I woke up at 1 PM (PST) this morning to see B looking through his T-shirts. Having washed his dress shirts the night before, my first thought was “oh shit, he just found them and they’re not dry yet.” (Uhh, casual Friday, dear?) Or maybe he was going for a walk first?
“Going for a walk, honey?”
“Um, no, my car’s still up the hill...”
(our street was resurfaced yesterday)
“…and it’s 102 outside.” (Fahrenheit, of course)
“A hundred and WHAT?! Are you kidding?”
I really thought he was kidding -- I was still under a light blanket and didn’t feel the least bit hot – but, no, he was not.
“It’s already eighty in here.”
The Santa Ana winds had arrived.
A few minutes later, B left, his work clothes in a bag. I leapt out of bed and raced outside -- almost burning my hand on the outer doorknob -- looking for a way to shade the tiny monarch caterpillars in the big milkweed pot from the blasting sun. (The last batch was lost to heat and wasps, and damned if I was going to lose another.) Reassured that I wasn’t too late by a couple of caterpillars vigorously chomping away, I put something together with patio chairs, an old tomato cage, and a towel.
Then I noticed that -- even though I’d watered them yesterday and they were in partial shade -- the milkweed plants in the ground were desperately limp. I turned on the hose and suddenly it was raining. Hard. HUH? But – the sun’s still shining, and this isn’t Seattle, and – OH. I’d been wondering when that crack in the hose was going to give way. And it felt pretty good, anyway.
It was a little awkward, though, watering with a loop of hose.
I was worried about the three large swallowtail caterpillars, but when I poured a bucket of water around the fennel plants, one of them charged out of a tuft of grass. (I hope that’s where the others were hiding.) As it climbed up the wooden fence, I worried that it was going to get too hot before it could get into the shade, so I gave it a gentle boost. It stopped dead and bobbed its head at me like a stubborn donkey or something. So I just leaned over it to keep the sun off. Eventually it got going again and got itself into the shade.
Let’s see: high temperatures, low humidity, hillsides covered with brush as dry as a bone, Santa Ana winds. All we need now is a spark.
It’s supposed to be hot tomorrow, too, but by Sunday it should be starting to cool down.