Summer kicked in last week and we have had pleasant daytime temperatures around the mid twenties to early thirties (and I’m talking centigrade). But yesterday the heatwave started. Today’s high is predicted to be 41 degrees and the forecast is for these sort of temperatures to continue into the weekend. I’ve not experienced that kind of prolonged heat, but I’m liking it so far, mainly because I can wear the summer dresses I never got to wear in New Zealand and I can pad around barefoot, in comfort. But the beautiful plane trees which make Elwood an oasis in this kind of weather are suffering. Only 0.8mm of rain has fallen this month, which makes it the driest January since 1932. You can see the effect of the drought at the tops of even healthy looking trees like the one in the shade of my flat. The leaves there are starting to turn. The more exposed trees look worse.
Some have dropped all their leaves, some have dead branches at the further reaches and some have even died. It is very sad, as they make such a difference to the feel of the neighbourhood. It’s cool and calm and a relief from the intensity of busy St Kilda Road.
Some of the trees are being watered by nearby wheelie-bins filled with recycled water, but I’m not sure even that will be enough in this heatwave. I did a cartoon for the paper which has the King of Tonga bar as its kernel, the Elwood Tribune (now being renamed as King’s Tribune, I think). I wish there was more water for the trees .