Updated: 8/16/15; 18:58:09

pedantic nuthatch
Life in a Northern Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. B.M.A.T.C., and Etruscan typewriter erasers. Blogged by David Gorsline.

Friday, 27 January 2006

abandoned station Just one image of the relentless reclaiming that nature would make of these barrier islands. According to John O. Fussell III's A Birder's Guide to Coastal North Carolina, this building was a Coast Guard station. It's at the northern tip of Pea Island, at Oregon Inlet.

I relied heavily on Fussell's book in planning this trip. I wish that I had had in on previous trips, but it was only published in 1994. Even so, when it comes to the Outer Banks, a lot of his advice has already become outdated. The jetties protecting the original site of Cape Hatteras light are abandoned and half-submerged, while the jetty near this Pea Island ruin is shoaled up (Fussell warns that this is happening) and now forms the edge of a sand flat.

posted: 12:28:44 PM  

cormorants-a-poppin I took Alberta out on the beach at Cape Hatteras, but not all the way to the point: an ominous sign warned that the strand was "impassible" at high tide, and my tide tables said that the waters were rising. Further, I could see very few vehicles on the beach (the great thing about the shore at off-off-season is that you nearly have the place to yourself), so my chances for help in the event of mishap were small. So I pulled up to the salt pond to watch a cloud of cormorants rise from it. I saw more cormorants at that one stop than I saw of swans and geese for the entire trip.

curious pelican While I was scoping the ocean, a juvenile Brown Pelican flew over to check me out. Banded on the right leg, this bird has had some contact with people. The bird continued to approach as I walked around to get a better view, and only startled when my scope and tripod crashed over in the gusting winds.

pelican and Alberta I walked back to the car, and my new birdy friend followed. Better lighting for the bird, and this is Alberta's good side, too.

posted: 12:21:29 PM  

Bodie Island Lighthouse One thing that I learned on this trip is that it's really tricky with a handheld point-and-pray camera to photograph a lighthouse with gently sloping sides so that all the verticals look right. Marking Oregon Inlet is the light at the south end of Bodie Island.

Currituck Beach Lighthouse Of the three, I'm happiest with this shot of the light at Corolla in the fog.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse In 1999, the lighthouse at Cape Hatteras was moved east west (the other east!) lest it fall into the sea. Just one more thing that's new since my last trip, in this case in response to the activity of nature.

posted: 12:01:44 PM  

Kojo Nnamdi interviews Luis Torres, Chip Coleman, and Septime Webre of the Washington Ballet about the current unfortunate labor dispute. (A portion of the interview was lost when it was clipped into streams.)

posted: 11:34:42 AM  

Joel Brownstein and John Moffat propose an explanation of gravity at the cosmological scale that does not depend on so-called dark matter. Their modifications to theory, reports Maggie McKee, also incorporate quantum effects. She points out that they have yet to explain the pattern of cosmic background radiation, the echo of the big bang.

Brownstein and Moffat's work looks promising, at least to this non-physicist. Dark matter has always had the whiff of phologiston to me.

posted: 8:43:02 AM  

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