Hot, for May

It's hot here. 100 degrees today, and we've had several hot days, with a few more expected in the near  future. We were already in a very serious drought, and this hot spell makes matters worse. The hills, which had turned briefly green, are now suddenly brown. When I hike, the ground is crunchy rather than soft and grassy. My grandmother used to say that California always looks like it needs a bath. We're already hot and dusty, and we don't expect another bath until Christmastime.

I have the sprinklers set to water everything three days a week, for a few minutes. This doesn't cut it in the heat. I find myself out watering the veg every day, twice on hot days. The peas are toast.

Even the hot peppers looked wilted this afternoon.

The bees 'beard' outside the hive, trying to keep warm bodies outside so the brood doesn't go above 93 degrees. Several stand in the door, fanning their wings furiously. Many more fly aimlessly in circles above the hive. They're listless and restless, about how we all feel when it's this hot.

At work, the First Graders are quite simply crazed. Summer is calling; the pool will be open soon; vacations beckon. No one wants to work in a hot, airless room.

Every time I stroke the dog, a handful of hair comes away. He pants constantly, noisily. The cat hides under the bushes. In the house, tempers flare, chores and homework are a constant battle.

The only thing loving the heat are the tomatoes - I think they grow inches a day.

My chief pleasure on these afternoons is a glass of iced coffee with heavy cream.

And it's not even summer, yet.