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Day 245, Wednesday, June 6, 2012

“Birthday Moons and Living Rooms”

This evening’s sea is glassy, the flag has draped itself lazily about the top of the pole, the sky is rich in smudges of blues and greys, and the red and white buoy bell rocks to and fro, clanging in rhythm to the only other sound, that of the every ten second foghorn.

It seems appropriate, an homage to a man who was incredibly instrumental in the saving and restoration of this precious and truly historic Light, seizing her and her Keeper’s House from the precipice of collapse, as only a magician can.  Hal Biering turned 85 today.  Mr. Hal, as he is known here, a retired engineer hailing from Alabama, spent countless days working to return Little River to her former glory.  And along with countless volunteers, helped make her the first lighthouse in New England, and the third in the US, to be transferred to a non-profit.  Little River Light now sits on the National Register of Historic Places.  Without his efforts, I would not be here, nor be blessed enough to share this experience with so many.  If you’re reading this, we all owe him a debt of gratitude.  Happy Birthday Mr. Hal!








Speaking of countless volunteers, Lee Leighton, a volunteer who has given his time and expertise almost every year since the beginning, continued his work here today.  We scraped and plastered, painted and primped, the living room of the Keeper’s House for the better part of the day.  I have to say, hard work given the wear this island Keeper’s House is subjected to year in and year out.









Lee mowed the lawn late this afternoon, as it had finally dried sufficiently from the morning mist, and the early afternoon showers.  I am fond of saying that it is the hardest lawn I’ve ever mowed, and the best.  As long as you remind yourself to lift your head from the grass, and gaze out upon the wholly unpopulated expanse that lies before you.  Truly awe inspiring.






Every day for the next month will include massive cleaning, prepping, restoring, fixing, digging, weeding, planting, wiping and swiping.  Today was no different.  And last night’s moon, though it was not clear enough during the day to witness Venus’s passing in front of the Sun, was kind of mystical.  Here’s an inkling…







The morning included some continued skirmishes with The Killer Red Squirrel Brigade, albeit, for the first time, all took place outside.  Decisive measures were taken and I know I’ve said it before but I am most confident in a victory.  I don’t invade your house, and you cannot invade mine.  I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for checking in, sharing, Liking and supporting.  Tonight, this the most northeastern island lighthouse in the US, shines for you Mr. Hal.  Good Enuf.


4 Responses to “Day 245, Wednesday, June 6, 2012”

  1. Arthur says:

    SQUIRRELS, You Say

    Instructions to Keepers of the Lights of this Nation’
    Contain directions for most every situation,
    But not one small bit of useful information,
    For for the keeper to defend against red squirrel invasion.

    So try as he might,
    It just isn’t right!
    No matter his efforts,
    They refuse to take flight.

    In the house on chairs and on the table,
    As for enjoying ones meals, not at all able.
    No flag could be flown for distress if inclined,
    For one of these beasts had chewed through the line.

    Help did arrive, the lighthouse tender.
    Lowered the dory at the port side fenders.
    But for seeing those squirrels by the boat house door,
    The captain decided it best not go ashore.

    This keeper now alone, with no comfort, no aid,
    Under constant attack by this squirrel brigade.
    No rest during day, and awakened at night,
    for bad dreams of squirrels. It’s just not right!

    The light at night must always be lit.
    Though the keeper had no choice but to quit.
    The keeper being forced to abandon his station.
    With no willing replacement, the only choice– automation.

    With such the light will display night after night.
    This light station renamed.—Squirrel Island Light.

  2. Bill Kitchen says:

    you’re kidding me??!!
    you wrote this?
    you had to!!!
    i am amazed!
    i’m posting it.
    i hope that’s ok.

  3. Arthur says:

    Bill —

    Glad you like it. You may do with this whatever you wish. This creation was obviously inspired by what you have shared with us about your recent squirrel challenges. I composed this poem yesterday and attempted to construct it in a similar way that Fred Morong might have approached the subject.

    It is true that the Instructions to Light-Keepers contained no suggestions for how deal with invasions of any sort of critters. The lightkeepers were left to fend for themselves. Such invasions were not all that infrequent and involved animals ranging in size from little field mice to neighboring farm animals and sometimes a full grown moose. Sheep were easy to deal with. The ram, however, don’t turn your back to it.

    • Bill Kitchen says:

      i love it!!!
      and should i use your last name, cause i’m trying to get the post up now, and proper spelling please…


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