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Outer Banks Guide > Outer Banks Blogs > Eve Turek's Natural Outer Banks Blog

Monday, August 16, 2021
Make Time for Joy
Can you believe it is already mid-August? July truthfully was a blur. Pete turned 90 and then almost immediately went back into Chesapeake Hospital. His stay this time was more complicated, and much longer, followed by more than two weeks in the Currituck Rehab nursing center in Barco. All in all, he was gone for over a month.

At first, I made real efforts to practice some self-care, which for me translates into time outside. I joined fellow photographers at dawn at Nags Head Pier for our first outing together since the pandemic began last year. I drove up after a hospital visit one evening to watch a crescent moon set over the Blue Point dock. I went over to Alligator River one more time and found a Mama bear with cubs. But as the days turned into weeks, and his health worsened before he slowly gained strength while in Barco, I found self-care harder, not easier. My camera stayed in its case. I had nothing to look for and not much to say.

Many of you know, and I have written about this many times, that I write nightly gratitude lists. At the end of each day, I make a list of ten things from that day’s lived experience I am grateful for. Some days are easier to chronicle than others. The practice changed my perspective during a difficult season of grief, so much so that I have kept it going for more than 17 years.

Some of you also know that I journal most mornings. I write three pages in a 9x12 notebook, stream of thought ramblings that swing from listing events of the prior day, to planning the day to come, to becoming centered enough to both pray and to listen for gentle answers and guidance.

Recently in my morning journaling time, which was spent mostly documenting the latest details of Pete’s health from the day before, I distinctly heard that “Joy” was a key missing ingredient in my day-to-day life. My first thought was to point out how I pay attention all day for moments to add to my gratitude list at night. But “joy” and “gratitude” are not the same thing. They may be cousins, but they are not twins. And the more I thought about joy, the more I realized how true this is. There is a scripture in Nehemiah I am especially fond of quoting, if only to myself: The Joy of the Lord is your Strength. (Capitalization, mine). And for “strength” I always think stamina, endurance, emotional and spiritual muscle power. With joy, I always thought, you can muscle and power and endure your way through anything. Turns out “strength” is better translated, place of refuge. Think, Oasis. Depending on your personality, think about a spa day or a fishing trip or a golf outing. THAT got me thinking…where are my places of refuge, now, while Pete is sick and most of my time and energy is spent focusing on that? I might have named an empty beach strand at sunrise, or the refuge near dusk, but without the chance right now to go to those places at those times…where shall I find oasis?

Then came specific guidance. Divide my little gratitude list notebook in half. On each left hand page write out my usual gratitude list. But on the right hand side, list out any experiences in the day when I was surprised by spontaneous joy. Track those. Pay attention. Especially consider how I might immerse in those experiences instead of turning away. I did as the guidance suggested. Those experiences of joy form the backbone of the visual offerings of this blog.

At first, joy seemed fleeting. I’d spot a Great Blue Heron on the way to the hospital, say. And for a moment, I would forget where I was going and why, caught up in the wonder and delight that such a sighting always brings. I’d come home, weary, and the kitties and doggies would be oh so glad to see me (read, hungry). Their happy wags and purrs brought joy, too (as well as a mention on the gratitude list as the outside kitties, some feral, have learned to get along). I realized eventually that in order to truly be a place of refuge, something I could count on, I needed joy I could relax into. I needed to not only be surprised by joy, but I needed to seek joy out. This is where the butterflies come in.

I love butterflies. (Ok, ok, I love everybody, but hear me out.) I love how beautiful they are. I especially love their fragility and that they manage to cram a full life into each, very different, life cycle chapter. Several I have watched this last month already have broken, frayed or missing wings, yet they still manage to fly, flutter, and flit from flower to flower, taking in all the sweetness they can, and in the case of females, seeking out the proper host plants to lay the eggs that will hatch into the next generation of caterpillars.

And speaking of caterpillars, I have been watching several of those munching on butterfly weed in the nearby Master Gardeners garden space by the Baum Center. The first one I spotted several days ago is now, as of my writing this, hanging upside down “by a thread” in the characteristic pose that precedes the chrysalis stage. All in all, I counted more than a dozen caterpillars in various stages of development! The garden will be awash with new butterflies soon.

My biggest butterfly surprise appeared right outside my front door. A huge black swallowtail and a yellow Eastern Tiger Swallowtail were flying around together. They would land next to one another on the bare soil by the sidewalk, fly off a little ways, and come back. I have seen them together a couple of times since. I researched, and learned that the yellow butterflies can have a black morph, but the markings did not seem quite right for that. Regardless, neither would be in its prime for long. But both were still making the most of the hours or days they had left to enjoy.

There, in fraying wings, and in hungry munching caterpillars, my life lessons came. Make time for Joy. Look for the gifts in each life stage. Be assured you will leave a strong and beautiful legacy.

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Sure felt good to share a sunrise with fellow Outer Banks photographers! This is Nags Head Pier, pre dawn.

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A couple of us walked down to a nearby ocean outfall, which looks to me like steps going out into the Deep.

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Eventually we were joined by lines of morning pelicans.

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Opposite end of the day: moonset over the Blue Point dock, in Duck.

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I have missed most activity at the Colington Creek Inn nest this summer. But here is a newly fledged baby! (Innkeepers named it Snoopy!)

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My quest to see a new cub paid off!

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Here are the two butterflies right outside my front door.

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A caterpillar!

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LOTS of caterpillars!

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Now, we wait.

posted by eturek at 9:20 PM

Comments [2]

Saturday, June 26, 2021
Happy Summer!
Happy Summer!

Looking back at my photo files, I think I made fewer photographs in May through early June than I have in many years. Wet sloppy weather accounts for some of that, and Pete’s yo-yo health the past few weeks accounts for most of the rest of it. Those of you who know us and care about us will be very happy to hear that he is definitely better and making steady progress in stamina and strength and breathing. It is hard to see that progress day to day, but looking back a month, when he came home from his last hospital visit, we can both rejoice in how much better he is doing on new meds and a new routine. We are both very grateful; so many of you have sent well wishes and prayers. Keep them coming!

Now that he is better, I have had more chances to both work in the gallery and get some time outside. Out of town photography friends provided the perfect reason for some of my recent adventures as I made two separate trips to Alligator River refuge looking for bear, and enjoyed a wonderful middle-of-night Milky Way session.

So far I have not seen a mother with cubs. I did spot a couple of Papa Bear I could photograph with my longest lens. One of these waddled away from where several of us were standing to photograph, ducked into the brush, bent over a small sapling, and then re-emerged, standing, with a pose that made me chuckle. You will see it below. A little later another bear kept coming out of the brush toward a soybean field, but then drew back into hiding if a vehicle came by. We had parked our vehicle; another truck was on the other side of where the bear waited, also parked. At one point he came out and sat in the middle of the road for a couple minutes before changing his mind and going back into the brush. One of the folks I was with commented she had never seen a bear SIT in the wild. So when he came out again, I asked, out loud, if he would mind sitting in a photogenic spot for her. So he did! He sauntered across the road, sat down in the grass for a few minutes and then, once again, went back into the brush without heading on into the field. After we both made a few photos, she asked me, do you always receive what you ask for? And I said, I often do.

Then I told her why I think this is so. And this is the reason I shared this story, so I can tell you, too. I had to pause a minute to choose my words. I had already explained that I have come to believe, through too many circumstances to call coincidence, that wild animals sense our thoughts and intentions in much the same way our own pets do. After all, their survival depends in part on deciding whether a given location or situation is safe for them. So I always try to communicate that I am present, and wish to honor them, but not to intrude or make them uncomfortable. I always try to remember to say please, and thank you, and that I wish to photograph, and to share the images I make. So I had already given that as background. Then I said this: I love them. I love the animals and birds I photograph. And I think, in some way I cannot define or explain, only experience, they sense that. They feel that. And they trust. So I don’t “take” photos; I “make” them. I RECEIVE them. They are gifts of presence granted. They are moments of connection. And those moments, those sometimes brief, connecting moments—they are among my life’s greatest joys.

Over and over, I go out with an idea, something I hope to see or photograph, and am given a different, and sometimes greater, gift—as with this sitting bear. I hoped for cubs. But the special moment for my new friend was this big Papa bear, sitting. The lesson for me seems to be to relish the moment, to receive the gifts of each day. My nightly gratitude list helps me remember the small blessings in the day just lived, and helps me anticipate new ones with the new morning. Of course Pete’s returning health tops all of these. Often, the rest come as gifts from nature’s bounty. Some of those from the past month or so are below for you to enjoy, too.

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Here is the standing bear. I titled this, Wait...what did I come into this clearing for? (Can anyone relate?)

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And here is the gift, a sitting bear.

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I often see Red-tailed Hawks at the Refuge. This one was startled by the small warbler that briefly shared its pine perch!

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The Osprey pair at the Colington Creek Inn has two babies this year. This is Caroline (for Carolina), the mother.

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The father, whom we've dubbed Colin (for Colington) has a distinctive heart pattern in his head feathers.

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This is another nest on Colington Rd. The platform nests don't give much space for Mom AND Dad to be in the nest together. This male is very attentive.

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We had perfect sunset conditions: overhead clouds and a band of clear sky at the horizon.

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Milky Way over Pea Island, with car lights headed south. The moon was still up in the west which gave some ambient light too.

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My photographer friend Tish lit up the marsh for me with her flashlight. The Milky Way is rising almost straight up now (it is more of an arch in April.)

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Once the moon set, around 2 a.m., we went to Bodie Light. Conditions were perfect. Hint: if you go, take gnat/no see-um spray with you!!

posted by eturek at 1:40 PM

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Thursday, May 6, 2021
Heavens to Betsy!
Heavens to Betsy!

Before I sat to write this blog, I did a little research on the origins of that expression. It first appeared in print in the mid-1800s, and was used in the context we think of it today, as an expression of astonishment or surprise. It’s the perfect title for this blog, since I have made two treks up to Carova in the past week—and the second trip held several happy surprises, one of which was all about Betsy! But I am getting ahead of my story.

What I hoped for and asked for was a chance to photograph a “frisky foal.” I love to watch the young of any species – universally they seem full of curiosity and joy that adults (especially adults of the human kind) have too-often forgotten. I have photographs of foals on the beach with their mothers or larger family groups, but in every case, they are strolling or resting. I’ve never been there at just the right time to witness their young playfulness—until this past Tuesday.

The week before, Phyllis Kroetsch and I drove up in mid-afternoon, timing our excursion with low tide. The beach was in better shape than the last time I drove it by myself, although more crowded. The sun was warm, and a mild west breeze had brought several harems of horses to the water’s edge—but no little ones.

On Tuesday, Ray Matthews and I went up, getting on the beach around 9:30 in the morning. We tried to count, and think we saw about 30 different horses in all, although it is possible we saw more, since we tried hard not to double count! At one point at least three harems were in close proximity, and there was a wee bit of scuffling on occasion but nothing major. We had not been on the beach long when we saw our first group of adults, and a little ways beyond them we had our first foal encounter. Ray estimated she was about 10 days old and a volunteer with the CWHF we spoke with confirmed her age and told us her name--Bridget. Of special interest to me is that she is a younger sister to Amelia, born this time last year. I photographed Amelia in the second week of May 2020 right before our beaches reopened. I was glad to make a photo showing the mother, Amelia as a yearling, and her new little sister. Bridget is a cutie, sticking close to Mom, with a curly-que tail you will see below.

Continuing our drive north, we spotted a group of horses in the dunes with a foal, and several adults trotted down to the water with the foal trotting alongside. Another couple of adults stayed behind to graze on the dune. I assumed the horse the foal was following was its mother, but shortly after she reached the others, the foal—whom we learned was Betsy—turned tail and raced back across the beach to the dunes. From there, she raced up and then down the dune face. She laid down for a couple minutes, scrambled up, walked up the dune with the horse who turned out to be her mother, and then ran down again – and again ran all by herself across the sand to the water, turned around, ran back. Eventually her mother gave up on grazing and the two ran to the water together. I got my wished-for frisky foal frolicking in abundance, with all that running back and forth, back and forth. All we had to do was stay put at our truck. (For new readers, I have invested in long telephoto lenses in order to make these images from an even greater distance than the law requires.) You will see some of Betsy’s racing form below too.

Tuesday was the ideal day to see horses by the water. We had a west breeze, flies were bothering the horses, and it was warm. Several horses rolled in the sand while we watched, and several others walked out into the water. I’m sure both the salt water and a sand bath helps with the flies.

At one point, someone pointed out a tiny hatchling turtle that turned out to be a land turtle on the beach sand – we made a couple photos to show how tiny it was and the person who found it carried it back to the dunes. I told the story to artist Liz Corsa who guessed it had been dropped by a bird to wind up in such an unlikely spot!

Phyllis and I saw the typical huge spring flocks of both Sanderlings and Terns, and the Sanderlings were still on the beach in large numbers this past Tuesday. I spotted a mature Bald Eagle that flew from well offshore across the beach and over the dune. Several Common Loons were floating offshore as well, and at one point, about a half-dozen Osprey were fishing near where I walked the beach under the harsh noontime sun. One was successful in nabbing lunch but then lost it a minute or so later. Oops!      

We rode behind the dunes for a bit in the early afternoon but saw no more foals. On our way back south, I had Ray stop so I could check out what I thought was a beached Loon in dry sand. Sure enough, it was well above the high tide line from earlier in the day. Loons are the best swimmers and divers among all birds – but they cannot get airborne from dry land. They have to run on the water. They cannot even walk well on land, as their legs are set too far back for walking. I rescued a Loon years ago so I knew what to do and happily, Ray had an old towel in his truck he did not mind my borrowing.

First, I knew I needed to gain the Loon’s trust, so it would stay calm in my arms. So I walked up to it slowly and deliberately, talking to it the whole time, and told it my intention. I asked it to trust me, told it I was going to cover it with the towel and carry it to the water. Once I had the towel over the Loon, I scooped it up and kept talking to it. The first time I put it down, the water was still not quite deep enough, so we repeated the whole sequence and I was able to put the bird down where it could paddle. It quickly navigated the shallows, dove under a couple small wavelets (the ocean was calm that day as you will see) and quickly got itself to deeper water, where it rose up and flapped its wings. I was glad to see the wing-flapping. It may have had an injury under one wing (I wasn’t going to investigate but thought I saw something as I walked up), but hopefully it was able to swim and dive and feed itself and fly, once it got back to its proper place. I suspect it might have been hit come dusk/dark as it was right in the travel lane.

Overall, I would say, heavens to Betsy--this was a banner day! Pictures of these latest adventures are below. Enjoy!

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Here is the mother with Amelia, born in 2020, and Bridget, born about 2 weeks ago now.

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Look how tiny Bridget is! Look at her cute little tail!!

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Betsy followed this group to the beach -- which included an additional stallion besides her father.

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She then seemed to realize she'd left Mom behind, so back to the dunes she ran!

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Then she raced down to shore again!

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Finally Betsy's mother came with her. I call this, Race you to the water!

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This Osprey finally caught lunch after flying back and forth over the shallows...

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...only to lose its catch a minute later. Oops! Fish are slippery!

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No beach trip is really complete without at least getting your feet wet.

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Loon rescue! Perfect ending to a great day.

posted by eturek at 10:17 PM

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Friday, April 23, 2021
Eyes on the Skies
Since my last blog, we had a mild start to March, followed by typical blustery March winds, and an Easter that was pretty enough to let us worship outside that Sunday morning. This is the time of year that the Milky Way makes its annual entrance, after being below the horizon all winter. We’ve also had some dramatic sky shows and more than one rainbow since my last blog. Hence this blog’s title: eyes on the skies.

In March’s second week, I got up for sunrise. The skies were mostly clear at dawn and what caught my attention was the change of hue over two hours’ time, from the deep blue star-studded sky of pre-dawn through twilight and then sunrise itself. You will see what I mean below. That morning, the ocean was more like a lake and at times I had to strain to see where sea and sky met. Pelicans were patrolling in force and I liked their silhouettes against the dawn’s changing palette.

Shortly after, someone told me a Mother Goose had settled in to incubate eggs on the Osprey nest platform by Sunset Grille in Duck. Sure enough, there she was, with Papa Goose paddling below. Geese don’t build nests aloft; they nest on the ground, so this was odd behavior. Given that this platform has been occupied for at least the past four seasons that I know of by an Osprey pair, I could not imagine the Osprey would allow her to stay. Nor did they. I missed the confrontation, but in April, well after the Osprey had arrived, she was there one day and gone a few days later and the Osprey had settled in. Immediately they began the work of rebuilding the nest for themselves. As for Mother Goose, I felt sorry for her--all that work of laying and incubation for nothing. I had hoped perhaps she had nested early enough that her goslings would hatch and be out of the next before the Osprey came. I learned that female Canada Geese, unlike other birds I watch, never leave their nest during incubation—I mean, not to eat, not to drink, not to preen, nothing. They fast, they don’t take even a sip of water. Papa paddles close at hand to defend the nest from predators—that is his sole job. I am sure a fracas ensued when the Osprey returned and decided to oust the interlopers. Hopefully both parent geese survived and she can try a more traditional site next spring.

In other bird news, the Purple Martins have returned to their houses in Duck, a sight I especially welcome since they eat mosquitos (and presumably midges) which makes evenings on the boardwalk much more pleasant come warm weather.

That brings us up to April 11th. That evening, Ray Matthews and I rendezvoused at midnight to drive over to Lake Mattamuskeet to photograph the Milky Way over the lake. The forecast predicted calm winds along with clear skies; the winds, however, did not get the memo and the night was breezier than I would have liked. The air temperature was brisk enough to encourage me to wear my down vest but not so cold as to require gloves. And the Milky Way over the lake was spectacular. We got to the Lake around 2 a.m. and the arch was at a perfect height. Once it rose too high to make a compelling photo, Ray said he was going to walk down the shoreline to the closest tall trees and photograph the Milky Way from that spot. I tagged along behind. As we got close to the trees, Ray said, doesn’t that look like a giant bunny, eating a broccoli tree? And I replied, it DOES! And now that I see the bunny, I will never not see it! I told Ray it was his image to market, since he first spotted the bunny, and it was his idea to walk over there in the first place, but that I would share it in my blog. So it is below! Immediately I thought of Jimmy Stewart’s Harvey. If you love, love, love the bunny and just have to have it, Ray’s version is available in the gallery.

Much of nature photography centers around patience. We wait out the right light. We wait out a season when birds or animals are most active, and hope they will return to their usual spots. Many years, they don’t. My little red fox family I so loved during 2019 has not come back to den the past two years. At Mattamuskeet, we waited out dawn that turned out to be less spectacular than we might have wished. We drove back just after sunrise, after which I took a shower and then worked another gallery shift. In all, I was up just about 38 hours straight, but seeing the Milky Way rise on another year made it all worth the sacrifice.

Fast forward a few days later, and my Pete was suddenly very short of breath and wound up in the OB Hospital—first in the ER and then in a room upstairs for a few days. I am thankful he did not have Covid-19 (we are both weeks past our second vaccines now) but he did have a viral pneumonia. At any age, nothing to play around with. He came home Tuesday and is getting better s-l-o-w-l-y. We would sure appreciate your prayers and good thoughts.

Saturday was his toughest day there, and that night when I left the hospital, I saw a dark heart, darker than the surrounding asphalt, right behind my car. Something had spilled there and formed the exact shape of a heart—as if to remind me, Love never fails. We are buoyed by love.

Monday evening when I left the hospital to come home, I walked outside to “rainbow light” – that slate blue sky I associate with rainbows. We had misty rain earlier, and it was sprinkling just a little as I walked to the car, and sure enough, there was a rainbow to my south! I drove to a nearby beach access and reminded myself of some of the promises I hold most dear: that we are never forsaken, never alone, and that God’s strength and peace are always available.
The rainbow faded, I started toward home, and then the opposite end brightened! I pulled over once more and walked out to the beach again to photograph the other end of the rainbow. As I was standing there, a group of gulls came flying over and then surrounded me, swooping ever lower as if I had tasty treats (I did not). They stayed with me a long time, calling out, (a sound I love) until that side of the rainbow faded. Then they began to spread out and fly away in different directions, and I walked back to the car to drive home. For years I attended a twice-yearly women’s retreat here for women in recovery; the parent organization was called Deo Volente (God Willing) and informally the group was known as The Gulls. I thought of “Gulls” who have since passed from my earthly sight, but not from my heart, and I took their “experience, strength and hope” with me, reminding me of the importance of living one day at a time.

I say this over and over--Nature nourishes me. Nature reminds me of the truths I know but can forget in a crisis. Since Pete has been home, shortly before dinner, I ran a couple errands and saw one more rainbow sliver to the south. Nature also reminds me that nothing stays static. Moving through change with grace, with love, that is my goal. Time outside gives me strength and courage to do just that.

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Here is the color change over just one hour.

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Long lines of pelicans glided low over the water that kept changing color.

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Poor Mama! All those weeks of fasting and waiting! I hope she nests down on the ground next season.

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Osprey don't recognize "squatter's rights."

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This was worth staying up all night for.

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See the Bunny? Now you will never NOT see it!

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I came out of the hospital after a long, hard day to find this reminder of Love's presence waiting.

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As Pete was getting better day by day, here came the Rainbow.

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The opposite end wound up to be even brighter!

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The Gulls reminded me, I am not alone.

posted by eturek at 6:38 PM

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Sunday, February 28, 2021
Riding February's Roller Coaster
It’s officially lunchtime, on the last day of February, and this is what I know: I awoke to a non-dawn of overcast skies. By about 8 a.m. there were rifts and light peeking through the cloud cover. By mid-morning we had true sunshine! Now it has been raining for about 30 minutes. Welcome to February! The big consolation is the temperature—a decent mid-50’s. It seems the last day is trying hard to give us the whole month’s roller-coaster weather in summary.

We had (I looked it up) a full half-month of rain (and plenty of days beyond that of overcast skies when rain threatened), and more than 7” in all. We are so ready for some sunshine! You can bet I got out every day I could, at least for a short walk, if it wasn’t raining. My body (and my mind and spirit) do better when I have been able to walk than when I sit all day. So I walked! I walked the beach in Nags Head and Kitty Hawk and Carova, I walked the Pea Island berm, I walked the boardwalk at Sandy Run in Kitty Hawk, I walked the Duck Boardwalk, I walked Jockey’s Ridge, I walked around Bodie Light.

I love to walk. I am not an aerobic walker—well, not unless toting a lot of gear (more on that below)—rather, I am a contemplative walker. I want to listen, both to the world around me and to my innermost thoughts. I want to listen to the waves crashing or lapping. This time of year, I want to listen to the season’s last Swan calls and tune my ears, first, to Blue Jays imitating Osprey, and then, come mid-March, to the Osprey themselves arriving and calling to their mates. I want to listen for the still, small, gentle, loving voice I attribute to God’s Spirit speaking, especially when I am agitated or weary. And I want to watch, watch the light change, watch for birds and beasts, watch for clues and assurances that I am companioned in my journeying.

I learned early in the month that a duck rare to this part of the world had been spotted up in Corolla. I went north on the next non-rain day. Sure enough, a drake Long Tailed Duck paddled all by its lonesome in a retention pond near the Harris Teeter. I checked again yesterday but it was gone. Hopefully it found its way back to join others of its kind. The day I was there, the pond was still enough to reflect, in turn, the colors of the sky or the vegetation at the shoreline in the water, giving some gorgeous backgrounds for Mr. Duck to show off just how handsome he really was. Once, a school bus passed by and those colors in the water were almost surreal. Headed home I could not resist stopping to watch the Swan in still water and wonderful light at our little Duck cove.

I got up early on our coldest morning hoping for an icy reflection of Bodie Light with some vibrant color to warm me up. The color never showed up; instead, two Bald Eagles in their second year, based on their plumage, flew overhead.

I took a deep breath and rented two lenses for a week near the end of the month, and managed to get 3 days of decent enough weather to try them out. Funny thing, as I have aged, I have gained weight—and so have my long lenses. I swear they weigh more now than when I got them! I find the largest impossible to hand-hold, and I am challenged to tote both a lens and my tripod for any length of walk. So it is time to acknowledge reality, and trade my older gear, wonderful as it has been, for newer, lighter-weight tools. I want to be doing what I love to do for many years to come. After some rigorous testing, I have settled on a Sigma 150-600mm sports version that weighs less than either of the two lenses I will trade in to pay for it. Win-win-win. All this is a round-about way to explain why this blog has so many birds. I needed subjects—and the wintering-over waterfowl and long-legged waders of Pea Island and the Swan in Duck gave me lots of opportunity for my testing.

What convinced me to do the test in the first place was purchasing wildlife photographer Kevin Dooley’s wonderful book, Wild Faces in Wild Places, which chronicles his decades-long love of Africa in particular and this beautiful world in general. I learned that the Sigma is his go-to wildlife lens of choice, and seeing his magnificent images convinced me to give the lens a try.

I drove up to Carova twice (no horses in sight, and the conditions were not conducive to finding them on the beach anyway) but on my first ride, Pelicans coming into their breeding plumage standing on shore and gliding over shore-break waves were my gift. The second trip, the skies were magnificent in late afternoon.

It’s not yet time to see many mammals except fleeting glimpses in passing. Foxes are denning, bear are slumbering, and horses will be more apt to be seaside when the weather warms and the flies hatch. But we had a rainy day treat last week when three deer showed up to browse our overgrown back yard. I made a couple images photographing through a rainy window; they haven’t returned.

Yesterday our yard was full of chattering and calling Robins and Red-winged Blackbirds. A friend reported spotting an Osprey fishing at dawn! Soon the Swan will leave our cove in Duck and head north, joined by all those ducks and Snow Geese from Pea Island, as the Osprey return to repair and rebuild their nests. The earth keeps whirling around the sun. Spring is indeed coming.

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Rare Long-tailed Duck in Corolla. Handsome, yes?

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Who knows what sparked this confrontation? Onlookers honked from their side of the fray the whole time.

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Part of my lens test--to show the beautiful differences between immature and adult swan. This is a juvenile.

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Here is an adult. The yellow by the eye reminds me of pollen, it is so bright!

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Here is a juvenile ibis at Pea Island on a wonderfully warmer February day.

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I was fascinated by this "light curtain" -- opposite where the sun was shining.

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With so much rain, Jockey's Ridge boasts a lake! Notice the heart?

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I don't know who was more surprised when I rounded the Sandy Run boardwalk and spotted these two otters!

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Here is a spring sign--pelicans coming into breeding plumage. Can't wait for more chances to photograph them close up!

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Yesterday's sky show near dusk, in Carova, was more spectacular than the actual sunset an hour later.

posted by eturek at 9:04 PM

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(c) 2009-2010 Eve Turek & OBX Connection, all rights reserved - read 616343 times

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