August is fairly predictable month when it comes to the weather, but one should never forget that weather can be tricky here along the coast. If you happened to be walking on our community boardwalk the morning of August 10, 2013, you would have seen the same blue sky that I captured in the picture included with this post.
With the thousands of landscape pictures I take, it is easy declare the blue in the morning sky as not the blue typically seen on an August morning. The blue in the morning sky looked more like what we see in an October sky than in an August one. Yet well before noon there was no doubt that summer still has us firmly in its grip. Sometime during the morning I noticed our thermometer at ninety degrees Fahrenheit. That is impressive since that thermometer has morning shade. If you are in North Carolina along the coast in August, heat is to be expected and you just adjust your activities accordingly.
Fortunately on August 10, we had a strong breeze all day long. Even more important to me, I got started early on my yard and finished the mowing just as the heat was beginning to peak. That is much better than what sometimes happens. You know it the heart of summer when you hit the shower and turn the water on so that only cold water is sprinkling down on you. With our pipes only buried a few inches, our cold water is pretty warm right out of the tap this time of year. When I come in heated up from working in the yard, I never bother with hot water. I need all the cooling that I can get.
Mowing the yard in the heat is just one part of summer here on the coast. Most of us would rather spend time on the water or along the beach than mow. Still we have to keep our places neat since we host a fair amount of company in August as people try to get in one last taste of the beach to hold them through the cold, dark winter.
It is not a bad time to visit the area. There is plenty to do beside cook yourself on the sand. For those who enjoy sitting on front porches like ours, the heat of an August morning is a good time to sit back a read a book before the sun finds you. When the heat and humidity wrap you like a blanket, all you have to do is retreat inside. If you arrive inside at lunch, you will find lots of seasonal treats.
July and August is watermelon time here along Bogue Sound. The area is famous for its tasty melons. July through mid-August is actually the peak of our produce season. Our home-grown tomatoes slow down around the third week of July but just before the middle of August we usually get a second crop. This year like many years, we have fun this time of year prospecting for the best local produce. Usually we are enjoying peaches, but many of them are not as tasty as usual because the peach growing areas have been very wet. Sweet potatoes are the only produce grown in our area that are yet to be harvested.
With all the fresh produce, it is a good time to grill some food outside and enjoy local vegetables like the corn on the cob on this plate that we got from Sara Winberry’s stand. I enjoy grilling food and sitting in the breeze that pulls through the door that leads from our garage to our patio. Here along the Southern Outer Banks we grill outside twelve months out of the year but it is a special treat to put something on the grill and enjoy the warmth of an August evening.
Once dinner is over, a sunset cruise on the river is often in order. While our sunsets are often not as spectacular as they are in the fall, sometimes like the blue sky morning I saw on the boardwalk, you get surprised and get to enjoy a stunning August sunset on the water.
When the next morning rolls around, it is not unusual in the heart of summer to find that our low temperature has failed to get below eighty degrees Fahrenheit. If you have managed to get your work done like I did, you might want to slide a kayak in the water or head over to the beach for some early morning fishing or walking.
While August might make the swimming pools a little warm, it is rare that you cannot find a cooling wave over on the shore. While we might change our schedules a little or move a little more deliberately, August and its heat are not going to keep us from enjoying North Carolina’s Crystal Coast. Come join us, there is plenty of heat, warm water, and blue sky to go around. If you need more enticement, try our new Kindle travel guide. If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can borrow it for free. If a late August trip to the beach is impossible, order a paper copy. The pictures will at least let you dream of the warm ocean waters when the snow is flying.