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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spring Mornng on Raymond's Gut

Spring is a funny season whether you are on the coast of the Southern Outer Banks or the mountains of the South.  Spring often teases you with glimpses of summer, or the warmth of spring can completely disappear in a couple of hours.  You can have wonderful weather one afternoon, and then you are back in winter.

The picture at the top of the post was taken just after we had a frost that went all the down to the water in Raymond's Gut which runs behind our house all the way to the White Oak river.   I took the picture on a morning walk around the boardwalk in our community, Bluewater Cove. The fog hanging over the water is normal when there is a big temperature difference between the water and air. We see the fog especially when the water is warmer than the air.

While walking I was serenaded by many of the spring birds.  Fortunately the cold temperatures only lasted a few hours, but it was still enough that I had to cover my young tomato plants.  Because Carteret County doesn't have any rocks, I ended up buying a bag of rocks which is a hard thing to do for someone who farmed a new crop of rocks every year in Canada where we used to have a couple of farms.

While spring sometimes doesn't come in the Canadian Maritimes until May, you can count on it being here in the South by the first week of April.  I think that the latest that we have seen strawberries here on the coast is about the middle of April.

Spring is a great time on the coast.  Once we get through the pine pollen, it is possible to sleep with your windows open at night.  We can go a week at a time without the heat pumps running.  Sometimes it gets hot enough for the air conditioners to come on late in the afternoon, but we usually shut them off and let the evening breezes cool our homes.

As the waters warm they become alive with bait. We already had a week or two of that earlier in the spring.  It is a great time to be around the water, but it is a challenging time because the winds are often blowing. That means getting out on the water is something that has to be done when the conditions are right, or you miss the opportunity and end up sitting at the dock for a long time.

Later in April, it is not unusual to see winter weary northerners actually in our ocean waters.  Most of us here on the coast wait until June to get anything but our toes wet.  There are other milestones of spring.

I have already managed to catch the first fish of the season from our skiff, and I got in my first kayaking trip.  I can hardly wait until next week when the warm temperatures come back.  I will be back to exploring the beaches.  I hope to get in a five mile hike along the beaches before the end of the first week of April.

And I definitely want to get back to my uniform of shorts, tee-shirt, and crocs or Birkenstocks. Spring is definitely in the air in the South.

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