Indexes

Archives

Annapolis Maryland Blog Photograph • 18th Century McDowell Hall Shaded by Trees on a Quite Warm Summer Morning • Monday July 25th 2016

In 1742 Trees Were Nature’s Way of Cooling Things Off

McDowell Hall Shaded by Trees on a Quiet Warm Summer Morning in Annapolis Maryland July 25th 2016

Click on Photograph to Enlarge

Yes it has been yet another warm day here in Annapolis with the forecast indicating that it will be the hottest one of the year, including a heat index approaching 105 degrees wow!

Of course it did not take much thought on my part to realize that taking photographs early in the day was the smart way to go. With that thought in mind I set off at a leisurely pace walking down West Street, I wanted to check out Jeff’s newest street mural first, then around Church Circle and up School Street with my second destination being the east side of the Maryland State House. Stopping in front of the Roger Brooke Taney Statue, itself the subject of renewed public discourse of late, I looked out across the City as the sunshine soon began to feel quite warm on both my face and arms. The already uncomfortable temperatures, combined with the rising humidity levels, had me reaching for another bottle of water in my bag, the second of the morning as it were. It was only a matter of minutes before I moved along seeking relief under the branches of a nearby tree. There drinking my water I began wondering how people in 18th century Annapolis, heck even the 19th and 20th centuries as well as the present day, dealt with this kind of stifling Summer weather without the relief of air conditioning.

Still standing beneath the tree I found myself sweating a little less and eventually even began to cool off a bit. It was then that I remembered an article I recently read with the gist of it being how both air conditioning, along with our at times sedentary lifestyle, has influenced our bodies into becoming more stressed when exposed to the heat, yes the temperatures of late have certainly been extreme for sure. In years past, before air conditioning was common place, or even invented for that matter, our bodies were more acclimated to warmer temperatures as we went about our daily lives. Also houses and buildings years ago were located so as to take advantage of natural cooling influences such as cross breezes and trees, such as the one I had been standing under on the State House grounds. In addition the windows and doorways of buildings back then were well placed and left open to take advantage of even the slightest of air movement. Finally back then people tended to spend more time outdoors, in the shade of course, to take advantage of any available air circulation. I still wonder though how uncomfortable it must have been wearing the clothes that people did centuries ago given the fabric they were made of as well as their perceived bulky layers.

Anyway having cooled off to a fair degree, yes that was a dumb pun to use, I set off once again thinking that the trees with their broad canopies located on the lawn at St. John’s College would offer relief from the morning heat, besides there was surely a photograph or two for me to take there as well.

As it turned out yes the St. John’s tree lined campus lawn was a little cooler than being out in the open, however on a day such as this, with little breeze to move the air along, it felt a bit stuffy I have to say. On the move once again I walked across the lawn eventually stopping near the top of the rise in front of McDowell Hall. There, looking up at what originally was intended to be Maryland Governor Thomas Bladen’s 18th century mansion, I began to develop an appreciation for all of the trees surrounding the building. You see one could not help by notice the vast amounts of shade that these trees were casting around it, not just its more visible facade but also its sides and back as well. I’m sure that academic calendars hundreds of years ago were similar to those today, in that classes were not held in the Summer, however even during mid Spring the combination of the trees and open windows, combined with any breeze, made the classrooms fairly comfortable, sans air conditioning.

After contemplating the contribution that these trees would have made in cooling McDowell Hall hundreds of years ago, I’m sure that there were similar ones back then as well, I felt comfortable enough to sit down on one of the benches flanking the front steps. Taking in the views across the campus lawn from my shady refuge I found myself a little more tolerant of the day’s weather. Of course I was doing so while enjoying my last bottle of cold water.

Aren’t trees great for they provide for much needed shade, help cool our residences on hot days and during Autumn their foliage provides for spectacular amounts of natural color to enjoy.

Have a cool day and a great week everyone,

Glenn

This Blog is Copyright © 2016 Annapolis Experience
All Pictures Contained Within This Blog Are Copyright © 2016 G J Gibson Photography LLC
Annapolis Maryland Blog – Pinterest – St Johns College Photography – Bladen’s Folly
No part of this article, including photographs, can be used without the permission of Annapolis Experience and or G Gibson Photo Art except under the fair use component of U.S. Copyright Law
18th Century McDowell Hall Shaded by Trees on a Quite Warm Summer Morning
Contact us here with any comments or questions about the Annapolis Experience Blog
Annapolis Architectural Historian – Saving Places – Maryland Governor Thomas Bladen
Visit us at Annapolis Experience
18th Century McDowell Hall Shaded by Trees on a Quite Warm Summer Morning
Follow us on Twitter @GlennAnnapolis
Annapolis Photographs – This Place Matters – 18th Century Georgian Architecture
For High Resolution Images of Pictures Found on this Post Contact Us

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>