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S'AfF PHOTOS BY EKIC CARLSON
JET SKIERS enjoy the glassy water and tricky him * .. W the marshy stretches of Lockwood Folly River. Downstream, shrimp boats line
the docks at Varnamiown landing. Up the river, a great egret stubbornly guards his perch on a dockside railing. Further still, the slow
moving waters mirror tall trees lining the banks as marsh grass gives way to forest.
Up A Lazy River
The Lockwood Folly Has Something For Everyone
BY ERIC CARLSON
There is a river, rising and falling,
(hat flushes twice daily with the
tide. It breathes in oxygen and
minerals and a billion little creatures
searching for places to spawn. It
nurtures the tiny offspring and exhales
them to the sea.
From the air, it looks like a giant
living organism, with tissues and veins
and arteries pumping bloc -black blood
through a vast prairie of grass.
There is a river, wide and shallow,
where fishermen in flat-bottomed boats
drift slowly along with the wind and
tide, casting their baits toward the
Some take their skiffs away from the
channel and into the shallower tidal
creeks that meander off through the
endless marshes. There they toss nets
for ihrisip cf bait fish, of wad? through
the mucky bottom to gather clams.
There is a river, deep and running,
where white wooden shrimp boats slide
past like regal swans. Outriggers hung
with nets of green, they follow the
markers out to the waterway, out
through the inlet and out onto the open
sea to drag the fickle waters for those
most delectable bugs
Tied side-by-side at the Vamamtown
landing, the sun will rise on their crew
members filling holds with baskets of
glittering ice. On a good day, the sun
will set on those same baskets returning
to the dock loaded with tasty
PROVISIONING for another trip, crew and family pitch in to load ice
aboard a shrimp boat at Varnamtown landing.
There is a river, shimmering and
beautiful, where people awaken each
morning and look out across miles of
green and golden, marsh.
As these fortunate river dweiiers
begin their workday routines, they can
gaze out at that twisted ribbon winding
toward the distant trees and be
reminded that things are never really all
There is a river, cool and clean,
where children dive off docks and
splash each other on hot summer days,
"where little sailboats ghost aiong in the
shifting breeze. Where buzzing jet-skis
race across the minor-flat upstream
The maze of twists and turns invites
slow-moving pontoon boats to putt
along on lazy afternoons, wandering
left and right while their passengers
chit-chat over liquid refreshments and a
There is a river, lush and teeming,
with majestic blue herons, soaring
hawks, darting egrets and patient
kingfishers. Rounding each bend, you
can hear them fussing in the tall grass
or see them taking flight on giant
If you're lucky, you may turn a
comer and come upon a stately osprey
peering down from his massive nest of
twigs, high in a barkless tree. Or you
might surprise a great egret preening
himself on a dock or wading in a tidal
There is a river, dark and mysterious,
with a canopy of trees forming a long
tunnel into the unknown. Along its
damp and mossy banks, tender lushes
poke to the surface between gnarled
and twisted cypress knees.
It is best to keep a sharp eye here.
You would not be the first to see a
curled snake sunning himself on an
overhead limb or an alligator lurking in
the shadows below.
There is a river, rising and falling,
inhaling and exhaling, filling up and
spilling over, beating like a heart: the
heartbeat of Brunswick.
There is a river, near and dear to us,
that is all of these things. They call it
the Lockwood Folly.
The Art Of Camouflage
BY BILL FAVER
Camouflage is a technique humans use to conceal them from enemies
in times of war or to keep from being seen by game when hunting. Some
animals use camouflage to hide from their predators or
from their prey when they are hunting. Camouflage is a
natural protection for animals resulting from their be
havior over many thousands of years.
Color plays a major role in animal camouflage.
Shape and posture and behavior are other parts of cam
ouflage. An animal needs to blend in with its back
ground to conceal its location. Sometimes camouflage
is accomplished when an animal is conspicuous, but
mimics another animal found undesirable by the preda
FAVER Young birds and animals typically blend in so well
with their surroundings that predators miss seeing them. Since they cannot
fly or move fast enough to evade the hunter, camouflage is their only real
Baby plovers on the open beach sand must depend upon their sand col
oring to camouflage them. As long as they crouch down on the beach no
giveaway shadows are formed. If they stand or move around, the behavior
enables predators to make out their form and move to catch them.
Countershading is an important element in camouflage. Many fish are
dark on the back and white on the belly. When ospreys, pelicans, or eagles
see them from above, they blend with the water. Seen from below against
the sky, the shape disappear; and the predator loses them. Some birds use
countershading tor the same reason.
A few animals change color to aid in camouflage. Many shorebirds
moult to dull gray in winter to blend with the gray days of late fall and win
ter. Spring plumage returns as they move northward for breeding in the
more colorful spring and summer landscapes. Ptarmigans on the tundra are
white in winter to match the snow, but change to brown in spring and sum
Many insects pose as twigs or dead leaves to escape predators. Wings
of some butterflies even appear to be partially eaten leaves.
Watch for animals using the art of camouflage. You can find the ghost
crabs, many birds, some insects, and maybe even some fish trying to hide
from you! Their very survival depends upon it and they've mastered it over
many, many years.
SEE Ir YOU can find the camouflaged woodcock on her
Federal Funds For Ft. Fisher
Achieved Through Joint Effort
A three-year battle to secure fund
ing for a protective seawall at Fort
Fisher recently ended successfully
when President Clinton signed a bill
guaranteeing $900,000 in federal
grants for the kickoff of the Fort
Fisher Erosion Control Project.
The fort, which is on the Cape
Fear River, is a leading Civil War
N.C. Cultural Resources Secre
tary Betty Ray McCain, whose de
partment oversees the state historic
site, thanked congresmen, senators
and state legisltors for supporting
the erosion control project. "Without
their hard work and belief in the im
portance of protecting Fort Fisher.. .it
likely would have slid into the sea,
which would have been a truly
heartbreaking historical loss."
McCain said she anticipates a
control for the multi-million seawall
project will be awarded early next
year, allowing work to begin by the
Fort Fisher has long been endan
gered because of its unusual earth
enwork construction. More than
2, 1 (X) feet of the sea face, the north
east comer of the fort and about 750
feet of the land face has already fall
en victim to sea erosion. The fort is
also regularly threatened by storms.
In 1977, Fort Fisher was identi
fied as an endangered national his
toric landmark by the federal gov
eminent. It also has been identified
U.S. Department of Interior as one
of 25 priority Civil War sites immi
nently threatened and selected for
assistance under the American
Battlefield Protection Program.
The Confederacy's largest earth
work fortification. Fort Fisher was
vital to the Southern war effort be
tween 1861 and 1865. It guarded the
New Inlet entrance to the Cape Fear
River, keeping the port of
Wilmington open to the blockade
runners who provided a supplies
lifeline for the Confederate Army.
When the fort fell to the Union early
in 1865, the South's last remaining
link with the outside world was bro
Unlike many coastal forts. Fort
Fisher was built of earth instead of
masonry because this material had
been shown to withstand bombard
ment more effectively. Constructed
by the fort's soldiers and slave labor,
it was modeled after a Russian
fortress at Sebastopol and ran half a
mile from the Cape Fear River to the
Atlantic and extended a mile south
along the coast.
Have An Idea?
If you have an idea for an "under
the sun" feature article, we want to
hear it. Call Lynn Carison at 754