Whew – a monster update to try and get back in line with the real date, so I can post other stuff without feeling guilty about not doing the farm stuff. Just for the record anyway:
- HUMIDITY is the theme now. Dark clouds hang overhead and water just seems to exude from the air in big drops every so often. In fact when it’s like this a bit of rain can be quite a relief.
- It’s the Longest Day and even in Japan, with no Summer Time, the evening is light till after 7:00. I wonder when they’ll get it about the electricity savings, to name just one thing…
- There’s a Toyota subcontractor’s factory we drive past, and usually even though it’s Sunday a bunch of guys are gathered round the forklifts having some kind of Important Meeting. Meaningless ritual, unpaid overtime, or an important social bonding?
- No police at their favourite speed trap when the weather’s as bad as this.
- Planted out the last of the chilli seedlings – some habaneros. Too late really, but we’ll see how they get on in the Summer. Habaneros like heat…
- Weeds just grow and grow, and managed to get in a bit of cutting, sweat filling my eyes, before heading back to Nagoya to meet a friend at a favourite izakaya.
- Min temp 15°C max 29°C
- This is the kind of day that gives the Rainy Season a bad name. Even just after taking a shower your eyelids are stuck together with sweat. A bit of rain would be nice…
- Stopped off in Kimble on the way out. A fascinating place with second-hand goods, factory surplus stock and the like where you can pick up a china candlestick or Christmas tree decorations for 10 yen… Sometimes they have imported Korean beer-surrogate at 70yen a can which isn’t too bad.
- The house out in Gifu was still quite cool inside as the hot sticky air hadn’t yet got in. Opening a cupboard door was like opening the fridge!
- Monday was even hotter, with some big drops of rain for 10 min or so.
- The first dragonflies showed up – several different kinds. Maybe we’ll see some fireflies next week?
- Min temp 12°C max 28°C
- Funny weather. Half-cloudy, slightly less humid at first, slightly cool breeze, scorching hot sun later…
- Swollen rivers from the recent rain.
- The lady at the ￥100 stand heard monkeys nearby, and said the fruit harvest wasn’t looking good this year.
- Stars and a few fireflies.
- Unexpected blue skies on Monday.
- Mostly weed-cutting. Who was it that said about sculpture the secret was to remove the undesirable part, and leave the desirable part? That’s my weeding policy. If you just cut down everything it’ll all just grow back, so I try to leave some plants that I think are preferable in the hope that they’ll prosper and suppress the baddies. Well it sort of works to some limited extent. There are so many kinds of grass growing out here, including “susuki” the pampas grass that people grow in parks and gardens in Europe. Here it’s a virulent weed – a member of the bamboo family so it’s really tough.
- Min temp 18°C max 31°C
- Drizzley start to the day, torrential rain later.
- Tiny field mice are trying to take over the house.
- No fireflies… 😦
- Min temp 18°C max 29°C
The Rainy Season is officially over!
- Beautiful cotton-wool summer clouds.
- When we opened the door there was a pool of water in the entrance. Not a roof leak, but condensation! The floor surface is kept cold by groundwater a couple of metres below.
- A nice cool Sunday evening – Monday was hot though with an occasional cool breeze.
- We drove back to Nagoya in the golden light of a late summer afternoon. There were anglers in the river – after ayu maybe.
- min temp 18°C max 30°C
- ATSU~I! must be the first word foreign summer visitors to Japan learn. It means hot. Sometimes being outside in the sun feels just like standing a few centimetres away from one of those heat lamps.
- The mint growing outside always seems to get a kind of disease in the summer – the leaves turn black and wither away. It recovers in the autumn fortunately, and meanwhile we can use the stuff growing on the veranda in Nagoya, which is OK for some reason.
- A cool evening – almost cold in fact! Nearly full moon.
- A clear Monday morning: the kind of day which gets hot later, and this one did.
- The 15th July is a special day on the old calendar (doyou no ushi) when you’re supposed to eat eel to maintain your strength to cope with the heat. Maybe it would work… grilled eel tastes good anyway, a bit rich perhaps.
- min temp 20°C max 33°C
- Hot and humid again. 😐
- This hot weather has been hitting the vegetables, especially leafy things like lettuce and cabbage which have been going up in the supermarkets. At the 100 yen stand too there aren’t the huge piles of cucumbers and eggplants we usually find at this time of year. What there is, though, is good. Tomatoes, chillies, eggplants, cucumber and the mysterious myoga have been soaking up all this sun and have a wonderful Summer fragrance!
- An amazing bumper crop of mini tomatoes. They’re really easy to grow – just put a couple of plants in the ground and they’ll spread out all over the place. The skin can be a little tough, but they taste good – the crows and various small rodents enjoy them too, but so far don’t seem to have found these, maybe because they’re almost hidden among the weeds.
- Some beautiful big black butterflies visiting the nozenkazura flowers.
- I’ve learnt the purpose of eyebrows. They’re to keep the sweat from dripping down into your eyes. Not quite up to the sort of sweat generated by this heat though…
- min temp 20°C max 32°C
This was just a quick drop in with our friends visiting from the Netherlands, before going on to Shirakawa village.
The plants seem to be doing OK, but I forgot to check the temperature. Sorry.
- Drove out in the continuing intolerable sticky heat past an undertakers advertising discounts for advance bookings…
- There’s something wrong with the Pacific high pressure area this year. Usually it sits right on top of the country and brings a month or so of hot, but clear and somewhat less humid weather. This year it’s more off to the east, and moist, no wet air is coming round the edge from the south. Something to do with a La Niña effect in Peru apparently, but the humidity is extreme – the floors are wet with condensation, we get attacked by leeches each week…
- This week some small animal found the mini tomatoes and ate the red ones. Just made a hole in the side and ate the contents, so it was quite a small animal.
- A bumper crop of myoga this year – maybe it likes the rain.
- min temp 22°C max 30°C
- Yes, more heat and humidity, even at this altitude of some 430m.
- Sato imo (taro) plants growing everywhere on the way here, looking well in spite of the heat. I wonder why they’re so expensive in the shops?
- Maybe we can live on myoga instead?
- A mysterious hole just in front of the house, started a couple of centimetres across but seems to have got bigger this year. I wonder what lives there?
- First red chillies of the season!
- min temp 20°C max 33°C