The photos of the year
I went through my files from 2011, it was apparent that Hurricane
Irene, which made landfall just south of Hatteras and Ocracoke on Aug.
27, was by far the biggest event of the year. It was also the top
Google search for 2011. So, of course, the bulk of my slide show covers
the weeks I spent documenting the disaster.
in January, the winter of 2011 was one of the snowiest on record for
the East Coast. Because we take our vacation in the winter, I usually
miss the opportunity to capture the rare days that snow accumulates
here. This year I got lucky and caught a very picturesque event. Snow
fell for much of the day on Saturday, Jan. 22, with blizzard-like
conditions in the afternoon. Driving around during the storm, I was
reminded of Utah.
We got up at 5 a.m. the next morning to
capture the white landscape before it got too tracked up. It paid off
with the shot of the lighthouse with the moon setting behind it.
High school basketball rules during the winter, and once again the Lady
provides the best light conditions of the year for shooting landscapes
and beach scenes if you don’t want crowds. A couple of trips out to
Cape Point got me the shots of the deer, the shorebirds, the cormorants
on the pond, the skeleton, and the piping plover.
was only a few yards from my truck when I snapped the picture. It was
foraging and totally comfortable around me. It makes me angry that this
small bird gets more protection than the President while compromising
beach access all around it. Beach access will once again be a huge
topic in 2012 and hopefully common sense will prevail.
I did a couple of photo shoots this year and got some favorites to
first was Johnny Conner’s classic Willys Jeep on the beach. When you
see a fundraiser here, chances are the Conner clan had a hand in it.
The other shoot was Maggie Austin and her horse, Dan. Maggie is a
senior at Cape Hatteras Secondary School this year.
can be good here year-round, and no one hits the water more than my
good friend Scott Busbey. Scott has been surfing for nearly 50 years
and is shown surfing at the lighthouse.
This spring also saw the
dismantling of the scaffolding around the Bodie Island Lighthouse
before repairs and renovations were completed because of federal budget
A lightning strike was responsible for the Pains
Bay wildfire on the Dare County mainland, which burned for the better
part of two months. Northern beaches really suffered from the smoke and
haze, but it also created spectacular sunsets, as shown in the
paddleboarding shots from the first annual Paddle Palooza contest in
And speaking of fire, a big “thank you” goes out to
our local fire departments for allowing me to shoot their controlled
burns. The skill, training, and professionalism of these volunteers are
June brings back graduation for our seniors. Brianna James looks happy
to be moving on.
were few this summer, but I always enjoy covering island history. I
anxiously watched for hours as folks tried to locate two Confederate
cannons near the site of Fort Clark at Hatteras Inlet. But it
not happen. I feel it’s only a matter of time before Mel Covey, Joe
Schwarzer, and Danny Couch get their prize.
The slow pace of news events abruptly ended in late August with
Hurricane Irene’s arrival.
thought we dodged several bullets in recent years, considering the
active storm seasons, and felt we got lucky again with Irene until we
drove north to Avon and especially the tri-villages of Rodanthe, Waves,
and Salvo. I knew then that life on the island would change for years,
much like it did after Hurricane Isabel in 2003.
Anne, and I realized it was important to get the stories and pictures
out quickly and accurately. What followed was weeks of heartache
documenting the losses of our fellow islanders. But these are tough
people, and we also witnessed again and again how islanders come
together to help their neighbors.
Although a lot of work still
needs to be done, the progress has been unprecedented. Gov. Beverly
Perdue paid a visit to talk to people affected and evaluate damage.
Local and state government officials moved quickly to get a temporary
bridge and road open to salvage the rest of the tourist season. Cape
Hatteras Electric Cooperative deserves a lot of credit as well.
fundraisers and events -- such as the Hatteras Island Fun Run, Bike the
Light, and the annual Blessing of the Fleet -- were rescheduled but
came back strong.
Closing out the year was the annual Christmas Parade in Hatteras
village on a day with beautiful weather and good spirits.
but not least, I would like to thank Dwight and Debbie Burrus of Burrus
Flying Service for taking me up to photograph our island paradise from
CLICK HERE TO VIEW SLIDE SHOW
CLICK HERE TO VIEW SLIDE
(IPad, IPhone and other non-flash compatible device users)