Documentary filmmaker, photographer, landscape designer, author, and illustrator. Currently creating films about the Monarch Butterfly, Gloucester's Feast of St. Joseph, Saint Peter's Fiesta, and Piping Plovers. Visit my websites for more information about film and design projects at kimsmithdesigns.com and monarchbutterflyfilm.com. Author/illustrator "Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities! Notes from a Gloucester Garden"
We are overjoyed to have Ken and Nicole Duckworth back in the neighborhood creating their amazing brand of beautifully prepared entrees, desserts, soups, and salads. Their newest incarnation, Duckworth’s To-Take, we know, will be a favorite. In addition to the prepared items, you will find freshly roasted coffee, reasonably priced wines, and even freshly tapped maple syrup.
My husband Tom and I stopped in this morning and picked up our first meal to-take at Duckworth’s, which actually turned into a huge batch of delciousness. We were the second customers of the morning but already the shop was bustling! We planned to have all for dinner (my eyes are bigger than my stomach) but simply could not wait and decided to have a whole day of Duckworth’s food heaven.
For a mid-morning snack, we had Nicole’s Flourless Chocolate Cake, also known in our family as Death-by-Chocolate. Nicole’s cake is so wonderfully chocolatey that for me the best time to eat it is in the morning so I don’t stay awake all night.
Ken’s beloved Mushroom Soup is the perfect antidote to a rainy December day <3
The cake is rich and filling; we didn’t eat lunch until 2 when we treated ourselves to Ken’s famous mushroom soup, quite possibly the best in the world! Velvety delicious, creamy thick, and garnished with a scattering of sauteed wild mushrooms, we loved every mouthful!
We couldn’t help ourselves and also ate the Chopped Salad that was also meant to go with dinner. The salad is a beautiful combination of assorted greens, radicchio, feta cheese, pumpkin seeds, sweet potato, cranberries, and Brussels sprouts and dressed with a creamy cider vinaigrette.
For dinner, Tom is having the Pork Schnitzel, one of his all time favorite dinners, which is served with a generous helping of potato salad, and I am having the Coq au Vin. I am positive it is going to be fantastic!!!
Niki Bogins lovely pop up shop, East Gloucester Provisions, is a wonderful complement to the bistrot and between the two, you’ll find a an array of food and houseware gifts.
Btw, Nicole shares that all the to-go containers are completely compostable and you can even heat the entrees in the bottom half of the container!!
For the month of December, Duckworth’s is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10am til 5pm. Look for their holiday menu coming soon. Duckworth’s is located at 197 East Main Street, Gloucester.
Out filming wild creatures in the trees at dusk, and very focused, when I turned around and caught a brief glimpse of this beautiful red pillar in the sky. Not a clue as to what it was called, I took a few snapshots as it progressively became fainter and am so glad I did. I am late in posting my photos and several folks have identified it as a sun pillar or solar pillar.
“Sun pillars are beams of light that extend vertically upward (or downward) from a bright light source, such as the sun or another bright light low on the horizon. They can be 5 to 10 degrees tall and sometimes even higher. They might lengthen or brighten as you gaze at them.
They’re beautiful and wondrous. They’re also the source of some UFO reports!
Sun pillars or light pillars form when sunlight (or another bright light source) reflects off the surfaces of millions of falling ice crystals associated with thin, high-level clouds – for example, cirrostratus clouds. The ice crystals have roughly horizontal faces. They are falling through Earth’s atmosphere, rocking slightly from side to side.
When is the best time to see a sun pillar or light pillar? You’ll most often see sun pillars when the sun is low in the western sky before sunset, or low in the east just after the breaking of dawn. You might even see a sun pillar when the sun is below the horizon. Light pillars can be seen at any time of night.
They’re called sun pillars when the sun helps make them. But the moon or even streetlights can create this light phenomenon, too, in which case the name light pillar is more appropriate.
These pillars of light often prompt people to report sightings of UFOs. They can sometimes look strange! There are said to be a lot of UFO reports caused by light pillars over Niagara Falls, where the mist from the rush of descending water interacts with the city’s many upward facing spotlights. Light pillars do appear frequently over Niagara Falls, especially during the winter.
As always, the great website Atmospheric Optics is a wonderful place to go and learn more about sun pillars.”
Stepping into the decorating workshop at Wolf Hill is like entering a Christmas do-it-yourselfer’s dream. The shop and tree yard are overflowing with festive decor and Christmas delights to make your holiday-making extra especially merry!
Whether in need of a beautiful Fraser fir or pine Christmas tree, white pine roping, birch logs, wreaths of every dimension, lights, or holiday treasures for your tree, Wolf Hill has it all.
They have all the ingredients to do it yourself, but if pressed for time, proprietor Pam and her crew have filled the shop with ready made gorgeous wreaths, bows, and pots filled with greens and berries, pinecones, and bows.
Thank you to Makenzie, Jarred, and Piping Plover Friends Pat and Delores for allowing me to take your snapshot <3
I love shopping at Wolf Hill, not only because of the stellar quality of holiday and landscaping plants and supplies they sell throughout the year but mostly because the staff, to a person, is always helpful, kind, and wonderfully friendly. Many, many thanks to Pam and Crew for always making it a joy to do business with Wolf Hill, throughout the year! One more note- check out these fun stocking stuffers for little ones that Makenzie pointed out. You look at the tree lights through the glasses and see shapes dancing around the lights. I tried on a pair and it works!
Jayne Knot from TownGreen conservation group writes,,
Town Green is hosting its second workshop/webinar in the series focusing on the Good Harbor Beach ecosystem: Protecting and Preserving the Good Harbor Beach Ecosystem for Current andFuture Generations. The Good Harbor Beach ecosystem includes Good Harbor Beach, Salt Island, the marsh, and the surrounding connected ecosystem.
The second workshop/webinar, to be held on Wednesday, November 30th from 6:30-8:30pm on Zoom (register here: https://towngreen2025.org/good-harbor-webinars/11-30-2022-webinar), will address climate adaptation approaches and solutions. A Press Release for the event is attached. For those of you who attended the first workshop/webinar, the format for this one will be a little different. We will have presentations on adaptation during the first hour and then a panel discussion with questions and comments from the attendees during the second hour. We hope you can make it.
Event: The second of a three-part workshop/webinar series focusing on the Good Harbor
Beach ecosystem: Protecting and Preserving the Good Harbor Beach Ecosystem for Current
and Future Generations; Adaptation: Is It Possible?
When: Wednesday, November 30th from 6:30-8:30pm on Zoom (register here)
What: A workshop/webinar focusing on adaptation solutions for the Good Harbor Beach
ecosystem with interactive audience participation.
Regarding Save Salt Island, please remember that the Salt Island RDA is on the schedule for the December 21, 2022 Gloucester Conservation Commission meeting. Please mark your calendars.
Cape Ann’s beautiful Lobster Trap Tree is ready for lights! Super excited to write that this year, David Brooks and friends have created the magical walk-through style tree. The past few years, because of Covid, the tree was fantastic but we weren’t able to enter, look up, and experience the starry wonderment of being surrounded by the holiday lights..
Lobster Trap Tree lighting is scheduled for Saturday, December 10th, at 4:30.
Buoy painting is full underway. As usual, the event is tremendously well organized. Charlotte had a grand time painting her buoy with Christmas trees and rainbows. So many thanks to Traci and the Cape Ann Art Haven staff for providing a meaningful and fun holiday event for all the local kids. There is no charge although, if able, parents are asked to make a donation when it’s time to pick up the buoys.
Niki Bogin and Duckworth’s have teamed up for the season to create a unique and elegant pop up shop. East Gloucester Provisions soft opening today gave us a peak at just some of the chic home goods Niki Bogin has curated for the holiday shop.
Open now through Christmas, East Gloucester Provisions will daily be adding new gifts, food items, home goods, and hand made treasures.
And the cases are ready for a selection of famous Duckworth’s soups, baked goods, entrees, and light fare, to go. Niki shares that there may even be fresh brewed coffee and Nicole’s scones served at the counter!!!
East Gloucester Provisions is located at 197 East Main Street, Gloucester.
Open November 25th and 26th from 10am to 2pm.
Regular hours beginning December 1st. Check back for more specific hours of operation.
The kitten’s names, befitting early Christmas gifts. Charlotte chose the names after one of her favorite books, The Story of Holly and Ivy (by author Rumor Godden). Her second choice was Sparkle Rainbow and Glitter Rainbow so we are delighted we landed where we did.
Any suggestions on how to keep kittens from climbing a Christmas tree would be much appreciated 🙂
After the loss of our beloveds, Cosmos the cat, and Rosie the terrier, its been almost unimaginable to think about getting another pet. But this drawing of Charlotte’s really pulled at my heart strings. If she could have anything in the world, she wished for a cat.
Charlotte knew Cosmos in the last few years of his life, and adored him, despite the sweetly 21 plus year decrepit grumpy old man cat that he had become. Cosmos and Rosie came to us when our Liv and Alex were very young. My kids were so sweet and loving to Rosie and Cosmos. Why else do we have pets but to nurture another being and to fill our homes with love and delight.
Hopefully, we will be surprising Charlotte tonight with not one, but two, new family members!
Amanda Cook and artisan friends have created another grand pop up shop, chock-a-block full of holiday delights. You’ll find lovely hand made gifts, art work, stocking stuffers, and lots of unique, yet practical, items for your home and family. Just some of the items featured in the photos include prints by Mary Rhinelander; Amanda’s Salty Yarn’s line of yarn, children’s gifts, and ornaments; and Hold Fast’s Dog Bar soap and wreaths made from recycled dock lines. There is a rich variety of gifts, far more than featured here –
You’ll find a super fun array of stocking stuffers at Present!
I stopped in Sunday on Present’s opening day and plan to go several times more during this upcoming stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas as they are constantly making new treasures and restocking the shelves.
Present is located at 273 East Main Street, at the Last Stop cafe.
Open everyday except Tuesdays, now through Christmas Eve.
We Dream in Colour Shop is the newest venture by local designer Jade Gedeon. You may be familiar with Jade’s work through We Dream in Colour, the extraordinarily beautiful hand-made nature-inspired jewelry line that sells regionally and globally. For the new shop that goes by the same name, Jade and her sister Mika have curated an exquisite collection of gifts for all ages, jewelry, books, and decor for your home.
Jade and Mika
Featuring We Dream in Colour’s complete line of jewelry, along with fanciful collections of home goods, and all exuberantly inspired by nature, the sun-drenched shop is overflowing with treasures.
We Dream in Colour is located at 166 Main Street Essex in the lovely white washed 1700s brick building at the intersection where RT. 133 meets Southern Avenue.
I know car detailing is not very romantic, but it was something I had been thinking about trying for some time. My wonderfully thoughtful husband, Tom, gave me the gift of a complete auto detailing. I was waiting until beach season was over and recently contacted Ryan Tricks. Our son had heard Tricks Mobile Detailing was top notch and he was 100 percent correct! My car looks amazing, inside and out, better than I could have dreamed.
My Prius is a 2008, with over 200,000 miles on it. During that entire time, I have used the car for my design business and treated the interior more like a truck bed. When you lay the the rear seat flat, there is room enough for carting around large loads of plants and furniture. Cramming a car full of plants (the record was 220 boxwoods) is what really made a mess and try as we might, over the years, it just began to feel impossible to keep clean. Add one sandy grandchild and friends and it was getting worse by the day. Enter Ryan Tricks. Inside and out, from the front console to the rear lights, and every little nook and cranny in between, the car is fabulously spiffy clean. My Prius feels brand new and I am back to loving driving.
Thank you Tom and Ryan!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tricks Mobile Detailing is located at 3 Rocky Pasture Road, Gloucester.
The wonderful Hairy Woodpecker featured in this short film was seen on a sunny afternoon along the banks of Niles Pond. He spent a great amount of time alternating between excavating a fallen log, foraging for wood boring beetles, and climbing up and down trunks of trees. I’ve been back several times and can usually find him by his funny high pitched squeak that sounds much like a pup’s squeaky chew toy.
Snagging a grub
On that very same day the Hairy Woodpecker was pummeling away at the log, a sweet little Downy Woodpecker and beautiful Red-bellied Woodpecker were also in the neighborhood. And too, there is an elusive golden-winged Northern Flicker flitting about, but he has been a challenge to capture. Hopefully, at some point in the future, we can add him to the short film.
Gorgeous, organic, homegrown produce is available from Cedar Rock Gardens for your beautiful Thanksgiving feast. Colorful beets, crème brûlée shallots, leeks, Brussel sprouts on the stalk, luscious potatoes, greens of every sort, parsley, and much, much more. Plus, you can order a bunch of lavender and strawflowers which will make a lovely and lasting holiday arrangement. I am getting hungry just thinking about all this gorgeousness!
Starting Today, November 14th, our website will be open for ordering farm fresh produce. Orders must be in by Friday at noon.
We’ll be assembling everyone’s order during the day Friday, then opening pick-ups on Saturday 11/19, between 9 AM and 12 PM
Planning for Reality: Climate Change and Downtown Gloucester
Saturday, November 19th, 2022, 1:00pm
Our annual symposium on a topic of community concern is coming up soon on Saturday, November 19, in the Meetinghouse from 1-4pm in collaboration with TownGreen, a non-profit that has promoted climate mitigation and adaptation strategies on Cape Ann since 2015
Have you wondered about the various proposals for the development of harbor front properties, heard about the City’s efforts towards comprehensive urban planning as well as the work of the Harbor Planning Committee, or asked how you might have a voice about what downtown Gloucester is like in the future? Have you been concerned about what experts on the science about climate change might foresee and advise to inform these decisions? Would you like to pose a specific question to an expert and receive a thoughtful, well-informed answer?
The Symposium is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be available. This is a rare opportunity to explore one of the most important civic topics of our time and to meet fellow citizens who care deeply about the future of Gloucester. I hope you can join us in the Meetinghouse for this special event.
ADDRESSING CLIMATE CHANGE AND URBAN PLANNING
GLOUCESTER, MA: The Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation (GMF) and TownGreen present Planning for Reality: Climate Change and Downtown Gloucester, on Saturday, November 19, at 1:00 p.m. The event will be held at the Gloucester Meetinghouse, home of the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church, at the corner of Middle and Church Streets, Gloucester, MA.
The program features four presentations that include opening remarks from Greg Verga, Mayor of Gloucester; Professor Charles Waldheim, Director of the Office for Urbanization at Harvard Graduate School of Design; Dr. Antonio Raciti, Associate Professor of Community Planning and Ecological Design, University of Massachusetts, Boston; and Kevin Hively, CEO and Founder of Ninigret Partners, a management consulting firm that focuses on economic development and community planning.
The Symposium addresses urban planning in the downtown Gloucester area in light of expected and projected climate impacts with a focus on building awareness of climate threats and considering them in the urban planning process. It will conclude with a panel of the speakers to address reflections and key insights from the event. All segments will have Q&A for audience participation.
The November 19th Symposium, Planning for Reality: Climate Change and Downtown Gloucester, brings together experts in climate change scenario planning, community planning in environmental justice communities, and economic development in urban coastal areas to discuss how addressing climate change impacts today will allow for more effective and protective urban planning in the future.
Hosted by the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation in partnership with TownGreen, the Symposium will provide the public with an opportunity to learn more about how climate change will impact downtown Gloucester. The event is free and will be live streamed on GMF’s YouTube Channel where it will be available after the program.
Speakers will address these topics:
Professor Charles Waldheim, Director of the Office for Urbanization at Harvard Graduate School of Design: What does research say about the impacts of sea level rise and a Category 3 hurricane on downtown Gloucester?
Antonio Raciti, Associate Professor of Community Planning and Ecological Design, University of Massachusetts, Boston: What is the framework for future downtown development given the interests of environmental justice communities?
Kevin Hively, CEO and Founder of Ninigret Partners: What are the implications of urban planning from the perspective of the Blue Economy?
“TownGreen is focused on Cape Ann-specific climate impact research and public education based on this research. We’ve been lucky enough to partner with Professor Waldhiem and his team at the Harvard Graduate School of Design to bring our communities realistic, visual research so we can begin to see what might happen in a great storm,” says Dick Prouty, TownGreen Board Chair. “It is very important that we understand what the climate threats are, what they look like, where they will happen, and begin to take the necessary steps to address it through adaptation solutions.”
The program will take place in the heart of downtown Gloucester at the Gloucester Meetinghouse on Church Street. “It is fitting that a symposium addressing climate change be held in the historic Meetinghouse, the site of important annual community programs on topics of current concern,” says GMF President, Charles Nazarian. “Climate change will impact us all. Meeting together to talk about these issues is exactly what we need.”
ABOUT THE GLOUCESTER MEETINGHOUSE FOUNDATION
The mission of the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation is to preserve one of Gloucester’s most admired historic buildings, built in 1806 for the first Universalist Society in America and home of the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church. The GMF is an IRS-recognized 501(c)(3) modeled on a similar nonprofit that supports Boston’s famed Old North Church.
TownGreen, Inc’s mission is to act as a catalyst in assisting the greater Cape Ann region in becoming a vibrant and inclusive model of sustainability that is fossil fuel free and prepared for the impacts of climate change. TownGreen, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. It has promoted climate mitigation and adaptation strategies, including clean energy, since 2015. For more information, visit the TownGreen website: towngreen2025.org. -end-
We see this pair of does frequently. Much of the time they dash away into the woody thicket at the hint of human activity. Not this time. I was quietly filming the larger of the two while speaking ever so gently, in what I hoped would sound to a deer like a soothing voice. I crept to a distance of about twelve feet away, right out in the open, and murmuring all the while. It worked! She gently folded her front leg knees and lay down. I stayed and filmed for some time more and then left her still laying down as it was too dark to capture any more footage.
How I wish I had an apple in my pocket! Next time 🙂
Climate concerns growing for the future of many migratory species.
We travel all over coastal Massachusetts to learn about a few local “indicator species,” which can help explain the impact of climate change. Award-winning documentarian Kim Smith tells us the story of piping plovers breeding in Massachusetts.
Our beloved Piping Plovers and Monarchs are going to be featured on an episode of Chronicle this evening. “Wildlife Worries” is devoted entirely to indicator species including not only Monarchs and PiPls, but also Whimbrels, tiny terrapins, and more. The show airs tonight at 7:30pm on Chronicle, WCVB, channel 5.
Several months ago, I met with the outstanding Chronicle producer, Sangita Chandra, and the show’s stellar videographer, Jennifer Platt-Ure. Originally Sangita was looking for footage of Monarchs and PiPls, but then decided to include an interview from a filmmaker’s perspective. The interview was filmed at Winthrop Shores Reservation as it was a convenient location, and also the charming cafe, Piccolo Piatti. It was a joy working with Sangita as she has a keen interest in wildlife conservation. The show promises to be wonderfully educational. I can’t wait to watch the part about the whimsical Whimbrels and turtles, in addition to the PiPls and butterflies!
Chronicle writes, “New England wouldn’t be New England without the shore birds, butterflies, and turtles that spend part of the year here. These and other local creatures are considered ‘indicator species’ that also help us understand the impact of habitat loss and climate change. Tonight we get up close to giant sea turtles and tiny terrapins, whimbrels and piping plovers, and meet the people committed to protecting them.” . Included in that group – a park ranger who raises butterflies, a documentary filmmaker, and high schoolers studying river herring. Many thanks to our videography team – Bob Oliver, Jennifer Platt-Ure, and Rich Ward and to editor Ellen Boyce. Hope you enjoy the program!