Reprint – A Grain of Beach Sand – Photography Book by Gary Greenberg

Reprinted with permission from Maya at the Completely Coastal website. Her article was published September 7, 2012 and can be found here.

A Grain of Beach Sand – Photography Book by Gary Greenberg
“To see a world in a grain of sand…” These are the words of William Blake. Artist and scientist Gary Greenberg takes them literally!

beach-sand-

Beach sand

 

Dr. Gary Greenberg turned his microscope on beach sand! Photo via Art.com. Continue reading

Mise Tales Eighteen

 

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

Build a Redstone Lighthouse in Minecraft

This article may be a bit outside the scope of this website, but then maybe not.

Everybody loves a lighthouse, whether it is on the sea, in your garden or in your computer as is this PC/Mac program called Minecraft. This may not be to everybody’s interest but I am sure there are a few of my readers out there who play the game and might be interested.

I have never explored Minecraft, but a short description will more than help you understand the fascination. I might even give it a try. You all know my fascination with Lego!

Minecraft: What The Hell It Is

The literal description: Minecraft is a first-person, free to play indie PC/Mac game created by one person, with crafting, building and exploration at its center. The graphics are straight out of 1991. There are no characters and there is no story. There are none of the “production values” that define gaming these days, but within those narrow confines lies one of the most innovative and endlessly fascinating game in existence… and it’s still in Alpha.

While there are various versions and builds available out, there are three basic play-modes to Minecraft: Single Player Creative, Multiplayer Creative, and Single Player Survival. All three plop you down into a huge, open world, filled with different natural resources you can exploit and bend to your will.

Single Player Creative mode is like an infinite LEGO set. You can create fantastic structures out of basic building blocks all day if you’d like. You can try it out for free, in-browser, right here. Multiplayer Creative is the same deal, with others. – g4tv.com

So, here is a short video on how to build a Minecraft lighthouse:

[media url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ny5JxKwRtnI” width=”400″ height=”350″]
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Mise Tales Seventeen

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

Power supply resumes at Unoosaki lighthouse in Soma
2 November 2012
The Unoosaki lighthouse in Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, has resumed full operations after power was restored 19 months after the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami.

As a result, the lighthouse is now fully able to help ships safely navigate the waters off Fukushima Prefecture.

The Japan Coast Guard’s office in the prefecture, the Fukushima Coast Guard Office, unveiled the lighthouse to the media on Nov. 1, which is observed as “lighthouse day” in Japan [I did not know that!]. . . . more

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“Bubble Delight” by Cecile & Ronaldo Lobo of Bridgeport

“For the Birds” by John Sudell of Greenwich

 Bridgeport couple’s lighthouse on display at Maritime Aquarium

A model lighthouse made by a Bridgeport couple is helping to light the way for visitors in The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk as part of the aquarium’s 11th annual “Festival of Lighthouses.” – more

  Continue reading

West Coast Recipes – Part One

 

I thought this might be interesting for people in other parts of the world who read this website. There are many food recipes associated with the West Coast of Canada and USA – many from the First Nations people, and many from the residents be they mariners, lighthouse keepers, villagers, prospectors, hunters or others. I will try and see what I can find. I will try and post about five (5) recipes per post. If others have any contributions, please pass them on. Full credit will be given.

 

One recipe I have posted can be found here: Thomas Crosby Muffins. Also a book was written about British Columbia lighthouses called The Lighthouse Cookbook by Anita Stewart. It is an excellent book and is available from Amazon.com.

 

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1. Salmon Fish Cakes

Now this is one of the simplest recipes to make, and I learned about making them from my wife Karen who’s father used to cook them while out on the West Coast fishing for salmon. His recipe was pretty simple: Use whatever is available! Take some leftover cooked salmon, mix it about half and half with some leftover cooked potatoes, throw in an egg to help hold it together and season with salt and pepper. If available, add a few chopped green onions. Make into patties and fry in one-quarter inch (1/4″) oil, flipping once until brown on both sides. Serve with whatever condiment is available – lemons and/or ketchup.  Enjoy!

Below is a more cookbook style of making the same thing:

Salmon Fish Cakes

1 1/4 lbs potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

1 lb salmon fillets, skin on, scaled and bones removed (or in a pinch try using 2 cans of Clover Leaf’s canned boneless/skinless salmon) Continue reading

Poetry – The Lighthouse Keeper Wonders

This is too good not to reprint. The Lighthouse Keeper Wonders by Edgar Guest (Wikipedia article on Edgar Guest). This is one the better lighthouse poems. I sometimes wonder too – all those beautiful lighthouses destroyed because of automation.

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The Lighthouse Keeper Wonders
by Edgar Guest (1881 – 1959)

The light I have tended for 40 years
is now to be run by a set of gears.
The Keeper said, And it isn’t nice
to be put ashore by a mere device.
Now, fair or foul the wind that blow
or smooth or rough the sea below,
It is all the same. The ships at night
will run to an automatic light.

The clock and gear which truly turn
are timed and set so the light shall burn.
But did ever an automatic thing
set plants about in early Spring?
And did ever a bit of wire and gear
a cry for help in darkness hear?
Or welcome callers and show them through
the lighthouse rooms as I used to do?
‘Tis not in malice these things I say
All men must bow to the newer way. Continue reading

A Lighthouse Novel for Young Adults by Nell Wise Wechter

Two children’s books by the same author came across my desk today. Both books are available in paperback and in an omnibus e-book collection. The author is Nell Wise Wechter,1 a native of the Carolina Coast. She wrote the young adult novel Taffy of Torpedo Junction and Teach’s Light. Click the links for book reviews from UNC.

The books and the e-books are available from Amazon worldwide. A special offer by the University of North Carolina Press (UNC) makes the e-book a better buy as it includes the two books for a special price.

I just ordered the e-book omnibus collection as a special present for my fiancé on my Kindle. It sure makes ordering books easy.

A quick note on each book:

Taffy of Torpedo Junction by Nell Wise Wechter

A longtime favorite of several generations of Tar Heels, Taffy of Torpedo Junction is the thrilling adventure story of thirteen-year-old Taffy Willis, who, with the help of her pony and dog, exposes a ring of Nazi spies operating from a secluded house on Hatteras Island, North Carolina, during World War II. – UNC

Teach’s Light – Tale of Blackbeard the Pirate by Nell Wise Wechter

The legend of Teach’s Light has been handed down by the people of Stumpy Point village in coastal North Carolina for nearly three centuries. – UNC

 

What is lighthouse about these books? The North Carolina coast is host to a raft of lighthouses!

Please let the readers know what you think of the books. I will also add a note later when I have finished them.

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FOOTNOTES:

1 About the Author

The late Nell Wise Wechter, an Outer Banks native, was a widely admired author, storyteller, historian, and journalist. As a schoolteacher near Cape Hatteras during World War II, she could look out her classroom window to see ships being sunk by the Germans. Her story of Taffy was inspired by these real events and the courage of the people who lived through them.

Are You Looking for Lighthouse-Related Items?

When I was browsing a crafty website called Completely Coastal which I reviewed earlier I came across an advertisement for Etsy. Searching for things lighthouse, I typed that into the Etsy page search box. The page in the picture below came up.

It is page one (1) of two hundred eighteen (218) pages of lighthouse-related items, for a total of 8,696! Enjoy! Tell us what you bought!

Clicking on the photo below takes you to the lighthouse search items on Etsy.

Docent Duty at a Lighthouse Plus a Book Review

 

This post is very interesting. It comes from a lady, Kathleen Ernst, who with her husband performs docent duty1 on an automated lighthouse in the United States. She has also written a historically-accurate non-fiction crime novel about the same lighthouse. I asked her permission to reprint the article 2 in full for you, which was given freely, so it is reprinted below for your enjoyment. What a retirement job!.

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Docent Duty by Kathleen Ernst

My husband Scott and I are recently back from our 4th stint as docents at Pottawatomie Lighthouse in Rock Island State Park, WI.  

Rock Island is situated off the northern tip of Door County in Lake Michigan, and Pottawatomie is the state’s oldest light station.

The current lighthouse, built in 1858, was magnificently restored by the Friends of Rock Island in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  It sits on top of a bluff on the northern end of Rock Island, over a mile from the boat landing and campground.  There are no roads on the island, and it takes two ferry rides to get there.

As docents, we give tours to guests from 10 AM to 4 PM each day.  Since Scott and I both love history, and telling stories, it’s a great gig.  We’re also responsible for housekeeping chores.


Otherwise, we get to live at the lighthouse.  How cool is that?

There’s no electricity or indoor plumbing.  (That’s Scott filling an Igloo at the old pump, in the rain.)  But we have a fridge and stove powered by bottled gas, and we get to sleep in the keepers’ bedroom.


We have lots of quiet evenings.  Lots of time for an impressionable writer to ponder stories of long-gone keepers, and to imagine the lighthouse as it once was.



So it was pretty much inevitable that I would write a book about the lighthouse.


In The Light Keeper’s Legacy (coming in October [2012]), my protagonist Chloe Ellefson is invited to serve as a guest curator at Pottawatomie Lighthouse.  She’s excited about the job and eager for some solitude in such a beautiful, remote place.  Needless to say, since this is a murder mystery, her time on Rock Island isn’t quite as peaceful as she’d hoped.

 Writing the book let me explore some new personal issues for Chloe, who is struggling to figure out what she wants from life.  And it let me write an homage to the strong individuals who lived on Rock Island in the 19th century.  The Light Keeper referenced in the title is Emily Betts, a real  and totally awesome woman who served as Assistant Keeper at Pottawatomie.  (In the National Archives photo below, that’s Emily barely visible in the doorway.)

 

The book also showcases the complexities of managing natural resources over the years.  And it let me share a very special place with readers—some of whom will, I hope, decide to visit Rock Island and support ongoing restoration projects.


 It doesn’t get much better than that.

http://kathleenernst.com
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1 docent: A person who acts as a guide, typically on a voluntary basis, in a museum, art gallery, or zoo.

2 The article was originally displayed on the Ink Spot blog which describes itself as a corps of crime fiction authors, so if you like crime fiction then check out their webpages.

Mission Boat “William H. Pierce”

– as told to me by Mike Gallagher – deckhand and acting skipper “W. H. Pierce” and mate on the “Thomas Crosby IV”.

The following guestbook entry was received by Ron Ammundsen, webmaster of the BC Lighthouse web pages and forwarded to me. It was signed by Michael Gallagher.

Between 1952-56 in the summers, I was aboard the “William H. Pierce” with Dr. George Darby out of Bella Bella (now Waglisla). We went ashore at most lighthouses from Boat Bluff south to Egg Island , sometimes for medical reasons, sometimes to take magazines, have tea and talk . . . mainly listen.

WH Pierce at pointer island c. 1953 - photo Mike Gallagher

After Ron forwarded the entry to me I contacted Mike and asked if he had any stories for my Lighthouse Memories webpage. He said:

I probably have too many stories of my four summers with Dr. Darby, so I’ll mention a couple as they relate to lighthouses. Continue reading

Book – Last Lights: The Hand-Wound Lighthouses of the Bahamian Islands

The author of this book, Annie Potts, wrote me when I first started this new format of my website. She was enquiring if I had any source for large kerosene mantles for the three remaining Bahamas lighthouses. Unfortunately I did not know of any sources. Continue reading