You know how hot it is by the way you worry about your worms.

I don’t really suffer much in triple-digit heat. It’s a very strange anomaly for May, but I work in air conditioning and have a comfortable car and home, so I’m not really bothered too much, but I realized yesterday that my small close-to-me circle of concern does involve heat-related responsibilities well beyond my personal comfort.

We try to conserve our water usage, but when it’s above 100° we still have to keep the garden alive, so we are out there hand watering potted plants and giving even parched succulents a short drink. I have strawberry plants I need to get in the ground and I’m questioning that we’ll even be able to get them taken care of this weekend. I’m giving their little bare roots therapeutic sips of nourishment as I can, but they need soil soon.

Then there are the animals. Darwin isn’t bothered by this heat. He’s active and comfortable under these high heat conditions. But Zena is sapped, the birds have stayed in the trees and only come down in the early morning or late afternoon, and even the squirrels are quiet.

I know how hot it is when I’m caught worrying about how to keep my worms alive!

I was at work when it dawned on me that I couldn’t be sure the worms weren’t suffering. I came home to give them a drink and make sure they weren’t cooking in their plastic bin.

photo 1

Just the other day I harvested a wonderful large bag of beautifully dark and nutrient-rich worm castings, and don’t tell anyone, but I’ve had to bring that little bag indoors to keep it cool enough to use later this weekend. Left outdoors it will just dry up. No family, it isn’t in the refrigerator or anywhere near your food.

 

This morning I heard that reports of San Diego County’s wildfires have made the international news. I’m not too surprised.  Although these areas have burned in the past, each time it is a new and terrible experience for those who are directly affected.

At the moment there are more than a dozen devastating wildfires, and as long as there are crazy arsonists determined to take advantage of high temperature, dry conditions, there is anxiety in the air.

Earlier this week I passed a multiple-engine fire vehicle convoy, no sirens, but lights flashing, as Los Angeles County units were on their way 100 miles south to assist in fire containment efforts. There is hope that today overall fire conditions will improve, and that progress will be made on the fire lines.

San Diego is a very large county and these fires are certainly not downtown, but I happen to have some photos of the mixed architecture that gives this lovely city some of its charm, and I thought you might at least enjoy a quick peek.

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It’s a beautiful and vibrant city, and I think the city planners have done an excellent job of utilizing old historic buildings and blending modern efficiencies with a strong nod to historicity.

I don’t know what our weekend is really going to look like. I am deliberately keeping my options open.

Will I be out in the garden spreading my worm compost and planting strawberries?

Will I be sitting on the patio under the oak tree trying to keep cool but looking for my backyard bird friends?

Will we just throw a party and have the family over for a BBQ and pretend it’s August?

Or will I go to the coast, which frankly hasn’t been much cooler but always feels like it is, and just enjoy my favorite escapes. I’ll be breathing lighter whatever I do, but I think a little ocean-viewing time is definitely at the top of my list.

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I feel cooler already!

I hope you’ll find your own breathing lighter moments this weekend. And I will look forward to hearing all about your personal weekend “exhales.”

I do love weekends!

59 thoughts on “You know how hot it is by the way you worry about your worms.

  1. I won’t comment on your worms… But will say I loved that picture of your beach chair! And I learned a new word courtesy of Debra: historicity. It even passes spell check. Lol

    We had a small brush fire just south of me in the not-so-wet wetlands. Dried grass burned then embers caught palm trees surrounding shopping plazas on fire with the 30 mph wind gusts.

    I hope Zena will weather the heat well… It’s supposed to only be in the high 90’s today! Enjoy the shade!

  2. Ah, the joys and concerns of vermiculture. I get all excited when we turn up the compost pile and big, juicy worms emerge. Instant soil tillers and replenishers, they slither into the garden beds. My cousin, who used to torture us with worms as children, would be shocked to know how much I appreciate the little squigglers now. Good for you, Debra, and your care of your worms.

    We’ve been watching the news on the fires, hoping for their end, praying for the homeowners and all those fire fighters.

    I love San Diego. My dad was stationed there in the war and he and my mom held a dream of moving there. It never happened, but, when my own little family had the opportunity to spend some time there, my mom called me every day wanting to know what we were doing, where we were that day. She took the train out there from Chicago, toward the end of the war, and I have some charming photos of them in San Diego.

    Unseasonably cold here and rainy. We can’t get our vegetable plants in, either, but, for such very different temperatures, and a very busy weekend planned with a wedding shower and a double graduation. Fun. Stay cool, dear friend.

  3. I am always amazed that the differences from coast to coast. Here on the east coast it is rainy and in the high 60s with 100% humidity. I’m not complaining because it’s better than what we had in April but I would enjoy a few more days in the 80s (which we did have earlier in the week). Keep your worms safe. When I turn the soil over the robins are usually sitting there waiting to feast on those fat luscious worms.

    1. I have some nice juicy worms in that bin, Kate, and your Robins would have a feast! These high temperatures are a complete aberration, but when it comes to climatic conditions, the whole world seems to be off-kilter. A few times this week I was tempted to complain and I just shut my mouth! After the photos and stories I saw all winter from your part of the country I didn’t dare whine about high heat! LOL! Enjoy your weekend, my friend. I’m sure you will!

      1. I feel the same way. If I post one more story on the weather, readers will flee! Fortunately, I am so grateful that it’s above freezing that it’s ok. Today is lovely — sunny but cool with a high of 70. You are right, the weather is really off-kilter.

  4. virginiahildreth

    Good looking worms!! And good worm “stewardship” on your part…! As always, your pics give me a tinge of place-sickness (as opposed to home sickness). I’m breathing deeper, thanks.

    1. V, I love the term “place-sickness.” That’s perfect, and I know exactly what you mean. I think the worms are going to be okay after all…but those strawberries need to get in the ground. Maybe I’ll plant them and give them a little umbrella for a few days. 🙂 Hope you have a good weekend, my friend.

  5. Uhh… what are the worms for? Loved the pictures of San diego – I want to visit the lucky bastard saloon. Just to meet one in the flesh 🙂 I mist admit I’d be more tempted by the beach chair and the beach volley games (as a spectator, huh…) than spreading worm poo around my garden. Whichever you choose, have a lovely weekend (and don’t text whilst you’re walking, hey…).

    1. Hahahaha! I guess worm “farming” isn’t for everyone! The worm castings are really good for the soil, and I amend the soil with it. I basically started this to teach my granddaughters about the habits of the worms and what they contribute. We feed the worms our fruit and vegetable peelings, and it’s kind of fun to watch them do their work. Then the heat—and I try not to lose them. And NO texting or even talking on a phone when I’m walking. hahaha! You’re on to my foibles! 🙂

    1. This heat is really crazy, but it is slightly cooler today. This can’t last! LOL! The firesafe very sad, and we are really early in fire season. Big concern for the summer! But we are fine, and my whole effort is directed to just keep the animals safe and not lose all my early spring garden! We’ll do the best we can! Wishing you a good weekend, Amy. 🙂

    1. Oh, I’d love to know more about how you celebrate Victoria Day. If you’ve already had a day of celebrating, you’re well on your way to a good weekend! I hope the “unpromising” weather doesn’t include more snow! It would be fun to change places for a day and see how we tolerate the other’s climate! 🙂

  6. I hope that your worms don’t get heat stroke, Debra. Glad you’re looking out of the birds so they can have a bath. Give Zena plenty of ice cubes ~ and maybe she’ll help you plant the strawberries.

    We had a “cool” day today ~ mid 70’s. Unheard of in May unless it’s raining. We celebrated by going to a U-Pick farm to pick a big bucket of tomatoes ~ 50+ tomatoes for $2! I’m in summer heaven! We also bought pre-picked butternut squash, cantaloupe, zucchini, red peppers, sweet potatoes. Summer’s grand!

    1. Oh I would love the time at the U-Pick farm! That sounds like a perfect day to me. We never have heat this high in May, and in fact, we typically have a thick two-month marine layer we call May-gray or June-gloom! It’s almost like the whole country is playing a weather game and we’ve all changed places. 🙂 I keep checking on the poor worms, and hope they’re going to be ok! And tonight Zena walked thigh-high into the backyard pond. She’s never done that before–she made a mess, but she knew what she needed, I guess! I never thought of ice cubes! I’m going to try that! Sounds like you’re well on your way to a great weekend! 🙂

  7. My next door neighbours tried to open a business of organic fertilizer with worms (californian red worms, I think), but it fail because nobody buys that here and they had to close it down (they should have done a marketing study first…). So, they keep what was left after a plague in a plastic box at their back yard, I dont know if theres any alive by today, and I dont worry much (yet) because theres a big wall in between.
    Right now is the heavy heat season here, but strangely there has been night rains in the past days, so the weather has cooled down, luckily.
    I saw the fire whirlwind on the news and then in video, must be terrible with all the fires, does it smell smoke?
    Ive been in the San Diego area, I went like 20 years ago, I liked it. I have some relatives I never speak to living there, they have an apartment next to Horton plaza.
    I went to Coronado beach but didnt like it, water was cold (obviously…) and there was a lot of seaweeds.
    Nice Photos, Have a relaxing weekend.

    1. I love Coronado, but it’s true, our ocean temperatures are lower than in many places! When we visited Florida I just couldn’t believe how warm the water was. It was great! We don’t smell the smoke, but you can see the particulates in the air and even though we are 100 miles from the fires, all day they’ve encouraged people to stay indoors in air conditioning and to limit outdoor activity. The air quality is hazardous to anyone with asthma or respiratory illness. You gave me a chuckle about your neighbors worm industry! The worm castings are so rich and wonderful for the garden, but you do need to take care of the worms! And this time of year, it really is a little tricky! They are trapped in a heat box if I’m not careful! I hope you have a good weekend. I’m a little jealous of your rains. 🙂

  8. Ugh – triple digits! I have a bad feeling those hot summer temps will be visited upon us all too soon. Here, summer heat is usually compounded with humidity, which is really icky. Hope you have a lovely weekend!

    1. This summer heat in May is just crazy!Typically we have a two-month phenomena of almost no sunshine until mid-afernoon. There is a big marine layer that just sits over us until the afternoon sun sets beneath the cloud cover. We even have terms: May gray and June gloom! Oh well…after watching the rest of country suffer all winter, you won’t really hear me saying too much. I don’t think I’d dare. LOL! It will be a good weekend, I’m sure, and I hope you can continue to get the rest that you need. Enjoy the short window before your summer heat is upon you! 🙂

  9. It’s always almost incomprehensible to think of arsonists setting fire to their own country. I think they might be the criminals I hate most … San Diego looks like an absolutely lovely city – unless your shots of it are deliberately omitting a seamier side ? 😉 And yes, one tends not to think of people’s worm-farms in heat – of which we have a plethora during summer, down here. Lovely post, really – so informative and interesting ! Thank you for it,even if the heat’s getting to you, Debra …

    1. I think the last several really bad Southern California wildfires have either started with deliberate arson or ridiculously careless behaviors that still qualify as a criminal offense. It really is such a tragedy for those who have lost everything, and there has been one fatality thus far. Just dreadful! And yes, San Diego is really lovely and I only had these few photos in my possession. We will undoubtedly be visiting again this summer and I will hopefully be able to share some of the little pockets I find most enjoyable. It did cool off a bit today, and I was most grateful! I hope you have a very lovely weekend, Margeret. 🙂

      1. I shall, if you will call me ‘M-R’. 🙂 You see, my first name is a double one – I always tell people “Like Anne Marie !” and then they get it. Gorgeous autumn Sydney weather; and I am NO sorry to be leaving summer behind. More pic.s of San Diego would be only welcome.

    2. Begging your pardon…Margaret ROSE! What a lovely name. I’d use the whole of it, too. 🙂 I just went over and spent a few minutes on your lovely blog. I am really impressed with your book and will definitely want to know more! I’m delighted!

  10. A beach visit would probably be at the top of Zena’s list too! 😉 I wish we could send dome of our rain your way. Isn’t it crazy?… Parts of Serbia, Bosnia and Austria are under water with severe rainfall – more in a single day than ever recorded before. Those poor people are in the same situation as many near you who fear losing their homes to fire. Whatever you do this weekend, I hope it’s fun and relaxing, and involves something cool, be it seawater or an ice cold drink! 😉

    1. I have been hearing about the flooding in Bosnia and Serbia. I didn’t hear Austria referenced, but from what we’re hearing, the death toll and the overall conditions are just horrific! It’s almost hard for me to imagine flooding. I see pictures and I feel like I’m looking at the moon! But how really terrible. Our temperatures have cooled enough to be very tolerable, and I’m certain this next week will be more in line with what we typically expect. We’re having a very nice weekend. I hope you are, too, Cathy! 🙂

    1. We opted to stay home and not overdo it, Jim! Lots of sitting and just thinking about the things we could accomplish! LOL! No work! We decided it was probable that everyone else had gone to the coast and we’d never find a place to park. We have plans to be at the ocean next weekend to meet family visiting at staying at the ocean…hope the weather doesn’t suddenly decide to grow cold! 🙂

  11. I lived in San Diego in 1972 – 73 and worked at UCSD when it was in its infancy. San Diego, though beautiful, was a bit of a strange town back then. Kern County fire fighters are down there also, helping out. it is a great thing that they can support each other across the state. They will be busy this summer, I fear and have my greatest admiration, always. Thanks for this great post, I hope my comment will stick.

    1. Yes, Inger! Your comment was not in the Spam folder. 🙂 I think you are certainly correct in your prediction that the firefighters are going to be busy this summer. One of our good friends is a fire captain, and probably because of him, I always think first of the families that wait for days during these wildfires, not knowing if their partners are going to be safe. I hope you are doing well, my friend. This week’s heat was really something wasn’t it? And I saw on your blog the work you’ve been doing. Let’s hope we get a break this week. 🙂

  12. I didn’t realise it’s that hot in LA at the moment. It must be super-hot to be taking drastic measures with your worms! We’re having a final burst of summer in Sydney at the moment which is most unusual for this time of year. It was 25C yesterday (77F) and that night we had a dinner party and we sat outside on the verandah and we didn’t even need to turn on the gas heaters. Wonderful and long may it last! xx

    1. Your summer evening outdoor gathering sounds so lovely! I am like you with really appreciating long summers. I don’t personally suffer very much in the heat. I feel better in warm weather and only have a little extra work to do caring for my wildlife. LOL! Worms, included. 🙂 This week’s heat was truly unusual and unanticipated, and by today, somewhat cooler. One thing we surely can’t control–the weather. I hope you have had a wonderful weekend, Charlie. And for you, I do hope summer lingers as long as possible. ox

  13. Oh dear, I hope the worms are doing well, I didn’t even think to check on the worms at school! Normally, I like to head to the coast as well when the heat gets this unbearable, but not this time it was stifling there too–although if I did go I probably would have dove in the Pacific for the first time!

    1. We were down in San Pedro the other day, where it is typically at least 10 degrees cooler than Pasadena, and I think it felt hotter! The coast didn’t seem to offer much respite, that’s for sure. But didn’t the weekend end up being nice? Whew! And the poor worms. I did lose some, and I felt so miserable about that. They were never in direct sun, but they still just got too hot. I think I still have a lot to learn about vermiculture! I do hope you have a good week, Cristine. 🙂

  14. dandyknife

    You’re right to be concerned for your worms. E.g. has told me the story of keeping a foam-cooler vermiposter in the cabinet under the kitchen sink when she lived in an apartment, and unusually warm weather sending the wormies to the soil surface. They had crawled partway over the kitchen floor before she discovered them. Funny, she’s never tried vermiposting since.

    Am achey but breathing lighter this morning, having pulled bucketsful of weeds and planted or transplanted a few perennials in time for several days of lovely rain which started last night — just as soon as we were done our first barbecue supper of the season!

    1. Oh dear…escaping worms! I can see how that might discourage E.g. and it would me, too, if they were indoors! I hope you had an opportunity to rest your achey bones a bit this weekend. It sounds like you have been very busy in the garden. And oh do we need some of your rain! I finally planted my bare root strawberries this weekend, and I’m really concerned that keeping them well irrigated is going to be a big effort. Enjoy your week, m friend. Whatever the weather, right? 🙂

  15. Anonymous

    When the heat gets so high, your worms can suffer, and the results are not pretty. When the next heat wave hits, try and find to find some extra shade for your bin (black bins can really heat up when the sun hits). I’ve resorted to beach umbrellas upon occasion!

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and making some suggestions regarding the worm bin. I must admit that I did lose some, and I felt so badly! The bin wasn’t in direct sun, but the heat was so high I feel like they actually cooked. It never occurred to me that the temperature would get so high as to raise the internal temperature so dramatically. I have moved the bin under a very large oak tree, and I think that will really help. I will have to really be much more active in taking care of these little creatures. Thank you for caring.

  16. It’s the first time I have heard concerns about worms, but then I usually stay in cities with plenty of rain and thus no problems for worms to survive. 100 seems a little warm when you are in place where a good summer temperature is around 70… I hope the wildfires will soon be under control and extinguished. Wish you all the best.

    1. Thank you, Otto. This recent heatwave was so untypical. It was enough cooler this weekend for us to still enjoy being outdoors, and not experience any extremes. I hope you enjoy your week, my friend.

  17. I definitely think the ocean should be your number one choice, Deb! I would be there if I had the chance, your photos make it look so tempting and beautiful!! I’m so sorry to hear you’ve had those awful fires and another heat wave. I remember thinking it felt like an oven when we were there. I can’t believe people are such idiots and would start fires.. I assume when caught they are charged, fined and go to jail?? Keep cool… xx

    1. I think you said you were in Palm Springs? Wowie! That had to be an oven. 🙂 Have you ever visited PS in the summer? Many people enjoy that dry desert heat, but it’s too much for me, yet we do visit occasionally. We were very fortunate that the temperatures dropped considerably this weekend. It was much nicer. And yes, arsonists definitely go to prison, if convicted. It’s a very serious crime, even if lives aren’t lost. Two young men were just convicted last week for a carelessly set wildfire. They were not trying to start the fire, yet will go to prison because of their negligence. Much more so if it is a deliberately set fire! Have a good week, Smidge. I do hope you will! 🙂

  18. Hello Debra, we too had extremely hot couple of days here in Santa Barbara, and for us its wonderful because we can sit outside after sunset. San Diego is beautiful and you are right the city planners did do a wonderful job to preserve the historic buildings. Thank you for the great photos and hope you are having a lovely weekend 🙂
    Cheers,
    J+C

    1. Thank you very much for stopping by, Judit & Corina. I wonder if you first found my blog because I speak highly and often about my love for Santa Barbara. 🙂 I may not be able to live in your beautiful city, but I visit as often as possible. I find your site absolutely lovely and inviting and I hope to spend much more time becoming familiar. We did have a very nice weekend, and I hope you did, also. 🙂 Debra

  19. i’ll be the contrarian, thus cheers the worm castings. Hope you realize that composting by worms can be done at home, and a fun activity with your granddaughters. Are the San Diego fires earlier than normal?

    1. Yes, the worm composting is great, and my bin is at home, Frank. I started about a year ago so I could teach my granddaughters about this composting method. Of course, I didn’t want to teach them about how to cook them alive–poor things. Yes, the fires are early, although I think under mega-drought conditions the prediction is that fire season is going to be year-round. There are emergency measures being enacted for additional fire funding, and honestly, it’s really quite dire. It’s cooler today, and that feels better, but in reality, we need lots of rain. We’ll have to see!

  20. You might just be the kindest person I’ve ever known; so preoccupied by the welfare of your worms to rush home from work? 🙂

    Hope your weekend was a bit cooler, and that Zena is more comfortable! I finally made it home to Vegas after 3 very long days on the road. The condo was a tad warmish, what with the AC being off since we left back at the end of February. 🙂

  21. I hope you got out to the coast Debra. I can’t believe how hot it is out there! We’re still not warming up here. I’m glad your worms all seemed to be doing well. And I enjoyed the slideshow. San Diego is probably my favorite city in CA. 🙂

  22. It’s interesting to hear your thoughts about the weather – it’s Monday now and it sounds like things have cooled off a little bit there. Thank goodness for air conditioning!

  23. Tom McCubbin

    Santa Cruz was 100 this past week too. Too much for me. I laid low and drank a couple of root beer floats. The beach was too crowded…and hot as blazes…Glad to hear your worms are doing well!

  24. It is almost ironic, nature is. The floods right now in Serbia are so disastrous, yet fires near you – stay safe my friend! I wish nature would even out and it probably would, if it weren’t for us humans :/
    I am happy though that your worms are well!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  25. We happened to be working outside that hot week. It was brutal! I was sweating like a sinner inside the church. It was anomaly, indeed. Glad temp is coming down. I wouldn’t celebrate though. I knew all along summer is gonna be the hottest as it proved that week.

  26. doing life in triple digit temperature, never easy…love your Zena! i’m so delighted that Rommel featured this post or i would have missed your last ocean photo slides. those were all beautiful, as all your other photographs. may you have a wonderful and cooler September. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Sun. I am so glad you stopped by, and Rommel is very generous in featuring other bloggers, isn’t he? I am definitely looking forward to cooler fall temperatures. And Zena appreciates the kind words, too. 🙂

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