er … BEAR bums (that pesky autocorrect)!!
I know that title made you take a second look though, didn’t it?
It’s another sultry and sizzling day here in Southeast Michigan. It got to 90 degrees F (32 C). It was pretty steamy when I ventured out on my walk this morning, but I did get in five miles anyway – it’s all about that final goal of 1,242 miles (2,000 K). The days are already getting shorter as we creep toward Winter. Sadly, the sun is getting up nearly one minute later, and going to bed one minute earlier, every day since the Summer Solstice has passed.
Due to my smashed finger debacle, I realized a couple of days ago that I never reported on my miles at the end of June. I’ll wait and walk my socks off some more, then report my total at the end of July instead.
The heat and humidity were unrelenting for over a week.
In my last post, I wrote about sweltering away in our heat wave here in muggy Michigan. Of course, the hot weather is a whole lot easier to take if you own a pool, or a cottage at the lake (or have dear friends whom you could visit). While other beachgoers enjoyed the cool water of Lake Michigan over the recent holiday weekend, this deer was not going to let a few humans stand in the way of him becoming a beach bum. Click here and scroll down for a smile.
Now, what about that bare/bear bum?
Monday was garbage day all along my route to Council Point Park. I rounded the bend and the first thing I saw was one humongous bare bottom looking me in the eye. Oh, by the way, I guess I should mention it was a plush bare bottom.
Butt, what a bummer (excuse the puns – I couldn’t resist)!
The garbage cans were in the way to get a good picture (and, at one point, I even questioned why I would take such a picture, but I had an idea for this post, so what the heck). If anyone was looking out their window, they probably thought I’d been in the sun too long, as I carefully angled myself to take not only the bare/bear bum shot, but a few more of this poor unloved teddy bear that was looking so undignified, all crumpled up, arms and legs haphazardly sticking out and flopped over onto his face, bum up in the air.
Yes, the indignity of it all!
Perhaps because I collected teddy bears for decades, it gave me a smile, but maybe it is just a warped sense of humor on my part too?
When the heat finally took a hike, so did I – a few extra-long ones.
We were lucky to get a three-day reprieve so Sunday through Tuesday, I racked up the miles, six miles each trek, savoring those cooler, humid-free days. I was here, there and everywhere, mostly hanging around my go-to place, Council Point Park, but strolling around the ‘hood as well. I actually took 200 plus pictures over the long holiday and this week without even leaving the City. The squirrels were back to their ol’ perky, begging selves and the Cardinal and Blue Jay each scammed a peanut while Stubby went to bury his treasure. He had a rude awakening when he returned to see how short his pile of peanuts had become while he was away.
But alas, all good things must come to an end.
We returned to sweltering temps again today, in the 90s, and a possible storm on the way this evening. So, this morning I sought shade, just like my feathered and furry friends. I spent my entire walk on the shady side of the Park. But, I had the luxury of returning to A/C after my trek in the heat – they did not.
Interestingly, we are quick to credit our “new norm” of erratic weather to strictly climate change, and I have no doubt that is the reason too; just look at what is going on in Alaska. But, for years, every time we had a prolonged heat wave, my mom would recount the story of the big heat wave of 1936.
I just researched a bit and learned that the heat wave encompassed all North America from July 8th to the 15th – in fact, the peak of the heat (July 8th through 10th ) would have been on the same date as I am writing this post. The death toll in North America was over 6,000 people (780 direct and 400 indirect deaths in Canada and 5,000 in the U.S.) and large numbers of crops were destroyed by the heat and lack of moisture.
My mom was ten years old at the time of the heat wave and she vividly recalled how Ontario residents wilted as the thermometer hovered at 105 to 110 F daily (40 to 43 C), only dipping down to the mid-90s at night. She remembered her parents speaking in hushed tones about the deaths of mostly babies, children and older folks. She told me that most people, her family included, had to make do with a single fan for the entire house. My grandfather came home nightly from working in a stifling hot factory where he made rubber boots, and he’d have dinner, then he and most of the men in the neighborhood, who also toiled at factory jobs, each took their pillow and a blanket down to Sunnyside Park where they lined up to sleep on the boardwalk at the water’s edge, hoping to catch a small breeze from Lake Ontario. Likewise, in those days my grandmother worked in the hot, greasy Planters Peanuts factory. During the heat wave of ’36, she and my mom slept out on the front porch every night to get out of the oven-hot house. The ice man would drop off the ice for the icebox and Mom said the ice would be melting as they carried it through the house to the kitchen.
How lucky we are, even as we muddle through these 90+ degree days – it puts it all into perspective, doesn’t it?