Country Living Series

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Weather break

Yesterday we had a glorious break in the six-week-long heat wave north Idaho has been experiencing.

Temperatures during this time rarely dipped below 90F, and more often hovered around 95F or higher. Without air conditioning (and without the constitution to handle heat), we were miserable.

But yesterday may have broken the back of the hot temps. Yesterday we had another one of those humdinger thunderstorms come through the panhandle.

We watched the Doppler radar all afternoon and spent the time battening down hatches. Since we expected to lose power (and therefore lose water, since our well pump is electric) we filled every livestock tank and chicken waterer brim-full.

I also topped off a few extra gallons of household water, in addition to the 40 or so gallons of drinking water we store.

We got the dishes done and the laundry caught up, and everyone took showers. The oil lamps were already filled from the last storm that came through.

We also fed the critters in the bull pen early. They were well-protected by the barn awning. The animals on the pond property, however, would just have to weather the storm.

The temperatures were in the high 80s and it was very humid as we waited for the storm cell to overtake us. Gradually the clouds started building up.

At the very last minute I decided to jump in the shower since I was very sweaty, only to have the power flicker off once, then twice. When it came on the second time, I thought I'd make a dash for a shower and hope for the best. It worked.

By the time I emerged, the storm was full on us. Howling wind, torrential rain, flickering lightning, crashing thunder.

After about half an hour, the end was in sight. Surprisingly, except for those two flickers, the power stayed on.

The temperature dropped almost 25 degrees, down to 62F. Felt glorious! The air smelled fresh and clean and damp and delicious.

Unsurprisingly this morning dawned foggy.

The garden survived okay, except the wind knocked down a large portion of green pears. Grrrr.

But today's temperature never exceeded 70F. What a gift!

It was cool enough that I actually took a walk in the afternoon. All the dust was washed off the vegetation, and for the first time I noticed fall is creeping into north Idaho. The ninebark bushes are turning red.

I even saw a gaillardia, one of my favorite flowers. They seem almost too showy to be wild.

We're staying in the high 70s to mid 80s with chances of rain for the next few days, blessed relief for our area. I'll accept these temperatures as the gift they are!


  1. AMEN!

    I'll take it in the 80's day and 60 at night for August in the Southeast, what a blessing!

    1. So true. Expecting upper 50's as lows for the next couple of days here in NC! SOUP!
      Kelly in K'ville

  2. Nice little T-storm rolling through all day in SW Idaho took the temps from 99 degrees to the 70's in a day and it was glorious!
    Got bread and beer making on schedule while it is cool. SW Idaho is a bit less humid than N. Idaho so we don't get quite so muggy at High temps.

  3. I wish you could send some of that heat this way. It's been 20 degrees colder than usual here, and I haven't got a single ripe tomato yet. They just sit there on the vine, green as grass, waiting for some heat...

  4. Oh, thank goodness. Waiting out a heat wave is no fun at all if you don't have air conditioning!

    I've been hoping some relief would come.

    (Speaking of Autumn --- the barn swallows are flocking. During the summer I'm so busy I forget what day it is. Then inevitably, on a calm mid-August evening, we notice the swallows gathering on the wire in perfectly spaced rows, taking roll call. They're getting ready to head out in a couple weeks.)

    Glad all is well after the storm. Stay safe. Be well. Chop some wood.

    Just Me

  5. Same here in KY... hasn't stopped raining for a whole day yet and while the cooler temps are nice, I have no ripe tomatoes and the ones that are trying are pretty mottled and nasty looking... :-(

  6. Fall's creeping in here, too. The sugar maple in my front yard is turning already; though I grew up 100 miles south of here, still early, too early. Time to start battening down hatches for a hard winter, I think. Or a long one, anyway.

    Like others, I wish my tomatoes would hurry up. We could have used a modicum of your heat this summer. I picked the first ripe tomatoes-- cherry tomatoes, at that-- the day before yesterday.

    Time to plan some hoop houses, maybe??

  7. Don't throw those pears away! I had a branch break out of my pear tree and decided to do something with them even if they were green. I canned pears and you couldn't tell the difference from ripe ones other than they held together better during the canning process. I boiled the skins and made pear syrup out of the liquid. It's absolutely fabulous over ice cream and waffles.

    At the end of the season, I take my green tomatoes and make green tomato relish. It's yummy and goes with just about everything. And best of all, I don't have to throw away the green tomatoes or set them up in a window and hope they turn red.

    Out of necessity I've found that a lot of our stuff can be turned into delicious goods even when they didn't make it as far in the season as we wanted them to, or if the season didn't act like it was suppose to. I'm always experimenting because you never know when the garden might not grow at all.

    1. Pear syrup sounds awesome! Is it just the liquid with sugar dissolved into it over heat or is there an actual recipe?

  8. It's been an odd summer here too in Phoenix, AZ. More humid than usual although we've had more of a monsoon season this year so that might account for it.