Competing Lights

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My legs were not functioning this morning.  For the first time I wanted to stay in bed and sleep for as long as possible but instead I made the effort to get up.  This is a once in a lifetime gig, after all.  I needed the handrail all the way down the stairs.  What’s happening to me?  There are times when I squat down to do something and then my mind has me standing up but the body doesn’t follow.  There seems to be a disconnect between what I think I can do and what my body is capable of and I guess I’m taxing it in ways I am not at all used to.

Living in New York City, especially without a car, you get used to walking a lot and I love that.  It fooled me into thinking I’d be in condition for this venture.  Hell no!  You don’t walk around this island; you climb.

We did take naps this afternoon, for the first time since we arrived two weeks ago.  We actually had four visitors who came together on a motorboat.  One guy had lived in New York City for 55 years and now was somewhere close by, but first time on the island, with the others who’d been here before.  They also brought a huge black dog they tied to the rail on the porch of the museum.  France brought it some water and it cried when we all left to tour the Light.

They hadn’t realized there were trails all over the island but didn’t really want to take the time to explore.  They had places to go and things to do.

So it was cloudy all day.  We spent some time armed with rakes (handy to have to defend against the Great Black-Backed gulls that hang out with the Herring gulls on this island, all nesting together at present, on the North Trail in search of France’s glasses.  She actually found her pen but we didn’t find the glasses.  One day they’ll turn up.  These Black-Backed gulls are the biggest gulls on the planet, an adult body about 30 inches in length with a wingspan that can reach five feet!  We did some research because we wondered if they’d be breeding all summer.  In fact they lay about three eggs only once a year and it takes four years for the birds to mature.  Meanwhile, the newly hatched gulls don’t fly away from the nest for a couple of months.  Maybe we’ll be able to mow the grass on the trails in August without being screeched at and dive-bombed into submission.

This morning I explored a bit of the Cobblestone Beach trail and found fantastic views of the lighthouse behind the tram.  There are jewels all over this place I have yet to see.  And one of these giant birds swooped up from just next to me in the brush, probably disturbed while sitting on a nest.  They are unbelievable and magnificent, if hawk like in their carnivorous behavior.  They will eat anything smaller than themselves.  So I try to appear as big as possible.  Perhaps that is why there are no rodents on this island.  I can’t imagine how the green snakes have avoided being gobbled up to extinction.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I wanted to include a photo of the view I described from Cobblestone Beach Trail but we’re socked in with fog this morning.  I can’t even see the Ocean.  Last evening just before sunset, after a day of total cloud cover, the skies opened up in the west and we witnessed one of what will I’m sure be many spectacular sunsets.  I took so many pictures but I think these are among the best.  Suddenly there was the most beautiful light cast over Seguin.  It was breathtaking.

I raised the new flag Rick sent today to test it out for tomorrow which is Flag Day.  I’ve been reading up on the Flag Code and find it very interesting especially given the responsibility we have here to maintain what is basically a Coast Guard installation, even though it’s not much overseen by them anymore.  It’s 4 by 6; I think it’s a little smaller than the cotton one we’ve been flying but because it’s made of nylon, we can fly it in inclement weather.  And the colors are brilliant.  It sounds different too, flapping in the wind.

If I’d planned ahead, I could have brought the old ones that are here that are torn and shredded to the VFW or Elks or Boy Scouts last Wednesday to be destroyed.  Apparently this is one of the things these organizations are responsible for doing on Flag Day.  It helps if you make a small contribution.  Did you know many dry cleaners will clean your flag for free?  I’d like to see the look on the face of the sweet Korean gal at my neighborhood dry cleaner in New York, if I asked her to do this.  Maybe all dry cleaners are aware of the Code and she’d take it without question.  Perhaps I’ll ask one day.

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2 Responses to Competing Lights

  1. debbie winkleman says:

    “sunset over the oil house” is a magnificent photo! “france at sunset” is also one of my favorites… so far.

    • And it came out of a full day of total cloud cover. The next day we had the leftover chowder and I started with bacon and celery, added butter and flour to make a roué and then slowly incorporated the leftover. It was thicker and richer but couldn’t compete with the original. France disagrees.

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