Sam’s Field Notes

  • Sam’s Field Notes: The Balloon Problem

    Balloon releases at concerts, games, weddings and other events have … well, ballooned in popularity but, as Sam Bland explains, coastal wildlife often suffers when they’re sent skyward, whether intentionally or not.

  • Sam’s Field Notes: Bats Get A Bum Rap

    They’re the stuff of ghost stories and Halloween scares, but bats are not the blind, blood-sucking demons they’ve been made out to be. However, they are in trouble.

  • Sam’s Field Notes: National Estuaries Week

    Our Sam Bland writes about the importance of estuaries in celebration of National Estuaries Week, Sept. 16-23, a time set aside to raise awareness and appreciation of our coastal natural heritage.

  • Sam’s Field Notes: Coquina Clams

    Our naturalist, Sam Bland, recently enjoyed a late-afternoon walk on the beach in search of his favorite critters, the coquina clams, 1-inch, colorful, wedge-shaped mollusks found at water’s edge.

  • Sam’s Field Notes: The Polar Bear Connection

    The effects of global warming are especially visible in the land of polar bears, as columnist Sam Bland recently witnessed, but how will the forces now affecting the arctic eventually change life on the North Carolina coast?

  • Sam’s Field Notes: The Monarch Migration

    Monarch, the “king of butterflies,” have embarked on their marathon fall migration to Mexico, arriving just in time for the Day of the Dead, where they are regarded as the souls of the departed returning to earth.

  • Sam’s Field Notes: The Northern Harrier

    The northern harrier, also known as marsh hawk or gray ghost, is a distinctive coastal bird with a stealthy hunting style and, like the fighter jet that shares its name, an ability to hover and perform vertical takeoffs and landings.