Author Topic: Welcome to Summer 2018!  (Read 448 times)

elagache

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Welcome to Summer 2018!
« on: June 20, 2018, 11:36:48 PM »
Dear WeatherCat observers of the seasons turning,

Tomorrow is the Summer Solstice.  You can look up the exact time it will occur in your location on this handy dandy webpage:

https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?iso=20180621T1007&msg=June%20Solstice%202018

To get us in the mood for summer I set about taking some photographs of the local area that capture summer in Northern California.  The hills have definitely turned brown:



Although this scene is not entirely wild.  Note the two palm trees on the lower right.  California poppies are getting in their last blooms before going dormant:



These are indeed hardy plants!  There are other flowering plants that indeed stress the point of how dry things have become:



As you would expect, the creeks are drying up:



That isn't good news for the creatures that are just getting a start in life:



This little thing will have a drinking problem:



Not too much drinking, not enough places to find clean water.

Still life manages to cling in some of the most unexpected places:



[wink] . . . . Surely a quintessential California dandelion if there ever was one.  Either is it a victim of the California school system and cannot read, or it is among those radical politico types defying authority! . . .   [biggrin]

There is just one problem when I try to create one of these photo essays.  Invariably, da' trusty wagon always manages to "get in da' act!!"



Welcome to Summer 2018!  [sun2]

Cheers, Edouard  [cheers1]

Blicj11

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Re: Welcome to Summer 2018!
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2018, 12:07:27 AM »
Nice work. And a good laugh thrown in.
Blick


elagache

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First fruits of the season. (Re: Summer 2018!)
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2018, 10:37:02 PM »
Dear Blick and WeatherCat observers of the seasons turning,

I have one more sign of summer:



I don't know if these yellow plums are native, but I do know they grow very well in the wild.  I had to remove not 1, but 4! of these trees that were trying to get a start on the western edge of our property!  At least the food supply for the wild critters is starting to improve.

Cheers, Edouard  [cheers1]

Blicj11

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Re: Welcome to Summer 2018!
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2018, 11:14:31 PM »
Are they edible?

I can tell that summer has arrived here on the mountain because I can almost keep my windows open at night without having to wear a parka around the house in the evening.
Blick


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Re: Welcome to Summer 2018!
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2018, 11:17:51 PM »
Great pictures Edouard  [tup]

elagache

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Yup and thanks! (Re: Summer 2018!)
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2018, 11:01:57 PM »
Dear Blick, Stu, and WeatherCat observers of the seasons turning,

Are they edible?

Yes they are!  They are simply another variety of plum tree.

I can tell that summer has arrived here on the mountain because I can almost keep my windows open at night without having to wear a parka around the house in the evening.

You definitely have an advantage in the mountains when it comes to avoiding the heat.  Yesterday was the hottest day thus far this year at 97.3˚F (36.3˚ C.)  For the moment we are having 3 day heat waves, but that's already too much from the plants and me!  [sweat2]

Great pictures Edouard  [tup]

Thanks Stu!

Cheers, Edouard  [cheers1]

Blicj11

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Re: Welcome to Summer 2018!
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2018, 02:29:01 AM »
The best sign that summer has arrived here in the mountains is the tanker truck that sprays magnesium chloride on the road, which application does a magnificent job of holding down the dust from passing vehicles and hardening up the road surface. He came this morning, so, yup, it's summer. I might even take down the Christmas lights, but probably won't. Yes, I'm that guy.
Blick


elagache

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Thanks for the photo! (Re: Welcome to Summer 2018!)
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2018, 11:48:07 PM »
Dear Blick and WeatherCat observers of the seasons turning,

The best sign that summer has arrived here in the mountains is the tanker truck that sprays magnesium chloride on the road, which application does a magnificent job of holding down the dust from passing vehicles and hardening up the road surface. He came this morning, so, yup, it's summer.

Thanks for sharing.  I never heard of using magnesium chloride to reduce dust on dirt roads.  Here is the Wikipedia article about that compound:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnesium_chloride

It is mentioned as a product to reduce dust and erosion, but doesn't explain the mechanism.

I might even take down the Christmas lights, but probably won't. Yes, I'm that guy.

 ;) . . . . But how could you?  If you did that then you wouldn't be prepared for "Christmas in July!"  . . . .  [rolleyes2]

Cheers, Edouard  [cheers1]

Blicj11

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Re: Thanks for the photo! (Re: Welcome to Summer 2018!)
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2018, 03:44:16 AM »
Thanks for sharing.  I never heard of using magnesium chloride to reduce dust on dirt roads.  Here is the Wikipedia article about that compound:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnesium_chloride

It is mentioned as a product to reduce dust and erosion, but doesn't explain the mechanism.

Magnesium Chloride is hygroscopic. This means the mixture applied to the road for dust control bonds with the moisture in the dust and dirt on the road. They first rough up the road with a grader, then they apply water. Then the next day they spray magnesium chloride, wait about 3 hours and apply it a second time. The next morning they run a huge vibrating roller over the road to compress the surface. The road hardens up and dust is suppressed. This is the fourth year they have used it here and each year, the road gets a little harder. In many places, it is "rock hard." It costs about US$2000 (approximately €1,720) per truck load. The ten property owners on this part of the mountain each pay US$200 per year. Absolutely worth it!
Blick


elagache

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Interesting! (Re: Welcome to Summer 2018!)
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2018, 11:09:02 PM »
Dear Blick and WeatherCat amateur scientists,

Magnesium Chloride is hygroscopic. This means the mixture applied to the road for dust control bonds with the moisture in the dust and dirt on the road.
. . . .

Okay, so I'm guessing that the Magnesium Chloride is effectively an adhesive and the water molecules are the structures that are being kept together.  Since there is always some humidity in soil, it is that humidity that is being used to secure the soil and keep it from blowing away.

A very clever solution indeed!  Thanks for sharing the explanation!  :)

Cheers, Edouard  [cheers1]

elagache

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First smoke from wildfires (Re: Welcome to Summer 2018!)
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2018, 10:56:09 PM »
Dear WeatherCat observers of the seasons turning,

Today started out mostly clear and very warm.  However, as predicted a high pressure in the Eastern Pacific has moved to the west, allowing ocean breezes to cool the region.  However, as this happened the sun became obscured and the skies became filled with haze:



Compare this scene to the first photo of this thread to see how much hazier the conditions are today.

It was enough to turn sunshine dull and yellowish.  This picture tries to capture that effect:



Most of the smoke is coming from the Pawnee and County wildfires to our Northeast.  However, there were two small wildfires in the San Francisco Bay area as well.  It is just another reminder of what Summer means in the tinder dry parts of the American West.

Oh well,
. . . . . Edouard

elagache

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Naked lady season! (Re: Summer 2018!)
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2018, 11:28:19 PM »
Dear WeatherCat observers of the seasons turning,

We are approaching the end of the "dog days of summer," with only a month or so before the Autumnal Equinox.  Areas to the north are certainly starting to experience the effects of shorter days.  However, in California and the Pacific Southwest "summer" can drag on well beyond its official end.  As such, the arrival of the Naked Lady flowers (Amaryllis belladonna) is more of a mid-summer event.  I used my iPhone to capture a few of the displays that are as wild as they are cultivated.  Here is a group outside of someone's fence:



Note the tenacious California Poppy in the lower right corner.   Here is a line of Naked Ladies that have been started beyond a retaining wall above a street gutter:



Here is a little group of these flowers in between some rocky landscaping:



Finally, here is a group of Naked Ladies making a bouquet framed by some grape vines:

 

These are the last free-standing flowers of the California dry season.  There are still some trees that will bloom, but the trend clearly shifts into anticipation for the rains that are always desperately needed when they finally come.

Cheers, Edouard  [cheers1]

Blicj11

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Re: Welcome to Summer 2018!
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2018, 12:09:28 AM »
Nice photos but send those rains as soon as possible.
Blick


elagache

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The new "California dreamin' . . . " (Re: Summer 2018!)
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2018, 12:41:06 AM »
Dear Blick and WeatherCat west coast drought sufferers, . . .

Nice photos but send those rains as soon as possible.

*Sniff!!*  These days "California dreamin'"  [sleep] has a whole new emphasis!

I'm afraid rain will only be in our dreams for many months to come . . . .

Oh well, . . . . Edouard