Long Beach, Stratford, Connecticut

We deal with the timeless tension of many married couples: fishing. My wife fishes; I don’t. (I find it boring, but I will stalk butterflies for an hour.) But she mentioned the idea of going to Long Beach in Stratford, located on the Long Island Sound, after an early dinner, so I grabbed my camera and explored while she pierced fish lips.

I had never seen monarch butterflies at the beach before, and these guys looked like they wanted to pose for pictures. It was a nice surprise. And what trip to the beach is complete without a gull picture? Rounding out the set is the least tern, a common little bird that was busy looking for dinner.

Take your adventures where you can find them.

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Currituck Beach Lighthouse, Corolla, NC

The Currituck Beach Lighthouse came on for the first time in 1875 and has been a vital beacon since. It is the northernmost light on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, added to fill in the final dark spot that has claimed many ships and lives.

Visitors can walk the grounds and climb the steps to take in the view from the top. Due to poor weather and other activities, we did not get to do that (this time).

Located in the same area is the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education, a small but well done facility where one can learn about the history of this place, catch a film to understand the wildlife and ecosystem of the area, and view artifacts that help define the area. (If you like waterfowl decoys and old outboard motors, put this on your list.)

Links to learn more:

The Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education: http://ncwildlife.org/Learning/Education-Centers/Outer-Banks

Currituck Beach Lighthouse: http://www.currituckbeachlight.com/

Wild Horses of the Outer Banks

Wild horses, mustangs that have been residents of North Carolina’s (USA) Outer Banks for hundreds of years, are a feature of the area bringing countless tourists to the area hoping for a sighting. We booked a trip with Wild Horse Adventure Tours in Corolla, NC, and had a terrific two hours (website: http://wildhorsetour.com/).

We visited the 12-mile section that is the horses’ home after three days (24-26 July) of intense rain and wind. A huge nor’easter had come through, making our chances of seeing the animals that much less. They typically move away from the ocean side, the route of sand-road NC Highway 12, during the worst of it, seeking refuge on the sound-side of their terrain. Because of this, the company was offering refunds as they were not hopeful. We took a chance and it paid off.

The horses have adapted to their environment. They eat the sea oats and grasses, and can even drink the brackish water from the Currituck Sound when pooled rain water is not available. Their adaptation has been so complete that if they eat anything else it can be fatal. Our tour guide shared a story of a woman who gave a horse a taste of watermelon; the horse died.

While not federally protected, these animals are special. Their population is down to about 100 from thousands when they ran the whole length of the Outer Banks. We enjoyed the visit, and I think you will too. Enjoy.

Happy Landings Farm

I have driven past this field and eye-catching windmills many times over years, and always thought, “One day, I going to grab the camera and see what I can get.” After visiting on Saturday, October 28, 2017 close to sunset, I regret not doing it sooner.

Happy Landings is an 84-acre open space that was purchased by the Town of Brookfield, Connecticut. It is now maintained as a park with trails carved into the grass and a functioning haying operation. You’ll see the bales. If you visit, you’ll find a free parking lot at 55 Whisconier Road, Brookfield.

I anticipated an interested sky as we were expecting a full day of rain on Sunday. We are getting it as I type this. I was hoping for a dramatic sunset sky and got it. Enjoy!

Above Atlanta 

My family and I took a quick trip to Atlanta this weekend, and I had almost no time to take pictures. This, in fact, is the only one. Sad. (And it’s from my Galaxy 6. Even sadder.)

Here is the splash pad at Olympic Centennial Park from the top of the Skyview ferris wheel. From about 15 stories up, a wonderful view of the rings and the surrounding torches made the ride worth the price of admission. The wheel is at the southeast corner of the park.  

A Little Fall Foliage (And a Lot of Sky)

They say that the best camera is the one you have with you. Here is what I got with my Samsung Galaxy 6S on October 19, 2016. This is the North Farms Reservoir in Wallingford, Connecticut. It was a beautiful morning when I took this picture at about 8:30.

I gave the shot two different treatments. The cropping, color and contrast settings make the two pictures unique, though they are from the same original. Enjoy.

reservoir-taken-10-19-2016-landscape

reservoir-taken-10-19-2016

Aquarium Butterflies

Today is Labor Day in the US, a final summer holiday to relax and have some fun. Today’s adventure bought us to The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, Connecticut. For the second summer (at least), the aquarium has hosted an outdoor butterfly exhibit known as the Flutter Zone. Step inside and spend some time with our fluttery friends. Here is a handful that gave me a chance to work with the fine manual focus control on my Lumix DMC-FZ1000. I’m starting to get the hang of it.

I hope you enjoy looking at these pictures. My kids and I had a great time and will look forward to the exhibit returning next summer.