I knew today with its nineties was coming earlier in the week. Like the southern boy that my mother raised me to be, I was ready before it got here.
Southern math has a few simple equations. One of them is lots of rain plus lots of heat equals explosive grass growth and makes the afterburners on the weeds kick in with a vengeance.
Life on the coast is sometimes one of extremes especially when it comes to rainfall. While we went through most of May with little precipitation after Ana dropped four inches on us early in the month, the first weeks of June have made up for any lack of precipitation. According to NOAA our area around the White Oak River has received six inches of rain in early June. My rain gauge happens to agree.
With that much rain our centipede grass perked up and certainly needed mowing. I started watching the weather forecast early in the week. I picked the coolest morning with the most breeze and planned to knock out the yard. I even alerted my boss that I needed to mow the yard before showing up in my upstairs office at the computer. The yard was done by 10:15 AM and I was showered and at my desk by 10:45 AM.
Even that was a little late, but there were other garden chores to do in preparation for the weekend's heat. Even with all the moisture some of our sandy-soiled based beds dry out quickly and the tomatoes needed fertilizing.
Last night as the evening cooled off and the sun dropped behind the pine trees I washed both of our cars because I knew it would be too hot to wash them on the weekend. Another southern rule is that car needs to be clean on the weekend.
When I went to bed just after 11 PM on Friday night, I noticed the temperature was still at 80F. This morning when I went outside at 6:30 AM I saw the thermometer was reading 75F. At least it is great weather for ripening tomatoes.
I did manage to spray for weeds and do a few maintenance things around our neighborhood pool before it got too hot. Even then I got so warm under my straw hat that I went home and took my first shower of the day. There is nothing like a 10 AM shower with the hot water completely turned off to prove that you are really in the south. Here in Carteret County there is no worrying about cold showers in the summer since our water lines are buried only about six inches. Still Saturday, June 13, 2015 was the first time this year that I have completely turned off the hot water.
After my shower, I took a quick dip in the neighborhood pool. Normally and this June is no exception our pool remains refreshing in the early part of summer. By August we are hoping someone will dump a truck load of ice into it.
I worked another hour or so in the shady areas of our garden and went in to have yet another shower. Two showers before noon is nothing unusual in the South in summer. We had lunch which included some fresh from the garden tomatoes and onions. I had hoped to go kayaking this afternoon, but the tides, winds, and heat convinced me otherwise.
A nap seemed appropriate so I enjoyed one under the upstairs fan with the knowledge that it was too hot to be outside anyway. A little later in the day I ventured out to check to see if any plants had wilted in the heat. I ended up watering a few that I found. I was careful to go inside before I need my third shower.
I will be heading out soon to grill some hamburgers. As the sun drops down behind the pines, my wife will check the beans and tomato plants. I might do a little trimming and prepare my kayak for an early morning fishing trip.
When you stay inside during the heat of the day, you are probably in the South. When you do your outside work early in the morning and late in the evening, you have likely been trained well by some southern parents.
It has been a great southern summer day and one that might make some folks want to go to the beach. We live at the beach so we can also plan those visits. I had a great time at one of my favorite beaches last weekend. The weather was almost perfect over there last weekend.
While it will likely still feel something like a sauna at 7 PM. I will finish the day on our patio by the water grilling some burgers and enjoying a cold beer. While the heat scares some people away, it is the price we pay for lettuce in late February and March, tomatoes from late May until sometime December. I will take it over the cold and snow any day. As they say no one retires to the North.
Browse these photos taken Saturday, June 13, 2015. It is almost as good as being here.