A photo a day from Oriental, NC, the surrounding Pamlico County area, and nearby rivers, creeks, bays and other waterways of coastal North Carolina.

Oriental Daily Photo is a member of the City Daily Photo blog network.
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Saturday, February 28, 2009

2.28- "Les Footbaleurs"

My older brother, Fred (red shorts) tries to tackle the ball at the regular weekly pick-up soccer game at Tubman Elementary (and other locations, varies by weekend) in Columbia Heights, Washington, DC

Another road trip to DC continues... This afternoon, my brother Fred played in his regular weekend pick-up football match, this week held at Tubman Elementary in Columbia Heights, DC.

Here are a couple of other shots of the match:


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Friday, February 27, 2009

2.27- Takoma Park Tacos

Taqueria "Atol de Elote," Takoma Park, MD

Road trip continues...

If you are ever in Takoma Park, MD (0r even on the DC side of the border) and are hungry for some great tacos and pupusas, this is the place you need to go.

Make sure to ask for the green salsa (verde) and extra of that to go with their great pupusas (with the best cabbage condiment,curtido, and I highly recommend the great Salvadoran style beef tacos on fluffy corn tortillas, again with the salsa verde.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

2.26- SkyWatch Friday - Migration

Great Cormorants flying North over the River Neuse towards New Bern

(Click on image to enlarge)

Huge numbers of Great Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) that have been wintering in the local NC coastal areas (as well as SC and GA) are now migrating northward.

These pictures were taken on one of the early morning ferry runs from Minnesot Beach to Cherry Point... While waiting for the ferry and while crossing, endless streams of cormorants in V formations, single-file lines, and general jumble formations were flying above the river towards New Bern and final destinations well north of there.

The vast multitudes were difficult to capture in still photos, and I wished I had had a video capable digicam with me.

(Click on image to enlarge)


I look forward to seeing the other Skywatch pictures from around the world on the other SWF sites listed at:


Monday, February 23, 2009

2.23- "The Broad Street Grill" on tap...

Draught beer taps awaiting the imminent opening of the Broad Street Grill in Oriental

"Scoot's," a long-time staple of Oriental dining, has closed... Proprietor and Chef Eric Stickrath has expanded, redecorated, re-branded, and re-purposed the eatery, which will soon open as the "Broad Street Grill."

Pabst Blue Ribbon is only one of the new consumables Oriental will be able to enjoy at the BSG...

Eric has largely scrapped the old Scoot's sandwich and pizza joint concept, and describes the new BSG concept as "creative regional cuisine in a casual atmoshphere."

Personally, as a moderate "foodie" and experienced Europe-traveler, I would replace that seven-word description with a single word: "Bistro"... like the casual on-every-corner family-oriented and affordable restaurants Parisians refer to as bistros... But nobody asked me.

But don't worry! Pizza will still be on the menu. New offerings will include fresh local Eastern NC flounder, scallops and other catches (from local commercial fisherman Keith Bruno) and seasonal organic vegetables from village farmer Sandy Beal, as well as steaks and as-of-yet-undisclosed new creations by Chef Eric...

Rumor has it Ms. Beal will have a menu item named after her, too.

Be sure to keep an eye out for my coverage of the actual opening... It is something of an Oriental tradition to always say "two weeks" if asked when a project is going to be completed, but Eric is confident this one will be done in half that time.

See more photos of the finishing touches being added to the newly decorated interior at my other blog, The Dinghy Dock.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

2.18- Tugboat in the rain

A tugboat pushes through choppy waters and rain as it passes the Garbacon Shoals marker on the River Neuse

It was a rainy day in the ONC, so I didn't get too adventurous with my photo hunt today.

I saw this tug headed up-river as I cruised past the South Avenue waterfront.

It looks like it is probably a U.S. Government tug, either a military vessel or perhaps Army Corps of Engineers. Hard to tell, since it was about 2.25 miles away, with rain reducing the visibility.

It is passing Neuse River Marker #7, a.k.a. "Garbacon Shoal marker"... The marker in the foreground, with roosting birds, is Whittaker Creek Marker #2.

Monday, February 16, 2009

2.16- "If ya hear any noise..."


Decibel doodles on the blackboard at Town Hall during a special meeting of the Oriental Town Commissioners
(Click on images for full size)

The Town Board of Commissioners held a special meeting today to consider a number of matters, including the continuing drama over whether and how to change the Town's old-school "nuisance" noise ordinance.

Commissioners (and the Mayor, in blue blazer, above) differed on several particulars... One dispute was whether sound diminishes by 3 dB or by 6 dB when the distance from the sound source is doubled.

Apparently, a Professor of Sound who gave a presentation to the Board at its last meeting had said that sound diminishes by 3 dB when distance is doubled.

Two Commissioners contended that the Prof. had been mistaken, and that the two Commissioners had done their own on-line research and determined that it actually diminishes by 6 dB when distance is doubled.

It looks like someone in the "6 dB" faction had done some doodling on the blackboard (or whiteboard, I suppose) before the meeting:

The Commissioners ultimately agreed to re-contact the good Doctor to find out if the answer is really 3 dB or 6 dB, and to conduct some field demonstrations of music played at various dB levels at several local businesses where live music is played during the season.

Speaking of Noise, here is some noise from George Clinton and the boys... an act I can only dream would play at one of our local venues, and I guarantee these guys would blast past any of the dB levels being discussed at the meeting...

Parliament Funkadelic performing "The Mothership Connection (Starchild)" live in concert, Houston TX... yes, it's 10 minutes long, but well worth it, especially to see the Mothership land and Starchild emerge:

"If ya hear any noise, it's just me and the boys, hit me... ya gotta hit the band"


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

2.10- The "Collard Shack"

Proprietor Cathy Jones, in front of the "Collard Shack" in Otway, NC
(click on image for full size)

Today I dropped by the "Collard Shack," a colorful little... well, a shack that sells collards, among other things.

The little shack with its eye-catching sign is an irresistible must-stop on NC Hwy. 70 in Otway, NC (between Beaufort and Harkers Island.)

The Collard Shack sign... call (252) 241-9751 for more info
Despite the name, this little place offers much more than just collards... Though of course fresh collards are readily available...

Local honey, peanuts, pecans, assorted preserves (strawberry, figs, sorghum, apple butter etc), rutabagas and potatoes are available... as well as those must-haves, pickled pigs feet and pickled pork brains.

SEE MORE OF THE COLLARD SHACK at my other blog, The Dinghy Dock...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

2.08- Harker's Island Harbor

Clams, scallop and oyster shell remains in a cage on the stern of a commercial fishing boat, Harkers Island Harbor
(click on image for full size)
Today's picture comes from Harkers Island Harbor, operated by the Carteret County Harbor Authority. Carteret County is home to most of North Carolina's commercial fishing licenses.

The harbor is inhabited mostly by 30-40 foot commercial fishing boats, about half the length of most of the commercial fishing vessels that line the two fish-house docks in Oriental's Raccoon Creek (as seen in the banner photo at the top of the blog.)

Vessels docked at Harkers Island Harbor
(click on image for full size)


Friday, February 6, 2009

2.06- Gathering molluscs (Skywatch Friday is prior posting, below)

Fishermen gathering bivalve molluscs in the North River, Carteret County, NC
(Click on image for full size)

The scallop fisheries of the NC Outer Banks and Core Sound were re-opened at the end of January this year, after three years of being closed due to low populations of the pricey bivalve.

While scalloping will be allowed in these NC inshore waterways through April, they may only be taken by hand, hand rakes, hand tongs, dip nets or scoops, but not by dredges, which can destroy wide swaths of the sea-grass beds on which the tenuous scallop population depends.

Recreational fishers are limited to taking 1/2 bushel of scallops on Saturdays and Sundays, and commercial fishers to 5 bushels on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

There are also numerous oyster beds in the area, so I'm not sure if these are commercial scallop fishers trying for their Friday 5 bushel limit, or if they are folks gathering oysters, or even clams. (Perhaps a friendly local fisherman might know and drop me a comment or an e-mail educating me on the topic)

[2.08.09 UPDATE: I have been reliably informed by a local commercial fisherman that North River, Carteret County, is a very popular spot for taking oysters and clams... it is supposed to be "silly" with oysters... I had actually noticed that oyster shells litter the shoreline and the little island in the photo above, and I did see bunches of oyster clusters during low tide... Also, rakes are apparently used for taking clams, while hand tongs are used for oysters.]

Whatever they are after, these guys are wading in water that was about 35 degrees Fahrenheit at the time this shot was taken... Notice one guy in the upper left of the shot is in a wet suit.

At least the air temperature was up to around 50 F., as opposed to the below/at/just above freezing temperatures of the past couple of days... There was ice along parts of this shoreline at 8:00 a.m. when I first passed this spot, and nobody was out there then.

You can see some additional pictures of today's mollusc fishers, as well as a couple of species of ducks I added to my photographic life-list today at my other blog, the Dinghy Dock

A technical note on the photograph itself: I am using a borrowed Canon Rebel XT1 with a Pentax 300 mm. f.4 lens, with a 2 X converter, for a total focal length of 600 mm. I did not have a tripod with me, and the converter cuts down on the light intake, so I had to open the lens all the way and set the ISO at 1600 in order to get a fast enough shutter speed (1/1000) to get a fairly crisp shot with this long lens. I therefore got more "noise" (anyone remember when we called it "grain"?) and less depth-of-field than I could have desired for this shot... The closest person in the picture is about 250 yards away, and the background shoreline is 1.4 miles away.

Here is where these fishermen were wading in the 1 to 4 foot waters:


Thursday, February 5, 2009

2.05- Skywatch Friday- Minnesott Beach Ferry Twilight

Western twilight sky as seen from the 5:45 PM Cherry Point-Minnesott Beach Ferry in the middle of the Neuse River
(Click on image or here for full size)

I took this picture on Tuesday evening while returning to Oriental from near Harker's Island, NC.

The 5:45 PM ferry from Cherry Point to Minnesott Beach is a little too late to catch the sunset these days, but I was treated to this magnificent twilight sky during the crossing.


I look forward to seeing the other Skywatch pictures from around the world on the other SWF sites listed at:


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

2.04- Coastal snow

Snow descends on mallards (anas platyrhynchos) swimming past a man-made Osprey nest platform near Harker's Island, NC
(Click on image to enlarge)

Snow came down across Down-East North Carolina today, dropping one to two inches across the region, with up to one inch of accumulation in places. It was nice big fluffy snow, not like the minuscule flakes of the November flurries.

I know, I know, for all you folks with that "flinty Chicago toughness" our President so admires, it's no big deal... just like a mid-July day. But it is unusual around here, though it caused no problems along the coastal counties... some wimpier inland counties delayed school and government openings, but not the hearty down-easters.

This picture was taken near Harker's Island, along Core Sound, near Cape Lookout. I will be back and forth to the area over the next few days, and hope to get some good pictures in the area.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

2.03- Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway

A stretch of the ICW north of Beaufort, NC

Just a quick shot today... A picture of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway as seen from NC Hwy. 101, in Cnorth of Beaufort.

Not much traffic today.

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

2.01- Superbowl oysters

Superbowl Sunday... I was invited to a pre-game oyster-bake out near Dawson's Creek today. The event featured two giant burlap sacks full of fresh live oysters, which were eaten after steaming.

Friends, family, relatives, and regular readers will know that I am not a huge seafood fan, to say the least, and oysters are near the bottom of my "edibles" list...

Nonetheless, I did eat a few, and they pretty much tasted like the garlic-butter-worsteshire sauce or horseradish-ketchup-tobasco sauce I dipped them in. I did eat one without sauce, but quickly washed it down with plenty of Pepsi-cola while repeating to myself "I did not just eat a slimy mucous from a shell" over and over again.

The other folks at the pre-game party thoroughly enjoyed the oysters... the host's father told me he had eaten somewhere between 30 and 40 of the bivalve mollusks, the very thought of which made me feel a little green.

As one of my favorite authors, Jonathan Swift, once said "He was a bold man that first ate an oyster."

I struggled with the oysters, but enjoyed the company, the other available edibles and drinkables, and the accompanying pool tournament in the back shed before heading back to Oriental and the local pub for the Superbowl. My favorite part was the guy hitting the Koala.