Climate change deniers wouldn’t get a lot of sympathy around here right now….. This Summer feels like the hottest and longest one so far…… and we’re not even half way through it. Our house’s capacity to deal with extreme heat was truly tested last Sunday when the temperature reached 44ºC (111ºF) at 5:30PM under our insulated back verandah…. Last time it got remotely this hot was New Year’s day 3 or 4 years ago, can’t be sure. We had friends come over for card games and a beer to escape the heat in their house!
I might have been complaining, but the hottest it got inside was 32ºC, which after all is not a bad effort without any cooling at all, a whole 12º cooler than outside in the shade. I didn’t bother measuring the temperature in the sun, it might’ve melted my plastic thermometer!
As a result, we have bitten the bullet and installed three ceiling fans, one in the lounge where I’m typing, and two in the smaller bedrooms that don’t have the fabulous flow through ventilation available in the master bedroom. Because our raked ceilings make it very difficult to alter the wiring up there, I opted to buy fans with built in light and remote control…. this way, you an remove a light fitting and replace it with the fan/light combo using only the existing wiring. The remote control allows you to switch the fan and light on and off separately and control the fan speed. I first looked online, but the delivery times were more than I could bear, so we swallowed our pride and headed to Bunnings……. where we got a win! Before driving the 40km to get there, I checked their website to see what they had in stock, and it stated that such a fan was available for just $58, which was a steal. I even rang to make sure they were in stock….. however, when we got there, the fans with the remote controls cost $30 more than advertised, and after showing my displeasure, they went half way and sold them to us for $73 each…… and hopefully, they will help selling the house. Even if our energy consumption will go up.
Not only is it hot, it’s dry too. The night of the 44º day we actually got a storm…… but when I checked the rain gauge in the morning, the grass underfoot was dry, and there was barely 3mm in the gauge…. And my prize Zucchini plant that was producing the best fruit ever just keeled over and died. Not from lack of water either, I was really looking after it….. it simply died of heat stroke. I reckon it was so hot that when the rain hit the ground, it just vaporised….
In an attempt to revive those parts of the garden I have stopped watering from lack of water, I reintroduced our chickens in an enormous 16 m² tractor covered with a tarp and shade cloth. I’ve been tossing food scraps, mushroom compost, and hay in there to encourage them to scratch the garden bed to a beautiful humus, and it’s working… but the heat seems to be also affecting egg production with both flocks of ducks and chickens largely stopping laying eggs.
Come the day it actually starts to rain again, the worms will make a comeback, and I’ll be able to plant the bed out again in the soil the chooks made. All worth the effort.
In the meantime……. the forecast is for for 30º plus until who knows when… with 40º plus for the coming weekend. Some long hot Summer….. good thing we’re going for a proper reccie (Aussie speak for reconnaissance) in Tassie mid January… Geeveston beckons more than ever now.