By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
It’s hot. It’s so hot that the first thing almost everyone says when coming into our office is how hot it is outside.
While most of the Rio Grande Valley has been enduring triple digit heat indexes lately, we here along the coast haven’t been fairing much better, either. I looked at local weather conditions on my phone earlier this week and saw that the reported temperature was what should be a comfortably warm 84 degrees. Scrolling down a little farther, however, the heat index showed what my skin, beaded with sweat, already knew: it felt more like 97 degrees in the sunshine.
The shade doesn’t provide much relief, either, since that heat index is largely attributed to the humidity in the atmosphere. In the sun or in the shade, the sea breeze does little to evaporate the pinpricks of sweat that form like glistening, salty diamonds along your brow.
But it’s not all bad. The evenings, with their long lingering twilight capped off by the ragged remains of rain clouds scuttling along the horizon, have been filled with some pretty spectacular sunsets. Those afternoon rains go a long way towards cooling things down at the end of the day. And their cloudy leftovers catch the fading sunlight in unreal shades of magenta, tangerine and violet.
The mornings are pretty special, too, especially just after sunrise.
It’s during the morning hours that the air is the coolest; the heat and humidity still have yet to swath the region in an oppressive blanket of uncomfortable mugginess. It’s these precious few hours before the heat sets in every day that you really have an opportunity to notice that summer in the Valley can be surprisingly beautiful.
Walking along the beaches of the Island just after the sun has risen over the rim of the world, the sands are still soft and cool between your toes. Tiny sand crabs scuttle about, spooked by their unexpected human visitors.
The beach never looks prettier than it does in the morning, when everything shines in the golden light. But it’s in the dunes where the best part of the show lies.
There, where verdant native plants send streamers of waxy leaves down the slopes of the dunes they help protect, one can see flashes of radiant white and delicate fuchsia.
Dozens upon dozens of beach morning glories have been reaping the benefits of all the rain we’ve received this spring and summer. At almost every beach access, the delicate blossoms dot the vegetation line — a riot of color and a quiet celebration of a bountiful life lived briefly but beautifully.
The blooms were so stunning that even the press of a busy schedule and looming deadlines couldn’t compete with the urge to pause and admire them.
I’m glad I did, and I’m sure you will be, too, should you go for a morning walk on the beach. Let us know what you’re enjoying about this hot summer by visiting us online at www.portisabelsouthpadre.com.
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