Last week, the waves were perfect, peeling exquisitely at the Cove and down at Kure, the water clean and smooth, pretty as you please. Hard to believe that the weather system that gave us such gorgeous surf caused all that devastation in the islands. It's impossible to be too happy about dodging the bad stuff this busy season when keeping in mind all the destruction that has happened to the south and west of us. My heart goes out to all those who suffered loss because of Harvey, Maria, and every storm in between.
Today in Cape Fear, the sun shines and the sea breeze blows as if there weren't a care in the world or any bane worse than the biting flies and mosquitoes. Just before sunset, the bluefish coming through made a blue blitz, the water roiling with their feeding frenzy. I'm guessing they were feeding on menhaden or some other bait fish. The pelicans and gulls followed the crowd, diving and plunging beaks below the surface...quite a sight. The deer have been out grazing at dusk, fattening up for the winter. I didn't get a photo of the little, panic-stricken clapper rail that was dodging among the cars by Kure Pier earlier this week. She was clearly lost. You very rarely see them but can hear them often in the marsh. This one wasn't in her preferred habitat at all. Perhaps she'd been blown off-course by all the wind.
The butterflies are dancing about every flower on the roadsides and in the garden.
Thoughout September, the sulphur butterflies hit the Mexican petunias en-mass.
Now, the Gulf Fritillaries are reveling in the ageratum.
Fascinating how different flowers will attract different pollinators.
Along the roadsides, all sorts of fall-blooming wildflowers are showing their stuff. One of my favorites is the dotted horsemint.
It won't look like much from the car as you're driving down the road, but once you get up close, you won't be disappointed. Its structure is so interesting, and the color is such an intriguing and subtle mauve.
Cut some and stick it in a vase of water changed regularly, and it will reward you with its unusual beauty and lovely herbal scent, like bergamot. Just be aware, it will snow tiny seeds like that of the poppy, so you may want to keep paper under the vase in order to catch the mess and perhaps save those seeds to cast into an out-of-the-way place in your garden. Dotted horsemint attracts several pollinators, including bees. Indeed, it is one of the beebalms, its scientific name: Monarda punctata.