The Presqui'le Lighthouse

Lynda   McDonald

Belleville, Canada

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Artist's Description

Photographed Nov 2/09, as/is no editing

Nikon D300,17 mm fl (12-24 wide angle lens)
f/10 ISO-400 AP monopod

Location: Presqui’le Provincial Park,Presqui’le Point,Lake Ontario, Brighton, ON , Canada

This historic structure is situated on the eastern point of the peninsuala formerly known as Gibson’s Point.
Nichol Hugh Baird was the engineer who designed this 69 foot octoganal stone tower that tapers to a pronounced flare at the top with a molded cornece . With a Gothic style doorway added………it had a magestic look. There was orginally an 8 sided cupula perched on top.
William Swetman Sr was Presqui’le’s first lighthouse keeper . He took care of it from 1884 -1871 until his death at age 86 . His grandson followed in his footsteps. Other keepers followed suit and supplemented their meager income by growing apples and raising livestock on the federal preserve acreage associated with the lighthouse.
Due to a poor choice in building stone the outside of the lighthouse started to crumble and fall into disrepair due to exposure to the elements. The lighthouse was originally constructed with limestone in 1840. Later, 54 years later it was wrapped in timber and clad with cedar shingles.
Today the lighthouse draws many tourists and local people on a daily basis. The interpretive centre has a wonderful display, all the history and the original cupula preserved.
There is just so much that could be said of this tiny pennisula. The birds and wildlife change with the seasons but are always abundant. Swallows and Flycatchers entertain the viewers from spring well into summer. Cormorants, herons, and various ducks fly low across the beautiful bay while you gaze at the sailboats. A walk up the stony path leads to the interpretive centre and vairous micro birds along the way hop in and out delighting the avid bird watchers. They stop and listen intently and quickly mark down their “sound” finds on their notepads,,,,,,,,,,then onto the next path or sighting. During the cold icy months of winter , ice and water pound against the shore and then in come the stunning Oldsquaw ducks now renamed Long Tailed Duck. Both the male and female completely change their summer feathers for a new winter look . If you have seen them fishing during the winter, diving down under the ice like little seals you would be so amazed .
As the story continues from my own personal perspective…………..i am most certain I will find new delights this winter as now I have a familiarity with the park, water, trails and how to find them.

Artwork Comments

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