From the Yadkin Valley to Bald Head Island, Our State‘s 2013 photo essays tell a story all their own. Vote today for your favorite.

Scroll down to review the pages from this year’s photo essays. Scroll through each slideshow and click to enlarge the photos. Vote at the bottom of the page.

You can also vote for your favorite cover, story, video, recipe, and photo essay of the year. We’ll post the collection of winners to ourstate.com and our Facebook page at the end of December.


January: Seymour Johnson Air Force Base

Go for a ride in the clouds with the men and women who work at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, and the impressive work they do opens up before your eyes like the horizon. Photography by Travis Dove.
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February: Sylvan Heights Bird Park

Birds of many feathers flock to Sylvan Heights Bird Park in Halifax County. They come because one man, Mike Lubbock, brings them here for one reason: his unwavering love. Photography by Travis Dove.

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March: The Pine Barrens

Explorers into the southern heart of North Carolina called this land that — “the pine barrens” — believing the sandy wilderness to be worthless for cultivation. But in these woods, animals — the fox squirrel, the pine barren treefrog, the red-cockaded woodpecker — found homes, and towns — Aberdeen, Carthage, Cameron, Southern Pines, West End, Pinehurst, Vass — found life. And amid it all, the ever-present pine, so abundant it became our official state tree 50 years ago, dominated the landscape and gave this place its soul. Photography by Emily Chaplin.

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April: Peace in the Valley

There may be no better place to experience the serenity and calm of springtime in our state than right here on the edge of the mountains where the foothills roll into the Yadkin Valley. Photography by Julian Charles.

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May: Bald Head Island

It’s a small place, this barrier island at the southern end of the state. About three miles long. About two miles wide. A perfect ecosystem in a triangle of migratory marshland, maritime forest, and ocean beach. You get here by boat or not at all, pulled into the harbor by way of the Cape Fear River. Cars are not permitted — nothing with a combustion engine — and everything is slow going, slow growing, slow moving. Photography by Emily Chaplin.

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June: 80 Years of Our State

On June 3, 1933, a magazine called The State sprang into being in North Carolina. A weekly publication, it was intended to bring depth and dimension to the lives of all North Carolinians. In June 2013, we created a special photo essay featuring covers from our archives. Have a look. You may not believe your eyes.

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July: The Postal Carrier

The post offices and mail carriers in North Carolina work tirelessly to bring information to our door. Delivery may be cut to five days a week, but our greatest national organization and its workers still retain the spirit that has carried them through for more than 200 years. Photography by Emily Chaplin.

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August: Currituck

It’s bordered by three bodies of water — Albemarle Sound, Currituck Sound, and the Atlantic Ocean. All that water (183 square miles) and all that land (261 square miles) create a marshland paradise for migratory waterfowl. Photography by Emily Chaplin.

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September: Moses H. Cone Memorial Park

By the late 1800s, textile magnate Moses Cone was on top of the world. Cone Mills — which Moses ran with his brother, Ceasar — was one of the world’s largest producers of cotton fabric, earning him the moniker “The Denim King.” Flush with wealth, in 1899 Cone built a country estate near Blowing Rock fit for royalty. Today, Flat Top Manor at Blue Ridge Parkway milepost 294 houses the Parkway Craft Center and welcomes guests as part of the National Park Service’s Moses H. Cone Memorial Park. Photography by Emily Chaplin.

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October: Transylvania County

Waterfalls. White squirrels. Mountains. Rivers. Trout. Trails. Transylvania County brims with nature’s finest offerings. Here, visitors discover a lifestyle in tune with culture, food, art — and earth. Photography by Emily Chaplin.

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November: The Uwharrie National Forest

During the Great Depression, the federal government purchased unused farmland in North Carolina’s Piedmont as part of a New Deal rehabilitation project. Thirty years later, in 1961, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed this land the Uwharrie National Forest. Though one of the smallest national forests in the country, the values embodied here — in the land and in the people — stand for something large. Photography by Emily Chaplin

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December: John C. Campbell Folk School

Olive Dame Campbell spent years collecting Appalachian folks ballads. The collection brought her fame, but it wasn’t the ballads that sustained her legacy in North Carolina. It was her love of the people here, a love so strong that she founded a school in 1925 to help them learn to market their skills. Photography by Emily Chaplin.

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Now that you’ve seen them all, tell us which is your favorite.

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Since 1933, Our State has shared stories about North Carolina with readers both in state and around the world. We celebrate the people and places that make this state great. From the mountains to the coast, we feature North Carolina travel, history, food, and beautiful scenic photography.

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