There was an air of excitement on campus today as everyone returned for the first day of classes (Wed., August 25). People were greeting one another, laughing, and appeared jazzed about being back. What was unusual was the extreme heat (102 today and 103 on Tuesday) that replaced the cold foggy days that depressed us during the first part of August.
My first class was at noon in Stevenson 1002 with 122 registered students in Organizational Behavior and another 8 trying to crash. Unfortunately the air conditioner didn’t seem to be working so well, and after 30 minutes everyone in the room was sweating. However, since it was the first day, we only stayed for 45 minutes….and everyone seemed quite pleased to escape the room oven and get some fresh air– including me. An interesting first day.
It’s been a cold summer in Sonoma — one of the coldest on record — with thick fog every morning that drenches the plants, flowers, trees, and vineyards with moisture. When we wake each morning, it looks like it rained during the night. The sun usually comes out around noon, and then we enjoy a few hours of warmth, before the fog rolls in again from the Pacific.
At a Sonoma Country Grape Grower’s meeting yesterday, they said that many of the vineyards have powdery mildew because of the moisture. We are also 3 weeks delayed in ripening due to the lack of sun. My pinot noir vines are just started to go through verasion (change from green to purple). There are those who are predicting a long, warm Indian Summer. I hope they are right. If so, this cooler longer ripening period could actually mean a high-quality harvest for Sonoma County. Only time will tell.