Let’s Talk with Cheryl Hollon

Red Hot Time
By Cheryl Hollon

It’s a Red Hot Time in St. Pete! Unfortunately, cooler weather is still months away.

Red Firecracker bush

As the calendar reaches the end of August, my tolerance for the relentlessly hot days also reaches an end. Typically, we would be on vacation to mountain country, enjoying cool mornings and firepits at night. But, alas, this is not an average year, so I’m facing another two, possibly three months of what is known as 90/90 days here in St. Pete. Translation: 90 degrees temperature/90 percent humidity.

What I’ve noticed in my section of town is that the red flowers are blooming like fury. Unfortunately, there is a garden near me that has completely given up producing anything edible. The next planting season isn’t until late October.

These are red firecracker bushes that line the walkways near our apartment. They do look like those bunches of firecrackers that are common in Singapore. It was an everyday event for someone to light a cluster and throw them into the street.

Jacaranda Tree

The Jacaranda trees around Mirror Lake have gone berserk. The fragrant blooms and fern-like leaves give dappled shade to the banks.

Ixora

The Ixora is also going crazy but looking absolutely gorgeous. These showy ball-shaped flowers grow at the end of their branches. It can quickly get leggy when it lacks water, but we’ve been getting drenched overnight for weeks.

If you’re looking for a regional eastern Kentucky series, my Paint & Shine Mysteries are set in the Daniel Boone National Forest. My characters spend a lot of time preparing traditional southern meals along with moonshine cocktails. Buy local. Independent bookstores need your help during this challenging time. If you’re an Amazon shopper, here’s that link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B088WYF8QV


While you’re here, enter our Booklover’s Bench contest. We’re collecting entries for a book giveaway from our vault by one of our Booklover’s Bench authors. It runs from September 1-18. Click here to enter! (please note that the link isn’t LIVE until Wednesday, Sept. 1)

Comments

  1. maggietoussaint says

    I live in a 90/90 zone too, though the humidity has been pushing close to 100 percent this month. Either we’re having a thunderstorm every afternoon or you can fry an egg on the road. Lots of morning fog with all the moisture as well. I love your red flowers and flowering bushes. This time of year, even though the darker colors absorb heat, I’m already thinking about fall jewel tones. Come on October! I hesitate to look too close in my yard right now because 90/90 weather seems to favor weeds. It’s too hot and humid to deal with weeds right now, in my opinion. Fun post!

  2. So many places seem to have those 90/90 types of descriptions. When we lived in Tucson, it was 100/100. A hundred days of 100+ degrees. The humidity was usually less than 10% most of the time—until we hit the monsoon season in August. Then, the monsoons would raise the humidity way up and drop the temps—until the clouds moved on. Then we got both the heat and humidity. Still, monsoon season was my absolute favorite when we were there. The lightning displays were incredible and I loved going onto our covered back patio and watching the show.

  3. Adding insult to injury, the heat here in Middle TN is bad enough lately, but yesterday our AC died (the unit is only 5 yrs. old!) This morning we were told it will be 3 weeks before they can get the replacement part. I’m thinking of having myself cryogenically preserved until then.

  4. hadn’t heard the 90/90 comment before, but it is perfect. I don’t think we’re quite that high, but I don’t dare leave the air conditioning for long to find out.

  5. Cheryl – I love your Paint and Shine series. Like you, we usually head to cooler climes in August but alas not this year. Though in September, I am going to Kentucky for a family wedding. I think I might try to find some of the old haunts I visited with my aunt and grandmother.

  6. Diane A.S. Stuckart/Anna Gerard says

    Being from Texas I’m used to the heat, though the FL subtropical sun can really be a beast. But our yard is filled with native and ornamental trees and shrubs, and in the shade with a bit of breeze it’s always nice out no matter how high the temperature goes. I think my yellow jacaranda tree needs fertilizing…it really hasn’t bloomed yet this summer. 🙁

  7. cherylhollon says

    Thank you Martha! Glad to provide a giggle to start the day.

  8. We have crown of thorns on our front landscaping with their red flowers. The plants are appropriately thorny. Since we’ve relocated, I’m having to identify unfamiliar plants and trees. I miss the tropical landscaping of South Florida. On the bright side, our mornings here are cooler even in the summer. That might be due to the shady oak trees shading our neighborhood. Four hours makes a big difference in landscape.

    • cherylhollon says

      Hi Nancy, I had a huge change when we moved to Florida from Ohio in ’75, but I now love the many tropical flowers and blooming trees in St. Petersburg. Very ready for cooler mornings.

  9. Cheryl, I love your Paint and Shine series, and your 90/90 comment made me laugh!