Thursday, July 24, 2008

Doldrums

Wasp or hornet on pink flower.I don't know the wild flower, and I don't know the insect -- some sort of hornet or wasp, I suspect -- but here they are doing nature's work, on the perimeter of a field in Ft. Washington State Park, Sunday morning.

As I tap away here, around 8:00 on the evening of August 23, the sound of an approaching thunderstorm is rumbling up the alley between my house and the neighbor's. Given the frequency of the thunder, and the fact that it somehow seems deeper than usual, leads me to believe that it is going to be a real bugger of a storm. The tapping of rain has just begun...

By some almanacs today is the tipping point, statistically and meteorologically speaking, when the average high for the year hits its peak. It can only go down from here, and by late July to the first days of August, the average temperature will have dropped by a degree. Yes, I know that the hottest weather could still be in front of us, but for those of you who say that August is usually the hottest month, check the statistics. You are wrong.

I dislike the dead of summer to the same degree I dislike the dead of winter. Stagnation. Like a ship stuck in the doldrums. Yet if we are attentive, the signs that nature never really stalls are there. In just the last few days, cicada have added their clamor to the condensed heat of summer. While they sound like a kind of aural manifestation of the oppressive humidity, they are a sure sign of the seismic shift toward summer's end.

Not such a big storm after all. As I am finishing up, the storm is moving away. (Perhaps more are coming tonight.) If the weather folk are right, the heat wave that has been pressing down on Philadelphia for the better part of a week is about to be broken.

And here's the surest sign of all that autumn is on its way: L.L. Bean's Fall catalog has arrived in the mail.

4 comments:

Abraham Lincoln said...

L.L. Bean's catalog. LOL

I like this summer, so far. Things have been almost like I remember them when I was a kid. We seem to have had the right amount of everything on time and when needed. Last summer was just the opposite as it was a never-ending drought that damaged a lot of trees and tree buds and my white oaks suffered but have since pulled through and the squirrels are eating the nuts.

Your description of the time you were working on the blog post was excellent. I lived that time with you through your words.

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

I want to say that's common milkweed.....globe shaped with mini flower? tall stalk with leaves on both sides? hmmmmm

I am not a fan of heat either, which is a huge reason why I don't go back home to Florida very often! It's too hot....These mountains are spoiling me :o)

Lori said...

I love the changing of the seasons, sometimes it happens so gradually we hardly notice it. We had the same thundering storms last night. A lot of noise and lightening but not so much rain I think. That flower shot is so pretty!

Halcyon said...

It seems like everyday, like clockwork, it rains and storms at 4pm where I work. But when I get home, not a drop of water has fallen on my garden.

Ah well... another of nature's mysteries.