Big heat, not so Bad.
So much depressing news about the heat waves crossing and then settling over the national psyche. So much gripping and complaining about the inevitable weather; and what comes to mind after all is done to control the effect of rising temperatures across large portions of the land? Well, someone has to notice the reverse of this oppressive pattern..
For starters, mosquitoes, yeah, the disease carrying species is in remission; no more midnight buzz as I try to allow myself to slip quietly into sleep, no visitors during a peaceful evening snack on the deck. Stargazing ha! And the flies, yes those fair weather foes of the kitchen gods..they have almost disappeared, unless you factor in a bothersome number of their large cousins, the horseflies which roam hungrily in search of a moist meal of me.
Ticks have been put out of commission, though they are undoubtedly waiting for us, lovely prey in the dark recesses of the forests, away from our lawns, they are not in a state to climb stealthily to our prime blood pumping stations anytime soon. And chiggers are not ready to bother our ankles and fester under skin too dry to accommodate their nutritional needs.
Termites and red ants have relocated their headquarters elsewhere to weather the dry conditions. Hopefully they will have lost our address and leave the remnants of plant casualties to their few relatives left on location. Dry wood rot has stalled to a minimum damage control situation. It can stay that way for awhile. Neither mold nor mildew evident anywhere, what a relief it is!
Fewer butterflies means less voracious caterpillars on my crucifereae, the kale and cabbage have grown sufficiently large and bitter to be unappealing to them by now. Spiders have also changed their demographics to adapt to the conditions; large ones have gone absent, small ones have put up their tents in the stressed gardens as opportunity brought weakened midges and mites to their needs.
My annual slugfest has been thwarted, no need to check under every clay pot or rock, not a trace of slug snot or snail trail to track the vegetarian offenders. Even the munch patterns of the leaf-hoppers and grass-hoppers are few among limp lettuce and stiff artichokes. It' s easy to slap the poor critters at dawn when the heat has not given them proper rest and recuperation.
Of all the expected buggery this spring, I had anticipated an invasion of squash bugs—not yet, the heat has them beat. Oh yes, I did drown many an egg deposit, as I am diligent in my cucurbit duty; I patrol the leaves early on and remove each lovely row of hard shelled brown eggs from the underside of the plants—i still have our daily zucchini on my Pavlovian mind. Not to forget the cucumber salads, the gray-green squash slices to cool a summer palate..i guard the nutritional treasures, come drought or high water around here..