Heat Blasting

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Summer, which officially arrived on June 21st, has really been blasting its rays on us the last week.  It has been a hot, humid week with nothing but 100 degree temperatures on the horizon for the Fourth of July holiday.  We have been blessed to have had a pretty mild spring.  Normal temps for south Texas in late spring usually include many over 90 degrees days, and I guess they did this year as well but a couple of factors made it feel cooler for me.

1)   There was a more even distribution of rain and sun.  In the six summers since we have lived in Wharton, we have had the worst rain, the worst drought, hurricanes and brutal heat waves.  This year is my best year yet for growing my plants.  I think it was all in the balance of water and temperature.

2)  We spent ten days in Maui.  The average night-time temp is about 65 degrees.  The high is 80.  That made me forget the blow torch heat of Texas.  I walk out to feed horses at 4:00 am and it is still 80 degrees.  In the coolest part of the day (just before dawn) it is already to the Maui high temperature.  Oh, wait, I have not mentioned the humidity.  Somehow, a tropical island has less humidity than south Texas.  I wouldn’t have believed it but it is true.

So, both of those factors, a cooler year thus far, and a get the hell out of Texas for Maui trip stifled my ability to absorb and deal with the summer heat.

Our little farm is affected in all kinds of ways.  There are simple things like the water troughs  need to be filled more often, both because more water is being siphoned off by the horses but more is evaporating as well.  Then there is Bruno.  Always looking for something to do to entertain himself on these slow summer days, he has taken to inserting his giant head in hard rubber trough and banging it back and forth until the water spills out or the whole trough turns over.  Not content to just make that muddy mess, he has now started taking enormous bites out of the rubber trough.  I don’t really see any of the rubber lying around the trough, so I must assume he has swallowed it.  Yes, a new metal trough is on order at the feedstore!

The dogs have a big bucket in the back yard we fill each day in the summer.  By mid-afternoon, nothing but bathtub warm water remains in the bucket.  We lost our giant tree in the storms of last year so shade is at a premium in the yard.  I have found one little corner of the porch that stays in the shade through the late afternoon.  I have placed the dog bucket there.  Still, each afternoon requires a gallon or so of icy water dumped into the bucket to make it drinkable.

All the animalls have slowed down, except maybe Bruno, who does not seem to be daunted by the heat.  Even young Kona is satisfied to chase his ball shorter distances and stay under the shade of the barn.

Lauren has lessons with Dev this weekend and offered to be there by 6:00 am to start the lesson.  Dev countered with 9:00 am so that won’t really make a difference.  We will be well into the temperature climb by  then.

Guess the summer has fully launched in Texas.  My memories of cool breezes and gentle waves on the shores are getting more distant.  It is going to be one hot Foruth of July.

2 thoughts on “Heat Blasting

  1. I hear you in the hot-and-humid department, though where I live (Mojave Desert, south of Barstow, California) our humidity might be 30 percent and we’re all complaining. I’ve been in south Texas in the summer and I know what you mean; you are more miserable than I. My horse sticks his head in the trough up to his eyeballs and then blows bubbles. I have a 70-gallon Rubbermaid trough that is easy (for ME) to dump even when it’s half full. We have 100-110 with heat warnings for higher temps for the next three or four days. Yesterday it was 100 at 3:30 p.m., I have a lesson Sunday (under a cover, thank goodness) and it’s supposed to be 105 or so. The key is hydration: Electrolytes all around.

    • I remember some miserable times spent in San Bernidino, CA and Phoenix in the summer when I was working for Aetna. Phoenix, just like where you are, is just plain hot. I don’t care if it is dry heat or not, it is just plain hot. I wish we had a covered arena to work in, that would take the some of the snap out of the heat. I am trying to keep Bruno under wraps during the day to keep his coat dark. I found him just lying in the sun in the mid-day heat yesterday. And yes, Lauren is off to find a new water trough today. I have the rubbermaid ones as well but he is eating that.

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