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As predicted, the weather has really warmed up now and it is HOT! But it’s going to get even hotter. Next Sunday is my birthday and it is going to be a doozy. I remember my Daddy telling me that the summer I was born was the hottest they had seen in a long time. He searched all over the stores nearby and finally found a window air-conditioning unit in Fayetteville (the city where I was born). This was in the early days of Air-Conditioning. He installed it in my mother’s hospital room and she said she never had to worry about having a nurse come in because they all liked to hang out in her room! I looked it up in The Old Farmer’s Almanac website (link here) and the high temperature on June 27th of that year was 104.4 degrees. It doesn’t say what the humidity level was, but I imagine for North Carolina at that time of year, it was pretty high. Needless to say, I came into this world experiencing the heat of the South! Below is a screenshot of our forecast here in Yakima for the next couple of weeks.


As hot as it’s going to be here in Yakima, we are prepared for it as we usually have very hot weather in the summer. Seattle, on the other hand, usually has very mild summers. They are not prepared for 98 and 97 degree weather, which is what’s forecast for them on this coming Sunday and Monday. A lot of homes in Seattle do not have any air conditioning, or have only a window unit. When it turns hot over there, they really suffer. They have my sympathies.

Out in our yard and the garden things seem to be at a standstill. Some of the flowers have had their first blush of blooms and are now working on getting a second blooming going. I have seen a few hummingbirds briefly this past week. Their favorite flower in the yard, the pink Penstemon, still has blooms so that’s where I have been seeing them. I have seen a couple go to the feeder on the front porch, and I caught a brief video of one.

Pink Penstemon

I went on a quest this week to find another Penstemon plant, since that seems to be the hummingbird favorite. I had to go to several places before I found one. When I went to Lowe’s and asked if they had any Penstemons, the lady did not know what plant that was. As soon as she Googled it and saw that it was also called a Beard Tongue, she knew immediately what it was. I finally found several at our one and only local nursery, Roots (link here). I got the one plant that was best for part-sun, part-shade, named Pike’s Peak Purple. As the name implies, it has purple flowers, although the one I got is small and doesn’t have any flowers yet. Here is a picture of it below. The small fence is around it to keep Summer Girl (and me) from stepping on it.

Pike’s Peak Purple Penstemon (say that fast three times)

Our variegated agave plant bloomed last week and I managed to get a pretty good shot of it. We bought this plant over in Tacoma and weren’t sure it would do well in Yakima, since our climate is so different from Tacoma’s. But it has done very well and has put out a bloom for the past few years.

Agave Plant

My butterfly bush looks very pretty this year. I usually cut it back to knee-high in the fall, but last year I decided not to do that. This year it came out much earlier than it used to, and it has a ton of blooms on it. I have seen several Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies on it recently.

The video below does not have a thumbnail picture on it because I got tired of waiting for the HD version of it to process on YouTube. Have any of my fellow bloggers noticed that uploading YouTube videos takes way longer than it recently used to? Or is it just me…


The past couple of weeks have probably been the best as far as the looks of our flowers. When the really hot weather hits them, they usually look droopy or brown around the edges. We’ve had some lovely flowers on our Peeber Rose, and they smell so sweet ( just like she was).

The Peeber Rose (named after Precious Baby, aka Peeber, our kitty who is no longer with us)

One of the Dad Roses, the white one, has really been busy putting out the flowers for us to enjoy. This rose sits right outside our Living Room window. Sometimes I think I need to wear shades because it is so bright with all those white blooms.

The Dad Rose, white edition

On the bird front (other than hummers), we still have the usual suspects. The colorful Goldfinches and Scrub Jays still frequent the feeder in front. The male House Finches are sporting unusually vivid red colors, which I suppose is their breeding outfit.

We are still getting Quail under our feeders, but I still haven’t seen any babies. I don’t know if they haven’t had them yet, or if they just don’t bring them to our yard anymore. At least we are still having the occasional adult couple come to visit.


Summer Girl spends most of her time outside right now, although she does occasionally come inside to sprawl out on the cool floor. She has no aversion to sprawling out on the dirt, though. Thus her nickname “Pigpen”.

Join me every Wednesday (barring any unforeseen circumstances) for more from the Southerner in the Northwest.

Published by Peg

In 2007, my partner and I decided to pull up stakes from North Carolina, where I had lived all my life, and move to the Pacific Northwest to be closer to her family. When I retired, I decided to write a blog because I had always wanted to be a writer, but somehow never found the time for it while I was working. I figured that writing a blog would give me the chance to share my thoughts with others, and also combine my interest in writing and photography in one place.

6 thoughts on “HEAT IS HERE

  1. Where did you get all that pine straw? Are there Pine trees nearby? You probably know that the Southern way to mulch our gardens is with pine straw, so fragrant in hot afternoon sun. We have one pine tree all but straddling the back fence — it’s on the neighbor’s side — so whatever falls on my side is mine, usually just enough for the herb garden.

    I loved watching your quail scratch in the dirt, just like the back yard chickens on our place in Pensacola long ago. Occasionally I spy a couple strutting about under the spruce tree on the “back forty.”

    Thanks for the tip about Penstemon. Haven’t been out to Roots in ages — well, since the pandemic began. But, with over a week of triple digits, I guess I’ll just stay at home!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I got my straw at Country Farm & Garden Center on Washington Ave. I’m pretty sure it’s not pine straw, looks more like hay but the sales lady called it straw and said there were NO seeds in it. I didn’t see any when I laid it down in the garden. You are lucky you can get pine straw, and free at that!
      We love our quail too. They used to bring their babies here, but haven’t the last couple years. They are sooooo cute!
      We’ve been going to the Roots Nursery (used to be Russell’s, I think) ever since we moved here, they have a great selection, and also the fruit stand next door.
      The next 2 weeks are going to be rough. We are going to be inside for the duration!


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