The flight from Honolulu to Sydney was outstanding. The plane was relatively empty and Tim slept in his own row. I had a bulkhead to myself. Best of all they gave us a cute little goodie bag with an eye mask, ear plugs, toothbrush and chap stick.
This time we were somewhere over a rainbow.
I knit for at least six hours while I power watched the Great British Baking Show and finished a pair of lined mittens just in time for 98 degrees f in Hobart.
But I can not complain about traveling into summer.
The elves have been busy at my house making and wrapping handmade gifts. There were lots of owls in the house before they topped the grandkids’ heads.
No spoiler alert needed because our families already gathered for the holiday celebration. The gang has quickly grown too big to stay at our house so we rented a bigger house and a fun time was had by all. I ate my first fried turkey, 16 pounds in 45 minutes, cooked by my son, and tossed some donuts in the oil when the turkey(s)! we’re done. It was delicious and now we have the best turkey soup I ever made.
There were more hats,
and even a little pottery this year in my handmade gifts.
Snow conditions were ideal and we have been snowshoeing in the woods and mountains.
My elf work is almost done so now I can sit back and enjoy the season.
Yesterday was so clear, we saw Mount Washington, 86 miles away, most of the day. It shone at sunset even with a lazy shot from the dining room, looking out past the lighthouse.
Two seals washed up in the coves earlier this summer. In addition to the cute little, live baby seal we saw on our first couple of days, there has also been a large, dead, harbor seal in the cove. With today’s full moon, I thought it might go out with the high tide. No luck. Midnight’s high tide is higher so my fingers are crossed. The birds have been scavenging it and it is quickly decomposing. There has been an “Unusual Mortality Event” this summer with hundreds of seals washed up on beaches in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. Many have been infected with an avian flu and/or seal distemper.
I called Fish and Wildlife just to report it and the biologist I spoke to needed a photo to be able to document it and count it. We have been giving it a wide berth for many reasons but I approached it for a photo, which is not included here. Instead, look what I found on the driftwood right next to it, a seal!
Today Tim got me to paint the Engine House, despite my procrastinations. Tim has done all the scraping, which I despise, ( I don’t despise Tim’s scraping, I despise scraping) and lots of the painting, and I have done lots of painting. My hands and wrists are sore. But we want to get as much done, hopefully all the white, before we leave. Looks pretty nice already. I can’t let it interfere with my knitting though. For you knitters out there, today I cut a steek in a sweater, which means I purposely cut a sweater I am knitting down the middle.
The lighthouse dome shines after this summer’s paint job.
Today is a beautiful fall day off the coast of Maine. A high pressure blew in last night. The weather station is on the fritz so I don’t know the maximum speed here but the house hummed.
I love windy places where you can see weather fronts move.
Seas build, no visitors can land and it is a great day to do laundry.
The weather prevented a couple of friends from getting out here today but that’s island life.
I pack much lighter than in the past, partly because the tram needs repairs and isn’t running. This means Tim sees the same clothes and I do a little laundry.
We pack our gear and food as best as we can and haul it up the hill to the keeper’s quarters. Tim definitely lugs more than me and does all the water transport.
My cooking has simplified too. We no longer have dessert AND coffee break every day. I have passed the point in my metabolic life when I can do this and not continue to grow.
While we had grilled organic, grass-fed, happy steak our first night, we have also had not so organic franks and beans and even freeze dried backpacking food. In my defense, we are going to the Grand Canyon in November and I am trying out new food. What better place than here.
I didn’t tell Tim this until after dinner. He thought the shredded pork in a sweet and sour sauce with rice was “interesting” but as camp food it was pretty good and is a keeper.
I had another American pelecinid encounter; this time on the screen door of the kitchen.
Not as scary when there’s a screen between me and it.
We have some painting and trail projects today. I’ll brush my hair, maybe, and watch the clouds pass overhead.
It has been a long, cold winter. Much of the early season had temperatures too cold, for me, to comfortably play. The mid part had some nice snow and we were able to ski right from the front door. Then there was a melt and freeze, late in the season, which turned all our walkways into skating rinks. That’s when I keep my micro spikes on my crocs so I can get to the hot tub without breaking a hip.
This week had a glimpse of things to come. The temperature rose to the 50’s for one day and the river’s ice melted, happily without flooding our road. Here’s the view upstream.
Then we had a sun filled day, which warmed my heart. A mackerel sky predicted the next day’s warm weather and rain/snow.
It’s hard to say because where we live is so beautiful and peaceful. Our county has the second lowest population density in New York, so we aren’t driven away by the crowds. We have mountains and lakes and a hand built log cabin. I’ve been following the current Maatsuyker caretakers on Instagram and they summed it up quite well. It’s for the simple life unhindered by schedules. A typical day includes lots of time to create: music; weaving; knitting; and food. There’s always plenty of time and energy to exercise. And time to read and reflect on nature, seascapes, and sunsets. We try to maintain it at home but it’s much harder. I work a few days a week, as beautiful as our home is, we live far from family and travel to see them. Life gets in the way of life?
But here we are.
Tim tears me away from my knitting and weaving to take walks, ride our bikes or swim.
Photographs only show one aspect of island living. From the moment we arrived, I could hear the bell buoy ringing when the waves rocked it. Today I felt, rather than saw, the fog roll in. First the sun’s warmth disappeared and then a cool dampness followed. Happily I have nothing to report about smells or tastes.
Island work. When you can’t call a plumber, just make sure you have enough hose clamps on hand. I started the process of filling the cistern in the keeper’s quarters and found water in the pump house after I had started. Two pipes don’t quite fit together, so I adjusted things a bit and added another hose clamp to the gang.
The system is designed to be drained but this is a bit much. And the water has so much iron in it, I couldn’t wear my shoes back in the house for all the rust in the water I stood in.
But it was another beautiful day in paradise. Yesterday we mowed, I got to ride the crazy lawn mower without a steering wheel. It takes a little getting used to but can spin 360’s effortlessly, which makes it easier to avoid hitting rocks.
Rides sweet but is a royal pain to change the oil, which we did earlier this week. Definitely not mechanic friendly.
Human and others. Fall migration has begun. Seguin Island is loaded with Northern Flickers. They are kind of bashful and elude my camera. Here is one sitting on the sunset bench.
Monarch butterflies are starting to flutter through. I spotted a mink and my siting was confirmed by 3 young men in the know. Apparently it caught its own ferry here, log, big wave? Some other critter nibbled on my bag of flax meal. The island has been without mice or rodents but at night, once the light is out, the kitchen fills with crickets. I had to go back in and turn on the light last night and had to dodge at least 15 crickets on the floor. Tim insists they ate my flax. Hmmm.
Fair weather has also brought visitors and it is a delight to share this magical place with others. It brings joy to all who see it, especially us.
The bathtubs are shining by Seguin standards but you might dispute it if I posted a photo so just imagine pristine tubs. Being the good lighthouse keeper’s wife, I also deep, deep cleaned the refrigerator. On Tasmania, I took unusual pleasure in using the old floor waxer to polish up the linoleum.
Sunrise and sunset keeps happening. The sun is setting 18 minutes earlier than when we arrived 2 weeks ago. I can’t speak to the sunrise but I have caught it on at least a couple of occasions. Yesterday was one.
Looks like I have to deep clean some outside cobwebs.
This morning it rose behind the clouds.
Here are a few indirect sunset scenes.
This morning I am literally waiting for the grass to dry so I can hop aboard the Gravely mower and shear the lawn.
The seagulls enjoyed it. They found lots of treats in the mud flats.
We caught the Seguin Ferry back to the island after the party ashore Saturday night. Seas were mildly calm although surge in the cove made our landing interesting. We didn’t have a lot to carry though.
I’ve been working on deep cleaning the caretaker’s residence. There are several standout caretakers returning this season and I want to turn over a pristine house. The iron content in the water makes the bathtub look scary. I tried comet, bartender’s friend, baking soda and vinegar. They all worked a bit, I knew I made progress, but it still looked terrible. Along came RUST. This stuff is amazing. I could even consider a bath if the water wasn’t murky brown. We’ll do some ground work today but the island is in the best shape we have ever seen it.
The VHF weather report provided by a local lobsterman reported the seas this morning are “wicked stupid”.