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.
Category Archives: eastern point
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!
On 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.
The 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?
Male Red-winged Blackbird Love Song (turn up your volume)
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The 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!
Snowy morning scenes from the boulevard and Eastern Point Lighthouse.
Read more about the beautiful, and healthy beneficent properties of, Pussy Willows Here: Looking for Pussy Willows.
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.”
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
18 Edgemoor, Eastern Point ~ 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.”
View from the porch at 18 Edgemoor
Shared on FB by Eastern Point Lit House co-founder Chris Anderson.
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!
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:
You can learn more about the Monarch migration and the loss of Monarch habitat from Professor Tom Emmel here ~
This morning I set out to check on the swans at Niles Pond and was as captivated by the beautiful sea smoke coming off the Atlantic as were my fellow contributors. I didn’t see the swans, but then again, it was too cold to look for very long.
Is this flotsom or jetsam or neither?
I’ve always used the words interchangeably to describe any debris washed up on the beach, not realizing there is a notable difference. From the NOAA website: “Flotsam and jetsam are terms that describe two types of marine debris associated with vessels. Flotsam is defined as debris in the water that was not deliberately thrown overboard, often as a result from a shipwreck or accident. Jetsam describes debris that was deliberately thrown overboard by a crew of a ship in distress, most often to lighten the ship’s load. The word flotsam derives from the French word floter, to float. Jetsam is a shortened word for jettison.
Under maritime law the distinction is important. Flotsam may be claimed by the original owner, whereas jetsam may be claimed as property of whoever discovers it. If the jetsam is valuable, the discoverer may collect proceeds received though the sale of the salvaged objects.”
It is also noted on the website that the majority of trash that covers our beaches and floats in our oceans comes from sewers and storm drains, as well as from recreational activities, namely from picnickers and beach goers.
Update: GMG reader Lisa provides the following link: http://www.lostmydoggie.com/details.cfm?petid=78091. Please contact the owner if you see Bengi.
To the owner of the little white lost dog Bengi, as of 2:35 today, Thursday, he is at Brace Cove. A bunch of us tried to catch him, but he does not want to be caught. He’s going up and down the beach and tearing through the deeply thicketed path. He does not have a tag. Please let us know when Bengi finds his way home. Thank you so much.
I too saw little Bengi on Niles beach on Christmas. We had no luck catching him. Above is the link to him but no contact to the owner. Does anyone know were he belongs in Gloucester? It says this little fella has been missing since Dec 19. The police said he was reported running around Rocky Neck on Christmas Eve. If anyone knows his owner please tell them to search East Gloucester!! Last I know the little fella was seen on Grapevine.