Tuesday, July 31

A Word about the Weather

I just had an enquiry for a visit in September and one of the first questions the caller asked was whether we have air conditioning. It took me by surprise because it's generally a moot point in September. In fact, with all the trees, water and shade around here, artificial air conditioning is not typically used or needed out in the county "up north".

Still, it made me realize that people who are used to hot summer cities might not understand how different the weather can be here. More specifically -- how widely the temperature fluctuates between the daytime high and the overnight low.

At this time of year, in the heart of summer, the days are warm-to-hot with only occasional humidity (but far less than the oppressive mugginess that often settles over southern Ontario). It's the kind of weather perfect for a morning hike in the woods or an afternoon swim in a fresh lake. Daytime temperatures in July and August are often 26-29°C.

Evenings, though, are surprisingly cool. Even with hot, sunny days, the overnight temperature can drop down to 12-14°C. We had one morning two weeks ago when I woke up to 9°C; it had climbed to 16°C by 9am, and reached 28°C by mid-afternoon. These cool nights are perfect for sleeping and the fresh mornings make you want to get going and enjoy the day.

Sometimes when I show guests to their room they ask if we have air conditioning and I just point outside and say the trees take care of it for us! They really are nature's air conditioner, cycling cool ground water up to the leaves and absorbing sunlight. In a city -- even in a town the size of Huntsville -- all the concrete, asphalt and steel of buildings and roadways reflect the heat, intensifying it, and holding the heat so that the city doesn't cool down overnight.

It's one of the many small differences between urban dwelling and cottage country getaways, but it's one of the great pleasures. Just make sure to pack for it all (from swim suits to fleece pullovers) and enjoy the fresh air, warm sunshine and time away from it all.

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