PARADISE FOUND FOR A SUBSTITUTE CARETAKER

Wednesday, August 29, 2018,

Dear Blog and gentle readers,

I’m not sure when I’ll get to post this. My hot spot has been spotty at best and getting on the Internet is hit or miss. And transferring photos from my phone requires more bars than I’m getting no matter where I roam on this island. The best place is in the cove but I don’t want to schlep my laptop down there; the flies have been vicious the last few days. Otherwise, it’s usually pretty good from the porch in front of the museum, but not today.

I’m happy to be back in Maine at the Lighthouse filling in for Donna who had to get back home to teach. She and her husband Bill have been out here for almost a month and are now seasoned caretakers. We’ve seen a lot of activity since I arrived last Friday greeting about 50 visitors per day until Monday when it slowed a bit. The weather everywhere has been stifling with record temperatures and heat indexes. On Seguin though there is usually a breeze, especially up at the top of the Light on the catwalk that circles the lens. When it’s still the flies bite hard. They are not horse flies but look like houseflies. That’s not what they are either. Bill looked it up and thinks they are stable flies. Whatever they are thy sneak up on you and draw blood. Insect repellant only does so much. You just get a nice shower after a hard days work and you have to spray it all over yourself so you can be outside and enjoy the sunset or have a meal.

Yesterday afternoon though a fierce wind picked up and lasted through most of the night but by dawn, it was still again. Wednesday is the day Bill goes ashore and does errands: picking up groceries and washing cloths at the Laundromat with a stop at the hardware store and wherever else he needs to go, while a team of Wednesday Warriors, they call themselves, come on island to do some of the bigger jobs. They are a dedicated and talented team of volunteers who keep this island’s structures and facilities in good working order.

Today Bill’s trip was cut short; Captain DeBery had to bring him back by midday and pick up the Warriors so that he could get back and service his lobster boat which seems to refuse to idle when he needs it to. But as he arrived this morning at 7, everyone was able to get a lot done and minus Bill, sit down to a lunch of lobster salad on toast with Ruth’s homemade, no mayo potato salad, with watermelon and chocolate chip cookies for desert. I meant to take a photo of the spread but it was too fast and furious. I think Ruth got one. I’ll have to ask her to send it.

Just as everyone was leaving at 11, two couples, one with a young girl, the other with a dog, arrived on separate boats and came up the hill for a tour. I felt bad that I couldn’t help the crew down with their gear and Bill up with the groceries. But that’s life on Seguin. You never know when someone will come up the hill. And you hear on numerous occasions that whomever it is, they’ve been looking out at this island from various locations ashore or boating for decades, some of them, and have never set foot on Seguin. We’re always pleased to welcome them, show them the museum and gift shop and take them up to the top of the light for a tour and a little spiel about the history. Many also like to hike the trails, stroll the grounds and share a picnic. The blackberries are in season on the North Trail; one family filled two empty water bottles. I’m not sure how they’ll get them out though.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Clear, cool and breezy but the flies are still bad. It was so clear in fact that last night we had a beautiful view of Mount Washington, 86 miles away in New Hampshire to the north north west. Monarch butterflies are everywhere on the island gaining sustenance from every flower they can find, preparing for the long journey south to Mexico.

People ask about the birdhouse on the front lawn near the tram and wonder if we have any purple martins. I know that no self respecting purple martin would set foot in that house because not only are the hole openings way too big, they are on opposite sides of the box. After some research, I learned that a martin house must have a hole about 2 inches in diameter. These holes are 4 inches in diameter. The birdhouses that are built this way are intended for wood ducks. Ideally the house should be down in the bog on the north trail where it is a little swampy but someone decided to put it on the front lawn, probably assuming that it was for martins. I’ve yet to see any bird nest in it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Safely off the island and so much to report.

In haste, back in New York City, I’ve captioned many of the photos.  All you have to do is click on them to read the caption.  WordPress has changed a few things since I last posted a couple of years ago and I’m not sure I’ve quite got the knack of the new system.  Enjoy.  I’m fortunate to be coming back the first week of October to close up with Cyndy for the season.

 

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2 Responses to PARADISE FOUND FOR A SUBSTITUTE CARETAKER

  1. Brian Hudgins says:

    Thanks so much for the blog and great pix! I was the caretaker the summer of 1994 with my partner at the time Elise, her 2 cats and my dog. 24 yrs later it’s still the best summer of my life. I especially appreciated your pix of the interiors and trails. Those are things you don’t see much online of this magical island. The thrill of the monarchs, the invasion of black flies, the constancy of wind and fog horn, the wonder of the island being clear but surrounded by fog like King Kong’s island, the fun of sitting on the lighthouse catwalk with a radio listening to the NBA finals surrounded by starlight, the delight of visitors and the generosity of Mainer’s gifting us with everything from lobsters to coffee to yacht rides are memories you brought back with tears of reminiscence. Thank you so much. ❤ Brian Hudgins

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