You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
Living Images

Don Seabrook | When it's hot

The out-of-the-ordinary heat wave we had last week came with great photographic opportunities showing how people were coping.

On the Friday before the hottest temperatures, I headed to a local cherry orchard, noticing Thursday evening it was in the middle of harvest. In my teen years, I had picked fruit and knew heat was hard on cherries.

The orchard owners welcomed me to document their operation. They told me their pickers had started very early with headlamps and had to quit when the temps got to 80 degrees. It was an all-out rush to get the fruit off quickly.

210626-newslocal-cherryrace 01.jpg

Heidi Benitas carries lugs of rainier cherries to a trailer while picking in the 7-acre Columbia Valley Cherries orchard along South Nile Street in East Wenatchee early Friday morning, June 25, 2021. To beat the heat of the day, picking at the orchard started at 3 a.m. using headlamps.

On Saturday, my wife saw a Facebook post about a family using their truck bed as a temporary swimming pool. I was able to get hold of them and photographed their girls as they swam — apparently spending most of the day in the water.

210629-newsphoto-hothothot 01.jpg

Brynlee Gapan, 6, and her sister Taylin, 13, splash around in a homemade pool - the back of a pickup lined with a tarp and filled with water - in their East Wenatchee back yard Saturday, June 26, 2021. Their mother, Christina, said they were going to buy a pool but with a newborn in the house she said, "there's no way I' going to keep up with a pool this year."

On Monday, I went looking for people working in the heat and found Brandon Buckmiller at 3 p.m., in a sliver of shade finishing up a masonry job. His building schedule is so hectic right now that he said he has to keep working despite the heat.

210629-newsphoto-hothothot 02.jpg

It's 3 p.m. and quitting time Monday, July 28, 2021, for Brandon Buckmiller, owner of Trademark Masonry, Wenatchee. "I'm trying to stay on schedule," he says of working in the 100+ temperatures. "It's been pretty hectic. Unfortunately I can't take time off." He's putting architectural stone veneer on a new house being build in a development near Highlander Golf Course. If he wasn't in the shade he says he wouldn't be able to work because everything dries out too early.

And reporter Sydnee Gonzalez and I headed out later to find a taco truck for a story on what it’s like inside. I walked in and a blast of heat hit me from the grill. The operator said it was 130-degrees inside.

210629-newsphoto-hothothot 03.jpg

Maria Luna cleans the hot grill inside her taco wagon, "Taqueria Luna," on South Wenatchee Avenue Monday, July 28, 2021. She says it feels like it's about 130-degrees. The air conditioner on the roof of the small enclosure just blows hot air from the outside but air movement of any kind helps cool the place off.

The next day, I headed to the ice rink to photograph figure skating. Walking into the rink, I first noticed people wearing coats and gloves. At 23 -degrees on the surface of the ice, it was a bit chilly. My exposed legs from wearing shorts became numb and tingled when I went back outside in the 110+ temperatures.

210630-newslocal-icecold 01.jpg

Donning coat and gloves, Mackenzie Baker, 12, Wenatchee, left, takes instructions from Shannon Salter, center, during Wenatchee Figure Skating Club's skills class Tuesday, June 29, 2021. Without additional air conditioning, the Weinstein Beverage Rink at Town Toyota Center is staying at 67-degrees from the 17,000 square feet of ice on the floor. Just outside, the pavement is at 165-degrees on what could be the hottest day on record for Wenatchee. The last two nights of public skating are this Friday and Saturday from 7-9 p.m. before the rink closes for maintenance until July 18.

That night, I photographed the AppleSox game. Even at 7:30 p.m., the visiting team was crammed into the shade beside their dugout. Inside it was more like an oven. For the most part, the fans who endured the heat tried finding shade themselves.

210630-sportslocal-pickledsoxgallery 01.jpg

With their dugout in full sun, the Portland Pickles wait for the beginning of their baseball game with the Wenatchee AppleSox in shade Tuesday night, June 29, 2021.

210630-sportslocal-pickledsoxgallery 03.jpg

The sunny side of the stands was near empty at the start of the Wenatchee AppleSox game with Portland Tuesday, June 29, 2021, on the hottest recorded day in Wenatchee history.

On Sunday I went to a brush fire dressed in full wildfire gear. In the sun and next to burning grass and brush near rocks, I was happy to get to my air-conditioned truck after photographing the firefighters who were doing the hard work.

210706-newslocal-battermanfire 02.jpg

Charlie Cronk with the Bureau of Land Management scrambles up a steep, rocky hill toward a fire near the east end of Grant Road Sunday, July 4, 2021.

210706-newslocal-battermanfire 03.jpg

Douglas County Firefighter Kyle Bowles pulls a fire hose off his truck to fight a creeping brush fire near the end of Grant Road Sunday, July 4, 2021.

It’s been an interesting week and worthy of a bunch of weather-related photographs.

Don Seabrook: (509)661-5225

Photo Editor

I was born in Wenatchee, went to Eastmont High School, graduated from the University of Washington with a communications degree in journalism. I have a wife and three children.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


Top Stories