And now, for the weather

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Image courtesy of Loren Kerns. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Atlanta summer weather is unpredictable: the heat knob on the thermostat hover somewhere around the 90 degree range, and the humidity slider somewhere around 70%, but neither is particularly firmly set and sometimes the cat gets in and knocks them around a bit and weird things happen. For example, this year’s July 4th weekend was just a glorious kind of this-is-why-I-live-here set of days, with weather that felt made for sitting on a porch and feeling good about things (like the fact that malaria no longer is a thing here—thanks, mosquitos!). The air was, though not entirely devoid of its water weight, certainly breathable and minimally full of Things That Will Give You Asthma.

I spent most of the weekend days on porches (three different ones!) and most of the evenings drinking whiskey in places with big windows. I purchased (and wore, with abandon) a pair of what are pretty definitely mom shorts. I sat in the shade.

In contrast to that, last week the celestial cat got in and knocked the humidity knob to 11: roundabout lunchtime, the heavens opened up. Summertime in Atlanta contains a fair bit of rain, but most of it is of the 20 minutes and gone variety, a little natural afternoon shower. It’s tedious but not harmful—it takes a few weeks of that weather for us to even begin to worry that the ground has been made soft enough that the trees will start falling out, again.

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Revenge of the Ents

It’s a running joke in my family that Atlanta is populated by angry tree gods. Perhaps they’re a splinter cell of ents. We’ve never been sure. But every single time that it rains here (and it rains a lot), trees fall down. Big trees. In the roads, onto houses, onto peoples’ cars.

To shamelessly steal a joke from my thesis advisor, the “Decatur difference” is that the trees will kill you.

But today the trees reached a devious new low. Today it didn’t rain (yay!). And yet, when I turned away from Piedmont Park and into the main drag of Atlanta’s small-but-hearty downtown, there was a fallen tree blocking all but one lane of the six-lane road.

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