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John F. Blair, Publisher
5 ½ x 8 ½
Published in 1998
In 1985 Jan DeBlieu moved to Hatteras Island and took up residence in the old home of one of the Outer Banks' most historic families. For more than a year she explored the island's dunes, marshes, waters, and towns to study its complex natural cycles, its fragile ecosystem, its bird, plant, and marine life, and the seasonal routines of its stoical residents.
In Hatteras Journal she writes evocatively of a harsh but alluring world, where "in summer the sea oats explode with tawny seeds, the black shimmers glide over Pamlico Sound, the loggerheads heave themselves ashore on silent nights."
Along with her perceptive observations about the natural life she encounters, she describes the futility of former government policies such as dune construction, the dangers of peat mining to the sounds and bays, the efforts to protect loggerhead turtles on Bald Head Island, and the evolution of Hurricane Gloria and its effects on the barrier islands.
This is a vividly rendered account of the rigors and rewards of dwelling in a habitat where only the most resilient forms of life—natural and human—manage to prevail.
“DeBlieu has written a book that skillfully combines scientific research, history, and astute observation. It is emotionally satisfying as well as educational.”