Tag Archives: Cape Ann

New Book Launch Twin Lights Tonic-Cape Ann’s Timeless Soda Pop – Limited Quantities Remain Order Today

Limited Collectors Edition

TWIN LIGHTS TONIC
Cape Ann’s Timeless Soda Pop

Dive into history of one of the most popular soft drinks around the Cape Ann area Twin Lights Tonic. This carefully researched story of one of the last family bottlers still in operation. Paul St.Germain and Devlin Sherlock bring you through the history and development of carbonated soft drinks as they trace the narrative of the 115-year-old Twin Lights Bottling Company (originally Thomas Wilson Bottling Company). Woven throughout is the story of one Rockport, MA family of Portuguese immigrants who began producing the tonic in the back of a small town grocer store in 1907.
With over 70 photographs included, this lovingly assembled book is sure to delight.
For a limited time, you will also receive a commemorative postcard and magnet with your purchase!

Click here to order !
Proceeds of sale go to Thacher Island Association
Limited Supply Remains, Order Today!!

TULIPOMANIA AT TIP TOP TULIPS! THE FLOWERS ARE MAGICAL AND and lots of fairy princesses on the scene!

Tip Top Tulips promises to be a show stopper this Mother’s Day weekend with fields blooming in prime glorious beauty! My friend Paul has created yet another enchanting and magical flower experience for the community (see School Street Sunflowers). Visiting Tip Top Tulips to celebrate Mother’s Day is a wonderful way to spend time with your Mom, wife, girlfriend, and family. Well-behaved dogs on leashes are welcome, too. And on a recent visit, if you can imagine, I ran into half a dozen fairy princesses <3

Only a very few varieties of tulips have gone past and there are loads and loads of fresh flowers to pick (I can attest that Paul’s freshly picked tulips last a good ten days!). The array of colors is beyond exquisite, from brilliant jewel tones to softly-hued pastels, along with every imagined shape and pattern, from dippled and dappled, to striped and ruffled. Deanna Gallagher’s adorable and family friendly Shetland Sheep are visiting Tip Top Tulips as well, along with a beautiful young calf.

Paul and friend Liam

There are plenty of times available on Saturday, May 8th. Sunday, Mother’s Day, times are available between 9 and 10, and after 4:30ish. After this weekend, the fields will still be beautiful so I would check with Paul on how much longer Tip Top Tulips is planning to stay open.

Tip Top Tulips is located at 71 Town Farm Road in Ipswich.

Fo more information, visit Tip Top Tulips website here and follow on Instagram here.

 

 

TIP TOP TULIPS PICK YOUR OWN CUTTING GARDEN OPENS TODAY!

Tip Top Tulips cutting field opens today! SEE MORE HERE

MAGICAL TIP TOP TULIPS NEW FARM FUN – COME ON DOWN AND PICK YOUR OWN!

You may recall that I have written a number of times about my friend Paul Wegzyn and his stunning and enchanting School Street Sunflowers. Paul has created another magically enchanted flower experience for the community! This past autumn, Paul, and his Dad Paul, planted several hundred thousand tulips at two different fields.

Early red tulips in bloom today!

The smaller field at 22 School Street, Ipswich, is opening on Sunday, April 18th. This field is planted for pick-your-own tulips. Charming wicker baskets are provided and the cost is $1.00 per stem.

The second field, named Tip Top Tulips (located at 71 Town Farm  Road, Ipswich ), is going to be the show stopper. Rows and rows of beautiful multi-colored tulips, from early flowering varieties  to late flowering cultivars will be blooming over the next two months. Tip Top Tulips is scheduled to tentatively open the following week, approximately April 24th, depending on the weather.

The theme this first year for Tip Top Tulips is Love, in honor of Paul’s Mom, and as with School Street Sunflowers, there will be beautiful photo vignettes positioned around the field.

 

Deanna Gallagher will have her adorable and friendly Shetland Sheep and cows at Tip Top field, providing even more fun and wonderful photo moments for the family. Charlotte had the best time with Deanna and her goats at School Street Sunflowers last summer and I cannot wait to take her to Tip Top Tulips this spring!

 

Fo more information, visit Tip Top Tulips website here and follow on Instagram here.

BEAUTIFUL BLUEBIRD “WING-WAVING!”

Bluebird courtship is as beautiful as is the bird! Last week my daughter Liv joined me on a film scouting mini adventure. She loves learning about wildlife and living in Southern California as she does, Liv is surrounded by beautiful wild creatures and wild lands. We had a fantastic morning of it. Brant Geese, Piping Plovers, Great Egrets, Tree Swallows, and Eastern Bluebirds were just some of the creatures we observed.

The Eastern Bluebirds were especially stunning in the crisp early morning sunshine. One particular gent had not yet secured his partner’s affections. From tree branches adjacent to nesting boxes, he sang softly and flashed his glorious blue wings to a female that had flown in on the scene.

At first we thought he was preening, but no, the bachelor was clearly enticing his lady friend with lapis lazuli flags, gesturing with quick up and down lifting movements. Called wing-waving, these gestures are part of Eastern Bluebird courtship.

The male first sings loudly from treetops. If a female shows interest, he further shows off his skill sets with wing-waving and soft warbles. He then entices her to join him at a nesting box or cavity, he entering first. After he flies out of the box and if all goes well, she enters the cavity, a sure sign the pair are hitting it off!

Male Eastern Bluebird Wing-waving

The lucky female

 

 

CAPE ANN’S GHOSTLY SNOWY OWL!

A beautiful mysterious Snowy Owl has spent the winter here on Cape Ann. She is very elusive, never dallying too long in one location. She has been spotted in the Good Harbor Beach dunes, Long Beach, Salt Island, Middle Street rooftops, woods, Back Shore, Bass Rocks, Rocky Neck, Smith’s Cove, and even at the bottom of our hill on Pirate’s Lane.

Thank you to many friends who have alerted me to her presence – Hilary, Catherine, Grace, Nicole, Gordon, Arley, Frankie, Susan, Roger – if I forgot to include you, I mean to thank you, too!

If you spotted a Snowy on Cape this winter, please write. I do not believe Cape Ann’s Snowy is still about however, if you do see a Snowy, please leave a comment or feel free to email at kimsmithdesigns@hotmail.com. Thank you!

I am almost certain she is not the same Snowy that stayed with us several winter’s ago. Unlike Piping Plovers, from tracking data, we know that Snowies don’t generally return to the same location every winter, and many only migrate during their youth. In case you missed it, here is a link to a series of fun educational short films that I made about Cape Ann’s 2018 resident Snowy Owl, including bathing, capturing a seabird, and passing a pellet. Snowy Owl Film Project

It’s been a banner year for Snowy Owls at Salisbury Beach, Sandy Point, and Parker River, so much so I have gone out of my way to avoid stopping to photograph owls at these locations for fear of disturbing the Snowies. There are a great deal more people out and about photographing than in previous years, due largely to the pandemic, and the owl disturbances are many.

 

 

BLUEBIRD LOVEBIRDS! – DO BLUEBIRDS MATE FOR LIFE?

Love is in the air!

Consistently when out in fields, I see Bluebird pairs that appear strongly committed to each other. I wondered, do Bluebirds mate forever? In our region, we see Eastern Bluebirds. Ornithologists found from a long term study of Western Bluebirds  that the great majority stay together for life. No such studies exist for Eastern Bluebirds however, field observations suggest that about 95 percent mate for life when both are still alive.

Eastern Bluebird female, left, male, right

Interestingly though, mating for life does not exclude extra pair copulations. Genetic studies of broods show that about twenty percent of nestlings are sired by more than one male.

Pairs softly warble to each other early in the morning, the male brings nesting material to a chosen site, and once she has entered his nesting cavity, she will begin to bring nesting material and he will bring food to her to “seal the deal.” In our north of Boston region, you can see the courtship behavior beginning as early as February and March.

Eastern Bluebirds re-mate with another partner if one dies.

In the photos below, it’s very easy to see the difference between a male and female Bluebird. The female’s blue is a more subdued grayish hue while the male’s blue feathers are brilliantly hued.

Bluebird nest with eggs, courtesy wikipedia

MARCH COMES IN LIKE A LION!

Wildly blustery at the Point last evening on this the first day of March.

‘In like a lion, out like a lamb’ – the old weather folklore is proving to be true for the first few days of March, 2021. Wouldn’t it be delightful if ‘out like a lamb’ were true as well.

CAREFUL FRIENDS! BRACE COVE/NILES POND BERM STORM WASHOVER – PROCEED WITH CAUTION

A heads up for all the many  people who enjoy walking the loop around Niles Pond. The berm is no longer a compacted path but is awash with rocks, pebbles, popples, and even some of the large boulders have become dislodged and knocked about.

A few snapshots more from Brace Cove after the nor’easter

EASTERN POINT LIGHTHOUSE AND MOTHER ANN DEPARTING NOR’EASTER

The footage of the Eastern Point Lighthouse and Mother Ann was shot Wednesday afternoon as the storm was waning, about an hour and a half after high tide.

BEAUTIFUL FV JEAN ELIZABETH LOBSTER BOAT AT THE DOGBAR BREAKWATER

Friday morning found the Jean Elizabeth at the Dogbar Breakwater. The lobster boat was close enough inshore for Charlotte to watch and understand what was happening and she was fascinated. Despite the  numbing cold and wind, the men were hard at work. Thanks to our local Cape Ann lobstermen, we are blessed to have fresh caught lobsters throughout the year!

Reader Ned Talbot writes that the captain of the boat is Jay Gustaferro. Thank you Ned for commenting!

HAPPY CHRISTMAS FROM MARITIME GLOUCESTER DECK THE DOCKS!

How beautiful the Maritime Gloucester and Schooners Adventure and Ardelle look decked out in holiday glow!

Merry Christmas dear Friends. Wishing you the best of health, peace, and joy.

CAPE ANN’S BEAUTIFUL LOBSTER TRAP TREE IN THE SNOW!

The Lobster Trap Tree looks extra splendid in fresh fallen snow!

Please share your Lobster Trap Tree photos by tagging @lobstertraptree on Facebook. Our fun funky tree has a way of lifting people’s spirits and the community would love to see your snapshots. Thank you!

If you are not on Facebook, feel free to email your photos to me at kimsmithdesigns@hotmail.com and I will post them for you.

PLEASE SHARE YOUR LOBSTER TRAP TREE PHOTOS!

Friends, please share your Lobster Trap Tree photos. We would love to see them! and it will help lift everyone’s spirits. 

When you post on Facebook, simply tag us at @lobstertraptree and your photos will go directly to The Lobster Trap Tree Facebook page. Thank you so much <3

TEN, NINE, EIGHT…THANK YOU SHAWN HENRY, DAVID BROOKS, THREE LANTERNS, TRACI THAYNE CORBETT, LOBSTER TRAP TREE BUILDERS, GFD, MAYOR SEFATIA, KEN RIEHL, JILL CAHILL, AND EVERYONE WHO HAD A HAND IN CREATING CAPE ANN’S SPLENDID LOBSTER TRAP TREE LIGHTING EVENT!

Despite a major power outage earlier in the afternoon, Sunday evening’s Lobster Trap Tree lighting went off without a hitch. Gloucester’s Fire Department arrived right on schedule. Using an aerial ladder, the firemen hoisted the star to the tippy top of the tree, where Shawn Henry was waiting to secure. Ten, nine, eight… Mayor Sefatia gave the virtual countdown and the vibrantly colored buoys and lights shone brightly.

The Lobster Trap Tree is a very special tradition for our community and we are especially grateful to David Brooks and Shawn Henry for their continued dedication in building, organizing, and sharing through Shawn’s films, particularly during the global pandemic

I love that the tree’s star is currently switched to alternating between colorful and white lights, simply wonderful!

PLEASE JOIN US VIRTUALLY AT 4:30 TODAY FOR THE LIVE LOBSTER TRAP TREE LIGHTING!

Virtual Lobster Trap Tree Lighting – Sunday, December 13th at 4:30

VIEW THE LIGHTING LIVE ON THE LOBSTER TRAP TREE FACEBOOK PAGE @lobstertraptree

Snapshots of Shawn Henry and David Brooks installing buoys today.

VIRTUAL LOBSTER TRAP TREE LIGHTING!

Virtual Lobster Trap Tree Lighting – Sunday, December 13th at 4:30
Since we can’t gather and celebrate this wonderful tradition together, let’s jump on Facebook and be together virtually. Thanks to Good Morning Gloucester and the crew from Gloucestercast, they will be bringing to you live – Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, Ken Riehl from the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce and the Gloucester Fire Department as they light the Lobster Trap Tree. This tradition is made possible by the Lobster Trap Tree volunteers, Three Lanterns Marine and Fishing and Cape Ann Art Haven. Please do not come to this area of downtown as we do not want a gathering during this very critical time.

VIEW THE LIGHTING LIVE ON THE LOBSTER TRAP TREE FACEBOOK PAGE.

SHAWN HENRY AWESOME TIME LAPSE VIDEO OF THE LOBSTER TRAP TREE BUILD!!!

Check out this super fun time lapse video of the 2020 Gloucester Lobster Trap Tree Build from Shawn Henry!

Directed, edited and filmed by Shawn G. Henry

With thanks and deep appreciation to Three Lanterns

Tree Builders: David Brooks, Jason Burroughs, Gregg Cademartori, Dave DeAngelis, Shawn G. Henry, Andrew Nicastro, Josh Oliver, and George Schlichte

Hi Friends, If you take a photo of the Lobster Trap Tree and post on Facebook, we would love to share with the community. Please tag us with our new username @lobstertraptree. Thank you!

 

 

LOBSTER TRAP TREE LIGHTING UPDATE!

UPDATE FOR OUR LOBSTER TRAP TREE FRIENDS –

In response to lots of questions, David Brooks and Shawn Henry share that it appears as though there are enough lights in stock leftover from previous years! This is great news as most of us are on a tighter budget and lighting stocks are running low.

As soon as the lights and buoys are in place, the tree lighting will take place sometime this week, depending on the weather. Because of the global pandemic, the tree lighting will be a virtual tree lighting, hosted by Mayor Sefatia. Stay tuned for time and date!

Follow The Lobster Trap Tree on Facebook for all the latest updates <3

 

AN EAR-FULL OF CEDAR WAXWINGS! ALONG WITH MERLINS AND HAWKS ON THE HUNT

During the last weeks of summer, I was blessed with the great good fortune to come across a flock of Cedar Waxwings. Everyday I followed their morning antics as they socialized, foraged, preened, and was even “buzzed” several times when making too quick a movement or crunched on a twig too loudly for their liking. They were actually remarkably tolerant of my presence but as soon as another person or two appeared on the path, they quickly departed. I think that is often the case with wildlife; one human is tolerable, but two of us is two too many. 

The Cedar Waxwings were seen foraging on wildflower seeds and the insects attracted, making them harder to spot as compared to when seen foraging at berries on trees branches. A flock of Cedar Waxwings is called a “museum” or an “ear-full.” The nickname ear-full is apt as they were readily found each morning by their wonderfully soft social trilling.  When you learn to recognize their vocalizations, you will find they are much easier to locate.