Even though it’s July and 90 degrees outside, I’m thinking of fall. I’m already dreaming of crisp mornings and cool autumn breezes. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays (As the hysterical Kathy Griffin says, “Food is my thing. I don’t smoke or drink, so food is my vice.”). Watching fall tones appear and the changing colors of leaves and foliage is my favorite seasonal transition. The current sweltering heat and humidity, along with the dehydration and wilting of every living green thing around me caused by the drought, has given me a constant internal heat wave I’m far too young to experience.
I was recently surprised to learn, from my favorite source, Wikipedia, that Heat waves are more lethal than I thought: “Heat waves are the most lethal type of weather phenomenon, overall. Between 1992 and 2001, deaths from excessive heat in the United States numbered 2,190, compared with 880 deaths from floods and 150 from hurricanes. The average annual number of fatalities directly attributed to heat in the United States is about 400.”
I think the part I like the best is: “In addition to physical stress, excessive heat causes psychological stress, to a degree which affects employee performance, and is also associated with an increase in violent crime.” Who knew?!
But, as I said above, we humans are not the only living things struggling with the enduring summer heat. I was visiting with my mother a few weeks ago when she showed me the hostas her landscaper installed in some bare beds around the front of the house. One group of about 6-8 plants sits nicely under a young Dogwood and near a few foundational shrubs (rhododendrons). They are adequately shaded by the Dogwood and have done well with the mediocre waterings they’re getting this summer. But, two of the hostas that the landscaper installed near the front entryway, in the same bed as the others, have been zapped! They only receive an hour or two of more morning sun than those under the cool shade of the dogwood. But, it just goes to show you that even an hour or two of summer sun can be deadly. I recommended to my mom that she dispose of the two deceased/ scorched hostas and wait it out a few months, when she could install something with great color for fall that has more direct sun tolerance.
On a lighter note, it wouldn’t summer without OFA (an Association of Floriculture Professionals – the association’s annual trade show event in Columbus, Ohio) which is where I’ll be tomorrow through Tuesday (7-14 to 7-17). I hope to keep you updated with OFA/ industry happenings, news, and events via this blog each day so check back soon!