The first sunflowers of the summer bloomed in our yard on Saturday morning, opening up at daybreak to suck up the solar energy of a triple-digit June day, the sort of day that used to be mostly reserved for August. It always amazes me how tall they grow on how little water, evolved to vertically outcompete the grasses of the prairies and now adapted to thrive in the urban interstices where the mowers don’t go. The front page of the Sunday paper the weekend before had been splashed with a huge picture of one of our drying-out lakes and headline portents of a hothouse season fueled by chronic changes in the temperatures of the Pacific Ocean. The kind of coverage that gets you thinking it may never really cool off again.
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