Category Archives: North Carolina

Lake Mattamuskeet Wildlife Refuge and Swan Quarter Fishing Pier

Last year, I was taking a mini road trip around Eastern North Carolina and completely by accident found thousands of Tundra Swans in a marsh. Last week I packed up Jon and the Wild Bunch (our 3 German Shepherds) for a day trip to go see the swans on purpose. It didn’t work. It was windy, and not a single swan was in the same marsh where I saw them last year. Driving around we did see a few, from a distance. Not what I wanted though. But thats how it goes with photographing nature and wildlife. We still had a great day.

Lake Mattamuskeet Hunting Lodge. This was originally a pumphouse used to drain the surrounding area for farmland, and later a world famous hunting lodge. Its been unused for the last 30 years, but there are plans to revive it for a visitor/ education center.

A short hiking trail through a bald cypress swamp. I’ve loved these trees ever since I moved to the south.

Storm clouds approaching over the marsh.

On the way home, we stopped at another wildlife refuge, Swan Quarter, and walked out the really long fishing pier into Pamlico Sound.

Craggy Gardens, Spring and Fall

During the last week of October, I once again took a trip out to the Blue Ridge Mountains, to see the fall foliage. Below are two photos taken at the same location, Craggy Gardens, elevation above 5000 feet, on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. I love the bright pink rhododendrons and the green foliage in the spring. But I also love the red berries in the fall.

What do you think? Do you prefer the spring or fall (or maybe you like summer or winter) best? Where is your favorite place to see the seasons change?

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Craggy Gardens, Blue Ridge Parkway, October 2016

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Craggy Gardens, Blue Ridge Parkway, June 2016

Ocracoke Island

Recently, we spent a few weeks on Ocracoke Island, sharing a house with several friends and family members. Although it was beautiful, truthfully, I was somewhat bored and ready to come home by the end of 2 weeks. I was also disappointed in myself, I had brought some work with me and didn’t do as much as I would have liked, as well as not making time for some day trips that I had planned. It was very relaxing, and it was great to see everyone, some family we haven’t seen in a few years, and some friends I hadn’t seen since we moved from Virginia Beach three years ago. We did get to go to Portsmouth Village for a day and I did finally try stand up paddle boarding, I just wish I hadn’t been so lazy the rest of the time.

First Row: Beautiful view of Pamlico Sound from the house we rented, which is why I didn’t get much done, I was looking at this peaceful view all day, Forth of July fireworks, A thunderstorm moving across Pamlico Sound

Second Row: Pathway through the hammock, a very crowded day at the beach, Panzer and Sasha waiting for Jon at the ferry landing

Blue Ridge Parkway

A few weekends ago we were able to take some time and spend a few days on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is one of my absolute favorite places. So beautiful, I love the mountains, the waterfalls, the colorful foliage in the fall, and the wildflowers in the spring. I also love how easy it is to use, with scenic overlooks every few miles, campgrounds, picnic areas, and hiking trails.IMG_3328

View from one of the scenic overlooks.

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The reward for hiking the Cascades Trail, actually a pretty easy hike.

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Rhododendrons in bloom at Craggy Gardens. I was hoping to see these in bloom, and I did!

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Duggars Creek Trail.