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.

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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!

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

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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.

A Friday Evening at Sea

Sometimes you have a gem sitting in plain sight and you don’t realize it. This was the case with setting sail for an afternoon of assisted fishing on the Long Island Sound from Captain’s Cove in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

For those unfamiliar with the area, the Sound is the body of water between Connecticut and the north shore of Long Island, New York. It is such a popular recreational boating and fishing area that Bass Pro Shop opened a store in Bridgeport that allows access from the rear of the store to the water. Buy your new boat and pilot it home, I guess.

We didn’t do that. Instead, we paid our way onto the Middlebank II, a private fishing boat that leaves from Captain’s Cove. With the crew’s help, we were pulling in fish all afternoon.

I’m not a fisherman, but my wife and kids like it, so I went along and, of course, bought my camera. We were treated to perfect weather and a spectacular sunset on the way back to port. If you want to try your hand at salt water fishing, give it a try. I’m sure we will be back.

 

Connecticut Shore Bird

I’m keeping it simple for Saturday. Behold the Least Sandpiper. Has there ever been a less inspiring name? Where is the Most Sandpiper? The Biggest Baddest Sandpiper. I captured this little bird hanging out in Stratford, Connecticut this morning. Identifying it took a bit because there are many species of Sandpipers. Enjoy!