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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The closing crew arrived on the Island at 8 am, we finished work by 11, headed off island by dinghy, then boat, then car, then ferry and saw another stupendous sunset, this time over the Adirondack Mountains.
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…