A windy day for fighting a fire and crabs

Submitted by OcracokeWaves on Mon, 07/27/2009 - 03:13.

While I have not hear anything since the evening news, I suspect the winds gusting to 25 mph did little to help the fire fighting efforts over by Nine Mile Road in Croatan National Forest.

According to news reports the fire has already burned 800 acres.  Some reports that I have heard indicate that this weekend's rain actually hindered efforts to contain the fire by burning areas ahead of it.

The moisture received in the area of the fire was not enough to put the fire out, but it was enough to make it difficult to do the controlled burns ahead of the fire.

We saw no sign of the fire as we drove over to the beach just before noon, but it was obvious that we were in for a windy day.  The surf was stirred up, but people seemed to still be having fun.

The crowds came in spite of the predicted showers this weekend.  The Eastern Regional Access had as many cars parked as I have ever seen.  When we went to Winberry's produce stand in Cedar Point just before noon, it was also crowded.  People were after the corn, tomatoes, beans, and watermelon among other things.

Tomorrow the area has a 50% chance of seeing significant showers which might help with the fire fighting.

In Bluewater Cove, our spot along the Crystal Coast, we have seen close to six inches of rain in July.  I am ready for the moisture to stop for a few days.

While the fire fighters have been working to control the Croatan fire, the rain and local critters have presented us some minor challenges with our tomato crop which has been very good so far.

Our heirloom German Queen tomato seems to have a number of tomatoes splitting from excess moisture.  Fortunately we have other varieties that the moisture does not seem to bother.

Then there are the fiddler crabs that are always a problem this time of year.  They eat holes in the tomatoes.

Our home is on the water, and in late July of each year the crabs launch an attack on any and all ripening tomatoes.  So far the only defense is to the pick the tomato as soon as possible after it starts to ripen.

I even got a tomato hornworm off the the plants this evening.  I guess it is time for another dose of bug powder. Growing vegetables is never simple.

The heirloom tomatoes have gained in popularity this year.  We saw a number of heirloom tomatoes for sale among all the fresh  summer vegetables when visiting the Roanoke, VA farmers' market last Friday.  We were surprised that the Roanoke vegetables were significantly more expensive than the ones we are seeing in Carteret County.

There is no doubt that Carteret County vegetables are at their peak right now. We had fresh corn, squash, and cantaloupe as part of our dinner tonight.  Roanoke might have a few weeks before catching up, but they did have white half runner beans which are our favorite.  We will be having those with some cornbread, new potatoes, and sliced tomatoes tomorrow night.

Fortunately we still have plenty of tomatoes to eat.  Maybe a ring of fire would work at keeping the fiddler crabs at bay.