Monday, January 24, 2011

Home Again

The scene on Saturday night outside Marthas, once the snow had stopped 

We were tucked up inside, warm and cozy, well fed and watered.  I retired to my upstairs parlor and watched a movie. The Dark Knight- Batman, with a very scary Joker played by Heath Ledger.  Sunday morning we woke to bright sunshine and clear skies.  After a fine breakfast of waffles, turkey bacon and baked bananas, I swept the 4-5 inches of snow off the car and bid a farewell to my kind hosts.  Heading out, the roads were still a bit snowy but passable and I ventured forth across the tall bridge and out to Bogue Banks and Fort Macon.

Fort Macon is a state park with a brand new visitor center.  I spent more time exploring than I thought I might, I checked out the beach, so strange with snow covered dunes.  In the visitor center I watched the film about the forts history, built in 1823 and occupied by both confederate and union soldiers during the Civil War and US troops during WWII.  They had a great exhibit about the first doctor at the fort who was also an ornithologist and wrote one of the first comprehensive bird guides of the southeast.  There was also an exhibit on barrier islands that included models of all the rails and buttons you could push to hear the clacking, raspy calls of each species.  Then I toured the fort proper, a fascinating 5 sided structure with a mote and inner courtyard.  More exhibits there of how the soldiers lived during various periods.  If you're ever out that way I recommend a visit.

I then headed down island to the Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium and checked out the fishes there.  My favorite display was probably the three otters, busily swimming and playing round and round and round their space.  I hate to see them captive, but they seemed pretty happy.  I could watch them for hours.  The rest of the displays were less exciting to me for some reason, perhaps because they are so similar to those at the Fort Fisher Aquarium where I visited last year and which I think has bigger better tanks and slightly more modern exhibits.  But I did enjoy it and really liked watching all the kids checking it out, they are so filled with wonder when they can get right up to the glass and watch the big fish swim by.  Adults become big kids too as they put their hands into the touch tanks to feel the backs of the rays and skates as they zip by.

Finished with all there was to see at the aquarium and happy to have completed 5 hours of coastal site visits for my EE certification I headed out to walk the beach before getting into the car for the 4 hour trip home.  Save one woman playing with her dog I had the whole snowy beach to myself.  It wasn't too windy or cold and the ocean was very calm.  It was great to just walk and watch the sky and water for a while.

I was tired when I finally arrived home about 8 PM and was so happy to sleep in my own bed again with my babe by my side.  More weather is predicted for this week, this winter may well go down as one of the snowiest ever.


C. Kay said...

Amazing! An unexpected snow at the beach trip! Glad you are home safe and sound!

Carol Henderson said...

Love the snowy beach photo and that you completed more hours toward your certification on your cozy retreat weekend.