Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cats in Love

My Catboy is in love...with a piece of luggage. I caught him wooing the object of his affection this morning when he thought no one was around. I returned from a short trip to the Berkshires last night and left my Sportsac weekender, still packed, in the kitchen. This morning I found him embracing it with his entire body, both paws entwined in the shoulder strap, while ardently rubbing his face all over it and drooling.

My attention had disturbed him, though, and by the time I could get to my camera, the moment had passed.

I've seen him do this before to various other objects; usually a jacket, a pair of boots, or some other clothing item. Sometimes I suspect that he's marking my belongings with his facial glands to infer his ownership of me, but I'm not sure about this.

Occasionally, he stops suddenly and makes that funny grimace that tells me he is accessing the organ in the roof of his mouth that fine tunes his sense of smell. I've read that this response may be used when cats detect an odor that they interpret as sexual in nature.

If that's true, then something must have shifted after he was neutered as a kitten, because apparently, leather, flannel and ripstop nylon really turn him on!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Postcards from the Island

Before I end this chronicle of my recent trip to Block Island, I wanted to share a few picture postcards that I picked up there. These beautiful scenes really capture the feel of the place.

This first one below is the view of Old Harbor you would get as you entered on a boat heading for the docks. The big Victorian Hotel on the right is The National.

Photo by Olya Evanitsky
©KW Cards 2004

This is the Old Southeast Light that sits on Mohegan Bluffs, site of a long-ago indian massacre.

photo by K.C.Perry

And North light, which sits at the northern-most tip of the island, just across Narragansett Bay from the fishing village of Galilee on Point Judith. This lighthouse was recently restored and it overlooks a seagull rookery.

photo by K.C.Perry

A typical view from the shore, looking out to sea.

photo by K.C. Perry

This view is from a hill overlooking the Great Salt Pond, with Old Harbor and The National Hotel in the distance and the Atlantic Ocean beyond.

photo by Robert M. Downie

So its goodbye for now to Manisses, island of the little god. There are many more island stories to tell and I will journey back again in the future.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Different Kind of Farm

This is the Hotel Manisses, a 19th century Victorian Hotel that is one of the more elegant places to stay on the Block. Although I prefer a much more casual lifestyle while staying on the island (so does my budget), the gardens are a lovely place to have cocktails after dark. Featuring sparkling fountains, white, wrought iron furniture, and subtle lighting, it's like relaxing in a private little world of elegance. Late afternoon tapas and wine on the front porch is a favorite and affordable time too.

My favorite part of the Manisses Hotel is Justin's animal farm. Here you will find exotic animals like Llamas, fainting goats, camels, giant tortoises, emus, zebus and red kangaroos, as well as the usual barnyard fowl. Above is a photo of MacDuff, taken from the hotel's webpage. He was inside on the morning I visited last week, so I didn't get a shot of him. An enormous, but serene bull of the Highland Cattle variety, MacDuff is the king of the pasture.

I never miss an opportunity to stroll though the farm and commune with all of its residents.

If I were to come back in another lifetime and get to choose my life and occupation, living on Block Island and running the animal farm would be right up there near the top of the list.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

New Harbor, Old Harbor

There are two Harbors at Block Island. New Harbor on the Great Salt Pond is dominated by Champlin's Marina. Last Wednesday a thunder storm rolled through, late in the afternoon. The sky suddenly turned very dark and ominous.

Old Harbor is studded with Victorian-style hotels and gift shops of every description. On Saturday, July 4th, the Block Island parade lurched down Water Street to the delight of several thousand onlookers. Some highlights below. Some folks seemed to think they were at Mardi gras- It was a crazy scene on the streets. Check out the daredevil standing on the roof in the second picture. He was not a young kid and I had visions of him taking a dive. Glad to say, he eventually climbed down safely.

Next: The Manisses Farm

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Life On The Beach

Of course, my favorite part of island life is the beach. Here are some photos from my time spent on Scotch Beach during my trip to Manisses. You can click to enlarge for a better look.

Next: the harbors.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Island Time

I've been in heaven for the past few days. I took the ferry twelve nautical miles across Narragansett Bay and landed on Manisses: island of the little god; better known these days as Block Island.

Back here on the mainland, dark clouds, rain and lightning have been the order of the day, weatherwise. But the Block exists in a micro-climate(only one of the many wonderful, magical things that define it)and from Thursday through Sunday, the sun bathed the powder-white beaches with heat and a sweet, glorious sea-breeze stirred the field grass in the green pastures that dot the island, surrounded by ancient cobblestone walls.

Although Independence Day weekend is certainly not the best time to go (I feared the village of Old Harbor might sink from the weight of humanity on Saturday, July 4th), opportunity knocked in the form of a generous invitation from my beloved sister and brother-in-law, and I never say no to island time. Luckily, the pretty home they had rented was a few, precious miles outside of town, in a much less populated area, away from the rowdy bars and the buzzing mopeds.

I'm preparing a photo collection and I will post it as soon as I catch up on my laundry and address some other real-life issues, now that I'm back here on earth. Stay tuned.