Time to explore

The bees around the lighthouse are busy pollinating the marigolds, beach roses and ragwort. My neighbor spotted a few bees at my hive. I suspect they are merely robbers but time will tell.

We took the Maine DOT ferry to Swans Island last week with bikes and had a grand time despite all the hills. One stop was the Burnt Coat Harbor Lighthouse. It shows what a community working together can accomplish. From about 2007 to now, they restored it to its current, pristine state. Well worth the stop.

After another hike, we drove Acadia’s Park Loop Road. We saw first hand some of the parking issues elsewhere in the park. There was a mile long line of cars parked alongside the popular Sand Beach.

We found some quiet spots anyway – not at Sand Beach

As summer rolls by, many beautiful boats pass the lighthouse.

They make us wonder, for a moment, if we would like another boat, besides Sparky.

Just for a moment.

The hammock offers a peaceful retreat from the crowds. There is usually a breeze and it rocks me right to sleep.

While the sunset is beautiful, we discovered you can’t actually see the sun sink below the horizon from the rocks, in summer. It’s a winter spectacle when it sets further south.

If it’s Tues, where am I

It has been a whirlwind of travel. I drove to and fro home for 8 hours each way to work two days. Around hour six, I forget what I occupied myself with at hour two.

I caught up with friends and new fawns.

I’m not sure if one of these two got lost, but this is what I heard for an hour at 0200, my second night home.

Not for the feint of heart

Then it was back home for a day of work at the lighthouse before I flew from Bar Harbor to Washington, DC.

Although I never saw Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse from the air, I spotted Seguin Island off the mouth of the Kennebec River. I find it fun to see a place I know so well from the air.

I stayed in Chinatown where there is a diagonal crosswalk, how does that work? I tried it and made it to the opposite corner unscathed.

I saw this rooftop garden from my room. Landscaped hills on the roof! It turned out to be a building affiliated with landscape design.

I relied on public bikes for transportation and visited the Portrait gallery, where my favorite painting was not a portrait.

Ryder’s House by Edward Hopper
Courtyard cafe at the Portrait Gallery

I rode around the Mall and visited the African American Museum and the Museum of the Native American. The exhibits often brought me to tears but the food at the cafes soothed me.

African American Museum
Ceiling of Native American Museum

Of course, best of all and the purpose of this visit was to see my daughter in her hometown.

Some kind of magic

It’s easy to fall in love with Maine’s weather and sky. It has been warm enough to swim but cool enough to need a fleece.

Today’s sky bedazzled us. It was late morning, cloudy with no rain and windy. At some point, I noticed someone looking up at the sky and not at the lighthouse.

This is why.

Circumhorizon arc

It ‘s a very large halo with rainbow colors and is brightest where there are cirrus clouds.

Here are adulterated versions of the same.

It was a nice day.

Homegrown

There were two, mildly rotten, weed filled, half barrels at the lighthouse when we moved in. I freshened them up and filled them with veggies and flowers and they are flourishing.

Most photographed flowers at Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse
Salad futures and herb garden

With all the fog and rain, I have only had to water them twice in 6 weeks!

A ferry and bike ride let me get a new perspective of the area.

Great Cranberry Isle sailboat display

I succumbed to the most popular photo of the lighthouse, besides selfies, taken from the rocks.

You can see why it’s popular and the light isn’t even on yet.

The house takes on a different view at night

This week, I found the perfect setup for my hammock; hidden from the masses but with a beautiful view.

One day at a time

change happens slowly

While I formulate my own plan of action, spending time in nature and sharing a national park, with all its wonders, helps.

Ollie, the lighthouse dog

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.

We also drifted in front of the lighthouse.

Nice place to think.

And here we are

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse

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.

Love the hat

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?

Heading downhill to our quarters

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.

The oil house
The lantern with its 4th fresnel lens

We haven’t been up the tower yet but may get a chance tomorrow.

Reflections

As with many lighthouses, there are beautiful sunsets and rainbows.

No time to procrastinate

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.

Hot off the loom

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.

Off we go.

The chaps swagger

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.

Hint of Spring

We were tempted into believing it was really Spring. The bees are out and about, the birds are returning, two bluebirds chose a house on the lawn.

I drove to Middlebury, Vermont to meet a friend from New Hampshire. Trees have buds but no blooms yet.

Many are shaped by the southerly winds.

And then, just like that, we got another 10 inches of snow and lots of fallen branches. Tonight, Tim coached me as I rebuilt the fire pit. Tomorrow, I’ll be wielding the chain saw. Vroom, vroom.