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Day 160 – Friday, March 16, 2012

“Fairy Dust, Fisheyes and Forecasts”

Friday, March 16, 2012






In this day of advanced meteorology and science, it is primarily catastrophic events that move to take back the earth without warning.  In fact, even most of them are now predicted, and followed, well in advance.  Earthquakes still come without any warning.  But we’ve come to expect that the overwhelming majority of our day-to-day weather is known to us, surprisingly accurately, well in advance.  So it was with great surprise that I woke yesterday morning to find over six inches of snow on this island ground.

While delighted, I was again taken with thought, examining the similarities and differences among and between the modern day Keeper, and those of a not-too-distant past.


I have a pretty good idea what the temperature, cloud cover, wind speed and direction, chance of precipitation and what form that will take, (including the all important FOG), and most critically, if there’s a storm brewing…for days in advance.  Keepers of the past, often living under exceptionally challenging conditions to begin with, had little or none of this data and forewarning, and as such, lived with those uncertainties, and contended with their effects, every single day.  They did so knowing that many lives depended on it.

It gave me pause.  Caused me to think.






This mid-March surprise that blanketed the area with 6-10 inches of unusually dry and fluffy snow was not forecast.  Not even as a possibility.  Maybe a little rain and some spotty moments of mix.  But not the most snow we’ve had all year.

Like the last two times this island has been turned into a Winter Wonderland, from the thinnest and most spindly of birch branches to the broadest of boughs that fan the trunks of the firs, I don’t think one single additional flake could cling.  Like a child’s game nature comes here to play expertly – pile on as many flakes as you can without breaking it.








My new camera (thanks to my sister) has a number of additional features, one being a wide-angle fisheye effect.  I was having fun trying it out.








The view looking out to the railing that circles the top of the tower…  (Yes, I took it yesterday and yes the Christmas lights are still up).






A (non-fisheye) view from the Boathouse to the picturesque white-washed Cutler Harbor and Village.  (Only the yellow homes on the hill stand out from the grayed landscape…)






This shot of one of the front yard rock clusters reminds me of giant penguins, caught in some practical joke, having just had marshmallow whipped cream unexpectedly drop-plopped on their heads. (It’s easier to see if you click on it and make it bigger.. ;)






On a couple of other notes…this winter storm will be chronicled in two posts, as there is a lot to share.  The second installment will be up within 48 hours.

NASA’s potentially spectacular 5-rocket night launch has been again postponed, with the earliest opportunity now being Saturday.  If you don’t know about this, NASA will launch five rockets in five minutes from an island off the coast of Virginia, around midnight.  In an effort to study jet stream effects, each rocket will release a chemical trail, creating an unprecedented night lightshow that may be visible from South Carolina to New Hampshire.  Stay tuned and learn more here:

As part of the celebration of Lighthouse Digest Magazine’s 20th Anniversary, there continues to be great opportunities to buy cool stuff, and support the preservation of lighthouses around the world and their history.  As the magazine’s way of saying “thanks”, LD is offering a great deal on “Lighthouse Digest” Hoodies.  I can tell you they’re great because I own one.  Check them out here:

Happy Anniversary !


As of this writing (Friday, 2pm), a steady rain is falling, taunting the snow to turn traitor, and should it continue long enough, the snow certainly will.  Masses of crystals have already converted, and are taking others with them…from trees, rock and ground as they do.  Will this be the last snow of the season?

As always, thanks for reading, “Liking”, sharing, comments, and support.  I’ll leave the Light on.  Good Enuf.





9 Responses to “Day 160 – Friday, March 16, 2012”

  1. elayne kitchen says:

    Now that post brought tears to my eyes (and knocked my socks off too).
    What will I paint first?????what words will I beg my memory to retain?
    I do miss snow being here in Sunny Arizona but I am blessed with
    your discriptions to sooth my loss. Thanks
    You make this Mamma proud…..

  2. Tim Harrison says:

    Neat post. The photos make me think you are living on a whimscal island in another dimension, perhaps in Hobbit Land or perhaps in the land of the Leprachauns.

  3. Bill Kitchen says:

    I often believe that I am. Glad you like it.

  4. Marjorie Hartnett says:

    I very much enjoy your “posts”. Thank you for sharing so much of that wonderful island and your adventure. :)

  5. Bill Kitchen says:

    thanks so much marjorie. it is a blessing to share this island, and the Endeavor adventure. please share it with others and reach out again soon.

  6. Dave says:

    Yet another post to be proud of. I particularly like the fish eye shot of the tower. You have mentioned before that the tower needs painting but the shot of it really drives that point home. Perhaps our followers will see fit to make donations so we can go ahead and paint it this summer. We might even get a few volunteers to help paint it as well.
    When you mention that the light keepers of old had no way of knowing what to expect for weather it reminded me of the story my father told me. When my grandfather Willie Corbett was stationed at Little River the family had a snow storm that dropped several inches of snow on the island. They had to climb out the windows to get to the barn to care for the animals and to get about. . We certainly are fortunate to have the forcasting capabilities to day.

  7. Bill Kitchen says:

    thanks again for the compliments. yes, needs painting badly. we can definitely get volunteers but i’d love to have it done professionally. thanks for sharing the story. it’s important for people to remember not just how challenging it was for fishermen, but for the Keepers as well.

  8. Cheryl Crigger says:

    Mr Kitchen,
    I love your snow pics, especially of Cutler Harbor, that one would be good to enlarge & frame, possibly even to sell to help raise money for your endeavor. Your comments on this post are great.
    Like you, our winter here in Columbus OH has been very mild, but unlike you, we’ve hardly had any snow-I think a total for the season of 12″. My forsythia bush start blooming yesterday, daffodils & hyacinths are in bloom, even my perennial primrose have been blooming for the past week! It’s been in the 70′s this past week, also, very unusual for us. I’m even thinking of putting up my hummingbird feeders just in case they come early.
    I’m glad to hear that you’re getting contacts from the schools & hopefully the Girl Scouts will come, this is their 100th year, what a great way to earn a badge!
    Take care & God be with you.
    Cheryl Crigger


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