Welcome Rain

Submitted by OcracokeWaves on Fri, 06/07/2013 - 03:23.

We are not as close to the land as we were in seventies and early eighties when we living on a farm in Atlantic Canada and growing almost all our own food.

However, we still drive by fields on our way to the grocery store but now they are corn and winter wheat instead of hay and oats. Our local corn is waist high this first week of June 2013. It is certainly looking much better than it did a week ago. The winter wheat is almost ready to harvest.

Most people think ocean and beaches when they hear our home up the White Oak River is less than ten minutes from the beaches of Emerald Isle.

However, we are here for more than just the beaches. We came to Western Carteret County because of the protected setting of the area’s beaches and the small town environment. Those farm fields are part of the attraction to us.

We signed a contract on our home seven years ago this June. While there are a few more people in the county, I am pleased to report we still do not have to worry about wall to wall high rise condos on the beach.

However, with 158,000 acres of forest on one side of us and plenty of farmland across the county including the fields that provide us with the wonderful produce we enjoy all summer, we do have to worry about precipitation in the summer.

We had a pretty serious drought for a couple of years. In the summer of 2011 some traditionally swampy areas caught fire. Smoke from the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge near Stumpy Point combined with smoke from fires in remote areas of Camp Lejeune to make July a not so nice one for our all of us here including the beach guests.

Even we a river between one and two miles wide on one side of you, smoke from a forest fire is troubling.

The summer of 2012 brought plenty of relief from the drought. Through most of the winter of 2012–13, we had so much moisture that walking on our yard felt like walking on a wet sponge.

Then in early May of 2013, the rain stopped. By the time we got to June 1, we had recorded only .33 inches of rain for the whole previous month. Things started to get very dry and many of us were worried that the local corn crop and our summer vegetables were in danger.

Fortunately we got .80 inches of rain on June 3 & 4. It was a welcome taste of moisture for the area’s crops and the vegetables we have planted around our home, but it certainly wasn’t enough to get us to July.

Then came the announcement that the first tropical storm of the season was going to ride up the east coast with a serious dose of moisture. We got nearly .5 inches on June 6 and got 1.4 inches more on June 7.

Drought, rain, fire, tornadoes and tropical storms are part of life on earth and here in Carteret County. It is still a great place to live and one of the most beautiful on earth. We are also pretty close to some other neat spots like Nags Head which have an even more challenging relationship to the weather than we do.

Still have a lot of wonderful days here on the Southern Outer Banks and the whole North Carolina coast, but they cannot all be perfect.

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