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  • New Neighbors: American Robins

    An American robin hatchling instinctively responds to sound by opening up as another struggles to emerge from its shell in a nest in a tree on a lawn in Newport. Photo: Mark Hibbs

  • Independence Day on the NC Coast

    A July Fourth fireworks display lights up the boardwalk at Carolina Beach, one of many North Carolina beach communities that celebrated the holiday with fireworks over the water. Photo: Kirk Ross

  • Storm Moves In

    Thunderstorm clouds roll in Sunday over Emerald Isle in Carteret County. Photo: Sam Bland

  • The Buzz on Pollinator Week

    This week, June 18-24, is National Pollinator Week, which recognizes the benefits provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles. But many pollinator populations are in decline because of factors including habitat loss, weather extremes, climate change and pesticide misuse. Photo: Mark Hibbs

  • Shelter in the Storm

    Afternoon spring thunderstorms push offshore over Bogue Sound June 3 in Morehead City. Photo: Doug Waters

  • Sunset Over Beaufort’s New Bridge

    Boats and the new bridge connecting the Radio Island causeway and Beaufort are silhouetted by a recent sunset. Beaufort officials marked the final raising of the more than 50-year-old U.S. 70 drawbridge the new span replaces during a ceremony Wednesday. The old Grayden Paul Bridge was closed to traffic May 15. Photo: Carl Lewis

  • Pink Moon Over Oceanana

    A nearly full “pink” moon sets April 28 behind Oceanana Fishing Pier in Atlantic Beach. According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, April’s full moon is called a pink moon, a Native American name, because it heralds the appearance of the moss pink, or wild ground phlox, an early spring flower. The next full moon comes May 29 and is known as the flower moon. Photo: Doug Waters

  • Group Marks Astronomy Day

    The Crystal Coast Stargazers celebrate International Astronomy Day April 21 with a star party at Fort Macon State Park. The astronomy group’s monthly parties, hosted by Park Ranger Paul Terry, are open to the public and well attended. Photo: Doug Waters

  • Coastal Scenes: The Pitcher Plant

    The carnivorous pitcher plant features a “pitcher” – a modified leaf creating the tube and an overhanging lid – where a sweet, nectar-like liquid collects and attracts insects. Downward-pointing hairs and slippery walls keep the insect trapped in the pitcher, where it eventually slips into the liquid and is dissolved by enzymes so it may be absorbed by the plant. Pitcher plans live in soils poor in nitrogen. They evolved by getting the necessary nitrogen from insects. Photo: Sam Bland

  • Blue Tubes Installed in Emerald Isle

    Ricky Lanier, left, and Jerry Talton of Emerald Isle’s parks and recreation department install a receptacle for plastic bags called a Blue Tube at the town’s western beach access Wednesday as Kristin Gibson, an AmeriCorps coastal community engagement specialist working with the North Carolina Coastal Federation, and Sabrina Hylton, director of guest services at Emerald Isle Realty, look on. BlueTubes sponsored by Emerald Isle Realty were placed at the town’s two beach accesses and hold clean, used plastic bags. Visitors can grab a bag, pick up trash and throw it away. Photo: Mark Hibbs

  • Touch Tank Committee Meeting

    Rep. Pat McElraft, R-Carteret, reaches toward a small ray swimming in the touch tank at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores Tuesday during a tour of the facility for legislators and staff in town for a meeting of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Agriculture and Natural and Economic Resources. Photo: Mark Hibbs

  • Puffer Prize

    Sam Bland captured in Emerald Isle this photo of a gull with a puffer fish trapped in its beak.