Monday, 14 April 2014

L is for Lighthouses, Life on a Ledge, Lichen ...


Lighthouses – had been around for centuries – but once commerce boomed in the 1600s – lighthouse construction rapidly followed.

Winstanley's Lighthouse


Winstanley’s lighthouse – believe it or not – was an octagonal wooden structure, started in 1696 – to protect the very dangerous rocky reef running from Plymouth towards the Lizard Peninsula.


A French privateer took Winstanley prisoner, causing LouisXIV to order his release with the words “France is at war with England, not with humanity” ... what a great quote ...



Building Beachy Head
Lighthouse (1902)
Before Beachy Head lighthouse was built in 1902, shoremen would wave lanterns from the cliff tops doing what they could to warn shipping away from the Sussex coast.


I love this photo of men at work ... but dread to think of their ‘hold’ if the weather had been like it has been this winter ... all the erosion: cracks, fissures, and chalk collapses ...




Bempton Cliffs, Yorkshire - is a nature
reserve run by the RSPB
Life on a Ledge – a seabird breeding colony is one of the most spectacular sights on a rocky coastline ... 



... but anywhere we go that is only accessible by flight gives ‘Life on a Ledge’ birds a place to rest and nest ...



Puffins nest in burrows, razorbills, relatives of the southern penguins – but can fly, breed on cliff edges ... 




Northern Gannets living life
on the ledge ... 


... Black-legged Kittiwakes, Fulmars, Northern Gannets, Cormorants, Gulls various ... and many others all breed on ledges, barren island spaces or bird reserves ...



Guillemot egg



... the guillemot lays a blotchily patterned egg which is suitably shaped for life on a ledge: it tapers ... and thus if it is blown about, or kicked ... it rolls around in a tight circle until it comes to rest ...





Sea Ivory: Ramalina Siliquosa
Lichens – specific ones will grow on coastal rocks ... seashore lichens include the grey-green tufts of Sea Ivory, which grows above the high-tide mark, but is still very tolerant of salt spray. 



Sea Ivory forms part of the diet of sheep on Shetland and on the coast of North Wales.



That is L for illuminating Lighthouses, a long Life on a Ledge and the dual plant (fungus and a plant of the algal group) of a Lichen ... from Aspects of British Coasts ...

Bob Scotney, also partaking of this delicious challenge! - wrote about lighthouses last July ... and included a couple of poems ... which some you may enjoy - found here.



Thanks so much everyone for checking and pushing me over the five century follower mark ... and for all your compliments - very much appreciated.

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

45 comments:

Denise Covey said...

Hi Hilary. Lighthouses are always fascinating. Often thought what fun it would be to live in one, as some do. It's a shame to see some closing down around our coasts.

Suzanne Furness said...

The picture showing the building at Beachy Head sure looks scary! Our coastlines would be a lot more dangerous without them though.

Bob Scotney said...

I always pick up on lighthouse themes every since I posted about the Bishops Rock (and others on Sepia Saturday http://bobscotney.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/lighthouses-sepia-saturday.html
Lichen gets everywhere it seems including on my patio.

LittleCely said...

There is something about lighthouses that give them a poetic atmosphere. I love looking at them. And now I've learned a bit more about them as well. Thank you Hilary.

kaushikgovind said...

Hi Hilary..Lighthouses have an amazing charm attached to them. I've been to the top of 2 lighthouses, and the view of the never ending sea, cannot be described at all! Cheers ~ Kaushik

Natasha Duncan-Drake said...

Whenever I think of lighthouses I always think of The Horror of Fang Rock, the doctor who episode. It's one of those very clear memories I have from childhood. That and going up Dungeness Lighthouse and there only being this little chain to stop us falling off the top!
Tasha
Tasha's Thinkings - AtoZ (Vampires)
FB3X - AtoZ (Erotic Drabbles)

Linda King said...

Something about lighthouses is so romantic - maybe the crashing waves against the rocks and the glow of the light in the dark. I'm sure they were far from romantic to live in - cold and uncomfortable, most probably! Interesting post and I like your blog! Now following. Nice to 'meet' you via Annalisa Crawford's blog. L.

Tina said...

Good morning dear friend! Oh how I love lighthouses! Growing up on the Chesapeake Bay in MD, we'd sail to the different ones (all automated now) and take pictures. A pilgrimage if you will.
That workmens' picture gives me the willies - I'm scared of heights...
Those specially shaped eggs, how really clever, and I can see the geometrical advantage right away.
Wonderful post!
Tina @ Life is Good
A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014

Jo said...

Interesting and as Tina says, that egg shape is great. I love lighthouses too but you mentioning men with lanterns made me think of wreckers misleading ships so they did land on the rocks then could be scavenged.

Julie Flanders said...

Few things get my attention quicker than lighthouses. There is something so wonderful about them. The pic of the Bempton Cliffs is amazing.

L.G. Smith said...

You know I live in a landlocked state in the US, so I don't have much experience with lighthouses. I actually saw my first one last spring when I went to British Columbia. I have a very romantic notion of lighthouses. Beautiful things. :)

Brian Miller said...

nice...lighthouses always carry such symbolism for me...to lead the way to keep us safe, from crashing into the rocks...

betty said...

Hi; visiting from A/Z. I enjoyed reading about the lighthouses; I didn't realize or think what they must have done before lighthouses to warn of the shores/rocks ahead. That would be a dangerous job those men did indeed, especially in inclement weather.

Enjoy the rest of the challenge!

betty
http://viewsfrombenches.blogspot.com/

Mason Canyon said...

Hilary, I've always found lighthouses to be both fascinating and a bit scary. I guess it's too many movies where tragedy strikes those in the lighthouse. Wishing you a Lovely day. :)

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Hilary!

Love lighthouses and the birds your featured today are so sweet.

Your posts are always so informative and FUN!

Congrats on the 500 plus! You deserve it!

Manzanita said...

Light houses are always intriguing. I always thought of what a lonely life that would have been to live in one alone, as so many men did.

Life on the ledge is a great title for all the feathered cliff dwellers. Smart birds as it sounds like a wonderful place for a bird. I put up blue-bird house on a privacy fence...... mostly for decoration but I notice some little song birds are busy building a nest in it. Not too safe from predators, I would say.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Birds have an advantage - they lose their balance and fall off, they can fly.

Teresa Powell Coltrin said...

I've always dreamed of climbing (inside) a lighthouse. As far as invention--how awesome it is.

I wonder if our ingenuity has suffered with all the new gadgets and technology we have.

Scribbler said...

Denise, I have a story idea about "Technology" being responsible for a shipwreck. No visual confirmation of the coastline due to assumption of GPS and lighthouse shutdowns etc. Open with something like but better than: "The wonders of the age and satellite navigation led to the fishermen's stranding".

Morgan said...

I've always LOVED Lighthouses… (Well, actually, there was this one time when I was in Prince Edward Island and I turned to my friend and said, "If I have to see ONE MORE LIGHTHOUSE…") Hahaha. We saw a lot of Lighthouses on that trip. :)

Cherie Reich said...

How cool! Loved learning about the lighthouses, the lichen, and the birds living on the edge.

A-Z Challenging at Untethered Realms

Scribbler said...

Lighthouses, lichens, lots of coast-related facts. Interesting stuff about the eggs, too. Scanning the other stuff now. Geology, bird life, anthropology. Spoilt for facts! It's like Schott's Miscellany for the British Isles. Great stuff.

Robyn Campbell said...

Love learning about lighthouses. They are so graceful standing there, Hil. Bempton Cliffs are a thing of beauty too. And very deserving of the nature reserve title. xoxo

cleemckenzie said...

I especially love the sound of the lighthouse's fog horn. Nothing more plaintive than that on a soupy night.

What a wonderful quote from Louie the XIV. Maybe one of today's "leaders" should pick that up and put into practice.

mail4rosey said...

I think it would be nice to see a Puffin in person.

My son's wife has parents who travel the US to look at lighthouses and they love that so much!

Su-sieee! Mac said...

I always love wandering around lighthouses and imagining what life would be like living in them. I dunno if I could handle the cold, fog well.
The View from the Top of the Ladder

Lynn said...

I LOVE lighthouses! And I remember the poems from last time - a lovely topic.

Lisa Moles said...

Hilary, I dream of lighthouses. Since I was a little girl. A trip to Maine full of lighthouses and lobsters must be in my future.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I love that quote from Louis XIV! If only modern leaders could see life like that. Lighthouses are wonderful to see in person, night or day. :-)

Bish Denham said...

I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to work at that lighthouse. What a lovely looking egg!

Kelly Steel said...

It was a great post on lighthouses. I love visiting lighthouses and imagining all the people who lived there!

JJ said...

Great topic. I love your posts because I always learn something. Cheers!

Sharon Bradshaw said...

A lovely, interesting post, Hilary, thank you. I've always liked lighthouses, and it was great to hear more about them. Also, the lichen and birds. The Puffin is a particular favourite of mine :)

Inger said...

As usual, very interesting. I love lighthouses, but I wouldn't want to be one of those guys on the cliffs.

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,

The lure of the lighthouse. I've always been fascinated by them. I would love to live in one.

I'm Lichen your post, Hilary.

Cheers,

Gary

Lenny Lee* said...

hi my grandblogmom!

wow! another cool post. you know i love birds so i really liked the life on the ledge info and pics.

lighthouses are neat. id like to live in one for a while. for being a lighthouse keeper is a pretty responsible job.

congrats on half a thousand followers! its cool that sooo many people love your posts.

...hugs from lenny

Marcy said...

Lighthouses! I don't think I've ever actually been inside one before, but I love stories about them. I find lichen very interesting too. They come in so many shapes and colors. I really would love to come and visit your British coasts someday.

Silvia Villalobos said...

Lighthouses are always fascinating and hold a certain mystery to me as they go way back to a different time -- and the past, with its amazing history amazes and inspires. Love the picture where it shows how they built one in 1902. We have them as decoration pieces all throughout So. California.
The Bempton Cliffs look absolutely majestic to me. Beautiful, all around.

Juliet Batten said...

There's something about a lighthouse that I can't resist. Beacons of light, full of attraction.

Maggie Winter said...

I always dreamed of living in a lighthouse has a child...no idea why, still love them. Fascinating nature round the coast, pleasure to look at, thank you. :)
Loving the A to Z Challenge Maggie@expatbrazil.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Denise - there’s fewer now being lived in .. they’ve been automated, in fact I’m sure we don’t have any lived in ones now .. there are some lovely stories about life in them though ..

@ Suzanne – I know the thought of looking over the edge at Beachy Head even appals me – and that contraption is a little anxious making – it’s a good record though. And yes if we didn’t have lighthouses we’d have lost a lot more men at sea ...

@ Bob – your Bishop’s Rock lighthouse is a good read ... and it’s funny how we pick up on subjects as we blog – I’m always amazed at how synchronised we all are at times ..

Lichen is everywhere isn’t it .. but it’s very pretty ...

@ Cely – lighthouses look out don’t they and so make sure we sit and absorb our surroundings, which allows those who can write poetry to let their imaginations light up ...

@ Kaushik – I’ve never been up a lighthouse .. the view must be amazing – and I’m sure you couldn’t be able to describe it .. so changeable ...

@ Natasha – I never really got into Dr Who – but also was out of the country in the 1980s .. but I might end up seeing the Horror of Fang Rock some day! Gosh and you went up Dungeness Lighthouse .. interesting experience – especially with only a chain to keep you in! Fun .. to have done though.

@ Linda – good to meet you via Annalisa ... I suspect you’re right – no creatures comforts, especially in the early lighthouses ... and definitely for people who don’t crave company! Delighted to see you here and that you enjoyed the post and will enjoy the blog in the future ...

@ Tina – you too my dear – hope your mornings are going great guns ... living in Chesapeake Bay must have been really amazing and being able to sail to the lighthouses around that area ..

I know the building of the Eastbourne lighthouse must have been hair raising to put it mildly ... and I’m not that happy with heights. Isn’t the egg clever – and you’d understand that shape ..

@ Jo – the egg is brilliant isn’t it. I can’t find my book on the Beachy Head lighthouse before it was built and what they did .. but you’re also right re the smuggling and luring unsuspecting ships to go aground ... smugglers and looters ..

@ Julie – well Aquinnah always draws me .. so we have something in common and spending our holidays looking out at Godrevy Lighthouse will never leave me ...

@ Luanna – oh goshI’m so glad I live in our little island (most of the tiems!) and am not constrained ... that’s brilliant that you finally actually saw a lighthouse on your trip to British Columbia last year .. would love to see more of that Canadian state. I suspect our imaginations are kinder about lighthouses than they actually are .. but they are beautiful and do serve such a good purpose.

@ Brian – they do keep us safe don’t they – there were some horrific accidents prior to lighthouses being put up .. and they are symbolic ...

@ Betty – thanks for coming over from the A-Z ... it’s funny how much we can learn as we blog isn’t it .. and yes I’m glad I wasn’t a man erecting a lighthouse .. Same to you – enjoy the A-Z ...

@ Mason – great buildings to write about .. and yes too many tragedies are bound to happen around lighthouses ..

part 2 following ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Michael – great to see you ... I love lighthouses .. and yes I’m pleased to keep upping the ante with some different pictures or a bird’s egg, which I think is a first ... thanks too re the 500 plus ...

@ Manzanita – a good job to have for a period of years, before they were automated, if being alone and working that job suited you – it was security for many ..

But Life on the Ledge is a little daunting isn’t it – but birds are so smart ... that’s lovely the blue bird house is being made use of – sensible little things – as long as a predator doesn’t come along ...

@ Alex – so true – they can just rock off and off they fly ...

@ Teresa – it would be fun to see inside a lighthouse ... and to stay there for a few days with creature comforts around! But those early inventors were so clever ...

Now – we’re still inventing things ... but many more of the world is not so clever – thereby hangs the challenge ... not many question things, to see if and how they work ... the future will be interesting to be around ..

@ Scribbler – I’m sure technology is responsible for disasters – but it’s man made .. with man relying on technology too much and not using his common sense – seems to me to be the major problem ... I see you’ve come back below – thank you!

@ Morgan – sometimes it’s like travelling here – and yet another church to look at ... but lighthouses are amazing aren’t they ... glad you enjoyed them though ...

@ Cherie – many thanks ... good to see you here ..

@ Scribbler – I’m an eclectic poster .. such is the life of this blogger – keeps it interesting along the journey of the A-Z at least .. thanks for coming back.

@ Robyn – good to see you ... and Bempton Cliffs are a staggering cliff face – I think you can walk along and get quite close in places ... the RSPB protect sites which is good ...

@ Lee – our foghorn goes here when there’s sea fog .. it booms around the town ... and is certainly plaintiff when we can hardly see in front of our noses ...

Isn’t the Louis XIV quote brilliant and as you say – should be picked up – but now I need to remind myself of it .. for another day!

@ Rosie – oh yes I’d love to see a Puffin in real life.. what fun that they travel to see lighthouses – a great way of having a goal as they travel ... sounds fun

@ Su-siee Mac – lucky you to have wandered around some lighthouses and seeing what life would be like – pretty cold I suspect .. and I agree I couldn’t handle the fog and cold at all well!

@ Lynn – thanks .. some of those poems just stick ..

@ Lisa – well that’s great that you have a goal to go visiting Maine and their lighthouses and Lobsters – yes I’d do that too!!

@ Roland – the quote is excellent is .. and one we should all try and adhere too. I imagine you’d love life in a lighthouse for a while .. to write and imagine all kinds of new stories ...

@ Bish – I most definitely would not be happy working on the Beachy Head lighthouse ... isn’t the egg lovely to look at ..

@ Kelly – thanks so much – Lighthouses form part of our coastline ... and highlight the danger points for ships ... hidden reefs and rocks ...

@ JJ – glad you enjoyed it – thanks ..

@ Sharon – I love the learning .. and then seeing the photos – easier to understand sometimes ... Lichen comes up again soon! Got to put the sea-birds in ...

@ Inger – thanks for calling in ... I’d love to be able to go up a lighthouse – perhaps there is one I’ll find one day ... but that photo of the Beachy Head construction gives me the creeps ... I think they all lived to see another day!

Thanks again everyone .. part 3 coming up ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Gary – good phrase .. ‘lure of the lighthouse’ and I can imagine you living in one – not sure about Penny though?! Glad you ‘lichen’ my post .. thanks!

@ GrandBlogSon – how amazing to see you here ... and then your comment – is so thoughtful. I know you like critters and birds – and am glad you appreciate their lives ...

Lighthouses – it’d be kind fun to live on one for a while – but before automation they had very very responsible roles and essential in saving lifes ..

Thanks re the half a thousand followers – sounds good like that! I’m lucky that I have so many loyal commenters and followers ..

@ Marcy – I know I haven’t been inside a lighthouse ... but I wouldn’t mind seeing inside one. Now stories about lighthouse keepers I have somewhere! Lichen crops up tomorrow! I hope you can get over for a visit sometime ..

@ Silvia- I think lighthouses hold many secrets – tales that could be written and perhaps were written ... but they do inspire – let alone amaze. The 1902 one just staggered me – knowing the state of those cliffs now!: crumbly ... and oh yes we have seaside memorabilia too – coloured lighthouses et al ...

Bempton Cliffs are just an amazing headland aren’t they ...

@ Juliet – Beacons of Light – they are certainly that ... with lots of attracting ideas ...

@ Maggie – I used to look at Godrevy Lighthouse a lot on holiday in Cornwall .. but can’t remember thinking about living in one – perhaps I knew its rocky location with crashing waves! The British coast is certainly varied ...

Cheers to you all – lovely comments .. appreciate you all - Hilary

Michelle Wallace said...

Life on a ledge is literally living life on the edge...
That blotchily patterned egg which just rolls around and doesn't really break... amazing how it adapts via its shape...

The lighthouses make me think of one of the bloggers, Julie Flanders who has written a book titled Ghosts Of Aquinnah, which is about a freelance writer who is researching historic lighthouses...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Michelle - for those that live on the edge by the sea .. it really is a minute rocky space sometimes. I love how nature just adapts to its situation and the egg is an incredible evolution ...

Yes - Julie .. has her Aquinnah Lighthouse .. and I've the book here to read ... and she's a great blogger too ... as you note ..

Cheers and thanks for being so good at being all around here A-Zing .. Hilary