Like many, I have a pretty good memory of our weather patterns and one of the best jokes is there are only 2 seasons on the Gulf Coast - summer and winter. Well, guess what? Summer basically ended September 1st, after a scorching Amazon rain forest August, the likes of which I can't remember. It actually feels like Fall weather.
Granted the weather has historically been unpredictable, but for the sake of argument, we usually have a drought in July that kills our grass. Mowing season normally begins in March and is played out by Independence Day. Not this year and yes, we had a minor drought a couple of times. What we did have was a very wet summer in Baytown. When the growing season begins in March, I may mow my yard every 3 days (because I like the way it looks).
I know I am going to cut my grass a bunch of times over the next 3-4 months and then July will get here and I will have raised my mower deck up at least twice and can slow way down on cutting. Not this year. I raised it once by June and then lowered it again to March levels where it is now. I mowed 4 days ago and it needs mowing again. From a lawn maintenance stand point, this is great - if someone is paying you. I mow close to an acre each time I cut and no one is paying me.
I haven't had to add water to my pool but once and this is a blessing, as the lowered water bill can attest. My Master Gardener bride hasn't ran our water bill up but once this year and that's also a blessing. The squirrels have went absolutely nuts (imagine that) and water birds aplenty have enjoyed the frequent showers. Now here is the downside... mosquitoes.
For reasons I cannot exactly understand, they see me as a blood donor and my bride as landscape, They love me and ignore her. It hasn't mattered how much spray I apply, or how many insect cones I burn, I will get hit by these monsters repeatedly. Now in a very unscientific way, I am going to explain how I categorize the 4 basic mosquito types we have here. Great big ones that bounce off me and are easy to feel and kill. Big ones you can hear and usually feel their landing also.
Normal mosquitoes that sip and leave a pretty good itch behind and I may or may not sense their presence in time to kill them. Then there are these tiny near invisible devils that ninja in and you never even see them until you have a huge whelp that itches and burns for 30 minutes. I hate these to the point that for the last week or so in August, I didn't want to sit in the back yard and chat with my bride while she swings. I tried wearing long pants and long sleeves and they still bit through it to my absolute itching discomfort. On top of that our dew point has stayed above 75 for what feels like a furnace.
I was grateful the city sprayed a few times recently, but then the rains returned and returned. I heard one fellow complain about the city not spraying at all until the skeeters were out of control, but I do not believe this to be the case. My real problem is the tiny marsh mosquitoes, the likes of which I do not remember experiencing in the 26 years I've lived in Chaparral Village. Why do they pack a bigger punch than the other varieties? Their sting actually hurts and persists.
This past Sunday we had our first breeze of the season with a cool front. I am hoping and praying there will be a change in their infestation, as I want to go back outside without being slathered in some insecticidal protection. October is a big month for being outdoors for many hobbyists, like us geocachers and hunters. I love summer, but I am ready for a break. How about you?