Monthly Archives: January 2013

Snowy Owl Photo Taken In Morning- Dead By Afternoon

Christine Morey submits-

Good afternoon Joey –

I took this photo yesterday in Rockport – Magnificent creature!

By this morning, he had died in the same place – just tragic! 

The Animal Control Officer who came to collect him said often owls ingest rodents that have

been poisoned – please ask your readers to re-think using poison-

Thank you!

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The Iron Lady, and US Battleships From Fred Bodin

Fred writes-

I recently watched the movie "Iron Lady" on DVD, starring Merrill Streep. It’s about Prime Minister Margaret Thacher of Great Britain. I love the the overall history, but particularly in this film, her retaking of the Falkland Islands from Argentina. I watched the war segment, mostly news clips, three times. The short war confirmed the strategy of using warships versus the devastating power of aircraft with the latest (in 1982) missile technology. An amazing fact, that I learned a decade ago, is when the last US Navy battleship was built. Do you know?

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Battleship USS Alabama, Rockport, circa 1900. As technology changes, so does that of naval and air warfare. No wonder many innovations we use every day are developed by the military.

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Battleship USS Missouri

USS Missouri (BB-63) was ordered in 1940 and commissioned in June 1944. In the Pacific Theater of World War II she fought in the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa and shelled the Japanese home islands, and she fought in the Korean War from 1950 to 1953. She was decommissioned in 1955 into the United States Navy reserve fleets (the "Mothball Fleet"), but reactivated and modernized in 1984 as part of the 600-ship Navy plan, and provided fire support during Operation Desert Storm in January/February 1991.
Missouri received a total of 11 battle stars for service in World War II, Korea, and the Persian Gulf, and was finally decommissioned on 31 March 1992, but remained on the Naval Vessel Register until her name was struck in January 1995. In 1998, she was donated to the USS Missouri Memorial Association and became a museum ship at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Wikipedia.

Fredrik D. Bodin

Weather’s warming up, nights are heating up

I wouldn’t call this a heat wave, but it’s actually above freezing outside for the first time in a while and there’s plenty of live music to be had all over Cape Ann tonight — with most of the shows early enough to bring the kids.  See the full lineup here.

If you haven’t been down to the Landing in Manchester for Will Hunt’s open mike, this might be a good night.  Perhaps you can ask him to reprise his big move at the beginning of this video from the Rat in 1984 (Will’s on guitar & lead vocals)

Eastern Bluebird


DSC08866.jpgThe male Eastern Bluebird shows a brilliant indigo blue on the head and back, with a rusty reddish brown breast. The female is more softly colored overall, with elegant gray wings, tinged in shades of blue, and paler breast.

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)

Several days ago Joey captured (with camera) a pair of Eastern Bluebirds. Everyone who responded in the comment section spoke so fondly of this beautiful bird that I thought we’d all enjoy knowing a bit more about its current status in Massachusetts. And too, sightings at this time of year give reason to share a favorite Emily Dickinson poem—“Before you thought of spring, except as a surmise…”

Before you thought of spring,

Except as a surmise,

You see, God bless his suddenness,

A fellow in the skies

Of independent hues,

A little weather-worn,

Inspiriting habiliments

Of indigo and brown.

With specimens of song,

As if for you to choose,

Discretion in the interval,

With gay delays he goes

To some superior tree

Without a single leaf,

And shouts for joy to nobody

But his seraphic self!

Bluebirds do indeed appear to sing with great joy from the treetops, and reading this poem always makes me smile, thinking about “a fellow in the skies” singing to nobody but his rapt self. As is so typical of her work, Emily Dickinson’s poem is an astute and honest observation of the natural world, but I also interpret her poem to mean that joy is an emotion that doesn’t need an audience; that it can be expressed for the sake of joy itself.

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Eastern Bluebirds sing several types of songs; one is a liquid birdsong—sort of a turee song—and another is a soft melodious warble. When trying to attract a mate, unpaired males typically sing from a high perch, and sometimes even in flight. Both male and female sing in all seasons to keep in touch with each other and to signal to nestlings that food is on its way. Bluebirds are in the Thrush Family, as are American Robins, and Robins too sing a lovely liquid birdsong.

 From the Mass Audubon State of Birds:

“The very widespread breeding distribution seen in the Eastern Bluebird in Massachusetts today is, in large part, the result of considerable support received by concerned citizens who, for more than half a century, erected large numbers of nest boxes across the state and helped save the species from near-extirpation.”

What does “extirpation” mean? Not that a species has become extinct from our planet, but that it is no longer found in a particular area. We are very fortunate that the Eastern Bluebird did not become extirpated from our region. Bluebirds are cavity nesters and use suitable bird boxes, tree cavities, and old woodpecker holes in trees and fence posts to build their nests. During the era when settlers cleared forests and planted fields and orchards, the Eastern Bluebird became quite common. In the 20th century their population decreased by nearly 90 percent for several reasons, two of which are because vast areas of New England are reverting to forest, and because the bluebird is competing for nesting sites with the alien European House Sparrow and European Starling. The return of the Eastern Bluebird during the spring and summer breeding period is due in large measure to citizens throughout the state building and placing nest boxes along “bluebird trails.”

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Eastern Bluebird and Winterberry

If you are fortunate enough to have bluebirds visiting your backyard, you may want to provide them with supplemental food. Bluebirds are primarily insectivores. They do not visit bird feeders because their bills are not designed for cracking open seed and nut shells (but they will eat hulled sunflower seeds). They eat berries at this time of year because there aren’t any insects. The winterberries won’t last long on the bush with flocks of hungry birds descending to your garden. Mealworms (which aren’t really worms at all, but are the larval form of the darling beetle) are the most nutritious supplement you can provide bluebirds. For more information on feeding mealworms to bluebirds go to this fact sheet: North American Bluebird Society’s Mealworms Fact Sheet.

For a wonderful FREE downloadable 15 page education packet designed for grades 1-5, with coloring pages and puzzles follow this link: Education Packet

For more information on how to build, and where to site, bluebird nest boxes, along with plan drawings, follow this link:  Getting Started with Bluebirds

To read more about the devastating effects of European House Sparrows and European Starlings follow this link: House Sparrow Control.

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Just this past week, 15 Eastern Bluebirds were spotted at Allens Neck Wildlife Sanctuary in Westport, Massachusetts. See tomorrow’s post for information about an upcoming Bluebird Nestbox Walk at Allens Neck.

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Additional images courtesy Google image search.

Caveman Chili!

What hot food do they sell at The Cave? Caveman chili, of course!

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If those ingredients look good to you, you’ll love the way they taste!

_Caveman Chili

This chili is NOT your run-of-the-mill generic chili. I tried some the other day, and found that it has a more well-rounded flavor than most chili I have tried.  Maybe it’s the combination of the high-quality meat and the cheese… or the wine! I just know it’s really tasty. Only mildly spicy, which is the way I like it. I’m sure it would also be great with some Tabasco or your favorite hot sauce, if you want more kick to it!

When I stopped in, they were out of their 4-cheese macaroni and cheese, which sounds amazing too.   I have to stop by some morning before it sells out and get some! I’m betting that the chili and the mac-and-cheese go together really well.

Get it at The Cave, 44 Main St. in Gloucester.  Plus, they always have tasty samples of cheese and/or other goodies available.

_The Cave façade

 

- Fr. Matthew Green

Chickity Check It!- The Poetry of Peter Albert Todd

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Peter writes on his website-

enjoy a taste of gloucester…

Peter A. Todd, often called the "unofficial poet laureate" of Gloucester, has written over 800 poems in his life.  Most of these deal with his musing on the things he loves the most in life: his family, his faith, and his beloved city.  Beloved by his community, Pete has shared his talent through his articles in the Gloucester Daily Times and through public poetry readings at various important community events.  In addition to his poems of Gloucester there are poems of life, loss, friendship, faith, and family.  Pete also treats us to some wonderful reminiscences about the way Gloucester used to be – the people, the places, and daily life.  So come join us on a tour of our fair city and get to know one of her most beloved favorite sons – Pete Todd.

here’s the link- http://thepoetryofpeteralberttodd.weebly.com/

Some Photos From Ed’s Coronation As President of The Cape Ann Chamber Of Commerce Board of Directors

You know normally I’d start out a photo montage mostly about Ed with a photo of Ed but The Photo of The Night Was of None Other Than New Chamber CEO Robert Heidt Getting His Groove On-

PRICELESS!

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Robert’s just going for it right here!   Feelin’ It!  The Music Last Night From Henri Smith to the Runaround Was Easily The Best Music Ever Played At Any Chamber Event I’ve attended!  Killed It!

Presenting Ed-

aaaand then there’s all the rest of the pictures Felicia took…

Sorry we didn’t have more photos from the event, we didn’t bring out the good camera and we were having too much fun dancin!