The heat is clearly changing the way people work and play in Texas.
Freeways aren't as congested as usual. Parks are vacant as playground equipment glistens in the sun. Neighborhoods look like ghost towns as people retreat to the air-conditioned indoors, cats and dogs in tow.
The ice storm that crippled North Texas in February, with temperatures in the teens, doesn't seem so bad.
Here's a look at how people are coping with the unrelenting heat, and some of the problems it's causing.
People are not the only ones feeling miserable because of the heat.
Trees can't stand it either.
"When you hit 108 and 110, they are shocked," said Josh Richards, owner of Fossil Creek Tree Farm in Fort Worth. "They aren't happy."
Happy trees -- those that get ample water and have fat green leaves -- are becoming harder to spot these days.
Blame the drought and the heat.
"It's really putting the hurt on them," said Steve Chaney, a horticultural agent with Texas AgriLife Extension Service.
Chaney said the extreme heat burns off trees' root hairs, blocking absorption of water and nutrients.
"As the soil temperature gets higher and higher ... it singes off the hairs -- much like when you hold your arm too close to the fire," he said. "They're all suffering."
Jimmy Prichard, a certified arborist and owner of Integrity Tree Care, said smaller, newer trees could die.
Richards, whose employees have been working nonstop to make sure his 4,000 trees are getting enough water, said "all it takes is one day of not getting water and they will decline super-fast."
"Trees talk to you," he said. "If you look out and the leaves are curling up and turning brown -- that is heat stress."
-- Melody McDonald
Fort Worth's Foster Park, home to a natural pond where dozens of ducks and geese live, seems close to drying up.
Because the thirsty fowl, which live off the crackers and bread crumbs that visitors feed them, won't fly away and seek another water source, city parks workers are bringing water to them.
It's too costly to manually fill up the pond, potentially $12,000, so each morning city workers fill up large buckets and tubs of water for the birds, said Cindy Brooks, spokeswoman for the city's Parks and Community Services Department.
"Ducks are pretty self-reliant," Brooks said. "They know what's going on. And they know there is water in those big tubs we bring out.
"They're not going to starve and they won't go without water."
-- Anna M. Tinsley
Read the complete story at star-telegram.com