That Summer Weather Pattern

Submitted by OcracokeWaves on Sat, 08/14/2010 - 03:05.
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No one who lives here along the Southern Outer Banks will argue about the declaration that we are in a summer weather pattern.  We have had plenty of heat to go with our afternoon thunderstorms.

Friday morning we got up to clear skies, but it did not take long for clouds to form.  Usually by mid-morning we can see some puffy white clouds.  Today was no exception.

By Friday evening, the view off our patio was the picture with threatening clouds at the top of the blog post.  The clouds eventually looked even worse.

As I was a grilling a steak for dinner, there were some light sprinkles of rain, but there was no clue of what was in store for us.  By 9:30 PM the skies had opened, and it was pouring buckets of rain. 

I went out and checked our rain gauge about 10:30, and it was showing that we had received 1.75 inches of rain this evening.  I guess we can stop worrying about watering the yard for another week or two.

When we first moved here, someone told me to always plan to have our boat back to the dock by 3 PM when the summer weather pattern rolls around.  That has turned out to be good advice.

Summer brings some other things besides clouds.  The gut behind our home is full of bait fish and shrimp this time of year.  Our perennial hibiscus has managed another set of blooms, and the white herons are out chasing the bait fish.

This late summer weather pattern also means we are on the down slope for local produce.  It is time to enjoy the vegetables and fruit before they disappear.  Earlier Friday we picked some nice tomatoes and a sugar baby watermelon at the Bucks Corner Produce Stand on Highway 24.  I also found some delicious scuppernong grapes, one of the North Carolina treats that I have been enjoying as long as I can remember.

Next stop was Winberry's Produce where my wife picked out a few peaches.  The ones we got there last week were about as good as peaches get.  I got the most perfect Bogue Sound watermelon I have ever seen from Winberry's earlier this summer.

We will see how the sugar baby from their down the street competition stacks up against it. I don't think that I have ever had a Bogue Sound sugar baby, but that will not be the case after Saturday lunch.

Just beside Winberry's on Highway 24 is Redfearn's Nursery. Both businesses are in Cedar Point. 

I depend on Alan Redfearn for all my coastal gardening advice.  I have gotten everything his nursery from the two great Sable Palms that anchor each side of our home to tomato plants..  The palms that Alan installed a few years ago are growing like crazy

I  had my best ever tomato crop from the plants I got from Redfearn's early this spring.  This year's crop isn't going to last as long as 2009's tomatoes, but every season is different.

Friday I was looking for fertilizer for our centipede yard.  Alan knows more about centipede yards than anyone I have met.  He is also pretty adamant about how centipede yards need to be handled if you want them to survive. I told him the size of my yard, and he would only sell me one bag of fertilizer. He said putting fertilizer on at the recommended rate of nearly two bags would cause problems.

I have learned not to question Alan when it comes to plants or grasses, and my yard seems to be getting better and better based on his advice. Centipede is nothing like the bluegrass that we had in our yard in Virginia.  Centipede grows sideways and is more like a weed than any grass I have ever used.  Still it has a lot of advantages, one very important one being that it does not require a lot of mowing or fertilizer to run off into area waters.

After the fertilizer has time to work, I will head back to Redfearn's for some weed killer. Alan reminded me that it is not good to stress centipede grass with a combination fertilizer/weed killer.

There are only two times of the year when you should put fertilizer on centipede yards, and one of them is when we have our summer weather pattern in August. I tried to encourage Alan to write a blog entry about caring for centipede, but it might take some arm twisting.  If you go by Redfearn's, mention that he needs to write up his centipede advice.

While we are waiting for that post, you can check out the Redfearn's Nursery website.

I have seen one other sign that reminded me that we are in our summer pattern.  That of course is the arrival of the sulphur butterflies which usually portend some good fishing. Dr. Bogus caught a keeper flounder on Emerald Isle this Friday, so it just might be a trend.

There is nothing you can do about the summer weather pattern, but to be happy it is giving us adequate rain and some morning blue skies to hint of fall.  Now is the time to enjoy the summer weather, but just make sure you are back at the dock by 3 PM.


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