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

Sunday, August 25, 2019
Nearly two months have passed since I lost track of the fox family I watched all spring. The sun crossed over into summer, the mercury climbed, and thunderous squalls overtook many an afternoon (it is thundering now as I type). My summer life as retail-shop-owner gets crazy busy, while my quieter, more contemplative photographer-self hunkers down and awaits those moments I can pause outside with camera in hand.

And I do mean “pause.” As in, hit the pause button. Pausing lets me take a breath, decide if what I actually need to do is rewind and revisit a decision or rethink a solution to a dilemma, or even just remember experience so I can distill wisdom or insight. Or maybe I just need a rest, that marvelous space between notes that master composers use to great effect and God Himself hallows. When I pause as a photographer, I can enter a bird or animal’s world for brief, time-suspended moments. I can watch clouds gather and swell with rain, anticipate and relish the rainbow that might follow. I can trace the tracks of wind across water or grasses, feel when the air suddenly cools as a front approaches. I can inhabit the moment for a moment, breathe in its gifts, breathe out my gratitude.

It seems I am always in this sort of inner dialog, half writing, half praying, always seeking to form words for the form of life happening right in front of my eyes. When it happens in front of my lens, then the seeing and hearing and speaking sides of me unite, ever so briefly, and I am whole again. I click the shutter, trying to stay in that time-space, but life moves forward and the pause evaporates like smoke. The best I can do is to revisit and remember as I look at the images, and await my next opportunity to rest.

By far my most immersive opportunity to pause and drink in the moment came in the form of an overnight trip to Beaufort, to rendezvous with friend and wildlife photographer extraordinaire, Jared Lloyd. Any moments I spend in his company are rich with experience and insight. We photographed the herd across from the Beaufort waterfront as well as around the Shackleford Banks. Having dinner with Jared and his wife Amy just added to the joy. I slept and woke and drove home in a state of deep relaxation, partly from time spent on the water in his boat, and partly I am sure from spending hours on end focusing on the work I love best, connecting with this earth’s critters as they go about their living in natural settings.

Closer to home, a more spontaneous trip to Carova to catch the sunrise and look for horses with fellow photographers produced a beautiful example of pre-dawn crepuscular rays. We did not see many horses that morning—I am sure they were more interested in breakfast than in coming to the water so early and posing for us—but the one chance we did have made for a different view as the horse was fully backlit by the newly risen sun.

An overnight visit from our grandson who lives in CT prompted a drive over to Alligator River refuge after supper and we saw several bears, some of whom were just crossing the canal into adjacent fields to feed and all of whom seemed to be more spooky than I usually observe. A squall was approaching in the distance, so perhaps that was part of the reason. We watched the bears and talked about life, the experience opening the door to deeper conversation, a special kind of intermission in both our lives.

And that brings me back to where I started—pauses and summer squalls. This summer seems to have given us more than the usual share of sudden squalls (and rainbows, though none as spectacular as that May double rainbow at Avalon pier). I admit I love to watch a squall approach—so long as there is no damage and the only effects are the visual displays they produce.

I hope these moments provide you an opportunity to pause as well. Enjoy.

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We have had such spectacular cloud shows lately! Squalls that come across the Sound near sunset can be the most dramatic.

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Clean and green -- how refreshing does this look?

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Sunrise in the 4WD area of Carova.

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Here is that stallion backlit by the rising sun in Carova.

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The horses near Beaufort contend with a lunar high/low tide in the Sound, which our horses don't experience. These horses swim regularly as a part of their grazing.

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Everywhere we went, horses were wading, running, or swimming.

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The foreground stallion is "driving" his mare by lowering his head, to keep her away from the darker stallion on the shoreline, who was seeking a mare to steal.

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The bachelor stallion responded by wading out into the water to try a different approach.

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That caught the attention of yet another stallion, who came charging into the water to demonstrate his own dominance.

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Skirmishes in the water are common here. We watched from the boat a safe distance away, through our long lenses.

posted by eturek at 1:07 PM

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(c) 2009-2010 Eve Turek & OBX Connection, all rights reserved - read 547822 times

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