As our global human population grows, finding a quiet, undisturbed place in nature seems to be more challenging. It’s not that I don’t like people, I do. I just also enjoy spending some time in pure nature-no noisy trucks, no distracting man-made objects alone or with just my family or a few friends. It's good for my soul. Add to that, the excitement of discovering something amazing, makes it fun Lucky for us, here in the USA, there are several natural places preserved for us to explore and rejuvenate our spirit.
Today I want to share with you a wonderful place along the coast of North Carolina that was a real treasure to explore-The Rachel Carson Reserve, in Beaufort, North Carolina. This estuarine was named after Carson in 1985, one of many posthumous honors created in her name after her death in 1964. Carson was a woman who wore many distinguished hats-marine biologist, renowned author of several environmental books, conservationist and researcher. Her work led to the movement of eliminating the pesticide DDT from use and many other important environmental advocacy firsts.
The Rachel Carson Reserve is part of a series of islands that make up the North Carolina Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve. This area serves as a natural outdoor laboratory where scientists, students and the public can learn about influences that shape and sustain coastal areas as well as enjoy raw nature. Getting to the island is easy-a short, five-minute boat ride from the town of Beaufort will drop you off on Carrot Island for a small fee. Walking trails are clearly marked. We lucked out and hit prime time for low tide, allowing us to cross over to Bird Shoal Island. We walked for a few miles and were delighted by the variety of shells and sand dollars! A group of wild horses added to the beauty. Rather than me telling you more about it, let me share a picture tour with you. As descriptive as may writing can be, nothing captures the essence of a place as a picture.
We went in February, on a beautiful weekend where the weather hit the 60's. Dogs are allowed on the island, but there are some prickly plants along the path, so be careful.
We hit the sand dollar lottery! I have never seen a live sand dollar, have you?
Lots of beautiful shells. Look at the size of this live mussel, which we put back in the water, of course.
Feral horses roam the island.
Duke Marine Lab and The NOAA sit just across the channel.
We pick up beach trash wherever we go. This piece of fishing line was the ONLY piece of trash we found the whole day! The reserve was pristine.
I highly recommend a visit to this special place whether you go alone, with your family or friends. It's a great place for children to learn more about the environment, especially if they do some studying about Ms. Carson before they go. Beaufort is a beautiful, waterfront town with great southern hospitality and other fun things to do as well.
Do you have a special place in nature that you recommend?
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