September 3 , 2010
Right on schedule, the black walnut trees have already lost most of their leaves here in SE Minnesota. It's usually about the first week in August that I begin to see the leaves drop and by September the only signs of life on the trees are the walnuts and just a few stubborn leaves. I guess that is why walnut is such a dense, fine grained wood since its growing season is much shorter than others and the tree grows slowly.
Even though the walnuts have given up the ghost, most other trees show no sign of turning just yet. There's still plenty of warm weather to enjoy.
As summer draws to a close, I thought I would reflect on what a warm and humid summer we have had here in SE Minnesota. Here are a sample of some of the records set either in La Crosse, WI or Rochester, MN:
- La Crosse recorded the wettest summer on record, receiving 20.93 inches of rain. Summer record rainfall records extend back to 1873.
- Seven different observing sites in SE Minnesota and Western Wisconsin broke precipitation records. (This shows the event was not isolated to one location.)
- La Crosse, WI tied a record for the greatest number of days with temperatures at or above 60 degrees (F). The temperature remained above 60 degrees (F) for 74 days or 80.3% of the Summer.
- Rochester, MN broke the record for the greatest number of days with temperatures at or above 60 degrees.
My own personal Summer records are as follows:
- Ever since I began cutting grass in the spring, I have had to cut the grass every 6 to 7 days. (The grass was so tall by the 7th day, I would have to send up a flare to be located.)
- Our cistern overfloweth multiple times.
- Never had to wash the car.
- Sweated more gallons of water than any previous year.
- Received more mosquito bites than in any previous year since I started keeping records. (There's one flying around the room as I type this.)
Speaking of mosquitoes, the one thing I have noticed here in SE Minnesota is how Minnesotans ignore mosquitoes. For example, while standing outside talking to a neighbor I am always doing my best to dodge/slap/whatever mosquitoes flying around my head. But a true Minnesotan shows no reaction to the flying hoard. It's as if they don't even exist. Not even a flinch or a twitch.
The only conclusion I can come to is that either Minnesotans have become immune to mosquitoes or it is considered a sign of weakness to show any reaction or sign of despair Or...they could have presprayed themselves with deet prior to our meeting.
Well, it's getting late and as I write the tree frogs are feasting on bugs outside on the window. I hope they gorge themselves on those feisty mosquitoes while I sleep.