Elinor De Wire has been writing about lighthouses and their keepers since 1972. During that time she found that hundreds of lighthouse animals wandered into her research notes and photo collection. This book is the story of all these cold-nosed, whiskered, wooly, hoofed, horned, slithery, buzzing, feathered, and finned keepers of the lights. Where else would a dog learn to ring a fogbell, a cat go swimming and catch a fish for its supper, or a parrot cuss the storm winds rattling its cage? Who other than a lightkeeper would swim a cow home, tame a baby seal, adopt an orphan alligator, send messages via carrier pigeons, or imagine mermaids coming to visit? The Lightkeepers' Menagerie gathers together animal stories from lighthouses all around the world, tales of happiness and sadness, courage and cowardice, tragedy and comedy, even absurdity. Sometimes, fur, feathers, and fins tell the best tales.
Elinor De Wire, one of the most distinguished lighthouse historians in the USA, has been researching and photographing lighthouses for more than 25 years. She is the author of Lighthouses of the South and Lighthouses of the Mid-Atlantic Coast, both published by Voyageur Press. Elinore De Wire lives in Seabeck, Washington.