British Cemetery

31 05 2009

There’s a British Cemetery on Ocracoke. The cemetery actually belongs to Great Britain and the Union Jack is flown from it.

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During WWII, a German submarine sank a British ship off the North Carolina coast. The bodies of four British sailors washed ashore on the Outer Banks. The men were buried on a small plot of land that later became the British Cemetery.

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In My Garden – Shrub Rose

30 05 2009

I have two Jackson & Perkins Fairy Queen shrub roses planted next to each other. One is light pink while the other is bright red. The bright red shrub was given to me as a Mother’s Day gift back in 2005. The following weekend I picked up the pink one from the dead plant table at Lowes. I think I paid a dollar or two for it.

Together, both shrubs are 2 feet tall by 4 feet wide. I’ve never trimmed the bushes except for the wild branch ever so often. I feed it once a year with a rose fertilizer stake. I have noticed the rabbits eating the blooms this year.

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Rabbits

28 05 2009

I came home from work one day and noticed a rabbit in the backyard under the bird feeder. He was eating the fresh sprouts growing from the seed that had dropped there. As I was watching the rabbit, he suddenly ran to the side of the yard and starting running down the fence line. Out from under a bush another rabbit joined in the run. Chasing the first bunny around the perimeter of the yard. Eventually it was three rabbits running around and around the yard. What a sight!

I was able to catch two of them on video.





Ocracoke Lighthouse

28 05 2009

While Denise and I were on Ocracoke Island last week, we paid a visit to the Ocracoke Lighthouse. The bike ride from the ferry dock to the lighthouse took just a few minutes. Definitely less than 5 mins. For some reason, the map of Ocracoke leads you to believe the distances are further than what they are.

The Ocracoke lighthouse is the second oldest working lighthouse in the United States. It’s completely automated and the light is stationary. They say the light is visible up to 14 miles away which I believe. No matter where you’re at, you can see the top of the lighthouse peeking out above the treeline. It’s a great reference point when tooling around the village.

You’re not able to go in the lighthouse nor enter the grounds where the lighthouse stands. You’re pretty much limited to the boardwalk path or the grassy area at the end of the boardwalk near the lighthouse. The lighthouse is simple in appearance yet quaint. It fits the Ocracoke atmosphere perfectly.
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What was once the lightkeeper’s house is now a private residence.

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There’s parking for a few cars and a bike rack. We only seen people on bikes when we were there.

I must say that this visit to the Ocracoke Lighthouse has peaked my interest in lighthouses. I’m going to make the effort to get out and visit all of the North Carolina lighthouses.

Wouldn’t it be neat to be out on the water at night and see first hand how the lighthouse guides you? Scary too!

http://www.nps.gov/caha/ocracoke-island-lighthouse.htm





In My Garden – Daylily

26 05 2009

This morning I noticed my Veins of Truth Daylily had bloomed. I received this plant as a Mother’s Day gift from my daughter back in 2006.

I’ve moved the plant twice since receiving it. It has never failed to bloom. It’s in the full sun from midday till evening here in Eastern North Carolina.

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Taking the Ferry to Ocracoke

24 05 2009

Denise and I finally made it to Ocracoke on Wednesday (5/20/09). It’s surprising to look back at a post and see that it took us 3 years to make the trip. Where does the time go. We had planned to go on Tuesday but high winds and storms made us think otherwise which is good since they cancelled all ferry services.

Our trip began with us taking the 7:30 am ferry from Cedar Island. Actually, I had to leave Jacksonville at 4:45 am so I could meet up with Denise at her house on Emerald Isle in order to make the ferry on time.  We took the first ferry of the day since the next ferry wouldn’t leave until 10:30 am and that would have put us on the island after lunch. Not good considering this was a day trip.

We didn’t take the car to the island. We left it at the ferry terminal and rode our bikes.

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They charge bike riders $3 each way. A car is charged $15. If you’re taking a car, you better have reservations and you must check-in 30 mins prior to departure or they give your spot away. We saw plenty of cars and motor homes waiting on the side of the road without reservations.

As you can see from the picture, there’s no bike rack or special area for your bike. You just lay them down. I guess they don’t want them falling over on people or vehicles.

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The ferry trip is a little over 2 hours each way. The ferry has indoor and outdoor seating, restrooms, and vending machines. Most folks stayed in their vehicles and slept.

We did hit some rough patches on the trip over. The ferry handles the seas well although watching the 35 ft motor homes rock back and forth was a little unnerving. We had 4 or 5 motor homes on the ferry along with a Coke delivery truck. We did take some Dramamine prior to the trip. I assumed it helped but now that I think about it, I forgot to take some for the return trip and I did just fine.

We did talk with some of the other ferry passengers. There was one couple with quite a bit of boating experience that explained how we had to follow a specific route (channel) into Ocracoke due to the shifting shoals. They also pointed out some metal pipes sticking out of the water that turned out to be the smokestacks of a sunken ship. I wonder if Blackbeard used those shallow waters to his advantage back then.

Even though the ferry ride to Ocracoke is slow compared to our normal day-to-day travels, it actually gets you ready for the laid back atmosphere on the island. You get a chance to enjoy the view and feel the wind on your face as you succumb to a world of flip flops, slow pedaling your bike, and no cell service!





In My Garden – Spirea

17 05 2009

I took these photos on April 27, 2009 when the bush was in full bloom.

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