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. Not realizing how daunting and many hours later, the following is a collection of some favorite images from this past year, beginning with the male Snowy Owl photographed at Captain Joe’s dock last winter, to December’s Red-tailed Hawk huntress.

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.


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.

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?



6 thoughts on “Cape Ann Wildlife: A Year in Pictures

  1. Cheryl McKeough


    I am very grateful to you for your wonderful blog, which I look forward to finding in my email. Being inland (Andover–down the street from Betsy Williams, who introduced us at Tower Hill some time ago), you bring Cape Ann to me. I find that I can sometimes share your photos with my five year old preschool students. For example, I took two pictures of a snapping turtle that you posted–one of the turtle mostly covered by water, and on the flip side was the picture of the turtle climbing out of the pond. They were challenged to ID the creature before flipping the card, and had great fun guessing! I included on the table an empty red-eared slider shell for hands on exploration. So I just wanted to share my gratitude for your beautiful photography and informative blog.

    Happy New Year!


    On Fri, Jan 6, 2017 at 10:32 AM, Kim Smith Designs wrote:

    > Kim Smith posted: “My 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” >

    1. Kim Smith

      Dear Cheryl,

      I apologize for not seeing your comment sooner. Thank you so much. I am soooo happy to hear that you and your classmates are enjoying and learning from my postings. I couldn’t ask for anything more and am deeply touched by your kind words.

      Happy New Year to You and I hope you see my response after all this time.

  2. Pingback: CAPE ANN WILDLIFE: A YEAR IN PICTURES 2017 | Kim Smith Designs

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