Category Archives: Rockport


Cape Ann has been blessed with stunning sunrises and sunsets this winter, or perhaps it’s just that the weather temperatures are warmer than usual, which makes it much more fun to be out and about photographing. Fifties today and despite the overcast skies, the day was divine!

North Light Twin Lights Thacher island 2016


Male Mute swan Cygnus olor copyright 2016In the above photo you can see our super smart Mr. Swan drinking freshwater from snow melting on the roof above its head, which was running down the gutters and into the harbor.

Mute Swans mostly drink freshwater (and a great deal of it) because most of the places that you find swans living at are on freshwater ponds, lakes, rivers, and inlets. However, just above the eyes and under the skin, swans have a gland that enables them to drink saltwater. This gland removes salt from their bloodstream and concentrates it into a solution that is excreted from their nostrils, which the swan can shake its head to clear.

There are a number of good folks in Rockport and Gloucester who keep a watchful eye on our local swans. Thursday I had the joy of meeting Lois and Serena, who have been feeding and observing the swans for over twenty years. They have photos of Mr. Swan (known as Buddy in Rockport) dating from 1998. He was already full grown by then, which makes him at least twenty years old. That is quite extraordinary as most Mute Swans in the wild live on average only to twelve years of age.

My deepest thanks and appreciation to Lois and Serena for the time they took sharing swan stories, the reading material lent, and for their kind and goodhearted nature, especially towards Buddy/Mr. Swan!

As you may or may not have read here on Good Morning Gloucester, I have been filming the swans over the past several years for a film project. If you have a Cape Ann swan story that you would like to share I would love to hear from you. Please contact me at Thank you so much!


Penzance Rd Henry's Pond Pebble Beach -4 ©www.kimsmithdesigns.comPenzance Road

Climate change is complicated but the damage done from rising sea levels is very apparent in our own community. With the inundation of seawater upon freshwater ponds, vernal pools, and wetlands, at risk especially are habitats for fish, shellfish, wildlife, and plants.

Penzance Rd Henry's Pond Pebble Beach -3

Penzance Road, the narrow strip of land that divides Pebble Beach, on the Atlantic side, and freshwater Henry’s Pond on the opposite side, is periodically closed because of storm damage. I don’t recall ever seeing this degree of destruction however, we have lived here for only twenty years. It would be very interesting and much appreciated to learn from any of our readers who have lived through some of the worst blizzards and hurricanes to hit Cape Ann to compare the levels of damage.

Penzance Rd Henry's Pond Pebble Beach -2 www.kimsmithdesigns.comThe waves surged clear across the road and into freshwater Henry’s Pond.

Penzance Rd Henry's Pond Pebble Beach


Penzance Road is flooded with sand and rocks and is closed.

A photo posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Notes About iartcolony Gallery from Leslie Heffron

Hi Kim,
Tess Atkinson photographTess Atkinson –  She does photography on a large scale often face mounted to plexiglass and back mounted to aluminum. (Cherry blossoms)
Judith Scott LarsenJudith Scott Larsen – description taken from the gallery’s facebook page:  “Her work incorporates the figure as an empty vessel which is infused with a series of images from the history of art and science. The images are made by projecting transparencies onto the blank canvas of the human body. The projections reference various cultural inscriptions, biological patterning, and diagrams by visionaries attempting to understand the nature of our humanity.”
12190048_990096397703919_8039902911545492662_nHope you like the little owl!
EDITORS NOTE: iartcolony gallery is located at 42 Broadway in Rockport.

The Dredging of Mill Pond, Rockport

If you are like many residents of Rockport and have such fond memories of growing up on… or watching your own children skate on…Mill Pond, please pay attention!

The Mill Pond is in dire need of being dredged before it all but disappears.  Please attend a very important meeting to hear more on Wednesday, January 13th at 7:00 pm in the Brenner Friends’ Room at the Rockport Public Library.

Follow this link to read more!



By Ray Lamont, Gloucester Daily Times Staff Writer

The body of the Rockport woman missing since late Friday night off Rocky Neck was found by her two sons and recovered by Gloucester police and fire crews from beneath the pier of the Americold building off East Main Street.

Susan Nilsson, 56, had been the subject of a multi-pronged search focused on the waters of Smith Cove and off Rocky Neck since Saturday afternoon, after she failed to show up for work as manager of the Sea Bags shop in Rockport. The search was focused there after Gloucester police had located some personal items belonging to Nilsson on a pier and in the water at the Gloucester Marine Railways complex.

Today, her sons, Sten and Bjorn Nilsson, both of whom now live together in Colorado,- made the grim discovery of their mother’s body shortly after noon while they were searching on their own along and beneath the many shoreline docks and piers in East Gloucester. The discovery came almost directly across Smith Cove from the railways shipyard.


For the complete story, read the Gloucester Daily Times article here.



Toad Hall, a local non-profit bookstore that donates all profits to local environmental projects was the winner at the inaugural Awesome Rockport pitch night Monday December 14th. Toad Hall received $1,000 from the local micro grant foundation to fund the development of a new website. The new site will, for the first time, give customers the ability to purchase books online from Toad Hall. The new website will also allow the bookstore to enhance its outreach to customers and the community through mailing lists, blog posts and a monthly newsletter.

The newly established Rockport chapter of the Awesome Foundation solicits proposals from the community quarterly and chooses the top three to attend a public pitch night. The three finalists make their case before the local trustees who each donate $100 toward the award. The top vote getter walks away with $1,000 in cash, no strings attached. Proposals to make Rockport more awesome can be made at

The three finalists pictured here (left to right) are: Ardis Francoeur (with winning microgrant in hand!), Sarah Kelly from Rockport Exchange, and Stephanie Woolf from Rockport Music.


Afternoon Walk on Old Garden Foot Path

The boys and I took the two dogs for a walk down the street, along the Old Garden Foot Path, and on to Marmion Way to visit a friend.  Along the way I took this quick photo of Rockport’s outer harbor.  The photo somewhat mimics the very same view that our friends have from their upstairs window.  When I showed it to our friend he said, “Sometimes we get numb to the fact that we live here.”

So, for all of you who may have become numb to the fact that we live in such an unbelievably beautiful place…. Here’s a reminder.



Toad Hall Bookstore -2 ©Kim Smith 2915We are so blessed on Cape Ann to have truly a wealth of wonderful bookshops. I was picking up a few gifts Saturday to get my boxes off to family members who live out of town and stopped by Toad Hall to say hello. Leta and Mary-Beth were very busy nonetheless, super helpful and friendly. Toad Hall always has a thoughtfully selected collection of superb and interesting books and I especially love their display of books by local authors. Stop by and browse, you’ll be sure to find treasures for loved ones!TOAD HALL BOOKSTORE ©Kim Smith 2015JPG


Toad Hall is located at 47 Main Street in Rockport and is open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sundays from noon to 5pm. Ask about their fantastic frequent buyers program!

Rockport motif #1 ©Kim Smith 12-12-2015The harbor water was a stunning crystal clear ultramarine blue in the (warm, tropical-like) December light and while shopping I couldn’t resist taking a few snapshots of Motif #1.

Rockport Winter Farmers Market on SATURDAY. Plus more stuff…

Christmas in Rockport this year has been Christmas-ier than I can ever remember it being in the 14 years I’ve been around (now you all know that I’m 14 years old, because of course I was born a Rockport native). You will get in the spirit in spite of yourself, even if the weather is so mild it’s more like June (which is always so freakin cold here) than December.

TOMORROW the Rockport Winter Farmers Market features fresh food from actual farmers who grow stuff and have been growing stuff specifically for this market and the Cape Ann Farmers Market (next Saturday 12/19 in Gloucester!). So don’t let the farmers down and come buy fresh, local food. The market will also feature baked goods, nisu bread, pickles, fruits, granola, nuts, and more more more. 9am to 1pm at the Rockport Community House at 58 Broadway.


A raffle to support the work of the nonprofit Rockport Exchange (organizers of the farmers’ market) will be part of the fun. A bag of Rockport Farmers Market swag will be raffled every hour on the hour (10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm) so buy a ticket for just $1 and have a swell time winning stuff, supporting the market, and most importantly, supporting local food producers.

RFM swag bag

Also: Spiran Lodge has the annual Jul Fest tomorrow! This is a fantastic Rockport tradition and a nod to the village’s heritage. Pickled herring can be yours, along with tons of other great food and crafts. 9 to 1pm at Spiran Lodge on Broadway. And Rockport’s annual Gallery Stroll is tomorrow, with Rockport artists welcoming visitors to town.

AND the entire Charlie Brown Christmas album will be featured at the Old Sloop Coffeehouse Saturday night! This is just too much…. come for the Rockport Winter Farmers Market and stay for the day, ending the evening listening to live music, sipping coffee at the Old Sloop Coffeehouse at the beautiful First Congregational Church on Main Street in Rockport.


Santa Claus Comes to Rockport

I posted a few “live blog” photos of Santa’ much awaited arrival, but here are several more.

Such a fun tradition.  It is so fun to watch the boys, and all of Rockport’s children, get older each year as they stand on T-Wharf and await Santa’s arrival.

This was our 9th “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and the novelty has certainly not worn off.


Whimsical dish towels, too pretty to use!

Liv, Matt and Asley surprised me with several of these hand screened French kitchen towels from La Provence. This shop is a treasure trove of colorful, fun, and yet very practical, holiday gifts; truly wonderful for the special someone on your holiday wish list that loves to cook and to entertain.

Especially noteworthy are their pure cotton Provence tablecloths, which come as is, or very lightly coated with a virtually undetectable acrylic finish that you can simply sponge clean. The kids spilled red wine on my new yellow poppy tablecloth last night and when I noticed this morning I thought for sure it was ruined. The caked on red wine wiped clean in a second! Anyone who has had linens badly stained by red wine knows this is remarkable.

While supplies last, La Provence is currently offering a free Mariposa gift with a 75.00 purchase of anything Mariposa. La Provence is located at 4 Main Street, Rockport.


Above photo courtesy La Provence

« Older Entries