Text and photos by Peter Vankevich
Springer’s Point Preserve, located at the edge of Ocracoke village, has more than 120 acres of maritime forest, tidal red cedar forest, salt marsh, wet grasslands and soundfront beach with ancient live oaks and a small cemetery where Sam Jones and his horse, Ikey D, are buried.
Just off the preserve is the infamous Teach’s Hole where the pirate Blackbeard met his demise at the hands of British Naval officer Lt. Robert Maynard and his crew in “The Battle of Ocracoke 1718.”
Most of the year, one can find solitude there in an early morning walk or watch beautiful, late-afternoon sunsets. A camera, or, these days, a smart phone can capture moments worth preserving.
As it did to Ocracoke and Portsmouth villages, Hurricane Dorian’s storm surge did some damage to the preserve, which was closed until recently so the trails could be repaired. Happily the preserve has reopened.
Here are some images taken mostly – but not all — in 2019. Many of these were posted on the Springer’s Point Facebook pages administered by the Coastal Land Trust.
“Beneath the foggy sky the glowing sea is hazy, the soft light of a scarf over a lamp.” ― Melissa Barbeau, author of ‘The Luminous Sea.’
Green flashes and green rays are meteorological optical phenomena that sometimes occur just after the sun sinks below the horizon, or right before sunrise. Jules Verne, in his 1882 novel ‘The Green Ray,’ helped to popularize this curious phenomenon. The green light is visible for the briefest of moments and I have seen it only twice on Ocracoke. Springer’s Point with its clear air is as good a location as anywhere to possibly see it because if you don’t see it–and you probably won’t–you’ll still be awarded with a beautiful sunset.
Some Brown Pelicans winter around Ocracoke but most head farther south. Those that winter elsewhere return in March and hundreds will nest primarily on two islands a few miles out in the Pamlico Sound. Expect to see lots of them flying past Springer’s Point starting early spring.