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.

Past peak but not too bad

This could relate to many things, including me, but today I am talking about deciduous trees.

Fall in the Adirondacks is glorious and brief. Catch it while you can. Cold fronts with high winds blow the remaining leaves off the trees, which happened again this year.

There’s often a rainbow after rainy weather and stormy skies.

And sunsets from the cabin are stunning. It’s nice to be home to enjoy these views.

Why island life?

Not just any island, offshore please. Ideally with only two occupants. Yesterday made it perfectly clear to me why I love these opportunities. In between putting up window grates and storing the multitude of benches that now reside here, I stared in awe at the sky as it constantly changed. Black clouds brought a little rain and then moved to the north.

From the vantage point of a hill atop an offshore island, and safely onshore, clouds, gloomy skies and rain are spectacular.

And you need clouds and rain to form rainbows. As we got ready for dinner, Tim saw a rainbow out front. I went out back to see it and watched it with the current, resident peregrine falcon.

Until he found something to hunt and flew off.

This is the view I wake up to from our bed looking south to mile buoy. There is also the sound of the wind, bell buoys flag halyards.

We have not seen any whales but the boat traffic is interesting. With a Marine Traffic app, many times we can identify the boats and ships we see offshore. It makes them less anonymous as they drift or cruise by.

And of course it helps that Tim and I usually enjoy each other’s company and work well together. I couldn’t do this without such an excellent partner.

The big and little things

As always, summer in the Adirondacks flies by. The days are getting shorter and the nights colder. Work and visiting with friends and family has kept us busy. The new boat and truck are working out. We took a fabulous camping trip with the next two generations and Oma’s red boat was a big hit. And as hoped, I am having fun doing the repairs as I am able.

I have sewn and repaired the boat canvas, installed a couple of cleats, gathered a tool kit, greased (or in this case floated oil) for the trailer’s wheel bearing and, oh yes, dropped some money. Spare tires, jack kit, radio, new horn and a couple of minor repairs. It begins.

This guy was in the road when I drove to work last week.

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So handsome. I kept my distance and he lumbered off in to the field.

Yesterday, I spotted this salamander during my walk.

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On a mission.

We seem to be spending a lot of time in Saranac Lake recently. This week for dinner and a play. This show was on display after a rainstorm.

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Remarkable!

Rainbows and moons

We’ve already had three snowfalls at home. We got stuck in one downstate, with cars and tractor trailer abandoned on the side and the middle of the road. It took us two hours to crawl a half mile. Never again. Then to make matters worse, the hotel we found was overbooked (“we have negative rooms”) and there was a convention of 1000 stranded lawyers who ate all the food and drank all the liquor before we got there. So we had raisin bran for dinner and called it a night. But the next day we saw a double rainbow over Newark airport.

Back home, I was able to ski my favorite trails, which Tim had already broken.

I’ve been doing a major house cleaning; a real purge. I was deciding whether to keep my stargazing binoculars. They are Elmer Fudd sized and have to be mounted on a tripod to be of any use. I set them up and could see Slip Mountain clearly off in the distance and spy on the local birds. That night, I couldn’t sleep and was able to observe our two? moons setting behind Cobble Mountain.

I think I’ll keep them.


After the rain

IMG_0384IMG_0385Comes a rainbow. Something else to look at other than seagulls copulating on the front lawn. It rained for about a day and a half. I got to work weaving a replacement straps for my little boat bag, which is gradually disintegrating.

That jumble of sticks and strap combined with my body makes up the loom.  I control tension by leaning forward or back. It’s been a process learning this super portable way to weave.

I can understand why people who live where the weather is always nice grow bored with it. The clouds and sky were dramatic before and after the front passed through. We had hoped to get out to watch the Race to Alaska go by but it was raining and foggy. Check it out at here. It is a boat (loosely defined) race from Port Townsend, Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska, 750 miles. The main requirement is the boat cannot have a motor. There were canoes, kayaks, lots of trimarans and stand up paddle boards!! That’s right, SUP 750 miles, sometimes in open water.  Oh my. They left the harbor with large oars for power. The first day didn’t have much wind and the rowers did very well.  My favorite boat name is, “What the Fuca”. First prize $10,000, second prize, a set of steak knives! Gotta love it.

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And then the beautiful full moon rose. It was still light out at 10 pm. The whole gang was out to enjoy it. They took a break from their primary activity.

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But they are at it again this morning!

 

A rainbow or two

Who needs TV when we had a night like last night? We sat down to a late dinner (pork tenderloin, peas, applesauce, salad and brownies) when the seagulls got stirred up. All at once they were all in the air flying. That’s a lot of seagulls in flight and they were joined by a few eagles. It didn’t seem like the eagles started it but it was one great fly fest. Two eagles buzzed right in front of the window where we sat.

At the same time rainbows appeared and kept evolving. It was spectacular.

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Today was a bit more mundane.  We took out the boat to patrol the island during one of Washington state’s three halibut fishing days. All boats we saw respected the 200 yard boundary around the island. I worked on docking in wind. And provisioned – I made yogurt, a loaf of bread and dinner.

I finally got my band weaving out and used some of the knots I worked on during my boating course to secure my band to a post.

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A lovely weaving spot except it’s under a barn swallow nest on the porch.  We’ll see if they keep letting me weave there. Plus there’s an otter under there as well. It’s a sanctuary out there!

I’ve been working on an aran sweater for myself. It’s coming along, s l o w l y.   I actually knit the whole back piece before we left but learned it was WRONG and I had to rip it all out. This is RIGHT. And so pretty.

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Here’s a panoramic view of the harbor with our boat, the Auklet, tied up alongside a clean dock. The harbor is protected from the wind but not the birds.

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Chasing rainbows

Sometimes the most beautiful images occur on the dreariest days.  Rainbows don’t appear on sunny days.  Yesterday was gray with freezing rain predicted.  I went for a run and minutes after I got home, it started pouring with a little sun peaking through.  I got the camera out because I thought for sure a rainbow would form and wasn’t disappointed.

First a dull, double rainbow emerged.

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Then one dissolved and the other became more vivid.

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Finally, it widened across the sky.

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If it had been a sunny day, I wouldn’t have this to talk about.  I followed the rainbow all the way to work and when I got there, found the pot of gold.  Apparently, I have been accruing vacation time and don’t take enough time off!!  Lighthouses and sailing, here I come. And more rainbows to chase.