Thursday, March 26, 2009

Back to Normal

It must have been my computer! When I sat down to write a blog this morning, every letter I typed showed up to the left of the previous letter, so to read what I wrote it was necessary to start at the bottom right and read backwards! To make the title of today's earlier post readable I had to start typing with the last letter and work backwards. MS Word behaved correctly, but then I discovered that Google did not. So I turned off my computer and restarted. Now everything works fine. I guess it wasn't Blogger -- just my browser.

More Ocracoke information tomorrow.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is Lou Ann's story of participating in the 2008 Christmas Bird Count on Portsmouth 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. Anonymous8:51 AM

    Is it not interesting when one reads the story of the Bird count that LouAnn abandoned the birds. This woman is on a Bird count and she neglects to do her duty. The truth is out though for everyone on the bird count---those who did what they said they would do and counted the Birds. The houses would not fly away but the birds are a barometer of the environment. Much like bees or hornets or yellow jackets they play a vital role in controlling the insect population. This woman BUGS me.

  2. Anonymous9:43 AM

    It is amazing to me that one could not understand the pull of history, the feeling of going back in time and experiencing the wonder of it all -- those houses will NOT always be there, no matter how long they've already stood. PI is such a fragile part of the world that one has to assign value to it NOW, not mourn its loss in the future. Why is it so difficult to get this? More importantly, WHY is it enjoyable for some people to simply put down others' actions?

    Sorry Philip, I don't mean to make your blog less than enjoyable, I have been reading it since its inception and love everything about it -- LouAnn so loves everything about Ocracoke though that defending her is easy.

  3. Anonymous2:21 PM

    I don't think the poster was putting anyone down. They were questioning the moral dilemma -- was a contract entered into -- a ride to the island in exchange to count the birds -- Was a good faith effort made to fulfill the agreement? Now, if everyone expected LouAnn to wander about like an easily distracted child in class, well then, no harm done I suppose. If they were hoping to have more eyes vigilantly counting and participating in the Annual Bird count-- well I suppose they would be far too polite to say anything about the the low number of birds Lou Ann said she saw.

    One has to remember the Bird Count On Christmas day is conducted all over the country by chapter members of the Audubon Society.

    This trip had a purpose. However, readers of this blog may be interested to know that on April 10, 2010 A Portsmouth Homecoming will take Place. it is traditionally held in alternate years-- the first Saturday after Easter and as a web site mentions travel to Portsmouth can be a challenge--- make plans and read up about Portsmouth Island by doing a Google search. Many people have posted wonderful text and images

  4. A clarification: Lou Ann & I checked with Peter (the organizer of the bird count) and asked if we could accompany them to Portsmouth. He agreed readily even though we made it clear that we didn't have the equipment or the expertise to be very helpful. There was plenty of room on Rudy's boat, and we both paid our way. So we didn't deny anyone a space, we didn't get in anyone's way, and we no one else paid for us to be there.

    And one more thing -- as we were wandering about we noticed a small bird trapped inside one of the abandoned (and padlocked) houses. We opened a window and stayed around until it found its way out, then closed the window. So, even though we didn't count any birds, we were the only ones on the trip to save a bird.

  5. Anonymous3:24 PM

    Well said Philip!!!

  6. Bobby Rondthaler5:12 PM

    Lou Ann -

    I loved your description of the visit to Portsmouth. I could see, in my mind's eye, every path, every marsh, every house. A long time ago, every summer when I was home from spending the winter away, I would go to Portsmouth to visit Henry and Lizzie. In those days, you caught a ride from Ocracoke on the mail boat, which stopped in the channel at Portsmouth where Henry waited in his skiff to transfer mail and other items destined for the mainland and to pick up visitors such as I. I loved my solitary exploration of the beach and the village, visiting the church and the school and, especially, visiting with Henry and Lizzie where there was always "bird" of some sort for lunch, and finally, late in the afternoon, going out in Henry's skiff to meet the mailboat headed back to Ocracoke. Henry and Lizzie are long gone as is the mailboat to the mainland, but your story, Lou Ann, brings back these wonderful memories.

    Bobby Rondthaler

  7. Anonymous6:20 PM

    And now we know the Rest of the Story.

    Page Two

    Paul Harvey would be proud.