We have actually have been through a remarkable stretch of sunny but windy weather along the Crystal Coast, but Wednesday, May 18, 2016 reminded me a lot of a day in Nova Scotia. As my wife says it was one of those days that can happen in any maritime climate. We did not get much rain, but for much of the day the air was filled with mist.
When you live near the water, you can get caught in a damp pattern while areas just inland enjoy sunshine. That very reason drove us to move from Nova Scotia the first time in the fall of 1974. I tried farming along the shore of the Bay of Fundy and found that the weather made it very hard to make hay. Often we would have a day of mist or fog while just inland from us, the temperatures would be in the eighties and people would be making hay. We ended up moving north of Fredericton, New Brunswick. While it was only fifty or sixty miles from the Bay of Fundy instead of just a mile, we could count on good haying weather most of the time. We needed it since we often put up five hundred or more tons of hay to feed our herd of 200 red and black Angus at Tay Ridge Angus.
Still there was something peaceful about a misty day along the shore. Usually in Nova Scotia those misty days were cool ones since the Bay of Fundy barely got into the lower fifties during the middle of summer and often was in the forties. You get used to cool weather but you miss warm weather and things that come with it. Perhaps the climate has warmed some but back in the early seventies, tomatoes were a late August crop and corn was a challenge. However you could grow five gallon buckets of broccoli and more English peas than you would think possible.
While we were lucky to have soil dry enough to garden in the heavy clay of the North Mountain by the end of May, where we live along the North Carolina coast, our spinach, lettuce and broccoli are already done until fall by mid-May. Summer is almost on us and we are looking forward to it and the visitors that it brings. Our water temperatures are already around seventy degrees so we rarely cool below the sixties this time of year. However this has been a cool spring so we have seen the forties at least once and a few fifties.
Living in any coastal area will bring you closer to mother nature. The weather can turn on a dime and can turn on you without much warning. I was recently kayaking and a heavy rainstorm sneaked up on me. Fortunately it was a warm rain but I still got very wet and was reminded that storms can take different paths without telegraphing their moves. While Nova Scotia never got very warm in summer, it also never reached the depths of cold that we saw in New Brunswick where winter often brought temperatures in the minus twenty Fahrenheit range and sometimes even bottomed out at minus forty.
It you look at the picture at the top of the post and squint your eyes enough to make our long leaf pines become spruce trees and turn the air conditioning down to about 65F, you might get some idea of a misty cool day in Nova Scotia. Of course it would more likely be 45F in Nova Scotia but temperature is all relative. Fifty degrees this time of year on the NC coast feels like winter to me. As my wife says, you would not feel that cold if you would give up the shorts and t-shirts and put on some clothes. Come to think of it, I think wearing shorts along the Bay of Fundy was pretty much a rarity.
You can see some pictures of our farmstead and two hundred year old house at this link.