Saturday, October 25, 2014

Busy Week

Lauren and I had Volunteered to drive the tour vans for an Owl  Prowl on the Alligator river Refuge the other evening and the first thing we ran into was this big old bear moving across one of the impoundments that has not been flooded yet. As it turned out this would be the high lite of the tour as it was a rocking wind all evening and with the colder temperatures of the last few days the Owls did not cooperate.

He took the whole thing in stride and didn't seem to mind us watching  .We managed to keep  the excitement down as to not make him to uncomfortable.

He could really move in the water and it just shows how quick they really are. That's why they say you can't out run one.

And out he was and a quick shake and then he gave us that are you really going to stay here or I think it's time for you to leave. so on we went to several more stops looking for the ever elusive Owl.

On one of our other stops we found this poor five foot long mud snake that some one had run over. what a shame , these are not harmful but it always the same. It's a snake so just kill it. This was the  other high lights of  our Owl tour. On the last stop of our journey we did manage to hear a little Screech Owl respond to the Team Leaders calls.

The migration has started on  Pea Island and the Geese are moving in fast. Every day several hundred birds seem to arrive on cue as the Refuges Wings Over Water week is now in full swing . During the week there are over a hundred programs sponsored by the Refuge and the Coastal Wildlife Society .

Our Sun rise the other morning. We were doing the Hospitality Table that day and we would greet the Birders with hot coffee  and donuts.

It was a little windy that morning and the blowing sand gave the feeling of a fresh snow. It was amazing this day as there was a Sunrise Photography Program and some of them laid in the blowing sand to get the perfect shot.

And of course we had a few crumbs for one of the Grackles that was working the system as we sat and greeted the visitors.

He was so smart that he would hang around and wait for some one to eat a muffin and then he would go for the bits that fell to the porch floor. He showed no fear and would walk in between our feet and gather his goods.

A mix of White Pelicans and Snow Geese crowd on the sand bars in the North Pond area of the Refuge.

Another great Sunrise over the Pea Island Refuge

These are some of the Folks that turn out every morning to bird Watch no matter what the temperature. The last few days the Sun up temps have been in the low 50's with a steady wind of 17 knots and gusts to 30 knots. When you are not shielded it makes for a real chill. We are now down to our last week here and will soon be moving down to Texas. Looking forward to the change as it will still be warm there.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Travel Channel and Such

We were watching the Travel Chanel last August and one of the clips was about and old tale of a Witch being burned at the stake in a little town on the Outer Banks.

So off we went yesterday to try once again to go to Ocracoke Island. It once again was a failure as the Ferry's are now on a limited runs and as the locals have a go to the head of the line and they are doing some kind of work on the Island so when 3 20 ton trucks get on first everyone else has to wait. To bad for the merchants on the island as not many tourists can get out their, OH Well . Shame on the NC Ferry System. On the other hand we did do some sight seeing.

This is the base of the Cora tree. Said to be over 200 years old.

It's huge and the local association built the road around the tree to preserve it.

So as the story goes the witch was tied to the tree with her baby and as the locals were going to burn her the weather went from clear to a black sky and as it darkened the baby turned into a black cat and a bolt of lightning struck the tree and the witch was gone and the only thing left was the witches name was burned into the tree. Look hard and you can see Cora still in the bark.

A little easier to see Cora.

We also went to Museum of ship wrecks of the Atlantic down in Hatteras by the ferry landing. This is one of the lighthouse lenses from one of the many old sound lighthouses.

One of the Civil War markers from the Museum grounds.

This trip was a pleasant change from our Wednesday when we helped with a school program with almost 500 2nd grade students . It was a great day but very loud and busy.

We found this marker on the site of the local town center. What was interesting was when we looked at the back of the marker we saw a Civil war first happened on this site.

How neat that where we were standing on site of the first major amphibious landing from he ocean by US troops.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Back to Normal

              So we are now into October and things at the Refuge are a little quite now. We were use to seeing 250 people plus at the Visitor Center on Saturdays and Sundays and now we are down to 150 on average. Even though the weather here is still warm and the days are all sun and the nights are now in the mid 60's which makes for great sleeping with the windows open. It's awesome listening to the Ocean at night. Things are a bit quieter now that all the schools are back to work. The big show will be in a couple of weeks when Wing Over Water happens and we will be busy with the Birding Folks who will come from every where to see the Migrations , both Birds and Birders. All the ponds at Pea Island and all the Impoundments in Alligator River will turn white with Tundra Swans and Snow Geese. At Pea Island we will have many of the same and we will also have the White Pelicans and every duck in the books passing through. I have been busy doing a few chores on the RV and we are ready to go at the end of the month. Looking forward to being back in Texas . We will miss all the Family in the North East for the Holidays but will not miss the cold and snow.
          The Family thing at Sea Scape went fast as always and I think all had a good time this year . Just doing nothing and enjoying the company is always good.                     G

A little time off

The Kites were just so awesome and were a pleasant surprise for the week we had off.
While we were at Sea Scape for our annual end of Summer Family outing there was a Kite Fest in Nags Head. There were so many in the air that I couldn't get them all in one frame.

It was amazing the size of some of these kites.

These pictures just don't do justice to how large they really are. The tower in the back round is 50 feet tall.

The Crab and Octopus were neat.

Sunrise over the ocean from our time share. You can be sure that I did not take this one, Lauren did.

The Dragon was huge.

We took some of the family to Pea Island and we were side tracked at the turtle pond.

Just a few of the Turtles giving us the feed me eye. It's funny because the refuge does not feed them and there is a sign saying do not feed . You know how that goes.

A view from the Dune in front of the Visitor Center.