This post was originally written October 10, 2011.
There are reasons that fall is my favorite time here on the Southern Outer Banks. The weather is hard to ignore as a key part of the equation that makes things so nice as the seasons turn. Fishing, fewer crowds, and festivals also play a big part in making fall special.
The wonderful weather we experienced last fall is still a pleasant memory, but fall of 2011 is working hard to make it fade. We have tickets for the Lobster Festival at Saint Francis by the Sea in Salter Path on October 15. Once we have eaten our lobsters there this year, it will mark five years in a row we have managed to enjoy fresh Maine lobsters here on the coast in the fall.
Fall seems such a relief after a tough summer season. This summer we saw a little of everything from drought and swamps catching on fire to a visit from Hurricane Irene. Between all of that, it was a hot summer with a number of very smoky days.
There were few summer days when we could open our windows, and most of the time the air conditioning was running full blast. There were days that it was too hot to be on the water during the middle of the day, but there was never a morning or an evening that wasn’t pleasant.
I solved the heat of the day in summer problem by going boating early in the morning or late in the evening, but now that the weather has turned, spending time out in a boat is a lot more fun as long as the wind stays down. Except for the very localized spot yachts, there are also fewer boats out on the water.
The beaches are also less crowded so it is hard to argue with this season. Even the grocery stores are more pleasant with fewer visitors around. With the fall cooling, just about any type of outdoor activity is more fun with swimming perhaps being the one exception. The heat of the summer is a little better for a cooling dip in the surf.
Still the water is warm, and I spent much of the afternoon of Friday, October 7 wading around in water and enjoying an afternoon of fishing on the Point at Emerald Isle.
In the last couple of weeks, I have managed to slip in a number of hikes around the Point at Emerald Isle and several trips up to Third Street Beach. I managed to do the same things in the summer, but the stellar fall weather lets me linger and enjoy both places even more. Irene also made some interesting changes to the beaches so that has made exploring a lot of fun.
With the clear fall skies, the pictures I have taken are even better than usual. The ones that I took at the Point on October 7 are some of my favorites photos from the last year.
I also had a magical kayaking evening on the White Oak River on October 6. It was so nice when I entered Bluewater Cove that I just glided and listened to the birds.
While I know that we are scheduled to have some rain this week, even a few days of ran will not ruin the nice start to fall that we have enjoyed this year on the Crystal Coast. I can always hope that October will finish with a flourish of Indian summer.
It would be nice if I could bottle some of this weather and open a few bottles about the middle of January, winter would be a lot more bearable.
Still I am not complaining. With weather like we have had since the beginning of October, I haven’t even tried to resist the pull of the out of doors.
The opportunity to have great fall weather is one of the reasons that we live here along North Carolina’s Southern Outer Banks.