Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Encroaching Lushness …

The weather pendulum has once again swung into milder temperature ranges, yesterday’s high only made it on 70°F and moistness, and it has been drizzly to rainy for the last few days. The overall mildness of this summer has been rarely seen in this area of the Blue Ridge physiographic province of the Appalachian mountain range for some years. The norm of cool springs melting into hot summers by the end of June and early July has not held sway this year. Temperatures have only reached the mid 90 in the last couple of weeks and at the start of this week have retreated back into the 70’s and 80’s, a temperature range I am not complaining about. Yet it comes at a price.

After summers of a laissez-faire practice of grounds upkeep, the mowing of those spotty areas of green ground cover I loosely refer to as a lawn, every three to four weeks, has now become a weekly chore as the surrounding forest has begun an encroachment not unlike a constrictor slowly squeezing its leafy coils. But unlike a pythons caress of death the forest’s brings life, with increased bird and mammal, reptile and insect, welcomed or not. And roads less traveled then others are slowly becoming obscured as waves of foliage cascade in from both sides. All of this a reminder that Nature can and will hide the labor of Man.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Drowning In A Sea Of Sweat …

Well the “Dog Days Of Summer” must truly be upon us here in the Blue Ridge. I for one was happy for it’s later than usual arrival this year but now with days edging close to 100°F and with the humidity hovering around 98% I look back to our cool Spring with the fondest of thoughts.

Now as we sit here on the first day August one reflects back on the month just past. July slipped onto the seasonal calendar much as a lover slipping into bed. Delicate was its caress, so delicate it barely ruffled a leaf among the tree canopy. Sweetly it kissed ones senses during the day and leaving one on the edge at night with coolness only this month of summer can employ. As the days ebbed, this lover became more intense soon a heat would come upon us, a damp sticky heat trapping all as a fly in honey. Nights of light sleep are now spent feverishly writhing in this lovers python like embrace.

Sultry days now end climatically with thunder and clouds pulsing with white hot electrical charges and then a deluge of rain, rain that falls heavy in great splatters of heat before turning into a sensation of chilliness as the warm air is washed of its temperate state. And as the day darkens, the ground begins to give back the heat stolen in great columns of steam rising toward the starry sky.  

As July departed last night a final kiss was given and it slipped quietly from the calendar to make way the eighth month to bring itself forward.

The rains and heat of July have added to the lushness of the forest floor.