Category Archives: Gloucester

MORAINE

From Nat Geo –

“A moraine is material left behind by a moving glacier. This material is usually soil and rock. Just as rivers carry along all sorts of debris and silt that eventually builds up to form deltas, glaciers transport all sorts of dirt and boulders that build up to form moraines.

To get a better idea of what moraines are, picture yourself with a toy bulldozer on a lawn that has a bunch of dry leaves all over it. When you run the bulldozer through the leaves, some of them get pushed aside, some of them get pushed forward, and some of them leave interesting patterns on the grass. Now think of these patterns and piles of pushed-away leaves—moraines—stretching for kilometers on the Earth.

Moraines only show up in places that have, or used to have, glaciers. Glaciers are extremely large, moving rivers of ice. Glaciers shape the landscape in a process called glaciation. Glaciation can affect the land, rocks, and water in an area for thousands of years. That is why moraines are often very old.

Moraines are divided into four main categories: lateral moraines, medial moraines, supraglacial moraines, and terminal moraines.”

Read More Here

BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL DOGTOWN!

Hiking Dogtown with my family on Saturday, we headed out when it was raining. I left my good camera behind and only had the cell phone. Oh how I wished I had my Fuji with me! It was gorgeous and beautiful and because of the drought you can walk out onto the shore a little ways, too.

Instagram Liv

We were having a fantastic time until Charlotte was stung by a Yellow Jacket. Fall is Yellow Jacket season so be on the lookout if you go (they are everywhere at this time of year). Yellow  Jackets can become very aggressive in autumn as their food supply dwindles and they are looking for food to feed their larvae.

View this post on Instagram

Stunning time of year to hike around Dogtown

A post shared by Kim Smith (@kimsmithfilms) on

 

HARBOR SEALS SOCIAL DISTANCING, NATURALLY :)

A bob of five Harbor Seals has spent the past few afternoons lollying about in a socially distant fashion on the rocks at Brace Cove. I write ‘naturally’ distancing not because of coronavirus, but because they prefer some measure of personal space when hauled out. We see both Harbor Seals and Gray Seals at Brace Cove throughout the year although there seem to be fewer during the spring and summer months. I wonder if that is because they are busy breeding and raising young. With the onset of cooler weather their numbers have been increasing once again. On a bright sunny day last winter we counted twenty-nine!

MONARCH BUTTERFLY MIGRATION ALERT FOR CAPE ANN, NEWBURY, IPSWICH, PLUM ISLAND!

Monarchs are currently migrating, albeit in small numbers, throughout the North Shore. The butterflies arrived several days ago and because of the rainy weather, they are in a holding pattern. When the sun reappears, look for Monarchs on any still-blooming  garden favorites such as zinnias, as well as wildflowers. Please send an email or comment in the comment section if you see Monarchs in your garden or while outdoors over the weekend and upcoming week. Thank you!

Many species of asters and goldenrods have finished flowering; instead the Monarchs are fortifying for the long journey by drinking nectar at Black Mustard flowers, and even Dandelions.

Although not native to North America, Black Mustard (Brassica nigra) is beneficial to bees and butterflies for late season sustenance. Don’t you love its lemony golden beauty in the autumn sunlight?

Black Mustard is not the easiest nor most efficient plant for Monarchs to draw nectar from. I never see the butterflies on Black Mustard unless it is very late in the migration and there are few other choices available.

The ray flowers of asters provide a convenient landing pad for butterflies. Panicle-shaped flowering plant, such as goldenrods, also provide a convenient landing pad while supplying a smorgasbord of nectar rich florets. Black Mustard provides neither. You can see in several photos in an upcoming post that the Monarchs are nectaring with their legs gripped tightly around the base of the flower.

Black Mustard is an annual plant native to Eurasia and North Africa. Cultivated widely as a condiment, medicinally, and vegetable, it came to North America via the early colonists. The plant is in bloom from May through October, or until the first hard frost, and grows well in disturbed man-made sites.

Black Mustard is a member of the Brassicaceae, also classically called the Cruciferae (Latin, meaning ‘cross-bearing’) in reference to its four ‘crossed petals’, which is commonly known as the mustard family. Black Mustard is related to cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, kohlrabi, kale, turnips, and watercress.

PRETTY NILES BEACH PANORAMA SUNSET

Beautiful, beautiful autumn skies –  sunset this past week

OCTOBER’S HARVEST MOON OVER EASTERN POINT LIGHTHOUSE

The first of October’s full Moons was setting as the Sun was rising over Eastern Point. Black and white, or color, which do you prefer?

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LATE DAY #wickedtuna FILMING GLOUCESTER HARBOR with HARD MERCHANDISE, FV-TUNA.COM, WICKED PISSAH, HOT TUNA, AND BADFISH,

The Wicked Tuna fleet continued filming yesterday early evening as the storm departed.

@tjHOTTUNA #wickedtuna #gloucesterma WICKED TUNA HELICOPTER FILMING IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD!

Wicked Tuna shooting FV Hot Tuna and FV Bad Fish at Gloucester Harbor

Good News to Share!

Dear Friends of Beauty on the Wing,

I hope you are all doing well and fortunate enough to have good health.

After a brief cold snap we are having a beautiful Indian Summer here on Cape Ann. I hope you have the opportunity to get outdoors today and enjoy nature. Bird and butterfly migrations are well underway. At Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, rangers shared that they have never seen a migration such as this year’s, with over 180 species sited at the refuge this past week. The birds appear to have benefitted from decreased human activity over the past seven months. On the other hand, the Atlantic Coast Monarch migration seems stalled or nonexistent. Perhaps we will have a late, great migration as we did several years ago. And there are some positive signs for the butterflies, especially through the Mississippi Flyway as Monarch Waystations further north, such as the one at Point Pelee have been reporting that the Monarch migration is doing well. I’ve seen Monarchs migrating through Cape Ann in good numbers as late as the second week of October, so we’ll be ever hopeful.

Good news to share -the page for Beauty on the Wing is up on American Public Television World Wide! Here is the link, including information with a link on how to license Beauty. The page looks great and the line-up of films, stellar. We are so honored to be included in this fine catalogue of Science, Health, and Nature Programming!

And more super good news to share – Beauty on the Wing has been accepted to the Boston International Kids Film Festival! This is an outstanding festival for kids, by kids, and about kids and is organized by a dynamic group of women: Laura Azevedo, Kathleen Shugrue, and Natalia Morgan. A complete list of films for the 2020 BIKFF will be posted in the upcoming days, along with information on how the festival will be organized for safe viewing during the pandemic.

I have been following (or become enchanted is a more accurate description) a small flock of Bobolinks. Click here to read a story posted on my website: Bobolinks Amongst the Sunflowers. While reading about Bobolinks, I came across a link to The Bobolink Project, a truly worthwhile organization. The Bobolink Project habitat conservation plan not only helps Bobolinks, but many species of declining grassland birds.

The sun is coming out and the temperature still summery. Stay well and enjoy the day!

Warmest wishes,
Kim

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

 

VOTE- MARY RHINELANDER’S KICK BUTT POSTER!

Love this poster by friend Mary Rhinelander <3

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

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