Sunday, August 30, 2009

Morning Beach, Evening Clouds

I'm really glad I had the 2 giant margaritas in me Friday night at Rosie's house. I had chosen that weekend to come for 2 reasons: tropical storm Danny party and no more kids with their dogs.

Tropical Storm Danny? BUST!

Kids & dogs gone? Nope!

But you know what? It didn't matter. Margaritas make everything better.
It was a terrific evening -> night -> morning -> afternoon -> evening.

Warning - lots of pictures ahead. I couldn't decide which ones I liked the best, so put in a whole bunch.
Sorry if that bores you, except . . . not.

After breakfast in the morning, Rosie & I wandered over to the beach to see what havoc had been wreaked on the poor tourists.

Hmmm, they don't seem so upset.

There was a bit of a bigger surf . . .

. . . and the big, red "No Swimming" flag was out.
Did that deter the surfers, one of whom was Rosie's youngest?
No. There is a video of that gripping excitement at the end.

On our way home, we stopped by to say hello to my good friend from high school & college, Russ of blogdom fame. His blog is at times hilarious, at times thought provoking, but always worth a read.

He has a house that used to have a nice view of Jockey's Ridge, the tallest sand dunes on the east coast. They can barely still make the claim though, as they have been slowly shrinking over the years. They are visibly smaller now than they were in the early 70's when we first started vacationing there (my father has lived there since 1976). Dunes don't usually do that, as they shift and move with the winds, and Jockey's Ridge normally migrates slooooowly to the south-southwest. But these have a problem. Their normal migration pattern has been halted by development. If you were allowed to dig at the southern end, though, you would find a bit of their revenge - a miniature golf course that was buried and a bit of a castle that once decorated it just visible peeking up through the sand. The sand also gobbled up a hotel in the late 1880's. So what's a dune to do when it has nowhere to go? Simply and slowly blow away.

In fact, the entire Outer Banks are on the move, shifting to the southwest. Oregon Inlet, connecting the northern Outer Banks to Hatteras Island, has migrated more than 2 miles since it first opened up during a hurricane in 1846. Consider this - when the existing Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was built in 1870, it was more than 1500 feet from the shoreline.
Since the construction of the lighthouse, the shoreline has been retreating at an average rate of 15 feet per year. By 1935, the shoreline had retreated to the point where the base of the lighthouse was in the surf zone, forcing the lighthouse to be abandoned. This prompted the construction of a series of palisade dune ridges in the late 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and the National Park Service. By 1950 the lighthouse was deemed safe and returned to service.
And the whole lighthouse had to be moved inland in 1999. I got to see that. It was the coolest thing ever.

Sorry, I got distracted by the dune saga. Where was I? Oh, the view of the back corner of the dunes from Russ's house.

Oops. Caution - objects in the zoom mode are farther away than they appear.

I am feeling very sad for the dunes.

But back at Rosie's house, we passed a nice afternoon watching Monty Python & the Holy Grail, only the best movie ever made (along with about a couple dozen best movies ever made), but as dusk drew close, I had to pack up & go home. Goodbye goodbye hug hug had fun come again thanks for everything blah blah blah. As they walk me to my car, I glance up and . . . oh wow!

I love the 3 layers of color in these clouds. Now I was on a mission - get to the beach as quickly as possible to see these cool-as-all clouds over the water with a couple photo-op stops en route. Clouds change quickly.

Dusk is my favorite time of day, as long as the air is clear. And it was clear as a bell that evening. Dusk feels full of promise. Dusk is full of energy. Dusk feels like something exciting is just around the corner. Dusk feels like fun. Dusk feels like peace.

Ooh look, the moon.

And then I turned to the western sky.

Lastly, my blind videography. Of course, the whole morning of beach pictures was blind. Blind for a couple reasons.
1) The day was so bright I couldn't see the little screen on the back of my camera.
2) Even if it hadn't been bright I couldn't have seen it since I forgot my old-lady reading glasses.

I've decided that surfing on the east coast is really nothing but long periods of self contemplation whilst paddling on your surfboard interspersed with a few seconds of upright posture before the wipe out. Uhhh, yeah, to each his own.

Youngest Hawthorne lived to tell the tale.


Rosie Hawthorne said...

Nice pics.

We did have fun, didn't we.

Kathy said...

We did indeedy. And the dogs were actually great fun too.

Russ said...

Great pix! Loved seeing you again and meeting the world famous Rosie. NOW, next time, let's go get some margaritas in a place with bar stools, waitresses, a/c, and ESPN on the plasma TV.

Kathy said...

Russ - you're on.

Anonymous said...

You and your cloud pictures.... they are nice shots. I like the beach clouds better than the ones trapped between parts of houses. You just gave me another example why I carry my camera bag. I have a loupe that would have allowed you to see the back of your camera, AND it has a diopter adjustment for your old fogey eyes. Hang with me, girl, and I'll show you some wonderful things. ;-)

Sista G said...

I especially love two pictures especially - the one where the clouds are above only the treeline, and then the one with the twilight clouds above the tall sea oats. You are right - twilight is the best - so many sky colors silhouetted by the black trees!

Kathy said...

But RAD, the clouds trapped between the houses were so freaky they looked fake. It was awesome.