While I formulate my own plan of action, spending time in nature and sharing a national park, with all its wonders, helps.
Look for his book sometime in the future. He is the sweetest dog, charms all the kids and pet lovers and hikes like a monster. So brave, so cute. He became a Bark Ranger because he followed all the Park’s dog rules while his handlers became Junior Rangers, because they completed their activities in the Junior Ranger book.
Today I chose a different perspective. I took a boat tour to understand the layout of the islands seen on my horizon. It left from Bass Harbor and was terrific. Conditions were perfect and I learned more about lobster and fish conservation practices, the lighthouse, marine wildlife and geology. We saw harbor seals, grey seals, a bald eagle, guillemots and cormorants.
It has taken a little while to settle in. The keeper’s house was freshly painted with new furniture when we arrived. We spent the first several weeks in fairly intense NPS training but have learned enough about the park, its geology, trails, and carriage roads to advise visitors. Last week, we donned our uniforms and fielded questions.
Mostly people want to know : 1) how do you get to live here ; 2) where can I take the photo we see on the internet; and 3) where is a good place to eat lobster?
We are used to being “a bit more” isolated than this but are adjusting. As with many places in the park, there is not enough parking, which creates a backup on the road to the lighthouse.
We haven’t been up the tower yet but may get a chance tomorrow.
As with many lighthouses, there are beautiful sunsets and rainbows.
My to do list is getting shorter. We leave in a week to become caretakers at Bass Harbor Head lighthouse. If you are one of the 100,000! people who visit annually, please say hi.
The National Park Service acquired it from the US Coast Guard in 2020 and we will be its first NPS caretakers! Mount Desert Island is technically an island but we can drive there.
Time to clean the fridge. Meals become interesting as we eat through its contents.
Time to finish projects I can’t take with me. Actually, I will take my latest with me in its finished form. Back in March, I started weaving a queen size blanket made of alpaca silk yarn. I planned and calculated but still ran short of yarn 2/3 through and could not find more. I found some similar though, waited for it to be delivered, and made do.
I wove about 10 yards of fabric, cut it into three panels and, poof, we have a blanket to take to Maine.
Tim is in full form so I no longer am responsible for EVERYTHING!! Of course, he is already doing too much.
Sparky is sporting a new windshield but won’t be making this trip with us. He is strictly a lake boat. I found a great guy in the north country with a can do attitude and he did it!
We plan to bike the 45+ miles of carriage road in the park and I converted Tim’s bike to fit me, while he had a new recumbent bike delivered to Maine.
My car may look like the Beverly Hillbillies because I also fixed my roof rack just in case.
I strapped on our chainsaw chaps, which were still set for my waist, donned the helmet and got to work. I immediately felt like a tough guy. Tim gave me lots of tips and we made quick work of a large fallen branch on the lawn, and got three!! pieces of firewood.
I hope the tree survives. I believe it is a copper beech and it is a beauty. It holds its leaves until January and then they fall after they have turned a beautiful, golden copper color.
We used to hang the bird feeders on it but recently moved them closer to the house. It’s better than Netflix. Yesterday, a chipmunk stuffed its cheeks and only stopped when it couldn’t poke its head back into the feeder because it was too big. We’ve had cardinals, too many blue jays, goldfinch, who are almost fluorescent now, chickadees, nuthatches and tufted titmouse.
The blue birds picked the perfect box to build their nest. We won’t be here to follow their activity though and the hummingbirds and bees will be on their own. Who knows what mischief they will get into.
Tim and I took a 24 hour trip to Manhattan, so I could visit my best friends from medical school, who were in town, and Tim could visit and dine with his son at the Oyster bar.under Grand Central Station.
Not as crazy as it sounds since we took Amtrak from Albany. On our way down we received the news report that there had been a mass shooting in a subway station. Probably the safest day to ride the subways. And we did. We explored the new Moynihan Train Hall, which is a vast improvement over the old Penn Station I used to know.
You can see the three atrium domed roofs set within the open courtyard of the old Post Office. The round building at the top is Madison Square Garden.
Tim and I parted ways and I headed to the Edge with Liz.
Reportedly the tallest observation deck on the continent, it offered fabulous 360 degree views of Manhattan, its waterways and bridges, and the outlying areas.
I took the obligatory photo on plexiglass, very strong I hope, 100 stories high. The elevator ride was deceivingly pleasant because a slow motion video of the city played on the walls while my ears popped.
While I visited my doctor in the Flatiron District, my cell phone screamed an alert. Every smart phone in NYC received a notice they were hunting the man from the shooting the day before.
Apparently it worked. He called the police with a tip and they found him !
I discussed the dichotomies of his songs: harrowing themes with music that makes one dance.
That is what today is like. Flowers in bloom inside and perhaps the last snow squalls of the season in the mountains.
WE drove to the pool in Lake Placid today and Tim exercised in it. He finally believes he is going to be OK. Last month, one doctor scared the bejeesus out of him and painted a future filled with chronic pain.
He slid down that hole. Now this month she reports he will be fine (as did his first spinal surgeon two months ago). He’s on cloud 9 and able to deal with pain because he no longer fears it will dominate him. He thinks he needed that message. I disagree.
But now we are positive! This Christmas/Easter cactus went from good to astounding within a few days.
So hopeful. It opened itself up to the world. I considered putting it outside near my beehive!
We may have had the last snow of the season and I didn’t even have to shovel, while Tim continues to recover.
I’m finally getting more comfortable putting myself out there. I took a wonderful trip to DC to visit my daughter, my first domestic flight. I wore a real N95 the whole time and declined food so I could keep my mask on.
I stayed in a hotel she built! That was fun.
Rode the metro.
And ate mostly outdoors in restaurants, and perhaps imbibed bit too much.
I bought this new wide angle and macro lens for my iPhone. I am hoping to get some good shots of the Milky Way during our next caretaking stint in Acadia National Park (with the wide angle, not the macro).
We heard Itzhak Perlman play at the Flynn Theater stayed in a hotel in Burlington overlooking Lake Champlain and home.
Very useful for winged creatures, not so much for government leaders
Here are my local critters putting them to good use.
One bird often sits at the feeder and shovels out seeds for its buddies.
This image occurred when my own bird brain pressed the wrong button on my camera. It looks like an interesting textile but was really…
So plenty of mammals have bird brains too. Here’s a local deer taking a selfie in my Wildlife camera. I have to get a third camera. I hid the first in the woods, never to be found by me again, and this second version needed the animals this close to get a picture.