Sunday, August 26, 2007

Just a little cooler...

A welcome 1/2" of rain came last evening amid thunder and wind. The water quickly ran off the parched ground around our house into the surrounding woods. Perhaps as a result of the storm, the temperature has risen only into the low 80s toay, a respite from the 90+ degree temperatures we have had for weeks. Still, everywhere is dry including the feeder creeks that normally run into Big Walker Creek, a mile down the road.

It's likely to be the hottest August ever for this part of the Appalachians. Yesterday, the Roanoke Times reported that our area has an official drought designation, something the farmers have known for weeks. Fields are brown but the flowers--goldenrod, Japanese knotweed (a pretty alien), and purple ironweed still thrive along with the butterflies. I did notice yesterday that a Great Fritillary was resting in the shade though. However, Crescents, Tiger Swallowtails, Black Swallowtails, and Sulphurs are eating nectar in the hot sun.

We have seen several box turtles on the move in recent days, possibly looking for water. Last week, I saw a box turtle, large one with a major scar from a road injury, come into our yard. Our dog was having a fit so I picked the turtle up and put him in the cove. Yesterday, my husband found him dead, with an almost empty shell already. My husband resassured me he probably died of old age but I had wished I had taken the turtle up to our back pasture near one of the cow ponds. Perhaps he died of thirst.

Monday, August 20, 2007

First Entry from Guinea Mountain

Monday, August 20, 2007

It's 65 degrees at 8:15 a.m. on Guinea Mountain. August has been unbelievably hot, with highs in the 90s most days. Most of the nights though have cooled down to 60-65, enabling us to cool off the house with fans. By opening up all of the windows in the sunroom to create an updraft, we cool off the whole house. As soon as the temperature starts rising (usually about 9 a.m.), we close up the house completely. So, the house temperature stays in the 60s all day while the temperature outside soars to 90 degrees.

Rain also in short supply with only 1/2 inch since July 25. Even the cove area which usually stays moist all summer is dry. Still, the wildflowers of late August abound--goldenrod, snakeroot, and ironweed.