Was That the Best August Ever or What?
by Heidi Sonen and Roscoe Shaw
That was the question a friend threw at Heidi and me on the last day of August. It was tough to disagree with her assessment. With an average high of 84 degrees and a high temperature of just 93, the month was cooler than normal, which most of us enjoy in the Virginia summer. Rainfall was consistent but not excessive, and that kept everything green at a time when the landscape is often brown.
Actually, the entire summer was nice once we got over the nasty derecho and early July heat wave. But we all have our own idea of what nice weather is, so you can never get agreement on these things.
The biggest complaint I heard in August was bugs, bugs, bugs! Although we claim no expertise in entomology (study of bugs), it seems a no-brainer that the lack of any real cold winter weather followed by a warm spring and humid summer gave us an extraordinary crop of annoying critters.
Fleas seem to be the worst of it. Our neighbors got infested so bad with their dogs that they bombed the house and apparently left town. We haven’t seen them since. Our dog is named Dirtbag, but we are thinking of changing it to Fleabag. He picked up the super-fleas and spent his 13th birthday getting three flea baths and being banished to the shed. This happened despite treating him with Frontline, special Avon sprays, hypnosis, baking soda, garlic cloves, love, threats, a fire hose and an embarrassing haircut.
Ticks are less annoying but more dangerous. We know several folks who came down with Lyme disease, which is a remarkably pesky and draining experience. Lyme used to be fairly rare here but it is spreading more and more around the country.
If that’s enough, how about those trombiculidae? Pardon the Frank Zappa grammar, but us regular folks call them chiggers. They are so small as to be nearly invisible and they don’t actually bite you. Basically, they vomit on you and that loosens up your skin and they eat it. Lovely thought.
The good news is that stink bugs went back outside for the summer. Unfortunately, I’m sure during the first cold snap, like a scary Hitchcock movie, they will be prying every crack in your windows and doors to get inside.
There is hope, though. September is generally a very nice month here and then maybe we’ll get a good hard freeze this winter to teach those bugs a lesson. Although last winter was warm, that has no bearing on this winter. Despite what people seem to think, the records show that winters around here are just as cold as back in the good ol’ days.
Rainfall Recap for August
- Crozet 5.01”
- White Hall 3.67”
- Nellysford 3.92”
- Waynesboro 6.12”
- Afton summit 7.49”
- Charlottesville Airport 4.90”
- U.Va. 6.87”