A state highway marker commemorating the first combat operations by African American troops from North Carolina in the state was unveiled Saturday at Elizabeth City’s Waterfront Park. Hundreds of enslaved North Carolinians were set free by Black soldiers during Gen. Edward Wild’s raid in December 1863. Photo: Kip Tabb
Sanderlings take flight over the beach in Kitty Hawk. Although a familiar and common sight on beaches around the world, this migratory species’ numbers may be in serious decline in the Americas, with surveys showing as much as an 80% drop since the early 1970s, according to Audubon. Photo: Kip Tabb
A droplet of rain catches a ray of sunlight as summer showers wash over Beaufort in Carteret County. Photo: Dylan Ray
The sun sets over the Newport River in between Beaufort and Morehead City in Carteret County. Photo: Dylan Ray
A dragonfly descends upon a twig breaching the surface of Black Creek in western Carteret County. Photo: Dylan Ray
Fishers watch their lines as a scope reflects the pier house Thursday at the end of the Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier in Emerald Isle. Photo: Dylan Ray
A blue heron hunts near the shore of the Straits in Marshallberg amid a combination of man-made bulkhead and living shoreline in Down East Carteret County. Photo: Dylan Ray
An onlooker holds on to his hat as waves crash into the pilings of the Oceanana Fishing Pier in Atlantic Beach Thursday as Tropical Storm Elsa moves through Carteret County. The storm brought to the state heavy rainfall and maximum sustained winds of near 45 mph as it accelerated toward the northeast. Photo: Dylan Ray
Slick waters reflect the sky in the salt marshes earlier this spring near Davis in Carteret County. Photo: Dylan Ray
An eastern tiger swallowtail lands on a pollen-packed bull thistle off Pringle Road in the Croatan National Forest near Newport. Photo: Dylan Ray
Clouds fill the sky and reflect on the water along with commercial fishing trawler Miss Katlyn’s riggings near the Oyster Creek boat ramp in Davis in Carteret County. Photo: Dylan Ray
A dolphin passes by a section of wave attenuators put in place to protect Atlantic Harbor in Carteret County. The system put in place last year is part of a harbor improvement project that also included dredging of the harbor entrance channel by Carteret County and shoreline stabilization at White Point by the North Carolina Coastal Federation with funding from the Environmental Enhancement Grant Program and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Photo: Dylan Ray
Hundreds of green-winged teal fill the sky above the 6,000-acre North River Wetlands Preserve earlier this month. About 1,000 of the small dabbling ducks have been observed at the preserve in recent weeks, said birder John Fussell of Morehead City, who counted about 270 in the above image and estimated about 800 at the site that morning. Flocks of green-wing teal can be dazzling with their “rapid twisting and turning in unison,” according to Audubon’s Guide to North American Birds. Photo: Dr. H. Curtis Merrick
Fog blankets Gallants Channel in Beaufort Tuesday evening while the sun sets behind Pivers Island, a 24-acre island that is home to the North Carolina Coastal Reserve, National Estuarine Research Reserve, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Lab and Duke University’s Marine Laboratory. Photo: Dylan Ray.
Shackleford Banks stallions collide in this National Park Service photo by C. Wasley. There are 117 horses on the banks including two 27-year-old mares, the oldest, according to the latest annual findings from the Cape Lookout National Seashore and the Foundation for Shackleford Horses.
The late-autumn sun nears the horizon Wednesday over a living shoreline on Carteret Community College property on Bogue Sound in Morehead City. Winter begins Monday, Dec. 21, the shortest day of the year. Photo: Dylan Ray