Category Archives: eastern point

Quarky Pants Junior!

Juvenile Black Crowned Night heron ©Kim Smith 2015Allowing me to get a little closer, perhaps one of these days (before he/she’s all grown up), I’ll catch a side-by-side of Black-crowned Night Heron parent and juvenile. Here he is standing on one leg, just as do mom and dad!Great Blue Heron ©Kim Smith 2015

A little ways off was a Great Blue Heron also hunting amongst the reeds. I captured him in fight with my movie camera as he flew to the other side of the pond. Thanks to E.J., who was on a morning walk and pointed out the general vicinity to where he had landed, I was able to get another clip of the heron flying.

I am searching for quiet places to record harbor and shore sounds, away from the roar of the surf, as well as where boat and machine engines don’t muffle or drown out every other sound. Its harder than you may imagine especially because there can be little to no wind. If you know of a quiet place where you especially love to listen to the music of Cape Ann, please answer in the comments section or email me at kimsmithdesigns@hotmail.com. Thank you! 

MR. AND MRS. QUARKY PANTS HAD A BABY!

Black-crowned Night Heron Gloucester -1 ©Kim Smith 2015For the past several months on my filming forays around Niles Pond I have encountered a pair of Black-crowned Night Herons. With a loud quark, at least one flies up into the trees as soon as my presence is detected and I can never get a closeup photo with both in the same shot.Black-crowned Night Heron Gloucester -4 ©Kim Smith 2015

I was wondering if they were a nesting pair or even husband and wife; I mean they could be siblings. Today before daybreak I saw their fledgling, but only for the briefest second.

Black-crowned Night Heron fledgling Gloucester -5 ©Kim Smith 2015Hoping to take a better shot of the fledgling (above) before it gains its adult feathers.

Black-crowned Night Heron Gloucester -2 ©Kim Smith 2015It flew off, along with one of the parents, but one did stay while I was recording daybreak foley.

Black-crowned Night Heron Gloucester -3 ©Kim Smith 2015

Black-crowned Night Heron standing on one leg, a characteristic many birds share, which they do primarily to conserve energy and body heat.

Black-crowned Night Heron Gloucester ©Kim Smith 2015A Face Only a Mother Could Love

Sunrise Niles Pond ©Kim Smith 2015

Today’s Niles Pond Sunrise

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.

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

EASTERN POINT SUNRISE SCENES

Harbor Seals Brace Cove Sunrise ©Kim Smith 2015Photos from around Eastern Point early morning walks. Happy Earth Day!

Male Red-breasted Mergansers ©kim Smith 2015Two Male Red-Breasted Mergansers Sunning on a Rock

Black-crowned Night Heron -2 ©Kim Smith 2015Black-crowned Night Heron ~ One of a nesting pair possibly?

Male Red-winged Blackbird love song. Niles Pond daybreak. #gloucestermaspring!

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Male Red-winged Blackbird Love Song (turn up your volume)

SEE MORE PHOTOS HERE

Black-crowned Night Heron ©Kim Smith 2015The other half of night herons often spotted near each other

Needle in a Haysack Heron ©Kim Smith 2015JPGNeedle in a Haystack! ~ Looking for Black-crowned Night Herons

Brown-headed Cowbirds ©Kim Smith 2015Brown-headed Cowbirds

Northern Rough-winged Swallows ©kim Smith 2015Northern Rough-winged Swallows (I think)

 

#GloucesterMA Eastern Point Thawing!

 

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Kim Smith Cosmos ©Kim Smith 2014 -mediumFriend 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.

Seals Basking…In the Fog?

Seals Brace Cove Brace's Rock ©Kim Smith 2015The seals appeared as delighted as we were for today’s return of warmer temperatures. Despite the lack of sunshine, I counted 22 socializing and lollygagging, five on one rock alone!Seals Brace Cove Brace's Rock Eastern point Gloucester ©Kim Smith 2015

Niles Pond driftwood ©Kim Smith 2015JPGThe giant twelve-foot log tossed by the sea, up and over onto the Niles Pond side of the causeway, is seemingly supported by nothing but frozen snow. And Niles Pond is still thawing, with only a small cluster of mallards huddled together in the center of the ice. I hope the swans return soon!

Niles Pond frozen ©Kim Smith 2015

They That Go Down to the Sea in Ships

Snowy morning scenes from the boulevard and Eastern Point Lighthouse.

They that go down to the sea in ships.

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

The Fisherman 's Family

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Snowy Day Eastern Point Lighthouse

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Tremendous News for Gloucester

TS Eliot’s Restless Ghost Finds Home in Seaside Idyll

The Guardian UK

February 14, 2015

By Robert McCrum

Last September, listeners to National Public Radio, the US equivalent of Radio 4, heard an elderly New England widow, Dana Hawkes, describe how, at home in Massachusetts, her late husband would sometimes say “he used to see TS Eliot’s ghost.”

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TS Eliot at his house, 18 Edgemoor in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Photograph: © Estate of T.S. Eliot

There is something apt in this claim. The author of Four Quartets and Murder in the Cathedral, who was born in St Louis on 26 September 1888, but lived and died in London, has always projected a rather spectral persona.

From his haunting recitation of The Waste Land (“Unreal city …”) to his cadaverous alter ego, Old Possum, and his fascination with clairvoyants such asMadame Sosostris, Eliot has always been a sombre, other-worldly figure in the literary landscape.

In his afterlife, as an Anglo-American literary giant with a long shadow, the poet’s psychic exile has never been quite fully commuted. Despite a memorial stone in Poet’s Corner and the kind of instant recognition known to Shakespeare, Keats and Wordsworth, TS Eliot has no shrine to equal Stratford, Hampstead or Grasmere.

Even in his native America, Eliot has remained homeless. In New England, Concord celebrates Henry Thoreau. Emily Dickinson is remembered in Amherst, and Nathaniel Hawthorne in Salem.

In contrast, the founding father of Modernism and author of The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock, seems remote and unaffiliated. For all his British citizenship and membership of the Church of England, Eliot has become strangely rootless.

But now, 50 years after his death, and two years after the passing of Valerie, his beloved second wife, Eliot’s ghost is being appeased. The Observer has learned that, in a remarkable coup, the poet’s estate has just acquired the Eliot family’s summer house by the sea, in Gloucester, Massachusetts. READ FULL STORY HERE

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18 Edgemoor, Eastern Point ~ The Eliot family house in Massachusetts. Photograph: © Estate of T.S. Eliot

Not only has the estate bought the house (for $1.3m), it plans to use it to promote Eliot’s life and works to his American readers. Reihill said: “By this time next year we hope to offer up to six poets, essayists or playwrights at a time a peaceful retreat to work on their projects. We’d also like to work with institutions of higher education to make it a centre for weekend symposia on Eliot or on poets and poetry related to him.”

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View from the porch at 18 Edgemoor

8fc3e992-f4e5-4cc9-a34d-4e17bef04ec9-2060x1590Young Tom with his mother at the house in 1895. Photograph: © Estate of T.S. Eliot

a837a9d4-afbb-4945-ad0f-37ed841ad09c-2060x1236TS Eliot with his cousins Eleanor and Barbara Hinkley in Gloucester in 1897. Photograph: © Estate of T.S. Eliot

15af223f-8f88-47ba-83b2-66fd435218c5-2060x1236Tom sitting on the veranda in his sailor suit playing with his toy yacht, and reading.Photograph: © Estate of T.S. Eliot

Shared on FB by Eastern Point Lit House co-founder Chris Anderson.

Getting All My Ducks in a Row for Trip to Santa Monica

Niles Pond Ducks in a Row ©Kim Smith 2015Niles Pond Ducks 

This week, with the exception of Thursday, I have pre-scheduled my posts with a series of photos from last Sunday’s early morning walk as I am not sure how easy it will be to post from California. I am hoping to fill my time with additional posts from LA, if doable. Liv reports it may be in the seventies this week!

Monarchs Eyed for Possible Inclusion Under US Endangered Species Protection

Cape Ann Milkweed and Monarch Habitat, Eastern Point

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering adding Monarchs as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. A one-year review is underway to monitor the butterfly’s status. Since the 1990s the population has plummeted from about one billion to approximately 35 million. That may seem like a substantial number, but the Monarchs need stronger numbers to be resilient to other threats such as harsh weather.

The reason for the decline is primarily because of loss of milkweed habitat in the agricultural heartland of the United States. With the development of Monsanto’s Roundup and Roundup Ready (glyphosate resistant) seed, farmers are now able to spray glyphosate directly on their corn, soybean, and sorghum crops. Roundup also destroys milkweed. Secondly, with the push for ethanol, farmers have begun to plant corn on conservation land.

If the Fish and Wildlife Service determines that the Monarchs are threatened, they will set aside land for milkweed.

You can read more about the the Monarch Butterfly Endangered Species Act here:

FAQs on the Monarch Butterfly Endangered Species Act Petition

Monarch Butterfly Wildflower Joe-pye ©Kim Smith 2012Monarch Butterfly Drinking Nectar from Native Wildflower Joe-pye Weed

You can learn more about the Monarch migration and the loss of Monarch habitat from Professor Tom Emmel here ~ 

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