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

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

2.23 - Olympics at the Orietnal Steamer

Olympics at the Oriental Steamer
Winter Olympics means it is the slow times for the local visitor-oriented businesses, including this one, the Oriental Steamer Restaurant and Bar.

Like the B&Bs, hotels, other restaurants etc., the Steamer depends on the visitor-heavy summer months to support staying open during the slow off-season. If you do visit hear in the off-season, the Steamer is pretty much the only place you will find people outside of their homes past 10:00 pm.

"The Steamer" as it is universally called, is pretty much the only bar in town that remains open nightly until the NC state law 2:00 am closing time (others close at nine, ten or midnight). It has a fully stocked bar, a selection of decent wines, and a mediocre standard selection of draft and bottled beers. Three TVs behind the bar make it perfect for viewing sporting events.

After the restaurant closes at 10:00 the Steamer continues to serve a small but tasty bar menu... This is your only choice for prepared food without driving 45 minutes to New Bern. Chef Jeff serves up pizza, buffalo wings, nachos etc. pretty much up till 2:00 am if you ask him real nice.

... but if you are headed to ONC and want a post-midnight beer, drink and/or knosh at the Steamer, you may want to call them ahead and let them know you're coming, cuz they will close earlier if it looks like nobody is.

The draft Yeungling is a good deal at $2.00, and is my drink of choice when there.

Monday, February 22, 2010

2.22- Oxyura jamaicensis

Rainy day and Ruddy Duck on Oriental harbor

Today's pic brings yet another avian migratory sign of springtime on its way.

The blue bill of the Ruddy Duck indicate that it is a breeding male on his migration to breeding grounds up north or out west.

Ruddy Ducks winter across the South, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic U.S. States, and they live year-round in the Southwest.

Breeding primarily takes place out on western planes, sierras and mountains along a great swath from the Texas panhandle to the Canadian border with Alaska.

Some populations also breed along the St. Lawrence waterways between New England and Canada, but apparently chances are good this particular bird is taking the longer migration out west.

That's one new bird for my list, and two birds in a row with "jamaicensis" in their scientific nomenclature.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

2.18- Buteo jamaicensis

Juvenile Red-Tailed Hawk perched on the small boat pier on Smith's Creek
(click image to enlarge)

Right next to the NC Wildlife Resources Commission public boat ramp at the end of Midyette Street.

A lot of kayakers and dinghy sailors prefer to avoid the traffic of the bigger boats putting in and hauling out at the Wildlife ramp, and instead use this Town-owned small boat pier 30 yards across the parking lot.

The hawk tolerated me from a distance while it (and I) awaited some prey to scurry across the parking lot ... unfortunately the first mammal to happen along was a dog, and the bird apparently had not enough taste for dog to attempt any violence, and instead took flight.


Monday, February 15, 2010

2.15- Breakwater repairs

Boulders being dropped at the end of the Oriental harbor breakwater

The Army Corps of Engineers has begun repairs to Oriental harbor's breakwater.

I knew they were scheduled to build up a subsided length of the breakwater (which disappears in high water) but was surprised to find them apparently lengthening the structure.

The gap between the end of the breakwater and Oriental Marker No. 8 (beyond the crane you can see the red light attached to the marker) is known to many locals as "Ralph's Channel," owing to Capt. Ralph's propensity for sailing boats between the two unforgiving obstacles rather than rounding outside the marker.

When he returns from his current sea voyage, Capt. Ralph will find a little less room for error in his channel.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

2.14- Snowmelt

Icicles form as snow melts from a roof of the Oriental Yacht Club

Unfortunately I missed the big snow day here in Oriental yesterday.

But there was still plenty of snow around today, though it was quickly reverting to a liquid state as the day progressed.