|Esopus Island, gouache over blue underpainting, 4 x 4 inches.|
I have kayaked out there in the spring to see the rare wildflowers with names like Indian Pipes and Dutchman's Breeches. They're hard to find on the mainland because they get eaten by the deer. It's also a nesting colony for Canada geese, so you have to be careful in the spring, or they will attack you if you get anywhere near their nests.
Aleister Crowley spent 40 days in meditation. He worked on his breathing, visited his past lives, and practiced sex magick with several women who visited him on the island. According to one account:
"With little more than a tent, a leaky sailing canoe, and some red paint, when he was not meditating cross-legged for hours at a time on the beach, he spent his time smearing DO WHAT THOU WILT and EVERY MAN AND EVERY WOMAN IS A STAR across the rocky cliffs facing the passing steamers. The local farmers kept him alive with gifts of eggs, milk, and sweet corn...."Read more about Crowley's sojourn: The Hermit of Esopus Island
Wikipedia on Aleister Crowley
(I'll continue the Harold Speed this next Friday -- I'm a little behind because of deadlines.)