Columnist, nature photographer and retired state park superintendent Sam Bland is back from a cross-country adventure, guided home by familiar coastal beacons.
A View of Climate Change From 14,000 Feet
Our Sam Bland, a coastal creature who has recently been exploring Colorado, compares the effects of global climate change as seen from both sea level and far above.
Antarctic Melting and Sharks in the Collards
Our Sam Bland ponders the vulnerability of the North Carolina coast to sea level rise and new research that indicates melting Antarctic ice could exacerbate the problem.
Sunset Scene at The Point
The sunset casts a golden glow over the beach earlier this week at the Point, the westernmost tip of Emerald Isle on Bogue Banks in Carteret County. Photo: Sam Bland
Sam’s Field Notes: Wolves, Blood and Lunacy
Columnist Sam Bland notes that when the moon rises Sunday, there will be drama, blood and magic, together known as a full super wolf blood lunar eclipse moon.
Christmas Bird Count A Holiday Tradition
The 12 days of Christmas could be the perfect time to take part in a holiday tradition that goes back 119 years, the Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count.
Sam’s Field Notes: Wildlife Festivals Ahead
Celebrate North Carolina’s wildlife during Swan Days Festival at Lake Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge and Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival encore, both the second weekend in December.
A gliding shorebird is cast in silhouette as the sun sets over Bogue Inlet and Bear Island. Photo: Sam Bland
Mature and immature blue herons hunker down during the deluge of Hurricane Florence. Photo: Sam Bland
Sam’s Field Notes: Interpreting Coastal Plants
A plant identification book, “Seacoast Plants of the Carolinas,” that was fundamental to our Sam Bland’s work as a park ranger on the coast has been updated and doesn’t disappoint.
Sam’s Field Notes: Hurricane Florence
An Emerald Isle resident, our Sam Bland weathered Hurricane Florence, which brought destruction to the community but also brought out the best of those who call it home.
Sam’s Field Notes: Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles
The rarest, smallest of sea turtles, the Kemp’s ridley has also long been one of the most mysterious, but turtle watchers recently assisted as hatchlings emerged from a rare nest in Emerald Isle.
Storm Moves In
Thunderstorm clouds roll in Sunday over Emerald Isle in Carteret County. Photo: Sam Bland
Sam’s Field Notes: Diamondback Terrapin
It’s not a sea turtle but its home is aquatic and its future in peril. Our Sam Bland recently joined area wildlife researchers on a quest to document the diamondback terrapin’s abundance in coastal N.C. waters.
Sam’s Field Notes: ‘Let ’em Rest, Let ’em Nest’
It’s that time of year when beachgoers should watch where they step and take other precautions to protect nesting shorebirds, as our Sam Bland explains in his photo essay.
Coastal Scenes: The Pitcher Plant
The carnivorous pitcher plant features a “pitcher” – a modified leaf creating the tube and an overhanging lid – where a sweet, nectar-like liquid collects and attracts insects. Downward-pointing hairs and slippery walls keep the insect trapped in the pitcher, where it eventually slips into the liquid and is dissolved by enzymes so it may be absorbed by the plant. Pitcher plans live in soils poor in nitrogen. They evolved by getting the necessary nitrogen from insects. Photo: Sam Bland