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

Thursday, February 16, 2017
A winter surprise
2017 has been a roller-coaster year so far, and I don’t mean just the weather (or the nightly news). In early February first Pete, then I, caught bronchitis, sidelining both of us for the first half of the month. We did manage to sit outside on our front porch for an hour or so on that record-breaking warm Sunday afternoon, but that is as far as we got.

Midway through January our photo club outing was an inside playful date with macro. Photographer Dan Beauvais brought fun props and gave good advice to those of us who are intrigued by macro photography but don’t do macro that often. I had an enjoyable few hours that Saturday morning and then the weather turned cold again.

Good thing the end of January held an exciting adventure. Fellow photographer and gallery staffer Phyllis Kroetsch took off for two nights to Seagrove, NC, with two aims: we wanted to bring home some fresh NC pottery offerings for both Yellowhouse and SeaDragon galleries, and, being photographers, we had plans to soak in a landscape more rolling and rural than we see every day. The morning we left boasted the prettiest sunrise I’d seen in a long time and we visited the beach before heading west.

Seagrove did not disappoint—so much so that we plan to return this fall if possible. Our biggest challenge was to stay on task, as the folks there are so friendly and welcoming that it was easy to spend a couple of hours in any one pottery studio, getting to know the potter and his or her processes and picking just the right pieces to bring back home.

Before our trip, I had the impulse to google “Timbavati White Lions.” (If you have no idea what that is, I encourage you to google for yourself!) What does that have to do with Seagrove pottery? I first read about the recessive gene that causes some tawny lions to have pale cubs, with blue eyes similar to white tigers, some 30 years ago. The gene has surfaced only in the Timbavati section of Africa’s Krueger National Park, which happens to be a nature preserve; nonetheless, as word got out about the rare lions, they became targets for illegal trophy hunting. All remaining existing white lions were brought into captivity and placed around the world in refuges or zoos to preserve the genetic line about 2005. Meanwhile, a few more white cubs have been born in the wild since. Perhaps a dozen or so exist in the wild now. Fast forward to my google search. I have looked repeatedly hoping to find an American refuge where one of the lions was housed, to no avail. But now, great news! A tiger rescue just an hour’s drive from where we were staying houses one of the Timbavati white male lions! I could scarcely believe we would be so close, after all my years of longing to see one, and I made arrangements for us to visit.

Michael, as he has been named, was every bit as magical and majestic as I could have imagined. Being able to look into his blue eyes, and whisper “Asante” – Swahili for “thank you” – was a thrill I will not soon forget. The rescue is small and depends completely on donations and volunteer help. Do I wish Michael could be free to run across his native land without fear of being hunted illegally before even reaching maturity? Indeed, yes. Am I glad I got the chance to be in his presence at all? Again, yes. And thanks to the wonders of photography, I can share his beauty with you.

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One bonus of roller coaster weather is fog as the temperatures fluctuate between warmer and cold. Under Nags Head Pier one foggy afternoon in January.

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Winter sunsets are the prettiest!

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What do you get when you mix food coloring, water, and oil? A new universe--through a macro lens, anyway!

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This is actually a composite of two images, one with smoke, one with fire.

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One thing I love about this sort of macro is that the photographer is free to create, using props at hand. Time for Love is a good example.

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Back to reality...here is the over-the-top vibrant sunrise on the morning we left for Seagrove.

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Picturesque houses and barns were everywhere!

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Meet Michael, one of the few remaining Timbavati White Lions.

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My favorite children's books are the Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis, in part because they led me to faith. For years I've imagined meeting God as both Jesus AND Aslan. Perhaps He will look like this.

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Here is Michael with his lioness, Star. I obliterated the background and any evidence of confinement in order to isolate the pair as they might appear in an African night.

posted by eturek at 9:08 PM

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(c) 2009-2010 Eve Turek & OBX Connection, all rights reserved - read 503357 times

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