June 17, 2016
It was a bright and sunny morning with calm winds. While I caught up the blog, Patty took her nice Nikon camera with her to get some shots outside. I was still working at the computer when she came back so she went over to sweep the museum, gift shop, and front porch. When we both finished, we had steel cut oats with fresh fruit for breakfast.
Afterward, Patty built an experimental bird deflector (code named the B-102) in
an effort to keep birds from fouling the historical signs. She attached her prototype to the sign for the Assistant Caretakers Quarters down by the Whistle House – I’ll report back later. I went out to the end of the South Trail and started working my way back, clipping brush from the trail along the way. There have been lots of nests in the last third or so of the trail and today, for the first time, I saw several young gulls which must have just hatched in the last couple of days. Patty worked her way towards me doing the same thing as me and together, we were done with the trail in short order. We went down the hill and I clipped the Cobblestone Beach Trail while Patty hit the Cove Trail. She made it as far as the camping area where an aggressive gull has been nesting and today it was especially feisty. After it continued to dive bomb Patty on the trail past the camping area (away from the nest), Patty said no mas and left the rest for another day. I wasn’t harassed on the Cobblestone Beach trail but I did see a just hatched egg shell and also bird that was either just hatched or injured. I spooked it and it sort of waddled while flapping its’ wings to get away from me but it didn’t fly. It was brown, like the color of a female mallard, but fairly large. I’m not sure what it was… Maybe one of the ducks we see here? Except I’ve never seen one so far from the water. I did get a (not very good) picture of it with our cell phone.
After we finished the trails, we came up the hill and Jim, who joined us in the tower to watch sunset last night, came up. He spent the night in his sailboat in the cove last night and, good to his word, returned this morning to check out the museum and explore a little more of the island. When he left, we stopped to grab a quick snack of olives, pita
chips, hummus, apples, and peanut/almond butter. Yesterday Ethan brought a big group out and we figured it would be a good idea to eat something now in case he has another group today and we don’t have a chance to stop for a couple of hours.
Turns out Ethan didn’t come out but we did have some other visitors
including a solo sailor who might spend tonight in the cove. Besides him, we had a family of four and two families traveling together that had three children between them. The two families that were together took advantage of the picnic table off our kitchen to enjoy their packed lunch.
While the folks were eating at the picnic table, I went down to the
Whistle House re-cut the support legs for the bell that we made earlier this week. We sized them so they were really secure and would not come out easily, not realizing that on special occasions, F.O.S.I.L.S. will ring the bell. Oops. They needed a paint touch-up anyway so I took them out and then beveled the top so that it can be tapped in for a tight fit but also easily removed. After cutting, I added a fresh coat of gray paint and left in the sun to dry. Meanwhile, Patty started cutting down a dead
shrub (some sort of conifer) that was almost dead last summer and totally dead now. Cyndy told us we could go ahead and cut it down – the dead branches are all sharp and brittle and seem to jump up and attack me when I’m push mowing so I was all in favor of cutting it back or down all the way.
When I was done with bell supports, the two families were ready to tour the
tower so Patty took them up and I took over the shrub removal duties. The kids favorite thing was seeing and being bathed in the prisms that reflect off the lens inside the tower. We have decent clippers and loppers but the chainsaw is just about too dull to safely use and the tree saw didn’t fit between the tangled branches. I
was still at it when Patty finished the tour and our visitors headed off to hike some trails. Taking turns and with lots of persistence, we finished the job. It
took a combination of the loppers, clippers, chainsaw, tree saw, and a hatchet – it wasn’t pretty but we got it done. And, it doesn’t look too bad either – at least it doesn’t look like we attacked it with all those tools. It also smelled really good where we cut it, almost like cedar.
We headed down the hill late in the afternoon to check the patches Patty applied to Hinckley and were really happy to see that they still seem to be working. The
side that was losing air was just as full as the other. While we were
down there, we found a Booth Bay sweatshirt hanging on the rail of the ramp heading up to the tram. I am sure that it belongs to Jim, our visitor from last night and this morning. Unfortunately, he didn’t leave any contact info in the guestbook so we can’t contact him. If you know him, let him know we have it! We also found a mug yesterday that we think might belong to Godiva’s owner – we’re hoping his contact info is in the guestbook pages that we passed to Cyndy last week
so we can let him know. Looks like we need to start a Lost & Found.
I grilled swordfish from Plant’s Seafood on the grill along with sliced zucchini that Patty brushed with olive oil and spices. Patty also made potato salad to round out our meal. It was good eating!
Visitors – 13
Favorite Moment(s) – overheard a lobsterman on VHF channel 78 (the one we use and also one used by some local lobsterman): “There’s a guy out here on a surfboard kind of thing with a kite attached…he’s flying all around if you can imagine that!”
Sunrise – 4:44am
Sunset – 8:17pm