Phaeton

Eche ground the higher that it was and nearer to the Skie,
The sooner was it set on fire, and made therewith so drie
That every where it gan to chinke. The Medes and Pastures greene
Did seare away: and with the leaves, the trees were burned cleene. …
Ovid, Metamorphoses (Golding translation, 1567)

It’s been kind of that way around here this past couple of weeks.

I’m not the only one to ask where all the climate change skeptics are — you know, the ones that declared global warming theory to be refuted by a winter of punishing blizzards. If the blizzards were an argument, what’s this? 85 degrees Fahrenheit at 11 PM isn’t just strange; it’s perverted.

Watching those cracks open in the dirt: you try not to step too close to them, because you get the feeling something might yank you straight down to Hell. Although in Hell, it might be cooler.

I know there are places on earth where it gets a lot hotter, and to be fair, it’s been up over 100 degrees on the Atlantic seaboard now and then in my lifetime; I remember the heat wave of 1975, when I was in Boston, and wouldn’t come out of the library. The day the wind changed you could smell Boston Harbor exhaling inland, and no one cared. This has been a drier heat; there was an actual pleasure in working out in the yard, at least with cold water available, up till the point about fifteen minutes after dinner when it became apparent that the day’s metabolism had been used up and no more would be available till morning.

Still, I have had this insane urge to fill a huge cooler with beer and drive past the poor bastards doing road construction in this already over-asphalted commonwealth, flinging frosty bottles out the windows as I go.

This morning it started raining, gently and steadily, shortly before dawn. By the time I could lace up my shoes and get on the road the gutters were chuckling with braids of racing water.

I covered five miles.

not a moment too soon

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9 thoughts on “Phaeton

  1. Join the club. For the last week we have had temperatures in the high 80s and have enjoyed all time record highs. Today we had a few drops and yesterday storms that have flooded some areas, downed trees and caused blackouts.. But tomorrow and all next week we are forecasted to move back around 90 with high humidity.
    Now, this is weather, not climate, however over the last one hundred years average temperatures have risen steadily…that is climate warming trend.

    • High 80s is normal summer weather for the Washington area, whose August has been described as “trying to give artificial respiration to an old bathing suit.” But that additional 10-15 degrees is murder — the difference between being able to spend time upstairs in my house before sunset, and having to keep the door to the staircase firmly shut.

  2. Well, its in the mid 80’s when I leave for work and typically in the 90’s for much of the day. Then again, the weather is pretty normal around here for much of May, June, July, August…

  3. I thought it was just us Brits that were obsessed with the weather …….. tee hee ……. Ooooo …… gotta run ….. I can see a cloud ………. no …… that’s OK …….. it’s gone again now ……. phew!

    [Fab photo BTW – normally flower pictures just make me shrug]

  4. Today my thermostat reads “WTF?”

    But in fact my first summer in Sevilla (1994) was much hotter, with temps getting up to 50ºC. That was insane. Luckily I was still in my tiny studio apartment that had air-conditioning.

  5. good lord, there are people out working on the roads in that heat? Don’t they get sunstroke? I should think your karma would be so good after flinging cold beers at them in passing that you could mutilate meth-heads on your front lawn and still come back as a cat 😉

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