Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Back from Pea Island NWR

Well, I am back from my research/reference trip to Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge on the Outer Banks, NC. I had a great time and have come back with roughly 950 reference photos. Of course, half of those are probably no good but I think that I have enough to keep me going until spring.

The trip started off with a smile. Any of you who go down to the Outer Banks knows that inevitably there will be that person who tries to drive on the beach in a car. I turned off Route 12 onto the beach ramp to Oregon Inlet and what do I see in front of me but a little Mazda Miata dug down to its frame with two people standing outside the car looking at it as if they can't figure out how this happened. So of course I drove up and said, "What on earth where you thinking!" Neither of us had a tow rope but the gentleman had a 100-foot extension cord. Yes, indeed, I pulled out the car with an extension cord. The trip was off to a great start.

After getting some reference shots at Oregon Inlet I went down to Pea Island to spend some time down there. Wow, did things go downhill fast... can anyone say mosquitoes? I don't know what they have been feeding the bugs down there but these things where huge and plentiful. Now keep in mind that I came prepared with bug spray but these guys didn't seem to notice the fact that I had it on or the fact that I had three layers of clothes on; they still got through. After noticing the blanket of mosquitoes on me and the camera I packed it up and went down to "The Point" on Cape Hatteras and spent the rest of day down there.

The next day the wind picked up and I was able to go back up to Pea Island in the morning for some good shots. Below are some of the shots from both Cape Hatteras and Pea Island.

The main reason I went on this trip was in hopes of getting some more reference of a Great Blue Heron to use on one of my current paintings. I didn't see any the whole time that I was there so I was getting up early on the last morning to try some spots on the way back to the main land. I had my morning coffee brewing and I was just starting to pack up camp when a heron flew over and landed in the pond that surrounded the camp site. It couldn't have been better!

End of another great trip! Back to the studio.

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