Sam Bland, our naturalist and photographer,found his life being taken over this summer documenting the lives of a mother hummingbird and her two chicks.
The call of the chuck-will’s-widow is one of Sam’s favorites… as long as it’s in the distance.
Sam Bland gets a ride-along with US Fish and Wildlife Service biologists as they locate and band endangered red-cockaded woodpecker chicks in the Croatan National Forest. Read more to find out how the birds are doing in their fight to survive.
Sam Bland and a ranger friend spy a rare sight on Bear Island: American Oyster Catcher hatchlings. Come, read about their encounters.
“Fire dependent” may sound like an oxymoron, but a fire now burning in the Croatan National Forest will ensure that the longleaf pines will survive.
The refuge’s squadrons of mosquitoes and deer flies chased Sam Bland back to his truck, but the dance of dragonflies mesmerized him.
Sam Bland loves snakes, but when he comes across one unexpectedly, his perfectly understandable reaction is to run… and then go back for a look and a few photos.
Along a 30-mile stretch of the central N.C. coastline what may be the rarest butterfly in the world is awakening from its winter slumber.
Catfish Lake in the Croatan National Forest is one of more than 500,000 Carolina bay lakes that dot the East Coast. Their origins are mysterious, though our Sam Bland is voting for the beavers.
When these winter visitors are gone, we know spring has arrived in coastal N.C.
Many coastal residents are unaware that a great wildlife spectacle occurs each winter just a day trip away at the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge.
Many stuffy marine biologists would scoff at the term “starfish” because these animals aren’t fish. But, by any name, they are awesomely cool.
As the setting sun lowered a crimson veil over the horizon, I took a late afternoon stroll down to a favorite marsh overlook and was greeted by a loud, clear rattling call that sliced through the calmness of the approaching evening. A disturbed Kingfisher stared at me with obvious irritation, its magnificent crest feathers stood erect, resembling a Mohawk hair style spiked up with gel.
Everybody probably remembers the fable by Aesop about the tortoise and the hare. Well, what about the sea turtle and the hare! Just kidding, but we do have a type of hare that lives in our coastal waters, just not the kind of four legged hare that you are probably thinking of.
During my life living and working along the coast and spending time on the water I have learned that no species of animal brings more joy, reverence and awe than the magical bottlenose dolphin. They command your full attention and seem to make time fly and stand still at the same time.
As a kid growing up in coastal North Carolina I spent many a hot summers’ day out on the barrier islands hiking through the sandy dunes, body surfing the ocean waves and walking the moonlit beach looking for ghost crabs.