It’s been hot early this year–while we generally hit 100 degrees for the first time in April, this year’s 106 and 107 in mid-May seems a bit early.
So how does one adjust to such high heat? If you live here, make the most of it. Toss your sweaty pillows out on the patio and let the sun bleach and freshen them. Don’t leave them outside for more than an hour, though, or they get dusty.
Have a desk chair mat? One of those plastic things that always turns up at the corners where it hits a desk or cabinet? Toss it out on the patio, and leave it for 15 minutes. The hard plastic softens and relaxes. Drag it to a shady spot before you bring it in. The heat makes it off-gas.
Dry your towels outside. OK, so they are a little stiff, but fabric softener makes towels resist absorbing water, and sun-dried towels smell great and dry you off better. It takes about 30 minutes for towels to dry completely. I once raced the dryer and with a light breeze before Monsoon Season starts (mid-June), the outdoor-dried towels win.
Still have plants in pots? You optimist, you. Starting now and going till September, water them twice a day, before dawn and after the sun is not longer directly on them. They’ll die otherwise, there just isn’t enough water-holding ability in potting soil. And if your plant pots are glazed and dark colors, they won’t make it past June 10. The roots cook if the pots are in the full sun.
While you are out early in the morning (after first light and before full dawn), change the food in the hummingbird feeders. Every day. At that heat, it sours in a day. The birds die quickly from consuming old hummingbird food, as it also grows mold.
Busy day? Core an apple, stuff it with bread drizzled with olive oil, a spoon of honey, a few raisins . Rub with flaxseed oil or olive oil, wrap in foil (shiny side in) and place in box in trunk of car when you leave for work. When you get home, you have a baked apple! (No cream or butter though. Hot car cooking requires some food-poisoning precautions.)
Summers are tinder dry in the area, and brush fires easily get out of hand. The Gladiator fire has scorched 10,000 acres, and the land won’t be able to hold plants for 20 years. Unlike the East Coast, where a fire is good for the forest, our fires destroy landscapes. Please be careful with campfires and don’t play with fireworks, which are legal here. Legal and “good-idea” are two different issues. This fire was started by an unsupervised child.
–Quinn McDonald loves Phoenix any time of year, but not when it’s a dry hate. There is much healing to be done anyplace in the world, but she was called here.