Side Effects of Summer

It seems over the past several years in North Central Wisconsin, we have had very few summers that truly felt like it was June, July or August.  Sure there were storms that caused damaging winds, or large hail and isolated tornadoes at times in the state (I suppose you could throw that onto the list of a few of the side effects of summer).  However, this go around we have not only had the heat, but also the humidity and rainfall.  As I alluded to in my last blog, this has made great strides in alleviating the drought conditions in the Badger State, but also has lead to a few other issues.

Let's start with the higher number of mosquitoes.  Yes, those nasty critters tend to make an appearance in force as soon as the sun is about to set, but also like to hang out near areas of standing water.  In my case, it's walk out the door, be sure to avoid that spider web, and then run as fast as I can so I don't get a bunch of bites from those mosquitoes.  I know we have done stories recently about stores selling out of bug repellent, but seriously, if you are going to be outside for more than a half hour in area where mosquitoes could even be floating by, be sure to spray on the repellent.  Having grown up in New Jersey were we call them the Jersey Bombers, I am no fan of these bugs and have many a story of welts on my legs or back because I somehow missed a spot putting on the repellent.  When do we get ride of these pests?  Probably about the same time most of the other insects go away, which is when colder weather begins to settle in or if somehow the weather pattern swings around to a long stretch of dry weather.  That's not in the cards for the near future, and as much as some might want the cold to be rid of the bugs, we've still got a lot of time to go in the growing season, which this year those harvested crops are going to be bountiful.

Another side effect which comes with the warm season is getting sunburn.  I know we strive to remind you what the UV Index is, and most of the summer it typically is in the high or very high range, but be sure to dress accordingly when heading outdoors.  In my case that includes the ball cap, wearing a light colored shirt, plenty of sunblock, before and while I'm outside, along with finding some shady spots on those hot days.  If you are going to the pool or sweating a lot (who isn't lately) then you'll need to of course to throw on more lotion before an hour goes by.  Obviously, if you don't prepare carefully, you will end up with a nasty burn and if you do this over a long span of days, months or years, sadly the potential for skin cancer.  This is one case where it is a whole better to be safe than sorry.

And since I hear this phrase all the time during those various medical drug commericials, let's apply it here.  Other side effects of summer weather include days of oppressive humidity, highs well into the 80s and 90s, changeable skies from sun to severe storms in a matter of minutes, a need to stay hydrated by drinking cool, non-alcoholic beverages, spending time by the pool or maybe running through the sprinkler, scaling back on exercising or working in the yard during the hottest parts of the day from 10am to 4pm, the need to stop by the ice cream stand or truck to get a frozen treat, gardens and grass that will either be green with envy (this year) or desperate for water (most of the past several summers), and the ability to go days and nights on end without having to wear a jacket when heading out the door,

I'm sure there are a few things I missed, but the summer season tends to be somewhat short for us in the Badger State.  The other half of the season will be here before we know it.  Enjoy all of the great opportunities that the warm weather affords you, even if it isn't perfect all the time.

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