Tag Archives: Essex County

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!

RED FOX SLEEPING IN THE MORNING SUN

Little Red Fox found a sunny, albeit super windy, spot to soak in some morning rays. Fox use their tails to snuggle in for warmth.

A BOSSY QUARRELSOME FELLOW IS THAT RARE BLACK-HEADED GULL!

I have returned several times more to see that rare and beautiful little Black-headed Gull. He wasn’t alone but was feeding in a mixed flock of gulls and ducks. All seemed perfectly peaceful at first. Before too long, he was squawking noisily, barking orders, and flying aggressively toward any other gull that crossed his path. Very comical actually, as he was smaller than all the others nonetheless, they took orders readily and moved aside.

Black-headed Gull vs. Ring-billed Gull Battle 

Wonderfully animated surf dancer!

Bonaparte’s Gull left, Black-headed Gull right

A friend wrote wondering if I was sure what we are seeing is a Black-headed Gull. He, as was I initially, wondering if it was a Bonaparte’s Gull. Bonaparte’s have black bills, whereas the Black-headed Gull has a black-tipped red bill, along with red feet and legs. I found this terrific image showing the progressive molting stages of a Black-headed Gull while looking up Black-headed Gulls.

By the way, the head feathers of the Black-headed Gull in breeding plumage are really not black, but chocolate brown. Then again, there is an actual Brown-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus). Whoever gave name to these gulls!!
Black-headed Gull in breeding plumage, photo courtesy Google image search

HORNED LARK THREESOME!

Three brownish songbird sorts flew on the scene. Feeding along the pond’s edge at this time of year the brown birds we mostly see are Song Sparrows, but they are more solitary and I don’t usually see them flying around together in a group. Hoping for a bunch of beauties, I approached the trio very quietly, one baby step at a time, and was delighted to see not one but three Horned Larks! I wish the sun had been shining so you can see how beautiful is the male’s lemony yellow throat.

Several weeks ago there was one, possibly two, feeding with American Pipits and a Snow Bunting. What a treat to see three!

Two appeared to be male and one female. The easiest way to tell the male from the female is by looking at the facial markings. The female lacks the black eye patch.

Male and female Horned Larks foraging on seeds

MOONSET, MOONRISE – DECEMBER’S FULL WOLF MOON

A full day of beautiful skies allowed for wonderful moon views of the setting and rising  full December Wolf Moon. Also called the Long Night Moon, Ice Moon, Cold Moon, and the Moon After Yule, December’s full moon marks the 13th full moon of 2020.

Several of the photos are from the night before and several from this morning. The two Eastern Point Lighthouse photos are double exposures. All were taken around our East Gloucester neighborhood, from Good Harbor Beach to the EPLighthouse.

DEAD BABY SEAL PUP AT LONG BEACH AND WHAT TO DO WHEN FOUND?

A beautiful golden seal pup was seen at Long Beach Sunday morning. The little Harbor Seal appeared to be only about 25 pounds and was possibly a newborn. The pup was found at the high tide line and was perfectly intact; perhaps he had died within hours of finding him.

Baby Harbor seals spend much of their time out of water on beaches resting and warming while their moms are in the water looking for food. We don’t know how this seal became separated from its mom, but if you do find a dead baby seal on the beach contact NOAA to let them know. NOAA Hotline: 866-755-6622 (Maine through Virginia).

Edited Note – My friend Sandy shared the following phone number from New Hampshire’s Seacoast Science Center, writing that this number is a cell phone so you can easily send a text and photo: 603-997-9448.  Ainsley Smith shares that SSC number is good as far south as Essex.

This is a good time of year to remind everyone what to do if you find a living seal pup, or a seal of any age, on the beach. Please keep a distance of at least 100 feet away, which is the law, and keep dogs far away. From the 100 feet distance, check to see if the seal is injured. If the seal appears to be in good  condition, leave it alone and remind fellow beach goers to keep their distance. A mother seal may leave her pup on the beach for up to 48 hours!

If the seal is struggling or appears to be injured contact NOAA at 866-755-6622

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.

RED-TAILED HAWK IN THE WAXING CRESCENT MOON

As luck would have it, the Red-tailed Hawk swooped in and perched on a phone pole just opposite where I was standing taking snapshots of the Harbor. I turned to take a photo of the Hawk and the crescent Moon was rising! The Hawk only stayed a brief moment, but it was a beautiful thing to see.

Then, as we walked closer to the Lighthouse, a juvenile Great Blue Heron flew overhead! All on a  December’s afternoon!

JOYOUS WINTER SOLSTICE!

Let the sunshine in

Dogbar Breakwater Light

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.

HUNGRY ROBINS STUFFING UP FOR THE PENDING STORM

Beautiful Robins in the garden this afternoon, filling their bellies with Winterberry, holly berries, and blueberries. I often get the sense that birds know when the weather is going to take a turn for the worse.

AMAZED AND WONDERFUL TO SEE A HORNED LARK ON THE BEACH! Along with Snow Buntings and American Pipits

This past week while photographing a Snow Bunting and several American Pipits, a friendly bird, not in the least skittish, caught my eye. It was acting sort of Pipit-like, similar size-wise and foraging in the sand, but had a striking black streak across its cheek and lemony yellow face. I wasn’t sure what I was looking at until returning home to look it up. I always take lots of photos when I am unsure of what it is I am photographing, just because you never know. I am so glad, because several of the photos gave a great clue. In the snapshots where the bird is looking dead on, you can actually see its tiny feathery “horns.” I think there were two Horned Larks with the small mixed flock, one slightly paler than the other.

‘Horns’ of the Horned Lark

The Snow Bunting was clearly the boss of the mini flock. If another approached too closely to where it was foraging, the bird gave a brief but aggressive hop and flutter toward the intruder.

In winter time, look for Horned Larks in fields, meadows, beaches, and dunes, in large and small mixed flocks. Interestingly, in Europe, the Horned Lark is called the Shore Lark and after the wonderful beach walk surprise, it’s easy to understand why.

Snow Bunting unfazed by Charlotte

Horned Lark and Snow Bunting

American Pipit

Snow Bunting

 

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.

MAGICAL JOYFUL CHRISTMAS LIGHT DISPLAY AT THE GALICKI FAMILY HOME

Rich and Stephanie Galicki have created a wondrous Magical Kingdom (as our granddaughter calls the display). For over fifty years, the family has kept the tradition going, each Christmas adding more lights and whimsical scenes. You’ll find a snowman and towering candy cane lined driveway, heralding angels, nutcrackers, a patriotic display created after 911, the Grinch, elf sleigh riders,  and much, much more.

The Galicki’s were planning to take 2020 off, but because of the global pandemic they decided to go ahead. Spanning nearly five acres, the display is so brilliant, it can be seen from outer space.

The Galciki’s Magical Kingdom is located on Linebrook Road in Ipswich, just before you get to Marini Farm if coming from Cape Ann. With an electric bill at roughly $2,000.00, donations are greatly appreciated 🙂

 

SCHOONER ADVENTURE LOOKING BEAUTIFUL IN HOLIDAY LIGHTS

Schooner Adventure

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