Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Thursday 8-13-09 Welcome to New Jersey????

Ahhhhhh. New Jersey. The self proclaimed armpit of the northeast. Self-proclaimed means that all the Jersey people came up with that.
In spite of it's rabid reputation New Jersey has more to offer than one would assume. In spite of it being one of the most densely populated states it does offer a great and marvelous chasm of wildlife and habitats to explore.
Don't be fooled by the chaos on the turnpike or the odd odor through Elizabeth, NJ. Keep going and find yourself in a place that would make you think you're in the wilderness of the great outdoors. New Jersey's wildlife is spectacular and inspiring beyond what one would assume nothing more than a few refuges and state parks. But in that mass of intrusion by development, New Jersey has done well to protect it's wildlife and the habitats they live in.

Wednesday 8-12-09

Now that we have returned to the homestead for a short stay we look ahead and see another week or so of opportunities. We head out again in a few hours and will be spending time in the northern parts of NJ.
Today is a travel day and plenty of rest tonight.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tuesday 8-11-09

One more attempt at finding the elusive bears. We trekked into the woods and were able to find a few and get some good shots. But we determined that it was time to just move on and plan another trip south in the fall.
We spent some time at the Roanoke/Cashie River Center in Windsor, NC. The Roanoke and Cashie Rivers will be a huge asset to our efforts and documentary. We will be returning in the fall and continue the shoot. We spent a few hours walking around and after speaking with Neal Moye of the Partnership For The Sounds we determined we needed to come back. We would have stayed but, again, the heat was almost unbearable. We had spent so much time over the last several days burning up in the extreme heat we decided that we would pass on dropping the canoe in the river and make a trip back in the fall.

We are now heading north and will eventually make our way up to the north east. More blogs and pictures to come. Be sure to view the website often.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Monday 8-10-09

We had thought to spend more time looking for the elusive bears this morning. turns out that's not what we did. Although the pre-determined focus for this trip was North Carolina wildlife, we decided to spend a day doing nothing except sitting out in the middle of Roanoke Sound. While there we did get in some photo ops early on, the cameras pretty much stayed in the bags for most of the day.
Thanks to Fishing Unlimited in The Outer Banks for the boat and their exceptional hospitality!

Sunday 8-9-09

So Sunday was determined to be a day of rest. But we first made a trip into the woods at 6am. We spotted more deer and turkey. We shot some photos and video of some bear as well. It is a difficult time to really get any wildlife movement. The heat has really kept everything at bay. We made some attempts into the brush but I am not the best at being stealthy in the weeds and brush and the overgrown foliage was extremely difficult to manoeuvre through. We stayed for about 3 hours and we did manage to shoot some stills.
Once done we headed out to the coast. We spent a considerable amount of time on Alligator Island looking for reptiles. We were successful in finding a few good participants that lent us the opportunity to take some shots. But they didn't stay long though. It was not an easy shoot on Alligator Island. It has been the one place to date that we experienced an onslaught of humans coming and going. Access to the refuge and it's canals are very public and very accessible not only by dirt road but paved road as well.
Each time we would have a good shot and move in we would be interrupted by a vehicle driving by. Although the road was 50 to 100 yards away it was graveled and it made plenty of noise. Needless to say our subjects were startled off by the noise.

We were getting pretty discouraged and felt we were fighting a losing battle. So we decided to head further east and we spent the rest of the day at Nags Head, NC. And that’s the story for the day. Sunburn, shrimp and crabs (the good kind).

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Saturday 8-8-09 Where's the wildlife?

So Saturday turned out to be a day that was difficult for sure. We drove for more than 150 miles all day and we just could not see a thing. We spotted three snakes and allot of turkeys.
We spent the majority of the day in the Alligator Island NWR. This is a very large refuge and this refuge will be a separate trip in of itself. We will be able to spend a great deal of time on the water throughout the refuge in the canals and lakes within.
Towards the end of the day we ended up going back to Pocosin and searching for black bear once again. We spotted 4 before night fall.
But what we have found is that getting within 100 meters of any bear is not going to happen. On our last trip to this area in the spring we had no problem getting as close as 10 or 15 meters. But now we noticed a change and have to wonder why. For our purposes it is making things difficult. But for their sake it is a good thing. Being leery of humans is probably the best thing that could happen for them. It just makes our job that much harder. So this means getting eaten by the bugs and crawling through the brush and weeds and whatever else is in there. Not a comforting thought by any means.
But another concern is the population of the wildlife in the refuges. We have spent allot of time in these places and needless to say we have not seen what we had expected. In the 5 full days we spent in these refuges we noticed a minimal amount of activity and small numbers of wildlife. Even making a few treks into the brush for a few hundred meters we noticed nothing except a few snakes and spiders.
This will be our next assignment. Finding the wildlife in our wildlife refuges.
So now we are hoping that Sunday brings better spotting and photo shots.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Friday 8-7-09

Friday was not a productive day for us (as far as we were concerned). As expected the heat and sun dictated what we would see. For the first 6 hours we saw plenty of butterflies, flies, bees, dragonflies and mosquito's. We decided to leave and have a break for lunch around 2:30 and return later in the day when the sun was not as hot.
While sitting we noticed there wasn't a sound except crickets and frogs. Even the birds weren't out. Only a few hummingbirds. Knowing bird habits, Kathy determined that we could expect to see some bear or red wolf because birds generaly don't give away their nest location when they sense animals nearby. And sure enough she was right.
We returned to the same area around 4:00pm. We decided to stop in an area in which we saw positive signs of bear activity (allot bear poop). Another good sign was that this area is adjacent to a corn field and from the signs we saw (corn in the poop), we concluded it was worth the time to stop and wait.
After about an hour we started seeing bear cross the road into the corn field. Unfortunately they were atleast 600 yards in either direction of us. I decided to move closer to the area where they were crosing. As luck would have it I was able to get much closer than I would have hoped and got off some great shots. They seemingly had little or no interest in me. But I was not going to press my luck an dmoved back away.
We've posted pics to the website of yesterdays adventure. Surely they will encourage you to come back for more.
TODAY will be a different day for sure. We are going out later in the day to the coast and then make our way back inland late in the evening. This will insure seeing plenty of wildlife.

Thursday 8-6-09

When you set out for one thing and try to understand where it is you’re going you usually end up experiencing another. Make sense?
We headed out yesterday for the great outdoors. Or at least as great as it can be in suburbia. We arrived to our destination and were extremely surprised to find the accommodations comfortable, secluded, remote, relaxing and overwhelmingly friendly. So as things are we need to focus on why we are here and get to it.
Up at 5:30am, I think I was delirious, we found the morning to be inexplicable. quiet and serene are probably the words to describe if I could come up with anything. The lake had a beautiful morning mist and the frogs and crickets were announcing there presence.
Taking only a handful of shots this early morning we decided to enjoy a quiet breakfast and relax for a short time before heading out. The day is expected to be hot and humid. We are conservatively optimistic about what we will see today. The heat will most doubt ably keep allot of the wildlife at bay until the late hours of the day and into the evening.

The blogs that are posted and will be posted have been written during our trips and on the road. Some have been posted but most will be posted later. Unfortunately access to the internet is not easy out where we are and have been. So posting will, unfortunately, be slow at times. So each title will have the day and date so as to not confuse anyone if they were to look at the date it was actually posted.

Monday, August 3, 2009


It has been almost 2 months since we made our way out and did any shooting. Needless to say we have become extremely restless. This coming trip is not only a photo shoot but a vacation as well. We are going to mix a few things in here and there but we will be spending most of the time in the woods and swamps.
It's almost 2 1/2 days until we head out and make our way to NC. Although it isn't that far, we are looking forward to being in a place with no cell service. We are also looking forward to some extremely remote places. Sounds odd that you could find such a place in NC. But we had visited this place earlier this year and we spent nearly 10 hours there and never saw or heard another soul. Never even saw a plane fly over. As a matter of fact, we spotted some wildlife that looked at us in a strange way. My guess is that not many go there.

I will be posting daily blogs of this adventure. We will also be posting new pictures on the website. Daily postings will not be easy but I need to do it. If I wait until we return home I will spend more time going through the pictures than posting and writing.