Category Archives: gloucester

CAPE ANN WILDLIFE: A YEAR IN PICTURES 2017

CAPE ANN WILDLIFE: A YEAR IN PICTURES 2017

By Kim Smith

Cape Ann provides welcome habitat for a menagerie of creatures beautiful, from the tiniest winged wonder to our region’s top predator, the Eastern Coyote. Last year I posted a Cape Ann Wildlife Year in Pictures 2016 and I hope you will find the wildlife stories of 2017 equally as beautiful.

WINTER

The only partially frozen ponds at the start of winter allowed for dabblers and divers such as Mallards, Mergansers, and Buffleheads to forage at the freshwater. Mr. Swan had his usual entourage of quwackers and daily heads to the other side of the pond to get away for his morning stretches. Sightings of Red-tailed Hawks and other raptors abounded. Although photographed in Newburyport, the owl photos are included, well, just because I like them. An Eastern Screech Owl (red-morph) was seen daily perched above a playground and Barred Owl sightings too were reported throughout the winter. Raptors live on Cape Ann all year round but are much easier to see in winter when the trees are bare of foliage.

The beautiful aqua green eyes of the juvenile Double-crested Cormorants were seen wintering at both Niles Pond and Rockport Harbor. And during a warm February day on a snowless marsh a turkey bromance shindig commenced.

SPRING

In early spring, a male and female American Wigeon arrived on the scene making local pond’s their home for several weeks. In the right light the male’s electric green feathers at the top of his head shine brightly and both the male and female have baby blue bills.

Meadow and marsh, dune and treetop were graced with the heralding harbingers of spring with photos of a Red-winged Blackbird, a pair of Cedar Waxwings, Northern Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, Eastern Towhee, Eastern Kingbird, Tree Swallow, and Grackle included here.

The Great Swan Escape story made headlines in Boston as Mr. Swan eluded captors for hours. He had re-injured his foot and someone took it upon themselves to call the animal rescuers, which would have surely meant death for our beloved 27-year old swan if he had been wrangled into captivity.

M is clearly for Migration through Massachusetts and the month-long arrivals and departures did not abate. Short-billed Dowitchers, winsome Willets, Yellow Legs, and Ruddy Turnstones are just some of the migrating shorebirds spied on Cape Ann beaches and marshes. The best news in May was the return of the Piping Plovers. Of the five or six that camped at Good Harbor Beach to investigate potential nesting sites, one pair bonded and built their nest mere yards from the nesting pair of last year. Could it be the same pair? The nesting Piping Plover story took up much of the spring and by early summer four little Piping Plover chicks hatched over Fiesta weekend. Hundreds of photos and hours of film footage are in the process of being organized with a children’s book in progress and documentary in progress.

Piping Plover Courtship Dance

Piping Plover Nest

SUMMER

OctoPop

The survival of one Piping Plover chick was made possible by a wholesale community effort, with volunteers covering all hours of daylight, along with Mayor Sefatia and her team, Ken Whittaker from the conservation office, Chief McCarthy, and animal control officer Diane Corliss all lending a hand.

Sadly, several Northern Gannets came ashore to die on our Cape Ann beaches, struck by the same mysterious and deadly disease that is afflicting Northern Gannets in other coastal regions. During the summer season they are typically at their North American breeding grounds, which are six well-established colonies, three in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Quebec, and three in the North Atlantic, off the coast of Newfoundland.

An orphaned swan was introduced to Niles Pond, much to the dismay of Mr. Swan. Eastern Point residents Skip and Lyn kept watch over the two while they reluctantly became acquainted.

By mid-July many of us were seeing Monarchs in much greater numbers than recent years. Nearly every region within the continental United States experienced a fantastic Painted Lady irruption and butterflies of every stripe and polka dot were seen flitting about our meadows, fields, and gardens.

The tadpoles and froglets of American Bullfrogs and Green Frogs made for good eating for several families of resident otters, who are making their homes in abandoned beaver lodges. Little Blue Herons find frogs to be good eating, too.

Tree Swallows Massing

In early August we see the Tree Swallows begin to mass for their return migration. They find an abundance of fruits and insects in the dunes, headlands, and beaches. The Cedar Waxwings and Ruddy Trunstones were observed back again foraging on their southward journey, along with myriad species of songbirds, shorebirds, divers, and dabblers.

FALL

The Late Great Monarch migration continued into the fall as we were treated to a wonderfully warm autumn. Waves and waves of Monarchs came ashore and more butterflies arrived on the scene including new batches of Painted Ladies, Clouded Sulphurs and Common Buckeyes (nothing common about these beauties!).

A pair of Northern Pintails called Cape Ann ponds and coves home for nearly a month while we seem to be seeing more and more raptors such as Red-tailed Hawks, Osprey, Bald Eagles, and Peregrine Falcons. Juvenile herons of every species that breeds on Cape Ann lingered long into the fall—Black-crowned Night Herons, Yellow-crowned Herons, Great Blue Herons, Snowy Egrets, Great Egrets, and Green Herons.

Just as Mr. Swan and the Young Swan appeared to be warming to each other, the Young Swan, who has yet to learn to fly, became trapped in the ice at Niles Pond. He was rescued by caretakers Lyn and Dan and is now spending the winter at a cozy sanctuary built by Lyn and friends.

FALL

Thank you to all our readers for your kind comments of appreciation throughout the year for the beautiful wild creatures with which we share this gorgeous peninsula called Cape Ann. If you’d like to read more about a particular animal, type the name of the animal in the search box and the original post should come up

With its expansive marshes and dunes, bodies of fresh, clear water, saltwater coves and inlets, and geographic location within the Atlantic Flyway, 2017 has been a banner year for Cape Ann’s wild and wonderful creatures. I can’t wait to see what awaits in 2018!

Snowy Owl “Hedwig” January 2018 Backshore Gloucester

Wednesdays with Fly Amero ~ This weeks special guest: Quentin Callewaert 7pm @ The Rhumb Line 1.17.2018


Dinner Specials Each Week!
Wednesday, January 17th – 7pm
My Musical Guest: QUENTIN CALLEWAERT!

Busy recording his first album (with Jon Butcher producing),
Quentin Callewaert finds time to grace us with his amazing,
youthful spirit… and snappy fingerpickin’! If this kid don’t
make you smile, you just ain’t livin’. Come and get it! ~ Fly
Dinner with great music!
*Each week features a special, invited musical guest
The Rhumb Line Kitchen…
…now features Janet Brown with some new and healthy ideas!
Plus a fine, affordable wine menu!
Upcoming…
1/24 – Chick Marston

1/31 – Lynne Taylor

2/7 – Inge Berge

Visit: http://www.therhumbline.com/
Looking forward……to seeing you there 🙂

Design of Mine a fashion boutique at the West End in Gloucester, MA is open for business during the winter and there’s a sale going on, too!

 

Going on vacation to a warmer destination, or not ?
The Flutter Shawl is a perfect accent piece for any wardrobe…just throw it on and go…
Day or evenings out…beach cover and more…
Come see our beautiful selection of silk, silk like, polycotton blend. We also have beautiful velvet burnouts. Oh and don’t forget the bling!

Check out this one of a kind to the store beauty.


Design of Mine
33 Main Street
Gloucester, MA
New Winter hours through March

Sunday & Monday 11am-5pm 

Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays

Thurs, Fri and Sat 11am-5pm

Owner/ Store manager Melissa Tarr

 

 

 

 

 

like on facebook https://www.facebook.com/thefluttershawl/

@thefluttershawl
Call (978) 491-7495
or visit us online @ http://thefluttershawl.com/


Check out the many ways to wear right here >

Guess what? There happens to be a 30% off store wide sale going on this week! Clothing, accessories ect…

Approaching Winter Storm Postpones CAS Annual Meeting from Wednesday, January 17 to  Wednesday, January 24

Approaching Winter Storm Postpones CAS Annual Meeting from Wednesday, January 17 to  Wednesday, January 24

Cape Ann Symphony Orchestra, Inc.

Notice of Annual Meeting

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at 7:30 pm.

Gloucester House Restaurant

63 Rogers Street, Gloucester, MA

CAPE ANN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, INC.

NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING

 

Cape Ann Symphony Board President Thomas Mannle announced the Annual Meeting of Cape Ann Symphony Orchestra, Inc originally scheduled forWednesday, January 17 has been postponed because of the approaching winter storm. The new date for the Annual Meeting of the Cape Ann Symphony Orchestra, Inc. will be  Wednesday, January 24, 2018, at 7:30pm at the Gloucester House Restaurant, 63 Rogers Street, Gloucester, MA. The meeting will be preceded by a cocktail reception at 6:30pm. ($36. per person/ cash bar). It is not necessary to attend the reception in order to attend the Annual Meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to hear reports of the past year’s activity by the Music Director, Treasurer, President, and Manager. The meeting is also convened to elect Directors and Officers for the period from January 20, 2017 through January 19, 2018. For information please contact David Benjamin, Business Manager,978-281-0543.

CAPE ANN RECOVERING FROM THE BOMBCYCLONE -By Kim Smith

Rain this past week melted the snow, revealing more destruction from the 2018 Bombcyclone. Stopping at favorite places along the backshore, the storm surge left in its wake damage to T-wharf, the road is completely washed out at Pebble Beach, and Eastern Point marsh and storm drains are clogged with debris.

T-Wharf, Rockport

Pebble Beach and Henry’s Pond. The storm surged pushed the rocks over the bank and into the road. Saltwater found a path and gushed into Henry’s Pond.

Popples strewn across the lawn and seaweed and debris clogged storm drains.

SNEAK PEAK BEAUTIFUL ART HAVEN ARTIST’S BUOYS PREVIEW AT CHARLES GALLERY -By Kim Smith

Jeff Weaver Buoy

Last night the opening for the fabulous show featuring the Art Haven Lobster Trap Tree Artist’s Buoys was held at the Charles Fine Arts Gallery. The buoys are painted by some of Cape Ann’s finest artists and are displayed either with works of art by the artist or with paintings that correspond in some way to the buoy.

The buoys are on display through the weekend of 20th-21st and people can call the gallery to place bids. Charles Fine Arts Gallery is located at 196 Main Street, Gloucester, and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 1pm to 6pm, or by appointment (978-559-7762).

The Cape Ann Art Haven Lobster Trap Tree awesome fun family buoy auction event is Friday, January 26th, from 5pm to 8pm at Crusieport. 

HOW TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE SNOWY OWLS

The winter of 2017-2018 has proven so far to be an irruptive year for Snowy Owls, as was predicted by scientists. In years when there is a lemming population boom, which is a staple of the Snowy’s diet, double, even triple, the amount of Snowy Owl hatchlings survive the summer breeding season. Arctic winter arrives and for whatever reason, either there is less food available or the first hatch year owls can’t hunt as well, a number of Snowies head south, both adults and juveniles, generally though, more juveniles than adults migrate.

Snowy Owls are white birds, with varying degrees of brown, black, and gray feather patterning. They are North America’s largest owl by weight. As with most bird of prey species, female Snowies are larger than the males, by about one pound. That is considerable, knowing that the average weight of a Snowy Owl is four pounds. A male may grow up to 25 inches, a female to 27 inches, and the wingspan of both is about equal. Because females are larger and more dominant, they usually don’t migrate as far south, staking out territory further north. Typically in our area we see first hatch year males, although currently there is thought to be an adult male at Salisbury Beach. The Snowy at Bass Rocks is presumably a female. When out in the field, the hardest to tell apart are the darkest males and the palest females.

In learning about Snowy Owls, I came across several very helpful photos of Snowy Owl specimens. And we have three examples, from Snowies found right here on the North Shore, from which to compare.

In the photo below, you are looking at eight Snowy Owl specimens from the Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates. One through five on the left are males; six, seven, and eight are females. Notice how similar, yet different, are five and six (male #5, female #6).

  1. Snowy Owl males are generally whiter.
  2. Snowy Owl females tend to be larger.
  3. Snowy Owl male’s tails have up to three bars, the female’s have from three to six.
  4. Snowy Owl females have wider and darker marks and bars on the back, nape, and tail.
  5. Snowy Owl males have a larger white bib.

Closeup of the intermediary male (five) and female (six).

Underside of the Owls, in the same order.

Comparing the above photos I think we can logically conclude that the Snowy Owl that was at Captain Joe and Sons in 2015 was a young male, with light markings and a large white bib.

Young Male Snowy Owl

The Snowy Owl currently at Bass Rocks, I think it is safe to say, is a female, and most likely a juvenile. She doesn’t have much bib showing and her overall markings are wide and dark.

Female Snowy Owl

We have our own example of an intermediate–is the Snowy Owl recently photographed at Cranes Beach a juvenile male or a female?

Male or female?

WE LOVE YOU TOO SNOWY OWL!

For the past several days there has been a remarkably tolerant Snowy Owl feeding and perching on the rocks at Atlantic Road. Perhaps she (or he) is the same Snowy that has been noticed on the backshore over the course of the past month. I write tolerant because this Snowy was perched about fifteen feet from the sidewalk and neither traffic nor birdwatchers seemed to faze her much. As word has gotten out, her fan club has grown, so much so that there was a bit of a traffic jam today. Every several hours I stopped by to check on her whereabouts. At 2:00 today, she had only moved about a foot from where she was at daybreak. By sundown, she had flown up onto the rooftops of an Atlantic Road resident.


Many thanks to Kate for all her text alerts letting me know when the Snowy was on the backshore!

Early morning and the Snowies face and talons were bloodstained, which is a very positive sign that she is feeding well. Snowy Owls wintering over in our region eat rabbits, rodents (lots of rats), songbirds, and ducks. Being good stewards of the Snowies means not applying rat poison around your home or business. There are several methods equally as efficient in killing rats as rat poison. When a bird of prey such as a Peregrine Falcon, Snowy Owl, Red-tailed Hawk, or Bald Eagle ingests a rat that has eaten rat poison, the raptor becomes sick and will usually die.

The Snowy spent the better part of the day mostly dozing, preening, cleaning her talons, and puffing her feathers for warmth. At one point she pushed her face into a snow patch but I couldn’t tell if it was to drink or to wash.

 

For a moment the Snowy sat bolt upright from a loud bang in the distance, but generally, she was a satiated and sleepy owl.

Snowy Owl Fan Club Traffic Jam

Tonight! Toni Lynn Washington, Mike DiBari, Steve Bankuti.fire tube one! & Dear Ol`Dave, too : ) Davesag’s blues party 8:30pm The Rhumb Line 1.11.2018

Toni Lynn Washington
Mike DiBari
Steve Bankuti.fire tube one!
&
Dear Ol`Dave, too : )
Davesag’s blues party
8:30pm
The Rhumb Line
1.11.2018

 

40 Railroad Avenue
Gloucester, MA 01930
(978) 283-9732

http://www.therhumbline.com/

Help Wanted

For information email Patty:

Shipper/Reciever

Gloucester, Ma

  • Please email resume Patty Shofner at Patty.Shofner@yoh.com

Electro/Mechanical Assembler

Contract- up to 18 months

All shifts

  • Please email resume Patty Shofner at Patty.Shofner@yoh.com

Perform a wide variety of routine and non-routine electrical / mechanical assembly operations including installation of power distribution cables, harnesses.

· Follow work orders, schematics, wiring diagrams, engineering specifications, sketches, and written and / or verbal instructions to build electro-mechanical and or pneumatic assemblies, subassemblies and components.

· Complete rework on assemblies and / or systems as a result of testing.

What You Need to Bring to the Table:

· One to two (1-2) years electro-mechanical experience. Auto Mechanics is considered electro-mechanical.

· Basic computer skills necessary.

· Vacuum experience preferred.

· Ability to lift and / or carry up to 50 lbs.

· Ability to work in an environment which is subject to cold, heat, and noise.

· Willingness to work off shifts.

· Adherence to safety guidelines and Lean initiatives.

· Ability to work with flexibility in accomplishing tasks and minimal supervision.

· Ability to be a team player with good communications skills

· Responsibility for maintaining timely accurate records and logs.

 

 

 

 

Sasquatch Tonight with Fly Amero 7pm @ The Rhumb Line 1.10.2018

 

 

Dinner Specials Each Week!
Wednesday, January 10th – 7pm
My Musical Guest: SASQUATCH!

 

His given name is Paul Cohan, but we all lovingly know him
as the one and only Sasquatch. He is a true citizen and
friend of our fair city and its community. His profound anthem,
“Wrapped in the Arms of Gloucester” is honestly one of the most
moving pieces of all the Rhumb Line performances I’ve witnessed
over these many years. Paul makes us laugh and he makes us
cry – and sometimes, he even makes us cry with laughter. ~ Fly
Dinner with great music!
*Each week features a special, invited musical guest
The Rhumb Line Kitchen……now features Janet Brown with some new and healthy ideas!
Plus a fine, affordable wine menu!
Upcoming…
1/17 – Quentin Callewaert

1/24 – Chick & Ellen

1/31 – Lynne Taylor

2/7 – Inge Berge

Visit: http://www.therhumbline.com/
Looking forward……to seeing you there 🙂

BALD EAGLE SOARING OVERHEAD

Year of the Bird

The year 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, passed in 1918. The treaty is a seminal piece of legislation that has saved, and continues to save, the life of billions upon billions of North American birds. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, National Geographic, Audubon, and BirdLife have created a timely alliance, joining forces this year to celebrate birds, while also raising awareness about the current dangers that they face.

I have been thinking a great deal about the Year of the Bird while out photographing and today on an early morning dune walk, a juvenile Bald Eagle flew overhead, soaring high, high up in the clouds. It was a first for me, to see a Bald Eagle, and it was simply thrilling. Bald Eagles have been helped tremendously by the stewardship allowed for under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Bald Eagle Protection Act, and the banning of DDT.

Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) are one of eight species in the genus Haliaeetus, or “sea” eagles. They are the largest birds of prey in Massachusetts, with a wing span of six to seven feet. Bald Eagles were extirpated (made non-existent) from Massachusetts during the early 1900s. From 1982 to 1988, forty-one young Bald Eagles from Michigan and Canada were relocated to Quabbin Reservoir in Massachusetts. Eagle numbers have increased steadily since that time. In 2015 (most recent record), the highest number ever recorded, at least 51 pairs, of Bald Eagles maintained breeding territories in Massachusetts.

Why are birds so important? I can think of myriad reasons–practical, aesthetic, and personal. Practically speaking, birds are like the earth’s housekeepers. They annually eat trillions of insects and pick clean carcasses of millions of dead animals. Many species of birds are pollinators–think of hummingbirds sipping nectar from zinnias and Baltimore Orioles drinking nectar from flowering fruit trees along their northward migratory route. Birds, too, are the proverbial canary in the coal mine. The presence and abundance of birds (or lack thereof) speaks to the health of our environment.

BIRDS ARE BEAUTIFUL! They connect us to the natural world that surrounds, and everyone can enjoy their beauty. We don’t all have access to daily bear watching, elephant safaris, or whaling adventures, but everyone can look out their window or go for a hike and see a beautiful bird. Evolved from dinosaurs, but bellwethers for the future, protecting birds and their habitats ensures a healthy planet for future generations.

From AUDUBON

The History and Evolution of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act

The law has already saved billions of birds’ lives. Here’s how it’s accomplished so much in its 100-year history.

Passed a century ago, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act prohibits the harming of just about all native birds, along with their nests and eggs. To this day it remains the primary tool for protecting non-endangered species. As threats to birds continue to evolve, so does the law itself.

Here’s a look back at some of the key moments in the law’s evolution to date.

1800s: With essentially zero regulations in place, market hunters decimate U.S. bird populations, in part so that well-to-do women can wear hats adorned with ornamental feathers. By the end of the century, Labrador Ducks and Great Auks are extinct, soon to be joined by Passenger Pigeons, Carolina Parakeets, and Heath Hens. Numerous other species stand on the brink. Outrage over these alarming trends leads to the formation of the first Audubon societies, as well as other conservation groups.

1900: Congress passes the Lacey Act, the first federal law to protect wildlife. It takes aim at market hunters by prohibiting them from selling poached game across state lines.

1913: Congress passes the Weeks-McLean Migratory Bird Act, which, in another broadside against market hunters, bans the spring shooting of migratory game and insectivorous birds and declares them to be under the “custody and protection” of the federal government. However, two district courts soon rule the act unconstitutional.

1916: The United States signs a treaty with Great Britain (acting on behalf of Canada, then part of the British Empire), in which the two countries agree to stop all hunting of insectivorous birds and to establish specific hunting seasons for game birds. The stated goal is to preserve those species considered beneficial or harmless to man.

1918: To implement the new treaty, Congress passes the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which officially makes it a crime to “pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill,” or “sell” a migratory bird or any of its parts, including nests, eggs, and feathers. The newly passed act eliminates “the necessity of watching the legislation of every state and of combating the numberless attempts to legalize the destruction of birds for private gain,” according to famed ornithologist Frank M. Chapman (also the founder of Audubon magazine).

1920: The U.S. Supreme Court shoots down a challenge to the constitutionality of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, ruling that it does not violate states’ rights.

1936: Following up on its treaty with Great Britain, the United States signs a similar treaty with Mexico (it would go on to sign additional treaties with Japan and the Soviet Union in the 1970s). As a result, more birds are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and habitat conservation and pollution abatement is encouraged.

1940: Congress passes the Bald Eagle Protection Act, the first federal legislation to ban hunting or otherwise disturbing America’s national emblem (it would later be amended to include Golden Eagles). Modeled after the MBTA, it nonetheless fails to stem the Bald Eagle’s decline at the hands of DDT poisoning.

1970s: For the first time, U.S. prosecutors begin charging not just hunters who violate the MBTA, but also oil and gas, timber, mining, chemical, and electricity companies. Though not directly targeting wildlife, these industries incidentally cause millions of bird deaths each year that could have been avoided with simple infrastructure modifications, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. In publicly available documents, the DOJ states that it will first notify companies of a violation and work with them to correct it. But if they “ignore, deny, or refuse to comply” with best management practices, then the “matter may be referred for prosecution.”

1972: An amendment to the MBTA protects an additional 32 families of birds, including eagles, hawks, owls, and corvids (crows, jays, and magpies). Even more species have been added since, bringing the total number to 1,026—almost every native species in the United States. With such additions, the word “‘migratory” in the act’s title becomes largely symbolic—many birds that do not embark on actual migrations are still protected.

2000: A federal appeals court holds that private citizens (such as conservation groups) may sue the government over alleged violations of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Nonetheless, they remain unable to sue out-of-compliance private companies, which differs in that regard from the Endangered Species Act and many other environmental laws.

2001: Just before leaving office, President Bill Clinton orders all relevant federal agencies, including the Department of Defense and the U.S. Forest Service, to take migratory bird conservation into account as part of their regular decision making.

2002: A federal district court rules that the U.S. Navy violated the MBTA during live-fire exercises in the northern Marianas Islands. Congress responds by exempting the incidental taking of birds during “military readiness activities.”

2013: In a first, the Department of Justice enforces the MBTA against a wind farm operator, imposing $1 million in penalties for the killing of Golden Eagles and other protected birds at two sites in Wyoming. It follows this up a year later with $2.5 million in penalties against a second Wyoming wind farm operator. Actual enforcement of the MBTA against these problems tends to be sporadic.

2015: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces that it will rethink the MBTA’s implemention to hold industries more accountable for the harm they do to birds. Specifically, the changes will address bird deaths due to open oil pits, power lines, gas flares, cell phone towers, and wind turbines—which combined kill millions of birds each year.

2017: The Trump Administration does away with the USFWS’s potential rulemaking updates. Also in 2017, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) introduced an amendment to the SECURE American Energy Act that would change liability under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) to no longer cover incidental takes. This would prevent any enforcement of industrial impacts, end accountability from oil spills, and removed incentives to protect birds, all of which Audubon opposes.

“Rep. Cheney is giving oil and gas companies and other industries a free pass to kill birds with impunity,” said David Yarnold, Audubon’s President and CEO, in an official statement.

Dune sunrise this morning

WHAT TO FEED SWANS IN WINTER?

Mr. Swan heading to Rockport Harbor for the winter.

Cape Ann Swan Update: Our little rescue swan, which Lyn has been valiantly and lovingly taking care of in her new winter quarters fit for a princess swan, is doing beautifully. Mr. Swan’s winter headquarters when the freshwater ponds are in a deep freeze is mostly Rockport Harbor to Front Beach and Lois reports he is doing fabulously as well, too!

Mute Swans in our region need our help to survive the winter. There simply isn’t enough wild food available, especially in a brutally cold winter such as the one we are currently experiencing, with freshwater ponds frozen solid. The very best thing to feed swans is whole corn and cracked corn. You can try greens such as washed and undressed romaine lettuce, spinach, and kale, but they will mostly go for the carbohydrate rich corn. What is the worse and most deadly food to feed swans, causing long term health problems? You guessed it–junk food and white bread. Please don’t give our local birds and wildlife human junk food, it’s a killer! This includes but not limited to chips, cheetos, crackers, and stale bread.

Be safe when feeding swans and don’t get too close.

We purchase our corn in bulk from the Essex Bird and Pet Shop, located at 121 Essex Avenue. In a pinch, Stop and Shop also carries small bags of cracked corn.

Two tips from Mr. Swan’s caretakers: 1) When feeding swans, feed at the water’s edge. Swans like to swallow water while they are eating. 2) Mr. Swan usually has a bevy of quwackers in tow and they so vigorously try to eat the corn, and there are so many of them, there oftentimes isn’t enough food for Mr. Swan. Mr. Swan’s caretakers will throw a scoop of food in one direction to distract the ducks and at the same time toss some down directly in front of Mr. Swan. This distraction technique works for a bit of time before needing to be repeated.

Mr. Swan and the Young Swan were just beginning to warm to each other when the pond froze up.

MAJOR NEWS: RHONDA FALOON TO RETIRE FROM THE CAPE ANN MUSEUM

WE LOVE YOU AND WILL MISS YOU RHONDA!

THANK YOU

Dear Friends,

I’m writing to let you know that after almost 13 years as the Executive Director of the Cape Ann Museum, Ronda Faloon has announced her retirement plans. She will continue in her role as Director until May of 2019 and will work with the Museum’s Board of Directors to ensure a smooth transition.

Ronda has led the Museum through a time of meaningful change. When she accepted the director’s position, she spoke of making the Museum “matter” to the community every day. Under her leadership, the Museum has grown into a well-respected and vibrant cultural institution of which we can all be proud.
Perhaps the most visible accomplishment of her tenure was the completion of the transformational renovations in 2014. Less visible, but equally as important, Museum membership has grown and financial support has doubled. The quality and number of our exhibitions and programs have expanded over the years. We have a stronger collection: We’ve been the recipient of major gifts of art and other major gifts are on the horizon. Our two historic houses – the 1710 White Ellery House and 1804 Captain Elias Davis House – have been stabilized and improved. We’ve placed a high premium on scholarship, as evidenced by the development of the online catalogue raisonnéFitz Henry Lane Online and our recent symposium on Lane’s lithography. This past year, we welcomed close to 30,000 visitors – twice as many as were seen a decade ago. Our audiences are more engaged and we have a deeper and richer relationship with our surrounding communities.
I know that Ronda would want me to acknowledge the collaborative nature of these accomplishments. This could not have been done without her colleagues who tirelessly invest their innumerable talents and efforts toward advancing the Museum’s mission or the work of committed Board members and volunteers who offer guidance and wisdom, and who also “roll up their sleeves.” Nor could this have been done without those of you who have encouraged and inspired her, and generously supported the Museum each and every year.

While there is never a perfect time for a transition, the Museum has never been stronger or more prepared for change. We have a renewed commitment to our mission and recognize that there is power in being a small, intimate museum with a stellar collection and a singular story to tell.

We’re close to completing an update of our strategic plan (2018-2023) which will guide our initiatives over the next years and lead us toward the celebration of the Museum’s 150th anniversary and Gloucester’s 400th anniversary in 2023. This is indeed an exciting moment in the Museum’s history and an exciting time for new leadership.

Ronda and I are truly grateful to all of you who are committed to the growth and prosperity of our extraordinary museum.

With warm wishes for the new year,

John Cunningham
President of the Board  

Volunteers Urgently Needed for This Weekend’s Day of Service to Benefit Open Door

Volunteers urgently needed for this weekend’s
Day of Service to benefit Open Door

Our Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is fast approaching and we are calling on you to help us catch a ton of tuna for The Open Door Food Pantry.

On Saturday, Jan. 13, we will be at Market Basket at Gloucester Crossing from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. handing out flyers to patrons and collecting food. Then, we will deliver our “catch” to The Open Door.

We need six people on each shift at Market Basket. The shifts that still need to be filled out are from 9 to 11 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you are able to help at those times, please email Bernadette Merenda at  vitablue@comcast.net  or call 978-852-7165 to sign up for a shift.

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