With a violence that has us all reeling, the temperature just leaped from Thursday’s 64F (that was the day before yesterday) to 104F yesterday, and has now settled back to a mere 95F today. In 24 hours we hurtled from spring delight to high summer.
The animals have lain down in their yards, taking it with the kind of stoic silence a barnyard assumes in the heat.
The garden plants flopped over in complete collapse.
The orchard shuddered and shed its finery into the grass.
The only ones here who seem to be happy are the bees, and they’re just buzzing all over the place making a sound like July.
In my view, it’s completely unacceptable.
As I walked through the orchard on my way to feed animals this morning, I passed the apple tree so recently a bouquet. I grumped to myself, and looked bitterly at the browned away petals. But, you know, there is something going on here besides heat stroke and disaster. If you look at the bulge below where the flower was, you can see the swelling that will become an apple if all goes well. Some of these will drop off without maturing (how the tree would groan if they did not!). But some will grow into rounded, succulent Gravenstein apples.
In any case, for comparison, last spring we had a wind and hail storm just in the middle of the apple bloom, and wondered whether, as a result, we would see any harvest. This year, we stagger under an appalling blue sky and midsummer temperatures in the middle of May, and are wondering whether, as a result, we will see any harvest.
We probably will. But I resent the whole attitude of the season anyway.
Here they are, the remains of the bloom, scattered like pearls from a string.