Rain, Rain, GO Away

June 5-9, 2017 Rain, Rain, GO Away

The weather has not been the greatest out on the island for the past few days, in fact, it makes all the stories of summer in Maine being 2 weeks in late July very believable.  The temperatures have stayed in the 50’s with a brisk wind all week.  Not the best conditions for guests to visit us.

Tara all bundled up for the hike on the South Trail

Brian checking out the sea conditions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surf’s Up!

 

We have kept busy with grass cutting and trail clearing, but you are probably tired of hearing about how great the riding lawn mower is!  I thought instead I would show you more about one of my new obsessions, seagull hatchlings.

I have watched the seagull nests since the second day I was on the island and finally this past week I have been blessed with seeing hour old hatchlings as well as getting to see one as it was hatching from its egg.  In fact, this morning as Brian and I walked the trails (yes, in the rain again) the 4 hatchlings I have seen all week, are all very fluffy and healthy. In one nest, the 2 eggs hatched 2 days apart and the size difference today is still amazing.

The first seagull baby seen on the island! This one was just out of the shell for less than 3 hours (6/3/17)

A few hours old

Second egg hatching (6/5/17)

The nest area where the 2 babies hatched 2 days apart (6/6/17)

The chick in the foreground is the original hatched egg, its younger sibling is in the back ground (Friday 6/9/17)

A second nest of hatchlings, 2 of the 3 eggs in the nest have hatched so far

 

The Common Eider’s are hatching as well.  There has been one swimming in the cove with its mom all week.  The flock of Eiders seem to buffer the baby as it swims around the rough waters, there always seems to be 2-3 adults in its proximity, a good community to raise a baby in tough conditions.  The funny thing is the difference in the nests from the Eider to the seagull.  The Eider nest is usually in a protected bush/grassy area and the eggs are beautifully warmed by a nest of downy feathers and the seagull nest is right out on the cliff with grass as the bedding but little to no protection from the weather!  Evolution is an amazing thing.

A Common Eider duckling swimming in the cove, it is the little dot surrounded by 2 adults

 

A female Common Eider incubating her downy nest of 5 eggs

Brian has kept busy by organizing the different work areas and is having fun doing it on a rainy day.  One project he took on was repairing the original distance sign which was slowly falling apart.  Luckily one of the recent wind storms blew in a great log for the base of the sign.  The downfall is in came ashore in the cove and needed to be carried up the Lighthouse trail to the top of the tramway.  Nothing is ever easy on the island.  The result is a work of art, he even made sure all of the compass headings are accurate for the locations are on the sign.

Our directional sign on island with a few new locations added including Seguin, TX!

The directional sign set among the oil barrel cradles at the top of the tram

Our Wednesday day off was postponed again this week because of the sea conditions, we woke up Wednesday morning to swells 6-8 feet going across the cove, there was no way we were going to make the crossing safely let alone try to get our dinghy off the beach to meet up with Captain Ethan.  Thursday morning was a little better and off the island we went.  The negative of this was the weather was only going to get worse by the afternoon.  Our fun day off plan of biking in Portland was quickly changed to running around to get all our errands done and meet back at the dock at Fort Popham by 2pm.  It was a wet and very bumpy ride but we did it!  Brian and I have figured out that as much fun as a day off the island is, once arriving back to the island with all our provisions we have the chore of hiking everything up 125 feet above sea level.  It seems we are doing this while soaking wet!  A damper on a day off.  Brian wrote on his Facebook page:

“Our only day off the island for the week started off bad.  After a wet ride in, we had to return at 1400 instead of a normally 1600 planned because of rough sea states and tides.  Then it seemed everything we wanted to do on shore took forever.  After getting wet again on the return trip to the island, we totally messed up our dinghy landing.  We were grumpy, wet and tired and we still had to carry our weeks provisions up to the lighthouse cottage.  Why do we do it?  Here is the answer, nothing good in life is free!”

The lighthouse at sunset on Thursday evening

Sunset Bench

Tara enjoying sunset up in the tower during another cold sunset

As I write this blog entry, it is 57 degrees, raining and the cold seems to be a tough thing to battle.  But why are we doing this gig for the summer? Because we are surrounded by beauty no matter where we look, we have a better view from the top of this rock than most can ever dream of and even on this dreary Friday morning, I am looking out at a local lobster boat working the traps, and occasional sunbeam is shining off the top of Mt Washington and the forecast says we will have 3-4 days of sunshine coming up.  I wouldn’t trade this morning for one anywhere else.

Guest this week – 0

Guests total – 50

USCG – 6