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.

Small treasures and big sky

We’ve been busy, shutting down the island in earnest. We often have helpers for a couple of days but the seas did not cooperate this year.

We still find plenty of time to enjoy all the island offers. We spent a couple of hours in the cove that other morning and I found treasures combing the beach.

I tossed this guy back into the sea because he was still alive. I found more snails cavorting and a piece of green sea glass – bingo!

It has been a wet year. The weather station recorded 100 inches of rain! Good for mushrooms.

I heard a strange bird sound the other morning and we found a pair of peregrine Falcons admiring the fresnel lens.

Wonders never cease. A few cold fronts skidded by, hence the lack of visitors, but they created interesting clouds.

And, of course, sunsets.

And sunrises.

clouds and more rolled in

We have had 3 beautiful days, sunny, with a light breeze, but finally are getting some Maine weather. After several days of crystal clear blue skies, clouds and moisture moved in ahead of a cold front.

That’s an amazing part of this 360 degree view: being able to watch the weather roll in. Two scheduled groups of visitors, overnight guests and a working bee, were cancelled.

That didn’t stop a group of 10 or so kayakers from paddling in as part of an outdoor leadership training. We briefly met one of their guides in 2008, June 22 to be exact, when he appeared with a group that navigated here through pea soup fog by gps and the sound of the foghorn.

Yesterday the foghorn came in while Tim was practicing his keyboard. These days sailors have to request the foghorn by using channel 83 on the vhf radio and clicking their heels ( or the mic button) three times. We can’t see the cove from the house and were visited by three Coasties who were here to test the foghorn and take an inventory of stuff they are going to take off the island by helicopter.

One never knows who will pop up here.

And then the sun set.

Our gate stopped squeaking

Many visitors come up to the caretaker’s house on Deal Island – to say hello, ask us how we got here, ask about weather reports, walks, fishing. They are announced by our squeaky gate. We don’t have a doorbell but when the gate squeaks, we are forewarned. I don’t believe anyone has oiled it since we were here four years ago and I don’t plan to either.


It won’t be squeaking for at least the next week. Today the wind has gusted to almost 70 knots and similar weather is forecast for the next week. The wind whistles through the house. When we came back from checking the rainfall this morning, my vision was weird. My eyeballs were reacting to bp being pummeled in my head and showed me a central, spinning fan-like image.


Today was rainy and windy. The rain should let up but we can expect gale force winds for the next week. We could watch the pressure fall on the barometer in the radio room. Our anemometer showed sustained wind of 40 knots with gusts to 50. There was a time when I was mildly obsessed with the Beaufort Scale. We have force 6 – 8 winds, walking is extremely difficult. No mention of eyeballs vibrating.

The wind did something to this feather unless there’s a curly raven species.


This was all preceded by another lovely sunset. So much for, “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight”.

Gales keep the visitor count down and the fence quiet.

Dramatic weather


The gale forecast for this weekend arrived last night with 50 knot winds, rain, and perhaps a little hail. The house shuddered, the windows rattled but remained intact. Knock on wood, the roof isn’t leaking as it did our last visit but word is, it needs to be replaced.

We kept an eye on one boat anchored across the way, in west cove on Erith Island. We had tried unsuccessfully to hail it on the radio to talk about the limited, good holding ground there. Happily this morning they are still anchored, although not where we saw them last. Must have been a harrowing night.

Adirondack fall

Adirondack fall is a brief lovely season. With six weeks until winter, we had our first light snowfall this weekend and the temperature dropped to 17 degrees f.

My Irish Moss sweater is well underway. There’s a tiny chance I may memorize the pattern, but not yet. I love the alpaca-merino, soft, light and warm. So does Shirley.

I got around to pickling the venison heart today. I boiled it for several hours with a carrot, onion and celery, then poured a brine over it and let it sit under a weighted plate all day. Next it’s to the fridge. Tasted yummy.

We’ve received a bounty of winter squash from our farm share and I baked my first pumpkin pie of the season. My Oxo good mill did the hard work. Funny how the pie came out though.

We’ve had a few picnic dinners in the cabin but haven’t screwed up the courage to sleep in it yet. Lots of excuses- have to get up for work, too cold, forgot my sleeping bag, etc. one day. Tim writes about it here.


Scoured sky

Yesterday’s gale scrubbed the sky.

Today was sunny, windy and a perfect temperature. We hauled the various commemorative benches to the whistle house, finished packing up the gift shop, after numerous purchases by me, and did my final weed whacking.
That left plenty of time for photo ops and knitting. I’m on my third climbing deer hat and am a little dizzy.


Then I shared the same sunset you saw but mine had a cruise ship on the horizon.

S’mores for dessert and now I’m ready for bed. Good night, sweet dreams.

Blowin’ Stink

What’s a lighthouse without a gale and a little fog thrown in. The new fog horn has been on since 3:00 am. The wind has whipped things around outside and surf is crashing. We couldn’t leave if we wanted to. What could be better? We even have the latest Stephen King book, Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining.

I walked around the cove and nearby trails this morning before it started pouring. Then the rest of the day was devoted to indoor projects.

It’s been very peaceful with the sound of the fog horn, wind and surf. We went up the tower when the wind picked Up. Someone polished the First Order Fresnel lens this summer and it looks pristine. Those photos will follow later.
As I was getting dinner ready tonight, I saw the crescent moon and Venus. Did you?

Two more food substitutions I forgot to mention. I received a gift of raspberry honey from a friend before we left and threw it in with the provisions. It has glazed carrots, sweetened and flavored apple pie, added a nice touch to beef stir fry and glazed currant scones.

I HAVE NO VANILLA! Bushmill’s Irish Honey Whiskey is a nice substitute.

Enough weather

This is my last weather post for a while.  It should settle into normal spring weather at this point, right? No more snow.  IMG_9044Good old thunderstorms instead.


We had a slew of visitors, 4 sets, last week!  The first set arrived the day we learned our well had bacteria in it.  Ouch.  I began boiling water and advising guests.  Then the rains came and the rivers rose.


It was very dramatic at the local gorge.

I found a quiet moment or two to get back to spinning.  The funny thing is, I don’t think I took this photo but there it was, on my camera.  Very nice.  Andre?


I am spinning a local alpaca fleece from the lock.  I washed it last year or so and now  I just grab a lock, flick it on a brush and spin away.  I have been plying it with some Blue Faced Leicester and may dye it with my lichen stash.  What will it be, what will it be?

The Indigo Bunting woke me yesterday and I managed to get a better photo of it later in the day.  Dawn is about 4:30 here and the birds sing their little hearts out.  Better than an alarm clock but  I wish I could set it a little later.


Snow day

Too bad the kids have off for Memorial Day. They might have had a snow day.

30 inches in the mountains yesterday! This photo was taken from @SkiWhiteface, the Whiteface Mountain Twitter page, on May 25, 2013.