By Kim Baldwin, McPherson County farmer and rancher
The summer heat of 2023 continues to make itself known. While I hear the local weather personalities referring to this heat as part of the “Dog Days of Summer,” I can’t help but wonder when this extreme heat we’ve continually experienced in July and August will end.
My weather app has shown more images of a blazing sun and cactus with the words “Very Hot” in its 10-day forecast for more days than I care to remember. While I appreciate the artistic representation of the obvious extreme heat so many of us are currently experiencing, I wonder if we could possibly get some additional images added that would capture the essence of our current weather status.
Perhaps an image of a dripping ice cream cone with the blazing sun overhead, an image of someone sticking their face into a freezer or an image of an individual sitting within the breeze of a fan blowing over a very large ice cube. These are all new images I’d suggest to my weather app if they were crowdsourcing suggestions for updated “Very Hot” icons.
Upon further review, I think I’d also suggest that my weather app consider the individual user or the specific location of said user when creating the visual content associated with the 10-day forecast.
While I stumble upon cactus growing in central Kansas on occasion, I really feel the image my weather app could utilize should be more reflective of my surroundings while experiencing this oppressive heat.
For example, a cartoon image of two children cannonballing into a stock tank with a blazing sun overhead would be quite representative for me.
Perhaps an illustrator could capture the image of our primarily outside farm dog, Rosie, sprawled out with her belly covering the cool tile floor in our bathroom, laying near a floor vent blasting cold air onto her.
Maybe someone could draw up an image of a cow standing in a farm pond wearing an umbrella hat. Of course, that image would suggest that there’s enough water in our farm ponds in the first place – which would not be accurate based on our current status. Since dried-up ponds on our farm is the current situation, maybe an image of a cow hiding in the shade of the trees, or a cow sipping from a large straw coming out of a stock tank would be more symbolic of our present condition.
I wonder if someone could create an artistic rendering of our dryland corn or dryland soybeans waving a white flag and saying, “We Give Up!”
Surely my weather app will update any day now with an image of a simple, pleasant sun partially behind a cloud. Perhaps an image of a cloud with raindrops will also soon appear. Surely the images on my weather app will change and suggest that we are getting to the end of this heat. I’m not sure when the weather app image updates will happen, but I guarantee I’m checking for those changes on a daily basis with the hope that the end of the Dog Days of Summer are near.
“Insight” is a weekly column published by Kansas Farm Bureau, the state’s largest farm organization whose mission is to strengthen agriculture and the lives of Kansans through advocacy, education and service.