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Day 243, Monday June 4th, 2012

“Mexican Stand-Off”

I spent most of the weekend in bed, in my continuing battle with a resilient and persistent flu bug and cold combination of some kind.  Not my preferred way to spend my days, especially with so very much to do right now, both on the Endeavor project, and readying the Keeper’s House, Boat House, Oil House, Tower, Boats, Dock & Floats, and Grounds for the coming season.  Today however I awoke slightly better, no longer a card-carrying member of The Walking Dead, but not yet part of the “Spry and Mighty”.  My head was clearer though, and it’s back to productivity.

The mice and squirrels were incredibly annoying last night and this morning and yet try as I might, no sight, only sound of them.  A little before noon I heard them running around upstairs, stealthily headed up, but was again, thwarted by their incredibly ability to seemingly walk through walls.  Back down at the laptop and a half hour later, sounds of squirrels coming from the downstairs bath.  They were in the vanity, under the sink, and upon opening the doors after barricading the bathroom door, I discovered two of them, and they discovered me.  They disappeared into a small, hidden hole in the wall and I was ready for my second battle of the day.

The next three hours was a contest of trickery, speed, and endurance.  Long story short, in and out of the wall, up and down the pipes into the cellar, in and out of the Havahart trap (several times to my chagrin), and a 20 minute, dead-still, Mexican Stand-Off staring contest, I finally got them relegated to the Dungeon of a cellar, plugged the wall hole with steel wool, and nailed an inch thick barrier of wood and steel wool around the pipes.  I won the battle today.  A decisive one in a war that has raged on this island for the last six weeks.  I may have even won the war.  Every other crack, crevice and hole is sealed up tight.  I’m hopeful.  Oh, and I’ve run out of humanitarian patience for the mice, and finally broke down and set traps.  It’s only a matter of time before this Keeper’s House is back to being “humans only”.

Here’s a snap of the other squirrels in their own stand-off, who agreeably live outside.  I know because I took it during this afternoon’s extended firefight.

 

 

 

While writing this post one of the two island Eagles landed outside the window, touching down briefly in the grass, and returning to flight.  I am always scrambling to turn on the camera, zoom in, and find the target, generally overwhelmed by the excitement of it all no matter how many times I bear witness, that it’s very tough to get a clear shot.  But this one is at least testament to the fact…

 

 

Rain didn’t turn out to be what was forecast, although the wind certainly did and has again picked up strongly, although out of the north, which is good for the dock, floats and boat.  Seasoned Little River Volunteer Lee Leighton will be staying on island from tomorrow noon through Friday morning and I expect we’ll get a lot done.  I am always so grateful for our volunteers.  Thanks for checking in, sharing and Liking.  And for the many “Feel Better” wishes I’ve received.  The Horn sounds.  The Light is on.  Good Enuf.

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9 Responses to “Day 243, Monday June 4th, 2012”

  1. Dave Corbett says:

    Billy,
    Hope you feel fully restored very soon.
    Dave & Cheryl

  2. Alan says:

    Hope your feeling better Billy! Today my 5 year old son asked ” who is the man living in the lighthouse”? I told him his name is Billy, he seemed to accept that answer and he went on his way, makes me wonder sometimes what kids are thinking about! Hopefully me can drop by sometime soon!

  3. Bill Kitchen says:

    yes, me too. thank you both!

  4. Pamela says:

    Jesus, Bill — I would be SCREAMING out the house, down the dock and probably dive right into the water… or on the boat back to the mainland or something. Probably in my nightgown, having a complete nervous breakdown.

    Which is probably why I do not live in the lighthouse!

    I hope that you are feeling better, sorry to be such a wus. (sp?)

  5. Arthur says:

    No doubt Jonathan Marston would have a chuckle or two if he was to know of your battles in your war with your dear lighthouse “friends”, your mice and your squirrels.

    For your see in years past the lighthouse at Little River began as an idea that evolved to become a citizen petition to the government signed by Jonathan Marston and thirty-three others, masters, ship owners and others, citizens of Maine for appropriations for erection of a lighthouse at the entrance of Little River Harbor in the Town of Cutler. (I believe this may be the Jonathan Marston of Machiasport listed in the Machias Ship Registers as owner of a ship built at Cutler by James Marston in 1827).

    Maine Congressional Representative Hannibal Hamlin on Friday January 26, 1844 entered this petition in the records of the first session of the 28th Congress. This request was referred to the Committee of Commerce that then requested the Secretary of Treasury to instruct his lighthouse establishment officers to examine and determine if it was expedient to construct this and other works in Maine: Lighthouses at Heron Neck, Little River, Southern Island, and Sail Rock (off shore from Quoddy Head) and a seawall at Saddleback. All but Sail Rock were later approved by the Secretary. The Lighthouse Service had provided the design and the cost estimate for each.

    For being determined expedient approval was granted for spending required to establish the lighthouse at Little River, Congress in March 1847 reaffirmed the appropriation $5000 to construct this lighthouse. The 16-acre Little River (aka Porpoise) Island was purchased for $300, a rather inflated price at the time, and soon after in late 1847 construction commenced for a single family dwelling of cut stone and attached tower located at the south-eastern side of the island facing the ocean waters of the Grand Manan Channel. (the island critters watching and waiting in anticipation)

    At this time another significant and very challenging lighthouse service project was on-going, the construction of the first lighthouse at Minot’s Ledge. (no mice and squirrels here)

    With the lighting of the several oil lamps with reflectors in the tower in the Spring of 1848 by the first keeper Elijah Shiverick (age 70) Little River Lighthouse became operational, the 32nd lighthouse established on the Maine Coast.

    It would not be surprising if Elijah may also have had his share of battles with these friendly little critters.

  6. elayne kitchen says:

    Squirrels can drive you nuts……hope you and Lee find more holes to stuff and keep those pests outside. Of course if they have babies they wont stop trying to get in…
    Mice find smaller holes and have smaller babies……Not sure what kind of a Havaheart trap that is but it sure isn’t working to it’s full capacity….Still think you should call an exterminator…..Enough alwready and it isn’t Good enough……..Mean Momma.

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