Hot news.

It’s a sunny day in mid-summer. Sure it’s hot. It’s a sunny day in mid-summer.

Then I heard the news: Temp, 104, heat index, 130…Rolling blackouts in Detroit, Chicago summer-school kids sweltering, thousands of turkeys dying in Minnesota…fistfights in steaming New York subways…

Watch out. We’re in the hot seat.

I drove to a weedy drainage ditch where you can get into wilderness without much walking. Saw Blue-winged Teals. A skinny Common Egret. And a Black-crowned Night Heron, fishing.

These birds were doing what they’d do on any day, and looked happy. But they’re in water.

I moved to a dry, wooded area. A Phoebe was there, doing his job as usual. He flew out to grab a bug. Then headed back, repeating as needed.

Birds were acting pretty normal. Could it be because they don’t see the news? Nobody tells them about a heat index, or about killer humidity.

Had a thought: If you didn’t know how hot it was, how hot would it be?

While visiting a recent Cubs game, Hall-of-Famer Ernie Banks told an interviewer, “If you didn’t know how old you were, how old would you be?”

Mr. Cub…Always Mr. Positive. You can simply turn his observation about age into one about weather.

The birds never got the news. For them, it’s just another sunny day in mid-summer. And I wondered: Are news reports—horrific as they may truly be—making us all into a bunch of weather sissies?

I also wondered how I would’ve acted today if I heard no news, saw no thermometer. I might’ve gone about my business, no sweat. Well, maybe some sweat.

Noticed a Cardinal as I got near home. It looked hot, but that was probably because of its redness in the sun. I don’t think the Cardinal worried about weather reports, or anything we worried about.

Might be cool to live news-free.

4 Responses to “Hot news.”

  1. David E says:

    You are so right! The news isn’t the news anymore, it’s drama. Has been for years. The way it was 30 years ago, when asked how hot it is, my Dad would say, “Pretty hot. Better get in the shade.” The fools these days are so off point – they still want to jog, sit in a hot car in traffic for 45 minutes to go 3 miles across the Potomac River, or need to go out and do useless stuff when it would be better just to be still. Crazy! If we don’t start learning to turn down our sissie-meters and get into the shade, it will be worse than just a fisty-cuffs in the NY underground. There should be a rule that everybody needs to take a walk in the woods – alone. Just do it and not worry about the heat, the rain, the cold, the war, the stock market, the celebrities in DC, or in Hollywood for that matter, are up in arms about this week. Just be still.

  2. A. Scot May says:

    Working in a factory in central Illinois. Didn’t need to watch the news to realize it’s hot. Fans pushing hot air all around hot presses and people sweating and a few dropping. People seem to be panting. Have a nest of cardinals in one of my spruces. Checked on them last night and the cardinal mamma was actually panting like a dog. Dog days of summer used to mean double headers of little league baseball. I remember sweating but not dropping. Hope the Cardinals drop a couple to the Cubs at the end of the month.

  3. Carla says:

    I agree, we have all been brain washed into sissies. Sure it’s hot out but what can we do about it, nothing. Complaining probably just makes us all hotter!

  4. bob meyers says:

    It’s hot and you’re hot, best story since the winter, news or not!