Sunset today is at 8:19 p.m., with lingering light until 8:48 p.m. Come June 21—the Summer Solstice, the start of summer, the “longest” day of the year—sunset is at 8:34 p.m. Daylight starts diminishing after that, but by a quirk of Earth’s orbit, the sun continues to stay up longer until June 28, when sunset is at about 8:35, with light lingering until after 9 p.m.
Last weekend, we explored the longest uninterrupted stretch of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail along Falls Lake in Raleigh: the 7 miles from NC 98 to Creedmoor Road. We were struck by how, seemingly overnight, the woods had gone from a hint of green to full-blown leaf-out. We caught glimpses of the lake; mostly, though, we were enveloped in green.
The weather is finally turning springlike, which means that many of you are starting to think about the epic hikes you have planned for summer. Since nothing can torpedo an ambitious mountain hike quicker than legs that aren’t up for the hills, it’s time to start getting your gams ready for game day.
OK, today’s nudge for spring is more of a tease: today, it’s in the 70s and sunny, tomorrow it will barely top 40 and it looks like rain. Sunday, though, the sun returns, the high temp reaches into the more seasonal upper 50s. So let yourself be inspired to go out Sunday in search of your first trout lily and be serenaded by spring peepers. We found them today at Ayr Mount, on the Poet’s Walk, Hillsborough, and at the recently opened Brumley Forest North in Chapel Hill.
Last weekend we were frozen in snow and ice, today it’s 70 and raining, it may snow again Wednesday but it definitely will be cold again. Real cold. But this weekend is looking hiking perfect. Temperatures Saturday will be around 50, in the upper 30s Sunday, all under mostly sunny skies. So no time to quibble: you need to get out.