Sluggish Heat


Whenever people talk about the weather in Oregon, it’s either about how much it rains, or how mild the climate is.  “Mild” being a relative term.  Here in Portland, in the winter it rarely gets below 20°.  In the summer it rarely reaches 100°.  Having grown up in the southern midwest, I can see why people consider this mild.  In Oklahoma, it might go from 20° to 100° in one day…

Mild climate notwithstanding, there are times in the summer when the temperature is in the mid 90’s, and although the humidity is pretty low, maybe 30–40%, it still feels hot.  We’ve been having some of that warm weather lately, and so my house has been around 90° when I’ve come home from work.

So when I got home this evening, I cranked open the basement egress casement window, and propped open a couple windows in the kitchen / dining area, to get some airflow through.  I left the vinyl blinds extended down, but opened the slats a little to let the air flow through.

There are no screens (or storm windows) on any of my windows.  I keep meaning to build some, but haven’t got around to it yet.  So of course, with the windows open, I was swatting mosquitos all evening.

When I was about ready to go to bed, I started closing the windows (I suppose I’m a little paranoid, plus I’d had my fill of mosquitos).  When I got to the casement window, I cranked it closed, and then reached up and around the vinyl blinds, to flip the little locking lever on the side.  As I reached my hand up there, I touched something cool, wet, and squishy… ewww!

I pulled up the vinyl blinds, and there were two slugs on the window trim.  Icky, but interesting.  I got the flyswatter from upstairs and used that to scrape them off the window and toss them back outside.

Slugs are a real problem here in Oregon, especially for anyone with a garden or other landscaping they care about.  Ironically, they do help break down organic matter and contribute to rich soils, but at the same time, they will eat flowers, herbaceous shrubs, and vegetables.