Talking About Climate

My wife and I were having a conversation about the weather/climate of our youth. What brought the conversation up was the fact that I was mowing grass in our yard on January 11 as the temperature approach 70°. I commented on the fact that when I was a teenager in the late 60’s the autumns were much cooler than they have been in years. I remembered pick-up football games after school in October where the temperature would leave your throat tingling with the cool evening air. Now days, those temperatures don’t show up until winter.

Sherry was reminiscing about how after we first were married in the late 70’s we didn’t have AC. We cooled our first house in Pasadena with an “attic fan”, also known as a whole house fan. It was a large fan sitting in the ceiling of the hall that sucked warm air out of the house and brought in cooler air from outside. We lived with that fan for almost 10 years before we put in a couple of window units. What I recall about that time was we slept under the same bed coverings in summer and winter…It was that cool with the night air moving across the bed. I don’t think I would even attempt it today.

And then I saw this chary:

It pretty much says it all. Those cool evenings I remember were in the later half of the 60’s. The 70’s and the 80’s were when we lived without AC and didn’t really miss it (much). But ever since…Well it hasn’t been pretty.

Bluebirds and a New Year

Pair of Eastern Bluebirds.
Image via Wikipedia

The weather this past weekend was one of January days I live for. A sun and cloud mix, breezy, temperatures in the low 70’s…Just the type of days most of the world would call great in spring or summer that we only get in late fall and winter. We were grand-kid free for most of the weekend, so we really didn’t get out and enjoy it as much as we might. We actually spent most of our time unpacking and putting out (and up) the last few boxes that had been sitting scattered around the house.

What made the weekend so special for me though was my sighting of the first Bluebirds of the year. We were sitting on the back porch while two of our grandkids played. There were a number of flocks flying around the backyard. A couple of hundred doves were wheeling around before settling back in the bare limbs in the woods out back. A small flock of tree swallows would take their turn in the parade. There were a few sparrows sitting in the trees watching the show. Then off by the apple tree (with ripening apples) was a flash of orange-red breast. I thought at first it was the robins I had seen out back a couple of weeks before. Then the bird began fluttering at the ground…Not robin behavior.

When I looked closer I noticed the birds were not as large as robins. I grabbed the glasses off the bookshelf beside the door. Sure enough…Bluebirds. Four blue and rust colored birds playing around our apple tree. Happiness has returned to our yard. What a great way to start a new year.

I had been planning on putting up a couple of nest boxes for this year. I guess I need to get busy on that. There, ordered from Amazon…I should be able to put them up this week.

Weather Note

Any thoughts I  may have entertained about going out a doing anything today has been put on hold by the weather. At 1am last night the first round of artillery plowed past my house. Since dawn, row after row of storms have passed by my office window. Right now another larger mass of rain is beginning to threaten with it’s rumbles and grumbles as night begins to fall…at 10:45 am.

Texas had its driest year on record in 2011 – Houston Chronicle

Federal scientists confirmed Friday that Texas had its driest year on record in 2011.

The statewide average rainfall for the year totaled just 14.88 inches, according to the National Climatic Data Center, beating the previous low of 14.99 inches set in 1917.

During the last century, Texas averaged 27.92 inches of rain per year.

Temperature-wise, the state ended the year with its second-hottest mark, 67.2 degrees, finishing just below the record of 67.5 degrees set in 1921.

via Texas had its driest year on record in 2011 – Houston Chronicle.

It might not be climate change…But the weather, she ain’t what she used to be.

the ramblings of my brain over that first cup… and other meanders