Back in business

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse was dark for a month after a lightning storm zapped its LED bulb. I met the Coast Guard electrician who told me the bulb was sent to Australia for repair! Yet on my one of my final days as a keeper, four men in blue coveralls arrived in an unmarked truck. Much less dramatic than other locations where they arrived by helicopter.

Bulb repair

And just like that, we had a light again.

It was comforting to see it from my bedroom window once again.

I was very busy my last week, seeing the sites and packing up the house. Tim and I had visited all but one of the bridges on Acadia’s carriage roads. I made a final trip and saw the last of the lot, the Cliffside Bridge.

As its name implies, it is built into the side of a cliff. I couldn’t be sure it even crossed a stream.

Cobblestone bridge is the first carriage road bridge built and the only one made with cobblestones, not granite. It sits just outside the Park and is my personal favorite. I liked it so much, I crossed it on three occasions.

The second time was with Tim when we came upon this whimsical tree carving.

Complete with stick figures and a porcupine or beaver.

Then I cleaned house, packed up the dishes and linens for the NPS and gathered my pantry, projects and clothes and headed home.

I loved living on the sea’s edge with waves crashing beneath my windows but, ” There’s no place like home “. (Have I mentioned I played the good witch, Glenda, in fourth grade).

Sunsets and reflections

As summer comes to a close, the sun is setting further south and can finally be seen dipping below the horizon here. Sunset is a very busy time at Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse. Everyone hopes for that perfect photo. One night people abandoned their cars on the road so as not to miss it since the parking lot was full. If I sit in the living room, I can see people running down the hill to catch their photos.

Rather than join the crowd lately, I have enjoyed my own views.

This was a beauty.
Sunset and the 1961 bell reflected in the bell house window.

Sunset and bell reflection, and shadows on the bell house.

I march to my own drummer. This seems to be especially true when I swim. My watch tracks my path when we swim in Echo lake.

Apparently I swim in circles.
I spun a lot of wool while talking to visitors outside the lighthouse. I’ll have plenty of lovely yarn to work with for months to come.

It’s almost a wrap and I am enjoying the beauty of these last few days.

Busman’s holiday

I took a break from Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse and went to visit Monhegan Island and its lighthouse. I have wanted to visit for years because we can often see it from Seguin Island and I romanticize about living there.

It is located 12 miles offshore and boasted a population of 64! in the 2020 census. on the way we passed Marshall Point Lighthouse.

I only had time for a day trip on the mail boat but it was well worth it. I visited the lighthouse, a few galleries and walked along the dramatic, southern cliffs.

The lighthouse museum devoted quite a bit of space to the women who lived there, which is often omitted from the histories. Maybe because it is HIStory! There were various kitchen implements, a spinning wheel and a couple of treadle sewing machines.

Fog settled in for my drive back to Acadia the next day and nearly obscured the Penobscot Narrows Bridge, a cable stay bridge. I know of two people who are afraid to drive over it. Maybe it would be less frightening if they couldn’t see it.

I sprinkled chili powder on my dahlias before I left and every night since. I’m not sure what the pollinators think but it has kept the deer from chomping off the flowers.

Drop spinning is a productive activity while I talk to people at Bass Harbor. Here are some of the fruits of my labors. Just like lighthouse keepers of yore.

Although I slept through the northern lights display, sunset was beautiful from the porch last night. I slipped out among the visitors, and snapped a few photos. Everyone was so busy taking their own pictures they didn’t even see me.

Don’t scare a frog

I just went up to the garage to take out the garbage. On my way up, I felt a squirt of water and saw an animal – hop – away. At first I thought it was a mouse, because we have had our share of them, but the “hopping” should have given it away. Apparently frogs pee on you, or any predator, when they are afraid. Only one foot and its croc was wet, no odor but yuck. I’ve been slimed!

No such thing as paradise, here at the lighthouse.

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.