Out on Eastern Point this morning great flocks of seagulls were riding the waves while the Niles Pond swans and ducks were tucked into their shoreline retreats. The cormorants were many and could be seen clustering on rocky perches all around the inner harbor.
Gloucester’s DPW crews were out and about clearing the streets from downed limbs.
I only stayed for a moment at the Brace Cove berm because the waves were so tremendous that it really didn’t feel safe. I am glad to report though that at 10:30 this morning the narrowest slip of land that prevents Niles Pond from becoming Brace Cove’s salt marsh appears to have weathered this October nor’easter.
Downed Tree Mangles Portable Potty
Autumn Sunset Over Niles Pond
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While filming B-roll for several projects I caught the sunrise at Brace Cove this October morning. The seals were awakening, as were the swan couple, the cormorants and gulls stretching wide their wings, and the songbirds breaking fast on the abundance of wild berries and seed heads found along the berm at Niles Pond. Click image to see full size.
Brace Cove Seals
Juvenile Male Cardinal
I am procrastinating in getting out the warm woollies in hopes that Indian Summer is just around the corner. Do you recall it ever feeling so fall-like, so early in September?
Seaside Goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens)
I’m actually pretty sure it is coyote scat. I have been coming across these piles recently (pretty large dog poop size piles) in the road and on the sidewalks along Eastern Point. At first I thought they were left behind by very inconsiderate dog owners, but then started seeing them out in the road, where I can’t imagine any conscientious dog owner would allow their dog to do their do. If you look close, you can see berries or something in there that I don’t think of as typical dog diet stuff. Anyone have any other ideas?
Looked like he was waiting for a bus, or a fire engine.
While walking very early by Niles Pond one morning recently, the peace and serenity of the place was suddenly shattered by the persistent distressed crying of a duck at the far wooded end of the pond. I looked for her and the cause of her distress, but it took some time to locate her in the reeds. Then I saw the reason for her mournful cries. This coyote had apparently gotten her mate and possibly her babies as well. I couldn’t see what he was feeding on, but her cries made it obvious that it was something very dear to her, and since there was no mate at her side, I assumed he must have been watching the nest while she went out to feed and was caught unawares by the coyote.
When I started photographing, both he and the duck looked in my direction. He seemed to know I was too far away to be of any concern to him, so he yawned and went on about his business. The duck however kept looking in my direction and crying, as though pleading with me to do something. My heart went out to that poor devastated creature. I know coyotes need to eat, and it is better for him to feed on a duck than someone’s pet cat or dog, but it still made for a sad start to my day, and a much sadder start for her’s. The coyote however was satisfied.
It is wonderful to see the swans with their cygnets on Niles Pond again. I really hope these little ones make it, as last year none survived. I love to see swallows swooping, but these two made a pretty pair on the wire. The muskrat was just cruising as normal along the shoreline. You gotta love Niles Pond, there is always something to see.
Hidden in this tangled weave of branches and brambles are turtles basking on the rocks at Niles Pond. Can you find them?
My favorite botanical sign of spring.
Pussy willow is a name given to many of the smaller species of the genus Salix (willows and sallows) when their furry catkins are young in early spring.
Before the male catkins of these species come into full flower they are covered in fine, greyish fur, leading to a fancied likeness to tiny cats, also known as “pussies”. The catkins appear long before the leaves, and are one of the earliest signs of spring. At other times of year trees of most of these species are usually known by their ordinary names. (Wikipedia)
Although I am really tired of ice, I thought these ice formations on the tidal pools were interesting. It’s the first day of spring, so hopefully we won’t see any more of this until next winter. Happy Spring!
I thought they were buffleheads when I first saw them, but they appeared a little too large and weren’t diving constantly the way buffleheads usually do. They were way off shore, so the photos aren’t great. I think they are goldeneyes, but not sure. Who knows?
He actually was really hard to photograph. I could see him with my eyes, but when I looked through the camera’s viewfinder, he just disappeared in the tangle of branches, leaves and stuff. I got the shot and then he dove into the leaves and was gone.
This big rolly polly seal was trying so hard to stay on his rock as the tide came in at Brace Cove. Eventually the sea won and knocked him off.
Can’t help but shoot whenever I am at Niles Pond. Such a pretty spot.
I walked out to Eastern Point today and it felt downright balmy compared to yesterday’s biting wind and frigid windchill factor. Today felt more like global warming than a polar vortex. The iced rocks and frozen froth just looks like normal winter to me.
From earlier today, while the storm was still blowing ~
Benjamin Duckworth Building an Awesome Fort
Super High Tide
Don’t forget our feathered friends. I filled the bird feeders three times today!
The sun started to break through mid-afternoon. I headed to Smith’s Cove and then drove (precariously) to Eastern Point to catch the setting sun. Happy Snow Days!
North Shore Art Association
Our Lady of Good Voyage
Eastern Point Lighthouse