Outer Banks Mom: Even on the coldest winter day, the OBX shines

Playing with horses on the beach. [Audra Krieg photo]

Winter weather is far from my favorite, but there is something about hunkering down for an Outer Banks winter storm that makes me pretty happy! With 100% chance of precipitation, a mid 30 degree forecast and cold wind, the Outer Banks prepares like there is a blizzard on the horizon. School was canceled for today before a single snow flurry was spotted and folks at Food Lion were lined up, several carts deep to buy the essentials. Despite the occasional cold and the gray skies, I love winter on the Outer Banks!


There’s a beautiful habit that our Corolla wild horses have in the wintertime. The scruffy winter coat that they grow provides just the right avenue for the sun to pour through giving the illusion of warmth even on the coldest Outer Banks day. To some, this lush, glitter coated winter jacket is ordinary and unimpressive, but I have been obsessed with the wild horses since I was a little girl. Back then, the horses roamed farther south and they were often found at the Whalehead Club in Corolla.

Since the horses have been getting around their fence lately, they are roaming back to their old stomping grounds and can occasionally be found back at the Whalehead Club in the early mornings. It’s been such a fun sight to see and I’ve been sharing the photos of the renegade horses with my daughters.

Last week my daughter, Penny, saw a photograph of the horses near the Currituck Lighthouse and begged me to skip school so that she could head to Corolla to see them. Her desperate plea to make sure that the horses were safely escorted back to the 4×4 area warmed my heart. Still, I declined her extensive attempts to convince me and dropped her off at school but the minute that I picked her up that afternoon, she was back to asking about the horses.

The timing of this was interesting because last year at this time we spent a morning in Corolla to check out the juvenile humpback whale that had washed ashore. We had such a good conversation with the local experts and marine biologists that were preparing for the necropsy. Penny still talks about how the skin on the bottom of a humpback whale looks like a tire tread and she certainly hasn’t forgotten about how small she felt next to the whale.

Penny and the whale, an educational experience. [Audra Krieg photo]
A few years back, we were on the beach when we noticed a cold-stunned sea turtle. We made a call in to NEST so that the turtle could be transported to the STAR Center. They ended up having so many cold stunned turtles at the aquarium that they asked the public to donate plastic bins that would temporarily house the turtles. When we dropped off our donations, we learned that the STAR Center begins by using warm blankets to warm up the turtles before they are placed into water. We’ll be keeping an eye out for cold stunned sea turtles today on our beach walk too.

Sea turtles in treatment at the N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island’s STAR Center. [Audra Krieg photo]
I love that our kids can grow up in such an incredible place and that these experiences are uniquely theirs. Even on the coldest winter day, the Outer Banks shines. We spend so much time outdoors and really enjoy the beach on a daily basis through all of the seasons. What are your favorite uniquely Outer Banks winter activities?

About Audra Krieg 7 Articles
Audra Krieg is a professional photographer, blogger, writer and mother of four living on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.