Thirteen-day-old Piping Plover Chicks
Foraging for tiny crustaceans at the high water line.
This morning at 5am found all three adorable balls of fluff zig zagging in and out of their roped off area. All was going well and I had planned to leave at 6:30 for work when the beach rake arrived on the scene. At the very moment the roaring rake was passing in front of the roped off safety area, the chicks decided to head to the water. It was harrowing trying to herd the chicks back up towards the wrack zone and at one point I lost sight of one. The rake passed twice in front of the sanctuary and both times the chicks were in extreme, extreme danger. The beach rake driver is super conscientious and stopped for Papa Plover when he ran in front of the rake, but not in a million years would a chick have been seen. I think eventually the chicks will learn to run in the opposite direction of the giant noise-making machine, but at this stage of development, they are running directly towards the beach rake. Additionally, while the rake drama was unfolding, half a dozen gulls flew in. I don’t know if they were there to check on what was tumbled up by the beach rake, or if they knew the babies were vulnerable as both parents were trying to herd the chicks away from the rake.
After writing this post, the next order of business is emailing Dave from Greenbelt and our conservation agent Ken Whittaker about the beach rake. I sincerely hope it can be redirected to stay on either side of the safety zone, traveling behind the beach through the parking lot road to clean both sides, but completely avoiding the area the PiPls are using as their morning and night time sanctuary.
Compare the photo on the left of a one-day-old chick and the photo on the right of the thirteen-day-old chick.
Despite their growing size, warmth and cuddles are still needed from Papa and Mama.
One of my favorite images, I think I’ll call this photo OctoPop.
Thirteen-day-old Piping Plover chick looking mighty confident.
After yesterday taking a group of 70 veterans and their invited guests on a fishing trip aboard Captain Tom Orrell’s Yankee Freedom, Captain Dave and Nancy went fishing today with a ship full of local fishermen and fans.
No greater fan than Michael, who was waiting far ahead of the scheduled departure for an autograph from Captain Dave. Autograph in hand, just look at that ear to ear grin!
You can read more about Captain Dave’s efforts on behalf of Wounded Warriors in a previous post: Wounded Warriors with Captain Dave and Nancy Marciano Aboard the Yankee Fleet Celebrate Fourth of July
I’ve lived in Gloucester since the early 1980s (except 1995-1998, when I lived in CA and NYC) and Vickie has lived here since 1998 … and guess what, neither of us had ever been to the Rockport Bonfire? Why? Oh, lots of reasons; but none of them is reasonable — not after what we witnessed last night!
Kevin St. Peter, who chairs the Rockport Firemen’s Association, asked us to be judges in the Rockport Firemen’s Parade and we accepted. Having produced and promoted hundreds of shows & events, Vickie and I keenly appreciate just how much work it takes to pull off an event of this magnitude and, honestly, it was a true pleasure not having to deal with all the details. Kevin did that. And he dealt with all the crazy-last-minute emergencies that always pop during any large-scale event. Plus he took great care to make sure all the judges got where we were supposed to go and knew what they were supposed to do — because we had no idea.
More importantly, we had absolutely no idea what we’ve been missing all these decades. The breathtaking power and splendor of Rockport’s giant bonfire tore its way into our psyches; seized every ounce of our attention. What struck me at first was how hot it was — those of us in front had to move back as the flames engulfed the outhouse atop the mountain of fiery palates. Turning around I noticed the crowd of several thousand people all stood transfixed — and very quiet. So quiet, in fact, that the blaze was the loudest sound you could hear — and it wasn’t nearly as loud as the band at the bandstand had been a few minutes earlier.
Then I realized just how bright it was. That’s when I took the picture, above. Notice how well everyone is lit — and it’s pitch black outside. No streetlights. Just the bonfire. It’s brighter than Times Square. (See Nicole’s awesome photo of the bonfire itself here.)
Fire has a magical power to captivate us in a way nothing else can. I certainly hope this Rockport tradition lives on forever. Thanks to Kevin St. Peter for throwing a giant party for thousands of people featuring one of the greatest natural spectacles our Earth has to offer — and making it feel as though everything is running perfectly smoothly!
Never fails to amaze me how that can happen so quickly!
CAPE ANN SUP is renting paddle boards at Cape Ann Motor Inn Long Beach and Beauport Hotel Pavilion Beach. It’s a great day to try it out, but be warned. We did that last year and bought a couple of kypads because of Dominic!
We’re looking forward to the First Annual Cape Ann SUPAHBOWL on site at Beauport Hotel.
This sums up our 9 days with the greatest gifts.
Another fun event this Friday on Lexington Avenue
Antonio Gentile Bandstand
2017 Summer Concert
July 9 @ 7pm
The Continentals (Pop-Rock Show band) sponsored by Gloucester Rotary Club
All concerts begin at 7:00pm. Parking is free, restrooms are handicap accessible and the audience is encouraged to bring a chair and a picnic lunch (carry in – carry out). Rain dates are the following Wednesday evening at 7:00pm. Location: Stage Fort Park, Hough Avenue, Gloucester, MA
For concert information please contact David Benjamin, Tel. 978-281-0543,
Email: David@DavidLBenjamin.com or visit www.DavidLBenjamin.com,
click photo for music info
Wednesday, July 5 -7pm
This week’s guest: ORVILLE GIDDINGS!
The talented Mr. Giddings returns to Rhumb Wednesday. He and I always have a blast sharing the stage. And… maybe we’ll have a surprise guest or two as well! Join us. ~ Fly
THE RHUMB LINE
40 Railroad Avenue
A great way to spend the 4th is in Gloucester Harbor hop-on-hop-off water shuttle operated by Cape Ann Harbor Tours.
What an exciting few days! Beginning Friday afternoon we were blessed to be surrounded by some of our very favorite friends and family members. From impromptu gatherings that lasted well into the night, to the perfect quintessential small town parade parade, to an exquisite event that we had to leave far too soon…but were thrilled to be able to attend….we have laughed and counted our lucky American stars.
One birthday party, three parade parties in 3 different towns, two epic beach days with such great friends, fireworks, and a bonfire….. The Schraffts are tired, but so happy.
Cisco is one of the sharks that have been tagged and can be tracked online here-
Gil hooked and released Great White Shark Cisco seeing the tracking device on it’s fin.
Cisco was last pinged off of Rockport on the Shark Tracker App
White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias)
Stage of Life: Immature
Length: 8 ft 7 in
Weight: 362 lbs
Tag Date: Oct 07, 2016
Tag Location: Nantucket, MA
Total travel: 2731.613 miles
Description: Cisco was named for Cisco Beach on Nantucket and for our partner Cisco Brewery who created the Shark Tracker Light Lager to support our research.