Month: January 2007

  • While I was away

    When I left for vacation, ice was just beginning to form in protected coves during cold nights. By the time I returned a week later, after several days and nights of temperatures in the single digits, the river had filled with ice. With the exception of the narrow channel maintained for commercial navigation, ice now…

  • Common Mergansers

    In the pre-dawn light, a group of 16 or more common mergansers swam and dove in the creek. Thin sheets of ice drifted slowly with the outgoing current.

  • Last Cactus Blossom

    The Christmas cactus in the kitchen window started blooming in mid-November. Today, it dropped the last of its pink blossoms. I suppose that makes it a “Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Years” cactus.

  • First Ice

    With temperatures in the low 20s during the day and teen overnight, ice formed in the river coves.

  • Slippery slope

    Early this morning, I emerged groggy-eyed from the lighthouse. I noticed the icicles hanging from the bird-feeder, the result of freezing rain overnight. However, I did not notice the thin coating of ice on the ramp to the dock. I took one step onto the ramp and quickly accelerated. I slid the length of the…

  • Common Goldeneye

    An overcast and misty morning on the river. North of the lighthouse, a dozen or more common goldeneye waterfowl congregated–black and white feathered bodies against a uniform gray background. Aside from padddling around and occasionally diving underwater, the males stretched their necks and performed back bends, touching head to tail–a courtship display for a few…

  • Dirty Job

    This post is dedicated to those who envy me my job as lighthouse keeper. The lighthouse basement is wet and dank. It could be described as an “inter-tidal zone” since it often floods at high tide. Fortunately, the high tide usually does not reach basement during the first and last quarter moon, which makes for…


    On these unseasonably warm January days, small talk about the weather quickly shifts to big talk about climate change. It’s certainly on my mind as of late. In early December, I attended a conference in Poughkeepsie about the impacts of climate change on the Hudson Valley. Some of the information presented at the conference is…

  • Record Temperature

    A south wind blew out the fog this morning, wisping through the reeds and trees. When the fog bank cleared, a bald eagle appeared in the treetops. The sun also appeared from behind the clouds. By mid-afternoon, the thermometer outside the kitchen window read 70 degrees. The water temperature was 38 degrees.

  • Sunny day

    Water temperature: 35 degrees Farhenheit Air temperature: 55 degrees Farhenheit Wind: calm