Behold! the Red-tailed Hawk of Nauset Light

Just as I was turning to leave Nauset Light the other day, I spotted this GORGEOUS Red-tailed Hawk perched high on a phone pole at the very bottom of the hill.

It was obvious, she was looking for some dinner in the small bramble-covered mound between her and the Light.

I have always been intensely drawn to Red-taileds.

I love their eyes, their intense focus…

The way they waggle their head back and forth when they see something of interest nearby.

Their glorious feathers and yes, even those powerful yellow talons so perfectly suited for snatching up small prey.

I have always felt a deep sense of calm whenever I see a Red-tailed perched on a rooftop, swooping up to a tree or soaring over the highway.

Somehow, when I see them I feel as if everything is okay, or will be soon.

And as I stood there, fresh off my visit to the Light…

I couldn’t help but wonder if this might be the Red-tailed Hawk of Nauset Light…

Charged with watching over this great beacon who herself has been the ultimate protector to countless sailors and pilots all these many, many years.

I guess I like to think that somehow the Light and the hawk, and all the hawks of her line…

Are watching over one another.

Alert and steadfast, assured of their noble purpose, their place in this world.

Nauset Light – Seeing an Old Familiar Beacon with New Eyes

I hadn’t visited Nauset Light in Eastham in years.

And what a story this glorious beacon has to tell!

The original lighthouse station in Eastham was built in 1838 and comprised of three 15-foot tall brick lighthouse towers named The Three Sisters.

In 1892 because of land erosion The Three Sisters were replaced with three 22-foot tall towers made of wood and moved further inland. Further erosion required the dismantling of the towers in 1911; two were sold at auction and the third moved back even further, attached to the lighthouse keeper’s house and installed with a Fresnel lens.

Yet that is still not the end of the story!

In 1923 the wooden lighthouse in Eastham was retired and replaced with a 48-foot high brick-lined cast iron tower that had been moved over from Chatham; twin to the Chatham Lighthouse that is still there today.

The Light was repainted in the 1940’s in its familiar red and white colors. Potato chip lovers will recognize it as the lighthouse used in the logo for Cape Cod Potato Chips!  😉

Yet standing there, after an absence of many years, the only thing I could think of was how tall it seemed back when I was a little girl standing in that very same spot!

And with my new passion for photography, it was as if I were seeing it all for the very first time.

Some things were new – like the two rotating aerobeacons that had replaced the Fresnel lens in 1981.

I was mesmerized as I watched it flash first red…

Then white.

Red, then white.

And I noticed that when you stood in just the right spot, right up close to the base of the tower and looked up…

You could see through the window on the lower white level of the tower…

Straight through to blue sky out the red-painted window one level up on the other side!  😉

I probably loved the black lantern top the most…

With the tiny porthole windows just below it…

And the iron guard rail at the very top…

With its dozen or so finials pointing skyward.

As we turned to head back down the hill it felt like I had just visited with a very dear, very old friend.

One that I hoped to visit again and this time — much, much sooner!  😉

Note: To learn more about the fascinating history of Nauset Light please visit the Nauset Light website.

Stage Harbor Light – Autumn Attire

I love our Cape lighthouses during all four seasons.

But perhaps most of all when they are garbed… in autumn attire.

There’s just something about the conversation between light and color, this time of year. ❤

Catch of the Day

It was just me and Stage Harbor Light this morning at sunrise.

The view from Cockle Cove Beach, so calming.

Calming for me, that is.

Yet for the fishermen out there at sea…

It was just another day to catch a fish.

Personally? Getting the chance to look at that view, I kinda’ think I was the one who hauled in the catch of the day!   😉