Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Muggies

It is that time of year when it becomes challenging to tout our weather here on the Crystal Coast.  It is usually pretty warm, humid or just plain muggy.  There are a number of reasons that this is one of my least favorite times of the year. They might surprise you.
  1. It is hard to get really nice colors in your pictures and I spend an inordinate amount of time keeping my camera lens from fogging up.
  2. The water in our river, the White Oak, is almost too warm for fishing.
  3. We are sometimes without any breeze.  Having spent years in Nova Scotia, I am actually quiet fond of a decent breeze.
  4. It often looks like it is going to rain but it rarely does.
  5. We are between early and late crops of tomatoes.
  6. Our tourists seem to worry that summer is disappearing and get a little more frantic.
  7. We often get tropical downpours even if the hurricanes miss us.
  8. It is the least comfortable time of year to mow my yard.
  9. Our centipede grass is starting a quick downhill slide and I have to start fighting weeds.
  10. Until the kids go back to school, this is the worst time to find a parking place at the beach.
I could go but you get the idea. Obviously there is not really anything very significant to complain about in my list but it does mean that I have to work harder to see the bright side of things.

I am a very visual person and what I see early in the morning often sets the tone for my day. When I go for my morning walk, I love to find a great photo or two.  Getting a great shot of a bird or the water can add just enough excitement to get me pumped up for the day.   I find late July and most of August the most difficult months for great pictures.  Even the sun when it sets often slides down behind a persistent cloud bank.

Our coastal weather can be puzzling but it can keep you on your toes except when the muggies are here and our weather gets in a late summer rut.  It is still possible to have some magic days on the water.  However, they just seem to be a little harder to find as we get into August.

When we had a house in the mountains, we would often retreat there until September slipped into view. While the mountains in the South often have the same problem, sometimes a change of scenery and some cooler mornings can work wonders.   September can sometimes have a bad case of the muggies, but you know that better weather, the fall season, is on the way.

Many of us who live here along the coast of the Southern Outer Banks rate fall as our favorite season.  The fishing is often great and the beach becomes a little less crowded.  As fall arrives I tend to get some great sunset photos.  This album of photos taken early one October is a great example of the dazzling light that we get in the fall.

If you have children who go back to school in the fall, coming to the beach is pretty difficult, but everyone else should at least consider visiting the coast in September or October.  October especially can be a spectacular month with slightly cooler air and still warm waters.

If you need some specific advice on a beach visit, you can now order a paper copy of my Emerald Isle Travel Guide.   It will also be available on Amazon in a few days and we just have reduced the cost of the updated 2013 digital version to $3.99.