Memorial Day 2011 at the Beach


Memorial Day 2011 has been a good one.  The weather has been great, and our ocean waters are warm enough for swimming already this year.

Even the statue of Otway Burns in Centennial Park in Swansboro seems to be having fun amongst all the flags this Memorial Day.

On Saturday, I had the earliest dip in the ocean that I can remember. Even along North Carolina's coast, you cannot count on the water being warm enough for swimming in May. We usually have to wait until mid-June.

This year we made it with several days to spare. I certainly enjoyed my ocean dip on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, and I suspect that I will be back for another as soon as the beaches empty out a little after this weekend.  read more »

Along the edge of the Marsh Grass


The NC coast has seen plenty of wind recently.  Sunday, May 22, was no exception.

After church service and lunch,  I decided to take advantage of the warm day and not so strong winds by paddling my kayak out into the White Oak River.

Getting in the water isn't much of a challenge, I just slide my kayak through the little opening in the salt marsh cord grass that you can see on the left side of this picture behind my pickup truck.  Of course the only reason there is an opening in the cord grass is that I keep using the same spot to launch my kayak.

When the kayak isn't in the water, it is usually on my dock or hiding in the garage during cold weather.
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Stunning weather on the beach


Living on the Crystal Coast has some amazing benefits, and one my favorites is the ability to be walking on amazingly beautiful beaches about ten to fifteen minutes after the idea pops into my head.

Thursday, May 19, I needed to banish all memories of the cold, rainy weather that I found on a recent trip to the Virginia mountains where we saw temperatures as low as 48F and rain which seemed to know exactly when we planned to be outside.

It turned out to be ones of those days that is perfect for a beach walk.  There was just enough breeze to keep me comfortable in temperatures in the mid-seventies, and it turned out that I walking at nearly low tide which is important if you are planning a long beach walk like I typically do.

If you start your walk an hour or so before low tide, you will usually find the best surface for beach walks unless there have been some strong on shore winds which can fluff up the beach sand.
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Even at the coast, some rain must fall


I absolutely love sunny, blue skies, but my life which included ten years of farming has taught me to appreciate timely rain.

If you run from your house to the car and then to the office, rain can just be a nuisance.  However, if you have a crop in the ground, timely rain is a necessity.

This afternoon the rain interrupted my planned beach walk, so I took the opportunity to play a little Foursquare and become "Mayor" of Redfearn's Nursery.

Rain rarely gets distributed evenly.  Even with today's showers, we could use some additional rain.  Likely I will mow my yard Saturday, May 7, and then run our sprinklers the next day because we are somewhat dry.

I will be running sprinklers while people along the Mississippi are praying for dry days and folks in Texas would give anything to have the shower that passed through this evening.

Fortunately we have had enough rain for field crops to germinate, but my tomato plants have required regular watering.  They are doing great.  I have one tomato the size of a small hen's egg.  read more »

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Embraced by Warmth


Spring is a wonderful time of the year except when the weather turns violent.  We have enjoyed some spectacular weather off and on since the middle of March.

It has been a nice treat to be embraced by warmth.  Like many folks, we were tired of the colder than normal weather that we faced this past winter. It has been nice to get up to temperatures even in the seventies.  I have also enjoyed being outside in the warmth like I was when I snapped the above picture of the White Oak River that I took from the Swansboro park on the north side of Highway 24.

However, the warmth has come at a price.  We have seen an unstable atmosphere for the last month, and at times it has turned deadly.  With humidity and warmth, you get storms, and sometimes they can be severe as they have been in last few weeks.
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Great Easter Weekend, Summer around the Corner


The Easter weekend marks the beginning of the beach season along North Carolina's Crystal Coast.  While we didn't have a perfect weekend, we had a very nice one, and I believe we had some good crowds in spite of the higher gas prices.

I also think that summer is just around the corner just like the channel to the White Oak River is just a turn away from the egret in my picture.

Our high temperatures were close to eighty degrees for most of the weekend.  However, persistent winds off the still cool ocean waters made it seem somewhat cooler if you were on the beach.

While the river and sound temperatures are above or close to seventy degrees, the ocean still hasn't gotten over the 70F hump yet.  There were plenty of people on the beach and some in the water, but there will be nicer times for playing in the saltwater.
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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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