Dog Days of Summer

We all know it is a hot and dry summer this year. My usually green backyard is yellow and brown. The grass breaks off as I walk on it and big patches of bare dirt are showing through. It will all come back in the fall with the first rains, but until then, there is no water to spare for an acre of grass. It’s more important to keep the trees, shrubs, and garden alive.

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Definitely the dogs days of summer.

This morning I looked out expecting yet another bluebird scorcher of a day to develop. Wow! I’ts foggy. Maybe we’ll get some rain at last! But then I saw the sun. It was blood red and easy to look at. I reminded myself not to do that, just as in an eclipse we shouldn’t look directly at the sun, lest we damage our vision. I tried to take a photo of the sun but the red colour wouldn’t come out right. Being an amateur photographer I still don’t know how to get the red  sky colours or the photos of eclipses to come out right. Here is the best I could do, but imagine the whole sun as red as the line around it.

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As it rose higher in the sky, it was just as red but that colour was even more difficult to capture with the camera.

005Then I realized that the last time I saw the sun looking like a red ball of fire was a few years ago when the smoke from a fire hundreds of miles north of us had covered our skies. Sure enough, I have learned that there are several large fires burning on Vancouver Island. Right now I feel as if I’m sitting on a bonfire ready to go up in flames at any time. I’m surrounded by tall trees that haven’t seen a drop of water for over two months and the dry grass around me is the best kindling you’ll ever find for starting a fire.

If I see a smoker walking through the nearby trails (and it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve seen hikers going for a healthy walk while puffing on a cigarette),  I’m not sure how I’ll contain my fear and outrage.

The town of Port Hardy to the north of us is threatened by a wildfire as I write, while another fire is burning to the west of us near Port Alberni. It seems the whole province of British Columbia has fires burning. Saskatchewan has plenty of fires as well, and of course, we’ve been hearing of the fires in the States for weeks. It’s just too dry!

Yesterday, the view below was of bright blue sky and brighter blue sea with a few white caps puffed up from the breeze that brought us relief from the heat while, elsewhere, it fanned wildfire flames. Today everything is gray from the smoke of many fires.

007My garden has been getting water, but everything else, as you can see, is tinder dry.

008I’ve learned that “tinder” is a frightening word.

33 thoughts on “Dog Days of Summer

  1. I think our climate is getting more extreme in both seasons. Haha! There you are. I’ve just said it. We used to have four seasons. Now we have two. It’s either scorching hot and dry or it’s cold, wet, and windy. Neither are pleasant.

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  2. Yes, it’s scary if it gets hot and dry like this. On the border to us in Germany they had knee-deep hail and flooded cellars. They say it should come towards us as well. From one extreme to the other. We just try to keep cool in the house for a while. Your pictures are so beautiful again and your (now) little garden looks like an oasis in the middle of the desert.

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  3. It’s just about the same here but somehow we’ve escaped all of the smoke…. so far. Sounds like it’s even worse up your way! We actually had about 10 minutes of rain today from a small cloud that came over. I went out and stood in it.

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  4. My calendar even lists the day the dog days of summer start as July 3rd. I just assumed it was when it got miserably hot, Anneli. Hoping no fires around you. Nor lawn made of “tinder” go up in flames. The poor wild animals which have to handle the elements.
    Hoping your air conditioning doesn’t go out, possibly you may get to be out with the Captain on water with a breeze floating you along. . . Wishful thinking, huh?!

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  5. Sounds a lot like Florida in the winter, so I understand what you’re going through. Warm, no rain, and everything is either brown, or the sandy dirt shows (in FL). They had wildfires like that too. Depending on which direction the wind is blowing, you can smell it. One time, it even made my eyes burn outdoors, and the fires were 50 miles away. Where I moved to in Illinois, June was the rainiest month in history (on record). Quite a contrast from what you’re going through. It’s very strange weather by you. Isn’t it normally a rainy part of the continent? Here’s hoping for some good, hearty rains coming your way.

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  6. Our summers are dry, our winters are wet, but we used to get some in between kind of weather. Now it’s long drought all summer and monsoons all winter. Right now, the day after I posted this, the air is socked in with horrible smelling smoke (from quite far away, actually) and the sun is a red globe in the sky. Could hardly sleep for the smoke, and we are completely socked in by what looks like fog but is really smoke from the fires. When the rain finally comes, people will be overjoyed!

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  7. We too are very concerned for fire in our area, especially that we do not have fire hydrants nearby. The beginning of
    this spring, on our daily walk into the East Woods we already feared a fire. It’s a paradox of gorgeous non-stop
    sun and warmth; without rain we have dangerous conditions.
    Did you see the “blazing star” June 30/July 1, created with the nearness to each other of Jupiter and Venus?

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    • It’s quite scary, isn’t it? Not to mention the horrible stink of the smoke we have to inhale. I saw a couple of bright stars (maybe they were planets) the other night, low in the northwestern sky but I didn’t know what they were.

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    • Thanks. Will check that out about the ISO. Very dangerously dry with over 180 wildfires burning in our province alone and it’s early in the fire season. I think it’s the worst one yet. Going to find a pick handle right now!

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