Heat Wave Positives
Can there be any good coming from the record heat wave that Tulsa is experiencing this summer? Have the dry and hot weeks done anything positive in our lives? Is it possible to find the silver lining when there haven’t been any clouds? When you are an optimist, you have to say yes.
There are certainly less annoying bugs this summer. Maybe many of the mosquitoes and ticks died off because of the severe winter we had, but I can tell the difference in our backyard this summer. We threw a few summer parties and usually the mosquitoes become an issue. I use this super concentrated garlic that I spray with my water hose that doesn’t kill the flying pests, but instead moves them to my neighbor’s outdoor picnic area. Having fewer bugs is probably bad for the birds and bats that need to eat them, but my optimism believes the heat wave didn’t kill them, instead just relocated them to parts north of here where they had record rainfall.
Some of my garden is doing great. The eggplants and the peppers are looking like I could win a blue ribbon in the state fair. I would have rather had a bumper crop of tomatoes than eggplant, but the optimist in me has just found ways to grill, fry and bake the versatile vegetable. Yes, you can add parmesan cheese and make anything taste good, but did you know that you can slice eggplant real thin and fry them like potato chips? I even found a recipe that makes eggplant into a pizza crust.
Because the Bermuda grass has gone dormant in the heat, I haven’t had to mow my grass as often this year. That has saved me time and because many Tulsans wrongly throw away all their yard waste, their less mowing has meant less trash in the trash trucks. That has helped the trash men do their jobs quicker and has saved Tulsa thousands in avoided disposal costs. Just three years ago the city paid to dispose of over 170,000 tons of residential refuse and this past year it was less than 130,000 tons. I know that not all of this reduction was due to less grass clippings, and that some of it was due to more recycling.
You can find positives in any situation. There are fewer bugs, more eggplants and less garbage thrown away thanks to the heat wave of 2011.