 2013

Heat wave

It's hot. Whimper. I don't like heat.

As you doubtless know, much of the western U.S. is experiencing a heat wave. There are hideous reports of 120+F temps all over the southwest.

In anticipation of this heat, on Saturday morning we decided to move the cattle to the wooded side of the property, where there is more shade.

Saturday dawned with a mighty thunderhead in the west.

Doppler radar showed some incoming storm cells.

As dawn broke, the western sky displayed all sorts of bizarre cloud formations as thunderstorms dodged around us.

Sadly the storms mostly skirted us by, and we received just a sprinkling of rain before the clouds moved on and the heat moved in.

As you can see, not much shade for the critters in the pasture. Time to move the herd. Animals don't need to suffer through heat, not if we have alternatives.

So we opened the gates to the woods and sent out our universal cattle call: "Bossy bossy bossy bossy BOSSY!!" (In case you're wondering, Bossy was the first cow we ever owned.)

In no time, everybody was moseying into the woods. The calves had never seen this side of the property.

We kept the water tank in the driveway, though, so we could keep an eye on it and make sure it was always full. This is Raven and Chester.

Meanwhile on Sunday, the girls left for a week-long church community service camp. I hope they don't work the kids too hard in the heat.

Late Sunday evening, with the sun down, the calves got frisky.

Today, Monday, is the worst heat day. I watered the garden early -- it takes 2.5 hours to water -- and I noticed a neighbor working in her garden as well.

The heat is making the new strawberry plants explode in size. A few even had some almost-ripe berries.

This afternoon the temperature climbed to a gasping humid 94F. I realizing this is laughably cool by, say, Phoenix standards, but (whimper) we're not used to this in north Idaho. We don't have air conditioning. Could have been worse, though. They were predicting 102F.

The chickens stood around in the shade with beaks open and wings up.

A good day for homemade ice cream. We got cream, we got milk, we got eggs.

We got ice cream.

What's the temperature in your neck of the woods?

Stay cool, everyone!


  1. It hit 110 in the high desert of SoCal today. I feel like I should be melting.

  2. We're in Central CA, in the Sierra Nevada mountains at 2800 feet. It hit 108 here today. I feel for my chickens, there's not much I can do for them except to spray down the run every couple of hours and give them cold watermelon. Poor girls.

  3. Love your cloud photos. We're having some unseasonably cool weather in Indiana this week. Today predicted high is only 74! I'm loving this. Our son is tent camping at Boy Scout camp this week, I was worried he'd be too hot to sleep well at night, now I'm worried he might not be warm enough! Weird weather, but since we're cutting, hauling and stacking wood from two downed Ash trees at a neighbor's house, we're pretty happy that it's cooled off and breezy.

  4. Hi Patricia, here in P.A. it has rained for almost 2 weeks straight a little every day. Not too hot, average in high 70's low 80's.Nights 60's. I look forward to some sun! The garden loves it though!Take care stay cool!

  5. I feel ya, lady! I HATE the heat...yet here I am in the desert near El Paso! Fortunately, my Darlin' Man is retiring this fall and we will be heading North.
    We have felt the heat wave, too and had an entire week where the temps were 110 or higher every day. UGH!
    Last night, though....rain. Rain and a cooling breeze. It actually got down to 69. Absolute bliss for me!

  6. When I woke up here in MN this morning it was a lovely 70 in the house. High today is 83 which is nearly perfect along with low humidity. This is the type of weather we dream about when winter rolls around.


  7. 90+ for the last several days and no relief in sight.

    Way too hot for North Central Idaho!


  8. I'll trade you our unseasonable cold and record rains for some of your heat and dry weather. I'm not used to wearing wool sweaters in July... the high yesterday was in the 60s. Today is more of the same, with more of the rain. All my green beans have rotted, and I've planted three times at two week intervals. Will try once more, then there won't be enough growing season left to bother. Strawberry season ended yesterday, because the rain rotted everything there, too. Blueberry season will be late, if it happens at all, since there hasn't been any sun in a week. This is just utterly bizarre weather. My corn is not even knee high (at least half of it is a short season corn, thankfully) - I'm just hoping we get no frost in August (whoever heard of frost in Southern Lower Michigan?! Only my mulberries are LOVING this bizarre weather. They are unusually tasty this week...

  9. It got to 101 in Dallas a few days ago which broke the mild spring we had been having. It was on the same day as the one back in 1980 where we hit 113. It has now cooled off greatly and it was only 65 last night and is supposed to stay in the low 90's for the rest of the week. I tell our friends that are still in Illinois that the coming 2 months are our winter. You go from the air conditioned house to the AC car and to the AC store and then back to the AC house. Any outside activity needs to be done by 10:00 AM./

  10. It's raining so it must be Tuesday. This is the second week of rain....showers or thunderstorms, every day and sometimes every night. It is suppose to be this way into next week. I won't be able to mow until August. Temps have been fairly reasonable, around the high 80's sometimes spiking to the low 90's. I don't think we have to worry about the firecrackers setting anything ablaze on the 4th.

  11. About a week ago we were sweating it out in the high 80's. You might have seen on Drudge that the interior town of Talkeetna hit 96!! That heat seems to have moved on, probably to you folks in the Lower 48, and we are cloud covered and drizzly int he mid 60's.

    Steve Davis
    Acnhorage, Alaska

  12. Normally here in north central Florida it would be about 95 degrees on a day like this, but for the last several days we've had a front parked over us that is dumping a ton of rain. The temps are now in the 80s. So nice to have a break from the heat! However, the chicken coop is now a swamp.

  13. Near Buhl, Idaho it was 111 yesterday in the shade, today is supposed to be just as hot. We are over a week straight now with triple digits and supposed to continue through the end of the week for sure. Having to heavily water the garden 2x a day, both late in the evening and early morning to keep it alive. A lot of the farmer's crops are looking horrible too, many of the non-GMO crops can't handle this high of temps.

  14. Patrice,

    Thank you for sharing the beautiful cloud pictures. Some of those clouds looked menacing. I'm glad you didn't get severe storms, just wish you got the rain to help cool off the place and animals.

    Your strawberry plants are looks real good. What are you planning on doing with your strawberries? Making jams, freezing, desserts?

  15. It's cloudy and in the upper 70s here-about 15 degrees below average. I got an email from a friend of mine in Southern California-113 degrees! I don't care how low the humidity is, that's way too hot for my tastes.

  16. Iowa is having perfect summer weather: highs in the low 80's, overnight lows in the high 50's, not too humid, with a nice breeze. Last year we were having a hot dry summer so this is a lovely change. The heavy spring rains ensured that everything is green and growing; the wildflowers are prolific this year.

  17. Well, here in lovely Southeastern Arizona it was 110 F on Sunday and 107 F yesterday (A COOLING TREND!). It was min of 100 F everyday in June. Yuck.

    We are trying to figure out how to get up to Northern Idaho. Once we figure the employment thing out - we should have enough to buy a decent place debt free.

    Please pray for us to be able to find an income stream in Idaho so we can move (if it is God's will that we are to move)

  18. Re: tire raised beds - saw this on google's news feed and thought of your garden. Not your state, but still.

  19. Hi Patrice,
    It's 110 degrees here in western Arizona, just down the hill from the Yarnell fire. We've tried shading our small garden from the direct sun because the plants have been wilting. Also added some mulch around the plants to keep the roots from getting too hot. Thunderstorms have been building and collapsing before dropping any rain, causing high winds which were part of the problem with the fire spreading. Still have thunderstorms building in the afternoons here.

  20. The temp gauge in the shade of our backyard showed 114 on Friday here in Southern Arizona.. no air or swap cooler, but we do have a pool and spent the day there. Sat it cooled down to 107 and Sunday we had the start of a monsoon, went down to 80. It dosn't usually get past the hi 90's here at 3,500 ft.Unlike you Patrice, I can't stand the cold or snow , that's why we retired here. Love your garden ! Stay cool, Dee

  21. Weird - in driving down to CdA Sat. morning, we went through patchy rain, but by the time we crossed the WA border to go to Spokane, we just kept getting hit by these cloudbursts, where there would be almost nothing, and then cats and dogs for a few minutes, and then almost nothing again. This happened over and over!

    As for the heat, like you said, we don't have air conditioning up here (we gave away our a/c window unit before we moved) and so we're dealing with the heat the old-fashioned way - letting the house get cool overnight and closing it up during the day, having the kids make use of their pool in the evening, and staying hydrated (with a dash of ice cream!) We're just glad it's not like where we came from where it would hit something like 97 during the day, and "cool off" to a low of 88 or 89 at night.

    -Your "neighbors" in Sandpoint

  22. Lots of rain and humidity in Pennsylvania. As far as temp goes, when it's cold you can keep piling stuff on. If it's hot there's only so much you can take off, and it ain't legal to go that far. Although I guess if you're on a remote farm in Idaho and the kids are away for the week, you could if you wanted to.

  23. 114 degrees yesterday and today in California.

  24. Officially we topped out at 112 last week. I worked outside all day (in the shade) on a 106 day. Wasn't too bad because the humidity was 6 percent! But now the summer monsoon has arrived, and even though the temps have moderated a bit (106 today, about 4 degrees above normal) the humidity is way up and it's like a sauna outside. We go from air-conditioned house to air-conditioned car (oven mitts for the steering wheel) to air-conditioned job or store.

    Jeff - Tucson

    P.S. I don't mind it being hot during the day. It's summer, it's the desert, and the sun is up. What do you expect? But when conditions conspire to keep it from cooling off a bit at night, THAT can be depressing. Like adding insult to injury. As I type this it's 11 p.m. and it's 97 outside. Bleh!