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August 29th, 2014

eleven degrees C.

Where I live, Summer heat reaches a crescendo in late August. Labor Day Weekend marks a kind of boundary. Some Labor Days it rains, and the Summer heat "breaks" and ceases to be oppressive. Often a storm hits the Gulf Coast, bringing rains to north Texas.
Some years, such as the year that Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the storms all miss our area. Then the heat remains oppressive into late Autumn, and drought deepens.

I left work at 5 p.m. after a very productive work day to find rain was falling in huge, lovable droplets. I drove in Breckinridge Park in the rain and watched the killdeer cavort. The swallows were not yet out. I saw an American kestrel fly overhead. The heat fell from 100 degrees F (~ 37.75 C) to 80 degrees F (~ 26.67 C.). I stopped at Shawnee Park where, like me, people walked in sprinkly conditions, thankful for the rain. A woman walked in circles around the pond, talking on her cell phone with animation. I watched the green heron on the lily pads hunt insects. I listened to a podcast about computer hardware, which is poor birding, as I miss the birdsong,but grand fun anyway.

My wife and I took our friend Beatrice for a walk in our neighborhood. We ran into Beatrice's only canine friend, a lovely Shih Tzu named Diva. We got into a long discussion with Diva's owner, who told us of growing up as one of ten children in a farm in southern Illinois. She described how her mother went to market once a month to buy flour and salt, and the family grew, raised and canned on the farm all they needed to eat. As the dark set in, cottontail rabbits came out. A man with a huge camera lens took many pictures of the orange-red-white sunset.

Now I am watching a documentary film on PBS about Dorothea Lange. I am delighted that, as has happened so many Labor Day weekends before, the heat broke tonight.