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Spring 2014

Hyde County’s County Magazine

Photo by Joe O’Haire

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Quote of the Quarter


“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." ― Anne Bradstreet


Linda K’s

“Moving is always a big deal, but especially when moving to another state and having to leave all your friends behind, including your favorite hair dresser.” ...

Please look for the story on page 29 nnn

Winter Symphony on Lake Mattamuskeet  A Love Story

“Writing this story came to me unexpectedly after traveling to

Spring, finally! The Swan Quarterly is happy to announce that Ocracoke has had a different kind of visitor this winter that has brought some tourists in its wake.  Two Snowy Owls showed up on the island in late December and I am glad that Connie Leinbach brought us

the whole story. Last but not least, I attended finally for the first time the "Music across the Sound" concert and loved it!  I am happy about all your wonderful complements, but also like your input about "Troubles at Lake Mattamuskeet".  Love, Ingrid  

Lake Mattamuskeet. The story evolved while researching the area and the Lodge, left deserted after years of being a haven for hunters who traveled from all over to hunt the abundance of wildlife. The beauty of the area is the perfect setting for this love

story...” Georgia Warren Order right here online


The incredible annual “Music Across the Sound” concert at the Mattamuskeet High School gym was a first for me and for my editor and friend Tim Nielsen, but it may very well be our last. Unfortunately this event, which began after Hurricane Isabel devastated Hyde County’s inland, is losing future funding from the State. Presented by the Hyde County Mainland & Ocracoke

Arts Committees, East Carolina Bank, Hyde County Government, Tideland Electric, Beaufort County Arts Council, and the North Carolina Arts Council, this concert was well worth the trip from Columbia. Featured, and in no particular order were:  Molasses Creek, Joe Spencer, The Flatland Zingers, Ray-Gun-Ruby, Coleman Davis (one of our teen writers), Jamie Tunnell ( “bi-coastal” living on Ocracoke, the daughter of Tunnell Farm’s and bed & breakfast) , Gloria Burrus, Captain Rob, The Warp Riders, Sundae Horn, Ann Blythe Davis (our other teen writer and

The Flatland Zingers

author of the ”fungus" story) and Philip Howard. Coming all the way from Columbia, Tim and I stopped at Harrisons’ for dinner, and running a little late we found Mattamuskeet High School’s parking lot nearly packed.  A greeter at the door welcomed us, and we took seats in front the house.  The Flatland Zingers served as the warm-up before the headliners--Molasses Creek. The Zingers are traditional musicians that enjoy entertaining folks by performing lively acoustic string-band music while having fun!

Next, Molasses Creek's heartfelt songwriting and highenergy performance brought the love of their coastal home to the stage. The band's elegant harmonies and arrangements, blazing instrumentals, and quirky sense of humor have won loyal followers throughout the United States and around the world. In fact the next night they were to appear in Asheville, NC. Award winners from Garrison Keillor's “Prairie Home Companion,” Molasses Creek has recorded 13 albums over the past 20 years.   In April of 2012, Molasses Creek's new release, "An Island Out of Time," reached the #4 spot on

the National Folk Radio Charts! Their roster includes Gary Mitchell (guitar/vocals), Fiddler Dave Tweedie (fiddle/ vocals), Lou Castro (guitar/ bass/piano/vocals), Marcy Brenner (mandolin/ banjolin/bass/vocals), and Gerald Hampton (mandolin/upright bass). Throughout the evening the first-class entertainment continued with many varieties of music-including hard-rock instrumental, folk, spirituals and Tim's favorite--the foot-stompin' performance of "kind weird" 80s tunes by Ray-Gun-Ruby, a

well-known group on the Outer Banks. When the right time comes, let's all work diligently to find funding to continue this special event.

Molasses Creek


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A WINTER HOME ON OCRACOKE BY CONNIE LEINBACH Ocracoke has had a different kind of visitor this winter that has brought some tourists in its wake. Two Snowy Owls showed up on the island in late December following their appearance earlier on Cape Hatteras; and since early

January, islander Peter Vankevich has been a birding ambassador for almost 200 visitors wanting to see theses rare birds on Ocracoke. He has gone out almost every day since the New Year to look for the owls, who typically plant themselves on top of the dunes, constantly turning their heads 320 degrees in search of prey. “There’s just something about these Snowy Owls,” Vankevich says, with his ready

smile and bubbling enthusiasm. “I call it the aesthetic of them on the dunes. Is there something more? I don’t know, but having these birds here is really unusual.” Posts on his Facebook prompted locals to drive with him for sightings. Then his posts on the “Carolina Birders” Facebook page brought birders from all over the state and beyond to Ocracoke, resulting in an uptick of winter tourists.

“With just a couple of exceptions, everyone who’s come here has seen it,” he says. Vankevich gets as much of a kick making sure the birders have a memorable experience as the birders do in getting this chance to see a rare bird. “A couple in their 70s came all the way from Asheville to see the owls,” he says. “I can’t tell you the joy they had from this.” The first owl that was seen Dec. 27 on the island is all white. With the help of other birders, Vankevich dubbed the white one “Blanche” and the darker one “Stanley,” with apologies to A Streetcar Named Desire. However, according to the website, Blanche may be a male as males are allwhite and females are darker. An amateur birder since his 20s, Vankevich, 60, is retired as head of the information section of the U.S. Copyright Office at the Library of Congress. His current job is manager of the Ocracoke Community Library. He also hosts a weekly music show on

the island’s radio station WOVV, volunteers at the Ocracoke Preservation Society and is a volunteer with the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department. Vankevich also organizes the Christmas Bird Count each year on Ocracoke and Portsmouth. A Maine native, Vankevich is a font of

knowledge about birds and can tell what birds are nearby by their chirps. Most Friday mornings hosts a bird walk somewhere on the island. The wanderings of the owls this far south is called an “irruption,” he says. Vankevich thinks the warmer Arctic weather produced more fledglings, which has put pressure on their food source,

typically lemmings. So, the owls have simply ventured farther south for food territories. They eat “fur and feathers,” Vankevich says. “From GPS tags, we have learned that they will go out in the ocean and grab ducks.” Owls are night birds and most people hear them at night rather than see them. Snowy Owls are out during the day because in the Arctic they have to adapt to many extremes, including times when there can be up to 24 hours of sunlight. This year, they’ve been spotted as far south as Florida, he says. One even hopped a boat in North America and traveled to the Netherlands. “They don’t like the wind,” Vankevich says about where to look for them. When it’s very windy, the owls can sometimes be found in the secondary dunes. They also have been spotted frequently at the shack at the end of the runway at the Ocracoke airport.

Owls are known to like airports, Vankevich says. Elizabeth Hanrahan, a wildlife rehabilitation specialist who lives on the island, speculates that perhaps the appearance of the owls presaged the colder, snowy

weather the island has had this winter. “Several years ago there was another irruption of snowy owls in the South and after that we had a huge snow storm,” she says. Might that be why owls are synonymous with wisdom, or something else other-worldly? “They are prophecy birds,” says Sarah

Klinger, who with her husband Jeff, came to the island from Greenville to see the owls. “This is just exciting to see.” Vankevich and others think that the owls will be gone when the weather gets warmer.

More information about the Snowy Owls can be found at the “eBird” website: content/ebird/news/ gotsnowies2013.

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THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME BY MAZIE SWINDELL SMITH My father, Hal Swindell, a lifelong resident of Swan Quarter, worked for 30 years on Mattamuskeet Refuge. At 91, his memory is still as sharp as a tack and one of his favorite things to do is reminisce about the past. Recently as we finished supper, I asked him from all the years he worked on the refuge, what event stood out as the most memorable. He immediately said, “It was the time Joe Cox and I rescued the crew of a jet that crashed in the lake.” Astonished, I continued to ask questions and the following story unfolded.

morning in February 1965, Dad and his co-worker Joe Cox of Middleton were in a concealed blind waiting for geese to land so they could be netted and

comprehend what was happening, they immediately saw two parachutes falling from the sky. Realizing this was the crew of the jet, they ran as fast as they could through the icy water to where the parachutes had landed.

Both of the Marines were tangled in their parachutes and both were hurt but appeared to be conscious. One of the men was attached only to his parachute, but the other was also still in the ejection seat that had carried him to the ground. Pictured is Hal Swindell with the Dad and Joe plaque, which reads: Hal Swindell, helped the first Meritorious Service, 2-1-65 to 2-10-65. crew member to the shore, banded. All of a sudden, they and immediately covered him heard a loud noise and looked One of Daddy’s regular with their dry coats. They then up to see a military jet at tree winter duties was to band geese, returned for the pilot, who they level, on fire, headed for the and on one particularly cold later learned had a broken back lake. As they stood and tried to

among his many injuries. With all the might they could muster, they managed to get him loose from his seat and pull him from the mud he was mired in. They carried him to the shore and covered him, and then Dad ran the 1,000 or so yards to his truck to radio for help. Within minutes, helicopters and rescue personnel from Marine Station at Cherry Point arrived and transported the injured men back to base. They later learned that both men survived the crash thanks to the quick actions taken on the scene.

For the next several days, Dad assisted with the recovery of the aircraft. He said the military personnel combed the bottom of the lake and gathered every nut, every bolt, and every single piece of the plane they could find. A General that came to the crash site told him they would try to put the plane back together in hopes of learning what caused the crash. He also thanked Dad for saving the lives of the men. An appreciation banquet was held honoring Dad

and Joe at Cherry Point by the M.C.A.S. Cherry Point Crash Crew, and at this event, both were awarded badges of Meritorious Service. Dad displays the award proudly on his mantel to this day. Dad finished the story to me by saying that even during his time in the U.S. Navy during World War II as a member of the Amphibious Forces, he had never felt more proud to serve and more sure he was “in the right place at the right time� than on that morning.

MATTIE ARTS CENTER TO EXPAND Since its opening more than a year ago, the MATTIE Arts Center, a private non-profit program located in the historic Hyde County courthouse in Swan Quarter, has increasingly become a focal point of interest and participation for many of the area residents, and those numbers are growing as more people are reached. Now in their second year of operation, a project that has been simmering on the back burner is coming to fruition this spring thanks to the generous donation of a very supportive local couple who has requested to remain anonymous until the egg is hatched: a dedicated and safe work space for the instruction of crafts that create airborne fine particulate and/or fumes--in short, a “down draft studio”. This new studio will enable MATTIE Arts to expand their non-profit program offerings to include glass etching, decoy carving, dremel work, gourd art, wood burning and any other craft that creates airborne fine particulate and/or fumes that could, over time, endanger respiratory health if left untreated.

“One thing that we confirmed in our first year was an innate talent for artisan crafts here in Hyde County--many of our residents excel in working with their hands to create useful objects of art and they certainly don’t mind getting dirty doing it,” explained Judy McLawhorn, the full time volunteer director of the arts center. “There is definitely

evidence here of a population whose heritage is rich in indigenous arts and crafts. We had some insight into this before we opened, however our feasibility study polling results indicated a broad based interest in painting. So in order to survive the first year, that’s where we concentrated our initial efforts. That program is still running

“One thing that we confirmed in our first year was an innate talent for artisan crafts here in Hyde County-many of our residents excel in working with their hands to create useful objects of art and they certainly don’t mind getting dirty doing it,” explained Judy McLawhorn

strong and growing, especially in the form of the en Plein Air impressionist oil painting classes with Mark Hierholzer. That’s not to say we didn’t have a lot of other offerings in other media. To mention just one, our ongoing monthly hand-building clay workshops with Carolyn Sleeper have been extremely popular, and some of the students who regularly enroll in it are the same ones who attended our first ornamental concrete design workshop with Bill Rubel. They and more than a dozen others are anxiously awaiting a repeat of that workshop, just as soon as Bill can schedule it”. What begged this new project off the back burner was MATTIE’s “artists in motion” program. During their grand opening, and then repeated a year later during their first anniversary celebration this past October, many local artisans who have now committed to teach in this new studio, demonstrated their crafts. A substantial number of people started telling McLawhorn to sign them up just as soon as she could arrange the classes. In the spirit of Field of Dreams, MATTIE is now going to "build it," and hope they will come!

MATTIE Arts Director, Judy McLawhorn, provided the following details of the project: The "down draft studio" will be located in a room adjacent to the main teaching studio, in one of the old courthouse’s fireproof vault rooms originally serving to house county records. The equipment will include a 1.5 HP, 1250 cfm central dust collector,

rigid duct work serving six individual work stations--each with blast gates and flexible countertop dust port hoods thatdirect the point of discharge dust at each station down to the collector--and an overhead high efficiency (1255 cfm) air filtration system designed to capture and treat the inevitable air borne particulates. It may all sound like

a bit of over-kill, especially to those accustomed to using only a face mask, but the non-profit board of directors (The Friends of Hyde County’s Historic Courthouse--MATTIE is their program) agreed with McLawhorn that they could not be too careful in protecting the health of the students and instructors. The dust collector will capture the majority of the dust at point of discharge down to one micron in size. The overhead air cleaner is designed to remove 99% of the fivemicron and 91 % of the onemicron particulate that inevitably goes airborne in a matter of minutes which, basically, McLawhorn stated, “translates to an environment cleaner than your own home. However, we will still require anyone entering the new studio to wear a dust mask, and for the students, eye protection as well.” MATTIE is an acronym for Mattamuskeet ArtisansTeaching, Training, Instructing and Educating. So who are these Mattamuskeet artisans who have committed to teach? McLawhorn explains: Let’s start with Gregory Berry of Engelhard, who works full time for DOT. Reluctant at first, it was a hard “sell” just to get this

shy and unpretentious award winning decoy-carving native to commit to the “artist in motion” program the first year, but he ended up all smiles and by the next year was raring to go. As to teaching, that was a different story, but as Gregory said “she’s [Mclawhorn] just got a way of wearing a man down.” We don’t have a lot of examples to show you of Gregory’s work (his reputation precedes him in that his work gets sold before it’s half finished) but here’s one he

borrowed back from a local couple so we could get a picture. The next surprising commitment was from the Hyde County gourd lady herself--Miss “Gourds-a-Plenty” Mary Jean Gibbs of Fairfield. I think everyone in Hyde County knows that Mary Jean is a master at gourd art. She and her husband, Coley, grow their own gourds-dozens and dozens of varieties. Then Mary Jean says, “I talk to them and ask them what they

want to be;” then she makes that happen. This is a full time job for Mary Jean coupled with the seasonal show circuits. Recently, after multiple, unsuccessful attempts applying to be in the juried Albemarle Craftsman’s Fair, she was finally accepted. She took a wealth of inventory with her and sold out the first day! Coley had to bring more of her work from the MATTIE gallery as well as from their own shop just to get her through the thtree-day show. I doubt she will have any trouble being invited next year!

Jessica Credle, a Fairfield native, now resides in Bath where she is a full time mom and artist. Another multi-media artist, Jessie captivated our “artists in motion” audiences last October with her beautiful dremeled glass etchings and is starting to develop quite a little retail trade by word of mouth and in on-line sales. Jessie joined us almost a year ago and has become one of our most supportive allies. She is really excited about the opportunity to share her talents as an instructor.

Of no surprise to us, multi-media artist Cathy Clayton of Ponzer, a full time Hyde County Transit driver and long time MATTIE supporter and advocate, as well as an “artist in motion” participant at the arts center events, has committed to instruct in her specialty of wood burning. Cathy ran a pilot workshop with us in 2012 and half of the students were men, which got us to thinking that this and other wood working crafts might just further our ability to bring an element of the county into the fold that we have not engaged a lot before--specifically the guys!

Also committing to join our ranks as an instructor is a retired gentleman living in Belhaven--Jimmy Huggins--who specializes in dremeled jewelry from walnut. He has partnered up with us just in the past year as well and fascinated onlookers during our “artists in motion” program last October with his joint free chain link necklaces and bracelets. Finally, full time artist Joan Sears of Gull Rock, an award winning ( she’s lost count) multi-media artist and artisan in her second year of teaching with MATTIE, will bring us indepth seminars on the history of decoy carving in Hyde county

as well as hands-on workshops in the new studio. You can see more of these and other local artists’ works at the MATTIE Arts Center Sales Gallery which is open on Saturdays and other days when classes are being conducted. The target date for the studio to become fully operational is May 1st, preceded by a dedication ceremony in honor of the donors. The schedules for these new workshops are under development, so start watching for announcements if you are already on MATTIE’s e-mail list or go to for updates and current class announcements. You are encouraged to contact Judy McLawhorn at (252) 943-8991 if you are interested in these support of the arts center. MATTIE offers classes and workshops year round as well as providing a sales gallery featuring works of local and area artists. Visit them at or on Facebook at

Hyde County Children’s Health Fair

Free Workshops

**Germ Buster** Food for sale for adults

**Physically Fit**

**Water & Bike Safety**


Free Information Booths

WIC, Car Seats, Hyde County Hotline, US Coast Guard Auxilary, Hyde Transit, Beaufort Hyde Partnership for Children, Mattamuskeet Early College High School TRU Club, PATS, Engelhard Volunteer Fire Dept & more Sponsored By Hyde County Health Dept, Beaufort Hyde Partnership for Children, Hyde County Children’s Center, Hyde County Hotline…… DOOR PRIZES DONATED BY PARTICIPATING AGENCIES & LOCAL MERCHANTS

For information call Hyde County Health Dept @252-926-4200 Target Population: Children Age Birth - 12

Need a ride, call Hyde Transit at 926-1637

April 25th 10:00 – 2:00

For more information or to reserve a table, please contact Lisa Woolard at or Eve Richardson at

Davis Center Engelhard

WHO WAS WHO IN HYDE James Augustus Weston, son of Samuel E. Weston and Dinah Bartee Watson, was born in Lake Comfort, Hyde County on May 6, 1838.  James' father died in 1840, and his mother, Dinah, then married James W. Swindell.  Who's Who in America (Vol. 1 1897-1942) listed James Augustus Weston as having attended schools in Hyde County and in Jonesville, N.C.  He attended Trinity College in North Carolina in 1867-68 and Trinity College in Connecticut in 1859-60.  He was a Major in the 33rd N.C. Regiment during the Civil War and was in command of it when paroled at Appomattox (see his war record and photo here).  He was ordained a deacon in 1870 and priest in 1876.  He held pastorates at Hertford, Hickory and Raleigh, N.C. and was a Chaplain in Catawba County, N.C.  He was an author of an account of General Lee's

surrender at Appomattox.  In 1895 he wrote a book entitled Historic Doubts as to the Execution of Marshal Ney.  He died in Shelby, Cleveland County, N.C. in December 1905.  His obituary which appeared in The Landmark (Statesville, NC) on Friday, December 15, 1905 is seen on the right.

HYDE COUNTY, Part of the U.S. & NC GenWeb Project, please check this website for more information: HYDE.HTM


A dusting of snow followed the ice, making for a pretty landscape, but not one for folks who generally aren’t used to being cold.

Ocracoke residents are looking forward to sunny skies and warmer weather this spring after an unseasonably cold and snowy winter on the island. Lifelong residents said winter 2014 produced likely the most snow they’d ever seen on the island. Almost an omen for the wintery weather, a pair of snowy owls showed up on Ocracoke beaches just before the 2014 new year. Birders say this is the first time the species has ever been recorded to visit Ocracoke. They got attention, too. People flocked to the beaches to catch a glimpse of the birds. Librarian and bird lover Peter Vancovich reportedly took more than 150 people out to see the animals.

SNOWCRACOKE 2014 BY MEGAN M. SPENCER County Emergency Management. At the end of the day, island reports said seven inches of snow had fallen.

transform island streets and bridges into a high-speed fun park. Notably, the new fire department provided a perfect cement slope to go sledding-island style.

Like nearly all significant weather events on Ocracocke, ferry travel was suspended

Officials remained in constant communi-cation with regional emergency officials. Tideland Electric Membership Corporation was also at the ready, in case of a power outage, with crews on standby.

during the snow, due to the wind, as well as icy mechanical issues. All in all, everyone was safe on the island, and no damages or significant injuries were reported. They made it through unscathed and even broke out surf equipment to

A press release said they increased workforce by 30 percent in preparation for the storms. Crews could be seen on roadways and residing at local hotels. For this storm, Ocracoke kept power, with the exception of a couple of flickers.

The pair of birds seemed right at home when several snowy events took place on the island. Just days before Valentine’s Day, a massive storm system blanketed the island and other coastal communities with fat flakes of snow. Islanders woke to find nearly three inches of the powdery stuff had fallen before 9 a.m. By 2 p.m. Ocracoke had accumulated five inches of snow, according to Hyde

A January snowstorm wasn’t quite the winter wonderland when freezing rain led off the precipitation. Ice inundated the island in the borderline-freezing temperatures, coating outside fixtures with layers several inches thick. High winds made the crystals in the oak trees and oleander tinkle like holiday ornaments. A dusting of snow followed the ice, making for a pretty landscape, but not one for folks who generally aren’t used to being cold. Sections of the village lost power in the early hours of the morning on Tuesday, January 28. Residents awakened in homes where temperatures were rapidly dropping. Crews from Tideland were on the scene around 6 a.m. and worked all day and into the night to restore power to Ocracoke Island. Around mid-day, Hyde County officials

used the reverse 911 phone system to call residents and request they turn off the main power breaker in their homes, due to surges that were causing difficulties in power restoration. Several times the power would blink on, but these attempts were short lived. Power was

electronics. Folks milled about, pilfering for information.

restored throughout the entire island by late that evening after temperatures in homes reached the low 40s. People did manage to stay warm and safe. Those with no access to generators flocked to the gas station to warm up and charge

accidents were reported on Ocracoke, but weather was blamed for some 16 accidents on the mainland. There were reportedly no serious injuries sustained.

Both storms prompted states of emergency for all of North Carolina. While gridlock pileups happened in larger cities, the county of Hyde fared relatively well on the roads. No

Hyde County offices were closed for both events,

mainly due to travel concerns. The Emergency Management Director as well as the county manager stayed  in constant communication with area agencies to monitor the storm, including NCDOT and Tideland EMC. Hyde County Sheriff ’s Office on Ocracoke also assisted with resident needs and safety. Also, in true island spirit, people who braved the wind and cold were even catching fish on Ocracoke beaches. “The puppy drum have been along the beach all winter long for those willing to throw lures,” according to Melinda Sutton from Tradewinds Tackle. Like some fair weather fishers, Melinda and Alan are looking forward to the spring drum bite--a bite that typically marks the beginning of the visitors season on the island. Not only does the fishing pick up, so does the general beat on the island. “May is my favorite time of year with warmer  weather, sunny days and cool nights, smaller crowds and all the businesses coming alive for the season,” said Sutton. On the shoulder of the time of year that usually keeps her and her husband in the tackle shop 24-7,

Melinda still has time to stargaze in the spring, too. “The night sky is awe inspiring,” she said dreamily. “To sit on the deck under a blanket, hear the distant ocean and see the Milky Way and shooting stars is to really connect with nature.” Spring this year will feel well-deserved to islanders. After a long cold winter where schools and businesses were closed for days on end, they’ll be happy to see you. On mainland, the

worst part of the storm passed just west of Hyde into Beaufort County. Still, there were reports of at least eight inches of snow that fell. Power stayed on and folks were able stay warm. Schools and businesses closed for days on end, however. Like Ocracoke, Swan Quarter folks are also anticipating warm weather and good fishing. We hope to see you in the spring!



Fungus--the word doesn’t conjure many pretty thoughts. However beauty can be unexpected, and that's the case when a winter or spring walk in Hyde County becomes a fungus hunt. Fungi are sporeproducing organisms that consume organic matter and can easily be overlooked. A sharp eye and a slow pace can reward a walker with the eyecatching shapes and colors of diverse fungi.

For a fruitful hunt, poke around a woods with a leafstrewn floor and scattered branches and logs. What might be mistaken for a piece of colorful Styrofoam amid the leaf litter is the Columned Stinkhorn. It has an orange, spongy body that emerges from the ground; the column-shaped structure has a strong odor that attracts flies, which spread the fungus's spores. Inspect some dead or dying limbs and you could very likely encounter a common fungus called the Turkey-tail Mushroom. This species is easily identified by its colorful wavy patterns that vary from grey to brown to blue. It dries nicely, can be used in arrangements and also as a fabric dye.

Don't end your hunt without looking along the large branches and trunks of a dying hardwood for a variably shaped creamcolored fungus with large gills. Does it shape look familiar? This graceful beauty is the Oyster Mushroom. From stinkhorns to turkey tails to oysters, many beautiful fungi await you on your next walk in the woods.

DON’T CLICK IT! There are new types of viruses that are now a plague on the internet. The virus is activated by either clicking an infected link or by directly downloading the malware.

It states the only way you can get your computer back is to pay them $350 via green dot cards. They require green dot cards because there is no money trail. Green dot cards are reloadable debit cards available at Wal-Mart and most grocery stores.

Thousands of websites are impostors posing as legitimate software distributors, and their programs infect your system upon installation. The virus is sort of a piggy-back onto real software; in other words, it installs the actual software but also leaves malware deeply embedded in your system.

Instead of paying the ransom, why not remove the garbage yourself ? The easiest

An extreme but common way in which users are becoming infected is the “Update Your Flash Player” type attack. Instead of spyware, this piggy-back software completely hijacks your computer. It displays a message stating something like "You have been caught by the FBI for abuse..." and other nonsense. You cannot close the window and it covers your entire screen.

thing you can do is: 1) Boot into Safe mode.

2) Create a new administrator account. 3) Then log into the old username in normal mode and let the virus take over. 4) Press Ctrl+Alt+Del and switch users. Do not log off. Leave the Virus on the other username.

5) At this point log onto your newly created account. Now there will be no message. 6) Now you install an antivirus software. I prefer Malwarebytes for this type of virus. 7) Once your antivirus program scans, and removes the virus, reboot your computer.

Now your system should now be back to normal, right where it was before you clicked “UPDATE YOUR FLASH PLAYER NOW.”

People need to be educated about this subject. If you happen to come across a suspicious page asking to update your flash player, simply press Alt+F4 to close the window. I hope this will help someone fix their infected computer and alert users to this awful virus.

Adam Nielsen, Bachelor of Applied Science in Network Security and Forensics. Associate of Occupational Science in Information Technology.

STYLING HYDE, WORTH THE RIDE  BY INGRID LEMME Moving is always a big deal, but especially when moving to another state and having to leave all your friends behind, including your favorite hair dresser.  See, I used to live in Montauk, a little fishing village at the very East End of Long Island, N.Y. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you feel about it, Montauk was discovered by the "Rich and Famous." Of course we had some of the "Best of the Best" service people working there, taking care of my hair and make-up as well. I used to be in publishing (no kidding), and to make a long story short, after moving to Tyrrell County my New York life stopped, but my hair kept on growing.  As many of you know, my love for Hyde County is deep, and if my husband hadn't died three years ago I would have lived in Swan Quarter. That's where

Hyde Country's country magazine got its name. Swan Quarter is a charming little farming and fishing village and the home of a church said to have been moved by the Hand of God! Every couple of weeks I drive 45 minutes to visit Ms. Emily and go treasure hunting at her Swan Quarter Village Consignment Shop across the

street from Pat's No Name Gas Station. You know, that gas station with the big wooden sign where Pat Spencer, the owner, always posts the latest news with a brush and bucket of paint.  On one of my visits last fall I saw that a new shop had opened next to Pat's called

"Linda K.'s Hair Salon & Gifts." The social media maven that I am researched Linda's shop on Facebook and that is how it all started. Then a few months ago I stopped at Linda K's and met Misty Newman, a young hair stylist I had met earlier at the Pocosin Art's Center, in Columbia, where she took a pottery class. Since Linda herself wasn't there, I asked Misty for a cut; it had to be done. I liked my hair cut and thought if this young lady works for Linda K's, and makes me happy, how good must Linda K herself be, with her two decade's experience? So the next time I made an appointment with Ms. Linda for color and a cut (Yes, I need color), and I was sold. I like Linda K's professional style, and Misty ( who also does manicures and pedicures), and the gift shop. But most important, I love my look (and the products that Linda Cahoon uses), and so does my fancy NY hair dresser who "liked" my photo with the new style on Facebook.  Linda K's is now also offering once a month massages by a certified experienced massage therapist from Greenville, Destinee Asyum, and a native of Swan Quarter.

TROUBLES AT MATTAMUSKEET BY CATHERINE KOZAK Lake Mattamuskeet, the state’s largest natural lake, is troubled. Its good vegetation has been depleted while its bad plants are thriving. It has questionable water quality. It might or might not be too shallow, too salty and suffering impacts from climate change. Everyone is worried, but no one can definitely say what’s going on in the lake because little long-term data exists. Although the 18-mile long, 7-mile wide lake is the centerpiece of 50,000-acre Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge, money over the years for studies of water flow, salinity and nutrient levels, fish stocks and historic rain and flood trends has been inconsistent or nonexistent. The lake attracts thousands of wintering tundra swans, Canada geese, snow geese, pintails and mallards, as well as less common bald eagles and ospreys. Of the 800 or so species of wildlife that are found at the refuge, there are more than 200 bird species that nest there all or part of the year. The most recent survey in January recorded more than 200,000 ducks, geese and swans on the refuge, a record number, according to a refuge press release. But the lake is also renowned for its great fishing, especially its notably huge blue crabs. Much to the chagrin of fishermen, its herring, eel and largemouth bass fisheries have diminished, and it is not known whether any one of them is recovering. The lake also has been overrun by phragmites, an invasive and opportunistic reed plaguing

many wetlands in North Carolina. But the lake is also renowned for its great fishing, especially its notably huge blue crabs. Much to the chagrin of fishermen, its herring, eel and largemouth bass fisheries have diminished, and it is not known whether any one of them is recovering. The lake also has been overrun by phragmites, an invasive and opportunistic reed plaguing many wetlands in North Carolina. To address increasing concerns about the health of the lake’s ecosystem, a meeting was held by the refuge in November to present "scientific information about the water quality, fish and bird species and management of the lake and canals. In response, a meeting was held in late January by a group of stakeholders called Save Mattamuskeet Lake. “Prior to 2002, it was world-class bass fishing, “said Mark Carawan, a founder of the group and an owner of a motel on N.C. 94, which intersects the lake. “The birdwatchers are even complaining – you can ride across Lake Road and you don’t see (any) waterfowl.” N.C. 94 bisects the lake. The eastern, larger, half has better water quality and more underwater grasses than the other half. Carawan said his tackle shop went from selling $10,000 a month of minnows from March through June 2002, to a total of $300 in those months last year. The group contends that the refuge is mismanaging the flow of water in and out of the lake, resulting in high salinity, shallow water and poor conditions for submerged aquatic plants that are critical food for waterfowl. A big part of the problem, the group says, are the gates that allow too much brackish water in from Pamlico Sound and too much fresh water to escape. “I want them to replace the gates where the water will stay in the lake for a certain period of time,” Carawan said, "to be kept at a level that will sustain the bass fishery.” But Pete Campbell, the refuge manager, said that keeping the lake high would almost certainly have negative effects and could not even be considered without further study.

Numerous gates on canals between the sound and the lake open and close depending on the pressure exerted from water levels on each side. The structures are intended to keep salt water from coming into the lake and allow excess water in the lake to be directed to the sound rather than flood farmlands. Lake levels fluctuate with wind tides, which create beneficial seasonal variations in depth, according to a statement from the nonprofit Friends of Pocosin Lakes. The outflow also removes excessive phosphorus from the lake, while letting in migratory fish and crabs. “During the growing season,” the statement said, “the exposed portions of the lake green up with grasses and sedges that are critical food for waterfowl. Meanwhile, even in dry years, most of the lake is deep enough to support the growth of submerged aquatic vegetation, which is also eaten by waterfowl.” With less flushing and deeper water, algal blooms are more likely, Campbell said, because if light can’t reach the bottom of the lake – blocked by sediment or algal growth - the plants can’t grow.

Based on a grandfather clause that has been upheld in court, agricultural lands surrounding Mattamuskeet are allowed to drain into the lake, the refuge manager said. It is not entirely understood what, if any, effect the field runoff has had on water quality, fish populations or underwater plants. There is not enough data to show the quantity or quality of the runoff, Campbell said. “You’ve got herbicides, you’ve got pesticides, you’ve got fertilizers,“ he said. “Plus sediment loading.” There is a significant difference between the east and west sides of the lake, he said, probably because the west does not flush as well due to unsuitable drainage. About 70 percent of the east side is covered by underwater plants, Campbell explained. On that side, there are three canals oriented in the direction of the prevailing wind, promoting flushing. On the west, only one canal is well positioned to allow flushing. The gates in the canals are designed to keep salt water from coming into the lake, Campbell said, but there is no capacity to pump water out. In the past, some of gates had leaked or been clogged with debris.

In summer, the lake’s water level, which averages two feet in depth - naturally drops, Campbell said. The only input is rain and runoff, and the high evaporation rate is very high. “You have high water in the winter and the spring and lower water naturally in the summer,” Campbell said. “So we don’t manage the lake. The lake manages the lake.” Since 2012, the refuge, with the assistance of the U.S. Geological Survey, has been monitoring salinity on both sides of the lake. Salinity in the lake proper ranges from 0.4 to 1.5 parts per 1,000, Campbell said, compared to Pamlico Sound at 16-20 parts per 1,000. “This lake has always been not 100 percent fresh,” he said. “There has always has been a little bit of salinity in the lake. That’s why, historically, fresh and saltwater species have always been found in the lake.” Wild celery is the dominant underwater grass in the lake and an important food for waterfowl. Photo: USGS The dominant submerged plant is wild celery, which likes salinity to be zero or very low, Campbell noted.

In the 1980s, Campbell said, the hinged cypress gates were replaced by unhinged stop log gates. Those were less effective at moving water out when the lake level was high from rain or pushed up by wind. Consequently, the lake was unusually high, making boating a lot easier. They were eventually replaced by metal gates with larger openings. “They are hearkening back to that time,” he said about the sportsmen who prefer high water. Campbell said there were big negatives to the gate design used in the 1980s and that the fishing group now favors. During storms, he said, water can’t move out fast enough, increasing the risk of flooding. And they cut off access to crabs and herring. The result, he said, was the herring run crashed and the blue crab population declined. In 2010, the refuge put in side gates to promote access for saltwater species that come into the lake, but especially to improve access for herring. Ever since then the lake has been able to flush itself, he said. Crab population rebounded, but additional data is needed to determine the status of the eel and herring fisheries.

Campbell said the refuge has put together a group of scientists to conduct more study of fisheries and water quality issues. John Stanton, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service supervisory wildlife biologist, said that before the 1950s, the lake had a large population of carp that was the target of a commercial gill net fishery for about eight years. After the carp were removed, he said, biologists noticed that the submerged vegetation on the east side had been re-established. Less than five years later, the musk grass doubled to about 14,000 acres. Wild celery was introduced in the late 1950s, Stanton said. Today it is well established, along with muskgrass, redhead grass and pond grass. On the east side, 76 percent of the submerged plants are healthy. On the west side there is only 13 percent coverage. “It’s markedly different,” Stanton said. “I was out there in 1994. It’s changed a lot. It was obvious to me that something has been going on in the last 20 years but noticeably so in the last decade.” Starting in 1989, he said, the refuge began taking plant

surveys every two to three years, but there was a big gap between 2004 and 2013 because of cuts in staffing. Stanton said that it’s not clear what has caused the decrease in underwater plants on the west side but it could be related to runoff from farm fields and bird impoundments. All along, the management of the refuge, he said, has been hobbled by budget shortfalls. For instance, much is not known about drainage patterns and volume, but installation of testing equipment in the drainage canals would be very costly. “We didn’t have those kinds of funds,” Stanton said. “We tried to do the bare minimum, to do what we had to do. You kind of work with what you’ve got.” Stanton said the refuge has got some “rough, crude” information on water quality but needs quantitative information. The health of the submerged plants in the lake, he said, serves as a sort of canary-in-the-coalmine as to the lake’s overall health. “The bottom line is they’re adding nutrients,” he said. “We don’t really know what nutrients.”

Farmer Blythe Davis, a native of Hyde County who has been farming for 37 years, said that the water-quality problems in the lake are largely caused by people who pump their drainage directly into the lake – which he does not do. Davis said that the issue with the water level in the lake comes up every few years, but proponents seem to be pushing harder now. But if the water level in the lake is raised, he said it could change the marsh and cause jurisdictional issues with the Army Corps of Engineers. As it is now, the lake is barely above sea level. In the past, Davis said, the high water probably led to algal blooms and depletion of herring and eel. “They might not get a real good trade-off, he said. “I think that they should leave the gates just like they are.” Michelle Moorman, a hydraulic technician with U.S. Geological Survey, said that the lake has elevated levels of chlorophyll and nitrogen from nutrients. “The question is why,” she said. “A lot of nutrients are in the sediment. So you still might have these issues. You can’t just

cut off the source and expect the problem to go away overnight.” Nutrient levels change throughout the year, she said, and are influenced by numerous factors, including the season, the water temperature and the layer of water it is measured from. Sources can include animal waste, fertilizers, septic system leaks and organic matter such as leaves and insects.

Hyde County Manager Bill Rich said that the county passed a resolution in September in support of the refuge’s effort to study restoration of the lake. But he said he believes that the recreational users are an important part of the cure. Rich, a Hyde native who has enjoyed crabbing and boating on Mattamuskeet, said that the lake is the county’s most popular mainland tourist attraction and is an important revenue producer for the county, one of the poorest

in the state. The lake is “perfectly situated,” he said, within miles of Fairfield, Engelhard and Swan Quarter, the county seat. During the recent duck hunting season, Rich said, as many as 2,000 hunters came to the Mattamuskeet area, filling every motel room and every restaurant seat available.

“We’ve got to create a situation where the duck hunters are happy, where there’s fish for the fishermen, birds for the birdwatchers,” he said. “And that can be done.”

As published by Coastal Review Online About the Author: Catherine Kozak has been a reporter and writer on the Outer Banks since 1995. She worked for 15 years for "The Virginian Pilot." Born and raised in the suburbs outside New York City, Catherine earned her journalism degree from the State University of New York at New Paltz. During her career, she has written about dozens of environmental issues, including oil and gas exploration, wildlife habitat protection, sea level rise, wind energy production, shoreline erosion and beach nourishment. She lives in Nags Head.

LEARNING AN EARTHLY ART BY MISTY NEWMAN So--in an area that doesn't offer much to do, surrounded by the inspiring beauty of nature and filled with people as unique as the landscape--what can one do to satisfy their creative side? (And I live in Swan Quarter, where there is even less to do.) Growing up near Lake Mattamuskeet, I played with the clay that is native to the area. I took clay slab classes previously, but I have been interested in the pottery wheel since childhood. Never having had the opportunity to experiment or learn how to throw pots, I pursued the more tedious arts, such as painting and drawing. Now the hands-on method of art with pliable substances has become a great outlet for me. I learned about Pocosin Arts' recent pottery classes in time for the fall session. I took basic wheel working under Andrew Dutcher, a current

resident artist who is an extremely talented potter. The earthy dĂŠcor and the functional design of Andrew's work is what really compelled me to go ahead and start classes--to learn the skills I need from someone whose creative style I already admired. A session at Pocosin Arts is eight classes over eight weeks at a reasonably priced tuition. While students purchase their own clay in 25lb bags, all other supplies are provided. Along with the scheduled classes, Pocosin offers open studio time

for students, for extra practice time that provides an excellent excuse to get out of the house. Though the process of getting used to centering clay on a constantly moving wheel and then keeping it centered is, at times, daunting, my instructor was patient and helpful. With the basics taught, Andrew went on to show me tips and alternative

ways to achieve my desired results. My fellow students were also very helpful, with many of them having experience working with the wheel in the past. The small-sized class made it comfortable to know the other people and to help each other--as well as laugh about our misshaped pots. Through the process of making our initial wet pot, we were taught the stages of drying, and when the pot should be trimmed, decorated, and bisquefired. I learned so much during my first session of classes, though there was still much more for me to learn and to perfect. I am now enrolled in the current winter session of classes, focusing on glazes and methods of decorating ceramics. It is fascinating to learn just how much is involved in the overall look of a piece--the carving and painting of designs, the mixing of personalized glazes, the marbling of clay, working with slip, the various firing techniques and more. Classes are available for both adults and children, and more information can be found online at


What in the world are you doing in Hyde County? Doesn’t this question get asked too often to all of us who were not born and raised in this county? The answer would be an astounding YES! I have yet to meet a person residing in Hyde, from out of town, who hasn’t been questioned for making the decision of living here. In all honesty, I cannot state that it was a premeditated decision to come to live and work in Hyde County. It was, I believe, simply fate. All the pieces fell right into place with many factors and coincidences coming together to make this move work successfully for me. It has been almost six years since I first set foot in Swan Quarter to visit my new place of work and search for my new residence, and I do own up to the fact that this place and county have grown on me in time. It did take some adjusting, getting used to the isolation from larger cities and services. Loving to drive certainly eased the process, but all in all, there are actually many things

about life in Hyde that I miss terribly when I'm out of town, whether business or pleasure. It gets to me at times when I hear some of my students, born and raised here, zooming in on all the wrong they consider Hyde to have and how much they crave leaving when they graduate. However, I do not blame them because they are young and may simply miss out on the good and beneficial as well. Adults, on the other hand, are a whole different story in my book. From this humble servant, allow me to share some insight on this matter. I was born with an innate desire to visit the world! Living in the US has allowed me to visit 13 states so far, as well as counties and cities all across the State of NC. Before moving to this country, I had the opportunity to visit four other countries, and I can tell you without a speck of doubt in my mind, that there is simply not a place in my book you would consider perfect or flawless. I am sure you would agree that it does not really take all of this travel to realize this. Many of you reading may already share this same conclusion with much less traveling experience. Then, I believe you all should appreciate what you have and where you live more often before addressing the

not-so positive aspects of Hyde County. From a foreigner’s perspective, and also from someone with a very heavy heart for having my biological family currently living in a country with political unrest, violence, death, and uncertainty, I can also attest to the fact that living standards in the USA are greatly higher than most countries in the world. Appreciate what you have and where you live! We all need to do this! Then and only then, we can all get together and work hard to improve the things that should work better and more efficiently in the county. Criticism is healthy only when it leads to solutions and a willingness to work together to overcome obstacles. Hyde County is a place with so much potential, a place with great and helpful neighbors, students, citizens, and friends! It's a place that offers many advantages for individuals loving a quiet and friendly life. I feel blessed to live here, and I will keep working hard any way I can to make it better every day! Join me!

Spring 2014

Hyde County’s County Magazine

Jessica Lee Photography