Thursday, August 04, 2011

Too Darn Hot ~ Summers Now - and Then

Time for another mild whingeing session about the weather here in S.W. Oklahoma. There's still no let up in triple digit heat, no sign of rain, nor does the weather forecast offer any hope of improvement.

I consulted astrology blog The Weather Alternative, but again, unless something major blows into the Gulf of Mexico and drums up the father of all storms from which we might get at least the dregs: a downpour or two, it seems we're stuck with the intense heat, and the drought, until September - maybe even later than that for precipitation.

A local newspaper reports that the last ten months are the driest since at least 1921, when records begin for this state. The last two months are likely to rank as the hottest June/July period in the state's recorded history. Since the first day of June this year we've seen only 2 days with temperatures less than 100 (97 and 98 degrees in fact) - and no rain. It doesn't cool down much beyond mid-80s all night long. The cold tap/faucet brings forth lukewarm water, denying me a necessary first-thing cold water wake-up splash. So I tend to wander around like (as my Mum would have said) a clock half-struck.

While such heat isn't unknown here on the fringe of the great south-western desert, for it to continue unbroken for as long, with no rain at all is not normal.

Is this a sign of permanent climate change? We can't really be certain until several summers of a similar pattern have passed. Summer of 2011 could be a flash in the pan, or it could, just as easily, be the tip of....can't say an iceberg.....the tip of the lowest flame in the fireplace.

The BBC has a video and article touching on the problem, with details that I find quite shocking. "In Steinbeck's footsteps: America's middle-class underclass" by Paul Mason. A 15 minute video and transcript are available at the link.

On a brighter note - an old "found" photograph from my husband's vast collection at Lost Gallery. The feeling from this one is just - well - happy! One summer day, somewhere in the USA, sometime in the early 1900s a group of young women were enjoying the summer weather.

A couple more caught my eye - these from beaches, somewhere...sometime, maybe around the 1920s or 30s:

Rivers - a good alternative. How's that for a poseur?

When beaches or rivers were out of the question there was always The Picnic:


Wisewebwoman said...

I totally sympathize with your Nordic blood and the unbearable heat, T. It is beyond frightening what climate change has woven and continues on.
Himself's cards always raise a lot of questions which is a distinct part of the charm of them!
The bottom one has a black man in the middle? Also a Hitler lookalike in front?
The skimpy swimsuit on another shocks me!!

Twilight said...

WWW ~~ Only thing to do is stay indoors in the AC, until it all goes away! Not much fun though.

I looked at an enlargement of the bottom (picnic) photo, available at Lost Gallery. Don't think there's a black man there- I think the guy you mean is sunburned more than the others....maybe an outdoor worker. The Hitler look-alike is clear though! :-)

I was chatting with himself the other day about lack of African Americans in the photos he collects. He has found only a few. They are few and far between in the stores we visit too.
Perhaps they command higher prices so are separated from the mass of photos by the store owners for transfer to specialist stores or collectors.

Skimpy swimsuit looks like one of those dreadful wool ones - they used to stretch and sag. LOL! I had one when I was very young - probably the reason I never learned to swim! ;-)

R J Adams said...

I've had no time for posting, and very little for reading of late, but I have been thinking of you everytime the 'Weather Channel' shows Oklahoma over the ton for yet another day.
Living up here, it seems you're in another world - and not a very nice one right now. I hope it cools off for you soon.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~~~ Thanks! Yes, I realise you are fully occupied and "up to the eyes in it" at present.

Each week brings us nearer to Fall - I'm hoping for an early one!
Am absolutely sick & fed up with this summer! ;-)

anyjazz said...

The thoughts, the reminders, the questions and memories that bloom from the content of old photographs certainly prove their value. The first question is often, “How could anyone abandon this?”

Twilight said...

anyjazz ~~ Indeed! Thanks to you and to other collectors like you, these gems will not remain lost.