Tag: golf ball size hail

July 2023 Wrap-Up

Busy Month

Some months are so full that a daily log could fill the pages of a manuscript and July 2023 was such a month. Thunderstorms, hail and rain have finally given way to the dry heat and southwesterly winds that are more typical of this time of year. Unfortunately, not before compromising some of the grain harvests of the Great Plains.

July 2023 In the Garden

Two inch in diameter hail stones from July 2023 storm The wonky weather has also affected my home garden. One of the two-inch pieces of hail took out an entire potato plant and knocked off some green tomatoes. And many blossoms. The cold rains of the first three weeks of the month gave great moisture to the ground and we are no longer in a drought. However, crops are taking their time ripening.

So far only the patio tomatoes have turned red. A handful of beets and cucumbers have been harvested and just one eggplant has been picked. But plenty of blossoms signal a productive month ahead even if the drip systems need to run.

Furthermore, the herbs are the most prolific I have ever seen. I could participate in a Farmer’s Market if I had a license to sell herbs. The dill has benefited from both robins and humans picking off the caterpillars of the swallowtail butterflies. In turn, chickens enjoyed both the insects and the small pieces of dill mixed in with other grasses as a supplement to their regular diet.

Parsley, sage and horehound are all thriving. And a new book added to the library contains great recipes for these and other herbs in the garden. Look for the Homegrown Herbs book review coming in August.

In the Library

July 2023 was a great month for reading as the heavy rains of the first part of the month and the triple-digit heat of the last few days kept me inside. In addition to five books reviewed on Econogal, three more are already slated for posting. These include books from the Cañon City trip.

I continue to look for new authors or new-to-me writers as I visit the library and make the occasional trip to a bookstore. It is so hard to get a foothold in the industry that I want to review as many new individuals as I can.

Major Events for July 2023

The Fourth of July is a favorite holiday and we travelled to see family. Good food accompanied the pleasant daytime weather. But a major thunderstorm rained out the fireworks. Other trips included visits to Colorado mountain towns of Cañon City and Vail. Both quick overnight stays tied to business. But the mountain scenery fills me with peace.

A weekend trip to celebrate the youngest family member turning one also involved an evening thunderstorm-certainly a recurring theme for July 2023. But the afternoon of the party was sun-filled. Perfect for little ones to play in the water.

Economic Thoughts

Little evidence of a recession still holds true from my observations. Prices are still high so I wasn’t surprised by the additional rate hike from the Federal Reserve. Yet, employment and growth are evident in my little town. New businesses continue to open and/or are under construction. The job opportunities are mostly retail and construction. The hailstorms will ensure work for roofers through the fall.

The housing market remains tight in our part of the world-if the price tag reflects the market. It is hard to tell if a new equilibrium has been established, but sellers no longer have buyers over a barrel. And so far, fire sales and foreclosures are not the norm. A healthy market is welcomed.

July 2023 Wrap-Up- Final Thoughts

The politics of Washington, D.C., Moscow and Beijing seem to be taking a back seat to the weather. Heavy rains, triple-digit temperatures and other climate events are upstaging the pontification and power posturing of some world leaders. The calving of ice at the two poles and the rising ocean temperatures are most concerning. I will continue to read both non-fiction such as The Great Displacement and fiction such as the similarly titled The Displacements to broaden my knowledge. There is much to be learned.


August Hail Storm

August Hail Storm

High Plains Hail Storms

Today’s post will have lots of photos of damage to both my garden and that of a nearby relative. While we do not suffer the threats of tsunamis or hurricanes, we have our share of bad weather. On the high plains natural disasters appear in the form of blizzards, flash flooding, strong straight line winds and hail.

I have lived in my present home for 22 years and this is the third time a major hail has hit. Most of the hail we get is pea sized or slushy and doesn’t create widespread damage. But with a storm like this, contractors will be busy for months. We may have been fortunate, depending on the assessment of our roof. Many of our neighbors have broken windows, both car and home, damage to siding and roofs. Businesses suffered as well.

The recent storm carried golf ball sized stones. We are still waiting the claims personnel to see if we will need a new roof. Our current one is just 4 years old and 3 times thicker than the average. Other damage to property is limited to screens and fascia.  However, the garden suffered a direct hit.

Fortunately, I am a fanatic about keeping apprised of the weather. A cold front bringing severe weather was forecasted, so I was aware of the possibility of damage. Once the radio indicated the front was about 30 minutes away bringing large hail I quickly harvested what I could. Any tomato with the slightest bit of red was picked along with other veggies that were near ripened state. The root vegetables were left in place with the hope that the foliage would not be totally shredded.

As you can see in the photos, the hail tore the leaves apart. I estimate the locust trees lost about half, even though the leaves are small. The oak, red buds and peaches all took a hit. The photos of my beds show stripped pepper and tomato plants and damaged artichokes. Both the potato and sweet potato plants now have holey leaves but the crops should be far enough along underground not to be stunted.

The hail beat up the veggies as seen in the photos of the tomato and peppers. All the peppers had been knocked to the ground. The hail stones even knocked holes in large fruits such as melon and pumpkins as can be seen in the photo of my relative’s 20 x 20 garden plot.

The damage was not limited to neighborhood gardens. Farmers took a hit as well as can be seen in these photos of a nearby cornfield. Each year, farmers on the high plains face this threat to crops. Because of this, yields can’t be predicted for any long term planning.