January 6, 2016
Festive 'beachmas' tree takes a beating in cold winds
By IRENE NOLAN
marks the day that many Hatteras islanders in days gone by celebrated
Old Christmas. We thought it would be a good day to share with you the
'beachmas' tree, created by Anna and Buddy Noland of Chester, Va., and
We can still do that, although we are sad to report that Monday's high winds pretty well blew away all the ornaments.
Noland says the family has been visiting Hatteras Island for about 40
years, since their daughters, Nina and Natalie, were youngsters.
For many years, they camped in Frisco, but about six years ago,
the Nolands bought a condo in Hatteras village so they could visit more
several years, they have noticed "Christmas trees" of some fashion on
the beach -- usually a branch that someone stuck in the sand and others
added decorations to. The family called them "beachmas" trees.
year, the Nolands -- Anna and Buddy and their daughters and their
families -- decided to create their own "beachmas tree" when they were
visiting for Thanksgiving.
Noland says they didn't settle for any little, spindly branch.
They found a "huge" branch up on the dunes -- about 6 or 8 feet
long. It took three of them, but they hauled it to the beach just
south of Ramp 55 in Hatteras village, dug a huge hole, and planted it
upright in the sand. They had to stand on the bed of their pick-up
truck to add decorations to the top part of the "tree."
They decorated it with shells, seaweed, and other bits and pieces of their "beach finds," such as fishing line or hooks.
Nolands went home and before they came back after Christmas, other
beachgoers had left their own trimmings on the tree, and it was looking
quite festive in the sunshine of the new year.
left mostly stuff they found on the beach -- there were many more
shells, more tangled lines, and fish hooks. However, some folks left
bright red and green ribbon, a candy cane, a Santa Claus, an angel.
Nolands enjoyed the tree over the warm, sunny weekend after New Year's,
but then came an Arctic cold front with north winds gusting up to about
40 mph,, and Anna says that when they returned on Monday, Jan. 4, the
tree was pretty much bare.
that's as it should be with a "beachmas" tree. We guess you might
consider that the trimmings have been taken down and put away for
another year -- without the time and effort it usually takes and we all
dread having to do.
Now, the question is, will the "tree" stand during this winter's wind-driven high tides and heavy seas?