Crystal Coast

Blue skies for EI Saint Patrick's Festival

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There is nothing wrong with getting half of inch of rain in early March.  This time of year we need regular doses of rain to build up some moisture reserves for the growing season.

Yesterday's storm was a mild ones with only a couple of short bursts of heavy rain.  For a little while it looked like the east winds were piling some water into the river, but it turned out to be minor.

This morning everything has that fresh washed feeling, and the sky is back to being a beautiful Carolina blue.  At just after 8 AM we are still in the mid-forties, but it looks like we will come close to hitting 60F this afternoon, and luckily, Saturday we will be well into the sixties.

Saturday's weather is important, because it is time for Emerald Isle's annual Saint Patrick's Day Festival. It is one of our early season festivals, and once again this year it is followed the next weekend by the Swansboro Oyster Roast and Pig Out on March 19.
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Waiting for the rains

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Spring is at it again.  Last night we had less than a quarter of inch of rain.  The winds have picked up this morning, and apparently we have the chance of some severe storms this afternoon which might be our first daylight thunderstorms of the spring.

Thunderstorms are part of life in North Carolina.  In the summer they often bring much needed moisture to much of the countryside.

This time of year, tornadoes sometimes accompany them, but right on the coast we seem to miss most of them though an occasional water spout shows up.

My two walks at the beach late last week have still managed to keep my view of the world on an even keel, but the warm temperatures haven't hurt either.
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A nice morning to look out my office window

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Some mornings, things do not go exactly as planned.  I could blame technology, but the truth of the matter is that it is easy to forget little details in this complex world of ours even when you are living on the Southern Outer Banks on the edge of the technologically sophisticated world.

This morning I walked to the end of our driveway as I usually do each morning.  My Nikon 3100 camera with telephoto lens was strapped around my neck as it normally is.  The Bluewater Cove boat ramp is just a few feet from the end of our driveway.  As you look at this picture note the post at the corner of the boardwalk.
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Then there was no wind

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Yesterday afternoon the winds started dying down after the previous day when they were first blowing strongly from the southwest and then turned and came from the northwest even more forcefully.

Of course we had warm temperatures when the wind was blowing.  Now that the winds have stopped, the temperatures have dropped.  We can hope for a nice warm day with no winds which will make us think of summer. Just maybe it will not take as long as last year.

Wind is more often a part of spring than warming temperatures. The one thing that I miss about winter is that we no longer have herons and pelicans at our doorstep every morning.
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Now Wind is Blowing Out the Gut

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There is nothing like being on a weather roller coaster.  I hope the old  "In like a lion, out like lamb" saying works for this March.  Most of yesterday we had a strong southwest wind which blows right up the gut that runs behind our home to the White Oak River.

You can see the gut on this Google map which records the river water temperature check that I did with our skiff on Sunday afternoon.

With the strong winds blowing up the Gut on February 28, the water looked different then than it does on March 1 when the water is blowing down the gut from a more northerly direction. Just compare the picture in my post, Blowing up the Gut, to the one in this post. If you click on the picture in Blowing up the Gut post, it will enlarge.  The one in this post won't, but you can still see the difference.
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A slow start on a foggy morning

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Spring is never a smooth ride. Saturday morning I had a wonderful walk along our boardwalk.  The weather was great, and I did not even need a coat. 

I did have to make a u-turn when I saw one of our resident great blue herons enjoying the early morning sunshine. I hate to disturb anyone soaking up the sun.

Later in the morning I worked in our yard pulling out wild onions which seem to be hard to eradicate in any environmentally friendly way.  I got so warm that when I went in for lunch, I changed to shorts and a tee shirt.

After lunch I even went out on our dock barefooted and wearing the same shorts and tee shirt. At 67F with bright sunshine, I was very comfortable.   I even managed to stalk one of our blue herons and get a great picture of him about to catch his lunch.

I had a few things to do maintaining one of my websites, so I retired to my upstairs office where I am proud to report that I have a handful of tomato seedlings growing.
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It is the time of year for things to take off

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Spring is always a bumpy ride, but things besides the white herons are starting to take off.

Today we wandered inland twenty miles to visit some nice neighborhoods in Jacksonville, NC.   It is no secret that in early spring the coastal areas take a little longer to warm up.

All the water that got chilled during the winter has to be warmed up before the whole area can stay warm.

The difference between warm land and cool waters often creates a fair amount of wind this time of year.  There is no way to get around it.  We just have to wait for temperatures to equalize a little.

Just going a few miles inland generally means that you will see flowers and trees blooming that we will not find on the coast until a week or so later in the year.  That was the case today. While I had only seen the first of the daffodils in the warmest spots in Swansboro, Jacksonville was a different story.
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