Category Archives: Rockport


Out shopping with Liv and we stopped top see the beautiful sunset at Cape Hedge.

We mentioned the Ursids during this morning’s podcast and in the meantime I found this handy chart. The best time to see the meteor shower is tonight until dawn.

Ursids meteor shower for Gloucester (Night between December 22 and December 23)
Time Azimuth/Direction Altitude
Sun 4:00 pm 345°North-northwest 34.8°
Sun 5:00 pm 348°North-northwest 32.2°
Sun 6:00 pm 352°North 30.2°
Sun 7:00 pm 355°North 29.0°
Sun 8:00 pm North 28.5°
Sun 9:00 pm North 28.8°
Sun 10:00 pm North 29.9°
Sun 11:00 pm 11°North-northeast 31.8°
Mon 12:00 midnight 15°North-northeast 34.3°
Mon 1:00 am 17°North-northeast 37.3°
Mon 2:00 am 19°North-northeast 40.8°
Mon 3:00 am 19°North-northeast 44.4°
Mon 4:00 am 19°North-northeast 48.1°
Mon 5:00 am 16°North-northeast 51.5°
Mon 6:00 am 13°North-northeast 54.3°
Mon 7:00 am North 56.2°



Darin Murphy and Jill

Visionary iartcolony gallerists Bob Armstrong and Jill Whitney Armstrong created an outstanding opening for their new show “be present.” Evocative and thought provoking, the lineup included visual work by artists David Robinson and Jane Hudson (currently exhibiting at iartcolony), Ken Brown video from Psychedelic Cinema,* an oration given by Darin Murphy, and live drawing and painting demonstrations given by Will Pappenheimer and Michael Talbot.

Brian King (What Time is it Mr. Fox) performed his Dionysian piece from his newest playMedusa: Reclaiming the Myth, which premiered this summer at the Museum of Science.

Artist and drummer for the Cars, David Robinson, and cult filmmaker Ken Brown.

David Robinson and photos

be present runs through November 22, 2019. For more information, call 978-764-5495.

*Psychedelic Cinema revives Brown’s Super 8 films, which were shot at the Boston Tea Party, one of Boston’s legendary live rock and blues music venues. The artists he created light shows and films for include Jimi Hendrix, the Velvet Underground, Sly Stone, Frank Zappa, Led Zeppelin, Muddy Waters, and many, many more.


My friend Jill Whitney Armstrong writes that “this is one exhibit not to be missed, with tents in the yard, interactive augmented reality, a magical live painter, free reiki and more! Plus David Robinson has work in the show – a communal atmosphere.”

I am looking forward to attending and hope to see you there! 


Hoping to capture the Supermoon, in all its huge glory, rising between the Twin Lights last night, but the sky was pink and hazy around the horizon line. Still, I think it’s good to have a record of a rarely occurring full moon on the first day of spring.

Thacher Island Twin Lights, waiting for the Moon to rise, North Light, left; South Light right.


Over the winter, a Black Vulture has been calling Cape Ann home. My friend Lois first alerted me to this back in December where he has been seen quite often in Rockport. I have been trying to capture some footage of him/her but only ever saw him soaring high above. The Black Vulture in flight is stunning and you can recognize the bird by its distinctive white wing tips.

As luck would have it, East Gloucester resident Larry shared a photo recently and his friend Frank generously allowed me to stop by and take some photos and footage.White wing tips of the Black Vulture

Being found mostly in South America, Central America, and the southern US, the Black Vulture’s range does not historically include Cape Ann (nor anywhere in Massachusetts). The bird’s range has been expanding northward since the early decades of the previous century and it is safe to say there may even be a few pairs breeding in the furthest most western regions of Massachusetts!

Black Vultures feed primarily on carrion. They fly high above on thermal winds looking for dead creatures, and also follow Turkey Vultures, which reportedly have a better sense of smell and can more easily locate carcasses. Black Vultures also kill skunks, possums, Night Herons, turtle hatchlings, chickens, young livestock, and sickly small pets. And, too, they pick through dumps and dumpsters, and even wade into water for small fish and floating carrion. It’s no wonder their range is expanding!

The Black Vulture visiting Frank’s yard appeared to be communicating with Frank. Black Vultures lack a voice box; instead of singing, one of the sounds they make is a low ruff sort of bark. Frank can imitate the bark perfectly, and the bird barks back!

Black Vulture Historic Status in Massachusetts, from Mass Audubon:

The first Black Vulture identified in Massachusetts was shot in Swampscott in November of 1850. The second appeared in Gloucester on September 28, 1863, where it, too, was killed (Howe & Allen 1901). Throughout the next century, the bird was considered an accidental straggler in Massachusetts; and, by the middle of the nineteenth century, the species was on the move from its deep Southern roots, breeding in southern Maryland for the first time in 1922 (Court 1924) and in Pennsylvania by 1952 (Brauning 1992).

If you see Cape Ann’s Black Vulture hanging around your property, please let me know at Thank you so much!

Comparing Black Vulture to Turkey Vulture

Black Vulture Range Map


As was everyone else, the Harbor Seals were enjoying Tuesday’s 50 degree weather. Much jockeying, grunting, and gnarling over prime rock-real estate was taking place. Paintings of nudes by Renoir and Botero, along with the made-up word tubylette, come to mind whenever I see these bathing beauties basking on the rocks at Brace Cove.By the time I left after sunset, there were no less than fourteen Harbor Seals hauled out on the rocks.

Spectacular Twin Lights Thacher Island Waves

The photos were taken after the storm on Tuesday morning, at dead low tide, standing almost to Salt Island and looking toward Thacher Island. I don’t recall ever seeing such enormous waves at low tide and will stay tuned in the future. Look for the surfer’s head in the waves 🙂