Author Archives: Kim Smith

GOOD HARBOR BEACH DAZZLING DAYBREAK

Good Harbor beach sunrise August 17, 2016 -1 copyright Kim SmithBedazzled by a single morning’s sunrise–every shade all at once–from hues of rose-violet-blue giving way to fiery bands of red-yellow-orange. I can’t decide which I like best, you choose 🙂

 

 

Award Winning Actress DOSSY PEABODY, Granddaughter of PAT THE BUNNY Author Joins Playtime Stories Company at the Gloucester Stage Co. Saturday

pat the bunnyPLAYTIME STORIES WELCOMES ACCLAIMED GSC ACTRESS AS

GUEST NARRATOR 

SATURDAY, August 20 10 AM

Guest Narrator  Dossy Peabody Performs with YAW Actors

Her Grandmother Dorothy Kunhardt’s  Best Selling Books:

Pat the Bunny and Junket is Nice

And

Robert McCloskey’s

Make Way For Ducklings

AT GLOUCESTER STAGE COMPANY

Live Theater Performances and Activities for GSC’s Youngest Audience Members Age 2 and Older
Dossy_Peabody_PhotoBy_David_Costa

Gloucester Stage Company proudly continues Playtime Stories, an engaging combination of children’s stories, live performances and activities for ages 2 and older, on Saturday, August 20 at 10 am with Guest Narrator Award winning actress Dossy Peabody joining the Playtime Stories company to narrate her grandmother Dorothy Kunhardt’s classics Pat The Bunny and Junket Is Nice; and the New England favorite, Robert McCloskey’s Make Way for Ducklings at Gloucester Stage, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester. The Playtime Stories offers young children the unique opportunity to experience the fun and magic of live theater as they watch their favorite books come to life onstage. Following the performance audience members will be invited to join the Playtime Stories Company in fun and interactive workshops relating to the story. Each Saturday the Playtime Stories Company, consisting of members of Gloucester Stage’s apprentice company, veteran Youth Acting Workshop students and special guest narrators  perform a children’s story against the backdrop of the story’s illustrations as well as create a dynamic weekly series of interactive events related to the story.

A North Shore native and Salem resident, Dossy Peabody is thrilled to join the Playtime Stories company  on August 20 to read her Grandmother Dorothy Kunhardt’s classic children’s books. Dossy Peabody was recognized in 1990 by the Boston Theater Critics’ Association with the very first Elliot Norton Outstanding Acting Award. At GSC she has created some of Israel Horovitz’s most memorable characters in his most successful plays including the Gloucester play, Park Your Car in Harvard Yard, and the Wakefield set, The Widow’s Blind Date . She has also appeared in many feature films including Mermaids, The Crucible and Amistad.

Dossy Peabody’s Grandmother Dorothy Kunhardt was the author of over 50 children’s book, including the legendary interactive book and one of the best selling children’s books of all time, Pat the Bunny which has sold over 6 million copies. She was also a historian, writing several books about 19th century America, including a well-known account of the aftermath of Lincoln’s assassination, Twenty Days. Ms. Kunhardt was the subject of the recent HBO Documentary. Living With Lincoln.

Each week Playtime Stories explores different stories ranging from classic fairy tales to new stories to works by local authors. Upcoming performances include: August 20: Guest Narrator award winning actress Dossy Peabody reads Make Way For Ducklings; Pat the Bunny and Junket Is Nice; August 27: Corduroy and Lily’s Plastic Purse. All Playtime Storyperformances are held at 10 am at Gloucester Stage, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. Admission is $5. Advance reservations available. For more information, call the Gloucester Stage Box Office at 978-281-4433 or visit www.gloucesterstage.comJunket is Nice

Make Way for Ducklings cover

CATA STUDENT BUS PASSES For 2016-2017 SCHOOL YEAR ON SALE AT GLOUCESTER HIGH SCHOOL STARTING WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 24

CATA Student Bus Passes are scheduled to be sold in the Gloucester High  School Atrium on Wednesday, August 24, Thursday, August 25 and Friday, August 26 from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.; Tuesday, August 30  from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Wednesday, August 31 and Thursday, September 1 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the Gloucester High School Atrium. Student Passes will not be available for purchase at the CATA office until after September 5.

The Pass Plus, Unlimited Semester (Fall or Spring) Pass and Unlimited Annual Pass will be on sale. Students passes are not valid for Danvers or Peabody malls. The Unlimited Semester (Fall or Spring) Pass and Unlimited Annual Pass are photo IDs and the student must be present at the time of purchase. The cost for the Unlimited Annual Pass is $200.00; the cost for the Unlimited Semester (Fall or Spring) Pass  is $100.00 and the cost for the Pass Plus is $25.00. All Passes are payable by cash or check. For further information, call the CATA office at 978-283-7278.

GLOUCESTER’S LITTLEST OSPREY ON THE ANNISQUAM PERISHES

With regrets, I am sorry to report that the Osprey fledgling has died. Don, whose property the nest is located upon, shares that he observed the Osprey Dad toss the nestling out of the nest. Don went to investigate and found the baby’s lifeless body lying on the ground. He placed it in a box and brought it to Greenbelt. Judging by the condition of the body, it was determined that the young Osprey was most likely killed by an owl.

On a positive note, Don and Eleanor’s Osprey pair will more than likely return to the same nest site next year. They are also thought to be a young couple. Hopefully the pair will hone their parenting skills and, quite possibly, have more than one fledgling on their next attempt. The growing recovery of Osprey to our region means that many things are going right; the improving health of our coastal environment, for example. 

Many thanks again to Paul Morrison and sister Kathy, and to Don and Eleanor, for providing this brief window to see the Annisquam River Osprey family. I am looking forward to learning and sharing more next year. 

Osprey and fledgling Annisquam Essex County copyright Kim SmithRIP Little Osprey

 

 

 

SWIRLY SUNDOG OVER THE CAPE ANN MARINA

Did anyone else see that swirly sundog in the west last night? Sundog Cape Ann Marina copyright Kim Smith

OLIVER HAZARD PERRY AND EASTERN POINT LIGHTHOUSE

OLIVER HAZARD PERRY Eastern Point Lighthouse Gloucester MA copyright Kim SmithThese photos were taken as the sun was setting, from Stage Fort Park, on my way home from Manchester last night. How beautiful to catch a glimpse of this grand ship anchored in our harbor and adjacent to the Eastern Point Lighthouse. Folks enjoying dinner at the park were referring to it as the “pirate ship.” Here in Gloucester Harbor for one night only, Rhode Island’s tall ship the Oliver Hazard Perry will be returning in September. 

OLIVER HAZARD PERRY Eastern Point Lighthouse Gloucester MA -1 copyright Kim SmithGloucester Harbor home copyright Kim SmithAlso from Stage Fort Park ~ windows onto the harbor

THANK YOU LAUREN FROM MANCHESTER!

Cecropia Moth caterpillar copyright Kim SmithCecropia Moth Caterpillar

So many thanks to my new friend Lauren, who generously shared cuttings from her American Birch Tree growing in her fantastic habitat garden. Her garden paradise is a pollinator’s dream, filled with gorgeous flowering and fruiting trees and shrubs, native wildflowers, and non-invasive well-behaved ornamental plants. While we were chatting, a Monarch flew on the scene, pausing to nectar at her butterfly bush! Mothra and her siblings thank Lauren, too.

 

SUNLIGHT THROUGH GULL’S WINGS

Catch sight if you can of the graceful Bonaparte’s Gulls, migrating along the Atlantic Flyway and through our region. A few will spend the winter here but most are taking pause to rest and refuel at the least disturbed of our beautiful shores.
Bonaparte's Gull Larus philadelphia Cape Ann copyright Kim Smith

Bonaparte’s Gull taking flightbonapartes_gull_map_big

MOTHRA!

Cecropia Moth caterpillar copyright Kim SmithNoticeably growing larger day by day, the biggest caterpillar of our batch of Cecropia Moth caterpillars (nicknamed Mothra) still has a ways to go before he/she pupates and becomes a cocoon for the winter.

Comparing the size of Mothra and my hand – she is still growing 🌻

A photo posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

The colorful protuberances with black spikes are thought to mimic either a poisonous plant or animal and are a defense against predators. Like most caterpillars, the Cecropia moth caterpillar has five pairs of prolegs. The green prolegs are blue at the base with a row of microscopic hooks, or crochets, that enable walking and clinging.

Cecropia Moth caterpillar close up feet copyright Kim Smith

Although the Cecropia Moth has the largest wingspan of any moth found in North America, its caterpillar is not the largest caterpillar. That honor goes to the caterpillar of the Royal Walnut Moth, also called Regal Moth, which in its caterpillar stage is called the Hickory Horned Devil.

cecropia-moth-male-copyright-kim-smithAdult Male Cecropia Moth

Thank you again to friend Christine for the Cecropia Moth eggs. They are the offspring of the male Cecropia Moth that she is holding in the photo above.

HELP NEEDED PLEASE!

Do any of our dear readers have a Paper Birch tree with some low hanging branches that I could cut? The branches need to be low enough for me to reach with a pair of pruners. Don’t worry, it won’t harm the tree. The foliage is needed for our ginormous and still growing Cecropia Moth caterpillars. Please leave a comment in the comment section or feel free to email me at kimsmithdesigns@hotmail.com. Thank you!

Birch tree Niles Pond moonlight copyright Kim Smith

Paper Birch in the moonlight Niles Pond

MORE ABOUT GLOUCESTER’S SPLENDID OSPREYS ON THE ANNISQUAM!

Male female Osprey copyright Kim SmithThis morning I had the joy to meet Don and Eleanor. Don built the fantastic Osprey platform that you see in the photos. Several years ago, Don noticed that an Osprey pair were trying to construct a nest on a post by the train tracks; the post that houses the all important train signals. Understandably, railroad workers had to destroy the nest as it was interfering with train operations. After watching the Osprey pair attempt to build a nest two years in a row, Don decided to build and install an Osprey platform in the marsh adjacent to his home. With some advice from Greenbelt, Don installed the platform early this spring. Wonder of wonders, his plan worked! The young pair built a perfect nest and one egg hatched.Male female Osprey -3 copyright Kim Smith

If the mated pair survives the winter migration, upon their return, they will repair and add to their existing nest. And if the young fledgling also survives it too will most likely return to the region. Thanks to citizen scientists like Don and Eleanor and the Essex County Greenbelt’s amazing Osprey program, the north of Boston region is rapidly being repopulated with Opsrey. Don is already building a second platform with hopes of installing it in the spring of 2017.Male Female Osprey -4 copyright Kim Smith

Don reports that since the Osprey have been on the scene, they are no longer bothered by pesky crows. He witnessed a pair of crows trying to rob the Osprey nest of its egg. The Osprey swooped in, snatched both crows, and beat them down into the marsh. The crows have yet to return!

Many thanks to Don and Eleanor for their warm hospitality and efforts to help the Osprey.Osprey and fledgling Annisquam Essex County -1 copyright Kim Smith

Osprey nesting platform built by Don

To take some truly terrific closeups, a longer zoom lens than my own 400mm is required, but we can at least get a glimpse of the Osprey family with these photos.

Male Osprey copyright Kim Smith

GLOUCESTER’S BABY OSPREY!

So many thanks to GMG’s Paul Morrison for the excursion out to photograph the Osprey nest on the Annisquam. And thank you to Paul’s sister Kathy for the suggestion. We were there for only a short time when we began to see movement beneath the adult perched on the nest’s edge. After a few moments, the nestling’s shape became visible, but only for seconds, before it settled back deeper into the nest.

Osprey and fledgling Annisquam Essex County copyright Kim Smith

Some interesting facts about Ospreys:

Their population has rebounded following the ban on the pesticide DDT.

This hawk is easy to identify when flying over head as it has a whiter belly than other raptors.

The male gathers the nesting material while the female builds the nest. Osprey return to the same nesting sight and nest, building and rebuilding the nest up over a period of many generations. The man made nesting platforms that we see in Essex County are relatively new nests. Osprey nests that are built up over decades can reach 10 to 13 feet deep and 3-6 feet in diameter, large enough for an adult to sit in.

The osprey’s diet consists almost exclusively of fish, nearly 80 different species of fish are eaten by osprey. Sounds like a Gloucester sort of raptor!

Follow this link for more information about the Essex County Greenbelt’s exciting and highly successful osprey program.

1024px-Ospreys_with_a_huge_nest

Osprey nest made over multiple generations

osprOsprey are found on every continent except Antarctica

 

How To Make A Movie On Your iPhone

Cape Ann TV

Lunch & Learn Series:

How To Make A Movie On Your iPhone

 

Cape Ann TV’s Lunch & Learn Series continues on Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 at 12pm with “How To Make A Movie On You iPhone” presented by Professional Video Producer, Ted Reed.

It used to cost thousands, if not millions of dollars to make a movie. But now the basic production tools are in the hands of millions of people. Your smart phone can capture better video than most top of the line professional cameras did only a few years ago; all you need are a few tips and a few (if any) accessories to produce a festival-ready film. Join independent producer Ted Reed for a Cape Ann TV Lunch and Learn discussion that will show you what you need to know and what works best to get high-quality video out of your iPhone. The principles are the same for almost any current smart phone; we’ll concentrate on what the iPhone can do and the free or cheap apps that will help you get your indie feature made.

Participants are encouraged to install the ProCam app* which we will do a quick tutorial on, but even the stock Camera app will do the trick.

 

Space is limited for this event; please RSVP to rtober@capeanntv.org to reserve your spot.

*Cape Ann TV in not affiliated nor endorses this application.  Please do your own research and use your own discretion when downloading.

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