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UNCLE JACK'S WEBLOG
Monday, January 28, 2013
Winter week in Sonag
       Uncle Jack and Mrs. U.J. thought they were pretty smart to get out of Dodge (a.k.a. Baltimore) ahead of the snow and sub-freezing air that moved in last week. As it turned out the polar weather followed them right down I-95 to South Nags Head where it has remained during their entire stay. Out of the frying pan and into the fire, you could say, except that it doesn't seem quite apropos.
       They did have a couple of warm days just after they got here so they did get to check out the beach in Sonag to see how the renourishment project is holding up. The picture below shows the steep drop-offs at the water's edge which are now beginning to look like a permanent feature of the new landscape. To Uncle Jack's jaundiced eye the strand looks like exactly what it is....a pile of sand on top of a natural beach that is struggling to get out from under it. The experts say it will take 10 years or more for that to happen but who really knows at this point.                                                                                                                       They spent one of the nice mornings walking around down in the Pea Island bird sanctuary which is always a pleasure even when there aren't many birds to look at. It appears that blowing sand from the denuded dunes along Highway 12 has smothered a lot of the food plants that grow in the ponds close to the road so the geese and ducks and swans have been forced to abandon them. Seems like it's one damn thing after the other south of Oregon Inlet.
       After leaving the bird sanctuary they drove on down a couple of miles to the new New Inlet bridge which spans one of the inlets punched open by Hurricane Irene in 2011. When Uncle Jack last saw it about 6 weeks ago it seemed to have narrowed a lot from its original size and now it looks even narrower. Will it close up all by itself like the original New Inlet back in the '30's. Who knows? Watch for a "Bridge for Sale" sign.
       On the way south they noticed the pile drivers doing preliminary work for the long-awaited Bonner Bridge replacement. Uncle Jack hopes he lives long enough to see whether there is anything left of Highway 12 for the bridge to connect to when it is finally finished. No doubt the folks who live on Hatteras are more than a little nervous about this too, as well they should be.
       After the cold snap started they pretty much hunkered down in front of the fireplace in the living room, emerging from time to time only to check on their rapidly dwindling propane supply. Sunday was sunny and relatively windless so they drove over to the Elizabethan Gardens to look around. Even in the depths of winter they are beautiful enough to restore the soul and they are definitely not crowded either.
       Warmer weather returns tomorrow which of course signals that it's time to return to Charm City where it's still freezing and will probably stay that way indefinitely. Sigh.
       Happy New Year to all.
      

      
      
      
      


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Snowy view from Uncle Jack's window in Charm City more than a month ago. An hour later the snow was gone.

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The steep drop-offs on the beach in South Nags disappeared after Sandy but they're back again this week.

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House shadows nearly reach the surf at 5 p.m. in Sonag last Sunday. Is the beach getting narrower? Darned if Uncle Jack can tell at this point.

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January sunrise in Charm City. No ocean but still rather awesome.

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Poor Mini.Brrr.

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It's not too early (or too late) to reserve a week or two at Uncle Jack's delightful house in South Nags Head. For more information Google "Uncle Jack's Beach Cottage".

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Elizabeth I is properly dressed for winter.

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Virginia Dare on the other hand....

posted by Uncle Jack at 12:14 PM

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Except for short hiatus in Baltimore Uncle Jack has lived in Nags Head for over 45 years. He was a columnist for the Outer Banks Current and its successor, the Outer Banks Sentinel, for 20 years. A collection of his columns is available from Amazon Kindle under the title Uncle Jack's Outer Banks. He and Mrs. Uncle Jack, aka Sue, live in South Nags Head whence he observes and sometimes comments on the passing parade.
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