Author Archives: Kim Smith

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.

Crazy Fiesta Hat Ladies Party Video from Cape Ann TV

Lisa Smith, Cape Ann TV producer writes, “I have a video for you to post on GMG: “The Crazy Hat Ladies Party.” Sister’s Robyn & Amy have been having a party on Saturday afternoons for 20 years and making crazy hats for 12 years. The hats are incredible! And they are so much fun.” Thanks Lisa for sharing! 

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

Happy Birthday Eric!

Lyla and Eric Lorden ©Kim Smith 2014Lyla and Eric

GMG FOB and Passports Restaurant owner Eric Lorden celebrated his birthday with a wonderful bunch of friends, family, and deluxe impromptu potluck supper at Niles Beach last night. Happy Birthday Eric!!

See Joey’s video posted earlier today of the guys throwing lefty!

India, Susan, Lyla, & Katie ©Kim Smith 2014India, Susan, Lyla, and Katie

Craig kimberley ©Kim Smith 2014Craig Kimberley with Tyler

Katie, Susan, Lyla, & Katie ©Kim Smith 2014Katie, Susan, Lyla, and India

Bday cake ©Kim Smith 2014

 

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

Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team Update

Logos.AI

We had a nice time at Summerfaire at the UU Church in Rockport on Saturday. Great weather, lots of people interested in our snakes. And courageous volunteers: John Gallagher, Colleen Anderson and Caroline from Petco. Thank you. And Terri Desmaris for inviting us.

We need some volunteers for Thursday. The Farmer’s Market is always a fun gig and the weather is supposed to be very nice. So… come over, help with our exhibit and check out the market.
Thursday July 17, 2014 3-6pm (I think)
Cape Ann Farmer’s Market, Stage Fort Park, Gloucester
We’ll be there with a bunch of snakes and the good people from Art Haven will lead the Kid’s Activity- painting wooden snakes.

Saturday July 19, 2014 1-3pm
Petco Reptile Rally at Petco at Gloucester Crossing
We’ll be there with a few snakes. Should be fun.

And then…
Saturday July 26, 2014 Time TBA
Snakes of New England and the World- 1 hour live animal presentation.
Sawyer Free Library, 2 Dale Ave., Gloucester MA

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

 

we only have one earth, save it

The One Country Where Bookstores are Not Crashing and Burning, and Why

Very interesting article from the New York Times, Sunday June 20th.

By Elaine Sciolino

The French Still Flock to Bookstores

PARIS — The French, as usual, insist on being different. As independent bookstores crash and burn in the United States and Britain, the book market in France is doing just fine. France boasts 2,500 bookstores, and for every neighborhood bookstore that closes, another seems to open. From 2003 to 2011 book sales in France increased by 6.5 percent.

Read the complete article here.

I especially wanted to share the conclusion of the article with GMG readers. What a great idea!

A 59-page study by the Culture Ministry in March made recommendations to delay the decline of print sales, including limiting rent increases for bookstores, emergency funds for booksellers from the book industry and increased cooperation between the industry and government.

“Running a bookstore is a combat sport,” the report concluded.

One tiny operation determined to preserve the printed book is Circul’livre.

On the third Sunday of every month this organization takes over a corner of the Rue des Martyrs south of Montmartre. A small band of retirees classify used books by subject and display them in open crates.

The books are not for sale. Customers just take as many books as they want as long as they adhere to an informal code of honor neither to sell nor destroy their bounty. They are encouraged to drop off their old books, a system that keeps the stock replenished.

“Books are living things,” said Andrée Le Faou, one of the volunteer organizers, as she hawked a three-volume biography of Henri IV. “They need to be respected, to be loved. We are giving them many lives.”

LIVRES-popup

Snapshots from Whirlwind 24 Hours in NYC

UN Headquarters Dove of Peace ©Kim Smith 2014

UN Headquarters, NYC

Wednesday and Thursday were spent on a whirlwind trip to NYC for my husband Tom to meet with literary agents. Giovanni rana ©Kim Smith 2014Upon arriving Wednesday night, our daughter Liv took us to a wonderful Italian restaurant at Chelsea Market, Giovanni Rana Pastificio and Cucina, which specializes in pasta dishes. Every bite of every dish was out-of-this-world delish however, she and I both agreed that the Squid Ink Linguine, Broccoli Rabe, and Lobster entrée was extra-extraordinary. Giovanni Rana squid ink pasta broccoli rabe lobster ©Kim Smith 2014After dinner we explored the HighLine, which is only a short walk from the Market and is especially festive and fun at dusk.

HighLine Skyline ©Kim Smith 2014View from the HighLine

HighLine Night NYC ©Kim Smith 2014

The HighLine was bustling with young couples, old couples, families, friends meeting for dinner and drinks after work, and tourists, too. The gardens are exquisitely maintained and beautiful any time of year, day or night. How well the gardens are cared for is reflected in how very much they are enjoyed by visitors. The HighLine gardens are so appreciated that they even illuminate the flowers! Coneflowers HighLine night ©Kim Smith 2014

Chrysler Building night Highline ©Kim Smith 2014View of the Chrysler Building from the HighLine

The following morning, Thursday, I walked around Tudor City Parks in the UN headquarter’s neighborhood and then took Liv to a charming French restaurant near the theatre where she works.

Eastern Redbud foliage Cercis canadensis ©Kim Smith 2014Bold and beautiful heart-shaped foliage of our native Redbud tree (Cercis canadensis) at the Tudor City Greens

The trip was too brief but very successful though I have to warn our readers that if you are traveling by car to New York City, the construction traffic homeward in the northbound lanes was horrendous, on both Routes 15 and 95. It took us seven hours to get home!

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Lambrusco %22Pruno Nero%22 Cleto Chiarli ©Kim Smith 2014 copy If you go to Giovanni Rana Pastificio and Cucina, you have to try their Lambrusco “Pruno Nero” Cleto Chiarli, a wonderful sparkling red wine that is round and flavorful of fruit and berries, but not at all sweet. The color is an inky purple red and the wine is equally as rich tasting as its hue. Lambrusco “Pruno Nero” Cleto Chiarli is not your grandfather’s Lambrusco.

Lambrusco Pruno Nero is definitely worth seeking out and makes a refreshing summer beverage. I’ll mention it to Kathleen at Savour Wine and Cheese and perhaps she’ll give it a try at the shop. We’ll let you know if she does.

Happy 21 x 2 Ann Margaret Ferrante!!

Happy Birthday Ann Margaret!Friday night Ann Margaret’s friends and family threw her a fabulous and fun 21 x 2 birthday party under the tent at Mile Marker One. The full moon made for a perfect summer evening celebration and, with music provided by North Shore Acappella and delish picnic fare, everyone had a grand and festive time. Happy, Happy Birthday Ann!

See loads more photos here

Wildly Wonderful Wisteria ~ When to Prune?

Wildly wonderful wisteria can quickly become wild and wicked wisteria. Reader Alicia writes, “when is the best time of year to prune wisteria?”

willowdale-estate-spring-©kim-smith copy

Taming the wisteria (before photo). The first photo shows what the ancient wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) looked like when first I took over the gardens at Willowdale Estate. I removed much of the plant and bent one long trunk over and down, attaching it to a thick bamboo stake, to create the wisteria “arch.” The next photo shows what the wisteria arch looked like by mid-summer that same year.

willowdale-estate-zinnia-patch-©Kim Smith copy

Alicia asks: “Much to my surprise the wisteria is blooming and has never been this late. I really gave up on it and am wondering why? When is the best time to prune it?”

Hi Alicia,

Wisteria throughout our region bloomed later than usual I think becasue spring got off to such a slow start this year.

Wisteria grows beautifully and is easiest to control when pruned biannually, or twice a year; a summer pruning and a winter pruning.

Summer Pruning: Cut the long shoots after the flowers fade to about six inches.

Winter Pruning: In late winter, before the buds begin to swell, prune all the shoots that have since grown after the summer pruning. The shape of the leafless wisteria is more clearly visible and you can easily see the unruly, long shoots at this time of year. Cut the branches to about 3 to 5 buds and over time, these shortened flowering branches will resemble a wisteria “hand.”

photo-1Photo submitted by Alicia Mills

Cape Ann YMCA Clean Team Rocks!

This morning we had a super training session with the Cape Ann YMCA Friday Clean Team on how to water the butterfly gardens at the HarborWalk. If you see the Clean Team working around town, stop and tell them thanks for the great job that they are doing.Thanks so much Clean Team–I am looking forward to working with you!

Clean Team Gloucester YMCA ©Kim Smith 2014

Emma Thomas, Josh Billings, Tia Strong, Austin Smith, Brendon Strong, Reuben James, and Philip Hinckley (left to right)

Breaking News: Anita Diamant is the The Book Club @ Duckworth’s August Guest Speaker!!!

New York Times best selling author Anita Diamant will be leading the discussion at the The Writer’s Book Club @ Duckworth’s Bistrot event on August 17th.

Come join the table of the fabulous Chef Ken Duckworth in a discussion of Ballistics by Billy Collins. collins_ballistics_front For more information about the event and to purchase tickets click here:The Writer’s Book Club @ Duckworth’s Bistrot.

From the Eastern Point Lit House website ~ Anita Diamant writing career began in Boston in 1975. As a freelance journalist, she contributed to local magazines and newspapers, including the Boston Phoenix, the Boston Globe, and Boston Magazine, branching out into regional and national media, with articles in New England Monthly, Yankee, Self, Parenting, Parents, McCalls, and Ms. She also wrote about Jewish practice and the Jewish community for Reform Judaism magazine, Hadassah magazine, and jewishfamily.com. A collection of her essays appears in the book, Pitching My Tent: On Marriage, Motherhood, Friendship and Other Leaps of Faith. Diamant’s first book was The New Jewish Wedding, which she followed the with five more guidebooks to Jewish life and lifecycle events. In 1997, Diamant published her first work of fiction, The Red Tent, whichthe independent booksellers alliance honored as its “Booksense Best Fiction” selection in 2001. Diamant’s novels, Good Harbor, and The Last Days of Dogtown, are both set in Cape Ann. red-tent

New Video: Jack Russ ~ Friday 2014 Greasy Pole Champion

With funny Leggomen time lapse sequences!

Congratulation to Jack Russ, the 2014 Saturday Greasy Pole Champion. This was his first win and first walk. Jack was home on from leave from the United States Air Force.

Music by the Black Keys. “Fever” was the first single released from their latest album Turn Blue (2014).

 

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