Summer days in SW Idaho get hotter and hotter until 5 or 6pm. But for the past few weeks we've really seen a difference in the length of days. With the shorter days the air starts cooling off by 4pm. Makes it much nicer to do things outside in the afternoons. In July and August I don't want to go outside after work - so no walking or weeding the garden. The heat hits you like an iron frying pan when you walk out the door, and keeps weighing you down until you can barely think. I can just about stand to water the plant pots if they're drooping, then escape back inside. Sounds pretty wimpy, I know, but I did not grow up with 100+ temperatures every summer. I don't care if it's dry or humid, two or three weeks in a row of 98-105 temps, day after day, is not fun.
But that's all over for the year. It's nearly Fall. Cooler nights when you actually *need* the covers, fields full of ground mist in the mornings when we go walking, late summer flowers finally in bloom, my scarlet runner beans *finally* producing beans, huge thunderstorms, noisy V's of geese flying over, Boise's annual Art in the Park festival, not having to wear sunscreen every day...This is my favorite season. Except for Spring and Winter, of course ;-).
We're going camping next weekend up near Stanley. I'm hoping we can find a campsite at Alturas Lake. That's where my sister and I were camping in Sept. 2001 when it snowed on us. I got some beautiful pictures that morning. Fresh, untrampled snow piled on everything, steam rising from the lake, broken clouds wreathing the trees and mountains. You just can't substitute being in the right place at the right time in photography.
It'll be cold in the mountains. That area has already got down to 29F on some nights. But what a great time to go hiking in Idaho. The weather is usually clear, it's cooler, the bugs are dying off, and it's far less crowded. You can't go whitewater rafting anymore, but there's plenty of good walking. We'll probably bring the canoe and paddle around on Lake Alturas, too. It's one of the few in that area that doesn't allow motorized boating, so it stays relatively quiet in the mornings.
Weeded in the garden this morning, and planted 10 new iris. I only ordered two different kinds, but she sent a bunch of others as free bonuses. With all the different names, I made a map of where I planted each kind. Hopefully next year I'll be able to figure out what they're all called.