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  • 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.

  • Winter Home for Snow Geese

    Snow geese take flight over the Pungo Unit of the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern North Carolina. Photo: Sam Bland

  • A View From Above: Icy Albemarle Sound

    The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS, on NASA’s Earth Observing System satellite Terra captured this image Jan. 7, that shows ice in the Albemarle Sound after a powerful nor’easter dumped snow across the East Coast and another blast of bitterly cold air drove frigid temperatures lower still.

  • White Cliffs of Bogue Banks

    Our Sam Bland captured Thursday this image of snow-capped dunes at the Point in Emerald Isle, the westernmost tip of Bogue Banks.

  • Lady’s Day Among Zinnias

    Doug Waters of Morehead City captured this image of a female monarch on Oct. 2 in the zinnia field in Cape Carteret.

  • Sunset Flight

    Carl Lewis of Rocky Mount recently shared this image he captured of pelicans at sunset.