Drought in the Midwest

I could say the whole place looks like this and I’d only be exaggerating slightly.

As I watch the Olympians over in London, England contend with the cool weather, cloudy skies, and occasional rain shower, I can’t help but feel for them.

Feel envy, that is.

If you don’t live in the Midwestern United States and don’t watch the news, we have been in the midst of a heatwave and terrible drought  for more than two months. My entire home state of Missouri has been declared a natural disaster area and the government is working to scrape together some relief funds for the farmers. Corn crops have already been lost entirely, soybeans will follow soon after, and production in local dairies like the Shatto Milk Company has been severely impacted.

That, and it is just fucking hot.

Out of the Frying Pan by Alex Ryan Rhoades

I made this image four years ago in protest of winter, but it seems more appropriate right now…

Temperatures here in Kansas City have been in the 100s for 18 days this summer, and high 90s most of the rest of the time. The average 24-hour temperature for July was 85.4, which basically means that the mercury barely dips below 80…even at night. To call the last two months miserable would be something of an understatement. But I knew we would pay for an unusually mild winter and pleasant spring, and pay we have.

I hate winter. It’s grey and cold and unpleasant. Women put on far too much clothing. Everything is dead or dormant and while a lot of other mammals have the good sense to hibernate during this time, we foolish humans soldier on and try our best to get to work or school despite the foot of snow on the ground. But I’m beginning to hate this summer for all the same reasons. The grass everywhere but in the yards of the supremely dedicated is brown. Trees are still mostly green, but some are starting to drop their leaves as they throw in the towel on 2012. Doing anything outside is an invitation to heatstroke. We have surrendered the outdoors to the cicadas, whose yearly buzzing – usually a touchstone symbolizing that summer is in full swing – seems more like a dirge.

And, if the meteorologists are to be believed, it’s not going to change any time soon. The weather pattern is set up for August to deliver more heat and no more rain.

So for now, I let my AC run and run…and dream of London. Not because I’ve always yearned to visit the heart of the United Kingdom, but because their cloudy skies, green fields, and 70-degree weather looks positively orgasmic. Of course, there is always another perspective.

The Tower Bridge

I want to claw through the screen and get there.

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