2010.06.27.Warm and Sunny

Posted June 27th, 2010 by IP

We’re still here! Last winter was long – longer than our first year here. Unseasonable cold and winds played havoc for the herders and over a million animals were lost. The government declared a national disaster and international organizations and individuals contributed money and goods to assist.

We left on our annual R&R on 28 March and returned on 25 April. Last year winter was just a memory at the end of April. This year, temperatures were still dropping below zero well into May. Finally, by the third week in May, all the snow and ice melted. Suddenly, almost overnight, grass began growing and trees budding. It was as if Mother Nature had been waiting for the chance to burst forth. Within two weeks, one could see evidence of spring. Now it’s the end of June and once again we are confronted with unseasonable weather. Temperatures have been above average hovering between 35C – 40C (upper 90sF). Warnings have been issued alerting people to the danger of heatstroke and dehydration. I for one felt the effects of the stifling temperatures after working in our compound greenhouse one afternoon about three weeks ago. After about 30 minutes spent watering and weeding our plot in the plastic covered quonset hut that is the compound ‘greenhouse’, I felt flushed, had a headache, and nauseous. The short walk home had me gasping and sporting a bright red face. I immediately sipped cool water and splashed cool water on my face and arms. It took about four hours before I completely recovered from the effects of the heat. Since then, I go to the ‘greenhouse’ in the early morning before 06:30. I can’t stop thinking how it must be for the herders who are faced with the searing temperatures and unlike me, have no recourse to cold water or air conditioning.

Spring is often accompanied by strong gusts of wind and this year is no exception. At least once a week we have to run and close all our windows to keep out the dirt and dust whipped up by strong winds. Just yesterday, I was in the kitchen when I noticed the sky had turned dark and looking out the window saw a tornado-like dust cloud, dirty brown in color, filling the sky outside and in which plastic bags and other trash were whirling around in a frenzy. We all know the drill and a call to the family of ‘close the windows’ sets everyone running to make sure windows are securely closed.

This usually works fine except yesterday, a particularly strong gust of wind blew one of our living room windows wide open knocking off three planters and causing Hunter to lose one of his nine lives. He often naps on one of our large floor cushions which is propped up under said window. However yesterday he had a very rude awakening when one of the large flower boxes tipped over on him! To add insult to injury, he was locked out on our upstairs balcony all night as one of the ‘Js’ locked the door without checking before going to bed!

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