Missouri Ozark weather is usually changeable. Lately the changes have been slow in coming. Summer heat has been sitting here for a couple of weeks.
Temperature is only part of the story in the Ozarks. The other part is the humidity.
Our bodies sweat. It evaporates. Our bodies cool down. Humidity slows or stops the evaporation so we stay hot and feel hotter than the temperature warrants. Lately humidity levels have rivaled the temperature.
Cats don’t sweat. When summer heat settles in, they find a shady spot and sprawl out. Favorite haunts are often in front of doorways. Open the door. Find splat cat lying a step outside.
Chickens move into the shade. My flock has lost its favorite haunts as a pair of gray foxes has moved into the area. The chickens now hang out around the goat barn.
Horseflies and deerflies influence the goats. These insects have vicious bites. The goats come in with big, raised welts oozing moisture. The flies like sun and moist areas.
The goats go up on the hills and tuck themselves into deep shade under the oaks. Unfortunately the best browse is down in lower areas.
My herd is smaller now, only seventeen goats. They pack themselves into as small an area as possible. Each goat hopes the flies visit the neighboring goat or can be rubbed off onto the next goat.
Toward midsummer the horseflies move up close to the goat barn. The goats don’t appreciate this. The chickens do.
Savvy chickens stalk the goats watching for flies to land. Snack time.
Summer heat is making work difficult. It’s too hot for me to work outside, even in the shade by noon. My barn is almost cleaned out. I keep trying to take out a few loads of manure each day.
Noon means coming in to change shirts as the morning shirt is sopping wet. There is a rumor this summer heat will break for a few days by the end of the week. All of us need the break.