As The Weather Turns…

The heat seems to have subsided. I think we are all thankful. I know the gardens are thankful. I am not convinced that New Englanders, particularly northern New Englanders, are built for hot and humid weather. After a winter of 20 below and a snow that lasts until mid-April, we are often heard making reference to the ‘hot and hazy days of summer’. We make these comments as if we can’t wait for the near 100 degree days, as if we’ll all lie bare and prostrate into the beating sun and love it. This isn’t quite the reality or our response to the baking sun. Once those brutally hot days appear, once the thermometer readings travel into the nineties, we start moaning. We whine and then comment on places like Texas and Arizona, “how do they stand it”, we say. It scares us. It is way out of our comfort. We complain. Most people in Maine don’t have air conditioning. Most will still roll their windows down while driving to capture a breeze before they would ever consider turning on the AC. I’m not sure if our Subaru even has air conditioning. I know the old 1-ton dump truck we drive doesn’t, it has windows you actually have to roll up or down. Very old fashion.
Since the humidity has passed, Maine people are smiling more now. We have resumed the spring in our step. We’re back to our old selves.
So, yes, the days are shortening and the temperatures are cooling. The weather is tolerable. We still may get some Indian summer days when the temps rise, but they probably won’t be so oppressive. We’ll welcome the continuation of sunshine and gentle warmth. The worst of the heat is probably over so we’ll stop being babies and get back to facing our days without complaint. Afterall, we still have tomatoes to ripen and the eggplants wait for the deep heat to grow plump and turn that amazing hue of purple. The winter squash is relying on a long growing season to mature before harvest. The second cut of hay still needs cutting and days of good drying. And, we don’t have all of our firewood split and stacked into the woodshed yet. Yesterday, after collecting seed and working on propagation in the greenhouse, we did manage to haul some firewood as well. Cooler days will soon turn to colder days!
Certainly, everyone is familiar with the quote from Mark Twain, “If you don’t like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes.”
Luckily, this ‘wait a few minutes’ for the scorching heat to pass us by has come and we are feeling relief here in the northeast. Thank goodness!!

18 comments on “As The Weather Turns…

  1. Thank goodness is right! As someone who was born in Maine and has lived here for most of her life, I can tell you that what we had this summer is not normal for Maine. (Hence, no air conditioners.) But alas, I am afraid this will be the new normal, with those hot spells perhaps lasting even longer. You might want to give the old Subaru a closer look to see if it has A/C. Normally, I’d put a winky face after a sentence like the preceding one. But, alas. Sigh. But you are so right! Welcome late summer and fall.

    • Yes, the last several summers have been more hot and humid that what we ever remember. Our climate here in New England is changing, without a doubt! If there is an AC switch in the old Subaru it has never been tested, none of that for me! Rain today, which will again help our beloved plants! let’s hope we’ve seen enough of the really hot days!

  2. This is really beautifully written, and I couldn’t agree with the sentiments more!

    I’d love to talk with you about hosting me for a class or presentation next year.

    You can find a list of my offerings on my website (in signature below) under Talks, Walks, and Workshops.

    Thanks! Deb

    Deborah Perkins , M.S. Wildlife Ecologist First Light Wildlife Habitats Poland Spring, Maine 207-312-1503 (cell/office) First Light on Facebook

    *Habitat Design & Education for the Eco-minded*

    On Tue, Aug 21, 2018 at 6:54 AM, Fernwood Nursery & Gardens wrote:

    > fernwoodnursery posted: “The heat seems to have subsided. I think we are > all thankful. I know the gardens are thankful. I am not convinced that New > Englanders, particularly northern New Englanders, are built for hot and > humid weather. After a winter of 20 below and a snow that la” >

    • Hello Deborah, Thank you for the lovely comment and it would be delightful to have you present a workshop here at the nursery. Let’s follow up with some conversation and thoughts for next season, yes? Enjoy the rain today…so needed! best to you, Denise

  3. We don’t have the humidity out here like I remember in Maine but for the last few summers we have smoke 😦 Here in the Salt Lake valley we have a lingering haze of smoke from not only our wildfires but from bordering states. I hope this won’t be the new norm.

    • Oh Sharoney, we have been hearing about the wildfires and the air quality due to the smoke…awful! Such a worry for those with any kind of breathing problem, I imagine elderly people really suffer and must stay indoors to avoid the poor conditions. Are you coming to Maine soon? Hope so!! How are you and the girls doing this summer ( aside from the air quality )?

  4. lol you nailed it – all winter long I dream of summer, but not the summer we just had. The summer of blue skies and a dry northerly breeze, with green soft grass and the smell of balsam and roses in the air. And late summer with the golden flowers and grasses. that is what I dream of. And now we can add delphiniums and hollyhocks – that’s what you have growing there in that photo, isn’t it? I love those colors together.

    Yesterday I was in Augusta, and it was so sad that I had to drive right by you and not stop, but it was work time, and I had a colleague with me, so no dawdling. Sigh. Next time I will find a way!

      • I thought it might be the same! It is happy, I think, but no blooms this year, of course. Might need some delphiniums to go with it!

        I do hope to see you in the fall, if not sooner.

  5. Temperatures are better, but that darn humidity is still up there. I was working at a garden this morning, and the temperature was in the 60’s and the humidity was 97%. Ugh. It is starting to get dark much, much earlier now. Fall is not my time of year because of all the leaves, but it’s coming. 🙂

    • Yes, it is the humidity that really gets us…sticky! So far no tomato blight brought on by the humidity, lets hope we eek through the season without it! The leaves will fall into the nursery rows at the end of the summer and cleaning them up will be another chore before covering for the winter. Ugh!

  6. I whine when it’s in the eighties. Lived in Georgia for many years and thought I’d finally gotten away from the heat and humidity. Bring on fall!!!

  7. Those seeds are intriguing, because I do not recognize them. What are magnolia seeds grown for? Are they understock for grafting, or merely grown into seed grown trees like they used to be?

    • The magnolia seed are from the species tripetala and macrophylla which we grow. The stock area holds years of cuttings and seed grown plants all awaiting their time to be placed into the nursery ( sales area). Some of the other seeds in the photo are from a sample of the plants we grow…Glaucidium palmatum, Actea pachypoda, and species peonies ( like Paeonia japonica, for example). Now is the time we are quite busy with seed collecting and cuttings. Without a doubt, the variation in seed structure and design is truly fascinating to me. Love this photo because it displays such diversity in some of the seed we collect.

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