OBX Connection Logo

Outer Banks of North Carolina Weather
86.0 F, Fair
Wind: Variable at 4.6 MPH (4 KT)
Outer Banks Guide > Outer Banks Blogs > Eve Turek's Natural Outer Banks Blog

Monday, October 1, 2018
September Gratitudes
Gratitude Day falls each September near the Solstice, and this year, topping our list here in the northern Outer Banks is that we were spared a hit from Hurricane Florence. What a juxtaposition of emotions, gratitude for our near miss and grief at the damage we still see in communities just hours to our south. A slight tweak in the track and their devastation would have been ours. As it was, we spent days collectively holding our breath, watching the Weather channel and watching the weather. I got up two mornings in a row to see what effects the storm’s outlier clouds might have had on our morning sunrises. I went alone to Nags Head pier the first day, and joined fellow photographer Gordon Kreplin at Jennette’s Pier the second.

A few days before the storm, we had one of those bluebird-calm days when the Sound looks like a mirror. Two kayakers were out taking in the beauty of the still morning up in Duck.

Among the treasures I have on my bookshelves is my mother’s copy of an old paperback Roger T. Peterson’s bird guide—so old, in fact, that many of the birds are not even illustrated in color! There is a section in that guide, long since updated, named Confusing Fall Warblers. I always thought that was a funny title for a bird book chapter, until I took up birding myself.

After the storm slowed to a walking pace over the lower part of the coast, I had a chance to walk the boardwalk behind Duck church and look for our annual fall warbler migration. Local birder Peggy Eubanks confirmed that we were spotting Cape May and Magnolia warblers along with a Nuthatch, the only bird that can walk head-first down a tree trunk. Peggy and I were glad to see each other; she was one of my earliest friends when I first moved to the Outer Banks back in 1976. She was wishing a photographer would come along and give her a closer long-lens look at the birds, maddingly camouflaged in the dense tree branches, and I was wishing she were there with her wonderful accumulation of knowledge of bird plumage and calls. The timing, as is so true many times, was perfect. True to Petersen’s volume, the warblers were confusing, at least to me. I will include an admittedly much less than ideal image to show you how challenging spotting them, much less photographing and identifying can be! Before I left we were joined by fellow birders and photographers Joyce Edwards and Pat Draisey. They had more time to spend than I, and I left for home while they continued to stroll back south.

One of the first post-storm oddities I noticed was heightened butterfly activity at my lantana bush. Day One revealed at least 8 or 9 separate species, including some I did not recognize. Closer looks over several days confirmed that I also had nearly a dozen Gulf Fritillaries, presumably nudged (or shoved) north in the winds of the storm. We see this species in Carolina, but this is pretty much the northern extreme of their range. From researching online, I think it is unusual to see so many at once this far north.

About the middle of the month, I went to Nags Head Woods, intending to walk the main trail by the visitor’s center, but found it completely underwater! The bridge from the center’s porch disappeared into green ooze, and at least one other main trail was blocked off by signs warning of flooding. As all the rainwater from Florence makes its way slowly downstream, the Sound and many of the areas within the Woods are still wetter than usual. I checked the trails yesterday and while there is a spot of dry pine needles at the foot of the bridge, within a few feet the water takes ownership of the trail there again.

Thanks to the encouragement of Daniel Beauvais—and the loan of one of his cameras for a week in August—I sent off my older camera body to be converted to photographing only in Infrared. Back in my film days, I’d purchased a red filter that I loved to put onto my all purpose lens whenever the clouds were particularly spectacular, as the filter mimicked the look of IR film by darkening blue skies to nearly black and turning anything green—trees, grass, bushes, marsh—a luscious bright white. The IR conversion replaces the normal camera sensor; there are ranges of false color or true black-and-white you can specify, and I chose what is called Deep Black. If you are interested in the particulars, both lifepixel and Kolari Vision offer conversions and plenty of explanation and tutorials. I got my camera back from Kolari in record time and had one more hike in Nags Head Woods, this time with Gordon who was also using an IR converted camera. I carried both cameras and will include a full color and an IR image to show you the difference below. Retraining my eye to see, first in black and white and then in IR is an exercise in playful creativity! I am having a wonderful time with it. Look for some sprinklings of IR images in the blogs to come, if the scene warrants the treatment. One thing I am rapidly learning is that not all scenes are good candidates for the IR look. I enjoy learning, and fall’s somewhat slower retail pace is a perfect time—coupled with lower humidity and nice cloud formations—to be outside to play.

I think often how upside down our routine is compared with a non-resort area (or, say, a ski resort!) While most of the rest of the country is planning vacation and play time, we gear up for our busiest months. Winter, not summer, can mean rest for many of us and this in-between of fall begins to focus my attention on creative play. The IR conversion arrived just in time to inspire my visual self to see in new ways, always a great exercise and not just for photographers.

click for larger image
Slick calm morning and beautiful clouds up in Duck.

click for larger image
Subtle sunrise at Nags Head Pier.

click for larger image
Who would have thought from the pre-dawn above that I would soon be treated to this? It always pays to stay put longer than you might first expect to, if you can.

click for larger image
The next day's pre-sunrise was a little more pink, but still subtle.

click for larger image
By the time the sun rose above the clouds, it was almost too bright to photograph. I loved the cross-current wave patterns here.

click for larger image
Flooding in Nags Head Woods. No trail here--unless you took waders, which I didn't.

click for larger image
Normally I would delete this out of focus butterfly photo-bombing my focused image. But this is a female signaling non-receptivity to the overflying male. She might be playing hard to get...or has already mated, and is therefore unavailable.

click for larger image
Here is a Confusing Fall Warbler. I should mention these are small birds--and fast! No sooner would we spot one than it would be off its perch and away.

click for larger image
Sound shore in Nags Head Woods. Mid to late afternoon and not the ideal time of day at this location. But a pretty spot.

click for larger image
Here is the same scene with my newly converted IR camera body. I can already tell this is going to be fun!

posted by eturek at 4:27 PM

Comments [1]

(c) 2009-2010 Eve Turek & OBX Connection, all rights reserved - read 546556 times

click picture for more
Eve Turek's Natural Outer Banks
October 2020 (1)

August 2020 (2)

July 2020 (2)

April 2020 (1)

March 2020 (1)

January 2020 (1)

December 2019 (2)

November 2019 (1)

October 2019 (1)

September 2019 (1)

August 2019 (1)

June 2019 (1)

May 2019 (1)

April 2019 (2)

February 2019 (3)

January 2019 (1)

November 2018 (1)

October 2018 (1)

August 2018 (1)

July 2018 (1)

June 2018 (1)

May 2018 (1)

April 2018 (1)

March 2018 (1)

January 2018 (2)

November 2017 (1)

October 2017 (1)

September 2017 (2)

July 2017 (1)

June 2017 (1)

May 2017 (1)

April 2017 (1)

March 2017 (1)

February 2017 (1)

January 2017 (1)

December 2016 (1)

November 2016 (1)

October 2016 (1)

September 2016 (1)

August 2016 (1)

July 2016 (1)

May 2016 (2)

April 2016 (1)

February 2016 (3)

January 2016 (1)

December 2015 (2)

October 2015 (2)

September 2015 (1)

August 2015 (1)

July 2015 (2)

June 2015 (2)

May 2015 (2)

April 2015 (1)

February 2015 (1)

January 2015 (4)

November 2014 (1)

September 2014 (2)

July 2014 (2)

June 2014 (3)

May 2014 (1)

April 2014 (1)

March 2014 (2)

February 2014 (1)

January 2014 (4)

December 2013 (1)

November 2013 (1)

September 2013 (1)

August 2013 (2)

July 2013 (3)

June 2013 (1)

May 2013 (2)

April 2013 (1)

March 2013 (2)

February 2013 (2)

January 2013 (2)

December 2012 (2)

November 2012 (2)

October 2012 (2)

September 2012 (1)

August 2012 (2)

July 2012 (1)

June 2012 (3)

May 2012 (1)

April 2012 (2)

March 2012 (1)

February 2012 (2)

January 2012 (1)

December 2011 (2)

November 2011 (1)

October 2011 (2)

September 2011 (2)

August 2011 (2)

July 2011 (2)

June 2011 (2)

May 2011 (1)

April 2011 (1)

March 2011 (1)

February 2011 (2)

January 2011 (2)

December 2010 (2)

November 2010 (2)

October 2010 (2)

September 2010 (2)

August 2010 (2)

July 2010 (2)

June 2010 (2)

May 2010 (3)

April 2010 (3)

March 2010 (3)

February 2010 (1)

January 2010 (3)

December 2009 (2)

November 2009 (1)

October 2009 (4)

September 2009 (2)

August 2009 (3)

July 2009 (3)

June 2009 (3)

May 2009 (4)

April 2009 (4)

March 2009 (7)

February 2009 (5)

NEW Home | Outer Banks Vacation Rentals | Outer Banks Message Board | Outer Banks Webcams