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

EVE TUREK'S NATURAL OUTER BANKS
Thursday, September 5, 2019
Pre-Dorian
I am writing this blog under cloudy skies, in between what must be the first of the rain bands from Dorian. It is 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, and I already have cabin fever—exacerbated by the fact that since Dorian has been so slow moving, its path has given us so much extra time to prepare under calm skies that I just want the storm to hurry up, get here, and leave already. Fast-movers do less damage than slow-lingering storms do, and I am at least grateful that its forward speed has quickened and the winds have ever so slightly lessened. We have the Weather Channel on in the background, and vacillate between our horror at what has happened to the Bahamas and our hope we don’t have significant damages here. Such is storm season on the Outer Banks. You go along your merry way, and then you pray, and prepare, and hope, and clean up, and take a breath, and go along your merry way again.

My merry way as you know includes making images. So last Saturday I drove up to Duck early on a slick calm morning, with comparatively little traffic considering it was Labor Day weekend, with time to stop at my favorite tree along the boardwalk. I have photographed that tree at sunset, in fog, created images in black and white as well as in color palates ranging from vibrant to pastel. Saturday, I photographed that tree again from every possible angle (except from the Sound itself, but that would put the background as the back of the Wings store, not very photogenic). A couple favorites are below.

Friends came in town Saturday afternoon and I spent only brief interludes with them before evacuation was ordered for Tuesday morning and they packed up and headed back home after seemingly just getting here. I got up the morning they left and photographed the sunrise. Its gift was a sun heart in the wave wash. I noticed then what I had noticed a week or so ago—even without a hurricane thus far, our sea oats really are straggly already! I look forward to photographing them every October, when I think of them as being at their loveliest, but not this year. The wet spring and early summer combined to create a marginal crop (they thrive in drought not in damp), and they are turning brown-black and dropping seed heads much earlier than usual.

I spent Tuesday morning prepping the gallery along with two staff members, and headed back towards home by way of a scenic route, aka Bay Drive, and was startled to see a young, lean fox sniffing something right in the middle of the road! His face was a pale grey and I was reminded of two of the babies I photographed earlier in the summer. Could this be one of the teens? He was clearly hot and thirsty and I hope he found his way to some water. He trotted across to the grass and I slowed down and called to him, wondering if he would respond to my voice, which he did. He stood a minute or more while I spoke endearments and wished him well. He looks very thin.

On Wednesday, I made a strategic mistake and did not go out for sunrise, even though I was awake. My views here in Colington, obscured as they are by trees all around, belied the beautiful sunrise that was to come, which I missed. As a consolation prize I went to the ocean at Kitty Hawk Pier for sunset, and while it was not so vibrantly red (we are not yet in the “sailor’s delight” timeframe with Dorian approaching), it was pink and beautiful to the north. Again my gift was a heart, this one also in the wave wash, and huge. While I waited for the color to intensify I photographed a tiny stand of sea oats just beside the beach access there. There were only about half a dozen stalks, but they bent obligingly in the easy breeze. They could well be all gone after Dorian passes. Good thing sea oats propagate primarily by their roots spreading, not by seed germination.

That brings us up to this morning. I went out for sunrise today, hoping for something, anything, but the sea was fairly flat and the sky was lack luster, until all of a sudden a curving slice of rainbow appeared to the south of the sun's position. A sundog! I received the rainbow colors as a promise and clicked away. I noticed backsplashes as the water rushed to recede only to collide with incoming waves. I suspect I was actually watching a rip current in miniature. I ventured out again in mid-afternoon for one last look as the first winds from outer bands of the storm passed through. The color of the ocean was entirely different given the different light, and it was easy to see bands of teal and indigo and purple water. Right after I got back home, we had one quick burst of rain. Based on the latest forecasts I saw, our worst effects will come at night and near high tide, and may I just say I hate that. It is unnerving lying in bed, not sleeping, while the winds howl outside and you wonder exactly what is happening.

But for right this minute, shortly before 7 pm on Thursday evening, we are well, fed and happy; the dogs are fed and happy; and the winds are currently calm but we are having our second splash of rain showers. A jogger on the beach this morning trotted in front of me and I pointed out the rainbow. Yup, he said, the calm before the storm. And so it is. May the storm pass swiftly and may we get back to our merrily, merrily soon. After Dare lifts the Dorian curfew which is in effect from 8 p.m. tonight until at least noon tomorrow, and it is safe to be out and about, I will let you know how our area fared.

Meanwhile, enjoy these little glimpses from the past week or so, pre-Dorian.


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When I walked up the boardwalk toward the tree and saw this view, I knew I made the right decision to stop. The Sound is not often this slick.

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Here is the view looking due west of my favorite tree in Duck. Shucks, this is one of my favorite trees, anywhere.

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One more. I photographed the tree a little darker for this image than in the previous two.

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Here is that young, lean fox. His face reminds me of the pale baby red fox I photographed earlier this year.

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Here is Tuesday morning's sunrise.

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And here is the sun-heart in the wave wash. What was wonderful about this one, and the one below, is that I spotted them in real time and was able to make the photograph.

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Here is Wednesday's pink sunset.

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Here is the wave wash pink heart.

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Even though there were only a couple of stalks, they were still picturesque against the sky.

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When it first appeared, the splash of color looked like a slice of rainbow. Later as the sun rose higher above the cloud bank, it looked more like a sundog. Either way, I took it as a promise.

posted by eturek at 8:13 PM

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