Truth.

"A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within."

Ariel Durant

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Summer is here.


I thought I would get up and go for a walk while it was still cool.  Didn't happen because as soon as I went out the door, it was already hot and muggy. Early for that this year, so the summer will probably be a tough one.


The dogs and I like to walk in the creek on days like this. It's cool and refreshing. It's also very close to the house and doesn't wear you out getting there or back.


When it gets hot, you can go out in the early morning or the evening. Any other time, the heat and the humidity just crush you.


Even so, when I drive into town, I often see very old people working in their gardens by the road. They work out there in the afternoon, at the worst possible time, but it doesn't seem to phase them. I guess they are tougher than I am.  More power to them.


One thing I don't have to worry about up here is water. It's everywhere.  The nice thing is, the water on the national forest isn't polluted. It's pure.


In the big drought of 1987, when almost everything dried up here, this particular creek stayed full and you can drink the water from the pool there. No parasites, no nasty chemicals or farm run off. I suppose the desert offers things I don't have here, but on the other hand......


Thought for the day




17 comments:

  1. Harry, all the stuff about humidity...I feel for ya. My son just left for Texas for a few years and I'm sure he will feel it this summer. Poor kid.

    I don't know that I could drink out of your stream (as beautiful as it looks in the pics). I know a few people who have taken a drink from pristine, clear streams in the highest country around here and they still have to deal with the effects of giardia now years later. I suppose the cattle could be to blame, as they graze on forest service land here in the highest places imaginable. On the other hand, if it's all I had available to drink from... --Troy

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    1. Troy, there are a couple of things you can do about the water. The health department will test it for you for a modest fee if you want to bring a sample in. You can also buy test kits on line. The more detailed the test, the more expensive but overall it's relatively inexpensive. I just went through a series of tests on available water sources last October. Although I have a pump and my own well, I know that in an emergency the pump could go out, or if it lasted long enough, I'd run out of diesel for the generator. So I have picked spots to get water out of the creek downstream, and the larger creek a bit further away, and I keep tabs on water conditions. I have barrels for my truck, and a hand pump, kind of like the bilge pump for a sail boat to fill the barrels with. I have never had giardia turn up in a sample, nor have I ever found any indication it was a problem with the Cherokee who lived in this region. However, I don't discount the possibility of it showing up, as our climate and topography certainly seem to match the environment it appears in. When Les Stroud was still an unknown, he and his wife lived on a lake in Canada, using only stone age tools , for a year. Or, that was the plan. She got giardia and it was a real knock out blow.

      We don't have any grazing on the land in our national forest as the land is too heavily wooded and steep. But we do have a lot of natural wildlife.

      When I was younger I used to explore the national forest a lot, and I did drink the water but never, ever without either boiling it or putting purification tablets in it.

      I guess waterborne diseases are just one of the things we'll have to deal with if the rickety infrastructure goes bad, as it seems to be doing in a lot of places. That business in Michigan with the water was appalling.

      Humidity is a real problem. It causes mod and mildew, rots leather and canvas if it can get into it, and rusts metal as well as sucking the life's blood out of anyone who has to go out in it. I keep all my important work spaces and my living spaces climate controlled. If I lose the power for a long time, I can run all the air in the main house off the generator, but won't be able to do much about the out buildings. I suppose I would move perishable things into the main house, and non-essentials out to the barn or shop.

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    2. Troy, I was thinking about it and now that I ponder on it, I used to drink the water right out of the pool at the bottom of the waterfall, even did that as I got older.

      Not good headwork.

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    3. Well, I think I did too in my younger days. We got lucky I guess. Nowadays I take my lifestraw with me on hikes. --T

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    4. Not a bad idea. I am not out in the woods much anymore, and when I do go, I carry water and some emergency items in a rucksack. I'm also really careful to make sure my wife knows exactly where I am going, which trail I am using, and when I will be back. I carry a GMRS radio, though the woods are so thick that it isn't really a lot of use.

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  2. In a very short time we went from snow to 80+ degree days. Like winter to summer, totally skipping spring. Feels like it'll be a hot one here too. Still, I've yet to buy an air conditioner and don't expect to this year either. That being said, I've been known to crack a cold beer and wade into the lake until the temperature felt right.

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    1. I have no idea how people existed here before air conditioning. It must have been pretty miserable. I've lived places before where air wasn't necessary and I envy you that aspect of your location very much.

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    2. They had 12 foot ceilings and huge poaches. Plus they were made of stiffer stuff :) . I don't know how they survived with out Ice Tea and cold Beer.

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    3. You know, I can remember, as a small kid, when we lived in Donaldsonville, Ga. It got hot down there in summer. We lived in a white frame wood house across from a big corn field. In the mid fifties air conditioning existed but it was pretty rare. Nobody we knew had it in their homes. I can remember laying in bed sweating, with just a sheet on the bed. I know it was uncomfortable but as you say, people were used to it. I would hate to have to live that way now.

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    4. When living down south on a boat I find it takes about 2 weeks of living outside to adjust to the heat. That being said, anchoring out where we could catch a breeze was priceless.

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    5. That would help. When I lived on the beach I used to enjoy sitting on the deck in the evenings because the breeze was so pleasant.

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  3. I guess working out is what you get accustomed to doing. I was married before we got a fan. Now I am soft.

    You are blessed to live by springs. We have three year round springs here. The water is sweet and pure.

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    1. Gail, one of the must have things on my list when I bought this land was multiple water sources. I know we use a lot of water for cloths washing, toilet flushing, showers, dishes, etc. I didn't ever want to go without or have to haul it long ways. A spring is the best water source a person could have.

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  4. Technically summer isn't here just yet. It's on the 21st. The only reason I know that is because it's my birthday. Sometimes Father's Day lands on it to. :)

    Georgia does get hot and muggy. Nebraska isn't nearly as bad. We do have 4 true seasons though. There are hot days.

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    1. Your birthday is day before Operation Barbarossa. I can surely remember that. ;-)

      I have driven through Nebraska when I was young. I always think of vast open plains and sod houses for some reason. But I know from your blog it's a really nice state with lots of things to do.

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  5. I thought humidity was bad where I lived, until I spent a few days in Georgia in July. Couldn't even see the sky, an there were no clouds. Hard to even draw a clean breath. I don't know how you do it.

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    1. It's brutal. I don't know how I do it anymore either. Mostly I go out at dawn and at dusk, and stay inside during the really bad months. I used to work in the meadow during the day and it wasn't so bad, even in August but I just can't do it anymore. Even walking down to the foot of the mountain to the mailbox and back is problematic. Part of that is health issues associated with being older, and part is I just can't hack the humidity anymore. I think about my brother's place in the Sierra Nevada's, and how there you walk outside and it may be warm but you aren't covered with sweat in five minutes. So much nicer.

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