Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Heat wilts the shepherdess

It was horribly hot yesterday, 100 by day's end. It was all I could do to get morning feeding done, get water supplies ready for everyone and do a bit of work on a pig paddock where we are waiting for expectant pig mother, Doris, to piglet ["farrow" for all you experts].

It has been one of the hottest summers since I moved to Oregon in 2002. I am so challenged in the heat but I can taste the rains. They say we might get some late week with cool weather-but the weather people have been so wrong about every forecast that I've quit relaying on them, they have broken my heart too many times. I try to take the hot days really slowly, and look around and glean the good all around me-even though everything around me is also hot and suffering. Our drought tolerant gardens took a beating this year, with much more leaf wilt than ever before. But they are resilient and don't complain, except with wilted petal. Poor Pearly June can't use her wallow because of the danger to her new piglets, so I hose her down and make cool mud for her and the piglets.

My fuse is so short in this heat. I can see why there can be mass riots in big cities in heat waves. I admire people that seem to go on without suffering in it-Martyn is much more resilient than me. I literally get ill in it. Yesterday I retreated to the house to-God forbid–clean the bathroom! It really needed it, so I can thank the heat.

Martyn went to the river to fill the tanks and came back each time with a pie's worth of blackberries. So the heat does wonders for fruit hanging in bramble. The plums have been through the roof this year-due to the good timing of warm weather when the bees first arrived. We have more plum sauce than we know what to do with-but it goes so wonderfully with many of Martyn's chicken and pork recipes.

But about mid August, the shepherdess gets wilted along with the lettuce crop. I am tired of trying to keep up with water buckets. It is time for the rain. I always welcome it, even though come February the sun is missed. But I never yearn for heat, and of all the seasons, summer is the hardest for me.

So I am with Frank, a young blade of grass I know. We yearn together.


Unknown said...

Yes, here in Northern California it's scorching, too. I hope you (we) get some relief soon - some el nino rains would be such a blessing.

Julie Whitmore Pottery said...

I LOVE your painting of the grass man. So glad you find time for it (painting) amidst all your farming chores
Hope you are hosing yourself too; a wet head is like carrying around an air conditioner without the weight.
Hi piglets!

Lis said...

I needed to see this today! oddly enough, it is NOT hot here ... but summer is usually a challenging time for me weather-wise and emotionally. I am with you and Frank!

Sharon Stanley said...

I'm with you my friend....heat is a bip, and I feel so bad for you having to endure it this year. We've had a delightful day of welcome rain today and I hope you get some soon too!

Anonymous said...

I saw you had big heat, Mother Nature has been reacting in strange ways all summer to her abuses. I can relate to your heat uglies, can't stand it either. Hope it breaks soon, must be hard on the older misfits as well. xox

Katherine Dunn/Apifera Farm said...

Hi everyone! Today was overcast and we had rain last nite- oh, halelujah or however it is spelled!

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~