Thursday, July 21, 2011

What does excessive heat sound like?

A little bit earlier, I decided to go get the mail out of the box and move the car into some shade. Oddly, our mail is usually delivered anywhere between noon and 4 pm, but in this heat they get it here around 10:30. It is important that it is checked right away because I never know what people might be sending The Essential Herbal for review, and I sure don't want it sitting in a black box at high noon.
About a year ago I remember writing that I could almost tell the time of day by listening to the sounds outside. As it turns out, if the temperature goes into three digits, all bets are off. It is darn near eerie out there!
As I slid the door open and walked into the furnace, the first thing I noticed was that there was no happy buzzing coming from the anise hyssop and bee balm patch beside the porch. Silence. The chipmunk that almost always hangs around the front door and has no fear of me was no where to be seen.
There is no birdsong. All the small animals must be sleeping somewhere in the shade or underground. Nothing is moving.
There is no traffic. Granted, traffic to me might mean a car going by every 15 or 20 minutes, but nobody is going anywhere. The farmers are not working the fields. The crops are too stressed and fragile right now.
The silence was broken by a single rooster crowing from my sister's house and a peacock calling from over a mile away. From the house on the corner that is full of kids, I heard a little girl laughing. I walk under the deck to turn on the hose and water the persimmon tree. The grass beneath my feet crunches like cellophane.
There is normally a lot of air traffic over the house, but recreational vehicles of the sky seem to be grounded - perhaps because nobody wants to go anywhere.
I didn't know excessive heat had a sound, but it does. It is silence.


Corinne said...

OMG You are so right, We are in a heat wave here in Kentucky and yesterday I walked to the mailbox and heard NOTHING. No dogs barking, no birds and no kids. So heat=silence.

Nestforawren said...

It's even more silent today.

Corinne said...

So yesterday for me silence was not so golden. Two of my friends age 42 and 60 were in the fields working on setting up irrigation and didnt realize how hot it was until they both face planted in the dirt. The silence was then broken by the activity of dragging the men into the house to cool down but more so than that the one grandfather was a hollerin and smackin their butts with his cane, going on about irresponsible young know it alls.

Tina Sams said...

It really does sneak up on you very quickly. I haven't seen a single piece of farm equipment in days - very unusual.
I hope everyone is fine!
Yesterday I saw a horse-drawn buggy, and it nearly broke my heart. I got out a 64 gal plastic "tote" and filled it with water, putting it next to the road (in the shads) with a sign that said "Water for Horses".

Corinne said...

Awwww Tina
You have such a good heart!

And yes everyone is just fine, hopefully lesson well learned.