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Throughout the United States, we’re blessed with a wonderful set of places, courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  We had a chance to visit several recently. These images are from the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge on the coast of the Outer Banks of North Carolina, not far from Hatteras.  The Refuge provides a home or a stopping point for millions of birds and other sea loving critters, each year.  We saw plenty of those folks during our visit, but I was struck by the use of the term “refuge.”  Perhaps its really a refuge for humans.

Just behind us, the damage to this fragile place wrought by Hurricane Irene was still clearly visible.  When you stepped over the dunes, however, that all seemed so far away.

Thanks to those who had the fore site to understand that our environment nurtures us on many levels.  It’s not just about biology.  FYI, you can get an App for that. The Park Service has released their “MyRefuge” app, available for free, from the App Store for those with i-devices.

Tech Note:  These were taken with the Nikon D3s and a 70 -200 mm lens.  I was dragging the shutter here, down to around 2 seconds, to get the smooth surf look. That required the use of about five stops  of neutral density filtration on the front of the lens. It was, however, a very difficult shooting situation as the sun was blinding. It was like shooting with film, in that the LCD on the back of the camera was useless.  I ended up shooting a number of these images, and praying.

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