Coquina Rocks – Fort Fisher, North Carolina


A couple of weeks ago, my son and I scooted out to the North Carolina coast for a quick overnight adventure. I do these things as time allows, constantly itching to see and experience new things as I am. Isaac, also, is almost always up for adventure, and loves the beach. We were headed towards Wilmington, and so I had been researching the area again, scanning through Google searches and Flickr images in search of something new and interesting that I hadn’t seen before on that part of the coast. Somewhere during my search, I came across the Coquina rocks on the beach near Fort Fisher.



If you have ever spent any time on the North Carolina beach, you know that it is pretty flat, pretty straight, and very sandy. It is beautiful, but there’s not a variety, and there are certainly no rocky crags or flowery cliff walls plunging down towards the ocean. I wouldn’t call it the total opposite of the Pacific Northwest coast, but it’s pretty close. Imagine my surprise, then, when I found out about these globs of seashells mushed together by the forces of time, weather, and the sea, the only naturally-occurring rocky formation anywhere along our coast. They are picturesque and unusual, covered with bright green flora and emerging from the surf only at low tide. Indeed, I have been on this beach many times before in my life without any idea that such a thing existed right in front of me, hidden by the breakers.



From the beginnings, part of the joy of photography for me has been discovering this world–sometimes for the first time, sometimes rediscovering beauty in the familiar and the overlooked. Photography has prompted me to wander my hometown and find things I never new were there or bothered to see, and it has urged me outward, to explore the beauty and the secrets of my home state and beyond. These coquina rocks, while maybe not spectacular, are a small delight, to be savored while standing in the surf on a cloudy summer evening, listening to the soft roar of the ocean, the cadence of the waves broken by exclamations of mirth from your child as he runs and dances among the mossy rocks.

One Comment

  1. J J Raia on Oct 2, 2015 at 6:55 am

    Mark -Are the rocks best photographed at low tide or a little higher so a little water is running among the rocks as the waves push water through them? Thanks for your time and help…JJ

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