Ocracoke is one of those places where night can, at times, be truly night. Most Americans live in developed areas with street lights, porch lights, automobile headlights, and lights from nearby windows. Of course, Ocracoke has its share of "light pollution." But every once in a while I am reminded of the deep darkness that characterized an island night a half century ago.
Last night, at about 11:30 pm, Lou Ann and I left Gary & Kitty's house on our bikes. The darkness was almost complete. Although I know the lane well, after only a short distance I found myself off the pavement and in the sand. Lou Ann gave up on riding almost immediately and decided to walk her bike. I followed suit.
Before long we found enough light to re-mount our bikes. There was even sufficient ambient light down Howard Street. But I was saddened that our species has so conquered the night that it is rare to experience the inky blackness of midnight.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Black Squall, a brig loaded with circus animals that wrecked on Ocracoke in April of 1861. You can read it here.