It's been a summer for the record books here in Phoenix. July and August were the hottest two months ever recorded, and we experienced at least FIFTY-TWO consecutive days of temperatures over 110° (43°C for my Celsius friends)-- another record.
What's it like? Like living in a blast furnace.
One thing I noticed was that there were a lot fewer birds at our birdbaths and feeders. Animals are not stupid, no matter what some people say. Those birds flew to where it was cooler. To where their food sources weren't fried to a crisp. Where it was easier to find water and shade. One of the signs that told me that we were finished with the blast furnace was the gradual return of the birds, and I am happy to see them.
What I'm not happy about is the pending death of our huge Aleppo pine tree out front. With my staying at home, my attention has been mainly focused on the backyard where the pool and all the feeders and birdbaths are. I should have realized that-- especially with the lack of a monsoon season this summer-- that poor tree needed to be watered. Denis and I are watering it now in hopes that it can be saved, but it might be too late. A lot of birds called that tree home. This place will feel very strange indeed if it has to be cut down.
The high temperatures aren't done with us; they're still over 100°, and you know you're a native when you can say that 100° feels cooler. But enough weather talk! Time to mosey out to the corral to turn all these links loose. Head 'em up! Moooove 'em out!
►Books & Other Interesting Tidbits◄
- A historian accidentally discovered how our history textbooks openly taught white supremacy.
- Nineteenth century reading habits come to light via delightful comments scrawled in the margins of a crime novel. (And I talked about my own marginalia two weeks ago!)
- Agatha Christie and the art of opening a mystery novel.
- Dictionary.com revises definitions to eliminate prejudiced language.
- Some folks bring playing with their food to brand-new heights: an adorable Winnie-the-Pooh made out of eggs.
- Why Goodreads is bad for books.
- In praise of mail-order book clubs.
- Eleanor Roosevelt's son authored twenty mysteries in which his mother solves murders.
- Did an earthquake topple this ancient Canaanite palace?
- At least 200 mammoth skeletons have been found at a Mexico City airport construction site.
- A Roman gaming piece crafted out of bone has been found in England.
- The "best lockdown find ever!"-- a Chinese teapot found in an English garage is worth a fortune.
- Rare 16th century Gothic boxwood carvings are so miniature researchers used X-ray to solve their mysteries. (How could the artists carve such tiny treasures?!?)
- Dated 1920, a postcard finally gets delivered.
- Lost pieces of a 19th-century steamboat wreck were found in Vermont.
- London's largest cache of Bronze Age objects is on view for the first time.
- Acorn woodpeckers' bloody wars actually draw crowds.
- A tiny rescued piglet goes to sleep on the warm furry back of a very accommodating dog every night.
- Relocated Isle Royale wolves have formed groups and reduced the size of the moose herd.
- This would make my heart go pitty-pat! --Watch this video of a Massachusetts man sleeping by the pool and being awakened by a bear.
- Too bad I missed this: the National Weather Service radar picked up on a huge colony of bats over Phoenix.
- Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2020 finalists have been revealed.
- A heart to heart with maned wolves.
- Hummingbirds in the Andes go to chilly extremes for a good night's sleep.
- Eight great books about women who disappear.
- Top ten goddesses in fiction.
- Five crime and mystery novels featuring deaf characters.
- Ten books to help you escape your house without leaving the house.
- The most memorable requests librarians have ever received.
- The twenty-six best pandemic thriller and drama books for Coronavirus times.
- Twelve great movies you didn't know were based on nonfiction books.
- Ten of the most morally bankrupt narrators in fiction.