What Does A Volunteer Naturalist Do On Vacation?   5 comments

 — Go on a guided nature walk.

Virginia & Outer Banks 2013While vacationing with family on the Outer Banks (OBX) of North Carolina, we took in some of nature’s best. Since most of our time was spent on the shore side, we made a special effort to explore the sound side. (OK, I know everyone was being  nice and trying to appeasing me.)Virginia & Outer Banks 2013In Nags Head there is Jockey’s Ridge State Park, which contains the tallest natural sand dune system in the Eastern United States attracting hand gliders and wind surfers from up and down the east coast. Virginia & Outer Banks 2013There are plenty of self-guided hiking trails, however we learned of a guided nature walk Wednesday morning that proved to be very information — at least for me. Our guide was a retired high school teacher/administrator that spends his summers as a park docent.

Virginia & Outer Banks 2013As it turned out, we had a our own personal guided nature walk, since our family were the only people on the walk. There were a lot of people in the park, however, most were on the high dunes watching the gliders. The maritime thicket of live oaks, persimmons, red cedar, wax myrtle, bayberry, sweet gum, red oaks, and pines grows best in areas protected by the large dune.

Virginia & Outer Banks 2013A lot of the older pine trees died a few year back then a large storm pushed saltwater in the low areas of the park.

Virginia & Outer Banks 2013Shifting winds are constantly reshaping the dunes. Because the Ridge is always changing, it is often called “The Living Dune.”

Virginia & Outer Banks 2013Looking out over Roanoke Sound.

Virginia & Outer Banks 2013The edges of the maritime forest contain a lot of marshy areas attractive to birds.

Virginia & Outer Banks 2013While on the nature walk, the docent told us about the Nags Head Woods Preserve, so after completing the walk, Joy and I decided to go for a short hike in the preserve.

Virginia & Outer Banks 2013The preserve  is a nature conservancy containing the largest maritime forest on the east coast. The trails wind through marshy woods and wooded dunes.

Virginia & Outer Banks 2013

Virginia & Outer Banks 2013The Nags Head Woods Preserve Center — Images by kenne


5 responses to “What Does A Volunteer Naturalist Do On Vacation?

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  1. Thanks Kenne for teasing me this morning with all those beautiful photos, you know I would love to be there hiking that area naturally. What a great looking place to do so !!


  2. “You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy.” We always continue to do the things that bring us joy. This is a great area to explore since it isn’t far from Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills where the Wright Brothers attempted their first flight…or so it is written.


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