The dog days of summer are here.
The steady rise and fall of cicada song greets me every morning when I step outside. It is the sound of an Alabama summer, deeply entrenched into memory from earliest childhood, but I am so accustomed to it that I hardly notice. But I cannot escape the heavy air, already sweltering so early in the morning; it feels exactly like the steamy remains after one shuts off a hot shower. The air smells ripe and moldy. I cannot stay out long, and I wonder how people managed before the days of air-conditioning.
Watering is definitely the biggest chore in the garden now. With the high heat, many plants, especially those in pots, need a daily supply of water. Fortunately, we have not had a drought this year, and I look to the heavens in hope that watering duties may be suspended for the day.
It is amazing how one minute the sky may be bright blue, then moments later dark clouds are forming as hot, moist air rises rapidly into the atmosphere, fueling a thunderstorm.Torrid air collides with cooler air high above, and the unstable air tumbles violently. Above the freezing line, frozen raindrops crash into each other, creating electrical fields. Soon all this produces a boiling heap of black clouds, high winds, heavy rain, thunder and lightning and sometimes hail, on average releasing the energy equivalent of a 20 ton nuclear weapon: a typical summer thunderstorm, and I am relieved of watering chores for another day.
I took the following photos in my saturated garden after a recent thunderstorm:
Another storm is pounding away as I write this. Whatever the weather wherever you are, be cool!