Category Archives: Winter

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.

Tundra Swans

This time of year the marshes in more remote areas are full of migrating Tundra Swans, thousands of them. Last week, after my visit to Pettigrew State Park, I drove the scenic route home and accidentally came upon a large flock in Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge.IMG_2939 IMG_2941 IMG_2943 IMG_2944

NYC in Instagram

Way back in February, my Mom and I went to NYC for a weekend, so I could see Henri Matisse: The Cut-outs. It was amazing, and worth the trip. The cutouts were so colorful and joyful. Of course, I kept imagining Matisse’s assistants, who must have been so excited about obtaining and apprenticeship with such a successful artist, only to be frustrated about doing nothing but painting plain sheets of paper, and then being instructed to place it just so inside of the collage. “No, no, a little to the right. Too far, back to the left just a bit…” Unfortuanately I couldn’t take any pictures inside the exhibit, but thats ok. Sometimes having a camera helps me to focus on what is beautiful, and other times it can get in the way of just immersing myself in an experience.

Here are my instagram photos from the weekend. Like me, my Mom is a great walker (wonder where I get it from?) and we spent the whole weekend walking all over the city. Midtown to Central Park, then to Bryant Park and the Library, Union Square, The Highline and Chelsea Market, and Little Italy. Of course, we tried to avoid Times Square, but did walk through it accidentally.


I figured that I walked about 38 miles that weekend, bringing my total for the year to 47.6. Its pretty far from my goal of 500. I have several walks and hikes I haven’t blogged yet, but sill if I want to reach my goal of 500 miles for 2015, I better get moving.