Sunday, May 31, 2009
I’m a little late in posting this week, but yesterday was a travel day. We spent a wonderful week on the beach in Corolla, North Carolina, at the north end of the outer banks. Normally I would have spent the transit time needle-felting ornaments for the holiday season, but the airlines frown on traveling with sharp objects. I have learned to pack my faithful Swiss Army Knife in the checked bags, but they still enjoyed running my purse through the X-ray machine multiple times. I think the culprit was the drill bits I bought in Michigan and forgot about, but who knows. I like to be prepared, so you never know what you’ll find in my purse.
This year we flew into Norfolk, Virginia, which shortened the drive to Corolla considerably. We arrived in time to catch some beach time, although high tide limited the shell collecting efforts. That wouldn’t be a problem for most people, but I’m always on the lookout for weaving materials and high tide doesn’t leave much room for collecting on the beach. We quickly settled into a routine of beach time in the morning, back to the house for lunch, off for an adventure like golfing or hiking, an ice cream stop, and then back to the beach either before or after dinner. Fresh fish shops abound, and you can’t beat fresh flounder. The HOA (Husband of Artist) and eSOA (elder Son of Artist) went on a fishing adventure on the sound and came back with Bluefish and Spanish mackerel. These were good, but not as good as the flounder. A week on the coast does highlight the one and only failing of our fair town, Bloomington Indiana—there’s just no great seafood to be found. We’re still glad to be back.
It’s hard to pick highlights from a trip with many. I love watching the lines of pelicans skim effortlessly over the surf and the dolphins popping in and out. Low tide brings all kinds of interesting critters, such as puffer fish, sea cucumbers, Jellyfish, sand dollars (OK, really sand quarters or so) and the very cool devil’s purses. They’re the egg casings from the manta rays that cruise the coast. Shells are everywhere, and of course they get picked over for compatibility with weavings. The sand crabs pop in and out of the sand to keep an eye on us, and the little birds that run in and out of the surf set a good example for the kids. Everybody is on board to make it a good trip.
On our last day we drove south to Hatteras Island. The Pea Island national wildlife refuge is home to an amazing collection of birds, and we even saw a banded water snake on the way. We ran into two very gracious volunteer bird watchers there, Pat and Neal Moore. Neal set up a telescope at Cubbie height, and he spent some quality time looking out over the wetlands and sketching in his new sketchbook. I was very proud. The Moores recommended the Dolphin Den restaurant, which served up some great tuna steak sandwiches. Next stop was the old Cape Hatteras lighthouse, which we checked out but declined to climb. We reached the top of the Currituck lighthouse last year, and the creaky open staircase wasn’t a good match for the HOA. It’s amazing to read that they moved the Hatteras lighthouse a half mile inland when the ocean threatened to eat the adjacent shoreline, then moved it back to the original site years later. That must have been quite a feat and something to witness.
All good things must end, and now we’re firmly back on Southern Indiana clay. The anti-deer spray seems to have discouraged our primary local nemeses from eating the remaining lilies that are about to bloom. That was a real bonus when we pulled in the driveway. The Tradescantia is also coming into bloom, but the peonies and irises are fading. I’m hoping that there are still a few strawberries around, and that a blueberry pie is in my near future. Let the summer begin!
Until next week…