Natural History Notes

Thursday, September 06, 2007

summer over?

The weatherman is calling for "a strong fall front" next Monday, night-time temperatures in the sixties Monday and the fifties (!?!) on Tuesday. Looks like those three 102°s and one 100° in the first half of August will be it for the triple-digits. Last year there were 25 days in August at or over 100°.

Of course, the year before that gave us a reading of 104° on September 28th! But a repeat of that really does seem unlikely. So the warmest year on record may be balanced by one of the cooler, and certainly wetter. Wetter through early July, that is. We had a grand total of 0.08" in August, and not much so far for September, though we got some last night. Only scattered, though. I talked to a woman at the pool today who lives west of town, and she didn't get any.

I do hope it stays warm enough to not discourage TWU from repeating its open-through-September pool policy. I am afraid that front we're supposed to get Monday may chill the water pretty drastically. Well, we shall see.

One picture I need to get is the blooming Snow-on-the-Mountain. Kay and I were remarking last week how pretty it was. It always seems to be beautiful in late summer, despite having practically no rain during its whole growing season. I wonder how it does it.


Saturday, September 01, 2007

late summer in Massachusetts

A not-quite-on-topic entry . . .

Turid has got herself an iPhone, and she LOVES it! Advanced tech that is intuitive and easy to use. She likes the sound quality of the phone, and she likes the way it synchronizes its pictures and notes with her Mac automatically when she docks it, and she is having a blast with the camera. She sends me another couple of pictures every day. And if Tom shows up in most of them, and the rest are buildings, well ... she's an architect with a 5-year-old.

The idyllic farmhouse is Flint Farm; I suppose it's near Concord. It might be one of the places that is still an active farm and sells produce. They have an extremely progressive tax structure in MA that somehow makes it work for these historic farms that are right in the Boston "suburbs" to continue to be actual farms.

The canoe trip is on the Concord River (see Thoreau for more description!)

just a tiny hint of fall

We had a lovely, lovely cool front show up Thursday evening — I got to the pool at 5:30, and when I had to get out at 6:00 it was NOTICEABLY cooler. Not actually CHILLY, mind you, but ... cooler. Its effect was not at all evident yesterday afternoon, when it was still hot, but last night it went down to UNDER SEVENTY DEGREES. Open the door! Open the windows! Turn on the attic fan!

The Farmers' Market that is so conveniently located on my street-corner is, rather amazingly, still going strong in September, thanks to the odd weather this year. Last year it was so hot and dry the vendors were all gone by July. This year, with thirty-plus inches of rain by that time, the spring was very poor for most of them. Many of their squashes rotted in standing water. But now after a not-very-hot summer, the crops are still going.

The young man who has tomatoes (if you get there early enough) says the fall crop is coming on, and the summer vines are still producing, so there may be only a week or so that's tomato-less. The picture above shows the cantaloupe, peaches (in September?!), okra, squash, and peppers I spent $14 on, at about 10:30 this morning. I was hoping for tomatoes, but I would have had to get up earlier.