Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A beacon of light

I arrived in St. Augustine yesterday and went to a social at the lighthouse last night. It is a wonderful lighthouse and has been restored, along with the keeper's house. I climbed the 219 steps to a spectacular view of the surrounding maritime forest, beach and ocean. I watched the spoonbills fly to their rookery over the alligator preserve. And the sailboats at anchor made a nice backdrop.

One of the things that is particularly sad about the lighthouse is that in 1986, the first order Fresnel lens was shattered by bullets from a high powered rifle. According to the docent, a 14 year old boy, high on drugs, took his father's hunting rifle and shot at the light. Bullets shattered nineteen prisms in the historic lens. A grant was obtained eventually to restore the prisms. So as the lighthouse keeper said, the knowledge gained from restoration of the lens has helped others in their restoration of Fresnel lenses.

So with a lot of effort by local preservationists, the old beacon still shines and projects pure white light. I'm glad that the effort was made and that a part of history was preserved.


  1. Have I offended you? My link has been removed from your site!? My low self esteem, co-dependent, needy self is feeling like I did something wrong?

  2. Went to St A. on our Honeymoon--and several X since. Really like the laid back attitude up there. And the food. Oops, did I mention "food" in an AA blog--heck, I'll go to my "Food" blog and tell them how good the drinks are in St A!!!

    (Just kidding, just kidding. =grin=)
    --A STRONG proponent of Singleness of Purpose...Steve E.

  3. i simply love lighthouses!

    what a sad story...

  4. Luv lighthouses. We live in NC and the lighthouses on the OBX are near and dear to my heart. Something about guiding sailors in the dark ocean seas makes me nostalgic. Thanks for the blog.

    Kim in NC

  5. Nice pic. You will have to come see our beautiful lighthouses on the Great Lakes.

  6. Yes.And let's hope the boy on drugs is no longer on drugs-and taking his Father's rifle.

    Lovely pictures.

  7. That looks spectacular!
    Ill bet it was easier climbing back down.

  8. You get to visit some great places Syd and you are so full of calm wisdom.
    Shame about the light, it just takes one or two idiots to spoil things for everyone.
    Yes Luke decides where he wants to go now, when he lived at his mums it was a regimented visit in these times every week but I have told him he is free now.
    Thats the key though, hand stuff over to your HP, like a line out of star wars when Princess Leia says to Admiral Tarkin..
    the more you tighten your grasp the more things slip away, I am learning gradually syd, its been a long 4 years but I am learning

  9. I want to marry a light house keeper
    and keep him company
    I want to marry a light house keeper
    and live by the side of the sea
    I'll polish his lamp by the light of day
    so ships at night can find their way
    I wanna marry a light house keeper
    won't that be okay

  10. Great pics, great story.

    Enjoy your weekend.

  11. I love the picture, Syd. I've only been up in a lighthouse once but it was a very moving experience and I'm sure it was for you too.
    Also, I love that the keepers were able to make something worthwhile after that mindless shooting.


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