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Cape Ann Wildlife: A Year in Pictures

snowy-owl-gloucester-massachusetts-c2a9kim-smith-2015My husband Tom suggested that I write a year-end post about the wildlife that I had photographed around Cape Ann. Super idea I thought, that will be fun and easy. Many hours later (not realizing how daunting) the following is a collection of some favorite images from this past year, beginning with the male Snowy Owl photographed at Captain Joe’s last winter, to December’s Red-tailed Hawk huntress.
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Living along the great Atlantic Flyway, we have been graced with a bevy of birds. Perhaps the most exciting arrival of all occurred when early summer brought several pairs of nesting Piping Plovers to Gloucester’s most beloved (and most highly trafficked) of beaches, Good Harbor Beach. Their story is being documented on film.

piping-plovers-chicks-nestlings-babies-kim-smithWork on Mr. Swan’s film will also resume this January—the winters are simply not long enough for all I have planned!swan-outstretched-wings-niles-pond-coyright-kim-smith

While photographing and filming Red-winged Blackbirds this past spring, there was a face-to-face encounter with a hungry coyote, as well as several River Otter sightings.

female-red-winged-blackbird-copyright-kim-smitrhFemale Red-winged Blackbirdeastern-coyote-massachusetts-kim-smith

The summer’s drought brought Muskrats out from the reeds and into full view at a very dry Henry’s Pond, and a short film about a North American Beaver encounter at Langsford Pond. Numerous stories were heard from folks who have lived on Cape Ann far longer than I about the extraordinary number of egrets, both Snowy and Great, dwelling on our shores.
three-muskrat-family-massachusetts-copyright-kim-smithThree Muskrateers
female-monarch-depositing-eggs-1-copyright-kim-smithnewly-emerged-monarch-butterfly-copyright-kim-smith-jpgThere were few Monarch sightings, but the ones seen thankfully deposited eggs in our garden. Thank you to my new friend Christine who shared her Cecropia Silkmoth eggs with me and thank you to the countless readers who have extended an invitation to come by and photograph an exciting creature in their yard.

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Pristine beaches, bodies of fresh water, and great swathes of protected marsh and woodland make for ideal wildlife habitat, and Cape Ann has it all. With global climate change pushing species further away from the Equator, I imagine we’ll be seeing even more creatures along our shores. Butterfly and bee populations are overall in decline, not only because of climate change and the use of pesticides, but also because of loss of habitat. As Massachusetts has become less agrarian and more greatly forested, fields of wildflowers are becoming increasingly rare. And too fields often make the best house lots. Farmers and property owners developing an awareness of the insects’ life cycle and planting and maintaining fields and gardens accordingly will truly help the butterflies and bees.
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Thank you to all our readers for your kind comments of appreciation throughout the year for the beautiful wild creatures with which we share this gorgeous peninsula called Cape Ann.

The images are not arranged in any particular order. If you’d like to read more about a particular animal, type the name of the animal in the search box and the original post should come up.

I wonder what 2017 will bring?

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We the People: public art for the inauguration and beyond

About this Kickstarter project:

WE BELIEVE ART HAS THE POWER TO WAKE PEOPLE UP.

Eight years ago, the artist Shepard Fairey made the iconic image that captured a period of HOPE in America. Today we are in a very different moment, one that requires new images that reject the hate, fear, and open racism that were normalized during the 2016 presidential campaign. So on Inauguration Day, We the People will flood Washington, DC with NEW symbols of hope.

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This art has been already been commissioned by the Amplifier Foundation. Some of the greatest activist artists working today, including Shepard, Ernesto Yerena, and Jessica Sabogal, have collaborated with photographers to create a series of images that capture the shared humanity of our diverse America.

Now the tricky part: printing and distributing these images on a massive scale in time for Inauguration. 

Much of Washington will be locked down on Inauguration Day, and in some areas there will be severe restrictions on signs and banners.  But we’ve figured out a hack.  It’s called the newspaper!  On January 20th, if this campaign succeeds, we’re going to take out full-page ads in the Washington Post with these images, so that people across the capitol and across the country will be able to carry them into the streets, hang them in windows, or paste them on walls.

Every dollar you put into this campaign will buy six ads printed and distributed for us.

Amplifier will also distribute these images as large placards throughout DC at Metro stops, out the back of moving vans, at drop spots to be announced in the coming week via our social media feeds, and, on January 19, as free downloads for you to print and share as you like.

This art is meant to spark a conversation, and after January 20, our work will continue. What does WE THE PEOPLE—these three famous words in the preamble to the Constitution—mean in the 21st century? Over the next several months, Amplifier will partner with organizations, schools, and everyday families to create spaces across the county, in both red states and blue, where we can speak, listen, and share our answers. Watch for updates on this as the campaign funds and moves into the world!shepard-fairey-we-the-people-inauguration-posters-9

WHO ARE WE?

SHEPARD FAIREY is one of the most accomplished street artists in the world, and creator and founder of Obey Clothing and Obey Giant, first becoming known for his “Andre The Giant has a Posse” sticker campaign while at the Rhode Island School of Design. He became widely known during the 2008 presidential election for his Barak Obama “Hope” poster.

JESSICA SABOGAL is a first generation Colombian American muralist. Her art serves as a haven, a tribute, a creative outlet of adoration and exaltation for women with stories often untold. Her pieces possess a vision of female identity that is revolutionary and powerful, brave and beautiful. Most recently she has created a visual campaign entitled, “Women Are Perfect” which attempts to spread this simple but necessary notion worldwide.

ERNESTO YERENA is an artist living in Los Angeles.  His art brings political concerns to light with subject matter that depicts cultural icons, rebels and everyday people voicing their stance against oppression. While Yerena identifies as Chicano he also strongly identifies as Native/Indigenous to this continent which is often seen in his work. Highly recognized for his activism, Yerena is the founder and curator of the Alto Arizona Art campaign (2010) as well as a founding member of the We Are Human campaign (2009).

THE AMPLIFIER FOUNDATION:  Our non-profit is dedicated to amplifying the voices of grassroots movements through art and community engagement. We do this by funding collaborations between those movements and contemporary artists so that their messages can reach a wider audience. Our goal is to flip artists into activists and observers into participants.

Our work has supported Criminal Justice Reform projects with Cut50.org, Environmental campaigns working with Indigenous groups against the KXL pipeline and in defense of Treaty Rights in the Black Hills, and we have, just this week, commissioned, and started printing and distributing the majority of the art for the Women’s March on Washington as an official partner.

WHY KICKSTARTER?

We are here to find partners as much as funding.  When this message is heard we want them to know it comes direct from the people.  Our goal is 10,000 backers in this Kickstarter and ten times that many participants after Inauguration day.

TO DONATE AND READ MORE HERE

Shepard Fairey Promotes Hope and Diversity With Inauguration Protest Posters

shepard-fairey-we-the-people-inauguration-posters-1My Modern Met

By Kelly Richman-Abdou

On Friday, January 20, President-elect Donald Trump will be officially sworn in as the United States of America’s 45th President. A controversial figure, Trump has alienated a substantial amount of Americans throughout the course of his campaign and eye-opening victory. To condemn his platform and protest his presidential plans, countless groups are organizing demonstrations along the National Mall in Washington DC, where the inauguration will take place. While many of these associations are purely politics-based, The Amplifier Foundation—in collaboration with contemporary artists Shepard Fairey, Ernesto Yerena, and Jessica Sabogal—will bring an artistic touch to the event with We the People, a collection of inspiring inauguration posters.

Rendered in street art’s signature stenciled style, each We the People poster features a powerful portrait of an American citizen. Promoting unity while emphasizing diversity, the series of prints presents people from various walks of life. One design features a Muslim woman clad in a star-spangled hijab; another depicts a Native American elder; and one even portrays a tender moment between a same-sex couple. Beneath each patriotic portrait is a message, many of which are defiantly led by “We the People,” the famous first words of the American Constitution.

Although some of the posters look strikingly similar to Fairey’s Hopea piece popularized during President Obama’s inspiring 2008 campaign—the Amplifier Foundation stresses an important underlying difference between the two projects. “Eight years ago, the artist Shepard Fairey made the iconic image that captured a period of HOPE in America. Today we are in a very different moment, one that requires new images that reject the hate, fear, and open racism that were normalized during the 2016 presidential campaign. So on Inauguration Day, We the People will flood Washington, DC with NEW symbols of hope.”  In addition to distributing posters to attendees, the Amplifier Foundation will also be posting them throughout DC’s many metro stops, andif enough funds are raised each piece will be reproduced as a full-page ad in the Washington Post.

With the inauguration rapidly approaching, public support for the project is more important than ever. To pledge your allegiance to this campaign, a donation can be made onKickstarter. The funding campaign includes how the donations can help, at all tiers. Even a single dollar will print 6 newspaper adsand you can rest assured that every penny spent is going toward a more hopeful future.

Check out the powerful posters below.shepard-fairey-we-the-people-inauguration-posters-9shepard-fairey-we-the-people-inauguration-posters-2shepard-fairey-we-the-people-inauguration-posters-4shepard-fairey-we-the-people-inauguration-posters-3

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All images via the Amplifier Foundation.

 

FREE Fantastic Book on How to “Hire a Ghostwriter”

FREE THIS WEEK ONLY

FANTASTIC BOOK “HIRE A GHOSTWRITER!”

My husband Tom has just published his newest ebook, Hire a Ghostwriter: The Complete Guide to Outsourcing Your Book. Based on his long experience as a professional ghostwriter, he wrote this concise guide for anyone who’s thinking about writing a book but doesn’t have the time or the expertise. Hire a Ghostwriter shows you how to hire a ghostwriter and work with them to create a book that will proudly bear your name.
 
The ebook is available on Amazon Kindle with a very special offer: For one week only, you can download it for free. Next week, the price will go up to $4.99 (still a bargain!). All Tom asks is that if you like the ebook, please leave a positive review on the ebook’s Amazon page, because positive reviews help the ebook rank higher. HERE IS THE LINK TO PURCHASE

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Happy New Year’s Day 2017 Scenes from Our Neighborhood

duckworths-gloucester-copyright-kim-smithThe Duckworth’s wishing everyone a Happy 2017

rocky-neck-star-copyright-kim-smithharbor-cove-star-2-copyright-kim-smithHarbor Star

ten-pound-island-lighthouse-gloucester-massachusetts-copyright-kim-smithHeading out New Year’s Day evening

HAPPY FIRST DAY OF THE NEW YEAR SUNRISE (and one winsome Harbor Seal)!

Not the prettiest of sunsets, though not bad for a chilly January first morning. Initially it looked to be a bust, but the clouds parted a bit and the sun shone brightly through. Happy New Year wishes. I hope the coming year brings you much love, joy, happiness, and peace ❤

Sunrise sequence January 1, 2017new-years-day-sunrise-eastern-point-gloucester-2017-brace-cove-1-copyright-kim-smith

new-years-day-sunrise-eastern-point-gloucester-2017-brace-cove-21-copyright-kim-smithnew-years-day-sunrise-eastern-point-gloucester-2017-brace-cove-seal-1-copyright-kim-smithnew-years-day-sunrise-eastern-point-gloucester-2017-brace-cove-20-copyright-kim-smith