Herald Columnists

July 12, 2012

In spite of the heat

OSKALOOSA — I know you must be tired of hearing people complain about the recent heat wave.

However, I think just a little more won’t hurt.

One week ago today, I took photos of the annual Fourth of July fireworks in Oskaloosa. This is a photo assignment I’ve completed for the past several years amid varying weather conditions.

OK, so it’s July. It’s supposed to be hot. However, as we all know, this past Wednesday was the beginning of a four-day-long heat wave that had me feeling rather uncomfortable outside any air-conditioned environments.

As I waited for the fireworks show to begin, I could tell this was no ordinary heat and humidity. It was the kind of humidity that just encased everything. The air was so thick, I could swear it was harder to breathe than usual.

As the fireworks show began, I moved around a bit near the Southern Iowa Fairgrounds trying to get as many good shots as I could. I wasn’t too inclined to be on the move as I shot the photos simply because I found myself sweating just standing in one place.

Keep in mind, taking pictures of fireworks isn’t like shooting photos of something during the daylight hours. I don’t want to reveal how I do it, but taking pictures of fireworks requires a little finesse on my part.

Although the outdoor conditions were a little uncomfortable for me, the fireworks themselves made being outside worthwhile. There were plenty of loud, colorful and downright awesome displays of pyrotechnic prowess.

As soon as the fireworks display ended, I bolted for home to enjoy some air conditioning. I’m sure the change in temperature from outside to my place was a good 25 to 30 degrees at that point.

Now that the heat wave has subsided, I have certainly stopped using my air conditioning as frequently. It’s amazing how cool an 85 degree day can feel when compared to one where temperatures top off at well over 100 degrees. What’s even more strange is how the overnight temperatures in the 60s this week feel almost chilly.

I’ve heard various people talk about how the weather this year is a month ahead of schedule. I tend to agree. I mean, we had some severe weather back in April when usually that kind of thing happens in May or June. Last week we had what I would call August-style heat.

We’ll see what August actually brings. We’ll also just have to wait to see how soon the fall comes. It could creep up on us sooner than we think.

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