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

Thursday, September 27, 2012
Gratitude Day(s)
Sometimes, when I need to widen my perspective or enlarge my heart, it helps me to go small, and find a larger world—and my connection to it—in the wonder of little things. Sometimes, I need the opposite kind of help. Perhaps I feel overwhelmed with details, the seemingly unending myriad of tasks or considerations that go into every single day. Then I am helped by focusing larger, by finding my connection to a world whose beauty is revealed in its wide grandeur.

The calendar, the skies, the sea oats and the recently bloomed seaside goldenrod all say “autumn” although my daily pace still holds more in common with summer than fall. Since my last blog, the stragglers among this season’s young osprey have all left their Colington nests and flown south. Hopefully, all will thrive and return in eighteen months (yes, you read that correctly—not next summer, but summer 2014) to find mates and build their own nests. Meanwhile, the sky over my house is quieter and emptier, morning and evening, without their soaring calls. I miss them. The parents, along with young osprey that hatched, fledged, and flew away south in 2011, will return in late February or early March, and the cycle will begin again.

I saw the tiniest green tree frog and the largest ghost crab I have ever seen within days of each other earlier this month. I rescued one weakly chirping cricket, discovered two garden spiders in my yard only to have one go missing a couple of days later, and managed to photograph some sunning turtles before they spooked and dove off their logs. Pete and I drove north with friends and checked on the young colt and mother we had seen back on Mother’s Day. She looks quite thin—still nursing—and he looks like a growing boy of any species. His coat is getting thicker and shaggier and very curly. I drove south with those same friends a month later and we tramped a bit around New Inlet as a pale not-yet-full moon rose in the east before the sun set in the west.

I saw the Green Heron I wrote about in the last blog one or two more times, and then it disappeared as quietly and suddenly as it arrived. A grocery run to the Nags Head Food Lion gave its own reward in the guise of a Great Egret at the stormwater pond across the street there in front of the credit union.

Offshore storms produced some surf-able swell on what has been Lake Atlantic most of the summer, and I was blessed to photograph two rainbows over the ocean without having to get very wet beforehand! I managed to get out to the beach for sunrise for the first time in weeks. One sunset found me at sea rather than sound, marveling as the setting sun reached its rayed fingers to froth the tops of isolated breaking waves into cotton candy. And I shared the spectacular last sunset of summer, which this year coincided with the International Day of Peace, also known as Gratitude Day, with a Great Blue Heron who flew in to stand nearby as the sun slipped below and beyond our view.

All of these seemingly disconnected adventures and discoveries have in common their ability to pull me outside myself into something larger, and return me to a higher and deeper perception of my own place in that larger world. I’ll leave you to enjoy the gleanings of all these adventures, and hope they inspire the same glad wonder: life is good.

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Peek-a-boo, Mama! The young colt is growing fast.

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When we bought Yellowhouse Gallery, its mascot was a frog. I love that this frog was waiting at the door for me the other morning. I believe all frogs are princes, and not in disguise, either.

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This ghost crab is many, many times the size of that little frog! I've seen tiny ones recently, but this must be a great-great-grandma/pa crab. (All ghost crabs are great in my book.)

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Turtles make me chuckle. I love the way they balance on their logs.

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Pelicans AND the moon! I told you life is good.

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Yes, the Outer Banks has changed. Yes, it has grown and developed. But if I am alert, I can still find wildlife adapting to those changes, like this Great Egret fishing in the stormwater pond by the Food Lion in Nags Head.

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Sometimes the light changes in late afternoon in such a way that prompts me to go look for a rainbow. This was one of those times: Rainbow Light. And sure enough, there it was. I often find a rainbow when I need it most.

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My mom used to love what she called "the pink glow" which we would sense more than see at our northern VA home near sunset. We see it often here in the sky, or wave wash, over the ocean. More rarely does a breaking wave reflect the color.

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This Great Blue flew in, a silent shadow, to share summer's last sunset with me. Right before I left the sound, it flew on with its "crannnkkk" call. Perhaps it was saying "you're welcome" to my whispered "thank you" for its picture.

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Gratitude Day Sunset. On a night like this, with a setting thin sliver of silver moon, I can believe anything, even peace, is possible.

posted by eturek at 10:38 PM

Comments [5]

(c) 2009-2010 Eve Turek & OBX Connection, all rights reserved - read 547860 times

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