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Day 127 – Sunday, February 12, 2012

“Little River Wonderland”

“Winter Wonderland” has been my favorite Christmas song since I was a kid.  It always painted such a vivid and romantic picture for me.  Today, Little River Island is that winter wonderland, having been finally awarded the most glorious of snow.  And snow, as you know, can be very different in its properties.




What began early yesterday morning as a light rain trying to be snow, changed to snow by mid morning, and finally, after refusing to give up, began to stick, then accumulate, then cover the ground well before noon.  The wind was whistling outside the windows, blowing the wet and weighty snow sideways, where it was swiftly building on the fir tree boughs.  The temperature began dropping more steadily, and the snow did the same.

Snow has a blue hue here.  I guess to some degree everywhere, but here, more so, as it must borrow some pigment from the immediate ocean, and for the balance of remaining daylight I could perceive no discernable difference from the eastern lawn, to the sea, to the sky.

By three there was just enough snow to shoot, and just enough light to shoot it with. I made my way around the yard, followed the boardwalk past the granite oil house, then on to the Boathouse, all the way being shrouded in a stunning canopy of deeply bowing boughs, usually well beyond my reach and now requiring me to often duck.

I hiked into the southern trail finding myself in a truly enchanted forest, a palette of heavy contrasts – whites, blacks and dotting spots of deep evergreen.  A variety of small animal tracks were everywhere, seemingly willy nilly, sometimes starting at the base of a tree and ending at the base of another, disappearing into the deeper forest, or into a hole in the side of a uprooted trunk.  I’m confident however that the animals in question most certainly had a clear purpose and plan, despite the fact it not being evident to me.  Funny because for the sheer volume of varying size paws and the number of criss-crossing paths, I never saw any of them, yet unlike the rest of the time, today an undeniable record of their travels remained.

On the edges of the island the wind remained pronounced, and along with another couple of inches of snow had brushed over all signs of my tracks as I made my way back to the Keeper’s House, the sun having now slid behind the banks of Western Head.


By this morning the snow had stopped, the sun was shining or maybe I should say blinding, and the sky was a vibrant and uninterrupted expanse of electric blue.  I spent much of the day exploring an island that in many ways was new and unseen.  It had been transformed into an magically different place, and surely not one additional clingy flake could have piled on to every stick, log and limb, each branch hanging heavy under a nature-defying display that called into question some basic  laws of physics.

I also discovered a third trail that weaves west off the south trail, that I’m assuming the Boy Scouts must have carved out this summer while I was away.  I believe it was the blanket of snow that allowed me to see this path when I have not over the last six months. And with a sudden and palpable flutter one of the island’s eagles took flight above my head.  As I said, for a number of reasons the island is filled with newness and wonder.


I have only been through about half of the photos I’ve taken so there’ll be more to share in the coming days.  On a terribly sad note, the Village of Cutler has lost another member, and Little River Lighthouse and The Lighthouse Endeavor has lost a great supporter and valued friend.  Ray Mackeen passed away suddenly and unexpectedly.  As has become custom, I lowered the island flag to half-mast, rang the bell three times, and said a prayer for his wife Joan and their family.  We’ll miss you Ray.



As always thanks for checking in, sharing, commenting, emailing and “Liking”.  I’m grateful for the interest and support.  I’ll leave the Light on. Good Enuf.


16 Responses to “Day 127 – Sunday, February 12, 2012”

  1. Tim Harrison says:

    wonderful well-written post with beautiful photos

  2. Beautiful! I reposted and tweeted this post many times. Keep up the good work. Greetings from Lighthouses of Norway.

    • Bill Kitchen says:

      thanks to you too. your site is filled with such wonderful images. I urge all Endeavor readers to go check it out. stay in touch michael.

  3. Sue says:

    You have no idea how much I needed to hear your post this evening. I am currently in Michigan but my heart remains in Maine always….I sooooo long to be in the winter wonderland again!

    Sweet dreams!…and thank you!

  4. mike pell says:

    Great post..Loved being able to enjoy the quiet times on the island…Loved walking out to the engine room to take readings for weather and looking up at the light seeing the glow of the light thru the swirling snow! I can be happy that I was one of the few that were able to “keep” the light on! Keep the posts coming :)

  5. elayne kitchen says:

    I love the sadness of The Weeping Window…..I take it she is part of The Lighthouse….perhaps she weeps because of “Painful Problems ” who will
    take care of her panes…..Yes i can see where the snow would be blue…..the sky is
    a much different blue than out here in AZ….truly cerulean. A wow for sure.

  6. Arthur says:

    There is little that can compare to a blanket of snow on a spruce covered island in winter with sky so blue, and with cool crisp clean air, —and with the ocean surrounding. Though it may be cold —to experience such as this begets a feeling of inner warmth,—a warmth words can only begin to describe.

    (I logged in as Arthur but my name is David. I used the name Arthur, my middle name, the name of my lightkeeper grandfather when I responded to Seamond’s post regarding “boathouse ways” and this name so Seamond might have to guess Arthur’s identity. And Seamond who as a young girl who used to sit in the whistle house with the air compressor chugging to fill the air tank to then sound the horn. Precious memories we share. My post of that date remains not “moderated” perhaps for reasons of the technical difficulties of the site at that time.)

    • Bill Kitchen says:

      What a treat. Thanks for sharing with me and others. What special memories is right! (and i’ll look for that post).

  7. David Corbett says:

    Your descriptions make one want to fly away there. I’m so very pleased that you are able to see the beauty of God’s creation and appreciate the uniqueness of this very special island. Keep it coming my friend.

    • Bill Kitchen says:

      As always, thank you Dave. It is a privilege to be here, and more than that to be entrusted with sharing it in words and pictures with thousands of others. Thanks for your support!

  8. Bill Kitchen says:

    Yes, she is a sad part of the lighthouse, that is desperately in need of painting. cute about her “panes”.

  9. Seamond says:

    Hey my friend up there tending the light and all that goes with it. I am hoping for an early spring for you, or at least days that give the promise of it on the way. As to the David AKA Arthur, I truly don’t know who it is….and, yes, he will keep me guessing. If you want to, pass on my e-mail to him and have him drop me a line. (I love “talking” lighthouse stuff!) I am wondering if you have yet met my lighthouse expert/friend/buddy, Jeremy D’Entremont. He’s down in Portsmouth, NH and knows just about everything there is about lighthouses. Check out his website. Hope you have a great Valentine’s Day.

  10. Joan says:

    Glad to hear from you once again. It takes special people to do what you are doing and it is so wonderful that you enjoy being there moment by moment. This is something hard to explain to anyone but will remain with you the rest of your life. The people of Hancock and Washington Countys are the real people of Maine. They are very special and the salt of the earth. You are so lucky to be in such an awesome place. Happy Valentine’s Day from Washington State.


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