Spectacular day, spectacular turnout, and spectacularly positive Boston women’s march. Tons of men participated, too, and the event was a true rainbow coalition. Wonderful to see so many friends from Cape Ann! We arrived extra early because of the train schedule, which allowed us to be super close to the stage. The crowds just grew and grew and grew throughout the day. Lots and lots of photos to share, too many to look through tonight after a long day “marching.” Quotes around marching because the turnout was so tremendous that there was marching foot-traffic-gridlock throughout the city. Estimates have participants numbering somewhere around 125,000. EVERYONE was calm and patient and thoughtful. I think the most wonderful part was seeing so many young people at the march. So proud to be an American ❤
Chef Eric’s Spanish inspired menu was beyond delicious and Nick Defasio from M.S. Walker selected some pretty amazing wines to go with. I highly recommend trying both of these outstanding wines and am planning to look for them at our local shops–a lovely white, the Burga’ns, Albarino, that Eric paired with a haddock entree; and a rich chocolatey red, the Casa Castilo, Monastrell, accompanying beautiful smoked paprika pork with grilled vegetables.
Passports wine dinners are typically in the $40.00 to 45.00 dollar range and I simply don’t know how they can afford to do that, truly an exceptional value The four course dinners are wonderfully inventive, the portions generous, and the wines, top of the line. Every third Thursday of the month – GO!
Our Lady of Good Voyage was designed to resemble the Church of Santa Maria Magdalena on the island of Pico in the Azores. The west tower houses one of the oldest collections of carillon bells in the nation. The community is treated to a concert of the bells of Good Voyage on Tuesday evenings during the warmer months.
“Originally dedicated in 1893, Our Lady of Good Voyage was built for the Portuguese community in Gloucester, after they petitioned the Roman Catholic Church for the establishment of a place to worship dedicated to the Madonna. Large numbers of Portuguese immigrants migrated from the rugged Azores Islands and began settling around Gloucester’s Inner Harbor as early as 1829 to work in the city’s active fishing industry. By 1888, approximately 200 Portuguese families lived in Gloucester making it the largest Portuguese colony on the East Coast. According to the story of Our Lady of Good Voyage, a stranded fisherman in the rough Atlantic Ocean broke one of his oars and could not return to his homeport. He sought help from the Madonna and the sea miraculously calmed allowing him to reach port safely.”
Church of Santa Maria Magdalena, Madalena, Pico Island, Azores, Portugal
Church of Santa Maria Magdalena photo courtesy Google image search.
COYOTE FORUM SCHEDULED FOR FEBRUARY 2nd FROM 7 TO 9PM
Our city continues to discuss coyote conflicts with state partners, including Mass Environmental Police, Mass Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, and the Governor’s office, with direct conversations with the Lieutenant Governor. In addition to the on-going research by ad-hoc groups, our newly formed Animal Advisory Board will provide new insights (we need new members on this board, so please consider applying). Lastly, we are setting up a meeting tentative for Thursday, Feb 2nd from 7PM to 9PM at City Hall to host another informal coyote forum with information from state environmental partners, animal control, and time for questions and answers, too. We will continue to press our state leaders for safe and swift solutions and additional police and animal patrols remain on alert across Gloucester. Please see the link from Mass.gov on helpful tips and resolving conflicts (which includes law stating, “Coyotes taking pets are not considered an immediate threat to human safety, therefore ACO’s and municipal police departments are not authorized to remove these wild animals.”) We will provide more updates as they develop. Thank you.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 20 3pm
Gloucester Stage Company invites all to a free watch party of the extraordinary Concert For America at 3pm on Friday, January 20 at GSC, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester. Gloucester Stage will live stream this star studded benefit concert highlighting the diversity and hope that is America at its best from Town Hall in NYC. Some of Broadway’s biggest stars are slated to perform including Chita Rivera, Kelli O’Hara, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Betty Buckley, Jessie Mueller Billy Porter, Sharon Gless, Andrea Martin, Bebe Neuwirth, Rosie O’Donnell, Rosie Perez, Lillias White, Judy Gold, Caroline Rhea, Stephanie Mills and Charles Busch. Any donations made that day will be evenly spilt among these organizations: Planned Parenthood, NAACP, Sierra Club Foundation, Southern Poverty Law Center and National Immigration Law Center. The Concert For America starts at 3pm on the big screen at GSC on January 20. Admission is free. Call 978-281-4433 for more information.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 28 7:30 PM
HUMOR FOR HUMANITY
Humor for Humanity is a new social enterprise founded by comedian Jimmy Tingle that aspires to use entertainment for purposes beyond entertainment! According to Tingle, “Our mission is to help raise spirits, funds and awareness for non-profits, charities and social causes through social media, traditional media and live events. Our Mission is Their Mission. Humor for Humanity; Humor and Helping; Humor and Healing; Humor and Hope; HaH! HaH! HaH!” From 60 Minutes II and MSNBC, comedian and commentator Jimmy Tingle captures the sweet spot between Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. His unique brand of topical yet timeless comedy is as insightful as it is hilarious. Jimmy Tingle will make you laugh, make you think, and make you feel better with his clean, funny intelligent humor for audiences of all ages. Jimmy Tingle’s Humor For Humanity is Saturday, January 28 at 7:30 pm at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester , MA> All tickets are $25, general admission. For tickets and further information about Humor For Humanity, visit www.gloucesterstage.com or call 978-281-4433
Winter 2017 Session Accepting Students
Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshop is now accepting students ages 5-18 for the 2017 Winter Session of professional arts instruction beginning on Friday, February 3 for Children 5-9 years old and beginning on Saturday, February 4 for Teens 10-18 years old. The Youth Acting Workshop Winter 2017 Session features expanded instruction time of four class hours per week, lower tuition for all students and scholarship opportunities. Students will receive instruction in acting, directing, play writing, producing, improvisation, creating characters and the world of the play and costume design during the six week session. Acting teacher, director and award winning actress Gloucester native Heidi Dallin will be joined by guest instructors : costume designer Lara Jardullo, the Costume Designer of the YAW’s annual production of Holiday Delights, to teach Costume Design; and Tufts graduate Danvers native Sarah Vandewalle to teach Vocal Production and How to Make A Play! Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshops are designed to provide young people an outlet to nurture their creative potential through developing self-confidence, communication and teamwork skills to use in their daily life as well as introducing them to the skills necessary for professional theater. Registration is open for the Winter 2017 Session. Class size is limited and registration is on a first come basis. For further information and to register, call 978-283-6688.
Pictured: Youth Acting Workshop students in class
photo credit: Gary Ng
Two other great projects went last night: repairing headstones at Clark cemetery and composting at Veterans. Be on the lookout for them.
Talk of “coywolves” – a blend of coyote and wolf – is everywhere. There is a PBS special called “Meet the Coywolf,” a recent article in the Economist, and it is now trending on Facebook. The media really love this new animal name.
There is no doubt that there is a hybrid canid living in the eastern US, and that it is the result of an amazing evolution story unfolding right underneath our noses.
However, this is not a new species – at least not yet – and I don’t think we should start calling it a “coywolf.”
What creature are we talking about? In the last century, a predator – I prefer the name “eastern coyote” – has colonized the forests of eastern North America, from Florida to Labrador.
New genetic tests show that all eastern coyotes are actually a mix of three species: coyote, wolf and dog. The percentages vary, dependent upon exactly which test is applied and the geographic location of the canine.
Coyotes in the Northeast are mostly (60%-84%) coyote, with lesser amounts of wolf (8%-25%) and dog (8%-11%). Start moving south or east and this mixture slowly changes. Virginia animals average more dog than wolf (85%:2%:13% coyote:wolf:dog) while coyotes from the Deep South had just a dash of wolf and dog genes mixed in (91%:4%:5% coyote:wolf:dog). Tests show that there are no animals that are just coyote and wolf (that is, a coywolf), and some eastern coyotes that have almost no wolf at all.
In other words, there is no single new genetic entity that should be considered a unique species. Instead, we are finding a large intermixing population of coyotes across the continent, with a smattering of noncoyote DNA mixed in to varying degrees along the eastern edge. The coywolf is not a thing.
All eastern coyotes show some evidence of past hybridization, but there is no sign that they are still actively mating with dogs or wolves. The coyote, wolf and dog are three separate species that would very much prefer not to breed with each other. However, biologically speaking, they are similar enough that interbreeding is possible.
This genetic swapping has happened more than once in their history; one study showed that the gene for black coat color found in North American wolves and coyotes today (but not in Old World wolves) originated in dogs brought to the continent by the earliest Native Americans. Some prehistoric hybridization event transferred the dog gene into wild wolves and coyotes.
The eastern coyote is born
We can estimate the date of the most recent hybridization events that created eastern coyotes by analyzing their genetic structure. Their DNA show that about 100 years ago, coyotes mated with wolves, and about 50 years ago with dogs. A century ago, wolf populations in the Great Lakes were at their nadir, living at such low density that some reproductive animals probably couldn’t find another wolf mate, and had to settle with a coyote.
The more recent date for the dog hybridization likely results from a cross-species breeding event at the very leading edge of the wave of colonizing coyotes in the east, possibly after a few females first spanned the St Lawrence seaway into upstate New York, where they would have encountered abundant feral dogs, but no other coyotes.
Nowadays, eastern coyotes have no problem finding a coyote mate. Their populations continue to grow throughout their new forested range, and they seem more likely to kill a dog than breed with it. Wolf populations in the Great Lakes have also recovered, and the wolf is once again the worst enemy of the coyote, rather than its last-chance prom date.
Coyotes have also expanded north into Alaska, although there is no sign of hybridization in that range extension. In Central America, they have expanded out of Mexico’s deserts, working their way south past the Panama Canal in the last decade, apparently bound for South America.
No genetic studies have looked at Central American coyotes, but photographs of doglike animals suggest that coyotes might be mixing it up across species lines along the leading edge of this southward expansion as well.
Hybridization across species is a natural evolutionary phenomenon. The old notion that an inability to breed should define what a species is has been abandoned by zoologists (with a resounding “I told you so” from botanists). Even modern humans are hybrids, with traces of Neanderthal and Denisovan genes mixed into our genome.
The first requirement for evolution is variation, and mixing genes from two species creates all sorts of new variations for evolution to act on. Most of these probably die, being a compromise between two longstanding species that were already well-adapted to their own niches.
However, in today’s rapidly changing world, new variations might actually do better than the old types. Some of these genetic mixes will survive better than others – this is natural selection.
The coyote with a bit of wolf genes to make it slightly larger was probably better able to handle deer, which are overabundant in eastern forests, but still wily enough to live in a landscape full of people. These animals thrived, dispersed east and thrived again, becoming the eastern coyote.
Exactly which dog and wolf genes are surviving natural selection in today’s eastern coyote is an area of active research.
Coyotes with odd coat colors or hair types are probably the most conspicuous sign of dog genes in action, while their slightly larger size might come from wolf genes. Some of these genes will help an animal survive and breed; others will make them less fit. Natural selection is still sorting this out, and we are witnessing the evolution of a new type of coyote right under our noses, one that is very good at living there.
Western coyotes adapt locally to their environments, with limited gene flow between populations (called “ecotypes”) living in different habitats, presumably reflecting local specialization.
Will eastern coyotes specialize locally as well? How will dog and wolf genes sort out across cities and wildernesses of the east?
Expect some really cool science in the next few years as researchers use modern genetic tools to sniff out the details of this story.
Evolution still in progress
There are many examples of bad animal names that cause a lot of confusion.
The fisher is a large type of weasel that does not eat fish (it prefers porcupines). The mountain beaver of the Pacific Northwest is not a beaver and does not live in the mountains. And then there’s the sperm whale…
We don’t get many opportunities to name new animals in the 21st century. We shouldn’t let the media mess up this one by declaring it a new species called the coywolf. Yes, there are wolf genes in some populations, but there are also eastern coyotes with almost no wolf genes, and others that have as much dog mixed in as they do wolf. “Coywolf” is an inaccurate name that causes confusion.
The coyote has not evolved into a new species over the last century. Hybridization and expansion have created a host of new coyote variations in the east, and evolution is still sorting these out. Gene flow continues in all directions, keeping things mixed up, and leading to continual variation over their range, with no discrete boundaries.
Could evolution eventually lead to a coyote so specialized for eastern forests that they would be considered a unique species? Yes, but for this to happen, they would have to cut off gene flow with nonhybrid animals, leading to distinct types of coyotes that (almost) never interbreed. I think we are a long way from this possibility.
For now, we have the eastern coyote, an exciting new type of coyote in the midst of an amazing evolutionary transition. Call it a distinct “subspecies,” call it an “ecomorph,” or call it by its scientific name Canis latrans var. But don’t call it a new species, and please, don’t call it the coywolf.
Roland Kays does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.
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Following images and video courtesy google image search
Garbage, bird seed, and fallen fruit attract coyotes to your backyard.
Many readers have written requesting a copy of Renata Greene’s beautiful heart quilt pattern. You can purchase a copy of her pattern by either emailing Renata at email@example.com or contacting the Auburn Fabric Outlet at (508) 832-0330 where you can use a credit card to purchase the pattern. Thanks so much to Renata for providing the information to our readers.
Editor’s note: Please keep comments civil. Thank you.
AS reported in thelocalnews.ws
Sumac Lane, Rocky Neck
GLOUCESTER — The mayor and police chief are advising residents to keep a careful watch on all pets after a resident’s dog was killed by a coyote last night.
Two women who tried to save the dog were forced to hide in a car after the coyote turned on them.
Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and Interim Chief John McCarthy issued the advice after the dog was attacked last night (January 15).
At around 9:30 p.m., “Gloucester Animal Control responded to Sumac Lane for reports of a resident whose dog had been attacked and killed by a coyote,” a police statement said.
“The dog was on a fixed leash in the yard while its owner was inside the home. Animal control officers searched the surrounding area but did not find the coyote,” it added.
Rocky Neck resident Mark Olsen told WBZ TV the dog, a poodle, belonged to his 75-year-old mother.
The dog was out for about five minutes when the coyote attacked, he told reporters.
Olsen said his mother and sister “tried to save the dog, but they had to hide in their car when the coyote came after them,” WBZ said.
As a result, animal control officers and Gloucester Environmental Police are monitoring the entire Rocky Neck area today.
City officials said the coyote population has been increasing on Cape Ann recently. Olsen agreed, saying he had seen three or four recently. He also said they are becoming “more brazen.”
The Boston Globe reported last year that 250 residents attended a meeting last year to voice concern about the increasing coyote population.
In October 2015, a woman drinking coffee on her front porch was attacked by a coyote, according to Good Morning Gloucester.
To prevent coyote attacks, Gloucester Police advise residents to follow safety tips from the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife:
- Do not approach, feed, pet, or try to interact with wildlife, including coyotes, foxes, or other wild animals.
- It is always a good idea to leash pets at all times if outdoors. Small cats and dogs are seen as prey and larger dogs competition.
- Don’t hesitate to scare or threaten coyotes with loud noises, bright lights, or water sprayed from a hose.
- Cut back bushy edges, as these areas provide cover for coyotes and their prey.
- Secure your garbage. Coyotes raid open trash materials and compost piles. Secure your garbage in tough plastic containers with tight-fitting lids and keep them in secure buildings when possible.
- Take out trash when the morning pick-up is scheduled, not the previous night.
- Keep compost in secure, vented containers, and keep barbecue grills clean to reduce attractive odors.
- Keep bird feeder areas clean. Use feeders designed to keep seed off the ground, as the seed attracts many small mammals coyotes prey upon.
- Remove feeders if coyotes are regularly seen around your yard.
More information regarding the city’s increasing coyote population will be released on the City of Gloucester website this week.
A DAY FOR DOING, NOT A DAY OFF -Stevie Wonder’s Vital Role in the Campaign to Declare MLK Day a National Holiday
Dream and Hope go hand in hand
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is,
“What are you doing for others?” -Martin Luther King Jr.
These aquamarine-eyed beauties were very nearly made extinct from the use of the pesticide DDT and from hunting. DDT wreaked havoc on avian creatures nationwide and since its ban, the Double-crested Cormorant has made an extraordinary recovery, so much so, that some communities spend a great deal of time and expense planning how to kill, or cull, these remarkable birds. Read here for a very thoughtful article on the topic, “To Kill a Cormorant.”
The Double-crested Cormorant get its common name from the double tufts of feathers seen on both male and females, showing only during breeding season. The crests can be white, black, or a combination of both. Photo courtesy wiki.
Cape Ann TV Lunch & Learn Series: “Deep Diving Into Your Camera’s Menu”
Cape Ann TV’s Lunch & Learn Series continues on Thursday January 19, 2016
at 12pm with Professional Video Producer, Ted Reed.
Now that the holidays are behind us, it’s time to start on that New Year’s
resolution to do more video! In support of that, our next Lunch and Learn
at Cape Ann TV will concentrate on getting the most out of your video
camera with something you already have—its menu of controls.
Even the most basic camcorders have ways of adjusting exposure, focus and
color manually, so whether you just got a new camera, or want to find out
more about one you’ve had for a while, bring it in at noontime on Thursday
January 19 to Cape Ann TV’s latest Lunch and Learn workshop. Emmy
award-winning director Ted Reed will answer your questions and give you a
head start at shooting the videos you’ve always wanted to make.
Promo Video Here: https://youtu.be/ZAxPPcwuNXY
Space is limited for this event; please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to
reserve your spot.
Mayor Sefatia write’s, “BIG shout out to Anthony Caturano and Tonno staff for the December ‘Sauce Cookoff: Gravy vs. Sugo’ charity event. We proudly raised $10,000.00 for local cancer patients and supporting services. Today, we delivered a check for $7,500.00 to Addison Gilbert Hospital Oncology, which will directly support their patients. The other $2,500.00 was previously given to different families in time for the Holidays.❤️
EARLY MORNING SCENES FROM BEAUTIFUL ROCKPORT HARBOR, GRANITE PIER, MR. SWAN AND DUCK ENTOURAGE, PAIR OF JUVENILE DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS, FV WINDY, AND OF COURSE, MOTIF NO.1
Photos from an early morning walk all around Rockport Harbor (sub0zero walk I should add). My technique for photographing when it’s 10 degrees out is to snap away until my fingers can’t stand it any more, run back to the car, which has been left running, warm up, and then try again. Repeat in ten to fifteen minute intervals. I have the utmost respect for the fishermen; I don’t understand how they can work on the water when the air temperature is so cold.
While out for an early evening walk with our pooch tonight I was unexpectedly delighted to catch the full Wolf Moon rising over the back shore. I wonder whose house that is on Niles and if they knew the moon was rising so picture perfect above their home.Brace Cove Harbor Seals lolling about under the moonlight on this unseasonably warm evening