Wetlands of Northeast North Carolina
Though not as well-known as the Great Dismal
Swamp to the north, the wetland complex of Northeastern North Carolina is impressive. It covers a good part of 5 counties, over 300,000 acres.
Timbering and agriculture have dramatically altered the landscape but remnants of this wetland ecology have been conserved in various natural areas and eleven national wildlife refuges (including the Lake Mattamuskeet, Pocosin Lakes, Pea Island, and Alligator River refuges). There are still a few remaining stands of impressive Atlantic Cedar and picturesque bald cypress as well as significant wildlife including the endangered red wolf and the largest documented concentration of black bear in the eastern US.
In the summer it is hot, humid and buggy with an almost tropical feel. And teeming with an impressive collection of dragonflies, spiders, colorful butterflies, snakes, turtles and other cool critters. In winter tens of thousands of snow geese and tundra swans visit for a few months, as well as fairly large populations of ducks and other migratory birds.
The clouds and humidity make for colorful sunsets. There is often fog for ethereal sunrises and calm waters for perfect reflections. And the people are friendly too. All in all a wonderful place to spend time exploring with camera in hand.