Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I love all of the old trees, especially those on Howard Street. We have several varieties of cedars (some are bright green, some blue-green, others more yellow-green). But the live oaks are the most majestic. Some of the largest oaks grow along Howard Street, with limbs that reach out to almost touch the ground. During Hurricane Isabel several years ago we lost eight or more trees along Howard Street, and it opened up sections of the lane so that it was no longer so tunnel-like in places.

Today we are reluctantly having several cedars cut down on the Village Craftsmen property. One medium size tree is leaning so precariously that we're afraid the next storm will take it onto the roof. I've propped it up with long timbers, but I'm sure it wouldn't survive even a moderate hurricane. Several smaller trees are in the way, and will be cleared as well. In addition we're having dead and rotten oak limbs trimmed off (they are also overhanging the building). A pine tree nearby (on Lawton Lane) will also be coming down. Pines are not native to Ocracoke, and are generally the first to snap off during high winds.

The trimming and cutting has to be done, and we doubt that you will even notice the change on your next stroll down Howard Street. We hope it will even help the live oaks grow healthier and stronger.

If you are still looking for holiday gifts you can go to our on-line catalog by clicking here.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Artists' Colony that operated on the island more than 65 years ago. You can read it here.

To read about Philip's new book, Digging up Uncle Evans, History, Ghost Tales, & Stories from Ocracoke Island, please click here.


  1. Anonymous5:21 AM

    why do you use so few pictures on your blog?

  2. Anonymous5:22 AM

    Will the wood from the trees be milled into floor boards or recycled in some Useful manner?

  3. Why do I use so few pictures? The answer is simple: I post on this journal nearly every day. It is an opportunity for readers to catch a glimpse of everyday life on Ocracoke, and to feel connected with this very special place. But it takes time to manage. In fact, several of my island friends joke that I need to "get a life" and abandon the journal (and especially the comments section!). Since I don't have a computer at home, I walk over to my office, turn on the computer and give some thought to what I'll write about for the day. Sometimes the subject is obvious (e.g. a raging storm, fire, or ferry problems)...other times I search for history or other information. Sometimes I make phone calls or send emails to get local information or to verify facts. Finally, of course, I write a few paragraphs.

    To add photos means getting the camera, making sure the batteries are fresh, biking around the village to make the pictures, uploading them to my computer, cropping and sizing them, sending them to the web, and then adding them to the journal.

    So the short answer is that it takes too much of my time (I do have other interests and talents, in spite of my neighbors' gibes and this insanely long comment).

    With all that said, I will be posting a photo on my next blog (but I didn't take was sent to me because I emailed a request for it), and I routinely post photos on our monthly Ocracoke Newletters.

  4. About the wood from the trees cut down: No, it will not be milled for floor boards. We definitely do not have those facilities on the island. Anyone who would like it for bird carving, firewood, etc. is welcome to come pick it up.

  5. OcracokeFan9:56 PM

    Don't worry Philip, you don't need to post a lot of pictures. Your words paint a beautiful picture in my mind. Many times I can picture just what you have described because of your talented writing. I suppose those of us who really love Ocracoke would love an occassional picture, but I just feel blessed that you take the time to write and give us your unique perspective of Ocracoke life. I hope you never give it up! If I had to choose between pictures or your writings, I'd choose to read any day!

    Merry Christmas,

  6. Anonymous9:16 AM

    Ahh, those of us fortunate to have been once or for a while have our own minds eye full of pictures. If you haven't been, then Phillips prose should make you want to go!


  7. nice posting. very good work. thank you. :)