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Block Island, Rhode Island, USA
An island in the Atlantic Ocean 14 miles East of Long Island
13 September 2002 Excursion
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(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 04)  Our flight to Block Island takes us over the Groton - New London, Connecticut area where the Thames River empties into the eastern end of Long Island Sound.  The near shoreline is the Connecticut coast.  The long narrow island is Fisher's Island, New York, and the distant narrow band of land on the horizon is the eastern end of Long Island, New York.  And, just 14 miles east of the eastern tip of Long Island is Block Island, Rhode Island (not visible in this photo), our destination.  This is an interesting lesson in geography, as most people don't visualize New York as being this close to Rhode Island.

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 05)  Two pleasure craft leave their white wakes as they zoom around this horseshoe-shaped island, which is about five miles away from us.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 05a)  From our mile high aerial view, we saw many boats cruising in the water and many more docked at these three large marinas.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 06)  This is the rocky eastern end of Fisher's Island which was visible off our right wing as we flew on to Block Island.

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 07)  This is another passing look at Fisher's Island with a hazy view of Long Island along the horizon.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 08)  This is a closer look at a portion of Fisher's Island.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 08a)  This is a last look at the eastern end of Fisher's Island as we continue across the final 18 miles of open water to Block Island.

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 21)  As I began the downwind leg on our approach to the Block Island Airport, Mary reached behind me to take this picture out the left side window.  The basin in the middle-right of the photo is New Harbor.  In the distance (about 12 miles away) is the coast of mainland Rhode Island.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 24)  This is a closer look at the entrance to New Harbor and the distant coastline of mainland Rhode Island.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 25)  As I banked the plane to the left to begin the base leg of our approach into the Block Island Airport, Mary was able to take this picture of the runway.

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 29)  We had decided to walk around the west side of the airport to look at Mohegan Bluffs, which we hadn't seen for many years.  A short distance from the airport we spotted this park sign and went to take a look; but due to the drought, we didn't see much, and decided to continue our hike to the Bluffs and come back here another day.

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 31)  As we continued along, we spotted this pond on the west side of the road.  Even though Block Island has become a summertime tourist attraction with a lot of commercialism, the residents of the Island have done a wonderful job of preserving the natural beauty.

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 31a)  There is a simple yet elegant natural beauty in this pond setting, with its rocks and water lilies.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 31b)  Just a short distance away are more rocks and water lilies, some of which are in bloom, and an interesting spiked plant (perhaps a blue flag iris?) growing between the rocks to add its special character.

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 31c)  Each little segment of the pond creates its own picture; all we did was digitize it in our camera so we and our friends could enjoy the beauty even when we're not on Block Island.

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 32)  Sometimes we think we're a little strange because we enjoy looking at these rocks around the pond, and believe that they're all part of God's created beauty.  Then, as we reflect on our walks around Block Island, we realize that others must feel the same way, because almost everywhere we look there are stone walls and fences.

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 32a)  Then we lifted our eyes from the rocks and took in more of the composite beauty of this pond.

 

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 33)  Every day, we encounter situations of cruelty and destruction that our fellow human beings have inflicted upon other people, the animals, and the environment, and it is very painful to us.  It is the natural beauty of places like this, and the acts of other truly unconditionally loving and compassionate people that give us hope and the courage and enthusiasm to continue our work as peacemakers, and the faith that others will join this movement.

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 34)  Even as we prepare this photo journal of our excursion to Block Island, we relive that day and the the feelings of peace we felt looking at the quiet beauty of the water lilies resting upon the surface of the pond.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 35)  And, without getting our feet wet, our camera helps us get a closer look at this beautiful flower.  It may not be a "peace lily", but it does bring a sense of peace to our hearts, as we hope it does for others, too.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 36)  We had left the previous pond and had continued our walk along the road toward Mohegan Bluffs when we came to Fresh Pond and this monument which had been erected along the side of the road.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 37)  We stopped and looked across Fresh Pond, and could understand why people would want to settle here, bury their dead, and erect their churches.  But standing here, we realized that we can experience the presence of God without a physical building, for it is evident in the beauty of creation.

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 38)  As we continued our walk, we took a final look at Fresh Pond...well, at least for this day.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 39)  All along the roadside were stone walls and fences.

 

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 39a)  We particularly enjoyed the way this stone fence "rolled" with the contour of the land.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 40)  As we continued along the road, this sign at a driveway entrance caught our attention.  We wondered...was this a sign to tell others to slow down and take time to smell the roses, or was this their place to get away from the hecticness of life, or perhaps did it have a double meaning?

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 56)  Then we came to the reason for this day's excursion.

 

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 41)  This is a view of Mohegan Bluffs from near the top as we looked westward.

 

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 41a)  There is a rugged natural beauty in the cemented sands and rocks of these bluffs, and the plants that tenaciously cling to the surface.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 41b)  Even from near the top of Mohegan Bluffs, we could hear the sounds of the waves of the Atlantic Ocean breaking along the shore and over the rocks.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 42)  The stairs seemed to go on and on, disappearing behind some shrubbery as they twisted their way down to the beach.  It was much like climbing down and up the stairs of a 20-story building.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 42a)  The tide was coming in, and this "finger" of surf reaching farther up the beach than the other waves caught our attention.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 43)  As we descended on the stairs, the rugged, weathered, barren bluffs stood in stark contrast to the surrounding landscape.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 43a)  Like a medieval gargoyle, the end of this bluff stares out into the Atlantic Ocean.  

 

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 43b)  Farther down the face of the bluff, another weather- chiseled face stares out over the Atlantic Ocean.

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 43c)  The harder, or more firmly cemented sections of the Bluffs have stood against the winds and rains of time.  In the upper left is a section that is considerably undermined.  Chances are that in the not too distant future, the overhang will break loose and plummet down toward the ocean.

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 44)  This is a small portion of the stairway which we had climbed down.

 

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 45)  About 30 feet above the beach, the stairs end with an observation platform.  From there we had to climb down rocks and 2-3 foot high log steps.  On the side of the platform was this sign.  (A similar sign was posted at the beginning of the stairs.)  We also noticed that we were at least 20 years older than any of the other people who climbed down to the beach.  We very much appreciate the health and vitality that comes with our healthful vegan diet!

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 46)  This is a beach level picture of the western end of the Mohegan Bluffs.

 

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 46a)  A lone house sits above this portion of the bluff.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 46b)  Because the waves roll in at an angle to the beach, they cause a rolling of the sand on the beach into a stationary wave pattern.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 46c)  A steady procession of waves rolled in past these rocks to break upon the beach.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 46d)  We noticed that in this one spot, the surf foam seemed to remain in balls and float upon the waves.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 47)  This is another section of the Mohegan Bluffs and beach to the west of the stairs.

 

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 47a)  There seems to be a wave pattern in the eroded face of this portion of the Bluffs.

 

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 47b)  Apparently, running water has created this swath cut through the vegetation on the side of the Bluffs.

 

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 48)  When we took this photo, we didn't see this adventurous climber sitting on a ledge on the face of the Bluffs.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 48a)  The edge of this section of Mohegan Bluffs looks like the profile of the head of a lion surveying his domain.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 48b)  We spotted this little cave entrance or pocket in the face of the bluff.  Owls and sea birds nest in some of these holes.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 48c)  Over time, pieces of the bluffs break off and fall down to the beach.  We spotted this crack and surmised that a few freeze-thaw cycles over the winter could be enough to cause this chunk of the bluffs to fall off.

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 49)  This is another look at a portion of Mohegan Bluffs that towers above the beach.

 

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 50)  Next, we turned our camera toward the ocean to take some pictures of the breaking waves.

 

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 50a)  There is something very soothing about watching the waves coming into shore and breaking as they approach the beach.

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 50b)  Normally, it's hard to see below the surface of the breaking surf; but here, just before the one breaker, the water smoothes out like glass to reveal the rocks below.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 51)  The colors of the breaking waves are in sharp contrast to the waters beyond.  Note the way the returning water flows back into the Atlantic at right angles to the breaking surf.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 51a)  At a casual glance, each wave may look just about the same; but actually, they are unique.  There are subtle differences in the way each wave breaks, the way it tosses water into the air as it rolls over, and the way it engulfs the foam pattern of the previous wave.

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 51b)  We enjoyed watching the ocean waters rise and fall about this rock as they broke, throwing jewel-like droplets of water into the air.

 

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 52)  The beaches along most of Block Island's coastline have the same natural beauty as this one at the base of Mohegan Bluffs.

 

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 52a)  We thought this scene of the waves and rocks was exceptionally beautiful.  Even a departing wave left just enough water to produce a reflection of the foreground rock upon the sands of the beach.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 53)  This is a picture of the observation platform, about 30 feet above the beach where the stairs end, and the "path" we have climbed down to get to the beach.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 54)  Many of the rocks along the beach are composed of tiny crystals that are cemented together.  This close-up photo shows some of these crystals.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 54a)  This section of the rock has various colors; of particular interest to us was the vertical line of change in color (just left of center).  We also noted the small cavity to the right of the photo, where some softer material had eroded away.

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 54b)  Some of these little crystals sparkle like gem stones.  To the left of the photo are some small crystals that form beach sand when they are broken off the rock.

 

 

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 54c)  Here are some more of these crystal "gems" in the rock.

 

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 55)  Almost every stone along the beach had some color variations to attract our attention and add to the beauty of our day.

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 57)  We climbed back up to the top of the Bluffs and continued our walk along the road until we came to this monument which was in front of the lighthouse.  Reading this inscription about the 1590 event reminds us that the evils of human nature never seem to change...someone always wants what another person has.

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 61)  A short distance from the monument, we came to the entrance driveway to the Southeast Lighthouse, which was originally erected in 1873 and had a strong enough light to be seen from 21 miles at sea.  In 1993, due to the eroding of the Bluffs, and the danger of the lighthouse falling into the ocean, the lighthouse was moved farther inland.

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 59)  This is a photo of the Southeast Lighthouse in its new location.  Restoration work has not been completed.

 

 

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 58)  This photo gives us a closer look at the light, which resembles a giant light bulb.

 

 

 

 

 

(Block Island - 13 Sep 2002 Excursion - 60)  This is a picture from the lawn of the lighthouse looking back at a section of Mohegan Bluffs.  From here we walked back into town and ate our lunch in a park.  After that we took a short walk around town, went back to the airport and flew home.  A very enjoyable day!

 

See our other Block Island Excursions

Masthead photo is of the western end of Mohegan Bluffs

| Art and Photos |

If  you would like to contribute a photo and/or comment to these series, please contact;
Frank L. Hoffman flh@all-creatures.org

2001-2002 - The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation.  All rights reserved.  May be copied only for personal use or by not for profit organizations to promote compassionate and responsible living.  All copied and reprinted material must contain proper credits and web site link www.all-creatures.org .


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