Thursday, June 2, 2011

Phenology for 6/2/11

Even the Cat Sanctuary had 92-degree heat yesterday. (But we were back down to a pleasant 60 degrees this morning.)

People were complaining about the heat and worrying about my walking home in it yesterday. Country people. They should only feel what it's like in an urban environment where smog and pavement trap 90-degree heat, 90-percent humidity for several days in a row...that's when people who don't run air conditioners actually die from a heat wave. The dangers heat waves present to humans are greatly reduced in places where sparse population protects us from those local greenhouse effects.

Smaller creatures may have a worse time. Once during a picnic beside a lake I saw a sweat bee die in the tiny pocket of concentrated heat created where I'd propped a sand shoe (black canvas, with a rubber sole) against a stick to dry. I'm assuming that all readers are aware that pets and babies can die in the concentrated heat inside a car parked in the sun...or in a small doghouse where the water in the dish has dried out.

Birds: the usual native sparrows, wrens, cardinals, and the robins, warning each other from the tree canopy as I walked out this morning.

Flowers: a lovely new clump of butterfly bush, beside a paved road where it had apparently escaped from cultivation. The bright orange flowers clash a bit with the pink vetch, but no doubt some butterflies will be delighted.