Author Archives: Kim Smith

Brilliant Sunrise Twin Lights from Good Harbor Beach

Electric Light Orchestra!

Twin Lights from Good Harbor Beach Sunrise ©Kim Smith 2015

Twin Lights from Good Harbor Beach Sunrise -2 ©Kim Smith 2015Twin Lights from Good Harbor Beach Sunrise 3 ©Kim Smith 2015Friend me on Facebook and follow me on TwitterInstagram, and Vine. You can also subscribe to my design website at Kim Smith Designs, and film’s websites at Beauty on the Wing ~ Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly, Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Community Film Project, and Life Story of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly.




Tulip Garden Mary Prentiss Inn Cambridge ©Kim Smith 2015The Mary Prentiss Inn was named Yankee Magazine’s Best Inn, Greater Boston Area, and deservedly so!

As many of our readers have come to know from photos I’ve posted here, the beautiful family-owned and operated Inn is one of my landscape design projects.

Tulip Garden Mary Prentiss Inn Cambridge -6 ©Kim Smith 2015

Jennifer Fandetti, the Inn’s proprietor, and daughter-in-law of Cambridge artist Charlotte Forsythe and architect Gerald Fandetti, maintains The Mary Prentiss to the highest standards. The welcoming hospitality, combined with the gracious decor of the meticulously restored Greek Revival manor, along with their famously delicious breakfasts and afternoon tea, will make your stay truly memorable. During warmer months guests are invited to dine and relax in the exquisite secret garden.

Centrally located in the heart of Cambridge, and appointed with every modern amenity, when planning a trip to the Greater Boston/Cambridge area I highly recommend a stay at The Mary Prentiss Inn!

Tulip Garden Mary Prentiss Inn Cambridge -4 ©Kim Smith 2015

In autumn I mix a special custom collection of spring flowering bulbs for my clients, based on their preferences and the architectural features unique to their business or residence. The colors of the tulips in this year’s collection for The Mary Prentiss Inn are simply scintillating and especially beautiful juxtaposed against the warm creamy yellow tones of the exterior paint, emerald green of the boxwoods, and forest green of the hollies. You have to be very cautious in managing the colors though because a symphony can easily become a cacophony!

Tulip Garden Mary Prentiss Inn Cambridge -5©Kim Smith 2015

Tulip Garden Mary Prentiss Inn Cambridge -3 ©Kim Smith 2015

The orange parrot tulip in the above photo is a very old cultivar. Unlike the vast majority of tulips today, which are mostly scentless, this has a dreamy fragrance of citrus and honeysuckle.

Tulip Garden Mary Prentiss Inn Cambridge -7 ©Kim Smith 2015

For more information visit The Mary Prentiss Inn Facebok Page here and website here.



Thank you Erich Archer, Lisa Smith, Becky Tober, and Henry Cooper for the Informative Camera Program at #Cape AnnTV!

Mass Audubon Recommends: Don’t Feed Ducks and Geese

Female Mallard Duck Niles Pond ©Kim Smith 2013

Female Mallard Duck

From the Mass Audubon website:

Don’t Feed the Ducks

Giving food to ducks and geese (waterfowl) can create many problems for birds and the environment, and both Mass Audubon and the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MDFW) discourage it. The notion that waterfowl cannot survive without human intervention is false. Ducks and geese have survived for thousands of years without handouts and will continue to do so if left alone.

In 1973, H.W. Heusmann, a waterfowl biologist with the MDFW, conducted a study at six parks in Massachusetts between mid-August and mid-September. The data gathered during the 28-day period showed that 38,500 people fed 7,800 pounds of food to ducks, which roughly translates to 6,550 loaves of bread. Besides bread, the birds consumed crackers, donuts, pastry, popcorn, potato chips, pretzels, cookies, cereal, peanuts, and lettuce—a diet most people wouldn’t allow their children or pets to eat on a daily basis!

Why Shouldn’t You Feed Them?

  • Feeding attracts large concentrations of waterfowl to areas that can’t naturally support such numbers. Left on their own, ducks and geese will occupy areas that provide sufficient natural food. As they deplete food in one location, they fly to new feeding areas, often miles away. Mallards in Boston and the surrounding suburbs will readily relocate as far as Cape Cod to find open water and food.
  • Artificial feeding encourages unnaturally large flocks to gather in one place where the competition for food can cause unnecessary stress.  This may weaken the birds and make them more susceptible to disease.  Also, birds crowded into these areas are defecating in the same location where they’re feeding.
  • Alternatively, artificial feeding may allow frail birds to survive, reproduce, and diminish the species as a whole. (Mortality is normally high in bird populations; it’s a natural mechanism, important in maintaining populations that the environment can support.)
  • Feeding may encourage species of waterfowl not normally found in the area to concentrate. This can lead to an increased incidence of hybridization, which can eventually weaken the gene pool in certain species. This is a rising problem in Mallard and black duck populations in Massachusetts.
  • Deposits of fecal matter can affect water quality and compromise human health. Children can also come into contact with droppings left on the surrounding landscape. Also, birds crowded into these areas are often defecating in the same location where they’re feeding.

Winter Survivors

Ducks and geese are well suited to survive New England winters. Their feathers provide air pockets that stabilize body temperature and control heat loss. When birds fluff their feathers, they are merely increasing the air space and insulation. Waterfowl sitting with puffed feathers on a frozen pond are perfectly fine and do not need our help.

Birds and the Law

All birds are protected by federal laws under the “Migratory Bird Act of 1918,” as well as by Massachusetts state laws. Learn more about birds and the law.


For more information on Motif No.1 Day and the Red Shed Film Festival see Sarah Kelly’s post from earlier today: Motif NO.1 Day is Gonna Be Amazing

Films are listed in the order of showtimes:

Calling All Chefs, Nubar Alexanian, Walker Creek Media

Vincent in the Present, Henry Ferrini

A Flight of Monarchs, Kim Smith

Hugh Verrier: Portrait of an Artist, Ben Gadberry

Toby MacNutt: Body of Work, Ashley DeLucco & Elizabeth Rossano, Vermont Community Access Media

Candles in Paradise, Rob Azevedo

That Asian, Akiyo Nishiyima

Stillwater, Jon Halverson

Whiskey Boys, Justin Plasse, Sensorium Pictures

Monsura is Waiting, Kevin Newbury & Matthew Principe, Principe Dynamics

Here And Now, Julian Higgins, Innerlight Films and Cinelicious

The Waiting Room, Jaret Sears

Sailing & Art, Christine Schmitthenner

Greenheads, Gordon Baird

Bless It, Michael Kelly, Trust The Vibe

The Granite Stoke, Ryan Scura & Dylan Ladds

Life by Lobster, Iain McCray Martin

This Perfect Place, Paul Van Ness and Kristina Lindborg

The Red Shed Film Festival is part of the Motif No. 1 Day Rockport Arts Festival. Screenings will be held at the Peggy Brenner Room, Rockport Public Library, at 17 School Street.

The Brenner Room is on the second floor; take the main staircase and turn left at the top, take another left at the end of the hall and you’re there.
For the documentary shorts, there will be audience voting for the favorite first, second, and third places.


Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team Update

Rick Roth writes ~

Your 2015 Special Edition, 25th Anniversary Issue of the CAVPT Newsletter is speeding toward your domiciles as I type this.  Thanks to Colleen Anderson, Nick Taormina, Tracy Bowen and the Fabulous Bevins Family. If you want to recieve a copy of your very own, make sure we have your snail mail address, which you can inform us of by responding to this email.

We’ve been doing some more swamping with Nick Taormina and MERHS Green Team Scholar Ben Alger.  More vernal pool surveys. Starting next week we’ll be setting some turtle traps on Essex County Greenbelt property, hoping to find Massachusetts Threatened Blanding’s turtles.  If we have a population on Cape Ann, we certainly want to know about it, so we can make sure the habitat remains Blanding’s-friendly.

Thursday  May 14, 2015  4-5pm
Meet a live kestrel at the Get Outside Center at Brown’s Mall on Main St. in Gloucester.

And, the same day, 5-7:30pm Spring Fling- Kestrel Educational Adventures Fundraiser
at Latitue 43 on Rogers Street in Gloucester.  Complimentary appetizers, cash bar, raffle and live music.
Tickets available for $15 at

On Friday, May 15, 2015
Visiting Scientist Day at O’Maley School
Sam Bevins and I will be among several scientists to visit the school.

Wednesday  May 20, 2015  8-11am
Saltonstall School (in Salem MA) Sustainability Fair
I’ll be there with native New England snakes.  Anybody want to volunteer for this one?

And… don’t forget:
Big Giant Benefit Yard Sale for the Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team and Kestrel Educational Adventures
Saturday  May 23 (Rain date May 30)
Behind St. Peter’s Parking Lot, Commercial Street, Gloucester
This is how it works-  You gety to clean up your house, basement, kid’s room, neighbors’ yard, etc… and bring the stuff to us on the morning of the sale between 7:00 and 9:00 am.  Have something too big to bring us?  Give a call and we may be able to pick it up.  Please, no TVs, computers, mattresses or junk.  Rick 978 281 3480.
We will need lots of volunteers to help set up, sell stuff, break down and clean up.


Dance of the Sea Smoke from Lisa Smith

Hi Kim,

After I saw you, I ran to the station and got the DSLR to shoot the fog on the harbor. I had to chase it, as the fog was moving- it just wouldn’t wait for me!
Here is a time-lapse I shot from Niles Beach, looking over towards Magnolia. I sped 6 minutes of video up to 18 seconds, and the fog looked like it was dancing. Thus the name: “Dance of the Sea Smoke”.
National Geographic describes this phenomena as advection fog:
Advection fog forms when warm, moist air passes over a cool surface. This process is called advection, a scientific name describing the movement of fluid. In the atmosphere, the fluid is wind. When the moist, warm air makes contact with the cooler surface air, water vapor condenses to create fog. Advection fog shows up mostly in places where warm, tropical air meets cooler ocean water.

Please, Please, Please Don’t Feed Our Beautiful Wild Creatures Crappy Junk Food

Mute Swan Cygnus olor ©Kim Smith 2015

Mute Swan

Early Sunday morning was spent filming along the water’s edge. It was a gorgeous scene and I observed dozens of different species of wildlife foraging for seaweed, seagrass, seed heads, and sundry other native plants and grasses.

I left for a moment to go back to my car to change a camera lens and when I returned, there was an old woman throwing crackers at the ducks and the shoreline was littered with the unmistakeable bright orange of CHEETOS. Seriously??? First denying she had dumped the Cheetos, she stared mutely when I suggested that it is really not a good idea to feed our beautiful water birds junk food. Wildlife face challenges enough adapting to climate change and habitat destruction; it’s just plain common sense not to feed them garbage. She had her dog with her and I wanted to ask if she fed her dog junk food, too.

Cheetos ©Kim Smith 20153

A bounty of food for wildlife, at this time of year especially, grows naturally along the shores, marshes, and meadows of Cape Ann. If you are interested in feeding a particular avian species, find out what is safe and healthy. For example, the best food for ducks such as mallards are those that provide nutrients, minerals, and vitamins and they include cracked corn, wheat or similar whole grains, chopped lettuce, spinach, and mealworms. The absolute worst and most unhealthy are bread, chips, crackers, popcorn, and it should go without saying, Cheetos.




The Red Shed Film Festival is part of the Motif No. 1 Day Rockport Arts Festival. Screenings will take place at:

Peggy Brenner Room
Rockport Public Library
17 School Street
Rockport, MA 01966
The Brenner Room is on the second floor; take the main staircase and turn left at the top, take another left at the end of the hall and you’re there.
For the documentary shorts, there will be audience voting for the favorite first, second, and third places.


Cape Ann TV Lunch and Learn

Cape Ann TV Announces It’s Next

Lunch & Learn Event

“Choosing the Video Camera That’s Right for YOU!”

Presentation by: Barry Dennis Jr., Professional Video Sales Consultant

(Gloucester, MA) – Cape Ann TV (, a regional non-profit local access television station that serves all of Cape Ann, is pleased to announce the next learning experience in the popular “Lunch & Learn” series:“Choosing the Video Camera That’s Right for YOU! to be held on May 13th, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. at Cape Ann TV (38 Blackburn Center, Gloucester MA 01930)

Forget about what you read online or what your brother’s friend who is a filmmaker told you. Find out the REAL DEAL about cameras on the market.

Learn the differences between shooting video with a DSLR, consumer camcorder, professional camcorder, cine camera, mirrorless or compact system camera, and even cell phone cameras. 
You will learn about sensor sizes, 4K vs. HD, lens options, frame rates, camera construction and hear about brands like Canon, Sony, Blackmagic, GoPro, Panasonic and more. Audio for video recording will also be discussed.

This is not a camera class, it’s more informational for the person trying to make sense of the world of videography.

You will learn about these cameras: Panasonic X920, HC-X1000, GH4, Sony A7s, FS7, PXW-X70, Canon C100, XF205, T6S, GoPro hero4, Blackmagic camera, a DJI Inspire 1 Drone w/ 4K camera, and Shogun recorder. Additionally Barry Dennis will discuss the capabilities of Rokinon lenses and a variety of wireless microphones.


Seating is limited for this event. Please to reserve your seat. 

Wally’s Blackburn Bistro is catering this event.

Cape Ann TV is a non-profit, membership-based organization dedicated to producing community and institutional programming, and to providing a forum for the free exchange of information and ideas which reflects the talents, skills, interests, concerns and diversity of the Cape Ann Community. CATV serves the City of Gloucester and the Towns of Essex, Manchester-by-The-Sea and Rockport, MA.


Congratulations Hannah Kimberley, Cape Ann League of Women Voter’s Newly Elected President!

Hannah Kimberley, Joan Kimberley, Christy Park ©Kim Smith 2015

Christy Park, Joan Kimberley, and Hannah Kimberley

This morning election of officers for the Cape Ann League of Women Voters took place at their annual meeting, held at the Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center. The 2015-2016 officers are as follows: Hannah Kimberly, president; Joan Kimberley, vice-president; Kathryn Lorden, secretary; and June Michaels is the treasurer.

I had the pleasure, along with Essex County beekeeper Kati Vandi, to present programs to the League on how to help the pollinators in our own backyards. Kati is a certified beekeeper and teaches classes to both children and adults at Mass Audubon. She gave a great talk about the significance of bees to our ecosystem and the importance of not using pesticides and herbicides. Kati highly recommends both books she is holding up in the photos. The program was organized by Kathy Lorden and Hannah Kimberley.Kati Vandi ©Kim Smith 2015

Kati Vandi

At today’s meeting, the League voted to conduct an ambitious study on ocean rise, including researching such topics as FEMA insurance rules, FEMA storm maps, locating vulnerable Cape Ann public and private infrastructure, and learning more about what is being done in other communities and states.

To learn more about the Cape Ann chapter of the League of Women Voters, visit their website here.

Greg Bover Quote of the Week

“If a problem has no solution, it may not be a problem, but a fact – not to be solved, but to be coped with over time.”

Shimon Peres (1923- )

Born in Poland, Peres’s family moved to Palestine in 1934. Raised on a kibbutz, he entered politics through an agriculturalist party and with his mentor David Ben-Gurion was one of the people who created the state of Israel in the 40’s. By 1952, at the age of 29, he was Director-General of the Ministry of Defense, the youngest person to hold that post. Elected to the Knesset in 1959, he spent the rest of his life in the Israeli government as, sequentially, Minister of Defense, Transportation, Finance, Foreign Affairs and Prime Minister. He was instrumental in the Oslo Peace Accords with the PLO, for which he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994. He served as the 9th President of Israel from 2007 to 2014, the oldest serving head of state. Barack Obama recognized him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.

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