On Saturday morning, October 2nd, at 11 a.m., the community will gather to celebrate the life of Jud Gale, who died last November at the age of 93. A pillar of the community, who loved the church with his whole heart, Jud will be remembered with great affection. We regret that the ongoing pandemic continues to limit the numbers of persons to 100 who can gather in the sanctuary. If you have not received an invitation from the family, you are welcome to join us on Zoom. The Order of Worship can be found here.
I hope you are all doing well, or as well as can be expected during this heartbreaking pandemic event. The following kind words were spoken by Pope Francis today and I think they could not be truer.
“We are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed,” he said.
“All of us called to row together, each of us in need of each other.”
In the world of wildlife, spring migration is well underway and gratefully, nothing has changed for creatures small and large. That may change in the coming days as resources for threatened and endangered species may become scarce.
A friend posted on Facebook that “we are all going to become birders, whether we like it or not.” I love seeing so many people out walking in the fresh air and think it is really the best medicine for our souls.
Several times I was at Good Harbor Beach over the weekend and people were being awesome at practicing physical distancing. Both Salt Island Road and Nautilus Road were filled with cars, but none dangerously so, no more than we would see at a grocery store parking lot. I’m just getting over pneumonia and think I will get my old bike out, which sad to say hasn’t been ridden in several years. Cycling is a great thing to do with a friend while still practicing distancing and I am excited to get back on my bike.
An early spring wildlife scene update
The Niles Pond Black-crowned Night Heron made it through the winter!! He was seen this past week in his usual reedy location. Isn’t it amazing that he/she survived so much further north than what is typical winter range for BCHN.
Many of the winter resident ducks are departing. There are fewer and fewer Buffleheads, Scaups, and Ring-necked Ducks at our local ponds and waterways.
Male and female Scaups
No sign lately of the American Pipits. For several days there were three! Snow Buntings at the Brace Cove berm.
I haven’t seen the Northern Pintail in a over a week. Sometimes the Mallards play nice and on other days, not so much.
Male Northern Pintail and Mallards
As some of the beautiful creatures that have been residing on our shores depart, new arrivals are seen daily. Our morning walks are made sweeter with the songs of passerines courting and mating.
Black-capped Chickadees collecting nesting fibers and foraging
Song Sparrows, Mockingbirds, Robins, Cardinals, Chicadees, Nuthatches, Tufted Titmice, and Carolina Wrens are just a few of the love songs filling backyard, fields, dunes, and woodland.
Newly arrived Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets have been spotted at local ponds and marshes.
Cape Ann’s Kildeers appeared about a week or so ago, and wonderful of wonderful news, a Piping Plover pair has been courting at Good Harbor Beach since they arrived on March 22, a full three days earlier than last year.
Why do I think it is our PiPls returned? Because Piping Plovers show great fidelity to nesting sites and this pair is no exception. They are building nest scrapes in almost exactly the same location as was last year’s nest.
Piping Plover Nest Scrape Good Harbor Beach 2020
I’m not sure if the Red Fox photographed here is molting or is the early stages of mange. It does seem a bit early to be molting, but he was catching prey.
We should be seeing Fox kits and Coyote pups any day now, along with baby Beavers, Otters, and Muskrats 🙂 It’s been an off year for Snowy Owls in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic with relatively many fewer owls than that wonderful irruptive winter of 2017-2018 when Hedwig was living on the back shore. 2019 was a poor summer for nesting however, reports of high numbers of Lemmings at their eastern winter breeding grounds are coming in, which could lead to many owlets surviving the nesting season of 2020, which could lead to many more Snowies migrating south this coming winter of 2020-2021.
The beautiful wooden ice sail boats that Andy Lee is generously sharing with the neighborhood kids are his family’s boats. Andy grew up ice sailing on Chebacco Lake with his Dad.
Michelle Barton pointed out that there aren’t too many places in the area where the ice and wind are just right for ice sailing, and Niles Pond happens to be one of those unique places. Andy shares they were sailing at 40mph today!
Andy Lee (from Lee Tree) and Geoff are restoring the ice boats at Geoff’s woodworking studio and I think they are planning to build more!
Whenever at the Lobster Trap Tree to take a photo or passing by, there is a steady stream of people–families, couples, and groups of friends–stopping to pose and take snapshots. It’s a Gloucester thing for sure!
The tree will be up most likely though the end of January. David Brooks shares that the time of dismantling is weather dependent however, the BIG BUOY PARTY FAMILY FUN NIGHT is Friday January 25th, so don’t wait too long to take a photo at Gloucester’s beautiful (and the World’s Best) Lobster Trap Tree.
You know your pooch is in superb hands with the East Gloucester Dog Walkers!
Emma, Pilar, Lily, and occasionally Emma’s brother Ben, manage the menagerie beautifully, to the extent of even bringing along a water bowl on hot summer days. They are kind, gentle, patient, and loving towards their charges. Our Rosie is having the time of her life with the East Gloucester Dog Walkers (along with socializing with the other dogs, too). This great team certainly practices the three P’s of a successful business: Positive, Polite, and Professional.
Thank you East Gloucester Dog Walkers for taking such great care of our neighborhood pets!
The ride to the platform was thrilling, and a little terrifying, as I wasn’t exactly sure how my not-waterproof camera gear would fare.
After the pole walkers disembarked, the skipper kindly gave me a ride to shore to continue filming from Pavilion Beach.
The Walks began under windy conditions and the tide was low, as it had been all weekend, which made for a very, very long drop when the guys hit the water.
Congratulations to Mark Allen for winning the Sunday 2014 Greasy Pole title. Congratulation to Sunday’s Senior Seine Boat champions, the Wharf Rats, and junior champions, Bad Intentions!
Festivities continued throughout the night with the awards ceremony and live music. Around 11pm, after the late night carnival crowd had dispersed, a beautiful event began to unfold. From all corners of Gloucester, people gathered around to fill the fair grounds. Saint Peter was again lifted down from the stage and a throng of hundreds lined the square to carry the statue around the Fort. With much cheering and jubilation, Saint Peter and his followers were welcomed throughout the neighborhood. Midway during the route, the procession paused and confetti rained down on all. Rounding the bend, a fabulous fireworks display had been organized for the crowd. Sparkles shot all around, and I stayed close to my friends Nina and Frank as we reveled in the sheer beauty of it all. The fireworks concluded and the procession continued, with the sight of Gloucester’s exquisite port illuminated by the nights’ light.
Arriving at Saint Peter’s Club, another shower of confetti greeted Saint Peter. The statue was carefully removed from the carrying stand and placed back in the window of the Saint Peter’s Club.
Good Night Saint Peter, Until Next Year!
Thank you to the beautiful Nina and Frank Groppo and their friends and family for always welcoming me with their open arms. Thank you to the beautiful Giambanco family for welcoming us all to their home for their fabulous Sunday Fiesta Feast and Fun!
My husband’s extended family has been celebrating Christmas Eve together since they emigrated from Germany in the mid-1800s. I was feeling a bit melancholy, as I think were other family members, because the older generation (now in their 80s and 90s) is retiring from hosting the parties. The festivities will surely still go on, although not in quite the same high style as Christmas’s past because many of the next generation (such as ourselves) have made their homes far and wide.
This year was my mother-in-law’s turn to host the party. The table was beautifully decorated and I love the simple and cheery touch of the cardinals on the apples.
Bumbleberry Torte from BonBonerie
Cincinnati was settled largely by German immigrants and judging by the countless established bakeries dotted throughout the city, I imagine the original emigrees were fabulous bakers. One of Tom’s cousins, Debbie, created a cookbook based on favorite family Christmas recipes, including recipes that date back to the 1800s, recipes from the family’s cooks, and recipes from old German great aunts who also lived in the big house and whose job it was at Christmastime to make thousands of cookies. When we spend Christmas at home and not in Ohio, Liv, Alex, and I love to cook from the family Christmas cookbook and the cookies especially are the yummiest you could possibly imagine.
My father-in-law, who is the most kind-hearted man I have ever met, has a wonderful sense of humor, and is a great storyteller, too–and boy does he have many stories to share from a life richly led!
Dusting of snow Christmas Eve morning
Cincinnati is just that much further west that sunrise is nearly an hour later than in Gloucester. The club that we stay at is set within a golf course sited on a hill, with beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
Getting ready for Christmas Eve celebration #2!
Always a challenge to get loved ones to stand still long enough for a photo!
Double Exposure Fuifilm X- E1
End Note: In poking around online, I found a photo of the home of Great-aunt Kitty, where the Christmas Eve parties were held continuously for many years. Tom has fond memories of wonderful Christmas’s spent there and especially of the “kiddy table,” where all the cousins and siblings sat together (no adults!), and I gather, where many food fights occurred. The house, still standing, was donated to the Cincinnati park board and you can see more photos of the gorgeous interior at this link: The Gibson-Hauck House. While in Cincinnati we also visited the Rookwood Pottery studio. If you have ever seen Antiques Roadshow, you probably know how beautiful is Rookwood pottery. This post is already too long so later in the week I’ll do a little post about Rookwood.
Wednesday morning East Gloucester was especially beautiful although, is anywhere not magically beautiful after a new fallen snow? While photographing around the neighborhood, I nearly ran into Frieda on her way into her shop, Again and Again (with lots of terrific gift items for last minute shoppers). After photographing down by the North Shore Art Association I stopped in to say hello to Frieda and Beth at Again and Again (see yesterday’s post).
Leaving the shop, and while admiring Duckworth’s wreath and lovely holiday decor, I met Ken Duckworth outside his bistro. We had a friendly chat and I was reminded of what a fabulous neighborhood is ours. At that moment I was thinking not of the beauty that surrounds, but of our wonderful neighbors.
Maritime Center from Smith’s Cove
Duckworth’s in the Snow
Dinner at Duckworth’s Bistrot anytime of the year, but most especially during the holidays, is always a very special treat. Plan to go soon for your Duckworth’s fix because I believe they close for several weeks during. January.
Love Letters to Gloucester ~ Summer 2013 is a ten minute film compiled from butterfly films in progress and scenes from short films created for my community during the summer of 2013.
Special thanks to the Ciaramitaro Family and my Good Morning Gloucester friends and family.
Stay until after all credits roll to see a preview of films yet to come!
Cast In Order of Appearance:
Good Harbor Beach Surfers, Pat Ciaramitaro, Dante Holding, Amanda Mohan, Vanessa Linquata, Greasy Pole Walkers, Nicky Avelis, Sleepy Pallazolla Family, Crazy Hat Ladies Robyn & Amy Clayton, Alicia Cox, Chris DeWolfe, Joey Ciaramitaro, Bex Borden, Toby Pett, Ed Collard, Melissa Cox, Craig Kimberley, Brian M. O’Connor, Captain Heath Ellis, Captain Tom Ellis, Donna Ardizonni, Cathy Kelley, Lillian LoGrasso, Rick Doucette, Barry Mohan, Hannah Kimberley, Ron Gilson, Joan Gilson, BJ Mohan, Eloise Ciaramitaro, Madeline Ciaramitaro, Kathy Ryan, Bob Ryan
Creatures in Order of Appearance:
Great Blue Heron
Good Harbor Beach Harbor Seal
Mama Kildeer Searching for Baby Kildeer
Pair of Whimbrels
Shivering Monarch Butterfly Found at Daybreak
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Donkeys Zack & Abe
Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Green Darner Dragonfly Migration
Eastern Point Light House Monarch
Briar Forsythe, proprietor of Willowdale Estate, and her staff, threw a lovely bridal shower for Audi Lane. Audi works at Willowdale and is getting married this weekend to Gloucester’s Peter Sousa, the sea shanty singer.
The light in the conservatory is stunning all year round and provides an elegant setting for any type of private event.
The luncheon was to die for and the deserts, well, I think the photo tells the story. The chocolate mousse was heavenly!!!
Professor Gandhi shares about his recent trip to India ~
“As I mentioned in the other email to you, I spent about 5 weeks in India (Dec 18-Jan 22); it was a very productive trip.
I gave 10 talks in different colleges in different parts of India. Except for 2 talks (each for 20 minutes), the other 8 talks ranged from 2 to 4 hours. Six of these talks were on sustainability and the remaining four were general in Botany. The attendees were pleased.
I also gave a 3-day workshop on plant names (Jan 11-13), which was organized at Kolkata by the Botanical Survey of India, Government of India. This was the first of its kind held in India. 90+ people (professors and botanists) attended the workshop. They all received certificates of attendance. During those 3-day workshop, I gave 16 hour talk/discussion on plant names, which was well-received.”
So many, many thanks to my former botany professor, Dr. Kanchi Gandhi, who sent my BomBom Butterflies video to many of his colleagues, friends, and students. My video is getting a growing number of hits in India! I loved every second of Doctor Gandhi’s class and wished often I could be his full time student. Professor Gandhi’s classes are held in the Harvard University Herbaria, with more than 5 million plant specimens. Along with its library, the Herbaria forms the world’s largest university owned herbarium.
Doctor Gandhi’s interests are in the areas of plant nomenclature, plant morphology, and plant taxonomy. He is currently working on the International Plant Name Index, the HUH lookup tables, and Flora of North America project. In 2010 he was awarded the American Society of Plant Taxonomist Distinguished Service Award, which is only given occasionally and reserved for individuals who have made exceptional efforts for ASPT or the plant-systematics community in general.
India is a country rich in flora and many species of butterlies. A beautiful Indian butterfly we on Cape Ann may find particularly interesting is the Blue Tiger Butterfly (Tirumala limniace).
It bears a striking resemblance to our Monarch Butterfly (both members of Nymphalidae, sub-family Danainae, or Brush-foot Family of butterflies) with the clearly defined mitten-shaped cell on the underside of the hindwing. And like our Monarch caterpillars, Blue Tiger caterpillars generally feed on the milkweed family of plants (Asclepiadaceae). Another similarity is that the Blue Tiger migrates through Southern India, although the distance traveled is not quite as long as that of the Monarchs.
Hannah Scialdone-Kimberley is a professor of English and author currently creating a biography on Annie Smith Peck (she is also married to GMG’s own Craig Kimberley). I had the pleasure to meet Hannah when she and Craig came to dinner, and very much enjoyed learning a bit about her biography-in-progress about Annie Smith Peck. About her interest in Peck, Hannah writes, “I first learned about Peck in 2007 via a poster that my father purchased for me in an antique shop that displays an image of her in her climbing costume and reads, “A Woman’s Place Is at the Top.” I had never before heard of Peck, but the image of her in her climbing costume was so striking that I set out to see who she was and what she had accomplished. After a bit of research, I became completely enthralled with Peck’s accomplishments, including her scholarship, her climbing career, her role in politics, and her longstanding commitment to the advancement of women’s rights.” Annie Smith Peck Blo
Last week Craig Kimberley spent a morning editing and assisting me with my Black Swallowtail film project. It’s been great getting to know Craig and I am feeling very blessed that he is interested in working on my project. Because of his knowledge and expertise, I know my film is going to be more beautiful than ever I imagined. Thank you Craig.
Hannah and Craig Kimberley and John McElhenny
Good Morning Gloucester contributor Craig moved to Gloucester nearly a year ago. His beautiful wife Hannah followed six months later as she was finishing her doctoral degree in English from Old Dominion University in Virginia. Hannah was just recently hired for her first professional writing job.
Craig is a freelance Director, DP, and Editor. He is currently working on Trev Gowdy’s Monster Fish on the Outdoor Channel as the Director, Editor, and Director of Photography. He is also currently creating a cooking show starring Tony Carbone. This is Craig and Hannah’s first Christmas in Gloucester together. Welcome!
To read more about Craig and see several of the great videos he has shot for Good Morning Gloucester ~
Lisa, Lora, and Briar sang to a packed house last night. Their solos, and voices in unison, of traditional classic songs, made for a beautiful evening of holiday music. My favorites were Carol of the Bells and the tender lullaby by Paul Williams and Joseph M. Martin: Still is the Night; also by Joseph Martin was the joyful O Come Emmanuel and Listen to the Stars, both from The Voices of Christmas.
Mezzo Soprano Lisa Tamagini and Soprano Lora Tamagini
Sisters Lisa and Lora Tamagini and Briar have known each other since they began their opera careers in Boston. Lora and Lisa have toured the world over and Lora’s original music can be heard on three CDs: Joy in My Soul, Sing to the Lord, and Sing Gloria. Briar is passionate about supporting local artists and it has been her dream to host musical concerts. The success of Willowdale has made it possible for her to create unforgettable holiday performances for everyone to enjoy!
Briar’s festive and delicious Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Frosting
Last night we stopped at Mark McDonough’s newest restaurant, Maggies Farm, located in Middleton. Disclaimer: our son Alex recently started working there although, I can honestly say, our dinners were simply outstanding. And as you can see in the photos, the portions are enormously generous.
Alex recommended the Nachos and, even though I generally dislike shouty capitals– WOW is all I can say!
The host Kai was gracious and friendly and our waitress was super professional and efficient. The ambiance was warm, welcoming, and fun, and the crowd ranged in age from 20-somethings through the ages including dating couples, sports bar fans, a group of women getting together after work, and sitting next to us, was a grandmother with her granddaughter discussing the granddaughter’s upcoming wedding plans.
Husband Tom ordered the Fish and Chips. I did not try the fish however, the onion rings were the best I have ever tasted–extra crispy flavorful golden brown on the outside, perfectly sweet, tender onions within. We were not sitting under the lights and I apologize for the not-so-great photos, but we’ll be back often. I ‘d love to return at lunch time for better photos and to try more items on the menu. I struggled to decide and was more than happy with the delicious Pan Roasted Chicken with cranberry cornbread stuffing, parsnips, Brussel sprouts, and gravy (and much too full after the perfectly enormous plate of nachos to eat all my dinner). The menu is a collection of favorite comfort food from many cuisines, and is comfort food at its most sublime. For sushi-lovers, the sushi looked very tempting and is half-off on Monday nights. I can see any number of reasons to head over to Maggies for lunch or for dinner as it is only a five minute drive past the long stretch of shops, stores, and car dealerships that line Rt. 114. Maggies is located adjacent to Richardson’s Farm. When the weather warms it will be lots of fun to make a night of Richardson’s mini golf and dinner at Maggies!
The name Maggies Farm is taken from the Bob Dylan song he penned (from the album Bringing it All Back Home), after his departure from acoustic folk to electric rock. See Mark McDonough’s Gloucester restaurantsAlchemy,Latitude 43, and Minglewood.
This beautiful film was sent to me by one of my dearest friends, Claudia, the filmmaker’s Mom. Her daughter Magdalena is currently studying film and poetry at Hampshire College in Amherst. She is very interested in recycled images and has transferred many of the family’s old super 8’s. Magda would have to speak about her intention but her Mom wonders if it was from her perspective of looking up at the “big kids.” She loved to toddle after Olivia! The music is from her band with her friend Cody; they are called Stolen Jars. Magda wrote many lyrics for the album and sings on many tracks. One piece was used in an iPad commercial this summer. Thank you Claudia and Magda for Sharing!
Beautiful Film Magdalena!
My note: That’s my daughter Liv “getting married.” I think this is film footage from one of our many friend and family wonderful get-togethers on Martha’s Vineyard, at the funnest and most welcoming home of Rosemary, who is the Mom of our other best friend, Donna.
I loved this Macy Gray song from the moment I first heard it. The lyrics are full of hope. I found the song to be perfect for creating a montage of my favorite clips, filmed in and around Gloucester over the course of the past month. The footage is from works-in-progress butterfly films, 2012 Greasy Pole shorts, and random footage from a family picnic. The film showcases just some of the natural beauty found in Gloucester, from sunrise til sunset. Is it too crazy–butterflies and Greasy Pole Walkers–you tell me because I see beauty in everyone and everything.
Filmed at Niles Beach, Pavilion Beach, Good Harbor Beach, Eastern Point, Brace Cove, Gloucester Harbor Walk, and Plum Street. Created for Good Morning Gloucester. Dedicated to Joe Ciaramitaro and his beautiful family and to our beloved Gloucester community.
Thank you Ciaramitaros for your help with my Monarch film!
Thank you to my darling daughter Liv; as Craig said, “a trifecta–beautiful, smart, and funny!”
Beauty in the World Sung by Macy Gray
2012 Sunday Greasy Pole Walkers
“Beauty in the World” is by American singer Macy Gray from her album The Sellout, which is Gray’s fifth album and first since her under-performing 2007 album, Big. The Selllout is her return to musical form after almost conforming when her last album didn’t take off. “I thought after Big flopped maybe I should do what everyone else was doing,” she said. “Go out and hire the hottest producers, the best writers, get real skinny. But none of those people called me back.”
The song was inspired by hearing her daughter’s laughter on a down day. “I didn’t even know what she was laughing at. I thought ‘at least she’s happy.’ And I felt at least I hadn’t failed there, because my daughter’s happy.” -wiki
The Greasy Pole Walk is a competition that takes place over a three day period and is an integral part of the Saint Peter’s Fiesta. The Greasy Pole Walk and Greasy Pole Walkers are unique to Gloucester, Massachusetts.