Author Archives: Kim Smith

BREAKING (AND SUPER FUN) NEWS: Gloucester House Fabulous New Outdoor Dining Area Opening this Saturday

Direct from Gloucester House owner Lenny Linquata: Their brand  new al fresco dining area will be open this Saturday! The menu is fun and casual New England summer fare and includes sweet lobsters, steamers, fresh picked corn on the cob, oysters, shrimps, chowder, and more.

Lenny Linquata Gloucester House Restaurant ©Kim Smith 2014

The views from Lenny’s new dock are exquisite–with the harbor laid out before you–Cape Pond Ice, the Paint Factory, fishing boats, lobster boats, schooners, and every kind of sailboat and pleasure boat imaginable. I know where we are headed for dinner this weekend!

Dreamsteering

DreamsteeringRecently I joined a wonderful group of ukelists. Joe Cardozza is the Ukleadies simply amazing teacher. Everyone knows Joe from his musical partnership with RENEE and JOE MUSIC and from the Bandit Kings, but did you also know that he gives private music lessons in the comfort of your own home? For more information about Cardoza Music, visit Joe’s website here.

You can download RENEE and JOE’s first full length studio recording, Dreamsteering, here. I am a fan of Renee’s singing and so far, my favoirte track is their beautiful song “Molly,” but I haven’t yet had a chance to listen to the entire album of songs.

Dreamsteering was recorded in Gloucester at Bang a Song Studio, and was engineered and mixed by Tony Goddess and Jen Morrison.

SHARKNADO 2

“WHY ARE PEOPLE LAUGHING AT OUR VERY IMPORTANT DOCUMENTARY?” asks Thunder Levin, Sharknado’s creator.

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Coming Wednesday, July 30th at 9pm, on SyFy!

In case you missed it, here’s the trailer for the first Sharknado. The trailer is all the research needed to prepare for the coming of Sharknado 2: The Second One.

Thank You So Much to Our Friends, New and Old, of the HarborWalk!

American Lady Butterfly New York Ironweed Gloucester house HarborWalk ©Kim Smith 2014Thank you Beth, Lynn, Frieda, Catherine, Mary Jo, Lise, Susan, Deborah, and Roger for a super meeting and weeding this morning. Thank you to all our newest “Friends of the HarborWalk” members who, although could not make it this morning, have expressed interest in helping.

If you would like to join the Friends of the HarborWalk, please email me at kimsmithdesigns@hotmail.com. In September I am giving a close-up photo workshop, in the garden, to all our Friends of the HarborWalk members. Date to be determined.

You do not need to be an expert gardener to join. Membership is open to all, and we’ll give you on-the-job training, no worries!

Note to Lucinda: I could not retrieve your email address from the comments. Please send me an email and I will add you to the mailing list. Thank you.

American Lady Butterfly New York Ironweed -2 ©Kim Smith 2014Look who joined us while weeding and meeting this morning at the gardens, an American Lady Butterfly (Vanessa virginiensis), and she was nectaring from the ginromously tall New York Ironweed (Veronia noveboracensis), a true North American native beauty and fabulous source of nectar for butterflies and bees. 

American Lady Butterfly New York Ironweed ©Kim Smith 2014American Lady Butterfly

Community Call for HELP with the HarborWalk Gardens and a Photography Workshop Offer You Won’t Want to Miss!!

Okay so I’m in a bit of a bind, perhaps of my own making, but a bind nevertheless. Two years ago there was a formal nationwide public call for art for the HarborWalk. My grand idea was to purchase a projector and audio equipment for outdoor screenings and show films on an inflatable screen at I4-C2, along with creating a film for our community. I was a semi-finalist. I am happy to see the benefits to the community stemming from the success of movie nights and appreciate very much the time and energy that has gone into making this vision a reality.

The dilemma is that the gardens surrounding I4-C2 are not at all looking their best and invasive weed species are beginning to take over, as they have already claimed the adjacent plots of land. I’d like the gardens to shine and to be a place of pride for the City. They could look so, so much better than they do in their current condition. The butterfly gardens are a low-maintenance garden however they do need some maintenance. Having a public native plants garden in our community is a wonderful asset and provides tremendous educational opportunities. My hope is to eventually donate programs but we have to solve the garden’s maintenance crisis first and foremost. We don’t have an outside crew to take care of the gardens this year and the DPW I have learned has far too many other more important responsibilities. The group that was planning to help water realized that they had taken on too much and will not be helping this summer.

As a result, we are having a meeting (not weeding) of “Friends of the HarborWalk”  this Sunday morning, July 27, at 9:00am, under the shade tree in front of the Gloucester House Restaurant, near the Schooner Lannon office. We are going to brainstorm about ways to fund basic needs for the gardens, for example, annually purchasing and applying compost/mulch to cut down on the weeding responsibilities. I am hoping businesses in the area that are benefiting directly or indirectly from movie night will also come and contribute their ideas, suggestions, and manpower.

And here is the deal. For the first ten people that sign up to become contributing members of the Friends of the HarborWalk, either through the comment section or by emailing me at kimsmithdesigns@hotmail.com, I am giving a close-up photography workshop. We’ll hold the workshop in the garden and it will be identical to the one that I give at the Arnold Arboretum.

Bring your own coffee Sunday morning and we will provide the homemade doughnuts!

White milkweed asclepias incarnata Ice Ballet skippers ©Kim Smith 2014JPG

Blooming Today at the HarborWalk Butterfly Garden ~ Asclepias incarnata ‘Ice Ballet,’ or white milkweed, with skippers nectaring. There are over 140 different species of milkweed worldwide; 108 of these are found in North America.

Groundhog or Woodchuck (or Whistle-pig)?

Groundhog woodchuck ©Kim Smith2014

Marmota monax

That’s precisely what I wondered when I encountered this large member of the order Rodentia at a job site recently. Our eyes locked for several moments as we both stood perfectly still, it trying to disguise itself as an inanimate object and me trying to take a snapshot. I took a step forward and off it burrowed back into its tunnel.

Google search reveals that groundhogs and woodchucks are one and the same species (Marmota monax) and the critters also go by the names of whistle-pig (I like this one best) and land-beaver. The name whistle-pig is derived from their behavior of emitting a high-pitched whistle to alert members of their colony of impending danger. Woodchuck stems from either an Algonquin or Narragansett name for the animal, wuchak.

Whistle-pigs are the largest members of the Squirrel Family, although you can’t see that in the above photo as this is a juvenile. They dwell in areas where woodland meets open space. All summer long whistle-pigs stuff their little furry faces with wild grasses, other wild plants, tree bark, berries, and agricultural crops to build their fat reserves for the long winter hibernation. They are notoriously destructive in gardens. We have yet to see any damage in the gardens at Willowdale due to the resident woodchuck family. I imagine they are finding enough food in the surrounding forest.

Follow Kim on Twitter @kimsmithdesigns and be her friend on Facebook.

Community Events: Sawyer Free Library, Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team, Cape Ann Community Cinema

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CAPE ANN VERNAL POND TEAM UPDATE

Rick Roth writes:

“Nice time at the Farmer’s Market on Thursday.  Great weather, great crowd.  Thanks to volunteers Colleen Anderson and John Gallagher.  And thanks to the crew from Art Haven, Amelia, Avery and Natalie, for leading the Kid’s activity.

 

Saturday was the Petco Reptile Rally.  Nathan Dubrow was there with his green tree python.  I had a few snakes there and it was a fun event. Thanks to the Petco people who helped us out: Amanda, Acacia, Zac and Caroline.

 

Saturday  July 26, 2014  Time 10am

Snakes of New England and the World- 1 hour live animal presentation.

Sawyer Free Library, 2 Dale Ave., Gloucester MA

 

Saturday  August 2,  9am-5pm

Book Fair at the Manchester Public Library

We’ll be there all day with a bunch of snakes and I believe that someone is going to lead a Kid’s activity.

 

Friday and Saturday  August 8-9  9am-5pm

Gloucester Sidwalk Bazaar, Main Street in front of the Sargent House, near Bananas, where we’ve been for several years.

Bunch of snakes.

 

So… we really need lots of volunteers for the next three weeks.  Remember, even if you can do an hour or two, it will give someone a lunch break or something.  These events are great exposure for us, so please get in touch and let me know that you want to help out.  Those of you that have been around for a while know that I can really pester people about volunteering to the point where they wish they were never born.  Don’t let this happen to you.  Volunteer.

 

Meanwhile… this really cool vernal pond thing is about to take place, likely in the next week or two.  The emergence of newly metamorphosed wood frogs.  They look just like the adults except tiny.  Like 1/2 inch.  We’ll be doing a daytime field trip to see these guys soon.  Nick Taormina is scouting the pond to see just when they start hopping.  Keep watching your CAVPT emails for final details on this exciting outing.  And don’t forget to volunteer.

 

Thanks,  Rick

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CAPE ANN COMMUNITY CINEMA

Hello Kim,
Last push for this Friday’s Giggles Glosta Comedy Show Featuring Artie Januario, Ira Proctor, and Graig Murphy.

CAPE ANN COMMUNITY CINEMA

BLURB:
Join us for the next GIGGLES GLOSTA comedy night on Friday, July 25 at 8:00pm!

Host Graig Murphy performs with a pair of nationally known comedy stars – Artie Januario and Ira Proctor. Known as the “funniest pharmacist”, Januario is one of the most well known and respected comedians in the area who makes any show a resounding success. Proctor has taken his comedy show across the states and overseas receiving rave reviews. Host Graig Murphy is one of Boston’s Up and Coming performers.

Tickets for these shows are $25 general admission, $22.50 for Cinema Members. Advance tickets are preferred.

photo caption: Giggles Glosta’s Comedy Show featuring Graig Murphy, Ira Proctor, and Artie Januario, Friday, July 25 @ 7:30pm

Many thanks,
Anne-Marie

The Gloucester Haiku Project

 

photo-2-1Howdy Joey and Kim,

I’ve been meaning to send this your way, but we’ve been busy, busy, busy. I was wondering if you could help spread the word about The Gloucester Haiku Project. We’re asking folks–residents and visitors–to write a haiku or two about Gloucester. The subject matter can be anything, from the beauty of the back shore to our glorious pothole riddled streets. Anything, as long as it has to do with Gloucester. We’re looking for small poems from everyone, not just poets. We’ve been getting quite a few from kids, which is fantastic.

We’ll be collecting haiku until August 31, after which we will choose the best and publish them in a poetry chapbook this fall via Lit House Press. We’ve even set up a little box outside our shop at 261 Main St. for folks to drop their haiku off, maybe while they’re picking up bread at Alexandra’s or pet supplies from Animal Krackers. We’re also taking submissions online at: The Eastern Point Lit House Gloucester Haiku Project.

Thank you for all you do to bring this community together! And we’ll be expecting haiku from the two of you for sure!

Cheers!

Chris (Anderson)

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Hooray for Pathways for Children’s Brand Spanking New Butterfly Garden!

Pathways for Children we ©Kim Smith 2014HOLY CANNOLI and WOW–look how fantastically the Pathway’s Staff is taking care of their brand new one-month old butterfly garden–every plant looks well-loved!!!

Pathways for Children Butterfly Garden ©Kim Smith 2014 copy

Pathways for Children Butterfly Garden BEFORE ©Kim Smith 2014 copySpring 2014 Before Photo

Pathways for Children Butterfly Garden  After ©Kim Smith 2014.

Same View After Photo ~  July 18, 2014

Elizabeth's Toad ©Kim Smith

Toads Welcome!

My sincerest thanks to Caroline Haines for her vision to create a butterfly garden for the children at Pathways. 

Thank you to the many donors who have made the butterfly gardens at Pathways possible. 

Thank you to the Manchester Garden Club for their tremendous assisitance in planting the garden.

Thank you to the volunteers from Liberty Mutual for tearing out the old plantings.

And special thanks to Bernie Romanowski, Pathways for Children facilities director, for all his hard work and his extraordinary care and attention to detail, from the project’s inception through its continued maintenance. Pathways for Children Butterfly Garden Zinnia ©Kim Smith 2014. Pathways for Children Butterfly Garden Sunflower ©Kim Smith 2014.Pathways for Children Butterfly Garden Milkweed ©Kim Smith 2014.Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) ~ Notice the pretty moth nectaring from the milkweed in the upper right. The gardens are alive with pollinators of every species imaginable, including butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, songbirds, moths, and sundry insects!Bernie Romanowski ©Kim Smith 2014 copy

 Bernie Romanowski

Manchester Garden Club at Pathways ©Kim Smith 2014Manchester Garden Club

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Antennae for Design ~

The picnic table and trellis were designed to be stained a classic seaside blue. Why would we want to paint or stain the trellis and not simply allow it to gain a weathered patina? From an aesthetic point of view, the wood used for both the picnic table and trellis are two different types and will age very differently from each other. If this were a very large garden, it wouldn’t matter so much, but in a cozy garden room such as this, the difference will become quite noticeable and unappealing over time. Additionally, the blue will offset the flowers and foliage handsomely and is a cheery choice with children in mind.

From a very practical standpoint, untreated wood will quickly degrade in our salty sea air and neither piece will last more than ten years without protection. An opaque stain is the best solution because as the trellis and picnic table age, the obvious differences in wood will be disguised. An opaque stain also requires the least amount of effort to maintain over time. The architectural details were designed to be a coordinated focal point in the garden. Many, many have donated their time and provided generous funding to the garden and hopefully, the integrity of the garden’s design will continue to be honored by all.

Rotting untreated trellis ©Kim Smith 2014The above is a photo of untreated trellis, allowed to weather, and was installed approximately ten years ago.

_DSF8394 Pathways for Children Butterfly Garden school bus ©Kim Smith 2014.

Local Author Tom Hauck Reading from “The Body on the Rocks” at Toad Hall Bookstore

Author Tom Hauck ©kim Smith 2014Thanks so much to Joe and Meg for Tom’s reading at Toad Hall Bookstore!

Lisa Smith kindly writes that Cape Ann TV will be airing Tom’s reading during the week of July 28th. The following are the times and dates. Thanks so much Lisa and Steven!

Tues, July 29 at 9 pm
Thurs., July 31 at 9 am
Fri, Aug. 1 at 8 pm
Sat., Aug. 2 at 9 am and 9:30 pm
Sun., Aug 3 at 11 pm

Cape Ann TV ©Kim Smith 2014Cape Ann TV’s Steven Essery

Birds of Cape Ann: How to Tell the Difference Between a Snowy Egret and a Great Egret

Great egret Gloucester ©Kim Smith 2014Great Egret

For the Chief, and anyone who wants a quick and easy reference on how to tell the difference between the Snowy and Great Egrets, both white and both often times found feeding in the marsh and tide pools together. The Great Egret is greater in size and has a bright yellow bill, with black legs and black feet. The smaller Snowy Egret has the opposite markings, with unmistakeable cadmium yellow feet and a black bill.
Great Egret Snowwy Egret how to tell the difference ©Kim Smith 2014

Snowy Egret and Great Egret

In the above photo taken this morning, the egrets were too far away for my camera’s lens to get a really clear picture however, when cropped, you can see a side-by-side comparison. The Snowy Egret, with black bill and bright yellow feet, is flying in the background and the Great Egret, with black feet and yellow bill, is perched.

Great Egret lobster Cove Gloucester ©Kim Smith 2014Great Egret Lobster Cove

More posts about Great Egret and Snowy Egrets:

BIRDS OF CAPE ANN: GREAT EGRET VS. GREAT EGRET

BEAUTIFUL GOOD HARBOR FOGGY MORNING SUNRISE, SNOWY EGRET, AND WHIMBRELS

Save the Date ~ Screening of My Film “Life Story of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly”

On August 16th at the Berkshire Museum they’ll be showing a double header of sorts. Earlier in the afternoon at 2:00pm is a presentation of my program on how to attract butterflies and pollinators to your garden, titled “The Pollinator Garden,” followed by a showing of my film Life Story of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly, followed by a Q & A. The event is part of the “Butterflies” exhibit currently on display at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield. I hope you can come join me!

Black Swallowtail osmeterium ©Kim Smith 2011 copy

In the above photo, the orange horn-like structure at the top of the caterpillar’s head is called an osmeterium. When the caterpillar is distressed, it everts the osmeterium. The osmeterium is thought to be a mimic of a snake’s tongue and is a defense against would-be predators such as birds. Additionally, a horrible smelly odor is released from the osmeterium, which can be smelled from a distance of up to ten feet away, and is yet another defense mechanism!

See previous GMG posts about the “Butterflies” exhibit here.

 Butterflies at the Berkshire

Museum Map to Berkshire Museum Provided by GMG FOB Catherine Ryan

Exciting New Film Assignment for the Berkshire Museum Black Swallowtail Butterfly Male ©Kim Smith 2013

Snapshots from the Schooner Lannon Cigar and Rum Cruise

Joey Ciaramitaro Alicia DeWolf ©Kim Smith 2014The cruise was wonderful fun! Thanks so much to our host Joey, Captains Tom Ellis and Heath Ellis, Bob and Doug Ryan for their fabulous Ryan and Wood rum cocktails, Paul Giacalone for cigars, which although I don’t smoke were throughly enjoyed by guests, and the always awesome Lannon crew! 

Schooner Lannon Cigar and Rum cruise -3 ©Kim Smith 2014

Schooner Lannon Cigar and Rum cruise ©Kim Smith 2014 -2

Bob and Doug Ryan Schooner Lannon ©Kim Smith 2014 copyBob and Doug Wood ~ Loved the cocktails in coconuts–what a delightful touch!

My apologies to our friends on the cruise that there are so few photos. This morning when looking at the images I noticed a giant black sploge on every photo–a huge goober on my image sensor. Here’s a few without the sploge after photoshopping out.

Today at Hunt’s photo in Melrose, my go-to place for all camera wants, needs, and crisis, Doug showed me how to professionally clean my image sensor, and its not as scary as you might think!

Schooner Lannon Cigar and Rum cruise ©Kim Smith 2014

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