Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Summer and heat

"Alder Brook" by Chet Reneson

I am always at a loss to determine when Summer officially begins. I went to Wikipedia, and remained unenlightened....

"In some Western countries, especially the USA, (summer is) believed to start at the equinoxes and solstices, based on a misunderstanding of astronomical reckoning. Thus, in the Southern Hemisphere, based on this premise summer begins on the day of the December solstice and ends on the March equinox. When it is summer in the southern hemisphere it is winter in the northern hemisphere, and vice versa. From a purely astronomical viewpoint, the equinoxes and solstices would be the middle of the respective seasons, but a variable seasonal lag means that the meteorological start of the season, which is based on average temperature patterns, occurs several weeks later than the start of the astronomical season. According to meteorologists, summer extends for the whole months of December, January and February in the southern hemisphere, and the whole months of June, July and August in the northern hemisphere..."

My take away on this is that summer begins when it starts to get hotter and is over when it starts to get cooler. So, in spite of cool weather here and in many parts of the West, it is now summer. OK?

In most states training on wild birds may not begin until July 1, in consideration of the Spring nesting period. A good thing, I think. But we can make sure that our dogs get exercise to keep them trim. Since I have setters, I am contemplating a buzz job to keep them cooler as the weather warms up. My wife hates it, but I suspect that it is a help to the dogs, especially when they are running. I am shopping for a quality clipper with the horsepower to make quick work of the coats of four setters. I have used horse clippers in the past, and they worked well. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Summer means thinking about warm weather hazards to the dogs when out in the field -- heat is a killer, and there are rattlesnakes, foxtails, speargrass and other concerns in many areas. I like to exercise the dogs in the morning before it gets too hot. I have also found fewer rattlesnakes in the morning, compared to the number that seem to become active in the evening, after a hot day.

I always cut back on the amount of food I give the dogs during summer - usually by about 1/3, and I only feed once daily. Some people change the feed to a lower protein/fat food, but I continue with what has proven to work for me - Purina Pro Plan Performance. I just feed less.

Summer means trout fishing and preparing for the fall hunting season. I have been doing much of the later and none of the former. Right now I am getting the bits together to build a dog topper for the truck - I'll post some on this as I make progress. Also beginning to get my Airstream out of mothballs, and do needed work on it. I need to get out and do some fishing before it is too hot. 

The painting above is by Chet Reneson. Chet is a very fine watercolorist, a gentleman, and dedicated outdoorsman. I have a number of paintings and prints by Chet, including a  Bahamian street scene that I gave to to my wife on a recent anniversary. Chet's wife Penny sent us a sheaf of originals to choose from. We picked out one we liked, and sent the rest back. Remarkable in this day and age, I think.

1 comment:

Mntmaniac said...

Mike...I'll be interested to hear what you choose for clippers, having three Setters clipped by the local groomer @ $30/pup gets old. Sounds as if you'll be in MT for the MT championships and doing some hunting as well. Hope we can get together at some point.