Hottest days of the year, so far

Saturday and Sunday on the side of the mountain were record-breakers: 93° and 98°. Usually we don’t get this kind of weather for another month and a half! Up until now, it’s been our usual June weather: generally cool, with temps in the 60s, some rain, some wind. I heard about the coming heat wave (with not some small amount of skepticism, because it was to be 25° warmer – really?), and was thinking that Saturday morning might be the best time to get stuff done; hopefully ahead of this predicted heat wave. So I decided to do some mowing…

The meadows were tall with their native grass going to seed, and it was time to make the house look like ‘someone actually lived here’.

So Saturday morning, I took my cane and slowly eased my way out to the barn, where my Kubota sleeps. If you know me, you know that I periodically have trouble with my old knees. I often joke that I’m paying for the foolishness of youth. It slows me down, but I try not to let it stop me.

Back to the story: After ‘pre-flighting’, the Kubota awoke with its customary ‘chow-chow-chow.. brrdbrrrtrrrrrrrrrrrrr…’ Oil pressure came up, I gave it 30 seconds to settle; and we backed out of the barn. I thank God for a good, reliable, machine with enough power to get the work done.

The front right tire was low, so after a stop at the garage, we got to work. As I pumped up the tire with my hand pump, I prayed for a breeze as we worked. (I don’t keep a tire pump in the barn for a reason: it’s a sun-soaked, confined space with no circulation.)

And God provided a breeze.

As I worked the land, and the land worked me, I was continually aware of this breeze and I made sure to be thankful – this gift of a cooling breeze on a 93° day did not escape my notice, nor did I allow it to escape my thankful prayers. This small blessing is one which I would not otherwise be so very much aware of; except for the time I spend outside in all weathers.

I finished the front meadow, and worked my way across the back meadow. There are places down by the forest where the forest itself blocks the wind completely, and the breathlessness of those spaces reminded me of that blessing of which I was the beneficiary. Driving into those spaces of hot, dense, dead-calm air, it’s as if the very breath is sucked from your lungs by the unrelenting heat and humidity; and I could not wait to emerge from them, as we worked.

After the back meadow was finished, we made a stop around front to cool down at idle and to refuel, it was finally time to put the Kubota away; and I closed the barn doors behind it with thanks to God that I got the job done without any further injury to my ACL.

After about four glasses of water followed by a cool shower in which the first few minutes consisted of ‘brown meadow’ running off me, I took an ‘adult beverage’ outside to have a final look at what had been accomplished.

Dara eagerly bounded out the door, and in a few minutes was enjoying being able to easily find active moles. But we had to come in after a short while because of the great and unrelenting heat outside.

You can click to enlarge and zoom in to see her sitting motionless out in the hot sun, having a stare-down with a mole.

I made this snapshot in the middle of the afternoon, from the relative comfort the shade… but even sitting still, the heat felt like you’d been sitting in a hot bath for far too long; and by breathing the steam, it makes you even hotter.

I also want to thank God for the ingenuity of man in creating my Duluth Trading “Armachillo” t-shirt. I’ve been mowing before in this kind of weather, and I was surprised at how comfortable I was. I lost a few pounds of water in sweat, but I was actually comfortable enough to stand the heat. I’ll say it again in a different way, because to me it was so surprising: I hate the heat, but this time I was actually comfortable.

Thank you Lord, for good tools and for hearing the prayers of your humble servant.


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