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Kim Smith Interview with NHDocs

New Haven Documentary Film Festival presents a Q&A w/Beauty on the Wing: Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly director Kim Smith.

A Q&A, , moderated by NHdocs festival supervisor Karyl Evans, which accompanied the virtual screening of the feature documentary Beauty on the Wing: Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly at the 7th annual edition of NHdocs: the New Haven Documentary Film Festival in August 2020.

For more information: www.NHdocs.com

With thanks and gratitude to New Haven Documentary Film Festival director Gorman Bechard and interviewer Karyl Evans for this interview. I am so appreciative of the support given to filmmakers by these two, filmmakers themselves. The festival was beautifully organized and I have received so much positive feedback. What an honor to be accepted!

SAFE TRAVELS MONARCHS!

Sharing this wonderful fun photo from Stefan Edick, who shared it from his friends on the tall ship Pride of Baltimore II.

“Wishing safe travels to all the Monarch Butterflies out there making their way some 3,000 miles as they travel from northern climes to Mexico for the winter.” – Pride of Baltimore ii

Original photo courtesy of Tim White.

SMILEY FACE SUNFLOWERS

Smiling Sunflowers – Paul W of School Street Sunflowers and local kids have been having fun with the sunflower seed heads.

What a special place is School Street, and special owners – more tomorrow!

ATTENTION BIRD LOVING AND PHOTOGRAPHY FRIENDS – RUN, DON’T WALK, TO PARKER RIVER NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE!

According to Rangers at Parker River, the 2020 fall migration at Plum Island is the best they have ever seen, with over 180 species on the current list (last ten days).

Perhaps the lessened human activity across North America has allowed for many species of birds to flourish.

Female Bobolink (more about beautiful Bobolinks in an upcoming post)

I was filming at a location nearby at dawn or I would have gone at my usual daybreak time, which I find is the best time to observe birds, and wildlife of all sorts. Mid-day is not the best time to go, but it was my one and only chance and I wanted to check it out. Plum Island is gorgeous whenever you go. Autumn hues are beginning to show (especially the brilliant purple-red of PI), there are great swaths of goldenrods in full bloom, and there is a wealth of bird food, berries and seed heads, for the birds to forage upon. Stage Island and Hellcat are two current hotspots for bird sightings.

When you drive up to the kiosk where you show your membership card, ask for the species list of birds seen recently. Or click this link here:

Recent Bird Sightings from Plum Island

Stage Island, Plum Island

MATING PAIR OF SMALL WHITE BUTTERFLIES FLUTTERING THROUGH THE GARDEN

If you observe a butterfly that looks twice as large as normal fluttering by, take note. What you are seeing is often a pair of butterflies mating.

This afternoon when I returned home that’s just what caught my eye, two Small Whites, also known as Cabbage Whites, joined abdomen to abdomen, looking for a discreet place to stay coupled together for a bit.

The Whites flew from aster clump to aster clump, then to the lilac foliage before finding a hidden spot. A disrupter (male ) tried to break up the match, but the pair would have none of it.Males are mostly white except for the black dots and smudges of gray on the forewings. The females are similar to males, and also have some yellow shading with stronger gray stippling on the underside of their wings.

BEAUTY ON THE WING ON AMERICAN PUBLIC TELEVISION WORLD WIDE!

Hello Friends,

So proud and excited to share – here are several screenshots and a link to my listing for licensing on American Public Television World Wide. APTWW Program: Beauty on the Wing:Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly

If you would like to license Beauty on the Wing or would like more information, please follow the  above link and click on the Contact Us box. Thank you!

For more information about the documentary Beauty on the Wing and the Monarch Butterfly migration, visit the film’s website here: Beauty on the Wing

 

BUTTERY YELLOW SULPHUR BUTTERFLIES ON THE WING!

Look for these delicate beauties in your garden, fields, meadows, and marshes. They too are on the wing, along with Monarchs, Common Buckeyes and the Ladies, both Painted and American.Clouded Sulphur

#hurricaneteddy #gloucesterma GOOD HARBOR BEACH FLOODED, WILD WAVES, DOGBAR BREAKWATER, BRACE COVE, BACK SHORE

Hurricane Teddy delivered wild waves and flooding along Gloucester’s shoreline edges.The GHB parking lot was completely flooded, the high water mark was up to the very base of the dunes, but the footbridge came through with flying colors (last I checked and thanks to Gloucester’s awesome DPW).

Photos from Good Harbor Beach, the Back Shore, Brace Cove, and Eastern Point. 

“And all at once, summer collapsed into fall.” – Oscar Wilde

SPUN GOLD FOR THE FIRST DAY OF AUTUMN

Life at the Edge of the Sea – Web Weaver’s Works

Beautiful spun silver and gold works caught between branches and dissipating wildflowers

To learn more about spiders in Massachusetts visit this fun website here

VOTE- MARY RHINELANDER’S KICK BUTT POSTER!

Love this poster by friend Mary Rhinelander

VOTE (featuring kicking asses) a collagraph and linoleum blockprint, 12” x 18”, Now available with a $20, $50 or $100 donation to the ACLU or local food bank (cash/check preferred) at Alexandra’s Bread, 265 Main Street, Gloucester.

Open 8:30-2:00 Tuesday-Saturday. If you want bread/treats, order a day ahead! 978-283-3064.

getoutthevote2020 @ East Gloucester

AWESOME GLOUCESTER AND AWESOME ROCKPORT ARE LOOKING FOR YOUR GEAT IDEAS!

Sal Zerilli shares –
Awesome Gloucester and Awesome Rockport are currently accepting proposals from people doing things to make local life even more awesome.
Both chapters of the Awesome Foundation award $1000 cash micro-grants with no strings attached. Submitting a proposal takes just a few minutes and can be done here:

SNOWBIRDS – WE LOVE YOU, BUT PLEASE GO BACK FROM WHERE YOU CAME!

Life at the Edge of the Sea- Dark-eyed Juncos arrive September 19th

Over the very last remaining days of summer a sweet flock of Dark-eyed Juncos has been spotted on Eastern Point. Beautiful Song Sparrow-sized birds feathered in shades of gray and white, Dark eyed Juncos purportedly arrive in mid-October and are thought to presage the coming of winter.

Really little ones, you are much TOO EARLY.

Nicknamed Snow-bird in New England days of old, in fact Dark-eyed Juncos actually nest in Massachusetts, primarily in the western part of the state. Mostly Dark-eyed Juncos breed further north and migrate to warmer climes in the fall. Does their early arrival in the eastern part of the state portend of an early winter? The weather prediction for the winter of 2020 – 2021 is much more snow compared to last year’s nearly snow-less season, along with the possibility of a blizzard in mid-February (Farmer’s Almanac).

 

Study in shades of gray

TINY KALEIDOSCOPE OF MONARCHS PASSING THROUGH

Winds from the north brought a tiny kaleidoscope of Monarchs to our shores over  the weekend. Isn’t that a wonderful official word for a group of butterflies! A bunch of caterpillars is officially called an army.

Will there be more waves of Monarchs passing through? Time will tell. Along the Atlantic Coast Flyway, we’ve seen far fewer butterflies so far this year, especially when compared to last year’s numbers. Keeping my hopes up though 🙂Dancing Monarch

Soaring Monarch

ESSEX HERITAGE TRAILS AND SAILS IN THE YEAR OF CORONAVIRUS

Trails and Sails offers many self-guided tours and virtual events. The event runs from September 18th through September 27th. Visit their website here for a calendar of events

What is Trails & Sails?

Entering into its 19th year, Trails & Sails is an event series that brings awareness and appreciation for heritage resources around the county. Historically, Trails & Sails has focused on outdoor activities such as guided hikes and excursions on the water but over the years the event series has grown to include tours of historic houses, lectures on Essex County history, and demonstrations for cultural activities.

LATEST UPDATE FROM GMGI – GLOUCESTER MARINE GENOMICS INSTITUTE

While it may not have been the summer we envisioned, GMGI stayed busy taking advantage of the pleasant weather and the unusually low-key season on Cape Ann.

Our research team took to the water by boat – and by foot – to collect samples for several current research projects, made important strides with publications that are nearing submission, and continued to foster collaboration efforts with our research partners.  At the Academy, it was a bittersweet month as we said goodbye to the Class of 2020 with an intimate graduation ceremony on the harbor, and welcomed fifteen new students to their nine-month journey into biotech.

Fall promises to bring a continued sense of excitement and momentum as we begin our second season of Science Hour Talks (stay tuned for the stellar lineup), break ground on our new biomanufacturing laboratory made possible by our state-awarded workforce skills capital grant, and continue to bring meaningful science and life-changing training opportunities to Cape Ann.

Your unwavering support, whether by staying engaged via our monthly newsletters, sharing our social media posts, or providing financial support is noticed and appreciated now more than ever.

– Chris Bolzan, Executive Director

TO KEEP UP WITH ALL THE GREAT WORK TAKING PLACE AT GMGI, FILLOW THE INSTITUTE ON FACEBOOK AND VISIT THIER WEBSITE HERE

ONLY TWO DAYS LEFT TO PURCHASE TICKETS FOR BACKYARD GROWERS GREAT GLOUCESTER GROWDOWN

Time is running out to snag your tickets to the Great Gloucester GrowDown, our virtual fundraiser that you don’t want to miss out on!
All proceeds fund our school, community, and backyard garden programs. We’re hosting a take-home three-course picnic dinner from the amazing chefs at Short & Main, a streaming video premiere, and a virtual auction to support our programs empowering kids, families, and seniors to grow their own food.

BUY TICKETS HERE

Our incredible Board of Directors has pledged to match all donations up to $7k! Let’s double the impact to help put fresh produce on families’ tables and to continue our work in schools giving students the opportunity to plant, harvest, and eat what they’ve grown.
THANK YOU for your generosity!
You can now bring our jolly picnicking GrowDown goats into your own home or office! Kari Percival, the amazing artist behind our illustration, has made her design available for a limited run of 11″x17″ print posters. Available for curbside pick-up at our 3 Duncan Street HQ.

SCHOONER ROSEWAY MOORED IN GLOUCESTER HARBOR!

Essex-built Schooner Roseway moored at Gloucester Harbor this morning -such a beauty and always easy to spot with her distinctive rose-colored sails.

Read more about the Roseway and World ocean School here.

 

STRANGE WILDFIRE SUNSETS AND SUNRISES

The West Coast wildfires continue to cast a strange and eerie haze over Eastern skies. The sun appears redder and later in the sky in the morning and disappears behind a thick gray haze earlier in the afternoon.Gloucester Harbor Cape Pond Ice Sunset

Paint Factory “Great Auk” Sunset


Eastern Point Sunrise

WEST COAST WILDFIRE SMOKE CASTING AN EERIE HAZE OVER EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS SKIES

West Coast fire haze and belted Kingfisher

My Facebook friend Greg shared the graphic below and I think it shows very well the reason why the sun is appearing to look more lunar-like and the skies are so hazy and overcast.

GREAT EGRET MORNING FLOOFING

 Beautiful juvenile Great Egret morning feather floofingSoon Great Egrets will be heading south for the winter. I know we are all going to miss seeing these grand beauties that grace our local ponds, marshes, and shorelines. Great Egrets travel as far as the West Indies and southern Central America.

 

PEARL CRESCENT – YET ANOTHER REASON TO GROW ASTERS (as if we needed one!)

Life at the Edge of the Sea – Pearl Crescent Butterfly

Seen throughout the summer, the beautiful female Pearl Crescent on the asters is from my garden just a few days ago. Pearl Crescents drink nectar from a great many flowers. On the smaller side, with a wing span of about 1.5 inches, they are not always easy to identify because their wing patterning is highly varied. The composite photograph below is from wiki and shows some of the many variations.

Grow Native! Pearl Crescents are found throughout North America, wherever asters grow. Asters are the caterpillar’s food plants and according to Mass Audubon the species of asters they are known to feed on in New England are: Heath Aster (Aster pilosus), Many-flowered Aster (A. ericoides), Bushy Aster (A. dumosus), Calico Aster (A. lateriflorus), Whorled Aster (A. acuminatus), Smooth Aster (A. laevis), Panicled Aster (A. simplex), Purple-stemmed Aster (A. puniceus), and New England Aster (A. novae angliae). Female Pearl Crescent

Pearl Crescent Caterpillar – image courtesy wikicommons media

BABY CEDAR WAXWINGS IN THE HOOD!

Life at the Edge of the Sea – Cedar Waxwing Baby Masked Bandits

For over a month I have been filming a flock of Cedar Waxwings. Exquisitely beautiful creatures, with their combination of soft buffy and brilliantly punctuated wing patterning, along with graceful agility, it’s been easy to fall in love with these birds and they have become a bit of an obsession. 

I filmed some wonderful scenes and will share the photos and story as soon as there is time but in the meantime I wanted to share these photos of a juvenile Cedar Waxwing so you know what to look for. Waxwings are often found high up in the treetops. They are most easily seen on limbs bare of leaves. Their repetitious soft trilling song gives them away and if you learn the sound you will begin to see Cedar Waxwings everywhere. They have an extended breeding period in our region and because it is so late in the season, this juvenile may be one of a second brood.

While I was shooting for my short short story, the Waxwing flock was mostly on the ground in a wildflower patch devouring insects. Cedar Waxwings are more typically berry-eating frugivores. During the summer they add insects to their diet and I think it may have to do with keeping the hatchling’s bellies filled. It wasn’t until they moved back up into the treetops that this little guy began appearing amongst the flock. He has the same masked face, but the breast is softly streaked. You can see the yellow feathers tips beginning to grow in.

Juvenile Cedar Waxwing

Adult Cedar Waxwing

TREE SWALLOW, BARN SWALLOW, OR CLIFF SWALLOW?

Life at the Edge of the Sea – Swallows of Massachusetts

Lovely large flocks of Tree Swallows continue to gather, gracing our shores with their chattering cheery chirping. But these flocks aren’t only comprised of Tree Swallows, often seen in the mix are Barn Swallows, too.Barn Swallow left, female Tree Swallow right

Male Tree Swallows

There are six species of Swallows that breed in Massachusetts and they are Tree, Barn, Cliff, Purple Martin, Northern Rough-winged, and Bank Swallows. Tree Swallows are the most abundant breeders, with Barn Swallows coming in second. Cliff, Northern Rough-winged, Bank, and Barn Swallows are all in decline.Male and female Tree Swallows

Male Tree Swallows wear brilliant iridescent greenish blue feathers, with a sharply defined face mask. The females are a duller brownish, but they too have some blue iridescence in their plumage. Both have white chins and predominantly white breasts.Barn Swallow

Male Barn Swallows are a beautiful cobalt blue with rusty red forehead and red feathers below their bills. Their bellies vary from buffy tan to cinnamon colored.

Tree Swallows breed in the wetlands and fields of Cape Ann. Their name comes from the species habit of nesting in tree cavities. Tree Swallows have benefited tremendously from efforts to help save the Eastern Bluebird because they also nest in the nest boxes built specifically for the Bluebirds.

Juvenile Barn Swallow

Barn Swallows build their nest cups from mud and they prefer nesting sites such as the rafters, eaves, and crossbeams of barns, stables, and sheds. They also chose the undersides of wharves and bridges.

Acrobatic aerialists, both Tree and Barn Swallows twist and turn mid-flight to capture a wide variety of insects including flies, butterflies, dragonflies, bees, beetles, and wasps. We on Cape Ann especially love swallows because they eat the dreaded Greenhead.

BACKYARD GROWERS FIFTH ANNUAL GREAT GLOUCESTER GROWDOWN

Join Backyard Growers for the Fifth Annual Great Gloucester GrowDown!

We’ve taken on a hard task. How do we reimagine one of Gloucester’s best events of the year, an event that raises essential funds for our work putting fresh produce on families’ tables through school, community, and backyard vegetable gardens, while the world continues to self-isolate?

With more than one in five American households experiencing food insecurity in the face of the pandemic, we put our heads together, reached out to Short & Main, our incredible and generous hosts of the GrowDown in years past, and cooked up a plan. We have all the ingredients in place, and now all we need is you.

THE GREAT GLOUCESTER GROWDOWN IN THE COMFORT OF YOUR OWN HOME.

The 5th Great Gloucester GrowDown is set for Tuesday, September 29.

Join us for a “party to go” in support of Backyard Growers’ school, community, and backyard garden programs, featuring…

🍅 Three-course pick-up picnic dinners for guests to enjoy in their own homes, prepared by the incredible chefs at Short & Main using fresh, local ingredients from North Shore producers, and featuring a take-out signature cocktail

🥕 Incredible desserts from local bakeries Sandpiper Bakery and Mayflour Cakes & Confections

🎬 A movie premiere exploring how we’ve been responding to our community’s food access needs during the pandemic – meet our gardeners, learn the impact of Backyard Growers’ programs, and see how our team pivoted to provide gardening resources, tools, support, and more, in a rapidly changing global health crisis.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CLICK HERE

 

Life at the Edge of the Sea – Good Afternoon Little Green Heron!

A Little Green Heron crossed my path, flying in low and fast. Stealthily hunting along the water’s’s edge, he had an uncanny ability to make himself nearly flat before striking.

The light was at first overcast but when the sun poked through the clouds, everything turned all golden orange.

Green Herons eat a wide variety of fish and small creatures including minnows, sunfish, catfish, pickerel, carp, perch, gobies, shad, silverside, eels, goldfish, insects, spiders, crustaceans, snails, amphibians, reptiles, and rodents. Although found throughout the US but, it is a species in decline in most regions, except California, where the bird appears to be increasing. Green Herons breed in Massachusetts coastal and inland wetlands.

My days are full, full to overflowing sometimes, with taking care of Charlotte and family, film, and design projects. Though there isn’t day a day that goes by that I don’t think of my life as a gift. Daily I try to fit in a walk, always with a camera slung over each shoulder. How blessed are we on Cape Ann, especially during the pandemic, to have such beauty for our eyes to see and our hearts to travel.  I can’t keep up with sharing footage and that will all go towards larger projects anyway, and I am behind with sharing photos. Perhaps I should make these walk photos a series – ‘life at the edge of the sea,’ or something along those lines.