More than just beaches

Bay along trail
As we finally start to see some cool weather, we can turn our attention to something besides the beaches.

That doesn't mean we won't be getting our feet wet in the surf.

It just recognizes that the weather lets us enjoy some other areas that might not be as much fun in warmer temperatures.

One of those things would be area trails.

We tend to hike the trails in fall, winter, and spring.

Just before sunset last night we went over the Cedar Point part of Croatan National Forest. There are some great trails there.

We only had time for the shortest, but we still had fun.

We only saw three or four mosquitoes so they must have sprayed in the area.

We have had more mosquitoes than in recent years because of some heavy rainfall in August.

We didn't come away with any bites last night perhaps because of the strong breeze.

The scenery was fantastic. The water is about as blue as it will get in a black water river like the White Oak.

You can get more detailed pictures (taken in the winter) of the trail at my accessible trails site or see some more pictures of the trail from last night at my Flickr site.

One of my favorite shots was one that I have called Blue Waters.


Emerald Isle beaches reach perfection

Everyone has their own definition of perfection. Since I live to take pictures, lighting is important to me.

I'm also not a huge fan of high humidity and hot temperatures. However, I have improved a lot in that regard over the last year.

I can mow my yard in some pretty hot weather without much difficulty.

When you look for perfection on a beach, you have to take into consideration water temperature, how well the sand holds up to your footsteps, the wind, and of course the water temperature.

Crowding is also important. Who wants to walk on a beach where you are stumbling over others all the time?

Of course access to the beach should be considered. If the parking lot is packed, that's not much fun either.

I think we got pretty close to perfect last evening at the Eastern Regional Beach Access on Emerald Isle.

There were only four vehicles in the parking lot including our truck. There might have been six or eight small groups of 2 to 3 people scattered up and down the beach.

The air temperature was in the seventies. The water temperature was 81 degrees Fahrenheit, and the sand for the most part was nice walking. There was even a nice breeze, and of course there was some fantastic light from the sunset.

All in all it was near perfect. There was not an iPod to be seen or heard. There wasn't even a broken beach chair by the trash can.

It doesn't get much better than that unless the Bluefish are running in the surf.