Rain that won't go away


With all the places that could use the rain, it is tough to watch all the precipitation go to waste here in Eastern North Carolina where we are having a hard time putting together a streak of dry days.

A little over twelve months ago, I wrote a post with the title "Strange Stuff Falling Out of the Sky." The summer of 2011 brought us so little rain that we had a hard time remembering what it looked or sounded like.

In July of 2012, I wrote a post about weather never being normal.  At the time we still had a home in Roanoke, Virginia.   The mountain area of Southwest Virginia was once again in the midst of very dry times. It always amazes me how you can be dry one summer and wet the next.
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Some Blue Sky Makes an Appearance


While I have been away from the Crystal Coast for much of the month of August, I have been getting regular readings from my rain gauge.

It is pretty easy to say that August of 2012 has been very different from August of 2011.  On August 9 last year I wrote about how little rain we had seen all summer.  A little less than a week later I wrote about strange stuff falling out of the sky.

Somehow in a summer that saw barely three inches of rain, we got a storm with six tenths of an inch of rain.

Unfortunately I don't have an exact rain total for August 2012.  I do know that it is somewhere north of ten inches of rain.  That comes on top of close to fifteen inches of rain in May, June, and July.  We have gotten over two feet of rain this summer.  read more »

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What a Difference a Breeze Makes


Weather is a funny thing, you never know what it is going to do, and here on the Southern Outer Banks, the weather is even more localized than it is in many places.

The nice breeze that we get off the water at our house in Bluewater Cove often has no impact just a few houses up the street.  Other areas of the subdivision get winds from different directions.  We are sheltered from some of those breezes.

We were at our church, Cape Carteret Presbyterian, on July 22, and after the service we talked with some friends who live in Emerald Isle just four or five miles away as a seagull flies.  They commented about how dry it was at their house on Emerald Isle until the rains which came the previous Saturday.  read more »

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A Good Time for an Aquarium Visit


Going to the Aquarium in Pine Knoll Shores is a tradition in our family.   I have written in detail about our visits before, but today was a special visit.  We got to take our granddaughter with us. 

If there is a perfect age for a first visit to the Aquarium, I'm guessing four is not far from it.  There is nothing like the wonder in the eyes of a child seeing a shark tank for the first time.  Of course sea otters are even more fun than sharks.

This trip was perhaps the first time that we visited the Aquarium when we were not trying to escape from cottage fever, heat, or rain.  We could easily have gone to the beach or the pool, but our granddaughter wanted to go to the Aquarium so we went.

There was a good crowd there ahead of us, but we have seen it far more crowded than it was on our visit today.  Even when the Aquarium is crowded it is still possible to have a great time.  Our almost four year old granddaughter had some favorite exhibits, but she managed to enjoy almost everything.
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Beach Weather on the Crystal Coast


If you live at the beach, you spend a lot of time thinking about wind and weather.  It just comes with the territory for most people.

While I learned a lot in my first career of farming, I think paying attention to the weather has always been in my genes.

My teenage years were spent in Mt. Airy, NC in a home that is now the Sobotta Manor B&B.  I often enjoyed sitting on the side porch of the house during thunderstorms.  From one end I could see the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains while the other side overlooked my mother's azaleas. 
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Bare Feet in the Warm Rain


It is amazing what you take for granted.   It is easiest to lose track of the little things.  May 30, we were waiting for sub-tropical storm Beryl to show up in our neighborhood.

Last summer we survived Irene, and there were no severe weather warnings with Beryl. No one was expecting much.   I got up to mostly clouds and light rain. 

I enjoyed an uneventful first cup of coffee.  My normal walk to get the morning paper was in heavy, warm rain.  I intentionally left my footwear, a pair of Crocs, in the garage.

I walk a lot on the beach and just the other day I noticed the tread was worn off those Crocs.  I have learned from experience that tread-less Crocs and wet concrete are a lethal combination.

Without any serious thought, I walked out to get the newspaper in my bare feet.  I have done it many times.  Sometimes the concrete is too cold or too hot, but I have managed to survive it one way or the other even in the rain.

Often like on May 30, the walk without shoes is comfortable and reminds me of my youth in rural NC in the fifties when shoes were optional in the summer.  read more »

It is spring, and my tomatoes are in the ground


If you are living in the South and not taking advantage of the great gardening weather, you are missing a big part of what makes life here so special.

Just a little gardening can make you feel like a native Southerner.

There are few things that I enjoy more than a tomato sandwich made with one of my own homegrown tomatoes. 

I grew up with my mother growing unbelievably tasty tomatoes around our house near Lewisville, North Carolina.  Mother was still growing tomatoes well into her eighties when she lived on Pine Street in Mount Airy, NC.

I have faced some really challenging tomato climates in my life.  The north shore of Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley barely had enough heat to produce tomatoes by September.  read more »

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