How Do You Say Plover?

Piping Plover Fledglings copyright Kim Smith .Sweetly beautiful birds and full of personality, whether called ploh-ver or pluh-ver. This pair of fledgling siblings was photographed at Wingaersheek Beach.

How do you pronounce plover? Do you say ploh-ver, like clover, or do you say pluh-ver, like lover? I was convinced the clover pronunciation was correct until having dinner with friends recently who were equally as convinced the lover pronunciation was accurate. The conversation reminded me of that old film, Shall We Dance and the potato song, or “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.” A quick Google search offers both pronunciations!

Good Harbor Beach Dazzling Daybreak

Good Harbor beach sunrise August 17, 2016 -1  copyright Kim SmithBedazzled by a single morning’s sunrise–every shade all at once–from hues of rose-violet-blue giving way to fiery bands of red-orange-yellow. I can’t decide which I like best, you choose :)

Gloucester’s Littlest Osprey on the Annisquam Perishes

With regrets, I am sorry to report that the Osprey fledgling has died. Don, whose property the nest is located upon, shares that he observed the Osprey Dad toss the nestling out of the nest. Don went to investigate and found the baby’s lifeless body lying on the ground. He placed it in a box and brought it to Greenbelt. Judging by the condition of the body, it was determined that the young Osprey was most likely killed by an owl.

On a positive note, Don and Eleanor’s Osprey pair will more than likely return to the same nest site next year. They are also thought to be a young couple. Hopefully the pair will hone their parenting skills and, quite possibly, have more than one fledgling on their next attempt. The growing recovery of Osprey to our region means that many things are going right; the improving health of our coastal environment, for example. 

Many thanks again to Paul Morrison and sister Kathy, and to Don and Eleanor, for providing this brief window to see the Annisquam River Osprey family. I am looking forward to learning and sharing more next year. 

Osprey and fledgling Annisquam Essex County copyright Kim SmithRIP Little Osprey

Oliver Hazard Perry and Eastern Point Lighthouse

OLIVER HAZARD PERRY Eastern Point Lighthouse Gloucester MA copyright Kim SmithThese photos were taken as the sun was setting, from Stage Fort Park, on my way home from Manchester last night. How beautiful to catch a glimpse of this grand ship anchored in our harbor and adjacent to the Eastern Point Lighthouse. Folks enjoying dinner at the park were referring to it as the “pirate ship.” Here in Gloucester Harbor for one night only, Rhode Island’s tall ship the Oliver Hazard Perry will be returning in September. 

OLIVER HAZARD PERRY Eastern Point Lighthouse Gloucester MA  -1 copyright Kim SmithGloucester Harbor home copyright Kim SmithAlso from Stage Fort Park ~ windows onto the harbor

Thank you Lauren from Manchester!

Cecropia Moth caterpillar close up copyright Kim SmithCecropia Moth Caterpillar

So many thanks to my new friend Lauren, who generously shared cuttings from her American Birch Tree growing in her fantastic habitat garden. Her garden paradise is a pollinator’s dream, filled with gorgeous flowering and fruiting trees and shrubs, native wildflowers, and non-invasive well-behaved ornamental plants. While we were chatting, a Monarch flew on the scene, pausing to nectar at her butterfly bush! Mothra and her siblings thank Lauren, too.

Sunlight Through Gull’s Wings

Catch sight if you can of the graceful Bonaparte’s Gulls, migrating along the Atlantic Flyway and through our region. A few will spend the winter here but most are taking pause to rest and refuel at the least disturbed of our beautiful shores.Bonaparte's Gull Larus philadelphia Cape Ann copyright Kim Smith

Bonaparte’s Gull taking flight

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Mothra!

Cecropia Moth caterpillar copyright Kim SmithNoticeably growing larger day by day, the biggest caterpillar of our batch of Cecropia Moth caterpillars (nicknamed Mothra) still has a ways to go before he/she pupates and becomes a cocoon for the winter.

Comparing the size of Mothra and my hand – she is still growing 🌻

A photo posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

The colorful protuberances with black spikes are thought to mimic either a poisonous plant or animal and are a defense against predators. Like most caterpillars, the Cecropia moth caterpillar has five pairs of prolegs. The green prolegs are blue at the base with a row of microscopic hooks, or crochets, that enable walking and clinging.

Cecropia Moth caterpillar close up feet copyright Kim Smith

Although the Cecropia Moth has the largest wingspan of any moth found in North America, its caterpillar is not the largest caterpillar. That honor goes to the caterpillar of the Royal Walnut Moth, also called Regal Moth, which in its caterpillar stage is called the Hickory Horned Devil.

cecropia-moth-male-copyright-kim-smithAdult Male Cecropia Moth

Thank you again to friend Christine for the Cecropia Moth eggs. The eggs that she gave me are the offspring of the male Cecropia Moth that she is holding in the photo above.