White Dog was stretched in front of the open window on the fainting couch. She groaned, "It is nearly 9:30 at night and it is STILL 87 degrees! I am going to melt!" Today had been a Spring scorcher, high in the mid 90's. The new plants were all drooping from the shock and the White Dog Army was panting their discomfort into a breathy chorus.
Most of the day was spent doing the things that will become more commonplace as we get into the rhythm of desert summer: keeping the sun out; staying hydrated; lying under the fans on the cooler tile floors; moving little.
Caught unprepared, we have not yet switched on our evaporative cooling system which requires Steve to go up on the roof and reconnect water lines and power. He has promised to get up at dawn tomorrow and do so before the heat builds. The White Dog Army has spent time this evening remembering favorite spots under the swamp cooler downdrafts...and figuring out where the new kid will be comfortable.
Like the robin harbinger of Spring, our friend Jes made her annual call to encourage me to "shave those poor dogs for the summer." We have this conversation every year and she refuses to believe that the double coat of Eskies actually protects them by reflecting the heat and shielding their delicate skin from sunburn. All I have to do is mention Nuka's shaved to the skin "cut" from when she arrived to send all of our pups running...none of them is convinced that bare skin is the breezy summer look they desire.
So once again our routine changes, forced by Nature to live the schedule that makes sense in the desert: outside things get done VERY early or well after sunset; mid-day is for lying quietly with a chilled drink at hand and daydreaming; dinners switch to cold salads and things that won't heat up the kitchen; bedtime walks are blissful just right times of glittering stars and soft whispering breezes; and sleep comes to the drone of fan blades whirling.