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
Cape Hatteras National Seashore shared in its Oct. 15 Cape Chronicle newsletter this photo, “Feeding time at the Ocracoke pony pen.” The National Park Service has cared for the herd since the early 1960s.
Undeterred by looming clouds and the threat of rain, passengers board the Island Ferry Express Thursday at Cape Lookout National Seashore’s Harkers Island visitor center to head to South Core Banks for a glimpse of the lighthouse, which is closed to climbing this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earth-moving equipment from T.D. Eure Marine Construction in Beaufort operates near a barge Monday, June 22, in the Atlantic Harbor of Refuge where a project is underway to build a 1,720-foot living shoreline to help keep dredge spoils from blocking the entrance channel to Atlantic Harbor. Photo: Dylan Ray
This handwritten sign reading “Fishermen Only” at the Ocracoke Seafood Co. on Silver Lake at Ocracoke Island sets guidelines in line with COVID-19 restrictions determined by the state. As Phase 2 of North Carolina’s reopening begins, Elizabeth Dyer with the company’s retail market said the company is taking strict precautions, including cleaning routines. “We require masks for our patrons and even have complimentary disposable masks and hand sanitizer.” said Dyer. “There is a one-way flow of traffic and lines of tape to enforce social-distancing.” Photo: Dylan Ray
April brings flowering of dwarf iris, also known as Iris verna, or dwarf violet iris, in the Croatan National Forest. According to the North Carolina Cooperative Extensions, the flower only gets as tall as 6 inches, but its foliage can double the size after flowering. The fragrant native North Carolina perennial can be found in partly shady areas under the longleaf pines in the Southeastern coastal plain from Maryland to Florida. Photo: Todd Miller
Work continues on the project to raise the Pea Island Refuge Visitor Center, the US Fish and Wildlife Service in North Carolina announced Thursday on Facebook.
Maria McDaniel, education and program director at the Greenville Science Center, left, listens as UNC Chapel Hill graduate students Alayna Mackiewicz, center, and Dana Lim discuss their lesson plan on magnetism and animal navigation last week during the eighth annual Scientific Research and Education Network, or SciREN, Coast event at the N.C. Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. Photo: Sarah Loftus
Michael Flynn, coastal advocate with the North Carolina Coastal Federation, snagged this photo Tuesday of a habitat restoration project that began in January at the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, work expected to be completed this week. The North Carolina Department of Transportation and contractor Barnhill Construction are excavating sand behind the Oregon Inlet terminal groin to improve habitat for migratory birds.
Volunteers with Better Beaches OBX, an environmental conservation group on the Outer Banks, place Christmas trees Saturday on the beach near Jeannette’s Pier. Donny King, owner and chef of Ocean Boulevard Bistro in Kitty Hawk, worked with Matt Potter, a restaurant owner in Virginia Beach, to coordinate the effort. More than two dozen trucks and trailers were used to haul 2,100 trees from Virginia and volunteers placed the trees to help rebuild dunes. Photo: Kip Tabb