Prairie View

Tuesday, August 02, 2011


I don't suppose it's normal to cry when you read the weather forecast. Maybe I should have stayed at Center to hear Julian's prayer on Sunday during share time right after he talked about the heat getting to him, and assuming it might be the same for others. Instead I went to Cedar Crest to hear Aaron Y. preach. He is a former student of mine, and I knew that listening to him would be a rare privilege, so I trundled around the section to our neighboring church--leaving and arriving during the share time. It was a very worthwhile sermon--on the Midsummer Times of Life--times of dryness and exhaustion and fruitlessness--and how to stay close to God during such times. The sermon felt hopeful, like finding an oasis in a desert. I think I need to hear the sermon again this morning.

The forecast for today says this: "Extreme heat will affect the region today with many locations hitting 110 degrees or higher. This is a very dangerous situation where heat related illnesses are likely, especially for folks that are outside for a prolonged period of time this afternoon." The predicted high is 112. Yesterday the prediction was 108 and the actual official high in Hutchinson was 110. Thermometers in our area, however, consistently register several degrees higher than Hutchinson, and yesterday was no exception. We've been told that today promises to have the highest temperatures of the season so far. The excessive heat warning we're under is in place till at least Thursday evening.

For the month of July, only the summer of 1980 had a higher average temperature: 90.4 to 89.3. 1954, 1934, and 1936 were the next hottest July's--in that order. The two months (1980 and 2011) were tied for the number of days over 100.

We're coping--just barely. One day without having to water would feel like a vacation, as would being able to look outside and see thriving vegetation, instead of vegetation in survival mode.

We noted on our way to and from church on Sunday that an irrigated corn field that looked good for the most part was topped in certain sections by a layer of leaves that looked whitish the first time I saw them several days earlier, and then looked tan-brown on Sunday. Other parts of the field didn't look like that. I suspect it had something to do with when the irrigation passed over the different areas. I don't know if it showed where it arrived too late, or if the water itself, combined with the heat, "cooked" the leaves.

I saw some of the same thing in our corn patch here at home. I also saw some of the first tassles looking puffy, dry, and dead. Tassles like that probably have no live pollen. Yesterday we set up the overhead sprinkler and turned it on over the corn patch, hoping to cool it down sufficiently to allow the pollen to stay alive long enough to do its job. We've been ditch watering the corn, which is an efficient way to deliver water to the roots, but it doesn't do much to cool the upper parts of the plant. With low humidity, the amount of water lost to irrigation by sprinkling seems wasteful, but evaporation is a cooling process, and when that's what we're after, we squeeze our eyes shut to the water wasting issue.

Right now the forecast for the week shows most of the icons with some chance for rain, with 20% being the highest number listed. Even though such predictions have hardly ever resulted in rain for us of late, it's better than seeing every icon either black or orange--for either nighttime or a hot daytime.

Please join us in prayer.


  • I am so sorry to hear this. It must be exhausting. It is wonderful to know that you have water to irrigate and to drink.
    You're in our thoughts and prayers.

    By Blogger MaryAnn, at 8/03/2011  

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