Dog (and chicken!) days of summer

Lazy musings in the heat…

“Up with the chickens” takes on a whole new meaning now that we actually have chickens that one of us has to get up with. Hubby usually handles that duty (they’re his birds!), but when he’s out of town, 6 a.m. comes early for me. I shudder to think how tough that will be when the weather is less pleasant.

Solstice is just now upon us, but after a string of ninety-degree days mid-month, summer definitely arrived early in southwest Ohio. Even the sky-splitting thunderstorms have made an appearance already.

At first the dogs enjoyed the heat, lounging on the deck in the sunshine. Now by mid-day they hide in the cool interior of our home. Hubby is about half-way through giving the two larger dogs their summer haircuts, so that will help. Their coats are so thick it’s a multi-day process. The beagle doesn’t need a trim, just more baths.

Personally, I love this weather. No air conditioning for me, thank you very much. Yes, we have central air, but the house is passive solar, so it’s rarely necessary. We may have used the A/C a total of 3-4 days last year. I’d much rather be warm than cold, and after shivering through a too-long (and longer every year) winter, I refuse to be frozen out by A/C. Which is why I always carry a jacket when we go out – grocery, mall, restaurant. I hate being cold, and the A/C levels in most public places are way beyond comfort for me.

Unfortunately, along with the early heat have come the mosquitoes.

And the poison ivy.poison ivy

“Are you sure those aren’t poison ivy plants, Hubby?”

“Yes, dear, I’m sure.”

Then there are the chickens. Hubby went to great lengths researching breeds to find one hardy enough to withstand frigid Ohio winters. He never considered the sweltering summers. The coop is not passive solar; it’s dark red with black shingles and one tiny air vent. The six pullets we’re learning to care for don’t seem to mind. They spend the heat of the day nestled in the shade under the elevated coop.

We feed the chickens corn and spinach Popsicles when it gets really hot. I think the dogs are jealous. All they get is an ice cube or two when I fill my iced tea glass.

Speaking of which – join me in tea on the deck? The pond is blooming. I could use a break from editing.

Happy Solstice!

pond blooming - June 2015

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