This summer our region — Ft. Worth to Abilene — has had only eight or so days at 100 degrees. Last summer by this time twenty-seven days had been at 100 degrees, ending at about seventy days at 100 in the summer of 2011.
Grasses are greener, no wildfires have erupted. My pond has shore-line reeds and fish jumping, blue herons abound and several new sprouts of willow emerge along the banks.
Of course, there are mosquitoes, crickets and grasshoppers. The West Nile virus has killed two people in Dallas, about three counties away.
I draw no conclusions about why the weather is cooler this summer, it just is. I understand changing weather patterns, but why the patterns are altered this summer, I draw no conclusions; they just are that way.
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No new flowers have sprung for about a month, but the grass continues to thrive with rain. Here are the final photographs of flowers that I have found on the ranchito this year. I continue to scan for new flowers on the trail. I have missed some, I know, but the attempt to photograph all the species continues until spring 2013. I estimate I have missed many species, but nearly all I have seen I have photographed. (I do remember one or two that I saw and failed to photograph because I did not have any camera with me.)