Friday, August 13, 2021

Stick a fork in us all

We're DONE already!

We are enduring our fourth heatwave, the second with several triple-digit days. Next week it is 'only' supposed to be in the low 90s.... Wednesday night it stayed HOT, and several chickens, old and young, were open-beaked breathing when it came time to shut them in. Unwilling to lose any more to heat or leave them vulnerable to predators, I pushed Rick to help me do something. Out of the two options I came up with, barricading the pop door with a running box fan for the night or replacing the window with wire for the rest of the summer, he chose the latter and we went to work. The result has made the closed henhouse MUCH more comfortable:

I'm back to CPR watering. Despite my efforts, I won't be surprised if we lose some plants. Even with regular applications of water, some things are just not adaptable to these conditions. In my garden, the reactions are mixed. The bush beans may go the way of the snow peas; the plants look okay but just aren't producing much. Similar to the tomatoes; the plants look great and I see lots of blossoms, but have only gotten a handful of cherry tomatoes so far. The Armenian cucumber hill seems bent on take-over and has been covered with blossoms for weeks, but I have yet to see one fruit set. On the other hand, this is what I harvested Wednesday morning – when it was already way too hot to cook:

Our earliest apples are ripening, too; I harvested this one from horseback because all the lower ones have been eaten or knocked off by said horses:
Is this a Gravenstein? Tree was here when we bought the place. Tasty and crisp!

Maybe I can get Rick to haul the ladder to the upper pasture Sunday morning so I can pick some, at least for fresh eating. Not sure I have the heat tolerance to do much else....

Yesterday afternoon I led the horses out to the middle pasture. I had propped the gate open to make it easy to lead both of them through, and when I slipped off their halters, they turned around and went right back in the barn! "No, thank you. Too hot! Too buggy!"

The least affected of all of us is Poppy. She still goes, goes, goes; her tongue just gets longer. Here she is yesterday morning, working the wood pile:
If you pick her up outside she's almost too hot to hold, but with her small, lean body mass, she cools off quickly.

That's it for now from . . .


Mama Pea said...

Isn't this summer's heat some of us are having just the pits?? So far (fingers crossed), my garden is doing okay considering I have to water it nearly daily (which is getting to be a little old). I pulled a few onions to use for dinner preparation last night and was slightly alarmed by how very dry the soil was. So I watered (again) last night and then (again) first thing this morning, too, hoping to get some moisture back in the ground. No rain in sight for us until possibly sometime middle of next week. Ugh. Hope you get some soon, too.

Debbie said...

for sure 'the heat is on'

So glad the hens have a window renovation. Now, how about a hen house water mister?

Your garden bounty looks so good. And fresh apples on the tree, pure bliss!

stay cool

Michelle said...

Mama Pea, I haven't watered quite that often; maybe I should! But there's only so much time, hose, and water here, so I'm doing the best I can. No rain in our forecast AT.ALL.

That's a good idea, Debbie, but would take a lot more materials and work to set up. I do need to get some sticky fly strips, because the window 'covering' lets in a lot more than the pop door; ick!

Retired Knitter said...

Well we are enduring severe heat spells as well - and during the last one my son's AC went out. They lived with it for a few days all the while I offered that they crash with me. Our air was working just fine. Finally they gave in - Matt, wife, daughter and 2 full size dogs. The condo was just full to the brim, but cool and lovely - I enjoy having them. My daughter also came. She commented "Just like Christmas but with no presents." Lovely!

Tim B. Inman said...

Oh My! All I can do is suffer along with you. Here, in SW Iowa, we have this weather every summer. We're 'built' to handle it, although we still love to gripe about it. Me especially. Along about this time of year - every year - I get the globe out where I can watch and re-learn how the orbit works and to reassure myself we haven't 'slipped' the orbit and are hurtling towards the sun.

The sun is now south of my bathroom window tree. A sure sign we are moving towards fall. HOOOOOOORAY!

Tomatoes will bloom when it is hot, but the fruit can not set. My tomatoes this year are FFFFTT. Nest year! as we gardeners say.


Michelle said...

Elaine, my MIL's AC died during the record-shattering heat wave of June and still isn't fixed; she spent a night with us back then but not since because her house stays remarkably cooler than ours.

Tim, that explains my tomato problem; and here I thought tomatoes LIKED hot weather because they sure did well in Nebraska. Yes, the sun is changing angles and setting sooner; that gives me hope for coming relief. What worries me is that this is what we have to look forward to from here on out for MOST summers now. 😳

Jeanne said...

Yes, this extreme heat, plus the smoke from the wildfires, has been a real pain! At least the smoke gradually lessened throughout the day today. By the time the sun set, it was nearly clear.What a relief! However, it was pretty hot today. We pray that the fires that are threatening our area can be put out. As of this morning, they were still only 2% contained.

And I have no idea what our garden is even doing! It's too hot to even go out and look. The smoke is a real problem for my daughter, with her asthma, so I usually take her little service dog outside for his potty breaks. At least it's cool enough in the house for him to run and play, and even chase the cat! He's not like Poppy in that way.

I hope your garden shapes up, and gives you lots of produce. Will you be able to can tomatoes? I used to do a lot, but that was when my husband was gardening.

God bless you.

A :-) said...

Oh wow. It was blessedly cool this morning in Chicagoland (55!), but it's been hot here, too. It is August after all. But I know the heat is not normal for you there. I hope it rains soon.

Michelle said...

Jeanne, I do venture out (one rather has to with fauna and flora to care for), which makes coming back into the house, even with the thermostat set high (79 or 80), that much nicer. As for having enough tomatoes to can, I would LOVE to (they are so easy and great to have on hand) but that has been an impossible dream here.

No rain in sight, A. 😕

thecrazysheeplady said...