I don’t wish to proclaim this week’s weather as the last grasp of Spring, but at today’s high of 77F, it is possible that this weekend’s 102F will only be the start of the Summer heat wave coming here in the South-west. It happens every year here in the desert, and after all the years I’ve lived here, I know that daily consecutive highs near 120F are coming eventually. May can be a hot month, hence today’s pleasant coolness on a mid-May day is a cause to celebrate! Most Summer days will fall anywhere between 105 and 115F on average. The sun is unrelenting here in Summer, up early and refusing to go down gently or coolly! It heats things up and keeps them heated from early morning until well after the sun has set like a typical desert. Often our nighttime lows won’t drop below the high 80’s to mid-90s. So, I cannot help but wish the days like today would linger a bit longer, as this weather seems to a gardener like me much gentler and easier than the hot days which are coming. But that is probably unreasonable just a few days away from the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The heat is inevitable, and I must savour this day and this cooler week while I can!
The windows of my house have been open all day and I stayed home after an appointment earlier today just because I wanted to relish this weather! I began my day working out in the garden as I knew today would be advantageous for such activity! Next week this same time, the windows will be closed and the air conditioner will be running round the clock. And I probably won’t be out in the garden much past 9 a.m. in the morning. I am not a big fan of the heat that is coming, but I tolerate it and accept it every Summer because I get the great mild weather the rest of the year. Many people love the heat which closes up our houses in air conditioned comfort for months on end, but I really prefer the kind of weather like today’s which permits me to tend to the garden all throughout the day and to enjoy the songs of all the birds while breathing in fresh, cool air through open windows. That is not possible once the air conditioning days settle in, as the windows will be closed up tight 24 hours a day. Those days will then endure continuously until around October, as that is usually when the heat breaks, as the days shorten again and the nights start to cool. But that Autumnal break is months from now, and today is a gift I’m languishing in with gratitude as a swansong to Spring!
Each year I feel the tease of Spring’s turn to Summer and Summer’s hopeful turn again towards Autumn. A desert Summer is an endurance event for my garden and for the gardener, me, who tends to all the plants! I must water potted plants daily, as to miss a day in Summer can mean a plant succumbs to desiccating dry winds and intense heat. I can’t do my usual chores without considering when and for how long, as the days heat up quickly and wear a gardener out quickly! I suppose a desert Summer is similar to Winter restrictions elsewhere, limiting and harsh by nature. Plants can go dormant, and I, in part, do as well! So today I am lingering under my open windows, out among the plants and animals, loving every moment of this glorious return to Spring!