Walking the Dune Line 2 Months after Florence

Two months after Hurricane Florence scored a direct hit, much of the beach front debris left in the storm’s wake has been cleand up.  And much of what’s left is in the process of being covered up by the timeless push-pull of the ocean.

Nature, it can be said, is its own best recovery agent.   We can help it along but at the end of the day, nature will always have its way. Thanks for the look and have a good week ahead.  See you next time.


Sasanqua Encore

The warm weather for the past several weeks has extended the Camellia Sasanqua season here on the farm but a heavy frost is forecast tonight (Saturday the 10th) so this may be their last curtain call.

These were all taken with a vintage Nikon D700 and a 70-200mm f/4 nikkor lens.

Thanks for dropping by and have a good week ahead.  See you next time.

Back to Duck

The Village of Duck on the Northern Outer Banks of North Carolina is a study in photographic contrast.  Overrun by runaway development in the 80’s, what was once a place to buy bait and a soda before heading for the beach has been transformed into a southern version of the Hamptons with upscale, trendy stores, overdone beach front “cottages” and pricey cars.  Even so, the main event is still the oceanfront with its own unique energy and dynamic.

Contrast this with the shoreline of the Currituck Sound where time seems to stand still and one can breathe.  Over the years, the village has built a boardwalk along most of the shore.  The views are pretty spactacular.

Getting to Duck is quite simple.  Head north on highway 12 and it will announce itself with a very classy, if overdone sign.  Parking for a walk on the boardwalk is not a problem.  Beach access is pretty much limited to property owners and renters.  Honestly, beach access for day trippers is a problem up and down the Outer Banks.  Parking for public access is quite scarce.  The best advice, check the maps and gps and leave early. Trust me, it’s worth the trouble.  Thanks for the look and have a good week ahead.

In Search of a Great Blue

With the coast clear of hurricanes for the first time in a month, I finally got started roaming the backwaters of the Neuse River this weekend.  The Neuse is one of the three major rivers in Eastern North Carolina and it was first on my list, ahead of the Trent and The Cape Fear.  I’d been wanting to do it for quite a while but  between Florence and Michael, my little trek fell by the wayside to tend to more pressing things.  This weekend, with the Neuse finally back within its banks. I finally got started.  No sooner had I parked my RAV 4 alongside one of the ponds fed by the Neuse in nearby Kinston than a Great Blue zoomed overhead heading out over the water.  About ten minutes later, I thought I caught a glimpse of him perched on a tree stump on the far side of the pond.

Look closely at the “Y” shaped tree stump standing in the water just to the left of the trees in the foreground. (Click on the photo for a larger look.)  I took a look through my 24-120mm lens and sure enough, there he was, still as a stature, but I needed a longer lens.

I had left my 70-300mm back in my RAV 4 which was parked maybe 50 yards away.  Could I get back to the vehicle, grab the lens and get a closeup of him before he left.  I did. Perhaps he caught a glimpse of me lumbering back down the path and decided to humor me.   (I don’t run any more.  I lumber, which is sort of a cross between a limp and a slow trot.)  I was so out of breath by the time I got back, I had to use a tree along the shore to steady my camera.  I fired off maybe ten shots before he finally swooped away to the far end of the pond.  Later, I found him back in the same position but facing the other direction.    I was lucky. I usually take two cameras with me on shoots like this.  One with a short telephoto and the other fitted with a longer lens.  I’ll remember that next time.  And I’ll also remember to take along a tripod.   There is a limited amount of “lumbering” I can do these days.  Thanks for visiting and have a good week ahead. See you next time.

After Florence: Emerald Isle, NC

The heavily overcast sky, thick fog and light mist seemed appropriate for my first look at the oceanfront in the town of Emerald, Isle on the western end of the Bogue Banks of North Carolina. The first view I saw after reaching the beachfront was this  huge debris field  that was left in the wake of the storm surge from Hurricane Florence that breached  and virtually wiped out the barrier dunes.

The pile of wood you can see on the beach in the distance is what’s left of the walkways that bridged the dunes and connected the oceanfront homes to the beach.  These debris piles dot the beach every 50-75 yards for miles.

This view is telling.  To the far right of the picture you can see the remains of a beach walkway and a stairway.  Those stairs connected to a higher level of the walkway that bridged the giant barrier dune along the beachfront. It will give you an idea of how much of the dune line was destroyed.

To my untrained eye, most of the beach front homes look to have survived the storm surge pretty much intact, though I have no clue as to water damage to the interiors and exteriors.


The western end of the Bogue Banks (the island is situated pretty much East West) seems to have borne the brunt of Hurricane Florence.  This would make sense since Florence made landfall just south of here, near Wilmington, NC.  The cleanup is well underway and soon, the beaches will be cleared.  More lasting will be the destruction of much of the barrier dune line.  I suspect the local authorities will move to rebuild the dune line, but for the forseeable future, oceanfront homes here are wide open to the whims of the Atlantic Ocean. Thank you for visiting and have a good week ahead.  See you next time