Saturday, August 5, 2017

It's Too Darn Hot

Cole Porter's song, "Too Darn Hot", keeps going through my head. We have had over 90 degrees for weeks and over 100 for days. Yesterday it was 107. That is too darn hot. Today it "only" reached 85... a cooling spell! So for the first time in ages, I worked outdoors in the afternoon. Usually I water and work early morning and late evening. In fact, I've been watering the garden after dark, by moonlight. Johnny, on the other hand, works outdoors all day, off and on. He comes inside periodically to cool off and take a nap. He is made of tougher stuff than I am.

Last weekend, before the siege of 100 degree temps arrived, Jessica and Ian came for a visit... and cooked lots of good stuff for us. They both like to cook and neither of us do so it's a perfect situation (from our point of view). 

As always, we had to measure everyone. Ian is almost up to where his dad was last time we measured him... . Ian says he's taller than his dad. I think in a year or two there will be no question. Ian, almost 16, has not stopped growing. His dad, Kevin, is shrinking, as are Johnny and I.  Johnny has to stand on a chair to measure Ian.

We all went to the beach on Sunday. Ian found my actual starting point for my beached bird survey by GPS coordinates. I am GPS challenged. So now I know where I'm really supposed to start my "Bob Straub Park South" survey. It is quite a ways before the "dragon's head", a stump sticking out of the bank that looks like the dragon's head on the prow of a ship. Well, it does to me. I have been starting after the dragon's head most times, although last month I missed it and probably started at about the right spot... by happenstance.

Here is my actual starting point, by a "whale bone" log rather than a dragon's head.

 Can't see the whale bone? Here it is...

It's a long beach. I had reversed the starting and ending GPS points of my 1 kilometer survey area, so we had a much longer walk than anticipated before Ian figured out my mistake... and was able to convince me.

 Back home the neighbor's guinea hen that has decided to move into our farm kept us all entertained. Well, entertained if you like nonstop chatter (comeback comeback comeback) and a bird that doesn't get out of your way when you drive up the driveway... It (she?) is still here, perhaps discussing the weather? (too-hot too-hot too-hot)

 Once a week... or more...  I still escape to the cool coast for a Black Oystercatcher survey at Road's End.

Johnny and I both trekked north up the coast one day to look for BLOY at Short Beach and then meet our good friends, the Woodhouses for lunch in Netarts. Lovely weather that day. That's Cape Meares at the north end of Short Beach.

Tuesday of this week, I was back at Road's End enjoying the beautiful view from The Thumb and the mild 70 degree temperature while our farm baked at 100.

Not wanting to get home while it was still hot, I visited another BLOY site where birds are on their third nesting attempt... a new record. I then went to the Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge. I was amused by the poster inside their outhouse. The Aug. 21 Total Solar Eclipse is coming to the refuge and I guess they want to make sure everyone knows the hours the refuge will be open. Some estimates have a million people coming to Oregon for the eclipse. Why, I don't know since the eclipse will be across the whole United States, not just Oregon.

The irony of all this Oregon eclipse hysteria is that the coast will likely be in fog for the eclipse and the rest of us might be in clouds. But it will get dark and cool for a couple minutes even if we can't see the eclipsed sun. And cool would be much appreciated!

I drove to the parking area at the top of the refuge road and hiked up the trail to the lookout. From there you can see Haystack Rock and Cape Kiwanda a long way away.

But I had my long range Nikon Coolpix P90 which brought the rock up amazingly close and clear.

And that very distant and very small looking dune at Cape Kiwanda came up close, too.

 Looking east, I could see the Little Nestucca River as it wound its way down to the bay.

Eventually, I had to go home. By the time I arrived, the temperature had cooled from the hottest part of the day, but it was still... too darn hot.

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