Thursday, April 26, 2018

April Showers bring...what?

Cedar Waxwing birds migrating north

Holy Toledo, have you ever experienced an April with these temperatures? I've been living in Texas since 1970 and I can't recall it being this cool. I've almost broke out my long handles. In a confession to my advanced age, I have actually owned long handled underwear with the flap in the back. I am not old enough to have wore the red wool variety though. I had a couple pair as a kid living in Michigan. Looking at the weather in the north, I imagine a lot of folks there are wishing they had a pair.

Even though we are having much cooler temperatures than we normally experience, seeing the snow still falling in Colorado, the Dakotas, and Montana makes me appreciate living on the Gulf Coast all the more. One reason I love our current cool days is because for the most part, we are experiencing humidity below 50%. On top of that, who can remember temperatures in the 40's in April? Where are the April showers that bring May flowers?

Don't get me wrong, I am loving this weather - much of the time. I feel like a caged animal if I am stuck inside and for the most part, unless I'm working on one of my many projects, I am outside on the patio or working in the yard. Our yard is showing how much it enjoys these better temperatures also. Seeing everything is growing very fast, my chipper/shredding machine has already paid for itself. Everything I trim goes through it, cutting and chipping the green and brown refuse to look like oatmeal.

I put it right back in my beds and hit it with a liberal amount of 10-10-10 fertilizer. Of course I would like Mother Nature to lend a helping hand so I don't have to use drinking water to wash it all into the ground. Question: does it bother anyone else to use precious potable water to feed our shrubs and lawn? When a large population of earth have little or no drinking water and we throw it on the ground and simply pay extra, it seems terribly wasteful.

My neighbor collects all of his A/C condensate in a large tub and uses it to water his many container plants. I'm thinking of doing the same. All you have to do is plug the drain hole in the A/C pan and let it overflow out the side of the soffit. He extended the drain pipe with PVC to direct it into a 50 gallon poly tub. It makes me wonder how many other little projects we could do that will recycle waste. Maybe we just have to let younger generations handle it, right? Scratch it off the list as a old dogs, new tricks, kind of thing. Anyway, its just a thought and probably a paradigm shift we all should make.

I like to keep the house cool and it stays on 69 degrees most of the time. In winter, we let the house temp fall to the low 60's or even the high 50's before we fire up the furnace. Now, I'm trying to wean us off the 69 by raising the thermostat to 71. I know. Its hard and a true sacrifice. After all, we are Americans. We want what we want and that is that. Come take my guns, just leave my thermostat alone! Yes, that is an unrealistic compromise, but just as passion-filled.

All too soon, these perfect temperature days will give way to high humidity and a sun that will bleach our bones. Then we will be back in hurricane season and torrential downpours and these days will be forgotten. However, they are not gone yet and if you love being outside as much as I do, please take advantage by eating outside and just sitting on your patio and basking in our great outdoors.
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