Welcome back to the journal everyone. Welcome back, me. Wow I can’t believe it’s been over a week since I’ve been able to sit down and write. Handful of major contributing factors– big indexing job that’s sucked up all of my free time, persistent internet outages at Twin Oaks, and our annual mid-July heat wave, which has been keeping me indoors.
Let’s talk about that last one for a while. When I started this journal, I wanted to avoid cliche complaints about summer heat…it’s so hot…blah blah blah…poor me…blah blah blah…wretched humidity, etc. But it must be said that old man summer, having spared us his wrath for all of June and half of July, has showed no mercy this past week. Highs over 95 every day, with a “heat index factor” (whatever that means) of about 175 degrees, even the shortest outdoor walks leave you drenched with sweat. Now, I can’t complain too terribly, as my indexing job means that I have had to spend long stretches of time each day in front of a computer, which I have conveniently set up in our seeds business’ “cold room.” The hardest times have been at night, when the temperature hovers in the 80’s and the humidity lies thickly like a damp blanket.
This past week has been the point when the mold and mildew begins to gain the upper hand on our efforts to control it. Every indoor space at Twin Oaks, even my bedroom (and my pillow!), has been experiencing that familiar unpleasant aroma, the smell of mold and rot that is all-pervasive this time of year. Which is odd, considering that, in terms of actual precipitation, it’s been the driest week of the year. There have been storms in the area, and we’ve had several episodes with dark heavy skies and the rumbling of thunder in the distance, but none of them have passed overhead. At most, we’ve had a couple of five-minute showers, but nothing to really soak the ground. As a consequence, the pond has become bathwater warm, dark-green and soupy, not very appealing or refreshing. The abundant mushrooms which were everywhere earlier this month have all dried up; the mycelium seems to be hunkering down under the leaf litter, waiting for a proper soaking before growing any additional mushrooms.
So, yeah, it’s been that sort of week. I haven’t done any of my usual rambles in the woods, not much observating. I did get out a little earlier in the week, so I have a few photos to share, most of these were taken last Sunday and Monday.
On Sunday, after dinner, I took the boys to Acorn community to visit a friend who had recently given birth. The boys were only interested in the newborn for a few moments, and were much more interested in the trampoline. A few minutes later, I went out to join them, and enjoy the relatively cool last moments of the afternoon.
On Monday afternoon, I took another trip down to the creek to play around in the rocks a little more, creating a little dipping spot for days when the pond is no longer a refreshing option. I worked for a little while on the spot below, then realized that the area immediately upstream would actually be a much better location, so I shifted my energies.
Here’s the spot immediately upstream, which being more open and accessible, I decided would make a better ‘dipping hole.’ As you can see here, I’ve been raking up the rocks in the stream bed into little piles. The next step (which I did on Tuesday afternoon) involved shoveling them into a bucket, and making a tiny rock dam at the bottom edge. Ultimately, I’m hoping to create a spot, probably no more than knee-deep, with a smooth gravel bottom, that is a cool comfortable place to hang out during the sort of unbearable summer weather we’ve been having lately. Mostly, I’ve been too crazy busy with this index to get back down there, but I hope to do a bit more work (and take a few more pics) later this month.
The only other picture I took was on Tuesday morning, the sun rising over ZK as I made my way to the tofu truck for my C’ville delivery. I’ve been mostly AWOL from the journal since then, but as my work situation becomes less crazy, I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things.