Today, we are preparing for Hurricane Florence, but a week ago we had a few absolutely perfect beach days at Ocracoke Island.
Beautiful sand dunes on the island, which is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Like most all the islands of the Outer Banks, Ocracoke is just a narrow strip of sand, less than half a mile wide in most places, but with 12 miles of beach.
It’s pretty great bringing the trucks to the beach, I don’t have to carry anything, and the big canopies keep me from getting sunburnt!
A pretty back road I spotted on my morning hunt for coffee.
In spite of the broken hand, I think this last week has been the best so far this summer. Up ’til now it’s been very rainy. But this week the weather has been mostly sunny and I have a small splint on my hand instead of a cast.
A roseate spoonbill! Seeing this rare bird was pretty exciting. Normally their range is Florida, not North Carolina.
Beach day on Bird Shoal Island.
Evening at the Atlantic Beach fishing pier. There is a bar out at the very end and we had a few drinks while the sun set.
I can’t believe we’re already halfway through June! I would have liked more time to enjoy this spring, but so far summer has been pretty nice. I’ve been spending more time over at Atlantic Beach, one of the Outer Banks barrier islands and only about 15 minutes from my house.
Check out these pretty, beachy artworks here: https://society6.com/ryanmcgurl/collection/summer-by-the-sea Aren’t these Queen Anne’s Lace pretty? I spotted these growing on the side of the road, and just had to take some photos.
Last week, on a beautiful 60 degree day, I took Odin to the beach. I think it may have been his first time at the ocean, because he came from Nevada. He didn’t seem to care about the waves one way or another, but he was very interested in the seagulls. We’ve had him for about 6 weeks now, and overall he is a very sweet dog, who settled into the pack amazingly well. Even if he does like to put everything in his mouth. I don’t often come to this part of the beach, probably because the state park is so close, but this time I wanted to take photos of one of the fishing piers. I could not have asked for a better day. The light was beautiful, the golden hour, just before sunset. And it was warm, about 60 degrees.
Even after 10 years in the south, it still amazes me to see the beach empty when we get a 60 degree day in January. When I lived outside of Boston I would have seen more people walking the beach if the temperature was only 25. It was nice not to have to wait for people to get out of my pictures though, and it was easy to find parking.
I might not be able to take pictures of fall foliage quite yet, but I did get to climb a lighthouse this weekend, on the Cape Lookout National Seashore.
The lighthouse and keeper’s residence.
It was 207 steps to reach the top, and my legs definitely felt it, but this amazing view was worth the effort! Seeing the Outer Banks from this vantage point makes you realize that the islands really are just a narrow strip of land, an overgrown sandbar really, less than half a mile wide in most places.
Looking North along the South Core Banks. Looking East towards the Beach and the Atlantic Ocean.There is no bridge to this part of the Outer Banks, so you have to take a boat to get there. Not only is it a beautiful ride, but also it makes the islands pretty empty. You might have to hike a little, but even on a “busy” day you can find a patch of solitude.
Shackleford Banks, viewed from the ferry, not the top of the lighthouse.
Its beach season! A few weeks ago, I was desperately in need of a beach day, or maybe just a day off. Fortunately, I’ve gotten a handle on the things that were stressing me out and I’ve been able to relax. I’ve also gotten my beach days, with more to come as I still have most of the summer to enjoy them.
Check out my collection of pretty, beach day inspired artworks (including a few of my own photos) on Society6
The last time I was at this beach, Rexhame in Marshfield MA, 3 years ago, I really wanted a bright, sunny day to take photos. I didn’t get one. Instead I got cloudy, overcast skies. I ended up really loving my photos from that day anyways. This year, I went back for a family cookout, and I got my beautiful, sunny days! With bright blue skies and warm brown rocks. I honestly can say I’m pretty happy with my photos from both days, and I love the subtle differences between them. Its amazing how the weather and time of day can give such different results.
Which one do you prefer?
Cape Cod National Seashore, MA, June 2013
I would really, really love a day at the beach right now, but I am just so busy. I’m getting ready for my yoga teacher training next month, getting ready to be away from home and my business during my training, trying to get as much of the never ending yard work done before the summer heat makes it impossible. I guess I’m feeling overwhelmed right now. But here are some beautiful ocean pictures, in my Ocean Waves collection on Society6 that I can at least look at for a few minutes before getting back to my to do list.
Hammocks Beach State Park, NC, August 2016