North Carolina

Storm Flight

Storm Flight



Hurricane Matthew’s devastating march up the southeast coast of the United States this past week brought back memories of all the places we visited last year as we sailed northwards from Ft. Lauderdale to Morehead City in North Carolina along the Intracoastal Waterway. City after city making the news as they suffered from wind and extraordinarily high levels of storm surge reminded me of stopovers aboard AVATAR in happier times – Fernandina Beach, Flagler Beach (where my husband Mike grew up), and St. Augustine in Florida, Cumberland Island, Jekyll Island and Savannah in Georgia, Beaufort, Myrtle Beach and Charleston in South Carolina, and so many more.

This photo of an American White Ibis flying into a stormy sky was captured near Southport, NC. I spent a lot of time stalking ibises, my interest piqued in part because it is a bird never seen in the western part of the United States where I live.

For this shot, I had staked myself out on a lengthy wooden pier raised high above the sawgrass marshes flanking the waterway at the marina where we were tied up for the night. The ibises were sailing overhead and landing in the nearby green meadows. It was a breezy day, and I was constantly putting on my prescription eyeglasses to review my shots, and taking them off again whenever I raised the camera to my eye. After repeating this routine multiple times – suddenly my eyeglasses were nowhere to be found. I searched the deck with blurry vision, finally concluding that the wind had blown them off the boardwalk and into the swamp some 10-12 feet below.

Husband Mike was called into the search, and with his unusual eyesight – far worse than mine but with an uncanny ability to focus on minute objects – he did indeed spot them below in the sawgrass. How to retrieve them was another question. Wading into the marsh was an exercise in sinking up to the knees in muck that sucks the shoes off your feet leaving your bare soles exposed to beds of sharp-edged clams embedded in the mud…this scenario derived from personal experience on a previous bird-stalking expedition!

We decided to create an impromptu rope ladder for Mike to climb down and I was sent back to the boat to fetch several lengths of line. Luckily, on the way I spotted an extraordinarily long boat hook belonging to the marina management. Thanks to the boat hook, we snagged the glasses on the first pass, quite possibly saving this post from a much lengthier narrative if our rope trick had proven to be folly!


Nikon D4S, 1/1000 sec at f/6.7, ISO 400 mm (80.0-400.0 mm f/4.5-5.6), hand-held

Photo is copyrighted and registered with the US Copyright Office. Enjoy but please respect.


Posted by Carol in Birds, North Carolina, USA, 2 comments