Tuesday, December 06, 2011


Some of Lachlan's cousins from his father's side of the family came into town to visit over the weekend. The boys had a great time swinging on the rope swing, chasing each other around the yard, playing pranks on their parents and, of course, running free on the beach.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a brief history of Ocracoke and the Lost Colony. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news112111.htm.


  1. Anonymous8:41 AM

    Looks like great fun! What a joy to see these youngsters enjoying the paradise that is Ocracoke Island!

    Now, just imagine how much better there visit would have been with a public restroom nearby!

  2. Anonymous9:09 AM

    not trying to be rude....
    but,i don't let my kids climb on the dunes. kinda destroys the dune and kills the vegetation...

    great website..
    thanks for it

  3. Anonymous3:07 AM

    I remember visiting North Carolina and thinking how petty the state is with the mountains but some cities are very dirty and filed with trash. It astounded me to see a car with NC plates with the passenger tossing trash out the window. I too was not pleased to see this photo ---the dunes are a fragile ecosystem, with the sea oats doing what they can as these are natural soil erosion prevention agents. The children do not know better I guess the "adults" need to be more respectful of the "pristine" areas and not to damage them. We are stewards of the Earth. What would Blanche think never mind I don't care

  4. Just to put this discussion into perspective -- the continuous row of dunes between the ocean and NC Highway 12 is a man made construction. That dune system is there for only one purpose -- to protect the highway. It is not a natural system. It was built in the 1950s when Hwy 12 was paved. Prior to that time the ocean periodically washed across the island. In many places where there is now thick vegetation, there was once just a tidal flat. By preventing the overwash, the dunes thwart the natural process by contributing to erosion on the ocean side...and preventing buildup on the sound side. That's why storms and hurricanes are regularly trying to dismantle the dunes.

    I am not advocating for destruction of the dunes. However, we should keep in mind that they were built to protect the highway. The highway and vehicles (especially vehicles that are driven on the beach) do far more damage to the natural system than a few children playing in the dunes. Again, I am not in favor of wanton destruction of wild palaces, but I would rather see children enjoying the outdoors than playing video games.

  5. Anonymous11:47 AM

    The point is even though man made, nature has established sea oats -- which in my state are protected. If dunes are there to protect the highway from a wash out -- the entire BARRIER ISLAND system protects the state of North Carolina --it is something like a row of dominoes. I did not need to tell some of your readers that. The slow chipping away at the foundations of your protection of atourism artery seems like hubris . It is okay for a few children what about every child that steps foot on OI --why should not they be afforded the same play time?? How can I put this into perspective -- how is a child going to grow up and have respect for fragile ecosystems -- is there a sign placed by the highway department " these dunes are man made so it is okay to destroy them ""-- millions of dollars are being spent to restore the everglades, remember Love Canal, The trail of tears all fragile ecosystems destroyed. Driving on the beach-- mans intervention who needs to drive on the beach -- oh the to--urists like to drive on the beach what about walking on the beach is that allowed or is to too dangerous with all the cars driving on the beach? . oh can they have beer on the beach too is it okay to drink beer and drive a car on the beach?. If so I can't do that here where I live - it sounds like fun so if I can I will tell folks I know it is okay to run down the sand dunes too.

  6. Anonymous12:33 PM

    Excuse me , I think Video games are getting a bad rap. Video game developers and games are very popular and a money maker. The Pentagon is training soldiers via video games. What a clean industry-- OI could become a haven for video game developers or movie producers here's a great name for a movie Dune. Oops just googled that it has been done already sorry -- Brigadune is available but not Brigadoon. Back to video games one thing studies have been shown that using technology in education reaches the lower spectrum of learning capabilities better, I know Math Blaster has been around a long time and now folks perfect their chess skills via computer chess very popular and frustrating. I hate that computer generated voice

  7. Anonymous4:21 PM

    Wow, interesting. I never imagined I would see an islander approving of children playing on the sand dunes. I love the thought of children roaming the beaches, playing, having a grand old time. I also have no problem with a gentle walk along the dunes to explore. I fondly remember playing "blackbeard" and similar games in the dunes. We just never jumped, slid, eroded the dunes in the process. Our light footprints were usually unnoticeable even a few hours after we had played.

    I'm thinking of the dunes are not maintained, the highway disappears, the "beach" grows back in towards the town. Buildings and businesses would be destroyed. Access via only the longer ferry routes would mean less tourists and would kill the islands tourist industry.

    Not trying to make a big deal out of a fun picture. Just really surprised to see it approved of. If thousands of visiting tourist children did the same thing it would be devastating.

  8. Anonymous6:22 PM

    regardless of who made the dunes or how the grasses got there...they are there for a reason and do not need to be trifled with..

  9. Anonymous6:26 PM

    I'm surprised by Mr. Howard's response. I guess they don't currently protect his store so he doesn't care. I don't mind kids playing on the beach I just don't like destructive behavior. To think, some islanders call us visitors "dingbatters." I guess the term can apply to anyone, not only visitors.

  10. Anonymous2:47 AM

    Pogo said" we have met the enemy and he is us."

  11. Anonymous3:01 AM

    wait --"the dunes contribute to the erosion on the ocean side"???? - have not the dunes existed because of grasses and sea oats ?? the grasses (seeds dropped by birds or seeds migrating by the wind)and the root systems help the dunes to grow --a natural occurrence-- by the wind blowing more sand If the road was not there to "wash out" the need for the dunes ("man made" fifty years old and theses are the same dunes wow) would not exist therefore OI as it now exits probably would not have happened. A simple Google search of North Carolina sand dunes -- include the words protected fragile eco systems , keep off the dunes and be ready to read a great deal on the subject.

  12. Hi everyone. Just a few comments to clarify. I think it is important to understand the history of the continuous row of man-made dunes on Ocracoke’s beach. To acknowledge that this is not a natural system is not to say that they should not be protected. Precisely because they protect the road, and therefore island businesses, I am in favor of maintaining them (although respected coastal geologists may disagree).

    The other issue is whether children playing on the dunes is destructive. As my daughter says, “the kids play hide and go seek, they play jungle safari. They know not to pull up the vegetation. Within two days you couldn't see any effects of where these kids had been playing. All National Parks are precious and fragile, but when used with respect they can be used in many ways.”

    Everyone who sets foot on National Park Service land has an impact. Campers traipsing across the dunes to the beach have created numerous grass-free paths, children building sand castles contribute to erosion, SUVs driving on the beach destroy ghost crab habitat… the National Park Service even occasionally brings heavy equipment to clear sand that has covered the boardwalk which crosses the dunes at the lifeguard beach.

    By and large, most of these activities have only short-term effects. Wind and waves rather quickly return the beach to its previous condition (e.g. “Within two days you couldn't see any effects of where these kids had been playing”, and that’s why the NPS has to continually shovel away the dunes at the boardwalk).

    Some activities have longer-term effects. By building the barrier dunes the NPS unwittingly contributed to the erosion of the island. No one understood this in the mid-1950s. Due to rising sea levels, the natural process is for storm tides to carry sand across the islands and to deposit it on the sound side, thus causing the islands to migrate toward the mainland. By preventing the overwash during hurricanes and northeasters, the continuous row of dunes contributes to a gradually narrowing of the islands.

    Unfortunately, there is no simple and easy solution to the problem. We want to protect Highway 12, our businesses, and our livelihoods. We also want to protect our natural environment, our wildlife, and our barrier island chain. And we want everyone to be able to enjoy our beach…residents, visitors, adults, and children.

  13. Anonymous1:51 PM

    It will all boil down to where does the money come from. Are taxpayers willing to pay for something a vast majority do not use. If the ferry system is not viewed as a opportunity for making money to sustain the protection of highway 12 it should be. Pay as you go. If the public is educated with a Smart Phone app as a primer for visiting OI then perhaps more visitors and residents would be more respectful in their actions when on the island a FRAGILE Ecosystem.

  14. Anonymous1:41 PM

    No easy and simple solution? yes there is -educate the population. If someone sees someone on the dune they should speak up. --Excuse me, are you from around here? We don't climb on the dunes. Please get off of the dunes, you don't belong on the dunes. According to state statute XYZ and recite verbatim the text to educate the offender. ..."couldn't see any effects of where the kids were playing.." is this an admission there were indeed effects but the evidence was no longer visible in two days... wow I am validated in my concerns. Why is not the simple fact it is not a good idea to climb on the dunes something we can all agree upon. Why can't children understand that there are other things to do to have fun without being destructive-- give them a gun so they can shoot at tin cans, give them a knife so they can carve wood, give them a saw hammer and nails so they can build something, show them how to change oil in a lawn mower let them mow the lawn, give them a ladder so they can clean out the gutters, give them a fishing pole so they can fish, give them a sail boat so they can learn to sail or a row boat to earn to row. give them a computer so they can leave annoying posts on blogs that need Vision and a correction