Monthly Archives: April 2017


Working today from my home office and I was so delighted to hear the Mourning Doves cooing. There has been a great deal of dove activity on our porch lately, and a bunch of half-built nests. One sat on our mail table for the longest time this morning. Look what she left behind! I hope the pair of Mourning Doves returns to incubate the egg. Time to make a temporary mail bin 🙂


Love this funny video from Backyard Growers, featuring Willa Brosnihan ~

IF you haven’t already, please vote for Backyard Growers to receive a $35,00.00 grant from the b.goodfamilyfoundation.

Vote here:

Voting ends at 11:59 tonight, so please don’t procrastinate. It takes all of ten seconds to place your vote.



SACRED COD Documentary Screening

The Fight for a New England Tradition

GLOUCESTER, Mass. (April 18, 2017) – The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to host two screenings of  the recently released documentary, SACRED COD , created by filmmakers, Steve Liss, Andy Laub and David Abel on Saturday, May 6 at 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.

Premiered on the Discovery Channel on April 13, 2017, SACRED COD is a feature-length documentary that captures the collapse of the historic cod population in New England, delving into the role of overfishing, the impact of climate change, the effect of government policies on fishermen and the fish, and the prospect of a region built on cod having no cod left to fish.

A $10 donation is suggested (includes Museum admission). Space is limited; reservations required. For more information email Tickets can be purchased online at Eventbrite or by calling (978) 283-0455 x10.

Steve Liss spent 25 years as an award-winning staff photographer for Time magazine and is an associate professor of media at Endicott College. He is the film’s director of photography and producer.

Andy Laub, founder of As It Happens Creativehas walked more than 5,000 miles to capture stories about man, nature and the complex space in which they meet. Laub is the film’s editor, writer, soundtrack artist, and producer.

David Abel is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter at the Boston Globe who has covered war, terrorism, and the environment. Abel is the film’s story director, writer, reporter, and producer.

Visit to read more about the documentary or to view the trailer.


Greetings from the Pond Team,

We’ve been some busy buckaroos…

Last Sunday Keith Bertone and I went to Lynn, MA to look at some wetlands with a group who is trying to save as much of those woods as possible. We did the field work for one pool.

On Tuesday Victoria Rolf and I did Snakes of New England and the World for a full house (80) at the Seekonk Public Library. Charlie and Theresa from Seekonk helped out with the show. It was really fun for everyone.

On Wednesday, Keith and I checked out some more pools. We did certification field work for two more.

Today we did a Snakes of New England and the World show for about 70 kids at Glen Urquhart School in Beverly Farms. Thanks to Wilhelmina, Victoria, Verdun, Christine and Mark. It was an excellent show in the greenhouse.

We still need help for Saturday April 22, somewhere around noonish or oneish after they come back from the woods cleanup, get fed, and hear a few tunes.

  • Earth Fest at Lynn Woods, Pennybrook Lane Entrance
  • Snakes of New England and the World – one hour live animal presentation

On Sunday, Keith, Nick Taomina, and I will do some vernal pond surveys in Essex.

And… Saturday April 29, 2017 from 9am – 3pm we will need help all day.

  • Green Energy and Sustainability Fair. O’Maley Middle School, Gloucester
  • We’ll be there with some sort of live animal display
  • We will likely be there by about 7:30 am for set up.
  • Breakdown when its over.

Also… Sunday April 30, 2017 come and walk for us in the Gloucester Pride Stride. Get your sign up sheets at We’ll be there with some sort of live animal display, weather permitting.

It’s a great way to have a fun day and support your favorite vernal pond team. We would love to see you out there. Email me at if you can help out with any of these activities.

Hope to see you soon, Rick

we only have one earth, save it

We are adding more activity photographs as we get them so check them out…


Gloucester, Mass.: An Imperfect, Perfect New England Travel Destination

By Eric Hurwitz

Gloucester, on the North Shore of Massachusetts, is a worthwhile New England coastal travel destination, but not in the precious, slick and refined ways that have come into vogue lately by the sea.

Yes, you will find some great lodging, seafood dining, beaches, a classic harbor and so many earmarks familiar to a typical New England ocean vacation, but what’s overwhelmingly evident here is that it’s a working class community with a long fishing history. It is America’s oldest seaport, discovered in 1623 by an offshoot group of the Pilgrims three years after they landed at Plymouth, MA. You can see the history in the old buildings and homes, and the narrow crooked streets and sidewalks, Some of Gloucester represents the best of coastal New England, while other city elements show a need for revitalization. Gloucester certainly doesn’t share the gentle, gentrified look of neighboring Rockport and Manchester, but it’s just as much worth a visit for very different reasons. For example, Gloucester has done a great job moving the city in the right direction — especially the wonderful,classic seaport downtown with interesting little shops and restaurants, charmingly tucked away in the narrow streets around the corner from the sea. It’s full of character and doesn’t have a phony bone in its strong community foundation. This is the real New England, not some Hollywood set with all the latest retail bells and whistles full of elitism and attitude. There’s a humble, modest feeling here, quite understandable given the city’s working class roots.

– See more at:



Lara Lepionka, Backyard Growers executive, director writes,

Thank you everyone for all your support this week! We’re doing a final push on this last day of voting for Backyard Growers to win $35K. Voting closes at 11:59 tonight! Please share this opportunity with your networks—so appreciated! Vote here:

Many thanks,



Photos courtesy Backyard Growers Facebook page

Melissa Cox Announces Her Candidacy For An An At-Large Councilor

Hello everyone! I wanted to announce that I’m running for one of the four At-Large positions and I would appreciate your support. The reason I announced that I was not running for Ward 2 was due to a possible family commitment. My cousin, a Captain in the Navy, was going to possibly be taking command of a ship that would take her to sea for about 2 years. I was humbled to be asked to care for her daughter while she was at sea, however she has since taken command of a task force in Italy and will only need to be at sea for six weeks. I know plenty of people juggle work and family but my priority would have been to be the best Aunt I could be to my little monkey. I am very excited to be her guardian Sept-Oct this year, it’s been a long time since I’ve had a 14 month old in my care!  

This has since freed up my next two years to remain a city councilor, if they city chooses to have me. Since two good candidates have already announced to run for Ward 2, which is why I announced early to give people time to consider a run, I have respect for their decision and have decided to run At-Large instead of trying to retain my position for Ward 2. I am always available if you have any questions regarding my At-Large run. Please stay tuned for events. I truly appreciate all the support I have received as the Ward 2 Councilor and look forward to continuing my dedication to Gloucester.  

Melissa Cox