LOCAL VIEW –Gloomy June–

This is just a quick post to explain why I haven’t posted in so long.

A.) When I find time to write, I have felt attracted to a longer post, which is taking its sweet time to reach a publishable state.

B.) Considering my wife puts up with me, I figured I should put up a screen-house she has wanted for years, (and not the cheap and flimsy version I’ve bought her, from stores, that blows down in a thunderstorms. I thought it would take me only a couple days, but hammers seem to have gotten a lot heavier, and miss the nails a lot more than they used to, but….the project is done, (except for a lot of trim work and painting.)

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Once I clean up my stuff , we can actually sit outside and not be swarmed by mosquitoes and black-flies.

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But there is one small problem. The weather is horrible. The high temperature today was 47° (8° C) with a thick, cold mist driving in from the northeast. Below 50 degrees mosquitoes and black-flies aren’t even active. So my new porch is useless, and a miserable place to sit.

3.) It has been a remarkably wet and cold spring here. The leaves have finally come out, and we have had a few sunny spells and even a single hot day, but then things revert to early April’s weather.  I know it is June because the day gets light at five, but three hours later cars still have their headlights on.

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But teachers haven’t had to deal with unruly children in sweltering classrooms, which is a problem, because they had planned for unruly children in sweltering classrooms, and thought it clever to schedule outside activities.

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At our Childcare we went outside anyway. Something about a boy’s biorhythms simply know it’s June, and they were wild. I had a hard time keeping up with them on a hike. (It was interesting to watch a eight-year-old who had flown up from Texas heat, romping with the rest; I thought he’d be cold, and eventually he was, but mostly he amazed me by joining right in with the laughter and the rambling through wet underbrush.)

Considering how high the sun is, it is uncanny the noon didn’t warm at all today. It’s worth saving a map of the June nor’easter for future reference (and for arguments with Global Warming Alarmists.)

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4.) This sort of weather always makes me introspective. It was actually good therapy to be building a screen house, keeping from withdrawing too deeply, especially because June 6 always makes me introspective as well, thinking of the man I knew who was on Omaha Beach and took a bullet to his heart, but amazingly survived, and of the many who didn’t.  Last year I worked two weeks on my introspections:


This year is no different. Before plunging into summer I withdraw into the past, and walk corridors of history. Hopefully a good post will come from it. Or perhaps at least a half-decent sonnet:

Few things are more dismal than drizzle in June
With the wind from the cold North Atlantic.
The music is dripping; no bird sings a tune;
And wet leaves whip silhouettes frantic.
It’s a cold day, yet I strive to thank it.
A driving mist drenches; nothing is dry.
I put wood in my wood stove, and crank it,
And count my blessings, or at least try
But it is distressing a purple sky’s
Pressing the uplift of June into mud.
Water is stinging my upturning eyes.
This weather’s not stirring my blood
But I’ll sing a sonnet. Old men are wise;
They know black but highlights brightening skies.

Indeed the future looks brighter. Next week I may gripe about the heat!

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12 thoughts on “LOCAL VIEW –Gloomy June–

  1. 47 F = 8 C …. if those temperatures keep up all summer you will qualify for honourary Canadian status 😉
    My dad always said we have 9 months of winter and 3 months of poor sledding.
    Re not hitting the nail – it’s all good as long as you don’t hit the wrong nail. I haven’t done that for decades since some lessons are well learned the first time!!

    • I never hit the wrong nail, but did hit the wood beside the nail a lot, leaving a dent which the old time carpenters would scornfully call either a “Frenchman’s tattoo” or a “Union stamp.”

      I wouldn’t call myself a carpenter, but over the years I worked enough as a “gopher” (the fellow at a job site you make “go for” this and “go for” that) to pick up enough knowledge to be a half decent handyman. But certain muscles haven’t been used much for years, and also I’m just getting old. So now I grunt when I arise from a chair, and walk in a wincing way. (You may be the same way after skiing.)

      Still, I like the sense of accomplishment. I can’t get too smug, because I have friends who really are good carpenters, and who will roll their eyes over certain imperfections. I think, when they visit, I’ll joke, “Can you see ten things wrong with this picture?” The problem is they’ll spot twelve. But the structure is sturdy. (I tend to over-support beams, erring on the side of sturdiness.)

      The rain is still drumming down this morning, but at least the wind has slackened off. It is the North Atlantic and Gulf of Maine that chills us worse. As soon as the wind shifts west everything will change.

      • I have always been totally helpless when it comes to making or fixing things, thus I have the greatest admiration for those that possess your skills.

        Woke up this morning half frozen to death. This is DC, you mind.

        Just took a peek at the latest GFS model run and was very impressed with the unseasonable, persistent cold pattern from Hudson Bay to Greenland. Looks looks like very little ice melting in that region for at least the next couple of weeks.

        There should be lots of summer snow for Greenland, even in southern Greenland.

        That should give the alarmist crowd, including our resident troll, something to chew on. But I am sure they will do their usual song and dance about “Global Weirding”. That 99.9% of scientists and 99.9% of the computer models say that summer blizzards are entirely consistent with catastrophic warming. That we are all going to die, unless we turn over a few trillion dollars to corrupt 3rd world dictators. Also turn in our cars and shut off the electricity.

      • What ruins our summers is when that lobe of cold does not remain over Hudson Bay and Greenland, but develops a maritime extension that loops just far enough south to clip New England with back door cold fronts. You can be sweltering down in Washington as we get cold east winds, and the people who worked long and hard for vacations on the shore sulk along the beaches in sweaters and jeans. However I do recall some great games of monopoly that would never have occurred, if the weather hadn’t been awful.

        Eventually Truth will penetrate the psyches of the Global Warming cult. It is a terrible thing to suffer through such a disillusionment, sort of like a congregation awaking to the fact that the preacher is a swindler and pedophile. The problem then is that, just as bad eggs turned entire congregations against church, entire groups of people likely will be soured on science. People go from being too naive and gullible to being too bitter and cynical, and the backlash throws out the baby with the bathwater. Meanwhile Truth stands there on the sidelines, radiant with beauty, wondering if we’ll ever allow It into the game.

        Besides pointing out the balderdash, I try to remember to point out the beauty as well. This can be difficult, for sometimes I feel I may look like I’m polishing a turd. In fact I’m looking past the turd.

        Anyway, hang in there. You’ll be sweltering before you know it, and then it’s fun to watch people flip-flop in their opinions, going from cursing the cold to praising it……but I suppose folk down in Washington are always skilled, when it comes to flip-flopping.

  2. I’m in catch-up at the moment but I’m familiar with the “Frenchman’s tattoo”, I’m now going to have to use my very limited French to find out how it is known in Limousin. I suspect it will have to do with the English.
    Whilst in the UK on grandparent duty during school holidays my son who is in the car body repair business told me about an apprentice wild goose chase at one of the Car Dealers. With the rise of elctric/hybrid cars the favourite tricks to play on the green behind the ears apprentices is to send them looking for 12V 30W oil for hybrid cars.

    We got back to weather more typical of April than June, so we’re sharing the gloom here. Yesterday snow was forecast in the higher Alps.

    • I’ve heard that in France a “French kiss” is called an “English kiss.”

      In the US Navy they’d send the apprentice off to get a “water hammer.”

      The sun has finally come out here, and people are far more grateful for an ordinary day than usual. Perhaps that is what bad weather is for: To make us count our blessings.

  3. And here in SH, NZ. winter started a month early after a cool summer. Sweet Potatoes (Kumara), a warm-climate crop, grew poorly, and are dear. Snow is looking good for the ski season, starting this weekend. We have had a lot of rain from the north and south, but also clear sunny spells with cold south breezes, like today. Media and academia are still prostituted……. But we keep working on that.

    • My wife and daughters are big fans of the sweet potato. Apparently it cures every ailment known to man. (I think this was discovered by a scientist working for sweet potato farmers.) (Now the ordinary potato farmers are hiring a scientist to prove sweet potatoes cause cancer, I imagine.) I’ve tried growing them, but no luck; too cold in New Hampshire, unless you like sweet potatoes as thin as string beans. Kale, which also cures every ailment known to man, I have better luck with. The funny thing is that my daughters loathed Kale, when young.

      Keep your eyes open for a loopy jet stream. That fits in with the “Quiet Sun” hypothesis. In a best case scenario (unless you operate a ski area) it might give you some warm breaks in the winter, (but also some Antarctic blasts.)


      • In Scots dialect a kitchen garden is a Kailyard (might be two words). In this case I think it refers to cabbage rather than kale But these days it might be more accurate as Kale Yard!

      • One word. The Kailyard school of writing was very sentimental and avoided courser topics, in some ways attempting to raise public opinion of Scots, but also resulting in a backlash by those who considered it sentimental slop.

        Root of Kale was “Cole”, apparently Roman and perhaps Greek, meaning “cabbage” and before that “stem.” Seen in the word “kohlrabi.”

        I just discovered all this, researching “Kailyard.” Apparently it can also be translated “Cabbage Patch.” So those idiot dolls that were so insanely popular for a while could be called “Kailyard Dolls.”


    • “Ice dams” have always been a problem on the north side of my house. I’ve used snow rakes and various sorts of heater wires, but what I recently discovered was large tablets (the size of a hockey puck) of a salt-like substance that doesn’t kill your plants or eat away your roof. You stick them up on the roof and they melt the ice dams. Of course, this really is unnecessary because we have been told by wise scientists that “our grandchildren will not know what snow looks like.” (sarc)

      That’s a good April Fools news item, though I don’t think it would have suckered me. The one that completely fooled me (because I came across it weeks later) involved melting sea-ice drifting polar bears down to the north coast of Scotland, and a bear on the loose in a coastal resort. The joke worked so well the first time (2012?) that they did it again in 2017.

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