The Nonamessett House in Mid-May

Just two weeks ago, the lone pine on Nonamessett looked like this.


Yesterday afternoon?

My how things have changed!


The Nonamessett House now peeks over a greening ridge.


Chimneys inhale and exhale. A chimney is part of a house’s respiratory system.


When a warm day follows a cold night, a chimney can develop a downdraft. And your house fills up with chimney-scented air. .

 There are lungs.

And there are umbilical cords.

In the next photo, the Nonamessett House’s umbilical cord is showing. Look carefully and you’ll see the afternoon sun glinting off the electric power lines that meander in tightly-stretched catenary curves from the islands’ power system.


The power system on the Elizabeths is totally “Off grid”. Almost all of the power now comes from a huge bank of recently installed solar collectors. There’s a generator for backup. That generator used to run almost all of the time. Now, I’m told, it might run an hour a day.

Mid-May green.

There’s nothing like it.

When winter-dormant plants sense the  the truly-warmer temperatures of the month of May, when they feel the strength of the sun and take in the fact that YES! the days are longer, longer, longer, they explode into action. The lime green of first growth, which a few weeks ago was but a hint in the landscape, becomes pervasive and dominant for a few weeks, before leaves and shoots toughen and darken.

The ferry turns, to reach its slip.

Briefly, the Nonamessett House shows itself one last time.

Time for another farewell.


I wish a farmer lived there all the year through.

I wish we could see gardens, and blooming fruit trees, and tended walls and fences.

I wish we could see their laundry on a line, soaking up sun and salt air.

I wish we could see white dots of sheep, and the brown smudge of horse or oxen.

I wish we could see the farmer’s children, running outside, or fishing from the shore.

But that was another year.

Another time.


2 responses to “The Nonamessett House in Mid-May

  1. Moving capture of our time, our place, another time, another place. Moving on. . . (Wishetwur now, as then. . . but then, those solar panels seem a march in the right direction.)

  2. the field on Nonamesset I am told, used to be a landing strip for one of the Forbes small plane. Birthplace of Robert Swain Gifford.

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