Author Archives: E.J.

Call for the Best Cookie Bakers

RNAC cookie competition

A Call for Cookies!
3nd Annual RNAC’s “Season’s Best Cookie Competition”

Saturday, December 5, 2:00 – 4:00PM
At The Cultural Center at Rocky Neck

The 3nd Annual Holiday Art & Fine Crafts Festival will feature the annual “Season’s Best Cookie Competition”. Any kind of home-baked cookie may be entered, except chocolate chip – everyone makes good chocolate chip cookies – as we are looking for competitors to come up different, unique and prize-winning entries.

To enter the competition:

  • Please email to Kristie Bernard: with “cookie competition entry” in the subject line and your name, type of cookie you plan to enter, and your phone number in the email body.
  • Entries will be limited to the first twelve unique cookie entry submissions received (we want to have diversity and be considerate of the judges’ waistlines).
  • Please be prepared to bake at least three-dozen cookies, for the judges and party attendees to taste.

First, second and third place prizes will be awarded, as well as a popular ballot vote (new this year! come vote!).

  • Cookie drop off will be between 11:00AM – noon on Saturday December 5th, the day of the contest. If you need alternative arrangements, please email Kristie.
  • Judging will begin at 2PM.
  • Winner will be announced around 3PM.

Crazy Sky


This was the sky on the other side of the road from where the fallstreak hole was at Good Harbor.  I don’t ever remember seeing crazy cloud formations like these before in my life.  I see them all the time now, and they just look very strange to me.  Does anyone else find them strange?

E.J. Lefavour

Murder of Crows

murder of crows

Crows are very social and caring creatures, and also among the smartest animals on the planet.  (See WPBS A Murder of Crows)

When I was a girl, I rescued an injured crow and nursed him back to health.  The day after I released him in the back yard and he flew off, he returned with a mass murder numbering scores of crows, all cawing and covering the back yard, with him at the head of them.  I guess he brought them to meet me, or they came to thank me for taking care of him.  It was pretty amazing, and I still remember it like it was yesterday.

A group of crows is called a “murder.” There are several different explanations for the origin of this term, mostly based on old folk tales and superstitions.

For instance, there is a folktale that crows will gather and decide the capital fate of another crow.

Many view the appearance of crows as an omen of death because ravens and crows are scavengers and are generally associated with dead bodies, battlefields, and cemeteries, and they’re thought to circle in large numbers above sites where animals or people are expected to soon die.

But the term “murder of crows” mostly reflects a time when groupings of many animals had colorful and poetic names. Other fun examples of “group” names include: an ostentation of peacocks, a parliament of owls, a knot frogs, and a skulk of foxes.

E.J. Lefavour

Fallstreak Hole at Good Harbor

fallstreak hole

fallstreak hole_deb schradieck

Update:  This is a photo taken by Deb Schradieck at Good Harbor Beach.  She got her photo at an earlier stage than mine, before the hole had started to fill in, so you can really see how amazing it looked.

I stumbled upon a fallstreak or hole punch cloud on the internet earlier this week.  It was something I had never seen before and thought it was pretty cool looking.  Today, this one was hanging right over Good Harbor Beach!

A fallstreak hole, also known as a hole punch cloud, punch hole cloud, skypunch, canal cloud or cloud hole, is a large circular or elliptical gap that can appear in cirrocumulus or altocumulus clouds. Such holes are formed when the water temperature in the clouds is below freezing but the water has not frozen yet due to the lack of ice nucleation (see supercooled water). When ice crystals do form it will set off a domino effect, due to the Bergeron process, causing the water droplets around the crystals to evaporate: this leaves a large, often circular, hole in the cloud.[1]

It is believed that the introduction of large numbers of tiny ice crystals into the cloud layer sets off this domino effect of evaporation which creates the hole. The ice crystals can be formed by passing aircraft which often have a large reduction in pressure behind the wing- or propeller-tips. This cools the air very quickly, and can produce a ribbon of ice crystals trailing in the aircraft’s wake. These ice crystals find themselves surrounded by droplets, grow quickly by the Bergeron process, causing the droplets to evaporate and creating a hole with brush-like streaks of ice crystals below it. The articles by Westbrook and Davies (2010)[2] and Heymsfield et al. (2010) [3] explain the process in more detail, and show some observations of their microphysics and dynamics. Such clouds are not unique to any one geographic area and have been photographed from many places.

Because of their rarity and unusual appearance, as well as very little exposure in media, fallstreak holes have been mistaken for or attributed to unidentified flying objects.[4]

From Wikipedia

E.J. Lefavour

Save the Date

RNAC holiday festival 2015
Rocky Neck Art Colony Holiday Art and Crafts Festival

at The Cultural Center at Rocky Neck, 6 Wonson Street, Gloucester

Fri Nov 27, 4 to 8 pm; Sat/Sun Dec 5-6, 10 am to 6 pm;
Sat/Sun Dec 12-13, 10 am to 6 pm; Sat/Sun Dec 19-20, 10 am to 6 pm; Sat/Sun Dec 26-27, 10 am to 6 pm.

Friday, Nov 27, 6 to 8 pm: Preview Party
Saturday, Dec 5, 2 to 4 pm: Season’s Best Cookie Contest
Sunday, Dec 13, 2 to 4 pm : Holiday Tea
Saturday, Dec 19, 4 to 6 pm : Winter Solstice Party
Sunday, Dec 27, 2 to 4 pm : Yankee Swap

Gloucester MA—The Rocky Neck Art Colony (RNAC) presents the third annual Holiday Art and Crafts Festival, open to the public on five consecutive weekends starting with a preview party from 6 to 8pm on Friday November 27 at the Cultural Center on Rocky Neck, 6 Wonson Street, Gloucester. The Holiday Festival is open for holiday viewing and shopping from 10 am to 6 pm, Saturdays and Sundays Nov. 28-29, Dec. 5-6, Dec. 12-13, Dec. 19-20, and Dec. 26-27. The public is invited to enjoy a festive event each weekend.

·      Friday, Nov 27, 6 to 8 pm: Preview Party – first chance to peruse the artwork while enjoying beverages    and artist-made hors d’oeuvres
·      Saturday, Dec 5, 2 to 4 pm: Season’s Best Cookie Contest – sample homemade cookies and hot chocolate. Vote for your favorite.
·      Sunday, Dec 13, 2 to 4 pm : Holiday Tea – Sample teas and treats from around the world
·      Saturday, Dec 19, 4 to 6pm : Winter Solstice Party – Enjoy live music, cheery drinks and munchies
·      Sunday, Dec 27, 2 to 4pm : Yankee Swap – bring an extra wrapped gift, or something you have around the house (value $5 to $25) and join the fun.

Exhibiting artists include jewelers Katherine Bagley, Deborah Barnwell, Belle & Me, Lisa Carlson, Trish Conant, Mindy Lindterk, Sally Seamans, and Deborah Way; painters Gail Gang, Mary McCarl, Deb Schradieck, and Marilyn Swift; photographers Harriet Harding, Carol McKenna, Skip Montello, Michael Oleksiw, David Piemonte, Judy Robinson-Cox, Tom Robinson-Cox, and Dani Shirtcliff; Mixed media artists Robin Colodzin, Deborah Barnwell, and Judy Robinson-Cox; printmakers Jane Keddy, Rusty & Ingrid, and Stephanie Mason; Sculptors Pam Cortleigh, and Sally Seamans.


The Cultural Center at Rocky Neck, the official Welcome Center for Rocky Neck and home of the Art Colony, hosts exhibitions, workshops, meetings, lectures and cultural events of all kinds. The Center is open Thursdays – Sundays, year round. For more information about the Holiday Festival or Cultural Center at Rocky Neck, please contact the RNAC Executive Director at 978-515-7004 or

Wingaersheek in November

wingaersheek in november

This was last week of course, but it was still November, when we don’t think of people in the water and kids running along the sandbar in their bathing suits.  We could take that for another month or two.

I recall swimming in March 2012 at Cambridge Beach, and looking over at a crowded Wingaersheek Beach filled with umbrellas and sunbathers during that winter that never happened.  Maybe we’ll get a repeat this year.

E.J. Lefavour

Brenda Malloy’s appeal for Blankets for Earthquake Victims in Nepal

nepal_brenda malloy appeal

I am currently in Kathmandu, Nepal, scene of a devastating series of over 100 earthquakes which began on  April  25th, this year.  This Himalayan nation, around the size of Tennessee, wedged between Tibet and India, is home of many of the worlds tallest mountains and is one of the world’s poorest countries.  The economy has been crippled, over 9000 people were killed and there is much suffering in the villages worst hit by this event.  As winter approaches and temperatures fall to freezing, hundreds of thousands of people are in need of warmth as they survive in temporary and often minimal  housing.

On my second day here I found an English man who is doing various social programs for villages here, and have decided to back him in his efforts to provide blankets for families.  I have checked him out, he is legit and all of the funds I raise will go 100% to blankets, no administrative costs.  Many people have lost everything, all their possessions as well as homes.  The blankets will allow for comfort and warmth during the fast approaching Himalayan winter.

If you would like to donate, please send checks payable to Carol Seeckts, 10 Laurel Ct, Acton, MA 01720.  She will deposit the money into my account and I will then access it here in Nepal.  I ask that if you are sending a donation (ANY amount is welcome!) PLEASE send me an email at so that I know the funds are coming.   I leave on November 20 and will front the money until your check gets deposited.

I am not a non profit, so donations are not tax deductable.  Thank you Joey for making such a platform available and EJ for making this post for me.

Thank you in advance for your generosity and thoughtfulness.  A little goes a long way in this poor country.


I Saw Two Ducks Mating this Morning

They were on Smiths Cove.  I saw them bobbing their heads at each other, then the male moved around behind and then mounted and mated with the female.  I’ve seen it occur many times in the spring, but never in November.  Does anyone else think this is strange?  Do ducks sometimes mate before heading south for the winter?  Or maybe it is a sign of a mild winter.  Any input from birders in the know would be appreciated.  I couldn’t tell what kind of ducks they were, but I don’t think mallards, as they both appeared to be brown and it wasn’t aggressive like mallards tend to be.

E.J. Lefavour


Art Supplies and other stuff Yard Sale

Saturday, November 14, 9am to 1pm, rain or shine

34 Mt. Pleasant Ave, Gloucester MA

  • ·      Stretched primed canvas many sizes
  • ·      Aluminum watercolor easel
  • ·      Full-size Julian French field easel with luggage wheels and backpack
  • ·      Half-box Italian French type easel
  • ·      Oil paint brushes, some new, all OK, various sizes
  • ·      Tubes of oil paint
  • ·      Wood frames in various sizes
  • ·      New black Neilson frames in various sizes with hardware
  • ·      Variety of other frames
  • ·      Collage materials
  • ·      Transparent card boxes for A7 size cards
  • ·      Shadow boxes
  • ·      Acrylic paint
  • ·      Drawing supplies
  • ·      Cotton duck canvas roll
  • ·      Clear Holiday ornament balls to fill or paint
  • ·      Art books and magazines
  • ·      Typesetters box
  • ·      Old window frame with lots of panes
  • ·      Variety of pre-cut mats new and used
  • ·      Misc. photography equipment
  • ·      Almost new 7 ¼”, 2.3 HP Skil Saw
  • ·      Strobe lights
  • ·      Digital and film point and shoot cameras
  • ·      Tripods
  • ·      And much more

978-290-2639 for more info

Jupiter – I think

jupiter_I think

One of those planets we don’t normally see but could see before sunrise yesterday morning.  Paul Morrison, do you know which it is?  It was the bigger one closer to the moon.  If you look at it full size, it looks like there is a ring around it, but it may just be a glow.

E.J. Lefavour

Sunrise on Niles and Kim Smith

sunrise on niles and kim smith

While shooting the sunrise at Niles Pond this morning, I noticed a fellow photographer across the pond shooting the sunrise at Brace Cove.  I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that’s our Kim there.  I’ll be interested to see the shots she got this morning.

E.J. Lefavour

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