Life repeats itself

I rely way too much on my iphone for photos. My memory was full and I wanted to delete old photos. I found last year’s photos on Seguin, which look a lot like this year’s.

The fog rolled in, surf was up, we glazed windows, painted windows repaired and painted picnic tables and worked on lawnmowers.

The only thing new is I’m trying to develop a panda pattern and worked on the first prototype. More work is needed.

I knit a test hat and am working on a beret.








Fall is just around the corner. Purple asters are in bloom all over the island. These berries are in various shades of orange; wonder if I can use them for dye.


The caretaker’s garden has a big pumpkin, overgrown green beans and basil but it’s also writhing with plump garter snakes. I may leave it for them.

Monarch butterflies are migrating and can be seen all over the island. I thought this one had problems but it was merely resting in the clover.


We’ve explored all the trails, Tim cleared his favorite North trail, while I cleared the amazing South trail.


We’re used to scant trail markers in the Adirondacks. Someone went overboard here.




The donkey engine and tram need some love.



Today a team came out to the island to oil 600 feet of cable. I manned (womanned) a radio and relayed messages (stop and go) to the intrepid engine operator (Major Tim) while running in place to stay warm.

Hiking at home

I took at least 6 trips down (and up) the hill to the cove today. I estimate it to be at least 1000′ elevation gain. No need or energy for additional exercise.

I awoke to a seagull shuffle on the whistle house roof. The island seems to be overtaken by black backed gulls.


We had a group volunteers from Idex visit and scrape old paint off the tower railing. They are encouraged (and paid) by their employer to take a day to volunteer in the community. What a great idea and the lighthouse benefitted, although they had a pretty nice view while they worked.

Tim tackled an annual project – he repaired two picnic tables – while I glazed a couple of windows.

Towards the end of the day, a rain cloud drifted overhead followed by the suggestion of a rainbow.


Another great day and I’m comfortably exhausted.

Perfect end to a perfect day



With the first of four Aldo Leopold benches we have built before we knew there were plans readily available. I had copied a comfortable bench we found on Seguin in 2008 and drew up my own plans.

Today Wednesday Warriors arrived and worked on the tram, sumac, windows and museum. It was a whirlwind, sprinkled with several boatloads of visitors.

By sunset, we were on our own. And what a sunset it was!

Island bound


We arrived on Seguin Island with all our possessions dry and intact for a 12 day tour. Weather forecast looks good, sunny but rising seas. May give us a few days to ourselves.

The Island has been well cared for. We have to search for projects. What a treat!


Just breathe

I am preparing a talk about our lighthouse caretaking adventures and have been poring over photos, videos and sound clips.

This is what we heard all day and night in Alaska.  We had our own meditation instructors swimming around the island.  If only I had remembered this my first few times in the pool. I recorded it in a high tech fashion.  I put my iPhone in a metal bowl.

WARNING: Listening to this clip may cause you to either fall asleep or become so completely relaxed you find it impossible to do anything for the rest of the day.

Lighthouse caretaker wanted

Here’s YOUR chance. Friends of Seguin Island Lighthouse Station is looking for caretakers from Memorial Day to Labor Day 2014. Sadly, actually for happy reasons, I’m busy.

Here’s the link to information.

It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. Good luck.

On another note, I attended Stitches East Market today. Let’s just say I’m not the most committed, whackiest knitter out there. I don ‘t have a bumper sticker which says, “If I wasn’t knitting, I might kill someone!”

But I do have some cashmere, quiviet and silk yarn, some alpaca roving, stitch markers and a weaving book.

Through the lens

I finally had a chance to look at some of the photos on my camera – not my iPhone, which was the only electronic device I had on the island.  It’s easy to post from but I keep my words brief.

We were up in the lantern room at Seguin on a foggy day and I had fun with the prisms.  It’s a first order fresnel lens, large enough to stand inside when you had to change the oil, or now the light bulb.  It was built in Paris and imported and has nearly 300 separate pieces of glass.  Someone polished them to a sheen this summer with the Lighthouse keeper formula: distilled water, rubbing alcohol, a drop of dish soap.  Works like a charm.  I forget the official proportions though.

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I’ll enjoy looking at these photos forever.  I think the person who shined it spent a brief time on the island while her father was a keeper.  So she had the chance to clean the lens I am sure her father shined in the past.

A mat, a hat and that’s that

In between closing the keeper’s quarters, burning burnables on the beach, closing the gift shop and baking the cinnamon (ginger bread cookie) buns, I made a rope mat and baby hat.
The rope mat is my third attempt and is almost a charm. I made my first, while we lived on our former sailboat. My second was at Five Finger Lighthouse and now, my third graces the outhouse. One design flaw, it’s too thick for the door to swing so it’s next to the door.
We figured out the window grate system. They are numbered 1-16, except 7 doesn’t exist. Of course!

There were strong winds again today, no visitors or crickets, so we walked both long trails today to get out to rocky points where the waves crashed on the rocks. I rearranged a little cairn and Tim released a million seeds from a cat tail.


Four reindeer hats are complete.

The lighthouse door latch is secure with another Prusik knot.

And the first Aldo Leopold bench we ever built watches over the glorious sunsets. Until next season…