July 8th, 2018

caillebotte_man at his window


The hour in the lower part of town is over, thank goodness. On very hot days it is always a few degrees hotter there than it is here. It's hotter here than it used to be, partly becasue over the last thirty years about half the trees in the neighborhood have been taken out— some because they became diseased, some because they started falling apart from age and became hazardous, some because they expanded so far into to utility lines that merely being trimmed back was no longer adequate, some because they were thought to be in the way of some private improvement, or because the owners simply didn't want to be cleaning up after them anymore.

It no longer feels much like a forest around here. More pavement is exposed to sunlight more of the day, as is more rooftop, and the heat just gathers, then lingers later into the night. But the higher elevation does still help a bit. What helps more is the heat rising from the valley floor (hotter than even the lower part of town) which, late in the day, starts pulling cooler air down from the mountains.

That's why the nights stay relatively cool. Still, relative is relative, and looking at the forecast today I see a long string of days in the nineties, and nights in the high sixties and, a few times, the low seventies. After the heat has been building up in the house all day those nocturnal temperatures are on the verge of useless.

Oh, summer, you torment. Brown fields, desiccating leaves, wilted flowers, panting dogs; I sometimes think there aren't enough peaches and watermelons in the world to make up for this.

Collapse )