Friday, July 6, 2012

Heat Wave in Muskoka

I realize there is a heat wave in more than our area, but as I live here, this is what I know..We are in the midst of a heat wave that just keeps coming day after day..I have written off the garden, it's too hot, too dry..My husband keeps trying to water it, but it needs far more than he is giving it.

The soil in the garden, flower beds and lawn is like powder, a big wind would blow it question is: "how can the weeds keep growing and be so healthy?"..We seldom use the hose on the flower beds, we have two large rain barrels and two tin wash tubs at the end of two down spouts so we use all the water they contain. But last night I took pity on the front yard perennials and actually used the hose. Everything is sad and drooping.

As I sit writing this I think back to our looooong winters here, we can get frost as early as mid-September making the gardening season very short. We often have snow on Halloween night. I remember one year it snowed on Mother's Day in May. Even though all the snow can be melted in yards in April, a walk in the woods will reveal clumps of snow hidden from the sun.

Around February I start longing for spring, for the sight of tulips and daffodils, something, anything GREEN! I have been known to shovel across my front yard to my three burning bushes so I can clear the branches that are either being held hostage by deep snow or ice. I'm sure the neighbours are talking about that crazy women shoveling her front yard!

What seems to have happened the past couple of years is that April is warmer than May..I get most of my gardening clean-up done in April raising my hopes, then a cold wet May. But for the past two years we have been in P.E.I. in May and this year is was a glorious May, not so the year before.

What do we long for all winter? To throw open the doors and windows to smell fresh spring breezes, air out the house, hear the first robins. But in reality I sit here with drapes closed, the doors shut and fans blowing the warm around and around. It's like living in a box! A box with curtains no less..thankfully we have a screened in gazebo out on our large back deck and as can be seen in the picture I posted a large, blue pool which we put up each June. As we pay for our water useage, it costs more and more to fill it each year. But it is well worth the money, or so we tell ourselves to be able to cool off many times a day. Yesterday I enjoyed it's cooling waters at least 3 times although the temperature was up to 82 degrees so we left the top off last night..

The neighbours who have an inground pool and cover it at night had a temperature of 92 degrees. Off came the cover only cooled down 3 degrees. I will soon be checking our pool to see if it dropped down a bit. On these hot days of 35, 37 and 40 degrees, the pool around 78 is more refreshing.

I introduced my granddaughter Claire to our pool several weeks ago, at first she wanted back out again, "no, no," she uttered..then I put in her one leg and told her to splash it..this was fun until she splashed herself in the face. So I handed her over to mommy but later took her into the pool again and she immediately twisted herself so that both her legs where in the water splashing....We also have a small plastic pool for her but it won't be long and she'll want to be in the big one all the time..she loves to play on our deck with a pail full of water, her measuring cups, tea set and teddy bear in his high chair..she will spend an hour feeding teddy bear cups of water, so much water in fact we end up squeezing teddy bear out..

If we had a button we could push to order the weather we wanted in our own yards, mine wouldn't be so hot, there would be fresh breezes and no humidity. Some days I find it hard to breathe. Yes, I wanted warm weather all winter but as I get older I find these high temperatures harder to endure. The weeds don't get banished and the flower beds get ignored but I get a lot of books read! My husband doesn't even want hot meals, he comes home from work hoping for a sandwich. My kind of guy....

When I wake up I think how will I bear yet another sweltering day, it almost makes your mind go crazy until I remember I have the pool and can submerse myself in it as many times as I want. I look longingly at the weather report on the computer every morning hoping it see it might rain and keep our burnt grass from getting worse, help the flowers to lift their heads again and allow me to once again open all the doors and windows. We are never satisfied are we?


  1. Lannie, I think part of the issue is we're not used to dealing with such high temperatures. My husband is originally from Ontario and when he saw the temps posted this week he was shocked. Said those kinds of conditions reminded him of the time he spent in Australia. How can temps in Ontario be comparable to an arid desert climate?! Ontario never used to be like that so it's hard to adjust. Luckily PEI doesn't seem to have those extremes at this point, maybe you should be spending more time here later in the summer?

  2. Climate change is to blame, Ontario is turning into a desert. Thank goodness you have the pool!