It sounded like a freight train as the wall of water passed overhead and woke me Sunday evening. The ominous storm, akin to Voldemort’s descension from a Harry Potter movie, looked like a scene from a disco, a rhythmic flash pulsing the night sky. The storm unleashed a necessary but ferocious downpour. Thankfully, the soil is now well-saturated, tempering the fire danger, and nitrogen-richer too.
Lightening literally releases nitrogen in the atmosphere and the rain carries it down to the soil where plants can grow. After a good thunderstorm, the grass and trees look more verdant — one of nature’s many awesome gifts. The Sunday storm’s strength was impressive with the pelting of hard rain (and hail?) damaging my veggie starts. Miraculously, the petals on the heads of my poppies withstood the deluge Sunday night.
Summer break is upon us, changing the schedules and rhythms of families across the valley. Camps are mostly filled up for the season, but it never hurts to check with camp organizers to see if there’s been a cancellation. We, for instance, had to cancel a registration for this week’s soccer camp due to a foot injury, opening a slot for some lucky soccer wannabe.
This first true week of summer break for valley kids has them a bit high and dry as they await the opening of the Wagner Memorial Pool, delayed by one week due to the lags in lifeguard hiring and training. Opening is scheduled for Saturday (June 19). Methow Valley Killer Whales will hit the lanes starting Monday (June 21). Meanwhile, the heat wave that came through earlier warmed Pearrygin Lake temperatures to as high as 68 degrees last week, so swimmers have been able to comfortably take a plunge. Patterson Lake also has welcomed some swimmers, but still needs a few hot days to be more inviting.
A trip to the library is a great summer outing and way to get out of the heat. The summer reading program for school-aged children is now open for enrollment. Kids can win prizes as they rack up hours of reading. The Twisp library will be open Tuesday through Saturday this summer from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., with additional hours on Tuesday and Wednesday from 3-7 p.m. All library programs are still virtual this summer and library patrons are asked to continue to wear masks.
Summer feels a bit constrained this year with an earlier start date for school in the fall. But alas, school isn’t starting in the fall — it’s starting Aug. 25, and last I checked that’s still smack dab in the heat of the summer. The reasons for this are many, not the least the threat of poor air quality from fires that has left many to think it may be safer to have the kids inside during these episodes. I guess this is a form of adaptation to climate change.
Adaptation is the theme of our time, so beyond the early start the school district has radically changed its schedule for the coming school year with the inclusion of half-days each Wednesday and a longer mid-February break. After a year of hybrid classes and mask-wearing to school, the kids have shown how adaptable they are. Thanks to our outstanding teachers who chose to go to work, our administration for offering after-care and day care, and community members for staffing after-school programs, our kids had a remarkably fruitful year. We all need the break, however shortened it may be.