Photo Challenge & Postcards – Pebbly Beach

For this week’s post I’m back to Block Island, RI. I believe this anchor, photographed from Pebbly Beach, is a wind vane of sorts.

Pebbly Beach was one of our favorite spots to visit on Block Island when we stayed in the Sea Breeze Inn.

Visitors to Block Island have enjoyed the Pebbly Beach for over 100 years.

This postcard is postmarked August 29, 1909, almost 110 years in the past. Here’s an easier to read view of what I think Kate wrote to Willie on that long ago day.

Block Island R.I. Aug 28/09
This is how it looks from
the beach in front of the
cottage. From the cottage
we can see over the
point-Tell Annie I’d
rather have ANY trip
than HERS. No more les-
sons at present. I am
where they can’t reach
me – Kate E. Post

I’m not sure of two words, these I printed in capitals. There seems to be some unspoken drama in this post. I wonder what Kate meant about not being reached??? Even today to visit Block Island requires a boat or plane ride. The mystery is a century old. I love old postcards with messages.

Thanks to these bloggers for taking part in last week’s challenge:
Geriatri’x’Fotogallery – Tuna Weather Vane
The 59 Club – Hunter Springs

The Photo Challenge: Each Wednesday, I post a photograph of a Weather Vane with a short description of where it can be found and any history connected to it. The main focus of the challenge is the photo of the Weather Vane and the location. The challenge can be Wordless if that is what you choose. If you would like others to see your post leave a link to your blog in the comment box. You can also tag the post #weathervaneweds. If you place a link to my post in your post you will create a pingback that will appear in the comment section. The challenge is open all week for comments and posts. Thanks so much for taking part in my challenge.

Many thanks to Cee, of Cee’s Photography, for including this challenge in her listing of WordPress Challenges. If you love challenges take a look at this page and while you are there check out some of Cee’s terrific posts. Thanks Cee!

Photo Challenge – Block Island Weather Vane

Today’s weather vane is an oldie, but definitely a good memory for me. This is early morning on Block Island, Rhode Island, our car in line, my husband waiting to pull it onto the ferry for the ride back to Point Judith. I love the foggy atmosphere. So often, in early morning, when we left the island, the fog would be thick and mysterious. On top of the small house selling tickets is what appears to be some type of weather vane. It surprises me to look at my hundreds of photos of our vacations on Block Island and not find any vanes. Once again, I’m reminded that often you don’t see what you aren’t looking for at the moment.

Thanks to these bloggers for taking part in the challenge:
Geriatri’x’fotogallery – Weather Vanes Above Our City
The 59 Club – Putter Court

The Photo Challenge: Each Wednesday, I post a photograph of a Weather Vane with a short description of where it can be found and any history connected to it. The main focus of the challenge is the photo of the Weather Vane and the location. The challenge can be Wordless if that is what you choose. If you would like others to see your post leave a link to your blog in the comment box. You can also tag the post #weathervaneweds. If you place a link to my post in your post you will create a pingback that will appear in the comment section. The challenge is open all week for comments and posts. Thanks so much for taking part in my challenge.

Many thanks to Cee, of Cee’s Photography, for including this challenge in her listing of WordPress Challenges. If you love challenges take a look at this page and while you are there check out some of Cee’s terrific posts. Thanks Cee!

Quotes – Rest & Shelter

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” ~Matthew 11:28-29

“Friendship is a sheltering tree.” ~ Samuel Coleridge

I always noticed this tree on Block Island, RI, as we walked the path to Clayhead Beach. Its wide branches seemed to invite me to climb, lay upon the branches, and rest. I easily imagined myself in repose there with a book in hand, a blanket draped over a bough, a pillow beneath my head. This daydream still lives on in my heart whenever I think of the path and the tree. To me, it seems to be a bit of heaven on earth.

I wish for you the finest rest on this Sabbath Day.

This post is part of Sunday Trees.

Photographs – Hidden Treasure

“(Extra) ordinary Mundane and meaningful objects. Beautiful everyday things. This week, surprise us with something or someone (extra)ordinary.”


Block Island, Rhode Island beaches are part sand, part rocky pebbles. The larger stones have been used since the early centuries of our country as cobblestones for New England roadways. I am fascinated by the beauty of these rocks. The amazing array of colors and the wave-tumbled smooth surfaces mesmerize me. Much like Sanibel Island, Florida, known for the famous “Sanibel Stoop,” (a title describing beachcombers searching for shells on the beaches,) Block Island turns beachcombers into rockhounds, creating a posture that could be named, “The Block Island Bend.”

The interesting stone in today’s photograph is a cabbage-sized rock I found on Block Island. I brought it home as a doorstop, and often pick it up to gaze at what seems to be treasure inside. The exterior of the stone is a quite ordinary, but within a zig-zagging crack on the surface, the facets of polished quartz are visible, transforming the ordinary stone, into an extraordinary keepsake.


Quirkiness – Wacky Wednesday/Creating Cairns on Block Island


I recently composed a mantelscape using “beachy” items in honor of summer and the many seashore areas we have visited. I created a cairn (stacked rocks) with a few pebbles I brought home from Block Island, Rhode Island. I have created many a cairn on the Block Island beaches and admired hundreds more of these impromptu works of art built by the talented stone stackers who roam the bluffs, rocks and sand of this beautiful place.

“A cairn is a man-made pile (or stack) of stones. The word cairn comes from the Scottish Gaelic: càrn (plural càirn).” ~ Wikipedia

Here are a few of the cairns I have photographed over the years on Block Island. As you can see cairns can be stacked quite tall…

block island 044

Or very small…

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Some have a picturesque backdrop…

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While others adorn the muddy clay at the base of the bluffs…

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Some stand alone…

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While others stand en masse in a madrigal choir of stone.


There are even a few who have gotten married! (See note about this photograph at end of post)

The Wedding March

Block Island cairns are created with the beautiful rocks and pebbles found on Block Island Beaches.

Block Island Rock Collage JPG

I composed and photographed the bride and groom photograph on Block Island a few years ago. I have used it many times as a wedding or shower greeting card. Please feel free to copy and use the photograph for non-commercial uses. It looks terrific mounted on a piece of black cardstock and then double-mounted on a white 5 x 7 greeting card. The photo is a standard size and should be easy to have reproduced anywhere they print out digital photos. Better yet, try your hand at creating your own bride and groom photograph from natural items…so much fun!

Pleasures – Fresh Donuts!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Fresh.”
“For this week’s photo challenge, share with us a photo that expresses something fresh.”

Block Island Donuts
Block Island Donuts

When I think of fresh I think of Payne’s Killer Donuts on Block Island in Rhode Island. They truly are FRESH and capture that “Melt-in-your-mouth” goodness we all crave.

Photo Challenge – Reward? A Cuppa’ Ocean or Bay Please


“What does reward mean to you?”

Reward to me means a day walking, beachcombing or sitting on a sandy/rocky beach beside the ocean waves. I’ve been blessed in my life to have my idea of a reward fulfilled. Here are some of those ways…a reminder of a day at the beach on a cold Friday afternoon.





abel with lighthouse








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block island 203

Photograph – Green & Graven Symmetry

Symmetry – “For this challenge, share an image of symmetry. Don’t limit yourself to architecture — you can bend this theme in any way you’d like.”

Symmetry – the quality of being made up of exactly similar parts facing each other or around an axis.


Bird’s Nest Fern – Longwood Gardens Conservatory

This beautiful Bird’s Nest fern while not being perfect in its symmetry, is still a good example of a plant growing in a symmetrical manner. Growing a Bird’s Nest Fern is easy. The plant is more resilient against dry conditions than the more feathery ferns. An added plus is a Bird’s Nest Fern is a low-light plant.

Another example of symmetry is a gravestone. This one, weathered by years, wind and sea salt can be found in the graveyard on Block Island, RI.


Photograph & Praise – Serenity through Song

Sunset – West Beach, Block Island, RI



“Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!” ~ Psalm 147:2 (NIV)

This post so exactly fit the Serenity challenge for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, I was compelled to edit and enter it also.

I have been singing more. My daily to-do list has a smiley face with a big O in place of the smile, a reminder to me to sing, sing, sing.

I don’t want to let one day go by without singing praises to God. In the past year I have been reading a Psalm a day. They are filled with verses about music and song. In these days of ever-quickening changes the songs I sing give each day stability and remembrance of the awesome and mighty nature of the Lord God.

If I am anxious or troubled, I sing, and the load seems lighter. When Jesus and his disciples finished his last supper here on earth they sang songs of praise together. (Hallel Psalms) Even knowing what lay ahead for him, Jesus praised the Father. In all I do I want to lift a song of praise to his name every day.

“When they had sung a hymn they went out to the Mount of Olives.” Matthew 26:30 (NIV)

This post was originally posted October 30, 2011.

Praise & Pleasures – Singing Stones

singing stones

“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12

I love the sounds of nature. On this Sabbath Day I am remembering the joyful singing of the rocks on Block Island, Rhode Island. The pound of the surf across the sand is followed by the gentler roar of the waves receding. The stones seem to sing as the water flows back into the sea. I might be inland, but in my heart I am hearing the briny symphony of those New England waters.

Try to take some time today to hear the clapping of the trees, the singing of the rocks, the chirping of the birds. Take a walk and listen to the Lord’s gentle symphony. A blessed Sabbath to you.

Place, Peculiarities & Phun- Block Island Mud on Clayhead Beach

Block Island 2013 278 One of our very favorite beaches on Block Island, Rhode Island, is Clayhead Beach. The bluffs on this beach are one of the first sights you see when you approach on the Point Judith Ferry. Within these bluffs is a clay that gives the beach its name. Those who pass by often take a handful of the clay and spread it on their bodies. Clay packs draw out toxins and are beneficial to your body. These girls were so sweet and allowed me to photograph them as they applied the clay. Block Island 2013 279

Here are the girls again before their walk back up the shoreline to Mansion Beach. Cute!

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Here is a bit of information about Clayhead Beach and Preserve: Clayhead Beach and Preserve

Photographs and Place – Block Island Getaway

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My husband and I have just returned from our yearly vacation to Block Island. Block Island is a gorgeous island off the coast of Rhode Island. This beautiful butterfly was photographed outside of the cottage we rented on the island. You can find more information on “The Cottage” and “The Upstairs,” at this link: The Upstairs at Block Island. We love this spot on the island, secluded, yet the center of town is only an easy walk or bike ride away.

Block Island 2013 303

This butterfly bush on the property kept me fascinated. Each time I passed by I found a beautiful winged creature to admire and photograph.

Block Island 2013 054

This gorgeous hummingbird moth visited the butterfly bush every day. What an amazing sight, imagine my delight when I spied two of these beauties on the same bush. Here’s a bit of information about Hummingbird Moths: Hummingbird Moths

Block Island 2013 107

Sweet little skipper butterflies also stopped by the bush.

Block Island 2013 057

Although their season is almost over, the wild roses are still putting on quite a show. This one was photographed beside “The Cottage” where we stayed the week.

Peculiarities and Projects – Hanging Basket Hook


In the photograph above you might think you are looking at a typical hanging basket…and you are of course! Look a little closer at how the basket is hung and you might see the purpose behind this “Peculiar” post.


Yes, what you are looking at is a gigantic fishing lure. I found this a few years ago while beach-combing. After I carefully picked it up off the rocks of the Block Island coastline, I dropped it into my collecting bag. It hung alone from the rafters of my porch ceiling for a few years, a reminder of a happy day. This year, however, while looking for the ever elusive S-hook for attaching my hanging baskets to the chain, I came up with the idea to use the lure. It worked great, but just to be on the safe side I wound a bit of floral wire around it too. I’m very pleased with my unique hook!


Place – Block Island Day 7/Saying Goodbye

On the day of our departure from Block Island we stopped at Payne’s Killer Donut Shop and bought a few of their amazing donuts for the ferry ride.

A last goodbye to the buildings surrounding Old Harbor and the ferry parking lot.


I snapped just one more photograph for my watercolor/acrylics reference library and we were off. We’ve already made our reservations at “The Upstairs” for next year. I can’t wait to go back.

Place and Phascination – Block Island Day 6/The Cairns at Mohegan Bluffs

To get to the amazing beach below the steep hills of Mohegan Bluffs you must climb down 144 steps. The first time you descend you get a rude surprise. Instead of stepping onto the beach, you have a 15 to 20 foot portion of the bluff to pick your way down. This can be tricky. There are many natural springs in the bluffs, and the fog and surf spray can make the rocky dirt slippery. It’s worth the effort though. The beach is gorgeous, and the view in all directions is terrific. If you click on the photograph above you can get an idea of the climb at the end of the staircase. The two people in the upper right corner are at the end of the staircase, and the people in the middle have just finished climbing down the side of the bluff.

It was foggy when we reached the bottom this year. The misty atmosphere gave a magical feel to the field of Cairns along the beach.

I have never seen so many cairns in one spot before. The photograph can’t capture them all because they fade into the mist.

I loved this arrangement of stones with a message and decided it would make a great motto for the year. I took a snapshot and pasted it in the front of my daily to do notebook.

Here are a few more photographs of the beach at Mohegan Bluffs.

This gives you an idea of the clay that can be found all around the island. Many people apply it to their skin, let it dry in the sun, and then dip in the water to wash it off. Others create interesting works of art by scraping images into it with driftwood and shells.

Mohegan Bluffs is worth the climb.

Place and Play – Block Island Day 5

I am not much of a beach bather, but I am an absolutely avid beachcomber. The evidence sits on shelves in my garage. Stacked in boxes and bins are hundreds of pieces of driftwood, seashells, sea glass and even fishing lures that have washed up on the beaches I visit. I also enjoy creating cairns (more on these tomorrow) and stone sea nymphs. Here are a few pictures of this year’s creations. I named the photo above “Three Sisters.” I am a part of that three sister trio. I am the stone maiden on the right. My sister Amy is on the left, and sister Sue is in the middle.

I also really enjoyed putting together the bride and groom beneath the driftwood arch. Fun! Yes, it’s true…I will never grow up.

Place and Pressed Flowers – Pressing the Odd Item/Block Island Day 4

Clayhead Beach on Block Island is probably my favorite beach. This past winter, storms and currents deposited extra sand on the shoreline. The stretch of sand along Clayhead has always been sensational, and now is better than ever. The large rocks just off the beach create amazing tidal pools. These pools capture hermit crabs, periwinkles, starfish, and this year I even saw a sea urchin for the first time. The pools are a big draw for beachcombers, young and old.

Seaweed is abundant on Block Island and grows in these pools. In the past it was farmed and sold. While I was researching the seaweed, I found this article about a present day forager of seaweed. You can read the article here: Seaweed Forager – Jen Lighty

Here are some photographs of the seaweed on the island.

I especially loved the look of the frondy seaweed in the picture above and decided to try to press it. Luckily, I had thought ahead and brought a few books for pressing along with me. I gathered up a cupful of the seaweed then soaked it in fresh water, changing the water several times. I then spread the clean seaweed on several layers of newspaper and left it in the sun. Within a matter of hours the seaweed had lost all moisture, but unfortunately was also rock hard. To press it in this brittle condition would have shattered it. I decided it was an impossible task. Happily, I didn’t throw it out right away, but forgot and left the hardened seaweed on the balcony overnight.

Hooray! Thank goodness for my occasional absent-mindedness. During the night the seaweed reabsorbed a bit of moisture from the dew and fog. It was not wet, but only sticky and damp, and a bit pliable. I put it between the pages of my book and in a few days it was hardened again, but now perfectly flat.

The dried and pressed seaweed held on to a bit of its pink color, but all the greens and whites faded out or darkened into browns and tan. The pieces, even though pressed, are still fairly thick. I don’t think I can use it in my usual greeting card artwork. One idea I have thought of is to use it as a stencil in my painting. I also could apply paint with a brush and use the pressed seaweed as a stamp. Any ideas for me? Please leave a comment. I’d love to get some input on how to use it.