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

Wednesday, November 13, 2013
As I often do, I checked my memory against weather data and confirmed that yes indeed, October 2013 was a soaker! The Outer Banks actually received more rainfall this October than last...and that is significant when you remember that last October Hurricane Sandy came up our coast. By far the most rainfall we received a year ago was during the last week of the month; precipitation for the rest of October 2012 was nil.

So how much rain are we talking here? For this year, nearly 9.5 inches!! It was spread throughout the month and those days that did not see significant rainfall were still mostly dreary and overcast. Not too much fun for photographers!!

Maybe that helps explain why I am even more than usually grateful for the periods of sunny weather we did have. As soon as the sun emerged, and beaches under federal control were re-opened, I headed down toward Pea Island to check out the fall sea oat crop. I'd heard that White Pelicans were again present in North Pond, and I saw eight there, hanging out with our resident Brown Pelicans. White Pelicans, and the other large white birds with black wingtips--Northern Gannets--are wintertime signs for me, as I first notice them later in the fall as the temperatures begin to drop. They typically stay all winter once they arrive. I aw my first gannets the other day, and we had temperatures overnight dip into the 30's with winds making it feel like winter, if only briefly. Elizabeth City had snow flurries; I kept looking for snow every time I took the dogs out last night (none of us was prepared to stay out long) but we had only drizzle.

At the very end of October, when it finally quit raining, I received a wonderful gift: I spied our fox for a couple of days in the side yard. It stayed put long enough one day for me to retrieve my long lens. I assumed when I first spied its shape through the grass and underbrush that I was seeing the mother fox, our long critter-companion. After all, the fox stopped trotting at the sound of my voice, sat up and looked my way. Who else could it be? I'm convinced that instead of MomFox, I had a visit from one of her kits, now 8-9 months old and sporting its full adult size and fur. Granted, I see the mother most in spring and early summer, when she is thin from nursing and shedding her winter coat. But I know her now, as you might know your dog among many others of the same general breed. All four of the kits had distinct markings, and the mother's are different yet. I spent a chunk of one evening looking over kit fox photographs from every possible angle and I think I know which of the four this is. There were two that were more bold than the others, and I think this is one of those two. I'd been longing for a glimpse, at least, to see what the "babies" look like now. I'm so grateful for the visit.

Pete and I are in the midst of preparing for our gallery's big move, hoping to be in our new space by Thanksgiving week. Coming through our last official week in the old cottage, moving to appointments only there as I begin to pack and carry artwork down to our new location has leant an extra dose of poignancy to the annual slowdown we experience by this time of year. Usually I try to spend that extra time outside; this year I have had to budget my outdoors time even more tightly, as there is so much involved in our move.

But every time I step out my door with the intention of looking for beauty, I find it. Or it finds me. I was photographing the ocean the other day and there were tiny froths of bubbles right at the water's edge, racing along a mini tide pool edge. I began to notice that occasionally, for a split second, they would hold a particular shape, and then release it and morph into something else. Could I witness, in real time, a sea bubble sea heart? The question became a quest. Finally one set of bubbles slowed and turned, attracting others to itself, and there it was. A gift of connection right at my feet. All it took was my eyes and my heart and my willingness to wait and believe for the gift to arrive. Sort of like my young fox. My heart calls, and waits for the answering.

One of my favorite passages in all of the New Testament is found in Phillippians, chapter 4. Verse 5 talks about gentleness. Verse 6 talks about thanksgiving, and about connecting to God as a remedy for anxiety. Verse 7 talks about peace. And then we get to verse 8, which starts off with the word "Finally." I take that to mean, ok, here is the capstone. We've talked about gentleness, thanksgiving, connection, and peace. What could possibly complete that? I believe verse 8, to use modern lingo, is all about intention. About setting our mental direction, the course of our thoughts, like a compass. DeWitt Jones, one of my favorite inspirational photographers, encourages us to "celebrate what's right with the world."

So in that spirit, despite the 9.5" of October rains, despite the ending of one era and start of another for Yellowhouse, I offer you some gentle, peaceful, connected, and beautiful glimpses of what is right in our world.

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The photo on the left is MamaFox aka "Freddi" taken in June. On the right is a youngster who visited in October. So pretty! So handsome!

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One of autumn's signs for me is the blooming of the seaside goldenrod. I love the pop of color on our dunes beneath the sea oats.

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The late afternoon "golden hour" sunlight gilds everything it touches.

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Here is the same spot about three weeks later. Early November often brings a day or two of great cloud shows.

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Now we come to Pea Island, early November. Lovely.

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Sand patterns, sea oats, pretty ocean, great clouds! It was worth the winds to be out there for this.

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One more of the dunes, looking south.

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This reminds me of an old Kathy Mattea song, which is why I took the photograph. Quarter Moon Better Than None, when you travel the night road.

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Give your heart...

posted by eturek at 12:03 PM

Comments [4]

(c) 2009-2010 Eve Turek & OBX Connection, all rights reserved - read 561350 times

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