Monthly Archives: February 2014

Who Wants To Guess How Many Bids The Schooner “Nathaniel Bowditch” Received At Public Auction A Couple Of Days Ago?

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From Wikipedia

Nathaniel Bowditch, the fourth of seven children, was born in Salem, Massachusetts, to Habakkuk Bowditch and Mary (Ingersoll) Bowditch. At the age of ten, he was made to leave school to work in his father’s cooperage, before becoming indentured at twelve for nine years as a bookkeepingapprentice to a ship chandler.

Schooner ‘Nathaniel Bowditch’ going to public auction Feb. 14 at Camden’s Sharp’s Wharf 

Click Here for a Gallery of Schooner Nathaniel Bowdich Photos On Google Image Search:

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Holly S. Edwards

Thursday, February 13, 2014 – 7:15am

ROCKLAND — It’s a sad day when a storied local business ends up in financial trouble and goes on the auction block, but when it’s a schooner that dates back to 1922 and a business that continues to ply the tourist trade off Maine’s Midcoast, there is much reason to mourn.

The schooner Nathaniel Bowditch will beauctioned to the highest bidder Friday, Feb. 14, at 1 p.m. at Sharp’s Wharf (Bay View Landing) in Camden. The Nathaniel Bowditch, owned by Owen and Cathie Dorr of Rockland, was seized Dec. 23, 2013, at its Rockland Harbor berth in Lermond Cove by U.S. Marshals and towed to Camden Harbor. A civil foreclosure case against the Dorrs has been working its way through the U.S. District Court’s Admiralty Division in the weeks leading up to and following the seizure.

Owen Dorr said Wednesday that while he and his wife don’t have the ability to bail themselves out financially and save the boat, they want to remain in the windjamming trade.

Find out how many bids after the break-

Read more

Birds of Cape Ann: The American Robin and Bird Food!

American Robin American holly ©Kim Smirh 2014

Right on schedule! Beautiful and welcome migrant flocks of American Robins arrive annually in Gloucester during the month of February, dining on local fruits, berries and fish fry.

During the winter months Cape Ann often becomes home to large flocks of robins, and we have had the joy of hosting numerous numbers in our garden. I can’t help but notice their arrival. Their shadows descend, crisscrossing the window light, followed by a wild rumpus in the ‘Dragon Lady’ hollies. This pair of hollies is planted on opposing sides of the garden path, alongside my home office. I have learned to stealthily sneak up to a window, as any sudden activity inside startles birds that are investigating our garden, and they quickly disperse. Dining not only on berries of the ‘Dragon Ladies’, but also the ‘Blue Princess’ Meserve holly and winterberry bushes, I find dozens of noisy, hungry robins.

These winter nomads flock to trees and shrubs that hold their fruit through January and February, feasting on red cedar, American holly, Meserve hollies, chokecherries, crabapples, and juniper. Robins traveling along the shores of Cape Ann also comb the shoreline for mollusks, and go belly-deep for fish fry. Depleting their food supply, they move onto the next location. Gardens rife with fruiting shrubs and trees make an ideal destination for our migrating friends.

Eastern Red Cedar American Robin ©Kim Smith 2014American Robin Eating Eastern Red Cedar Fruits

Habitat Gardening Tip:

The garden designed to attract nesting pairs of summer resident robins, as well as flocks of winter travelers, would be comprised of trees and shrubs for nest building, plants that bear fruit and berries that are edible during the summer and fall, and plants that bear fruits that persist through the winter months. Suburban gardens and agricultural areas provide the ideal habitat, with open fields and lawns for foraging insects as well as trees and hedgerows in which to build their nests.

The following plants, suggested with robins in mind, will also attract legions of songbirds and Lepidoptera. The list is comprised primarily of indigenous species with a few non-native, but not invasive, plants included.

Trees for nesting ~ American Holly (Ilex opaca), Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana), Red Maple (Acer rubrum), Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum), Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida).

Summer and autumn fruit bearing trees, shrubs and vines for robins ~ Black Cherry (Prunus serotina), Blackberry (Rubus spp.), Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida), Gray Dogwood (C. racemosa), Red-osier Dogwood (C. sericea), Silky Dogwood (C. amomum), Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis), Apple (Malus pumila), Virginia Rose (Rosa virginiana), Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum), Lowbush Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium), Wild Grape (Vitis spp.).

Trees and shrubs with fruits persisting through winter ~ Winterberry (Ilex verticillata), Mountain Ash (Sorbus americana), Crabapple (Malus spp.)Sargent’s Crabapple (Malus sargentii), American Holly (Ilex opaca), Meserve Hollies (Ilex meserveae), Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana), Common Juniper (Juniperus communis), Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra), Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina).

Eastern Red Cedar Juniperus virginiana  copy

Bird Food: Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus viginiana)

To read more see previous posts:

Round Robin Redbreast

Round Robin Redbreast Snowy Day Video

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Winterberry Ilex verticillata © Kim Smith 2014Bird Food: Winterberry (Ilex verticillata)

American Robin in Dogwood tree ©Kim Smith 2014Robin at dawn this morning after the storm

Mary Tucker Submits East Main Street Photos from 1905

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Good morning Kim ~ these photos came from a publication I have titled “Photographic History of Gloucester” published in 1976 by Cape Ann Bank and Trust.  Notice the street car tracks ~ next photo you will be able to see the street car.  Last night, Joey’s challenge reminded me of these photos which prompted my guess.

That’s my corner, Plum Street! Wonderful fun to see. Thanks for submitting Mary!

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Storm Coverage From Last Night .. February 16th 2014 Cape Ann Weather…

Well it was nice to hang with Christina Hager WBZ and Crew down Good Harbor Beach Last Night… Even if the storm didn’t perform as projected .
Guess where lucky Cape Ann that the storm was further south . Mother Nature really Is really “Fickle” some times and brings surprises .. This surprise was fortunate for us missing the brunt of the storm …On to the. Next potential for Tuesday !

Today sun and clouds temps in the 20′s to lower 30′s with a busy west north west wind at times gusting to 25-35 mph into the afternoon.. Increasing clouds late few flurries or snow showers can’t be ruled out .
Tonight mostly cloudy skies with temps in the teens to around 20 degrees…
Watching Tuesday for potential coastal coastal low with more snow or rain / snow mix temps in 30′s….

Marine Forecast Gale Warning till early afternoon…This Afternoon: W winds 25 to 30 kt…diminishing to 20 to 25 kt. Seas 8 to 13 ft. Light freezing spray early.

Tonight: NW winds 20 to 25 kt. Seas 5 to 8 ft. Light freezing spray.

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Cape Ann Skating Club

Cape Ann Skating Club - Hockey & Figure Skating Classes
New Sessions for group lessons starting in February on Sat’s 1 pm & Tues 6 pm.  Classes for Boys & Girls ages 4 & up, Adult classes, Tiny Tots, ages 2 1/2 & up.  Open enrollment-start any time through June.  Private lessons also available many other times.  Call 978-546-2290 for more information.  Professional Coaching staff certified by Professional Skaters Association.
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Holy Crap! I asked Nichole to put together a list of cool February Vacation things to do and boy did she deliver!!!!

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Nichole Schrafft writes-

So, Joey asked if I’d like to put together a little list of things to do to help keep the kiddos busy while on February Vacation (I read that as a challenge in how to keep parents somewhat sane during February vacation).    I’d like to make note that there are some great options in town that are already highlighted on the blog…such as The Hive and Art Haven.  If you follow GMG, you have heard of them!  They are beyond cool and are an incredible asset to the city!  Be sure to check them out!   I also have to point out that while I have been to most of these places, I am no expert.  Please check out the links that I’ve provided before heading anywhere incase things have changed since I have visited!!

I’d like to start by saying that, while I know this post is about finding possibilities of things to do outside of the house, I’d be remiss to not mention that the Winter Olympics are AWESOME and having your kids get excited about watching these amazing athletes wouldn’t be a bad choice either!

There are lots of great ways to get their brains and bodies moving while enjoying the 2014 Sochi Olympics as a family.  My kids are psyched to make flags from the participating nations, cook some treats from some of the countries (HELP!), make torches (not real ones), keep a chart of the medal counts, and simply watch the events!

We’ll be tracking the Olympics here:

http://www.sochi2014.com/en

Fairly local activities:

1.  Kids bouncing off the walls?  Here’s an idea…take them to a place to bounce off the walls…literally!

School vacation screams, “TAKE ME TO SKY ZONE” if you ask me!!  They have a toddler jump for little leapsters under 45″ or regular jump times for bigger kids!  There is an Everett location as well as a Boston location.  If they don’t leave Sky Zone tired, you’re just plain out of luck.

http://www.skyzone.com/everett#13873132-welcome

2.  For some great indoor rock climbing check out MetroRock!

They have a location in Newburyport and one in Everett.  Their website was “under construction” last time I looked, but you can find it yourself with Google or any other search engine….obviously.

3.  Snow Tubing at Amesbury Sports Park!  Come on, a no brainer.  Fun!  The kids need to be 4, I think, to hit the tubes.  Helmets are required for younger kids.

http://www.amesburysportspark.net/winter%20hours%20and%20rates.html

4.  Eurostove in Beverly offers all kinds of cooking classes for couples, families, girls nights out, and even for young kids.  Check out their website and see if you find anything that looks good to you or contact them to set up your own small group event!

http://www.eurostoves.com/school_vacation_cooking_clases_s/515.htm

5.  While, I do not have little girls, what little girl wouldn’t love a tea party?  The Wenham Tea House is such a special place for some one-on-one time with a daughter, granddaughter, niece, etc.

http://www.wenhamteahouse.com/afternoon.php

6.  Skating at Talbot Rink at O’Malley Innovation Middle School is super cheap and easy.  If the kids can skate independently then the grown-ups can sit and relax (think hot coffee and Baileys) while they get their crazies out on the ice.  Win, win.

Skating is offered most days from 2:00-3:50 but be sure to check their schedule first incase games were scheduled.

They rent skates also if need be!

http://www.gloucesterschools.com/talbot-rink

7.  Skating at the Market Street Rink and/or Bowling at Kings in Lynnfield

Dinner at the Yard House either way afterwards…the Spicy Tuna Roll is a must have!!  It has to be about 8 inch in diameter and is SOO good!

http://www.marketstreetlynnfield.com/event/the-rink-at-marketstreet-lynnfield/2145428001

http://www.marketstreetlynnfield.com/store/kings/2137033926/2138840489

My warning here is that when we’ve gone, there has been a long wait for bowling and for dinner.  So plan accordingly!  We put our name in for bowling, took the pager with us to the skating rink, and it buzzed nicely when it was our turn to bowl.  One person headed to Kings to save our lanes for us while the others took off their skates and we were good to go!!

8.  In the category of, I’ve never gone here but want to is, The Melting Pot in Burlington.  Who doesn’t love fondue?

http://www.meltingpot.com/bedford-burlington/welcome

9.  As of late, if I’m in Burlington, I’m at The Rainforest Cafe, but I’m happy to report that my boys are beginning to outgrow that venue!

http://www.rainforestcafe.com/

10.  Lowell Winter Fest’s claim to fame is the National Human Dogsled Competition…with an award for best costume.  Need I say more?   In all seriousness…it is actually loaded with fun activities such as ice skating, snowman building, horse drawn carriage rides, music, poetry slam contests, etc.  Check out the link to see a whole list of activities.  The festival takes place on Feb 21st-22nd and begs the question, “When will we be having our own Winter Fest because this looks really cool?”

http://lowell.org/Pages/WinterfestActivities.aspx

Fun in the city!

11.  I love this Boston Scavenger Hunt text style!!!!  Check out the link for more information, but the premise is that you head to Boston, purchase the pretty inexpensive clues right on the website and they get sent right to your phone.  Once you arrive to one location, you do what you need to do, and then the next clue is sent!  Fun for groups of 2-12!  They do these scavenger hunts in other cities too, fyi.

https://www.strayboots.com/locations/boston/tours/

The next two go together…kind of.  It’s my “one if by land, two if by sea” duo because my boys like anything that moves on land or at sea.

12.  The “by land”

I have yet to visit this place, but as a mom to two young boys who like all things shiny and fast, it is only a matter of time.  I was actually surprised to learn about it not long ago, and have wondered why I’ve never heard about it before.  The Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline looks beyond cool and is definitely near the top of our little bucket list.

http://larzanderson.org/

13.  The “by sea”

My boys love going to the Charlestown Navy Yard and on the USS Constitution.  During vacation week there is also a Ship Model show for the budding boat builders in the group!

http://www.ussconstitutionmuseum.org/

14.  Skating at the Frog Pond is such a great activity just because it is truly so cool to look up and see the city of Boston rising up all around you. You can’t beat the view and it is, in my humble opinion, a nice treat and an easy way to get the kids into the city if they don’t go in that often.

http://www.bostonfrogpond.com/winter-programs/pricing-season-passes/

15.  Likewise, ice skating at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge is cool too.  I used to spend a lot of time in Harvard Square and it can be a really nice place to take the kids if the big city overwhelms you at all.

http://www.charleshotel.com/boston-hotels/things-to-do-in-cambridge.cfm

and then lunch/dinner at Fire and Ice

https://www.fire-ice.com/locations/cambridge-ma/

16.  Also in Cambridge…and good old fashion fun…is the Bugs Bunny Film Festival.  Come on, right!?  If you want to get your “What’s Up Doc” fix, it is showing at the Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square throughout the entire vacation week!

http://brattlefilm.org/category/calendar-2/special-engagements/the-bugs-bunny-film-festival/

17.  Celebrate Chinese New Year in Harvard Square…not sure about the timing of this event as it seems a few weeks late, but it is happening over vacation, so cheers.

February 23  1:00pm – 3:00pm

http://www.harvardsquare.com/Home/Articles/Winter-Carnival-in-Harvard-Square.aspx

18.  Hairspray is playing at the Wheelock Family Theatre in Boston….which for the record, has never disappointed me.  I’ve seen 4 shows there and each one has been fantastic!   This particular production says, “Recommended for adults, teens and youth 9+.”

http://www.wheelockfamilytheatre.org/feature-performance.aspx

19.  If Eurostove doesn’t work out for you and you don’t mind traveling to Newton, check out Create a Cook for some pretty awesome parent/child cooking classes.  Their vacation schedule is loaded with fun activities, but is filling up fast!

http://www.createacook.com/

20.  My favorite museum in Boston by far as I tend to like the smaller, less obvious choices….check it out for sure sometime.  All museums, etc are obviously going to be a bit more crowded over vacation….so if not now, be sure to head back there later.

http://www.hmnh.harvard.edu/on_exhibit.html

21.  You don’t need me to tell you that the Museum of Science is a cool place to go, but you may not know that the Planetarium will be showing a Magic Tree House adventure.  I don’t know about your kids, but mine LOVE the Magic Tree House series and those little adventurers named Jack and Annie.  I’m so psyched to go see this (insert, sigh, what has my life come to)!

http://www.mos.org/planetarium/magic-tree-house-space-mission

There are also several great shows in the IMAX theatre over vacation week.  The one I’m the most excited about is called Journey to the South Pacific.  With an introduction that says, “Swim with the world’s largest shark, encounter mysterious creatures of the sea, and explore the planet’s most spectacular coral reefs” I’m in!!

http://www.mos.org/imax

22.  If you’re a Beatles fan, RAIN: a Tribute to the Beatles is playing at the Wang Theater on February 21 and 22nd.  This is a pricier option than most of the others that I’ve shared, but is a pretty cool way to infuse some culture into the kids without it be too formal and straight laced.

http://www.citicenter.org/show/1892/

23.  Of course, there’s always Disney on Ice. I personally dread it a bit, but it is back at the TD Bank Garden for all of vacation week…

http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/8337/1349262?camefrom=CFC_TDGARDEN_CAL

Just a bit out of state to the North or to the South!

24.  While a bit of a drive… if you’re looking for a longer day trip or a quick night away, head to Providence.  The Roger William’s Zoo is my favorite zoo around…even in the winter.  During January and February they charge half price admission.  For a mere $7.50 for adults and $4.95 for kids you can see zebra, giraffe, elephants, eagles, river otters, wolves, buffalo, kangaroo, etc.  I’m pretty critical about animal enclosures and the treatment of normally wild animals when in captivity, but I assure you that this place does it right.  I was super impressed with their habitats and the knowledge of the many volunteers we met along the way.  Again, we were there in January, and were still not disappointed!

http://rwpzoo.org/

25.  Also in Providence, if you have any hockey fans in the family, are the Providence Bruins.  If you’re not keen on paying hundreds of $$ to see the Boston Bruins, this is a phenomenal option.  We recently attended a game in the 3rd row and paid a total of $78 for our family of 4!  Their only home game of vacation week takes place on Sunday, February 16th @ 3:05 pm.  You can opt for a “Buy one, Get one” option or a “Family 4 Pack” option.  Some come with hotdogs and drinks.  Fool around a bit with seat availability and price/package options and get yourself a great deal.  Parking at the mall that connects with the Dunkin’ Donuts Center cost us a whopping $2 and we left our car there for easily 4 hours!

http://www.providencebruins.com/View/Page/130

26.  IF you happen to land in Providence and have kiddos between say 4 and 18, you could also check out Dave and Busters.  For the record, you won’t catch me in a Chuck E. Cheese or Bonkers ever, but this place is awesome!!  You can load a card with as much, or as little, cash as you’d like and the kids simply swipe and play.  The place is loaded with cool games..some that the whole family can play together.  The kids will score tickets to spend on the way out and, as is typical for this type of place, a gazillion tickets will buy you a rabbit’s foot key chain or a pair of whacky giant-sized plastic sunglasses.  My 4 and 6 year olds had a blast running around playing games for a couple hours after we enjoyed a pretty decent dinner!

http://www.daveandbusters.com/locations/alllocations.aspx

If you don’t land in Providence, Dave and Busters has a location in Braintree, Massachusetts too.  Worth the drive for some fun.

27.  This is a small but nice museum about 15 mins away from Portsmouth, NH…in Dover.   This place is really cute and user friendly, so to speak.  You’re only going to spend about 2 hours here, but it is easy, manageable, pretty quiet, really clean, and full of original, educational, and really fun activities.  My boys loved it here and I felt like they could really take their time in the exhibits without being rushed by the massive crowds that we experience at bigger museums.

http://www.childrens-museum.org/cmnh2010/

28.  Speaking of Portsmouth, the small-but-packs-a-big-punch SeaCoast Science Center is a must.  Ordione Point State Park is gorgeous if the weather is nice, but the science center is a hit no matter what the weather!!  It isn’t crazy like the New England Aquarium, which I love…but I leave there feeling exhausted.  It is hands-on and really cute, while being super educational!  It is perfect for kids between 2-10 or maybe even a bit older.

http://www.seacoastsciencecenter.org/

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