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Hot Weather and Cool Stuff

August 27, 2011
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It’s hot.

It’s midnight, and it’s still hot. 25 °C (77 °F) according to the internet (I don’t have a thermometer), but here in the Nettle Nest, the temperature is still higher than that. I wouldn’t be breaking out in a sweat every time I move at 25 °C.

It’s hot. You know it’s hot when you walk into a greenhouse, think, “Oh, it’s nice and cool in here” and then glance at the thermometer to find that it’s 32 °C (90 °F). I refuse to check the thermometers in the hoop houses, which don’t have shadecloth.

It’s hot. Again according to the internet, it was 36 °C (97 °F) today. Which, by our standards, is ridiculously hot. In the last nine days, there was only one that was below 30 °C (86 °F), and only one that had a bit of rain.

Nice if you can spend the day at the lake – I did that during the weekend, and I did make a couple of trips there after work as well – but not so nice if you have to work. Even less nice if you have to work outdoors, or in greenhouses. Not a nice week for me, and probably not for the Carpenter Brother either, up on the housetops building roof trusses…

A week of dragging myself around in sweat-soaked clothes and a wet bandana, a week in which not much got done apart from lots and lots of watering, a week of not having the energy to do anything but the most necessary things (like making dinner) when I came home, a week of frequently sticking my arms and legs under cold water, a week of day-dreaming of water… the beaches and ridiculously blue sea in Sardinia, calm lakes, ice-cold, clear mountain streams…

But then, there’s cool stuff as well: On Sunday, I finally soaked the lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) seeds I bought a while ago, after drilling little holes in each of them. Four out of the nine turned out to be dead and hollow, and I didn’t really have high expectations for the others, but on Thursday evening, when I finally made myself water my plants (even though moving around made me sweat so much I felt like taking yet another shower afterwards), I also remembered to change the water the seeds were soaked in – and found this:

Isn’t it cute? And I just found another one has sprouted! I have no idea what I’ll do with two lotuses, or five if they all grow, or even with just one – but they’re so cute! And it’s cool that they germinated so quickly – the seed packets said to expect 3-4 weeks, and they didn’t even take one!

Maybe I should abandon this whole balcony-vegetable-gardening thingy and just build myself a pool out there, and spend next summer there among my Cyperuses and lotuses! Wouldn’t that be a cool pool?

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