Author Archives: Kim Smith

HOW TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MALE AND FEMALE SWAN

Mute Swan male female çygnus olor ©Kim Smith 2015Side-by-side Comparison ~ Female Swan Back, Male Swan Front

Have you ever wondered whether you are looking at a male or female swan? I had often until I learned that the male’s black protuberance at the base of the bill swells during the breeding season. Very recently, I learned that the fleshy black knob has a name. So now rather than calling it a knob, nobble, thingamabob, or that black protuberance above the bill, I can say blackberry, and you can too. That really is an often used term in Europe, their native home. The blackberry is also unique to Mute Swans; no other species of swans has this feature.

Mute swan male female cygnet cygnus olor ©Kim Smith 2015I’ve posted this photo before however, it shows very well the different sizes of the male and female’s blackberries. Male, left; female, right.

FLEDGLING HOMIE RESCUE UNDERWAY AT SEVEN SEAS WHALE WATCH (EDITED)

UPDATE: HOMIE LEARNED TO FLY!

Seagull fledgling ©Kim Smith 2015Heather Dagle from 7 Seas Whale Watch reports that this sweet fledgling appeared several days ago after its nest, which was located at Fisherman’s Wharf, was destroyed in a recent storm. He/she has yet to learn how to fly however, its Mom stops by daily to feed it regurgitated food. After seeing how much the fledgling enjoyed splashing around in a bowl of water placed there by Heather and Kate, I dropped off a big galvanized tub. Heather promises to send a picture if he jumps in!

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Did you know that 7 Seas Whale Watch was voted best Boston’s Best Whale Watching company by WGBH-Boston Reader’s Poll? Check out their website Here.

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gray-seal-3Gray Seal Eating a Striper

All images except fledgling gull courtesy Google image search.

What to Do if You Find a Seal on the Beach

Good Morning Gloucester reader Anita sent along a photo of a young seal perched on the Annisquam. It reminded me to post my Seal PSA, which I think is a good idea to do annually, especially at this time of year when many young seals beach themselves. They are usually not injured or ill and only need to rest, or occasionally, to escape danger (think shark). Never approach a hauled out seal; simply leave it to recuperate and make its way back to the water in its own time.

Thanks so much Anita for submitting your photo!

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MOTH at the Gloucester Stage Company August 3rd and 4th

The Gloucester Stage Apprentice Program,an intensive, hands-on program, provides eight recent college graduates early career opportunities through apprenticeships in playwriting, directing, dramaturgy/education, stage management/production, stage management/costume design, scenic design/carpentry, and marketing as well as offering real world experience in a professional theatre. mothposter

HUGE SHOUT OUT AND THANK YOU AMAZING TEAM OF ANDREW BUTLER LEATHERNECK LANDSCAPING AND SEAN NOLAN EXTREME TRUCK AND AUTO REPAIR

IMG_0288Andrew Butler and Crew

I only wish we had before photos but trust me when I say the weeds were waste high!

Thank you to Harbor Walk Friend and Volunteer Amy Kerr, who contacted Sean Nolan of Extreme Truck and Auto Repair, who got in touch with Andrew Butler of Leatherneck Landscaping. Sean, Andrew, and a crew member mowed, weed whacked and raked, despite the extreme heat and humidity. They did this on a volunteer basis, absolutely free of charge. Andrew and Sean plan to stop by several times a month to lend a hand and I just can’t tell you how grateful we are for the help.IMG_0289

Amy also reports that Sean and Andrew help greatly with many community clean ups around town.

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Thank you, thank you, thank you, and ninety nine thank yous more, to Lynn Bird, Amy Kerr, Andrew Butler, and Sean Nolan for your tremendous help with the HarborWalk.

IMG_0285Sean Nolan Photos

Open House at the White-Ellery House Saturday August 1st

9ma1-1Historic Home free and open to the public for 17th Century Saturdays

The Cape Ann Museum, which owns and operates this historic property, will open the White-Ellery House on Saturday, August 1 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Museum docents and staff will be on hand to educate the public about the unique house and its history. The house is located at 245 Washington Street at the corner of Poplar Street in Gloucester and is open to the public at no charge on the first Saturday of the month from May through October as part of Escapes North 17th Century Saturdays. Parking is available off Poplar Street in the field behind the house.

The White-Ellery House was built in 1710 and is one of just a handful of First Period houses in Eastern Massachusetts that survives to this day. Unlike other structures of this period, the largely unfurnished house has had very few interior alterations over the years. Stepping inside today, visitors enter much the same house they would have 300 years ago.

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Ed Note- I was looking for a photo to go with this post for the Cape Ann Museum and found all photos through a Google image search. What history lies behind these walls!42_thumb

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Edward Hopper’s Houses ~ A Guided Walking Tour Saturday August 1st

A tour in downtown Gloucester to view houses immortalized by renowned American realist painter Edward Hopper

GLOUCESTER, Mass. (July 21, 2015) – The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to present a guided walking tour of select Gloucester houses made famous by American realist painter Edward Hopper onSaturday, August 1 at 10:00 a.m. Tours last about 1 1/2 hours and are held rain or shine. Participants should be comfortable being on their feet for that amount of time. Cost is $10 for Cape Ann Museum members; $20 for nonmembers (includes Museum admission). Space is limited and reservations are required. Email info@capeannmuseum.org or call (978) 283-0455 x10 for more information or to reserve a space. The Hopper’s Houses tour will also be offered on August 7, August 15 and August 22.

American realist painter Edward Hopper is known to have painted in Gloucester on five separate occasions during the summer months in the years 1912, 1923, 1924, 1926 and 1928. His earliest visit in 1912 was made in the company of fellow artist Leon Kroll. During his second visit to Cape Ann in 1923, Hopper courted the young artist Josephine Nivison. He also began working in watercolor, capturing the local landscape and architecture in loosely rendered, light filled paintings. In 1924, Hopper and Nivison who were newly married returned to Gloucester on an extended honeymoon and continued to explore the area by foot and streetcar. During his final two visits to the area, in 1926 and 1928, Hopper produced some of his finest paintings. This special walking tour will explore the neighborhood surrounding the Museum, which includes many of the Gloucester houses immortalized by Hopper’s paintings.

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KIDS SAIL FREE Aboard the Schooner Lannon on Saturdays!

KIDS 16 AND UNDER SAIL FREE
ABOARD THE SCHOONER THOMAS E. LANNON IN JULY AND AUGUST! 
Don’t let the summer slide by without taking advantage of this fantastic deal. On Saturday mornings in July and August, the Schooner Lannon offers a special sail geared for families. On the 10 AM-12 PM sail, kids (16 and under) sail for free.  Each kid must be accompanied by an adult. Each adult must pay full fare for his or her ticket. No other discounts apply. The Lannon sets sail from Seven Seas Wharf at the Gloucester House Restaurant, 63 rear Rogers St., Rt. 127, Gloucester.
Tickets are $40/adults, $35/seniors and normally $27.50 for kids. Reservations are taken not more than two weeks in advance. Go to www.schooner.org/book-online or call(978) 281-6634 for information and reservations. All aboard!

THE FRIENDLY RED ADMIRAL


Red Admiral Butterfly Niles Pond ©Kim Smith 2015Red Admiral Basking at Niles Pond

So named Friendly because he’ll alight on your arm or head, attracted to the minerals in perspiration. This Red Admiral was found warming its wings in the early morning sun at Niles Pond. Butterflies wings do not work very well in cool, rainy temperatures. I hope the upcoming heat wave brings a batch of butterflies!

Niles Pond Sunrise ©Kim Smith 2015Niles Pond 

Eastern Point Before and After Thunderstorm Photos AND WHIMSICAL WHIMBRELS!

Gloucester storm 2015On my way home from work several days ago. I stopped to take a photo of the fast and furious oncoming storm. To my utter delight I spotted a pair of whimbrels feeding alongside the mallards at the water’s edge however, to my dismay, I only had my still camera. They didn’t allow for close-up photography and flew off in the direction of Brace Rock as soon as this human was noticed. Returning with movie camera after the storm to see if they were still in the neighborhood, they were not, and have not been spotted since.

Whimbrels East Gloucester Massachusetts july 25 ©Kim Smith 2015The only other time I have seen a pair of whimbrels, or any whimbrels for that matter, was at Good Harbor Beach several years ago, in mid-September. Whimbrels breed in the Arctic, departing in July for parts further south. It seems early in the season for them to have begun their southward migration, or perhaps they have been here all along. I wonder if any of our readers have spotted whimbrels?

Gloucester storm ©Kim Smith 2015

OYSTERS ROCKEFELLER-TO-DIE-FOR AT PASSPORTS!

Eric Lorden, I am begging you, please add the Oysters Rockefeller to your regular menu!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oysters Rockerfeller Passports Restaurant ©Kim Smith 2015

Thursday night we attended Passports Sparkling Wine Dinner and it was out of this world delish. We Loved everything–the sparkling wine selections, especially the creamy Blanc de Blanc Brut Dargent from France–and each and everyone one of the dishes was fantastic. But if I had to choose a favorite of the favorites, I must say that Eric’s Oysters Rockefeller is sublime. Perhaps he’ll share his recipe–I am going to get right on that!

Oysters Rockefeller was created in 1899 by Jules Alcitore at the world renowned New Orleans restaurant Antoine’s. At that time there was a shortage of snails coming into America from Europe. Jules was looking for a substitute and he wanted the replacement to be local to avoid future problems in procuring the product.

My copy of Antoine’s cookbook does not include the recipe; to this day, it is still top secret.

Passports Restaurant ©Kim Smith 2015

The sesame encrusted diver scallops with jasmine rice was definitely an entree I’m inspired to try making at home.

The Joey C and Izzy Love Fest Continues

Where Joey survives yet another attack from Paul Frontiero’s vicious (read adorable) Izzy.

Our dog loving Joey survives another vicious attack from Izzy.

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Joey Ciaramitaro Nicole Bogin, Donna, James -2 ©Kim Smith 2015James, Joey, Nicole, and Donna podcasting from the Cape Ann Farmer’s Market Stage Fort Park Visitor’s Center ~ note zit removed.

 

GOOD MORNING IN THE GARDEN!

Two pollinator attracting beauties for your garden, bougainvillea and native spiraea, or meadowsweet (Spiraea latifolia). We keep our bougainvillea’s in the basement during the colder months and bring them outdoors after all danger of frost has passed. Both swallowtails and Ruby-throated hummingbirds nectar from the blossoms. Our native meadowsweet is a fantastic shrub for creating wildlife habitats. Not only does it attract a bevy of pollinators, it is also a food plant for the beautiful Blue Azure Butterfly caterpillars.

Bougainvillea for Swallowtails and hummers!

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Bougainvillea and Canadian Tiger Swallowtail

Meadowsweet (Spiraea latifolia)

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