“Moose, Mice, Squirrels, Seals, Fox and Partridge”
The sea is flat today. The wind is barely a whisper, and the sky a washed out stain of blue. The island is rich in vibrant grades of green, the fiddleheads and ferns, firs and birch, all competing for attention, puffering along the catwalk, like models in this spring’s show. It is rich.
I woke yesterday at 3:30, laid in bed ‘till 4:30, and rose with the sun that is already showing its face at almost the earliest of the year, on this the most northeastern island lighthouse in the US.
I got to work for Norb and Nick Lemieux, as we raced the speeding tides, now pushing astronomical proportions, to pull their boats, F/V Christina Marie and F/V Phantom, for bottom cleaning and painting, and return them to the water. Lee, Trav and Adam all assisted. We were a well oiled machine of a team.
Funny to me that the boats, and skidder, look like toys from my youth, and are frankly, just as fun for me now as they were then.
As I was getting ready to leave the island, one of the fishermen got on the VHF radio to say that a moose was swimming across the harbor. I scrambled to grab my handheld radio, camera, knife and life vest, (the things I never leave this Keeper’s House without), and sprinted across the catwalk to the Boathouse. I was able to get the Mac Boat started up just in time to see it climbing out of the harbor, onto the rocks, and disappearing into the thick woods. Unfortunately, not in time to get a picture, or to try to encourage it to move onto the island, where along with the eagles, it would reign as king.
The previous day, while working at Norb’s on the trailer, a fox and her four new pups were playing in the yard across the street. Missed that too but I’ll try to get them in the next week or two.
The mice have been absent for the last couple of days and I think they have moved out for spring, and the squirrel seems to have taken me up on my generous offer of a bag of birdseed on the front porch. Heading in after working yesterday two seals were gently making their way down the harbor, lazily and lollingly, diving as I got closer.
Upon my trek back across the catwalk, the bird that I have often heard take limited flight into the woods by the Oil House, stood its ground, and in fact, as I spoke to it, repeatedly ventured out from the edges of the forest and towards me. It talked back, calmly but with a sense of purpose, although I’m not sure what it was trying to impart. My friend Tyler Warner, to whom I showed this picture, thinks it’s a partridge, which seems most likely, although I guess it could be a grouse. I welcome any additional comments that can confirm. All in all, I am blessed with an incredible array of wildlife.
The lobsters have yet to arrive, despite the ardent efforts of many a fisherman, although some will tell you it’s not much different than past years. What is different is the expectation that with the relatively mild winter they would be more plentiful, early, and the really big difference is the prohibitively increased cost of fuel and bait. No one is making money, and yet they’re still putting lobsters on your table. Noble work.
On some other notes, thanks again to Sean “Blue” Harris for filming up here again, which I will post some of his work as soon as I get it, and Zina for providing great company, food, and wine. Also thanks to John Drouin for identifying the blue boat I posted yesterday as the F/V Kathy Ann, and Mary Kennedy for a much needed, and appreciated donation. We are in an active campaign to raise funds to paint the Tower and every little bit helps. The weather is supposed to be a bit rough and wet for the next few days, and I am mired with some sort of flu bug but soldiering through. Garden planting will have to wait.
Thanks for checking in. Liking and sharing. Fog Horn is sounding and the Light in the Tower is on. I’m going back to bed. Good Enuf.