Tuesday, September 3, 2019

How Goldenrod Affected Lighthouses

A reminder for all who read my Let's Talk blog, Blending Sites and Storytelling is the new look and new name. I look forward to seeing you here each week and reading your responses. Feel free to share what you also know. 

I'm not an expert, but I am easily intrigued by crazy things like how nature can have a power play over a lighthouse.

I'll show you. 
(All photos below were taken by me.)

Taken in Gay, Michigan, Upper Pennindula
 at a copper stamping ruin

The goldenrod is a rascal of a plant. 

Beautiful. Lacy. A brilliant shade of gold shining in the sun. 

Unfortunately many people are allergic to it. My own daughter becomes weapy every fall over the appearance of this flower. Tears flow as if she had cried during the taking of her school pictures in goldenrod season. We laugh when we look back at them.

Ludington, Michigan Lighthouse

Besides allergies, golden rod inadvertantly causes another problem.

From 1825 to 1983 lighthouse keepers lived in the lighthouses with the charge to keep the light burning for ships.

Whole families lived in some of these. Schooling their children. Washing clothes. Cooking food.

Pier walkway leading out to Ludington's lighthouse

Due to nature of the job, lighthouses are located in extremely remote areas. Some accessible only by boat.

The residents had no neighbors. The structure could never be left unattended. In some cases, supplies had to be delivered by boat.

Lake Michigan

Solitude struck hard in the long winters during a time when cell phones and the internet had not yet been available. Even today cell coverage is not available at some lighthouses.

So, how did the goldenrod create problems for lighthouses?

Little Sable Poin

The lightkeeper's wives especially notice the goldenrod in full bloom. They called it the last blooming flower of summer. It was the yellow flag. The warning. Winter. A terribly, long winter would be there soon.

Among the many stories written about and by lighthouse residents are the ones telling about the goldenrod, so powerful was its affect on the keepers of the light.

Somehow the lighthouse keepers and their family found ways to play and live in these circumstances. Truly amazing.

Have you walked through a lighthouse or visited the grounds? Which one did you see?

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