Country Living Series

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Weird weather

I've been outside a lot lately, putting the finishing touches on the garden. It's been extraordinarily dry and hot for this time of year. We've had some Junes where we need to light the woodstove because it's so cold. A few years ago I remember taking a photo of snow falling on June 13th. Other times the garden has failed because the rains were relentless in June (this was before we planted in tires).

But this June (and late May) have been very hot and very dry ... which is very unusual.

Not just that, but I'm seeing things I don't normally see until much later in the summer. For example, consider this big guy:

This grasshopper was about 1.25 inches long. Now there's nothing unusual about a bug this big -- except the timing. Normally we only get tiny baby grasshoppers in June. Larger ones usually don't show up until mid-August.

Here's another unusual sighting. This is dog fennel:

It looks like a small daisy (though unlike daisies, the leaves are feathery). It's as common as anything around here -- but again, usually not until much later in the summer.

In other words, it seems a lot of stuff is kind of "accelerated" this June. Even our pastures have the dry, yellowing look normally associated with late summer.

Quite a number of local farmers are already cutting their fields, which normally doesn't happen until July 4 or so.

It seems we're borrowing a bit of California's drought conditions in terms of rainfall. We've also been a lot warmer than normal. This website says, "The month of June [in Coeur d'Alene] is characterized by rapidly rising daily high temperatures, with daily highs increasing from 67°F to 76°F over the course of the month, exceeding 87°F or dropping below 56°F only one day in ten."

But we've had temperatures in the mid-90s as a high, mid-80s frequently, and high 70s more rarely.

It's tempting to make some sort of prediction like "We're gonna have a hard winter" or whatever, though of course no one can predict the future.

But it sure is weird weather for June.


  1. It appears that all of your rain and cool weather has come to Texas. It was only 83 or something today and it was only a few days that back in 1980 we had 2 days in a row where it was 113 degrees. While I do not want to repeat that back to the low 90's would be good for the tomatoes!

  2. We're in Alaska and having a very unusual summer with temps in the 80's! We had NO SNOW all winter and have had a dry spring. I'm sure you all are seeing how many and large our fires are on national tv. Our well and those of our neighbors were struggling to produce back in May, but we have recovered at least for now. If the unusually hot weather keeps up, though, we will be conserving and hauling water again.

    We're loving the sunny, hot weather (except for the extreme fire danger), but we Alaskans are having a hard time sleeping at night with the heat. We have ceiling fans in all our rooms, but they are barely keeping us cool. Bet there is not a box fan to be had at any price this week in the Anchorage area and Mat-Su Valley!

    1. Dittos here along the Strait across from Victoria.
      Fortunately we had rain yesterday and overnight which took care of the growing fire to our west.
      Our pond is dry, we're babying our well and hoping we don't have to haul water.
      The river is so low the neighbors' peacocks can wade across it. (Everybody say 'Coyote and panther bait!' lol)
      Praying for the fires to be out up there. Wish I could email you a couple of my oscillating tower fans. They sure help one sleep better on these hot, still nights.

      A. McSp

  3. I'll trade you! We're having weirdly wet and chilly weather. The weeds are loving the rain, but nothing else is. The detours for flooded roads are annoying...

  4. I would be happy to send you some of our rain. The last few years have been odd, odd, odd.

  5. Here in the UP of Michigan, we are also having the opposite problem. Way too much rain and the temps are staying in the low 70's. Last winter was what life long Uppers call normal. We had normal snow and a couple of nights into 30 below area. (after -25 who cares).

    Carl in the UP

  6. Sorry I know this is OT--but what kind of bird is that on your blog header? SuccotashRose

    1. Cedar waxwing. Very handsome birds. I have a better photo of this particular bird, but unfortunately the title and subtitle went straight across the bird's head when I tried posting the better shot, so I had to use this less-good photo.

      - Patrice

  7. We are just east of you in NW Montana and are experiencing the same whether: unseasonably hot and dry. The surrounding pastures and hay fields are already going to seed and look stressed. Last spring our weather guy suggested that we were possibly going to see an El Nino event this year. Maybe that's what's happening. I think I'm going to talk to the man we buy hay from and get a price established for this winters stash of animal feed sometime this week end. Hay might be at a premium this year!

  8. We moved to Idaho to have more rain and less snow. Idaho did have less snow this winter, too much so. Wyoming, at least where our house is, is getting all the rain now. However, it also snowed at our house on Sunday with a high of 46. It's a mixed bag, lol.

  9. Talked with some people in my community garden this week. We were in agreement that it felt more like late July then late June. My garden is doing well and the heat loving plants may actually produce this year. SJ in Vancouver BC Canada

  10. I would like for you to give background on your photos used at the beginning of your blogs. Lovely picture.

  11. Not the post, but the photo in your banner today - a cedar waxwing? That photo is so perfect it does not look like it could be real!! Just beautiful!

  12. We've had very weird weather here. Last year we had no spring at all. It went from 30's to 80's in one week and felt like August in June. This year we had the winter that wouldn't end. Strange. Have not had a winter like this since I was a child.

    Learning in NY

  13. From my experiences "look out". If we start the year dry warm the grasshoppers come out early, grow fast like that and EAT EVERYTHING IN SIGHT by the time August rolls around. We started out very dry, but have caught up. All that it takes is one or two well timed, heavy May - June rainfalls which drown the babies and we don't have the problems. I hate the ones that are big enough to jump down your boots! The next problem we have is that rattle snakes start moving as their water supplies dry up. We can go 5-10 years without seeing any and then have a nasty dry year and we are killing them in the 80 feet from the house to the barn. I have learned they travel in pairs too - if you find one you better really be looking for the second one! May you be blessed with rain soon.......Natokadn

  14. We've had a messed up growing season so far too. The early spring was so hot (we had our actual lost frost almost a month before the "average" last frost date), that all of my tomatoes and peppers have baby fruit on them. I was trying to pinch off the buds so that the plants would continue to grow properly but I missed some, and then more, and then I gave up because every single plant is doing it!