Mise Tales Forty-Six

For an update on what a Mise Tale is then please see Mise Tales One.

As mentioned earlier on the front page of my website, any photos or cartoons, or short bits of information, when it is removed from the front page, will also be included again later in the next next Misc Tales posting. That way you can keep track of it, search for it, or copy it.

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The Lightkeeper’s Wife – Sarah Johnson’s salty debut novel, The Lightkeeper’s Wife, is everything historical fiction should be: an ode to a simpler period and place (in this case, 19th century Cape Cod), while complicating issues that are relevant today – making and breaking gender and sexual norms. – see more

Lady pirates & lighthouse keepers cross paths in Provincetown writer’s new novel

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 1924385_348014102039028_7691230979096215584_nAre you into collecting lighthouse memorabilia?

Here’s the September 22, 1945 issue of the “Saturday Evening Post,” featuring West Quoddy Lighthouse. It’s for sale on Amazon. – as mentioned by Elinor DeWire on Facebook 

 

 

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strombolicchio-4[6]

 

Interesting reading – The Lighthouse of Strombolicchio in Italy http://www.amusingplanet.com/2014/09/the-lighthouse-of-strombolicchio.html

 

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amazing-lighthouse-landscape-photography-666

 

28 Breathtaking Photos Of Lighthouses That Have Stood The Test Of Time – the title explains it all – wonderful photography, beautiful lighthouses worldwide!

 

 

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Great_Bear_videoGreat Bear Wild is a photo and movie documentary about the undersea life that controls the Great Bear Rainforest on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada.It explains why we must keep this part of our coast pollution free.

Mise Tales Forty-Two

For an update on what a Mise Tale is then please see Mise Tales One. As mentioned earlier on the front page of my website, any photos or cartoons, or short bits of information, when it is removed from the front page, will also be included again later in the next Misc Tales. That way you can keep track of it, search for it, or copy it.

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Video: What hidden treasures lie within Orfordness Lighthouse? Charitable trust opens the iconic landmark to the public before it’s taken by the sea

–  Monday, April 14, 2014 

Orfordness_Lighthouse

Orfordness Lighthouse is opening its doors to the public for the very first time. Nicholas Gold, the new owner of the lighthouse.

For centuries it served as a beacon of security, offering safe passage for thousands of seafarers.

Now, as the sea it once guarded over grows perilously close, the end of Orfordness Lighthouse looms near.

But before the iconic landmark is lost to the waves, a final chance to view it in all its glory has been made possible. . . more

To inquire about visiting email orfordnesslighthouse@gmail.com. Continue reading

Guess What!

Back in 1969 on my first lighthouse at Pulteney Point we had a third keeper on station. Wayne and Beth were a very friendly couple who lived the hippie lifestyle. One of the things Wayne used to do every morning at daybreak was wander down to the shoreline right in front of his house, bend over and look at the sunrise between his legs, and then scoop up a few handfuls of seawater and drink it. To each his own I guess!

water

A Single Drop of Seawater, Magnified 25 Times

OK, you’ve seen the title of the photo above taken from the website This is Colossal. On there they state:

You know when you’re horsing around at the beach and accidentally swallow a nasty gulp of salt water? Well I hate to break it to you but that foul taste wasn’t just salt. Photographer David Littschwager captured this amazing shot of a single drop of seawater magnified 25 times to reveal an entire ecosystem of crab larva,diatoms, bacteria, fish eggs, zooplankton, and even worms. Read more about what you probably don’t want to know at Dive Shield. We do admit the little crab larva in the lower right-hand corner is pretty darned cute. (via Lost at E Minor) Prints of this photograph are available at Art.com.

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Under the microscope: Just a splash of seawater

Scoop up a bucket of seawater (or swallow a mouthful) and this is what you get: a bizarre menagerie of plants and animals, some of them known to us, others a complete mystery.

This extraordinary photograph shows a random splash of seawater, magnified 25 times. The Earth’s open seas are home to countless tiny animals and plants that are known collectively as plankton.

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Sealife Key

Sealife Key

Sealife Text   [/private]

It’s Old, But Not The Oldest!

On September 21, 2013 I wrote Message in a Bottle which described a 107 year old message-in-a-bottle find. Later on October 29, 2013 I wrote More Messges in Bottles which described more messages found in bottles. It seems that everybody loves to do it!

Today I found this story in The Local – Germany’s News in English dated March 07, 2014.

Fishermen find oldest message in a bottle

German fishermen made a surprising catch this week when they pulled the oldest recorded message in a bottle out of the sea. A man from Berlin scribbled the note 101 years ago. . . . more

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What initially looked like a normal, discarded beer bottle, nestled among fish in the Maria I’s nets, turned out to be a record-breaking find – as it contained a postcard dated May 17th, 1913 written by a man named Richard Platz.

A modest Danish postcard with two German stamps on it and a polite message asking the finder to send it on to his address in Berlin; it appears that Platz could have been trying to save on international postage fees.

But the card never arrived, instead landing in the hands of fishermen from Heikendorf in Schleswig Holstein, on Tuesday – over 100 years later.

“I had it in my hand, but then a colleague told me there was something in it,” skipper Konrad Fischer told regional newspaper the Kieler Nachrichten, explaining he was ready to throw it back into the Baltic.

“When I saw the date I got really excited,” he said.

Until now, the oldest message in a bottle listed in the Guinness Book of Records was 97 years old when found in 2012, making Fischer’s a potential record breaker.

“If the message is really this old, maybe a museum would be interested,” said Fischer, who will be taking his bottled post to experts for them to take a closer look.

Fischer has been a fisherman for 50 years and in that time has found mines, bombs, torpedoes and a corpse in the sea.

He told news agency DPA that he was not sure yet what he would do with the bottle but would “maybe auction it to the highest bidder”. [/private] Continue reading

Light at the End of the World

Light at the End of the World
Three Months on Cape St. James, 1941

by Hallvard Dahlie (orig from Raincoast 18, 1998) with notes from Jim Derham-Reid (last keeper on Cape St. James before automation)

Image1A strange interlude in my brief seafaring life took place in the fall of 1941, when I signed on as assistant lighthouse keeper at Cape St. James, a light perched on top of a three-hundred-foot rock at the very southern tip of the Queen Charlotte Islands. I had quit school earlier that year, at the age of sixteen, and found a job on the CGS Alberni, a lighthouse tender operating out of Prince Rupert. But when she had to go into dry dock at the beginning of September for a new wartime grey paint job and a bit of refurbishing, I chose to take a stint out at the lighthouse rather than scrape barnacles and paint for three months. Continue reading

Reprint – In the Sanctuary of the White Bear

In the Sanctuary of the White Bear   Green Living   The Ecologist

A rare white ‘spirit bear’ in the BC temperate rainforest. Photo: Ian McAllister / pacificwild.org.

To many who live here, this singular being is an emblem of the sacredness of the rain coast and its vulnerability.

In the sanctuary of the White Bear by Canadian Poet Lorna Crozier

17th November 2013

 

Poet Lorna Crozier vists the Great Bear Rainforest in BC, Canada and finds a fragile paradise imbued with myth, meaning and magic for local indigenous peoples.

The big grizzly is perched on the other side of the river bank, so near he can hear the rain on my jacket. He raises his blunt head and courses the air. Stares at me and sniffs.

Above the stench of rotting salmon, my smell has been drawn into a grizzly’s nostrils, through the nasal passages inside his long snout. Part of me now lives inside the mind of an omnivorous animal whose Latin name ends with horribilis.

The bear is here for the salmon, who have returned to the rivers of their birth to spawn and die. We’re here for the bears.

Photographer/filmmaker Ian McAllister has joined my husband Patrick and me on our first morning to help introduce us to his home turf, the Great Bear Rainforest, a tract of land that follows B.C.’s coastline from the tip of Vancouver Island to the Alaska Panhandle. He and his wife Karen run the Pacific Wild conservation group to protect this astonishing piece of wildness that they’ve known intimately for over twenty years.

The largest intact temperate rainforest in the world, the traditional territory of the Kitasoo / Xai’xais First Nation, this region is only two short flights from Vancouver. But we are as far from a city, as far from ordinary life, as you can get. . . . more

This essay originally appeared in Toque & Canoe, and in Counterpunch.

[private]With seven others, we’ve been bounced across the ocean to our riverside destination in an old forestry boat. At home, most of us can’t spare the time to meet a friend for coffee, but here we’ll wait side by side, motionless and quiet, for several hours in the drenching rain.

Two guides armed only with pepper spray keep watch over us. They assure us they’ve never had to use it. Their confidence and my excitement make me tuck any fears I have away – into a back jeans pocket I can’t reach under my layers of hoodie, vest, jacket and rain gear.

All of us crouch with binoculars and cameras, careful not to sink our knees into a salmon. Hundreds of them, tossed by bears from the river, are turning into a foul mush. When the grizzly appears again, about twenty feet across from us on the other shore, we know Ian is getting the best pictures. We keep snapping anyway.

Our group is staying at the First Nations-owned and operated Spirit Bear Lodge located on the ocean’s edge in the fishing village of Klemtu.

Through its tall windows, we scan what looks like a National Geographic documentary. Pointing out seals and eagles, we and the other guests, most of them from Europe, crowd around the window like kids around an ice-cream truck.

Maybe if we’re lucky, at dusk, we’ll see one of the wolves unique to the western coast. Along with deer, they catch salmon.

The lodge is modeled on the traditional long house and it’s named after the elusive white bear called the ‘Spirit Bear‘.

Raven, the traditional story goes, made one out of every 10 black bears white to remind us of the ice age. This unique creature is here to make us grateful: the world wasn’t always as green and lush as it is today.

Every morning, rainforest life generously comes to meet us. Five senses aren’t enough to take it all in.

Isn’t this what Canada’s all about? Barely inhabited, out-of-the-way places that remind humans who we were before we became so fearful, so tame? Before we became so destructive as a species?

As twilight falls, we return to the lodge by boat for its scrumptious dinners, the halibut so fresh that the name of the man who hooked it and the date he did are listed on the menu. Manager Tim McGrady – fierce in his love of this watery ecosystem – greets us at the dock and asks what we’ve seen.

Over the 12-foot-long cedar dinner table, Patrick and I go on and on about a mother and a baby humpback, the mother slapping her tail repeatedly on the taut skin of the ocean. Was it whales who invented drumming?

Five minutes later, we would see two Orcas knife through the water. Then we understood. The humpback was warning her nearby pod and scaring off these skillful hunters who might have targeted her calf.

The next day, I travel up the ocean channel to an old crab apple grove where a spirit bear might appear. Patrick chooses a shorter trip. In my case, the spirit bear lives up to its other name – ghost bear – and stays invisible.

But Patrick sees a grizzly flop on her back to feed her triplets, so close a camera catches a drop of milk on her nipple when one cub tumbles off her belly.

I’m jealous. But an afternoon boat trip on the Pacific makes up for what I missed.

Patrick and I watch two humpbacks blow an elongated oval of bubbles to trap shrimp-like krill. The whales then rise to the surface through the centre of this airy net, their magnificent mouths wide open, catching their meal.

Looking down a whale’s gullet makes me shiver. Boy, how small I am!

On the day a storm blows in and the boats can’t go out, Doug Neasloss, the visionary behind the lodge, invites us into the Big House in Klemtu and tells us the history of his people and the work they’re doing to protect their homeland.

In 2012, they declared their territory off-limits to trophy hunting of bears (even though the B.C. gov’t allows it). Then, with other Coastal First Nations, they made a film about a grizzly skinned and left to rot in a field, head and paws carried out past a sign banning such hunting.

The timing of the film is sadly relevant. Just before its release this past September, The Vancouver Sun published photos of a defenceman with the NHL’s Minnesota Wild – how ironic is that name? – holding the severed head of a grizzly he shot in a rainforest estuary.

The tenderness the Kitasoo / Xai’xais feel for their culture and their home territory is palpable. We hear it in our skippers, who are all from Klemtu, and in Sierra, a grade 11 student who’s one of the lodge’s guides-in-training.

Every night in bed, she reads one of her people’s stories, and in her dreams, she’s in the story, walking among the humans and the creatures of the forest. The humans and the animals are talking to one another.

Many believe the Spirit Bear has special powers, she tells me.

Having sunk into the moss floors of the forests, having been held in the mind of a grizzly and the eye of a whale, I’m O.K., this time, to have missed Raven’s reminder of the ice age.

I’m sure there’s another reason for its creation, a reason that will sink in after I’m back home.

To many who live here, this singular being is an emblem of the sacredness of the rain coast and its vulnerability. They fear for potential oil spills in the area.

To them, this nightmare is a real and present danger as various levels of the Canadian government debate the sanctioning of oil tanker traffic through this delicate ecosystem.

They imagine the white bear soaked in oil, rivers and estuaries thick with crude muck, salmon thrashing in its slick, and orcas smeared with bitumen.

I’ve fallen under the spell of this rare sanctuary where salmon are born and die, where wolves have learned to swim and fish, and where mist may turn suddenly into the lumbering body of a mystic bear.

How diminished, how thin-hearted, how lonely we are as a species if there aren’t safe places in the world where the unique, the magnificent, can survive.

Postscript: The day after Patrick and I arrived home, Oliver from Germany, one of our companions who’d stayed an extra day at Spirit Bear Lodge, wrote that he did see a Spirit Bear. It stepped out of the moss-draped trees onto the stones of a river where he was set up with his camera on the other side. How thrilled he was. He’s seen what few people in his country, what few people in Canada or in the world, have ever seen. Check out thislink to his images

Lorna Crozier is a Canadian poet and holds the Head Chair in the Writing Department at the University of Victoria.

This essay originally appeared in Toque & Canoe, and in Counterpunch.[/private]

Bravo! Coastal Rainforest in British Columbia Now Protected!

BC_Coast_Pacific_Wild

 

This photo above from Pacific Wild shows only a part of what is being protected

The title for this article comes from a news release by the Treehugger website on July 27, 2006.

nrdc-bear-bc-02Their article from 2006 said: “The government of British Columbia has agreed to protect more than 5 million acres of the Great Bear coastal rainforest. It is home to the world’s last white-colored Spirit Bears “

The Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) was also quoted in the article.

The thousand-year-old red cedars, Sitka spruce, western hemlock and balsam blanketing this swath of rugged coastline provide vital habitat for wolves, eagles, grizzlies and several hundred Spirit Bears. Found only in the Great Bear Rainforest, the Spirit Bear gets its white color from a recessive gene occurring in roughly one of every ten black bears born in the forest. The Spirit Bear figures prominently in the mythology and culture of several indigenous communities — known as First Nations in Canada — that have inhabited the Great Bear Rainforest for thousands of years.

The new conservation agreement, negotiated directly by the British Columbia government and the region’s First Nations, will protect an unspoiled area twice the size of Yellowstone National Park from logging and ensure the right of the First Nations to manage their traditional territories. In addition, the agreement establishes new, more stringent standards for logging in the rainforest outside of the protected area. “The accord will preserve this irreplaceable rainforest but still allow for controlled logging to sustain local economies,” said NRDC senior attorney Susan Casey-Lefkowitz. “It is a new model that shows we can save our most valuable wildlands and our communities at the same time.”

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A Day at the Beach

I posted an article on a book that shows you what makes up beach sand,  A Grain of Beach Sand, and a lot of it is shells and glass. The larger pieces of glass are collected and use in jewelry as in the story Nootka Sea Glass.

Cobalt Blue Earrings Perfect Pair on Long Earring Wires

Cobalt Blue Earrings

Now another company I have found called A Day at the Beach has an online page and also a Facebook page. They specialize in earrings, bracelets, pendants, and necklaces with also a chance to special order items.

Pictured here is a pair of cobalt blue sea glass earings from their earrings page.

There is also a page on necklaces and bracelets.

For their custom designs check out this page which shows off many different variations.

Next time you are at the beach keep an eye out for sea glass pieces which are rounded off and safe to handle. They come in many brilliant colours only limited by the colours of the glass bottles from which they are made. Glass is so much prettier than plastic on the beach don’t you think?

 

More Messages in Bottles!

When I wrote the story Message in a Bottle I was just using what information I had on hand. The last quotation in the story was from a news source on the British Columbia (BC) coast where a Tofino, BC man found a one hundred and seven (107) year old message in a bottle.

I wanted to keep that story updated but the local media seemed to have lost track of the story as the man wants to donate?/sell? the bottle to a museum without opening the bottle.

While Googling the story of the Tofino man I found the news video of his find on Youtube . . .

Message in bottle from 1906

Continue reading

Message In A Bottle

My title here Message in a Bottle is also the title of a 1999 American romantic drama film directed by Luis Mandoki and based on a novel with the same name by Nicholas Sparks, but in this case it refers to something completely different!

Most people think of a message in a bottle as a beachcomber’s mystery find. In this case there was no mystery, but lots of adventure! The story was posted on the MR BONE HEAD Facebook page. You never know what you will find on the beach!

From Glunz Ocean Beach Hotel & Resort

Judi and the message bottle

Judi and the message bottle – photo – Glunz Ocean Beach Hotel & Resort

So one of our owners Judi was walking on the beach this morning cleaning up the junk that washed into shore and finds a bottle with a message in it. There is also some sand and 2 one dollar bills.

Once we get it open and read the notes we find out that it is in fact NOT sand. It is the ashes of this woman’s husband of 70 years named Gordon. She writes that He loved to travel so she sent him traveling in a bottle with a note and money for someone to call home and tell her where he landed.

He started at Big Pine Key [Florida] (point A on the map below) in March of 2012 and then went to Islamerada [Florida] (point B) where someone found him. They added a note and sent him traveling again and he landed on our beach in Key Colony (point C).

Judi called the wife in Tennessee who was excited to know of Gordon’s travels! Judi added her note, we put him in a rum bottle (you know added a little fun to his trip) with the three notes. We added another dollar in case Gordon travels far and a long distance call is needed.

We will be having a memorial service or celebration of his life on our beach later today before sending him on his way again. Only our sister Judi could find a dead guy on our beach!

This is an amazing true story Continue reading