It was a long night with a Category II hurricane blowing up the coast.
From a tropical depression just a day or so ago, this storm quickly bulked up into a strong hurricane.
It came ashore across some of our favorite areas on the Outer Banks of North Carolina during the dark hours of early morning.
We watched the storm’s progress until nearly midnight, and then gave up and went to bed.
This Great Blue Heron greeted us as we entered the Colonial Parkway, after the storm had passed this morning.
It grazed my beloved Topsail Island, and was headed to our special spots on Ocracoke and Hatteras as we watched the cast of the Weather Channel struggle against the strong wind and rain describing its progress in painful detail.
This “Arthur” was touching friends and family all across the Carolinas. We hoped its touch would be as gentle as possible.
The Jamestown ferry navigated a very choppy James River on it route across from Surry County this morning.
We knew that Route 12, where we’ve spent many happy hours driving through the wildlife refuge and photographing the shore birds, would be wrecked by morning.
We love the coast of North Carolina and Virgina.
A hurricane on this special holiday weekend is the last thing we wanted to watch; and yet we watched the unfolding, hoping it would weaken and turn away from the coast.
I awakened a little before three AM to the sound of wind in the garden and rain on the roof.
I had to know the progress of the storm and the updated forecast. So as quietly as possible, I headed back to the TV, pillow in hand.
Our local meteorologists were broadcasting the story all night long.
Their reporters stood in the weather giving updates, alongside crews from The Weather Channel and other networks.
The path to the beach was wet this morning.
At three I heard of a possible tornado on the Lynnhaven Inlet at Virginia Beach.
The warnings were extending northwards. I watched and worked my counted cross stitch for the next hour, until it was clear the storm had begun to move out to sea.
Then to the couch for a little sleep.
Though the sky is mostly clear, the wind has been with us all day. The sky was full of Eagles over the Colonial Parkway this morning.
I checked in again at five, and saw that somehow Jim Cantore was still standing in Buxton.
We had assumed that his producers were planning a Coast Guard rescue by helicopter, once that part of the island completely over-washed in the waves.
That would make really good TV, and could be re-played by the Weather Channel cast for years to come.
But, alas, he had found a steel and concrete structure and was braced against it, barely able to stand, ankle deep in sea water; but still giving live commentary as the storm rolled past.
An Osprey Eagle greeting the morning, after the storm had passed.
By a quarter to six, the forecast track clearly showed the storm turning out to sea.
We were getting our much needed rain, and I still could hear the wind blowing through the trees. But the tornado warnings were gone.
I decided to get some more sleep.
The Canada geese had come together in large flocks along the banks of the river to ride out the storm.
By the time I awoke again a little after seven, it was light outside. A gorgeous morning here with light rain and cool, moist breezes greeted us.
We decided to head out to the Parkway to see what the morning held, and what the storm had left behind.
This beautiful Eastern Box Turtle was braving the quiet morning on Jamestown Island.
A few branches had blown down, but we were so very fortunate to have no real damage.
Our power was on, there was no flooding near us, and the trees in our community stood through the night.
And this snake was sunning himself along the road on the island.
We saw the outermost curved band of “Arthur” in the sky as we left our driveway.
The duck blind, in the shelter of Cypress trees, withstood the winds overnight.
It was a thin skim of clouds against the clearing morning sky.
Crabs live in our brackish marshes. They didn’t mind the storm at all.
The wind is still with us this afternoon.
The storm continues moving north and east, towards another landfall in New England.
I hope all touched by the storm can pick up the pieces, clean up the mess, and move on from this.
This golden dragonfly lives in our garden. We are glad to see he found shelter from the wind, and was out enjoying the sunshine by the time we returned home.
It is only the first named storm of the tropical season.
We’ll be watching our coastal waters from now until the end of November, hoping that all of the systems which form stay well out to sea, and far away from our beautiful coasts and our loved ones.
Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014