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

Saturday, January 19, 2013
New Year Ramblings
Since my last blog, January in Nags Head has seesawed between a high of 71 and a low of 39; we’ve had rain, sun, and dense fog; we’ve had winds gusting to a max of 46 mph and we’ve had slick-glassy-water calm days. Ah, winter.

The days are noticeably longer; that is, I notice the change when the sun is out, as it was yesterday and is again today. It’s rising earlier and sinking later. I’m walking the dogs in light in early morning and again in light before dinner (not to mention all the times in between. That’s one thing the off-season means in my house, more dog-walking!)

Another thing the off-season means in my house is projects. So I am typing this blog from atop a brand new beautiful wooden table, which matches the brand new wooden office corner drawers and print drying table top on the other side of the room. My custom-framer hubby was a custom-builder long before he was a framer, so the new digs I have are beautiful as well as practical.

I’ve been working too, creating and editing my first ebook, which I will share more about when it is all finished; printing work for next season; and getting outside more myself. Pete laughs at me when I bundle up in layers including my down vest and red knit hat and folding-fingers insulated gloves but hey, as long as the birds and critters don’t mind, I’m warm and happy!

The offerings below were taken during several days’ outings. My friend Karen Watras and I walked the boardwalk at Sandy Run park in Kitty Hawk. The town has done a great job of extending the boardwalk so that it makes a loop. We also checked on the eagle nest in Kitty Hawk but did not see any eagles there although we did spot a Great Blue Heron and two pairs of Hooded Mergansers. Pete and I drove back up to Carova on January 8, which turned out to be more warm than cool but not as warm as the next day. This time we saw a lot of tundra swan in the Currituck Sound. On our way back, we checked out the boardwalk behind the Duck Town Hall. What a great spot! For all the development our area has experienced, I am often impressed with the venues that still exist, scattered throughout the county, like these two little gems.

I went to the beach in mid-January to photograph what I think was advection fog (warm air, cooler water). Wikipedia tells me that fog generally forms when the difference between the dew point and temperature is 4 degrees F or less.

On January 12, I accompanied some other photographers with the Carolinas Nature Photographers Association to Mattamuskeet, leaving the beach by 5 a.m. in order to be in place beside the lake for sunrise. The temperature was about 58 degrees. The dew point was about 58 degrees! Want to guess how much sun we saw? Not only did we have dense fog, we had overcast skies to boot. The effect was even more ethereal than what Ray Matthews and I witnessed the month before. “Sunrise, Mattamuskeet” is now a personal quest! I’d like to see the lake in early morning light! But I am so grateful for the fog. Its presence prompted images I would never have thought of had the lights been on, so to speak. Seeing the birds emerge out of the dense fog cover was a treat in itself. Away from the lake, the fog cover was not as thick, especially in early afternoon. We spotted a young deer down a restricted path as we were driving behind the old pumphouse/lighthouse; we turned around at the end of that road, headed back toward the entrance, and that same deer (or another its same size) was now grazing right beside the road. Of course, as soon as I spied it, I said, “stop the car!!” I’d ridden over with Dan Beauvais and Dan Waters, two OBX photographers, and our pact for the day was, if anyone wants to stop, we all stop. They were very gracious every time I wanted to stop, I must say. We had great proximity to the deer, who seemed as curious about us as we were about it. We never left the truck, photographing out the windows. I got to say “hello” and “thank you” a bunch before it wandered off. What a great day!

I hope you enjoy all these mini adventures. Photos are below!

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Great Blue Heron, posing for his picture in Kitty Hawk.

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This is the funniest thing Pete and I saw. A Canada Goose that kept pretending to be an osprey!! It flew down and back up to the nest more than once.

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Tundra Swan in Currituck Sound. We saw some in Duck, too, but the majority were further north.

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What would you think if I told you Pete and I had a short getaway to the Blue Ridge? Right? Uh, yeah, no. This is a CLOUD BANK. Taken through the window, driving back from Carova. Beautiful. I call this, Sacred Mts.

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Beach walkers in fog...

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Later in the afternoon, the fog was still evident way up & down the beach, but closer objects, like the pier, were splendidly lit. The wave wash was deep enough to reflect the clouds.

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This is a coot flying in fog at Mattamuskeet. Getting flight pics was tricky -- the birds would appear before I knew they were coming most of the time!

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The entire day had this ethereal quality that I found deeply inspiring. I converted many of the photos to black and white. I left this one with the color as it was.

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Here's a black and white example. A Great Egret, flying in fog toward a stand of trees that is growing literally in the middle of the lake. In the fog the trees appeared to be suspended in air. I call this, Seeing To The Center.

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Here's the "Dear Deer." It had been chewing its hindquarters near its tail, something my Sheltie does too. I love the look on its face and that its tail is still all fluffed out, here. What a treat and a gift, to be so close.

posted by eturek at 10:08 PM

Comments [1]

Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Year's End
So far, meaning from sunrise yesterday through about an hour ago, the new year on the Outer Banks has been mostly gray and damp. We had rain almost all day yesterday and while it hasn't really rained today, the sun has not shone all day either. Now, at 3 pm, the sky is brightening slightly and there are patches of blue sky beginning to peer through the cloud layer. I think they will like what they see as sunshine is forecast for tomorrow.

The year's end held some beauty in its outstretched hands as its final gifts and I can share some of that with you below.

The first day of winter was WINDY! I went to the ocean for our national moment of silence, and as I wrote that day on FB, there I was, trying to be still in this very gusty wind, and the ocean and sand were anything but still, and I rather liked that. I liked all the froth and the salt spray thrown upward, just like our tears and our hands and the swirl of all our national emotions. The sea mirrored my own feelings as it so often does. Later in the morning as the sun finally came out I saw more rainbows in the spray, and I let myself feel just a little comfort. One of those images is below.

Then, I blinked twice and it was Christmas, with all its wonder and chaos all at once (read, tree up Christmas Eve, family in town beginning Christmas Day, lots of traditional dishes at mealtime and finding quiet moments for reflection, celebrating gratitude and grace and acknowledging loss and our need for peace in between). I've always found meaning for myself in celebrating both Christmas and the start of a New Year right as winter begins, that coldest and darkest of seasons, right when we could use a dose of light and hope. This year, Dec. 26, when I usually plan to tramp around outdoors with grandson Patrick who is 14 now, was stormy, raining though warm. Not conducive for photographers! We opted instead for a matinee of the Hobbit and came out of the theater to wild skies, clearing fast as a cold (dry) front collided with the wet warm one. We missed the entire downpour as well as the tornado threat so our timing was perfect!

The next night, the 27th, was Moonrise...the last full moon of the year. I keep finding gentle pastel pictures rather than over-the-top vibrant ones. This moonrise was of the gentler variety. There was a good-sized group of gulls that kept wheeling around and I managed to have a gull and the moon in the same frame for several photographs.

And then the day after that, the 28th, was pretty and cold and Pete and I took two friends, Karen and Peter, up to Carova. Peter moved to the Outer Banks this past spring and this was his first trip to 4WD territory. We had a banner day for his first visit: dolphins feeding and occasionally jumping, the longest sanderling line I have ever seen there (115 in one photograph!!!) and horses on the beach near the dunes! Then we were all treated to a beautiful sunset which we witnessed from the Whalehead Club. Can't beat that!

While New Year's Eve itself was mostly overcast, there was enough clearing sky right at the horizon to allow the setting sun to light up those clouds with pinks and mauves and golds. Pete and I were on our way out for an early dinner but I walked to our little back yard and caught the setting sun through the trees. Bye-bye, 2012.

My plans for a 2013 first sunrise were thwarted by more overcast skies. I actually like New Year's -- not so much for resolutions, because I try to live my best and give my best every day. But you gotta love a holiday that includes the word "Happy" right in its title! So far I haven't had a chance to take new year photographs, but you can be sure that when I do, I will share. That's what makes a year, a week, a day, a moment happy for me. That connection, that sharing. So...happy new year, everybody!

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Here is the rainbow in the spray on December 21. The waves were as big as I've seen them for a while.

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By big I mean BIG.

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This next series just calls "winter" to me. There really is a different quality of light now. I hope you can catch it in all these images. Still on winter's first day, here.

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This lone sea oat was still holding on to a seed or two, after the hurricane, after November's nor'easters, and despite the windy morning.

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The clouds kept changing all day. This was later in the afternoon. Light was fabulous.

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Now we come to Moonrise...

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I just had to know how many sanderlings?!? I counted 115 in this image!! This was late afternoon in Carova.

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I have a commercial client interested in horses in black and white or sepia. I processed this image from our Carova excursion for him and thought you'd like to see it too.

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I love when perfect reflections form in still-as-glass water. Add in some interesting sunset clouds and beautiful subtle colors and my heart sings with the beauty of all of it.

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I call this "last light" and it really is. Sundown on the year, Dec. 31, 2012.

posted by eturek at 4:02 PM

Comments [2]

(c) 2009-2010 Eve Turek & OBX Connection, all rights reserved - read 546514 times

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