Summer is gone and Autumn has officially begun here in the northern hemisphere. The hot breath of summer is still blazing in many places though. Once again Death Valley topped out on Saturday at 107?F (41? C) with a low of 20?F (-6? C) at both Bodie, CA and near Mackay, ID.
Bodie is today a ghost town but started in 1859 as a mining camp. The discovery of gold would lead to a boom in 1876 and by 1879 its population was somewhere between 7,000-10,000. The boom lasted until around 1880. Then the discovery of gold elsewhere began drawing people away. The mines kept producing gold and a smaller community thrived in the town for many years. Most who stayed did so because they wanted to settle down. By 1910 the population was 698. The city newspaper folded in 1912. The Standard Consolidation Mine was closed in 1913, was bought up and reopened and for a while made some profit. It was not enough to stop the decline though. In 1917 the Bodie Railway stopped running and the last mine closed in 1942. The 1920 census showed a population of 120. People would still live there until after the end of WW II, but it was mostly a ghost town. In 1961 Bodie was declared a National Historic Landmark and the following year the Bodie State Historic Park was created. Today you can visit the once boom town and see, from the existing and surviving buildings, what it was like back in the late 19th century to live in a Gold Rush boom town.
With October coming up soon, Halloween decorations are appearing along with the usual Halloween themed commercials on television. With the fall harvest comes the change in produce. More apples appear since they are harvested in late summer and early fall. Artichokes, cranberries, pears, and pumpkins are also available during this time. In areas with lots of wineries, grapes are harvested for both wine and table use. No more grapes from Chile!
Although Covid restrictions have eased, supply issues and higher costs means a lot of Halloween candy and other items are more expensive this year than before. This may lead families doing simpler Halloween activities. There was something to be said about dunking for apples, caramel covered apples, roasting pumpkin seeds and making lots of popcorn. And with a lot of cleverness, you can make easy decorations without having to buy them at the store. Many people are relearning how their great-grandparents got through the Great Depression by keeping costs low and at the same time keeping their families fed.
[Historical note: The ending to the musical is stirring with them marching over the mountains. This did not happen and going over the mountains from Salzburg would take them into Germany! What really happened is that since Captain von Trapp had dual citizenship (Austrian & Italian) he had his family fled with day packs by taking the train to Italy. From there they made their way ultimately to England and eventually the United States. They were already a well known singing group before the Germain takeover of Austria, so they had contacts in Europe and America. They gave up everything to be free. After the war, they learned their home had been taken over by Heinrich Himmler. The house was donated to the Catholic Church and Captain Trapp helped his fellow Austrians with a relief fund, for which he is fondly remembered for.]
Hard to believe we are almost at the middle of August. For many, this is summer vacation times with thousands crowding the beaches and tourist spots. It is also a time for getting ready to go back to school. Kids see it coming and try to get as much summer as they can before school reopens. Parents are also getting stuff for their kids as well, though with the difficult inflationary times we are in, only necessities are being bought. Everyone is being hit by high prices at retail and grocery stores. It does not look like it will get any better soon either.
At least Sunday is a day one can at least relax. Enjoy the day and some nice music to go with it. Happy Sunday everyone.
The Summer Solstice occurred back on June 21 where the North Pole tilts directly towards the sun making more sunlight the farther north above the equator you live. It typically means more warmer days and nights though that greatly depends on where you live. Some places are known for hot summers while others are known for more mild conditions. Now if you live closer to the North Pole (Alaska, parts of Canada, and Scandinavian countries)the sun literally never sets during this time of year. Of course the reverse is true in the Southern Hemisphere. They get less sunlight on the June Solstice and the closer you are to the Antarctic Circle means less sunlight or total night. For them, it is the Winter Solstice. It is hard to believe Australia, for instance, gets cold but they do get cooler days and nights during this time.