A Day for the Birds

Thursday June 30th 2022

Last night the weather forecast called for a chance of rain from 20 to 60 percent for every hour of today from 10AM to 8PM. This morning there was less than ten percent chance of rain anytime before 11PM. What happened? The reality was a brief minute or two of rain around 11AM, but nothing else. Many clouds passed the area that looked like they could dump lots of rain, but it remained dry. Rain is now forecast during the overnight. The high temperature was in the upper eighties with lots of humidity and a nice wind to keep it comfortable.

Every cloud brought a chance at rain.

This last day of June in 2022 was for the birds, but in a good way. On my walks around the RV resort I saw a few more birds than I’ve been seeing. The local Canadian Geese had visitors. The local group of six birds was surrounded by another ten to fifteen geese. The duck family was keeping their distance at the other end of the retention pond. There was also a Little Blue heron looking for lunch to go along with the local area Green Heron. On my last walk of the day to the back area of the RV resort, I encountered a vulture to round out my day for the birds.

Working Around the Weather

Wednesday June 29th 2022

Today’s weather was transitional at best. The day began sunny and ended cloud covered. In between there was a quick line of storms, some wind and a lot more threatening clouds. None of the weather tracked with the forecast for the day. The rain storm came in the early afternoon which required me to close the windows and turn on the air conditioning once again.

Even when it wasn’t raining, the sky didn’t look very trustworthy.

June is supposed to be the start of the rainy season in this area. So far the amount of rain is behind schedule. There haven’t been as many days with rainstorms as normal and the storms that have occurred didn’t drop a lot of water. I’ve noticed grassy areas that are starting to brown out and the water level in the retention ponds in the RV resort is down considerably. I suspect this problem is localized to this immediate area. Reports from the center of the state are complaining about excessive rain. It is probably only a matter of days before it will all change.

This retention pond is down more than three feet.

Today was a chores day inside my RV home. I got some computer work done and some cleaning caught up. The potential of rain at any minute kept me from making a trip to the laundry at the front of the RV park. The laundry facility is well equipped, but not the cheapest. At least the machines take credit cards. Finding enough change remains a major issue. People and businesses just don’t use cash anymore.

Day Trip to St Mary’s GA

Tuesday June 28th 2022

I had turn the air conditioner on early today. It wasn’t because of the heat, but rather the rain. A line of thunderstorms arrived before 11AM this morning. I had to close the vents and windows, which means I need the AC to keep the interior of my RV home comfortable. The storms didn’t last long. The sun was back in full force by 1PM, the behavior change was complete. I was living in AC comfort for the rest of the day.

Cloud cover with the storm front to the south and west over the St. Mary’s River.

Once the sun was back in control of the sky, I forced myself to get out into the weather. Going from the AC comfort to the hot and sticky outside is difficult. That is one of the reasons I try not to turn on the air conditioning until I really need it. Today I drove twenty minutes north to St Mary’s Georgia.

Fishing boat heading out to sea from St. Mary’s Georgia.

I’ve been to the historic old town on the St Mary’s river many times before. It is a very interesting place. The words quaint, peaceful, historic, quiet and picturesque all come to mind with respect to the village along the river. Today it was even more quiet than normal. There wasn’t a lot of boat traffic or people around. It still was enjoyable to walk along the riverfront checking out the scenery.

On my evening walk around the RV resort I discovered new arrivals. It looks like the park may be filling up a little. I wonder if it is the approaching holiday or just a coincidence. The resort hasn’t issued the schedule for the weekend activities, so I don’t know if there is a particular draw at the park. The forth of July activities in the area don’t sound like anything special. I have been trying to find the location for fireworks and if it is worth going. It is always a challenge to figure out locations to see fireworks when you’re in a new area.

Syncing up the Grocery Shopping

Monday June 27th 2022

It was another great weather day very similar to Sunday. The temperature peaked in the upper eighties with moderate humidity and a good breeze off the ocean. The thunderstorms that were possible in the forecast stayed well south of here.

This Green Heron is camera shy. It seems to know when I point the camera and flies off. I don’t think the camera had fully stopped moving when I clicked this picture. It is a little fuzzy.

Since last Thursday, I’ve had the urge to go grocery shopping. I was out of orange juice which is one of my key indicators that it is time for a grocery run. However, when I thought about what else I needed the list was very short. Since I’ve been here I’ve gotten out of my usual sequence for shopping. Each day since then I ran out of something else. Yesterday I was ready to go grocery shopping, but traffic had other ideas. Interstate 95 was backed up when I was ready to leave. Consequently today was shopping day.

The Walmart at the next exit off the interstate is a big store. It wasn’t extremely busy when I was there, but may have been earlier in the day. There were quite a few empty shelves. The odd thing is that instead of restocking, there were employees in most of the aisles with ladders rearranging the products on the shelves. The product from deep in the shelf was getting moved to the front to fill in gaps and overflow products from the top shelf were getting moved down. The behavior would tend to imply they didn’t expect new stock soon.

Despite the gaps on the shelves I managed to get everything I needed. I arrived at the checkouts with a full cart and the final bill was about twenty dollars higher than my average total. Clearly I was ready for grocery shopping. Hopefully I’m back on track and things will run out in sync.

A Sunday in the Neighborhood

Sunday June 26th 2022

Today was another very nice weather day. The temperature continued a little below normal. It stayed in the high eighties with low humidity and a nice breeze off the Atlantic Ocean. Another similar day is in the forecast for tomorrow. More typical afternoon showers are expected later in the week.

Wildflower blossom of the day.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to describe the atmosphere in this RV park on the weekend. It seems unique among the RV resorts in my experience. I think it works best to equate life in this RV resort to life in a suburban neighborhood. During the week everybody is off to work during the day. There is a little activity in the evening when people return home from work, but most of the activity waits for the weekend. On Saturday people can be seen working on various tasks around their RV sites. Kids are playing outside trying to get their parents attention for a few minutes of fun. Sunday seems to be a day for visitors, BBQs and general relaxation. There are more people around making more noise of an active lifestyle.

I got a few chores accomplished between my daily exercise around the park. A walk around the entire perimeter of the 300 site RV resort is a little over 2 miles. At least one of my daily walks is the entire perimeter. The other walk is often only the front section of the park which is less than half the distance. Unfortunately, it is not possible to stay in the shade during much of the walk.

The local group of Canadian Geese staying in the shade of a tree.

Lazy Saturday

Saturday June 25th 2022

The day began as cloudy and overcast. As the day progressed more blue sky broke through the clouds. The day ended as a mostly sunny day. The temperature peaked in the mid to upper eighties with manageable humidity and plenty of wind off the Atlantic Ocean. It was a comfortable day.

The wind kept the flags at full stretch most of the day. This American Flag is showing signs of wind damage.
Even the Geese were taking it easy today.

It was a lazy day with very little blog content fodder. I got in my usual two walks around the RV resort. The weekend atmosphere is very different than during the week. There are more people around than during the week. The people that work all week are using the weekend for chores and relaxation.

This racoon hangs out around the dumpsters. This is the first time I got a picture. Was it being lazy today too?

This must be Friday

Friday June 24th 2022

While yesterday had record high temperatures and low humidity, today was much cooler with very high humidity. The net result was it seemed a lot warmer today when the wind off the ocean wasn’t around to keep the air more refreshing. Thankfully, the wind was prominent most of the day. The actual temperature was only in the high eighties to low nineties.

View of today’s cloud cover over the Nassau River.

All of the days this week blended together. I sort of knew it was Friday, but a few things reminded me during the day. First there seemed to be more turn over in the park today. I saw several RVs depart this morning and a few more arriving this afternoon. It turned out two or three of the RVs I saw departing were long term residents leaving for a short trip. During one of my walks around the park I found their sites still filled with lawn furniture, outdoor rugs and other paraphernalia. Clearly they would be returning. Most of the new arrivals were parked at the front of the park in the short term sites.

Always watching.

While I was out of the park this afternoon I saw many more RVs on the road. I’m going to attribute this to Friday as well, but it may be related to the start of the summer vacation season for people in the northern states. Interstate 95, which I can see from my RV home, is the major north south route along the east coast. The school year in the northeast ended this week. I can remember being off on a camping trip with my parents the day school got out.

One last indicator of Friday is entertainment. The RV resort hosts some sort of event every Friday night. In the past it has been a movie night. Tonight it is Karaoke under the stars. It doesn’t fit my idea of fun, but at least the park tries to come up with things to keep people engaged. The weather even seems to be cooperating.

An Inside Kind of Day

Thursday June 23rd 2022

Today was the warmest day in the Jacksonville area in six years. The temperature peaked north of 100 degrees Fahrenheit. At least the humidity wasn’t oppressive. Tomorrow the humidity is forecast to be higher, but the temperature lower with the probability of thunderstorms.

Only a few high wispy clouds were in the bright blue sky.

Outside in the shade it was fairly comfortable all day. I only modified my walking route a little to stay away from long stretches without shade. It was the inside conditions that I needed to run the AC all day to keep things comfortable. Once you get used to sitting in the AC controlled conditions, the desire to go out in the heat is seriously restricted. I spent most of the day reading and watching TV.

A Slow Day in the Increasing Heat

Wednesday June 22nd 2022

There was lots of sun and very few clouds today. The humidity stayed in the comfortable range and the wind blew gently out of the east and southeast. The result was a nice day outside in the shade. Inside my RV home it was hot from solar gain through the window glass and the white roof. My rig is pointed toward the east so the wind direction wasn’t directed at the majority of the windows that can be opened. It was in the low nineties outside and considerably higher inside. Tomorrow is forecast in the triple digits. Time for the AC all day.

The ducks are visiting the geese. or are the geese visiting the ducks.

I got snagged by the internet while eating breakfast this morning. I chased a few random threads of information from Google to Web sites and back, before getting caught up watching a bunch of YouTube videos. It was close to 2PM when I came up for air. If it didn’t get hot inside, I probably would have been snagged in the bowels of the internet longer.

While I was out for my walks today, I was glad to see the ducks back along the bank of the retention pond. I was concerned when they were missing yesterday. Some of the Canadian Geese were also back. For some reason both species of water fowl were hanging out together on the bank in the shade of a tree.

I am running out of new flowers to take pictures of. The last few days I took pictures of my neighbors hibiscus blossoms. Today I found a bush with a few small rose blossoms to provide decoration in this blog entry. It is time to take the camera with me when I leave the park. I need to search a wider area for things of interest.

First Official Day of Summer

Tuesday June 21st 2022

The calendar defines today as the first day of summer. For all intents summer weather began several weeks ago. It is officially the summer solstice. The longest day of the year. That makes far more sense than trying to equate today with the beginning of the hot season.

In this area today was right on the average temperature wise, but drier than normal humidity wise. The temperature and humidity are climbing over the next few days. Triple digit temperatures are possible. The missing element is afternoon rain. It isn’t expected until the end of the week. Saturday was the last day with any rain in this area, but that wasn’t a significant accumulation. Most of the rain has been much further south on the Florida peninsula.

The retention ponds and the grass are showing evidence of the low rain totals. The ponds seem to be a foot lower than they were two weeks ago. A wide dirt line rings each pond and the overflow drains are well above the surface of the water. Some of the grass in the campground is starting to turn brown. The more established grass in the older part of the campground I’m staying in is still green. It is the newer and thinner grass areas in the recently completed parts of the campground that are showing the most heat stress. They do not have irrigation for the grass, only the trees and bushes.

Walking around the park today I didn’t see any Canadian Geese. After yesterday’s convention they are all somewhere else today. The family of ducks that have been a constant fixture in the big retention pond were also missing today. They may have been hiding back in the woods on the back side of the pond. I did see a heron along the bank on one of my walks. It was very careful not to allow people to get close. Just as I got into good picture taking range it would fly to the other side or further down the bank. I was only able to get one picture from a longer distance than I would have liked.