A new year brought my annual trip to eastern NC for the winter rounds of my favorite places: Lake Mattamuskeet and Pocosin National Wildlife Refuges. This year I traveled via the Swanquarter NWR - I had never been to the Bell Island pier. I soon figured out why - certainly not much going on there in the winter!! But I did enjoy seeing Swan Quarter, a tiny historic town with a population of barely 300. What I liked most was the collection of apparently retired fishing and other boats at the marina. Quite striking!
From here I drove over to Lake Mattamuskeet. It was a very cold, dreary day and my few photos reflected that. A few flocks of Tundra Swan and many, many ducks - the most numerous of which were the Shovelers. The winds were very high so I spent little time out at the lake site and saw only one Skimmer - being buffeted by wind and hardly able to fly!
On day 2, I went to Pocosin - definitely my favorite of favorite refuges in NC. Here, muddy, muddy roads, cold temps, but there they were: the large numbers of Tundra Swan I like to visit in the winter!! Surprisingly, though, I saw no flocks of the snow geese whose fly-ups are usually so awe-inspiring ...
Yes, that is the sound of the winds you hear competing with the swans!!
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It's mid-February and in the spirit of raging climate change, tomorrow we are predicted to see temps as high as 80s...Not surprisingly, early spring brings early beauty. At the same time, I've been experimenting with the new Apple I-Phone app that creates lovely silhouetted photos that take away much of the not-so-attractive static that surrounds many photos. Here are a few of my lovelies!! Orchids are also blooming, so some of those, too.