Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Seasonal peace on the beach

I only have to think back to last fall to remember the warm days in December when we saw surfers enjoying the beach.

This year is far different from our two previous falls on the shore. The cool weather has come earlier in the year, and it has been more persistent.

That means that walks along the beach are fewer and shorter. Walking on the beach as did last year the first week of December when it was seventy degrees Fahrenheit is much nicer than a stroll when the temperature has struggled to reach fifty.

Tomorrow we are actually supposed to sneak into the sixties. We might try a nice beach walk since we have only been enjoying the beach from a distance since the cooler weather took over.

My wife gives me a really hard time when I start complaining about cold weather. It has something to do with dragging her to Canada when we got married. We farmed for over a decade in a snow belt north of Fredericton, New Brunswick. Our first winter, we watched as we were buried with twenty-three feet of snow.

We came to really appreciate snowshoes. We also got very used to cold temperatures. I can remember unloading five hundred bales of straw at twenty-eight degrees below zero Fahrenheit. Every single hair on my head was covered with frost. My eye brows were even frosted.

Then there was January of 1982 when our youngest daughter was born in the middle of blizzard where the temperatures finally bottomed out at minus forty degrees.

Now I find myself complaining that the temperature dropped to 31.7 degrees Fahrenheit this morning here on the Crystal Coast.

While snow often brought a certain peace to the farm, here on the North Carolina coast cold weather and cooler waters have a similar impact.

Going for a ride in your boat or sitting on the river fishing is not nearly as much fun at fifty degrees as it is at seventy five degrees when shorts are still the uniform of the day.

Still I find that I eventually adjust to the cooler temperatures. I will soon be back out riding my bike on days when the temperature sneaks up into the sixties. I might even still take my kayak out if we can get a day or two in the seventies.

Last year I managed to take our skiff down the river on Christmas eve. I will probably continue running the boat some each week or so, just to keep the motor loosened up.

While the short days and cool temperatures limit outdoor activities somewhat, there are some nice sheltered trails in the area.

Eventually though the call of the beach will be too much, and I will find a warm day for a nice walk. Perhaps tomorrow will be one of those days.

In the meantime you can enjoy the quiet of the winter beach by watching this YouTube video, December Beach Day, that I posted earlier today. If you have the bandwidth, make certain you watch in high quality.

You can read more on the quiet of the beach at my post, The Almost Empty Beach, on Crystal Coast Living. The photo might look a little familiar

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