The Year 1867

The North Light of Block Island, RI. Photograph by Michael Bogdanffy-Kriegh

… i have been taking note of dates in the landscape, mostly on buildings, but sometimes carved into concrete or other hard surfaces…

… when i encounter one, i like to look up the year in Wikipedia… it provides a list of the events of that year… here i stand in 2021 in front of a building finished in 1867… momentous things have happened in the United States this year… many of them are certain to make a similar list in another 145 years… will the list tell the story of the beginning of the end of democracy in the United States?…

… as the finishing touches were being put on the light house, these events were unfolding around the world1:

  • January 01: The Covington-Cincinnati Suspension Bridge, renamed the John A. Roebling Bridge in 1983 is opened.
  • January 08: African-American men are given the right to vote in the District of Columbia.
  • February 03: The Late Tokugawa shogunate comes to an end when Shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu abdicates and Prince Mutsuhito becomes Emperor Meiji of Japan.
  • February 15: The first performance of Johann Strauss II’s The Blue Danube is given by the Vienna Men’s Choral Association.
  • February 19: The Qing Dynasty defeats the Nien rebels in Hubei China at the Battle of Inlon River.
  • March 01: Nebraska is admitted as the 37th State of the United States.
  • March 30: Alaska is purchased from Alexander II of Russia for $7.2 million. This becomes known as Seward’s Folly.
  • May 01: The first political May Day march in Chicago.
  • May 07: Alfred Nobel patents dynamite in the UK.
  • May 29: The Austro-Hungarian Compromise is born through Act 12, establishing the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
  • June 19: Emperor Maximillian of Mexico is executed by a firing squad.
  • July 01: The Constitution of the North German Confederation comes into effect. It establishes a confederation of states under the leadership of Prussia and Otto von Bismarck.
  • September 14: The first volume of Das Kapital (Karl Marx) is published.
  • October 21: The Medicine Lodge Treaty is signed by southern Great Plains Indian leaders. It requires Native American Plains tribes to relocate to a reservation in Oklahoma.
  • November 02: The first issue of Harper’s Bazaar is published.
  • December 18: Charles Dickens gives his first public reading in the United States at a theater in New York City.

… the Earth pirouettes around the sun in a universe of unimaginable size, while the affairs of men unfold on it’s surface…


  1. … all events below from: this Wikipedia article on the year 1867[return]

Walking

… after taking garbage to the dump, a walk around old harbor looking for boat reflection images like this one:

… one of my favorite subjects…

Walking at North Light, Seal Colony!

… i decide to try one more time to get a viewing of the seal colony at the north lighthouse… this time there is no couple blocking a closer approach…

… i don’t have the patience or need to get too close… i stop as soon as the more skittish members of the colony take to the water… or are they scouts charged with assessing the threat?…

… the wind is stiff… there are rip current warnings… no worries, i have no intention of getting in the water…

First Thoughts

HCR meter jumping all around… major legislation being debated, the infrastructure bill, the reconciliation bill, waiting in the wings, voting rights legislation… lots to do… can the Dems get it done?… the only thing accomplished yesterday was funding of the government… no shutdown… still the debt ceiling to act on… fasten seat belts, bumpy ride is in progress…

… linguini with clams last night, one of H’s favorites… Edward Scissorhands soundtrack playing in the background… extensive discussion about M&P’s situation over dinner… acknowledgement that the road will be rough next few years… how to support them… don’t believe P’s children will be of much help… M&P want to be on BI… L wishes they would winter on mainland… will need help with household chores, laundry, cleaning, shopping, etc… the present goal is to have M&P recognize the help they need and line it up… some signs that is happening…

H seems to be taking it on as a professional nursing assignment, not just a child caring for aging parents assignment… i try to tell them not to do that, that they need to be the child caring for aging parents first and foremost… they are not in agreement…

… i think about my M and wonder if they will find a significant other… hoping they have the wisdom not to let another constrain their lives and that it is managed as companionship with separate residences…

… first day of October… fall beginning in ernest… a chill in the air to go with it…

… i hear a dog stirring upstairs… hoping they settle down and sleep a bit more, don’t want to have to get up just now…

… in the middle of the night, a dry and sore throat… hoping i am not catching something…

… thinking about where to walk today… how far to walk… maybe out to the north light, last chance to see the seals without that couple hogging the experience…

Walking the Beach

… from the painted rock to the public access stairs at Mohegan Bluffs… looking for feminine formations… in particular, cliff erosion in which i find vaginal crevices… a bonus offering arrives in the form of three feminine spirits who seem about my age walking the beach in the opposite direction… one is especially attractive to me and is the one who answers me when i wish them good morning…

… i had intended to walk the stretch both ways but the shore is unusually rocky… i think all the smooth stones getting smoother have been deposited at this end of the island…

… the day starts cloudy with a storm off the coast, but quickly turns sunny… a monarch butterfly fluttering up the hillside… after seeing none i am seeing more now, still not large numbers…

… 142 steps to top of beach access stairs… first time successfully counting the number… health app translates that into ten flights of stairs…

Walking

… Rodman’s Hollow, waning gibbous moon… i srartle a deer who bounds to the far side of the field and is still watching me…

… two women pass with three dogs, Maya, Quora and a name i did not catch…

… humid yesterday and today, i keep thinking we should be done with that…

… plants identified this AM:

  • winged sumac:

  • a tea or aide can be made from it, maple syrup recommended to sweeten it
  • red pine:

  • native to North America
    • hope, pity symbolism
  • frost aster:

  • symbolism, love
  • Canada lettuce:

  • symbolism: Chastity, Protection, Love
  • Northern bayberry:

  • berries have wax that can be extracted and used to make candles
    • symbolism: illusions and appearances; used for visions and divining.

… that was the extent of my plant divining today…

Sunrise at North Light

At North Light

… sunrise… i catch my first sight of seals, foraging, but they always seem curious, heads bobbing above the waves looking at me… they are like dogs with whom, i have read, they share ancestry…

… i purposely came earlier and still there is a couple out here… they beat me and have established themselves close to the seals as if it is their private viewing colony and nobody else can share it… they seem to be trying to get closer without chasing the seals into the water… the seals, for their part are huddled at the very tip and are perhaps poised to hit the water if they get any closer… i am imagining it is the same couple as was here yesterday, occupying the prime real estate… for some reason i am furious with them… i see them as extremely selfish… i don’t know if this is fair, but i am so angry i could smash them… i could, of course, totally disrupt their reverie but i imagine i am having more consideration for the seals and them than they have for anyone around them… i spied them from the parking lot already in place and for the fifteen to twenty minutes it took me to get out to the point they have not moved, and for the five to ten minutes i have been sitting impatiently waiting for my turn they have not moved… i find myself wishing them harm, hoping one of the bull seals lunges at them and bites them… i am going to have to give up again today as they seem intent on having it all to themselves… i don’t think i have hated two strangers more in my life… i hope they leave the island soon… for my part i will not come back until next week by which time they will, hopefully, be absent…

First Thoughts

… wedding celebration complete!… great party… don’t seem to have a hangover… dogs were the biggest hit… my outfit the second biggest hit… after bride and groom of course… it’s official, my generation’s music is the go to wedding music and has been for some time… except, i recall, my parent’s generation music has always been my go to for romance music… i am thinking nostalgic music is a key requirement for romance and wedding mood setting…

… the defense of January 6 insurrectionists protests yesterday were nothing burgers… i sense the possible cooling down of insurrectionist fever… hopeful…

… HCR took the night off… happy Sunday everyone!…

… the sun is starting to rise… the pre-dawn glow… ravens in the distance… H gently snoring…

… vacation and recovery from the last couple of months can officially begin!…

… just checked the tide schedule… high tide about now… this impacts where i will walk… Rodman’s Hollow or South Lighthouse into town… decisions…

First Thoughts

… M and W’s wedding day…

… our trip to BI smooth except for the ferry crossing which was a little rough… we love our new car…though we both feel that when the lease is up we will want to buy it and then trade it in for a plug-in hybrid, i suspect we will get attached to it and it will be hard to give it up…

HCR meter pointing down, suggesting that we are heading towards, perhaps are already engaged in, a new civil war… that white (male) supremacy ideals, if you can call them ideals, are still strong amongst the people of the United States of America… it is impossible for me to imagine how this is the case, but i know in my bones that it is… i know it because i see it on the news… i know it because long ago i perceived that the white patriarchy was in existential crisis and would fight to the death to preserve the world they have ruled over for so long… i know it because D was the white patriarchy writ large in my life…

… my weight on a steady climb, much to my dismay, though i have been unable to walk for the past day or two and my food selection has not been great… need to figure out how to address that over the next few days… i need a strategy… a silver linings weight management strategy…

… we showed up at Mahogany Shoals to join the young folk which consisted of the L crowd and significant others along with M&W’s friends… we met J, S’s SO, and C, G’s SO, said hello to S and B, M and W and then melted into the night as it became clear that it was a young folks gathering…

… a raven squawking outside then flying into the distance, still squawking, and now one is right outside the window… organizing a bird rebellion?…

06 Scenes From a Walk

05 Scenes From a Walk

04 Scenes From a Walk

03 Scenes From a Walk

05 Rodman’s Hollow Trail

03 Race Week!

… we went to Dory’s Cove to watch the boats for a while… couldn’t make out exactly what was going on, but it was a lovely ballet… boats would gather together in a cluster then a group would break off and dash down or up the coast… a bit like a murmuration, only of boats and in two dimensional space… H said it reminded her of paintings done during the Renaissance… i think in particular of the Dutch painters…

… i texted my friend on the racing boat i crewed on to see how they did… they texted back that it was a glorious day of sailing and they didn’t come in last… they said they would be in touch which suggests i should wait for further communication to be initiated by them… i wonder if i will hear from them…

05 Scenes From a Walk

07 Reflections

From earlier today…

06 Scenes From a Walk

Mohegan Bluffs…

… one always has to consider the return trip when descending these stairs…

… the bluffs are well worth the effort…

03 Seals and Sharks

… one of my favorite places on Block Island is at the narrow tip at the north end of the island… It’s a somewhat wild place, home to seaguls and a colony of seals… seals are the preferred food of great white sharks, and where there are seal colonies, there are likely to be great whites, or there eventually will be… the seal colony is a more recent thing… this morning i read this article about an attack last summer in Maine… from what i gleaned it can be assumed that these sharks have generally always been around… fortunately, attacks on humans are rare…

05 Afternoon At the Beach

04 Scenes From This Morning

20210615.03 Walking

Scenes from a walk…

20210614.06 Walking

… scenes from a walk…

20210613.07 Walking

… scenes from the walk into town from Southeast Lighthouse…

Stations of the Cross