First Heat Wave of the Summer


view from my desk
Partly sunny, hazy, hot, no breeze - welcome to summer!

Summer has arrived in southwest Ohio in a big way. Looking back at the weather data for June, I saw 14 total days of temperatures above 85 degrees F. Anymore, I try not to make too many predictions about what the weather will be like, because when the “official” forecast changes four or more times in 12 hours, I may as well just stick my head out the door for better accuracy!

As I write this, we are on our ninth day of the real temperature being above 85, with the forecast showing at least six more days of this. When you add in the humidity and full sun, it feels pretty brutal out there, especially for this fair-skinned redhead. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a vacation from outside work! But I’ve had heat rash and a mild case of heat exhaustion before, and I’ve discovered over the last few years that sun + heat + humidity = great difficulty breathing. That was scary the first few times it happened, but I now plan accordingly when those three things converge.

So what’s happening on the farm right now?

Morning and evening chores still need done – feed the dogs, let the chickens out/shut the chickens in their coop, feed the barn cats (along with a freeloading raccoon who also likes cat food...), check all the water troughs and mineral buckets, and top them off as needed, collect eggs (although the hens don’t lay much when it’s this hot). I’m brushing all the dogs at least once a day to get their remaining winter undercoat off. I make rounds every 3 hours or so to make sure none of the beasties are showing signs of overheating (all of them have been sensible enough to find a shady place to park themselves during the days, then they roust themselves to eat when evening comes).

basket of dog fur
Egg basket of fur brushed in one session, from one side of my Livestock Guardian Dog, Farley.

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