July 2004 -
With my new gear and okay from the doctor, it was
time to go on my first real adventure, and it was a
good one! I got to visit the Cedar Island
Lighthouse, in East Hampton, New York.
It took about
one-and-a-half hours to drive to lighthouse. I was
comfortable in my new carrier. Before we started the
walk out to the lighthouse, I had a drink of water.
Then we walked along the beach, with me peeking out
of my carrier at all the new sights! Bob even walked
in the water for a while. It was funny to see the
water splashing below me.
Piping Plovers with babies on part of the beach, so
we couldn't walk in that area. I'm told there are
several beaches on Long Island that where these
endangered birds nest. We did see a couple of them,
but we kept our distance so we wouldn't disturb
them. Further down the beach, we saw an Osprey nest.
An Osprey is a hawk that eats fish. There was a time
when these birds were in danger from a pesticide
called DDT, but with that pesticide banned, they
have made a great comeback on Long Island.
After about a
half hour walk, we came to the lighthouse. It hasn't
actually been used as a lighthouse since 1934, and
it is all closed up now because of a fire in 1974. A
group called the Long Island Lighthouse Society is
now working with the Suffolk County Parks
Department, which owns the lighthouse, to restore
the old lighthouse. They recently restored another
building on the site, a small brick building, built
in 1902, that held oil for the lighthouse's oil
lamp, tools, and other things that couldn't be
stored in the lighthouse.
about the history of this lighthouse, too. The first
Cedar Island Lighthouse was built in 1839, to help
whaling ships get safely in and out of the nearby
port of Sag Harbor. At that time, the area around
the lighthouse was an island. A new lighthouse, the
one that is there now, replaced the original one in
1869. They built the new lighthouse on a different
part of the small island because the island was
washing away. By the time they stopped using the
lighthouse, in 1934, there wasn't much land left,
and the water was halfway around the foundation of
the lighthouse! A big hurricane hit the area in 1938
and churned up so much sand that it filled in the
area between Cedar Island and Long Island! That's
why we can walk to the lighthouse now.
I don't know
if any kitties ever lived at Cedar Island, but I do
know of at least two dogs, Mutt and Brownie, who
lived there in the 1920s and 30s. They lived with
the Follett family. William Follett was the
lighthouse's keeper. He lived with his wife, Atta.
They often had friends over (Brownie was given to
them by a friend named Frank, who was a local
painter). The Folletts even had two grandchildren,
Bill and Warren, living with them for a few years.
When Bill and Warren were big enough to go to
school. they still came to live with their
grandparents in the Summer. Life on the island must
have been fun!
While I was at
the lighthouse, I got to look at some other things I
had never seen before. There were plants I had never
seen, like the one in the photo on the right. Bob
and Diane made sure I didn't eat any of the plant,
though. It was so exciting, that I got up on all
four feet to check it out. That's hard for me to do,
but it gave me a better look at the plant.
I also got to
sit on the beach for a little while and look out
over the water. From the beach I could see Shelter
Island. There was lots of sand on the beach (I had
never seen so much sand before!), and there were
shells and seaweed. I didn't stay on the beach too
long, though, because it was hot out. Before we
started our walk back to the parking lot, I had a
little more water. It's important to drink enough
water on a hot day, especially when you're wearing a
I had to ride
in the carrier on the walk back, to protect me from
the sun, but I just had to peek out every so often
to see what was going on. The splashing of the water
as Bob walked in it was funny!
After our half
hour walk back to the parking lot, we still had to
make the long drive home. I was tired from my first
really big adventure, so I slept almost the whole
way. Bob and Diane said I was sleeping with my
tongue sticking out a little, and it looked funny
(I'm glad they didn't get a picture of me sleeping