Spring Cleaning the Weather


Spring is a tough time of year to figure out what to wear.  I know the ladies will laugh at this, but it is true even for us guys.  There are days when I have to think hard about whether I am going with shorts and keeping that positive warm attitude or paying attention to the weather and wearing blue jeans.

On top of that in March, I even have to worry about long sleeved and short sleeved tee shirts. Then there is the added complication of wearing a shirt with a collar for some fancy events.  It is sometimes more than a guy can handle.  Fortunately I have learned that once you get over sixty, you're invisible to almost everyone except your wife, and then even they need good light to make any serious comments.  Wives also get to the point that they are just happy if you aren't wearing anything with a spot on it.
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Coastal produce season starts with strawberries


In coastal North Carolina the first we see of our farmer operated produce stands is when the strawberries get ripe each year.

In spring of 2007, our first full spring on the Southern Outer Banks, the strawberries were ripe on April 13.  In 2008 we actually got strawberries in late March.  Both 2009 and 2010 were later than this year by a few days.
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First Light on a Spring Morning


There might be nothing nicer than a spring morning.  With the first rays of sunlight hitting the water, and birds singing in the distance, it is a great time to be walking around outside.

I will admit to wishing for another fifteen degrees of warmth.  This morning in Bluewater Cove, we were at a comfortable 55F. However, if I had my choice of overnight temperatures, I would likely pick 70F. 

I am not going to complain about the slightly cool edge to the day's first light temperature.  It is only April 13, and we will have plenty of warmth soon enough here on the Southern Outer Banks.  Right now is a favorite time of year for me since we can play what I like to call the "Heat Pump Game."
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And the water did come back


In my last post, I wrote that April might be the cruelest month.  It turns out that I was a little hasty and harsh with my judgment. A day or two after I declared my displeasure with April, things turned around completely.

April 8, I had an absolutely stellar hike along the beach. I even got some saltwater on my feet. I got so warm that to cool off I waded into the ocean water which is still probably hovering around 60 degrees Fahrenheit.  It actually felt great.

While April 9 wasn't as nice a day, it certainly wasn't anything to complain about considering the weather most people are seeing. Pulaski, Virginia got the first strong tornadoes in their history which shows you just how fast life can change. Our nasty weather consisted of a few rolls of thunder just before bed and about .25 inches of rain which we needed.
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Waiting for the water


April might be the cruelest month of spring.  I think many boaters along the Southern Outer Banks would vote with me on that.  The air temperature feels like we should be out on the water. The beautiful blues of the water are tempting.

Unfortunately, the water seems to stay calm only for brief moments like this early morning picture. Then sometimes, as it has done in the last few days, the water just disappears, and you wonder what happened to all those predictions of rising sea levels.  High tide looks a lot like low tide.  About the time my thoughts wander to my kayak which could easily handle the low water levels, the wind starts blowing.

While boating on the coast is often a grab the moment kind of endeavor,  it is much worse in April.  While one trip in March helped a little with erasing the memories of the cold boat rides that I had this winter, I really would like to go out and just enjoy the warm Carolina sun on my back.  read more »

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Waves on Bluewater Cove's Inlet


If there is one thing you can count on during a coastal spring, it is wind. On April 3 we arrived home from a recent trip to the west and north. We came back a day early because of the forecast that there might be severe storms on April 4 or 5.

It turned out that April 4 was a day of continuous strong winds. Lots of times the winds aren't aligned to blow in our inlet at Bluewater Cove, but April 4 was not one of those days.

We don't have a wind sock here in Bluewater Cove, but on April 4 there was a young lady sitting on a bench facing right out Raymond's Gut towards the White Oak River.  I was on the far side of the water stalking herons when I saw her sit down and start reading a book in what I estimated to be 30 MPH winds. 
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March 29 Frost by the River


Most people likely don't need any convincing that this has been a tough winter and something of a rocky start to spring.

If you were on the borderline, the morning of March 29 should seal the deal.  This is the latest frost down by the water that we have had since we have been living along the shores of the White Oak River.

A couple of times we have had frost on the "high spot" in our front yard, but it has never made it down to the water.  When my kayak has frost on it, you know something is wrong with the weather.  I don't usually have it outside until the weather gets nice.

Last week I went kayaking and even fishing the day before. Now we have a morning of frost, and I suspect some very chilly river waters.  read more »

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