93 degrees/ 51% humidity

sammy zone 7 TulsaJuly 31, 2011

No wonder I am having trouble working outside with the temps under 95. I was beginning to question my stamina, but I think the humidity is outrageous since we have had no rain. We have had thunder, but not rain. What an insult!

Yesterday I drank and drank water. I am taking a few days off doing anything but moving hoses and picking off a few good tomatoes, and many rotten one.

I hope the rest of you are trying to be wise in this weather. Speaking for myself, this is weather I cannot get acclimated to.

Sammy

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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Sammy,

This is dangerously hot weather to begin with, and when the heat index goes sky high, it becomes even more dangerous. I think almost all the state has had either a Heat Adviory or an Excessive Heat Warning for the entire month of July, and it looks like August will be as bad or even worse.

I have been making all of our cats and dogs come inside by noon before it gets too hot, and by them we're usually at or near 100 degrees with a heat index even higher than that. We have a feral mother cat raising 4 kittens in our yard, and I cannot catch them to bring them inside, so I turn on the soaker hose around the foundation and after I turn it off, the cats sleep on the cooler, moist soil all afternoon after playing in the shady yard all morning. Even though they are in the shade, I've run an outdoor extension cord out to where they sleep and plug in a box fan and turn it on in the afternoons to help keep them cool. We're also running fans in the two chicken coops.

Last week, on a day it hit 108 degrees here, a little hummingbird came to a window and hovered there panting. I've never seen anything like it. It seemed like it wanted us to open the window and let it in. I couldn't do that, of course, with cats in the house, so I went outside and turned on the sprinkler for a few minutes. The hummers like to play in the water from the sprinkler or misting system. The next day was much cooler and the hummer came back to the same window and seemed to be wanting to show us it was okay. (The feeder is outside a different window, and it had food, so I don't think the hummer was asking us to refill the feeder like they sometimes do.)

For firefighters at fires, we are just trying to provide tons of bottled water, ice and bottled Gatorade and ensure they drink enough. We also provide wet towels---I try to carry 60 of them to big wildfires---that we soak in buckets of ice water, and gel-filled cool collars that a ladies group from one of the local churches made for us. (What a very loving and useful gift!) At some fires, the Incident Commander is rotating firefighters in and out of the fireline every 20 minutes and requiring them to sit down in the shade, cool off and rehab with cold food and cold drinks. They need to eat smaller amounts more often in hot weather because digestion of a big meal heats up their body too, so we focus on cool meals and lots of snacks.

At a few fires, we have had firefighters 'go down' with a heat-related illness despite our and their efforts to prevent that, and even we Fire Rehab folks have found ourselves teetering on the edge of heat exhaustion ourselves, especially on any day when the temperature goes above 105. I've started wearing a big wet towel around my shoulders like a shawl at some fires, and it really helps me stay cooler.

When I am at home, I limit my outdoor activity to 20-30 minute increments very early or very late in the day. There is nothing in the yard that is so important that I will risk a heat illness to do it. If everything looks neglected, that's life. I can catch up on weeding, pruning and other chores after it cools off....whenever that time finally comes.

Dawn

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 11:41AM
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miraje(7a)

I'm blown away that one of our neighbors is running a sprinkler on his lawn right now. I mean, doesn't he know that 90% of it is probably evaporating into thin air? He's also doing it on the wrong day according to our water restrictions, so my fiance and I were joking about turning him in. It's tempting, but oh well. I hope he likes the water bill he gets in the mail if he keeps watering in the middle of the day like this.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 1:52PM
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