Burnt grass and ice cream trucks: Scenes from the drought

Aug 9, 2022

As a statewide drought continues and temperatures rise, residents everywhere are feeling the heat.

The severity of the drought can be measured by just looking outside: Lawns across Wareham are browning and wild grasses are drying out as the region waits for its next batch of rain.

At Little Harbor Country Club, the putting greens and tee boxes are oases of green surrounded by drier, browning grass.

General Manager Mike Labonte said that they hand water the tees and greens at Little Harbor and irrigate other parts, but the several weeks of drought have been “terrible” for the grass.

Little Harbor uses water from an irrigation pond, which Labonte said has gotten “scary low” — about two inches lower than usual.

Still, it’s not all bad news — Labonte said golfers still come out during the extreme heat, as some find the ball rolls better on the dried grass.

Records from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show that the highest max temperature for the beginning of August in Wareham have been record-breaking in recent years.

The highest max temperature for Aug. 2 was in 2006, when it reached 100 degrees. The hottest Aug. 3 was also in 2006, when it reached 96 degrees. The hottest Aug. 4 was recorded in 2020 at 95 degrees.

This past weekend, temperatures reached 92 degrees on both Saturday and Sunday, according to historical records by Weather Underground.

The hottest ever Aug. 11 in Wareham was recorded in 1949, when temperatures reached 100 degrees.

For centuries, people have found respite from the heat in the beaches of Onset. The beaches were chock-full of kids and families playing in the sun this weekend.

Along South Boulevard on Monday, a tinkling tune beckoned kids and their parents up the stairs from the beach in search of something sweet.

Ice cream truck driver Katie Trudell leaned out the window of Perry’s Last Stand’s mobile shop as she sold a few snacks to beachgoers.

Trudell said of the truck’s many options for ice cream and frozen treats, there’s a few that remain popular with kids: character pops, like Sonic the Hedgehog ice creams, and screwballs, icy treats with gumballs in the bottom.

Kids love the gumballs in the bottom, she said.