Friday, January 16, 2009


It seems like the weather is on almost everyone's mind this morning. Although it's not as cold on Ocracoke as it is in the mid-west (where the wind chill has created "feel like" temperatures in the 30s & 40s below zero, and in some places even lower), it felt cold to us when we woke up. Right now it's about 29 degrees, but the wind chill here is about 19 degrees. Most of our houses and other buildings are raised up on piers or pilings, which makes our water pipes exposed. I have built boxes around my pipes (with 100 watt light bulbs inside), or wrapped them with heat tapes, so I've not had any frozen pipes.

Right now it's bright and sunny with about a 15 mph breeze. I believe I'll catch up on some office work, answer a few emails, bundle up, run out to the post office, and then take a half hour stroll on the beach. I'll let you know if I find any noteworthy seashells.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter celebrates the majestic live oaks on Ocracoke Island. 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. Anonymous9:20 PM

    How often do you have snow on Ocracoke. Also,...Where can I find out the history of some of the older homes on the Island? I am mostly interested in the house across from Village Craftsman, The Diabando, and the one beside the Lighthouse, The Lighthouse Neighbor. I have a book I bought awhile back from the Village Craftsman, The Walking Tour Of Ocracoke, but I don't think it mentioned these two houses.Thanks. Pam from Goochland, Va.

  2. We rarely get snow on Ocracoke, but have had significant snowfall in the last seven years. Check out these two pages from 2002 & 2003:

    Ocracoke Preservation Society has information about houses in the historic district. On your next visit ask them to let you use their library. Diabando was built by my Uncle Marvin & Aunt Leevella Howard, and is still in the family. Lighthouse neighbor was the home of Floyd and Rita Styron, but I'm not sure who owns it now.

  3. Anonymous9:28 AM

    Don't forget to stock up on those 100 watt incandescent light bulbs. Congress in their great wisdom has mandated that they no longer be produced after 2012. By 2014 you won't be able to buy incandescents between 40 and 100 watts.

    Not to say that compact flourescents aren't a good idea (I have them in all the high-use areas of our home), but they won't do much for keeping pipes warm...

    Wesley in VA

  4. Wesley,

    Thanks for reminding me. I hadn't thought about not being able to get 100 watt incandescents. At least I have a while to figure out an alternative (or, as you suggest, stock up).


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