Sunday, August 9, 2009

Arizona Heat

Phoenix Arizona is an oppressively hot place to live. The temperature generally remains in the 100s from the end of May to the beginning of October. When newcomers ask me how long it takes to get used to the heat I tell them you never get used to it. NEVER!

The sun just hammers away at you day in and day out for four months. You burn your hand when you open your car door. An afternoon breeze feels like a blow dryer. I once left a pair of sunglasses on the dashboard of the car. Whithin a couple of hours they were a twisted mangled melted mess. Every summer my wife and I swear we're going to move.

This is what a six year-old kid looks like after walking from the car to the house when it's 115 degrees outside.

This June wasn't bad at all. In fact it was the mildest June in recorded history. The average temperature was in the low 90s. But it turned out to be a set up. Mother Nature proceeded to whallup the fair citizens of Phoenix with the hottest July in recorded history.

With the July heatwave came an massive bark scorpion invasion of my home. We've found scorpions in the house over the past six years or so. But this is whole new level.
I was minding my own business, reading a book and soaking my back in the tub when my wife informed me taht the scorpion you see above was about two inches from my neck.

Downstairs the kids sited another one on the living room wall.

Both scorpions met with the bottom of a size elven loafer. We've found no less than 20 scorpions in the house this year. My wife found one in our bed a couple of weeks ago. My eleven year-old and I have both been stung. We both got it on the hamstring while sitting on the floor and we agreed it wasn't all that painful. There was an initial prick and then about 15 minutes of Novocain style numbness. They say sting can be painful and linger for 24 hours. Guess we were lucky.

Word on the street is you can't get rid of scorpions. Neighbors have shelled out thousands to pest control companies and the scorpions are still there. Bark scorpions are tough to kill. They can hold their breath for days at a time. There are accounts of scorpions being frozen for stiff for days on end and surviving. Bark scorpions were found near ground zero at the Los Alamos test site.

My wife has met the scorpion challenge head on. She has taken to nocturnal scorpion hunting. Every night she patrols the garage, perimiter of the house, and back yard with a black light and a can of scorpion spray. Scorpions light up like a Vegas Casino under a black light. She has hunted down and killed upwards of 40 scorpions over the last two weeks. The woman swears she won't stop until she has rubbed out every last scorpion on our property. Looks like the scorpions ticked off the wrong mother.


On a final note, Blues Frau of Germany informed me that she can belch, break wind and scratch as good as any man and I dog gone it, I believe her.
With the power bestowed upon me by David C. of Lugubrious Drollery, I hereby award the Manly Blogger Guy Award to Blues Frau of Germany.
As far as I know Blues Frau is the first female recipient of the Manly Blogger Guy Award. Feel free to pass it on.
Congratulations, Blues.


Guely of Sweden said...

The heat and the scorpions! It's like living in the High Chaparral

#167 Dad said...

And it's all very manly, huh?
Actually, they filmed The High Chaparral about 100 miles south of my house at Old Tucson Studios.

Bullshee said...

Scorpions! Sheesh!

Well, you ain't had pests until you get cobras strolling in!

S'true. We get about 2 every year, and our dog Angel(she really is one), let's us know every time with a funny kind of bark she has when she sees something that deadly. Usually they're babies, but occasionally we get a whopper. Needless to say, there's no coming back from a bite from one of those.

Worst of all, no one let's you kill them! Part of the all animals are holy mantra!

italgalmm said...

Your little blip about Blues Frau......
Brought a proud tear to me eye !!!

Rick Rivers said...

You are truly a man to put up with above 100 degree temps and scorpions! Some time back we lived in San Miguel Allende and had lots of scorpions there. Summer heat in Central CA is right on your heels in Summer, but the worst we put up with an occasional mosquito.

#167 Dad said...

You do deserve the Manly Blogger Guy award.

Just callin' em like I see em.

Yeah, I thought scorpions were tough until Bullshee told me about the cobras...

Bluesfrau said...

We had the same with flies this year here in Cologne. It seems that the cold winter (and cold it was) wasn't long enough to keep a stable balance where insect amount is concerned.
Well, I guess the less balanced the climate on this planet becomes the less balanced its flora and fauna will be in effect.
A friend of mine said to her little son whilst taking a stroll through the city and facing all the flies with her head openings, "Sweetheart, Mommy has eaten already now, we won't have to buy food anymore." --

RealRaiderNation said...

Why in the hell did they make a movie called "Night of the Lepas" about giant rabbits? I mean, that would have been cool if they could drive cars, smoke cigars, and harrass woman at the Playboy club all they did was "leap" and "destroy". Man, "Bark Scorpians" sound like a hell of a movie and here's the tag: "a tough, beer-drinking, writer and his black-light carrying wife with shotgun in tow, take on nuclear- hardened Bark Scorpians to the death! Who wouldn't want to see that!

#167 Dad said...

Are you talking about the little white fiies?

I'm in. I think the two of us could bang the thing out over a weekend. When do we start?

Bullshee said...

Yes, cobras. I have a video of one we caught lying around somewhere, but can't find it now...

p.s - I can't stop looking into that photo of the sun...something's wrong with me...

bluesi said...

Nah, I'm talking about Ephemeropterae.
Here is a photo:

Anonymous said...

I think they are also called Mayflies??


#167 Dad said...

The sun picture is all about controlling your mind, man.

I checked out the picture. You're right, whiteflies are a different animal. I've swallowed more than my share of whiteflies.

Anonymous said...

scorpions suck, dude.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I understand the heat - Texas. Ours isn't dry, either. Most funny picture of the child in the heat. Most funny post. Enjoyed it.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

P.S. Driving to Flagstaff tomorrow with my middle son. Hope I don't find any scorpions in my hotel room.

#167 Dad said...

Midlife Jobhunter,
I think you'll be safe from scorpiond in Flag. It's beautiful up there this time of year...

Wendy said...

Had a good chuckle reading this. Not because scorpions are funny business but because I believe that we got our massive scorpion infestation at about the same time in 2009. It was right about at the same time that a tree uprooted in our front yard during a monsoon and landed on my son's car. Ah, yes....2009 was a good year.... :-0