Check out last Friday’s Fodor’s article listing Gloucester in their 15 of New England’s Most Picturesque Towns. Here’s what they say about Gloucester
About an hour north of Boston on Cape Ann, Gloucester is the country’s oldest seaport and predates Boston and Salem. It was established as an English settlement in 1623, and today you can visit historic houses like the Cape Ann Historical Association. Gloucester’s scenic beauty has attracted many artists, including Winslow Homer, William Morris Hunt, Mark Rothko, Maurice Prendergast, and Edward Hopper. The Rocky Neck Art Colony—the first settled artist colony in the U.S.—has many contemporary artist studios and galleries.
Gloucester Skyline Winter Sunset
In preparation for my adventure to Mexico to film the Monarchs, nearly every afternoon I have been “hiking” around Eastern Point. According to my car odometer, from the Niles Beach parking lot to the lighthouse and back is just a little over two miles. I realize that I must look fairly comical with headphones, hiking boots, and loaded down with a full backpack, all while trying to dodge the black ice. The walk is always beautiful–the freezing temperatures and icy roads not so much!
Raymond’s Beach Sunset
Raymond’s Beach Cherry Tree
Eastern Point Lighthouse
Milkweed Patch at Eastern Point Lighthouse
Rockporter Patricia Mandell, who helps the Essex County Greenbelt by volunteering for Mary Williamson, Director of Communications, suggested to Mary that perhaps Greenbelt would be interested in reblogging the posts that I write for my blog, Kim Smith Designs, and for GMG; posts that are relative to the Cape Ann ecology. You have read my “World’s Easiest Method of Propagating Milkweed” here on GMG and can now find it on the Greenbelt blog. Check out Greenbelt’s blog and website for a comprehensive view of who they are and of all the good they accomplish, their properties, maps, projects, and events.
Ken Duckworth is not only preparing an array of seasonal appetizers, he is also leading the discussion!
Eastern Point Lit House Fall Book Club Calendar
November 17: Ken Duckworth leads a discussion of The Book by Alan Watts. SOLD OUT
Ken Duckworth is the award-winning executive chef of Duckworth’s Bistro, where he focuses on local, seasonal ingredients that supports local industry. Following his passion for all things food, he honed his culinary skills at Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa and The Cloister in Georgia. He has been our gracious host for this series and we are so pleased to have him leading our last discussion of the year.
Seaside Goldenrod in the October Wind and Mist ~ Good Harbor Beach
Monarch Butterflies Mating ~ Seaside Goldenrod in September
See Previous GMG posts featuring Seaside Goldenrod ~
A reader emailed inquiring as to where do the Niles Pond swans go during the winter months. The Niles Pond swans are Mute Swans (Cygnus olor) and they are neither mute nor migratory. They do not fly south in the true sense of a great migratory distance traveled, but do move around between bodies of water, and may move to a slightly warmer region.
Mute Swans swans grunt, snort, and hiss and their wingbeats make a beautiful throbbing sound when flying. See previous GMG posts about the Niles Pond Mute Swans ~
Female Mallard Duck Niles Pond
Red-roof Cottage ~ Foggy Morning Niles Pond
Asters and Brambles Niles Pond
Niles Pond Cat-tails
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While searching though my photo library, I discovered a batch of stills from the Schooner Festival that I have not yet posted because I was so intent on editing the Schooner Festival video. I’ll try to post them this weekend–if everyone hasn’t already had enough of schooner photos!
The Schooner Roseway is a National Historic Landmark, owned and operated by World Ocean School, which is located in Camden, Maine. She is a gaff-rigged schooner and was first launched from Essex in 1925. The Roseway runs sails out of Boston during the summer and out of Savannah, Georgia and St. Croix during the winter months.
If you have sailed on the Schooner Roseway, I would love to know about your experience. Please leave a comment in the comment section. Thank you!
History of the Roseway from the World Ocean School website:
In the fall of 1920 a Halifax, Nova Scotia, newspaper challenged the fisherman of Gloucester, Massachusetts, to a race between the Halifax fishing schooners and the Gloucester fleet. Therefore many schooners, such as Roseway, built at this time were not strictly designed for fishing but in order to protect American honor in the annual races.
Roseway, 137′ in sparred length, was designed as a fishing yacht by John James and built in 1925 in his family’s shipyard in Essex, Massachusetts. Father and son worked side by side on Roseway, carrying on a long New England history of wooden shipbuilding. She was commissioned by Harold Hathaway of Taunton, Massachusetts, and was named after an acquaintance of Hathaway’s “who always got her way.” Despite her limited fishing history, Roseway set a record of 74 swordfish caught in one day in 1934.
Read more about the history of the Roseway here
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This morning at Brace Cove there was a pod of Harbor Seals sunning themselves; unfortunately a little too far out of range for my movie camera, but I tried filming nonetheless. They were wonderful fun to observe especially as the younger members of the pod seemed more interested in playing “King of the Rock,” rather than basking in the sun. It was challenging to figure out a total number because the younger seals were so playful, but I think there were ten in the herd. I only know this from one of the snapshots where you can see ten in all. Because the Harbor Seals were out of my camera’s ability to sharply focus, the footage may be too grainy, but I will try working with it.
In case you are wondering, as did I, a goup of seals is most commonly referred to as a pod or colony. The terms harem, herd, and rookery are also used, depending upon from where you originate.
I can only hope the young Harbor Seal hauled out at Good Harbor Beach earlier this summer has a pod to which it belongs!
Looks like someone is selling Niles Pond, or at least the spit of land at its shore. Anyone know what’s up with this? It would be a shame not to be able to encounter lovely flowers like this rose mallow (or swamp mallow) along the shore of Niles Pond.
The tide going out through the marsh on Eastern Point.
Out on Eastern Point, the bird looks like it was looking right at me.
Encountered this fellow on a walk out Eastern Point beside Niles Pond. Usually pretty shy birds, he just stayed put and let me photograph him. I guess he wanted to be on GMG.
The other morning I went for a walk out Eastern Point. I had my awesome new/used camera that Paul Frontiero gave me and decided to walk around Niles Pond and see if the turtles were basking on the rocks. As I rounded the corner on Niles Pond Road, there in the middle of the road stood a coywolf. We stared at each other for a few seconds and I slowly started to raise my camera, at which point he bolted into the woods. I started to follow but then thought better of it and headed back to Eastern Point Road, looking over my shoulder every now and then to make sure he wasn’t following me. I walked a little further up Eastern Point and decided to go up Fort Hill Road, which I’d never walked before. As I started up, there again was the coywolf staring at me. This time he was further away so I raised my camera, zoomed in on him and quickly grabbed a shot before he disappeared again. Zoomed too much and too fast, so a little blurry.
I think he probably thought I was stalking him as much as I thought he was stalking me. First I’ve seen one, so it was exciting, but a little unnerving.
I got to spend a very special morning with Ann Kennedy on Tuesday, toward the end of her and Bob’s month-long annual visit to their beloved Gloucester. We met early for a delicious and hearty breakfast at Sailor Stan’s, then went for a nice long walk out Eastern Point, to the spot I now call Evelyn’s Point, beyond the Retreat House and Brace Cove. We encountered many beautiful and fun things along our journey, including a mother duck with her ducklings (she had to be babysitting, as they couldn’t all have been her’s) and two turtles sunning on a rock in Niles Pond, plus a dreadful and vicious bullfrog that Ann attempted unsuccessfully to capture and bring to Joey. This has become one of my favorite spots to walk to and it was nice to be able to share it with Ann, who had never been there. The trails through the woods are soft and peaceful. At one point we were forced to stop and turn back because of a large uprooted tree that made the path we were on unpassable. It was a special time with a special FOB and friend, and I look forward to a repeat when they return next year.
Congratulations to Ann and Bob who just celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary.
Our first time hiking Ravenswood–and what a great place to see things from a different perspective. The Ledge Hill path through the woods was really beautiful and quiet.
Seals enjoying a morning bask in the sun on the rocks at Brace Cove. Seagulls enjoying a morning meal of dead seal on the Niles Beach side of Eastern Point.