Tuesday, July 26, 2022

July Heat

More rain in bursts throughout the day; during a lull this evening I stepped out into air so steamy that the lens of my camera fogged and had to be wiped between each photo.
79 F. at 8:30 p.m.--which is 20 degrees less than most evenings last week.

My hedge of sunflowers has held up well to frequent rain. The earliest blooms have set seeds and the goldfinches are beginning to find them.

A close-up taken during an hour of sunshine. Sunflowers charm me in every stage of their development: from tight buds through unfolding petals, then the ragged fringe around the ripening seed heads.

Rain has inspired the hybrid Jane magnolias to fresh bloom. Their spring blossoms were devastated by a late frost and snow. 

Up close only a few of the flowers are at their fresh best. 

The front door planters became stressed and shabby in spite of nightly watering during June. Several of them have perked up with the frequent rains. 
The dainty signet marigolds were languishing in the green house until I potted them on and brought them outside last week.

Our first planting of green beans was a flop--only three plants germinated and grew in a long row.
I've now picked twice from the second planting of Roma beans. Rosie offers to help with snipping and cutting. 
My cats have always attacked fresh green beans, snatching them from baskets or buckets, gnawing on them, skittering them around the room. 

During the second week of July there was a run of days in the mid 70's F. 
I was able to work on the back wildflower garden, digging above this area to create space for transplanting volunteer seedlings. I moved some coneflowers, a few of the blackberry lilies before the weather heated up again.
I discovered several struggling plants of white phlox in the rough strip along the drive and moved them to the large raised container that serves as a nursery area. 
When temperatures climb into the 90's F. I can't stay outside. Weeds have burgeoned in the recent heat and humidity.

Blight has overtaken the early tomatoes, but the second planting of cucumbers has produced long smooth-skinned cukes lacking the bitter taste of the ones that ripened earlier in dry weather. 
We suddenly had a small glut of green peppers which have been diced and frozen. 
Peaches from the Carolinas available through our Beachy Amish neighbors, along with their fresh sweet corn. Jim has dug several buckets of red potatoes to share with the family. I boil a kettle full of them, skins on. We eat them hot, then use the leftovers to make home fries for a late breakfast on the next few mornings. 
I spend many hours reading when heat and humidity keep me indoors.
I've reread a favorite series of old books after acquiring three that continued the saga, though written years after the first six were published. 
Last night I finished reading a memoir of life on an island off the Maine coast during the early decades of the 1900's. 

Nostalgia has overtaken me at times this month. A lovely home where I spent much time as a girl--a mile to the west of my own home--has gone on the market after a decade of empty neglect. The listing photos show ceilings damaged by a leaking roof, familiar antique furniture shoved out of place, barns empty, paint peeling. It was a grand place in its day, made warm and welcoming by the family who lived and worked there. It was a family, who as Grampa Mac would say, 'died out,' the son a casualty of WWII. 
A good friend of my girlhood is in our mutual hometown on family matters; as she travels about she shares photos of the back roads, the old houses, places once so familiar.

The first house we built and lived in during our Wyoming years has recently changed hands. My 
SIL sent the listing link. The interim owners didn't change my paint scheme, the kitchen is the same. I recall how I loved the living room alcove with the double windows looking toward the Wind River Mountains.  The look of a room, a dooryard, a landscape, bringing a rush of recollections--scenes that shift like the particles of colored glass in a kaleidoscope, captioned collages of time and emotion.

Changes come--of course they must! We absorb them with our heads--not so quickly with our hearts!



  1. Oh such bitter-sweet memories to step into the past and remember things as they were then. Old homes more so than anything as they are so rich in memories.
    I am glad that your garden is holding its own in the summer weather you "enjoy". I wilted terribly in the heat-wave we had last week - 2 days in the mid 90s was quite enough thank you! The moment I stepped outside it was like the air had been sucked out of my lungs. I couldn't cope with the humidity that you have right now. Don't blame you for holing up and reading.

    1. Jennie; I've never thrived in the heat and humidity of July, where ever we've lived. I should spend time sewing or sorting through things that need sorting, but instead I retreat to read--always my 'escape' of choice.

  2. Your gardens look fresh to me! The sunflowers especially. The same thing happened to my childhood home! I just can't understand how people can keep a house so nice, and then others let it go to disrepair! Andrea

    1. Andrea: Re the lovely old house in question, it was owned by only two families in nearly 175 years. It was being maintained during my girlhood. Later, two elderly sisters shared the house, closing off rooms, lacking both funds and stamina to keep the big house in shape. A decade standing empty, without heat during the long Vermont winters, has been detrimental. A new owner will need a deep bank account as well as an eye for preservation.

    2. What a wonderful post. You left us with some quotes worth keeping, so I have my little notebook of quotes out to add you to the pages. We have been well above 100 for days and days on end - hoping for relief soon.

    3. Mary; We've not reached the 100's but mid-high 90's is too close to be comfortable. How we wished for rain in June--now we are swamped!
      Scraps of paper on my desk have scribbled quotes and often when reading a book a well-turned phrase resonates. I should have a quote notebook!