365 Nature – Day 232

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.

This week is the first time we’ve put our window air conditioner unit up this year. Although we had a warm spring, the nights were cool and we never needed the air conditioner, and the summer this far has been surprisingly moderate – dry, but not hot. Until this week. Unusual for this late in August, the temperatures hit 90 today and I’m glad we have the cool air in the house so I can function and work and not become unbearably cranky. I have no problem being outside in any other weather, I’ll walk around in the rain, the freezing cold and just about everything else. But the high temperatures drive me inside to hide.

Despite the heat, there are signs of autumn already. Some leaves are starting to turn colors along the lake, while some trees are dropping brown leaves, likely a response to the parched ground. In our garden, the veggies are long done with the exception of our pumpkins, which have turned fully orange. A strange autumnal sight in the garden on a scorching day. The rudbeckia, which greeted visitors with an overly cheery yellow less than a month ago, are also struggling and many have shriveled and browned. I’m not the only one to struggle with the heat.

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Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner is a naturalist, writer and photographer based in Seattle. She is the author of a book about urban nature, coming Spring 2020 from Mountaineers Books. She writes freelance articles about natural history and has bylines in Crosscut, ParentMap, National Wildlife Magazine and others. On the side she writes fiction.

Kelly holds a bachelors degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon and a certificate in non-fiction writing from the University of Washington.

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