Of Lighthouses and Books


I found this gem of a book at Chequamegon Books in Washburn, Wisconsin. Would you read it? I especially like its promo blurb by USA Today: “A fascinating romp through the world of ‘stuffed’ animals.”

Somehow the phrase “fascinating romp” has never combined in my mind with the topic of taxidermy.

I did not buy the book. But I was impressed with the bookstore. The last time I visited years ago, the store looked like the kind of place where books go to die. It’s been spiffed up recently, with better lighting, ventilation, and a new back room that makes space for lots more books!

The topics are all well-organized and easy to find. It’s a book nerd’s dream. Stop in if you’re ever in Washburn.


The back room in Chequamegon Books in Ashland.

While I was in the area, I had the chance to visit Raspberry Island in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. My bookish theme continued when the lighthouse keeper on the island showed me the traveling bookcase that the lighthouse service used to provide to help entertain the keepers and their families.

And I really do mean that he only showed me the traveling bookcase. Of our group that visited the island, I was the only one who opted for the $5 lighthouse tour, so I got personal service!



Raspberry Island Lighthouse in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.


The view from the top of the Raspberry Island Lighthouse.

After the tour, I took a hike to an overlook along the coast of the island. On the way, I found this fine example of Canada yew.


Christmas colors in August! Canada Yew is an important shrub for wildlife. Not often found on the mainland because it gets eaten by deer, it sometimes thrives on islands like Raspberry Island, which have few, if any, deer.

Books and lighthouses: a good combination for an outing….

7 thoughts on “Of Lighthouses and Books

  1. Bookstores and lighthouses are two of my favorite places to visit! Rapsberry House is very impressive with a beautiful view from the top. I would not have bought the book either as I hate seeing stuffed animals of any kind. Down here deer heads are everywhere! Cheers for the weekend!

    • Thanks Jo Nell. One thing I forgot to mention is that Raspberry Lighthouse is unusual in that it has a wooden staircase going up inside its tower. Most lighthouses have those spiral metal ones. I didn’t get a photo of the staircase though — was too busy trying to navigate it!

      We’ve got our share of deer heads up here, too. Happy Sunday.

  2. Still Life … the cover and premise reminds me of my days working out of the Bell Museum of Natural History. Once upon a time, there were some uncomfy approaches to taxidermy!

    • I hear ya about the taxidermy. I volunteered one summer after high school to work for a local prof. I watched videos of leeches in a dark storage room, while I was surrounded by taxidermied animals of all kinds. Leeches and taxidermy. Still gives me the willies to think of it.

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