Saturday, July 25, 2009


Thursday evening Lou Ann & I paid a visit to Frank & Jude's. They live at the very end of a narrow lane, away from summer time activity and traffic. Their property is on the edge of a small waterway that connects to the old slough (near Springer's Point). Across the ditch is marsh and several small hummocks of cedars and live oaks. As we sat on their screened in porch, a single candle burning in a punched tin lantern, enjoying a glass of white wine, and listening to the distant roar of the ocean, we commented on the sense of isolation. We could have been miles from the nearest neighbor.

We stepped out onto the wooden deck several feet above the canal. It was getting dark, but there was still enough light to see the noses of several turtles circling in the water below us. Jude tossed a handful of cat food in their direction. In no time at all dozens of diamond back terrapins were swimming about snapping up the morsels. Jude says as many as four dozen turtles congregate near her house every summer night. In the winter they burrow into the muddy banks and hibernate.

Sometime soon I'm planning on taking Lachlan over to Jude's to watch the turtles.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the second half of my father's short journal. I call it Remembering Growing up on Ocracoke. You can read it here.


  1. Anonymous3:38 PM

    with all due respect, is it proper to feed the wild creatures something unlike what they would find in the wild? four dozen congregate -- it sounds like they are looking for a hand out, she has trained the creatures to depend on man to feed them .

    I was approached by a campus police officer and told not to feed the turtles the bread I brought. The sign said do not feed the alligators I wasn't ---i was feeding the turtles but what would I do if a brazen alligator came out of nowhere for the food or a preoccupied turtle? scream I guess.

    Perhaps a shark could swim up the canal for late night snack.

  2. Anonymous5:02 PM

    All the more to write about!

  3. Anonymous7:14 PM

    Aw, I have been to their house before. My brother stayed there for a short time and helped build the screen porch and it was always nice to visit there and listen to the waves.

  4. Anonymous7:51 PM

    I just rented a house listed as being on a small salt water pond near Springer's Point. It is called Oar House. I am hoping to see turtles and other wildlife on my visit beginning Aug. 9th. I can't wait. Thanks for having this blog. I really appreciate the connection to Ocracoke throughout the year or years when I cannot visit.

  5. Anonymous6:31 AM

    If a reasonable person is questioned about their actions and they decided to seek counsel i.e. say Google - feeding wild animals- one might find that drawing huge numbers of a species to an area that cannot support those numbers can cause a problem-- but for the fact a person is feeding turtles cat food huge numbers would not be drawn to that area Naturally!!

  6. Anonymous10:44 AM

    The diamond back terrapin is a "species of concern" in North Carolina (not endangered or threatened), but it holds no federal status. It seems to me that helping to increase their numbers might be a good thing.