Category Archives: Rockport


mr foxshalin liu 4.29.2016


What Time Is It, Mr. Fox? will be performing with the Rockport High School Madrigal Choir. The Madrigal Choir, led by Patti Pike, will be opening up the evening, and then accompanying What Time Is It, Mr. Fox? on several songs at the end of the night. A percentage of ticket sales will be donated back to the RPS Music Department.

Mr Fox is working on a new album, and will be performing those new songs on the 29th.
It’s also lead singer-songwriter, 3rian King’s birthday! What Time Is It, Mr. Fox? features Nathan Cohen on violin & trumpet, Renee Dupuis on vocals, piano, and melodica, Joe Cardoza on upright bass, Dennis Monagle on drums, and 3rian King on voice, acoustic guitar, & piano. The band’s sound has been described as Tom Waits and Amy Winehouse performing in a secret French cafe.

Tickets range $20-$32 and can be purchased here:

There are student and senior discounts if you call the box office to order tickets at 978 546 7391.
Photos and additional band info can be found here:





Mute swan Kim SmithDiamonds in the rough

Pipe down duckies, Mr. Swan is having his morning nap!

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Mr. Swan resting (trying to) in the early morning sun. Mallards courting make nap time difficult.

Pebble Beach sunrise Rockport Kim SmithThis morning at Pebble Beach

Homie and Rubber Duck’s Fifth Anniversary

Five years since Rubber Duck and Homie met on that blustery day April 18, 2011. The Fifth is the wood anniversary. Homie gave Rubber Duck a carving of Homie. (Homie is a little self-centered.)

Homie would have carved it himself but he has no opposable thumbs.

Homie would have carved it himself but he has no opposable thumbs.

The following is a repost of Hpmie and Rubber Duck’s First Anniversary describing that fateful hook-up five years ago today.

Homie: “You’re not from around here are you? May I show you the cove?”

Solitude of the lonely Homie.

Cold, lonely, rubbery, but Patriotic!

A little stand offish at first.

They’re eyes locked and Homie was in love.

“So how many children should we have?” Homie wasn’t wasting any time.

“I have a lovely nest on Milk Island.”

You’re not listening to a word I’m saying!”

“We could make it work!”

“Do you think it’s safe to come out?”

Your friends are rude Homie.

Rubber Duck out on the Town at another Fred Bodin Christmas party.

I cannot believe it has only been one year since the Rubber Duck met Homie on a blustery day just like today, April 18, 2011. When I posted that first part of the Rubber Duck saga I was only joking about it being a twenty part series. Little did I know that maybe a hundred posts later the story is still not finished. To commemorate their anniversary I repost the first few chapters. Later this week will be an update of how Homie and Rubber Duck spent their day today. Part I posted April 18th, 2011:  (This will be a twenty part series.) Part II posted April 19th, 2011: But first, the back story. Two lonely birds:  But soon the connection was made and time stopped. ”  “I am so out of here!”  But Homie came back of course and took Rubber Duck all over. The Rockport Dump, Thacher Island lighthouse, Maine, Florida, meeting Santa when he arrived in Rockport, wine tasting at Passports, Duck Confit at Duckworth’s. Then, just a few months later, things got a little weird: Last sighting of RD was at the Spring Fling two weeks ago with rumors that she was at the Thirsty Golf contest at the DogBar last week when Joey caught her again staring at him.  Flexilis anatidaephobia is the fear that a rubber duck is staring at you and Joey has got it bad.

A Modern Day Gloucester Sea Monster Encounter

A true story, the following is a modern day fanciful beast encounter. I have been reluctant to write about this adventure for fear it would draw sight-seers to regions of Cape Ann off the beaten path, as happened with the white pelican sighting. Now that the mystery of its identity may perhaps be solved, I think it safe.

One morning at daybreak as I was unloading my gear at Brace Cove, I paused to scan the edges and then the whole of Niles Pond. I do this often when out filming and photographing at our local ponds and marshes, looking for swans and other wild birds that may be seeking shelter along these idyllic shores. In the middle of the pond was a float of ice with a great many seagulls just beginning to awaken with the rising sun. Nothing unusual about that. What caught my attention was a very large brown shape there on the ice amongst the gulls. Harumph! I said to no one but myself, what a view spoiler and how utterly trashy that a large brown paper lawn and leaf bag should blow out to the middle of the pond and become stuck there. And then the brown shape slithered into the pond. I not only saw it, but heard the very distinct sound of a creature sliding expertly into water. I tried in vain to catch another glimpse and spent the remainder of the morning half spooked and half kicking myself for not more hurriedly making the effort to film and photograph the “garbage bag.” If only I’d known it was alive!

Shortly after the creature encounter, I read about the Ten Pound Island sea monster sightings and concluded, that yes, a mysterious sea creature could easily swim around Eastern Point Lighthouse, haul up at Brace Cove, cross the causeway, and have himself a swim at Niles Pond, if he were so inclined.

I thought about this beast encounter for weeks and at one point, somewhat embarrassedly, asked my husband to come with me to photograph a moonlit evening at Niles Pond as I wasn’t sure I wanted to come face to face with such a great creature at night. By myself. Being the good sport that he is, he came, if just to prove that it was perfectly safe to photograph in the moonlight.

As mentioned, I’ve been hesitant to write this until very recently when at Henry’s Pond, on a rainy and chilly early spring morning I spied for only a few moments what appeared to be a very mini version of the Niles Pond creature. It was swimming at top speed with a long sinuous streamlined shape beneath the surface of the water and only a bit of its head visible above the water. I took a blurry snapshot and raced home to search books and internet for any clues. The creature was too big to be a muskrat and its tail too slender to be a beaver. I am almost certain that what I saw at Henry’s was a North American River Otter. Two weeks passed when while filming Mr. Swan, again on an overcast morning at Henry’s, the little creature energetically appeared near the marshy shore on the opposite side of the pond, looked all around, dove, re-emerged, again looked all about, and then disappeared. This time I was able to capture a few seconds of video of this inquisitive little otter.

What I have learned about North American River Otters is that they can grow very large, up to five and half feet and weigh thirty pounds. There is the Great River Otter of South America, which can grow over six feet, but the creature I saw at Niles was about four and half to five feet long.

Well there you go, a modern day fanciful beast encounter. After seeing my beast, I think it quite easy to understand how sea monster stories from days gone by could so easily capture people’s imaginations.

Please write if you think you have seen a River Otter in your neighborhood. Thank you!

Look toward the marsh in the first clip, with Mr. Swan in the foreground. You can see the bobbing head of the otter in the background. I was hoping to see the otter again and try to capture better footage but it has been several weeks and no further sightings.


Cape Ann marshes are coming to life, in spite of the snowy days and unseasonably cold temperatures. Choristers make themselves readily known with their mating songs and with still bare tree limbs, they are fairly easy to spot.

Red-winged Blackbird male Rockport MA Kim Smith 2016

Sing, sing, sing!

Cardinal Female Kim Smith 2016Mrs. Cardinal

Mouring Dove pair Kim Smith 2016Camouflaged! No eggs yet at the Mouring Dove nest.

Swan male rockport MA Kim SmithMr. Swan looking good.

cat in nine tails Kim SmithDissipating cattail seed heads make for terrific songbird nesting material.

Turn up your volume and listen for the male Red-winged Blackbird song in the instagram below, just audible enough through the noisy Mallards quacking.

Swan check up and Mr. Swan is doing aokay. No sign of a new Mrs. though.

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on


Post Card of My ‘Hood

I do a lot of shopping on eBay.  Meaning that, while I don’t really shop a lot, when I do, it is often on eBay.  I stumbled upon a great “vintage” post card of Old Garden Beach and ordered it…thinking that it’d be fun to frame it next to one of my own photos of the quaint little beach at the end of our street.  My boys clocked some serious hours at OGB until this past summer when the lure of the bigger beaches came calling.  I loved the idea of owning a little freeze-framed moment of how the beach looked years ago…with different little families dotting the sand years before mine came along.  Warm fuzzies.

So, the post card has been tucked into a glass cabinet in our living room since arriving in the mail and it wasn’t until yesterday that I really looked at it.  Now I’m trying to find out just how “vintage” it is.  The people are actually kind of hard to see….and while they look like decades gone by….and while the post card itself is black and white…the houses along the beach wall and street up above don’t look much different than they do today.

The back of the post card simply says, “Published by Rockport Photo Bureau” and “Post Cards of Quality:  The Albertype Company, Brooklyn N.Y.

I’ll have to do some research.




The Emerson Inn By the Sea is now hiring and is hosting a job fair

Saturday April 2nd from noon to 4pm.


Thank you for your interest in employment at Emerson Inn. Emerson Inn selectively offers career opportunities to outstanding individuals with a proven record of success and demonstrated service ethic. We are currently accepting applications for many roles at the Inn including Front of House, Guest Services, Housekeeping and the Kitchen.

Emerson Inn is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate by race, gender, religion or physical challenges.

Candidates are encouraged to apply with us via our Online Application. Alternatively, you can download Migis Hotel Group – Emerson Inn Application for Employment and send it to:

Emerson Inn
Attn: Human Resources
1 Cathedral Avenue
Rockport, MA 01966
– OR –

The information above was provided by Chef Doug Papows.



1-7-2011 112003 PMBrenda writes:

Hello Kim,

Here are the photos of Loblolly Beach. They are of the Grimes family (mine) and the Knowlton family from Pigeon Cove. The photos were taken around 1958, except for the picture with all the kids, that was early 1950s. The guy cooking with a bottle of beer in his hand is my dad Calvin “Coolie” Grimes. The last photo is my parents, my brother Cal and me.

Sorry that they are such poor quality.


Thank you Brenda for sharing these great family photos/treasures taken at Loblolly Cove! The top one especially shows that the topography has not changed much and it is still the same rocky Cape Ann beach! Love the Wonder Bread, too. Thanks so much for taking the time to scan these:)

the knowltons and cal coolie3jpg grimes cal loblolly


Lobster liver or pine tree, the mystery of the origins of the name Loblolly Cove is perhaps solved. Thank you to GMG reader “escape pod” for steering us in the direction of the blog Vintage Rockport and to Lois for her suggestion to read about pines during the Eemian interglacial period.

It would be challenging to learn whether the early colonists knew about Loblolly Pine trees in 1700 when the cove was first named by Welshman Peter Emmons. The word loblolly is a combination of lob referring to thick bubbling soup and lolly is from an old British dialect word for broth or soup. In the southeastern United States loblolly means mudhole or mire, in a sense relating to thick soup. Loblolly Pines generally (but not always) grow in the swampy lowlands of the southeast.

More plausible to the mystery of the naming of Loblolly Cove is the following account written by Frederic Sharon in 1939 and found on the Vintage Rockport blog. The article is fascinating, as is the website. The excerpt is pertinent to our mystery, and do read the full account. I loved learning that there was a little fish shack called Haskell’s Camp there at one time on Loblolly Cove. Recently I learned too that lobsters were so plentiful in the days of the early colonist and could be found in such great abundance on the beach amongst the seaweed that one needed only reach out their hand to take one home for dinner; no lobster traps needed!

From Vintage Rockport: A 1939 News Article About Haskell’s Camp and the Origin of the Name ‘Loblolly’

“…The fame of these clambakes was spread by these men and soon summer visitors heard about them. They used to come up from the resorts in tally-ho’s and barges (that was before the automobile) and then they began demanding shore dinners for smaller parties and individuals. So began the business that made Loblolly Cove famous.

“Why Loblolly Cove?” I asked. “What does Loblolly mean?”

Haskells Camp 2

“The Camp” at Loblolly Cove, Rockport, where those wonderful
clambakes originate.

“That’s what I wanted to know, and I was a long time finding out. I found in the dictionary that ‘loblolly’ meant thick oatmeal gruel; another definition said it was a kind of tree. This didn’t suit me; I found that Peter Emmons, a Welshman, received a grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts about the year 1700 of this region. He named it Loblolly Cove. Now why. I wondered.

“Some years ago a Welshman had one of my shore dinners and after finishing his lobster remarked that that was as good a loblolly as he had ever eaten. I pounced on him at once. What did he mean by loblolly?”

“Why,” he replied in surprise, “don’t you know what loblolly is?”

“No,” I said eagerly. “What is it?”

Loblolly on Bread!

“Well, in my boyhood in Wales,” he replied, “we used to catch lobsters and cook them and the piece-de-resistance was the loblolly, the liver or fat of the lobster, you know that sort of greenish thing you see in a broiled lobster. Well that is the loblolly and we used to spread it on bread because we didn’t have much butter. So there you are. The loblolly is a lobster liver.”

“And then to clinch it, one day a lovely old lady from Salem was having a shore dinner and as she finished she said: ‘That was a lovely loblolly.’”

“So I tackled her and here is what she said: ‘Loblolly, why all my life I’ve known the liver or fat of the lobster as the loblolly.’

“‘But, why?’ I asked determined to find out further about this elusive word. ‘Why,’ she said, ‘when I was a girl we used to go to Nahant for our lobsters because there was a Welshman there who caught such wonderful ones, noted because of their delicious loblollies.’

“So that settled it. Peter Emmons was a Welshman, the lobsters he found in his cove had superior ‘loblollies,’ so he named his cove ‘Loblolly Cove’ and the lobsters to this day have kept alive the tradition.

“Well,” continued Haskell, “I was young and wanted to see the world, so I went to New York and entered business. After two companies I was with folded up I decided to come back here, especially as this business had grown and father needed me, so here I’ve been ever since.”

Read more (and learn how they cooked the lobsters) here:

A 1939 News Article About Haskell’s Camp and the Origin of the Name ‘Loblolly’

Mystery at Loblolly Cove


Haskell’s Camp Loblolly Cove from Vintage Rockport

TONIGHT Brooks Williams & Jeremy Lyons at Old Sloop!


Check out these videos:

And here’s a video of Jeremy Lyons playing and singing the Mark Sandman parts at a concert we produced at T.T. The Bears to benefit the Mark Sandman Project in 2009.  You can see Jeremy at 4:40.

Rockport Farmers Market on Saturday!

Supporting Local Food

The Rockport Farmers Market has been setting up at the Community House in Rockport this winter as a new venture in local food, and it has been an interesting and exciting experiment so far to hold a farmers’ market every month from January all the way into the summer when the weekly market returns. The Cape Ann community supports local food producers in a big way, and the farmers’ market vendors are looking forward to seeing all of you on Saturday at the March market!

Local food patrons can pick up fresh greens and locally-raised meats from Arrowhead Family Farm, First Light Farm and Rockport’s own Seaview Farm. Plus, there will be loads of other foods from local producers: smoked fish from Sasquatch Smokehouse, locally-roasted direct trade coffee from Valverde Coffee, dried fruits from All-Fruit, soups from The Soup Guy, granola and more from The Yellow Plum, fresh baked goods from Cake Ann, pickles from Ma & Pa’s Pickles, and dahlia tubers from Roving Radish and much more!!!

RWinterFMposter (1)FREE Tote with $50 Purchase!

At Saturday’s Rockport Winter Farmers Market (March 19th from 9am to 1pm at the Rockport Community House), patrons who spend $50 or more will receive a Rockport Farmers Market tote: a high-quality screenprinted reversible fabric bag with inside pocket – perfect for carrying all your delicious farmers’ market goods.

Pick up a “farmers’ market patron” card at the Rockport Exchange booth at the market and vendors will check off each $10 increment you spend. If you spend $50 at tomorrow’s market, simply present your card back at the Rockport Exchange booth for redemption at the end of your Rockport Farmers Market visit.

Enjoy fresh, local food and support the work of local food producers, PLUS get a handy tote in the process: a winning situation!

For more info visit

RE farmersmktcouponPIC

Rockport in Bloom

The Rockport Garden Club, Rockport, Massachusetts

Friday, June 24, 2016 at 10:00 AM Saturday, June 25, 2016 at 4:00 PM (EDT)

This is a self guided tour of 10 private gardens from Pigeon Cove to the South End, and in town Rockport. The gardens range from an inviting cozy garden on Bearskin Neck to expansive seaside vistas to self-sustaining gardens replete with chickens, ducks, and bees.  The gardens show the wonderful diversity of Rockport life and invite all to enjoy all that Rockport has to offer.

The Rockport Garden Tour is June 24 & 25, 2016 from 10am to 4pm each day. Early bird discount: $20 if purchased prior to June 1. Starting June 1 tickets are $25. (There is an additional fee applicable for online purchases.) Tickets purchased online can be picked up at the Rockport Police Station on the days of the tour.  Tickets can also be purchased on the days of the tour for $25 at the Rockport Police Station 168 Main Street; and, at Toad Hall Book Store, 47 Main Street, Rockport, MA.  Tour is held rain or shine.



Last night’s Cape Ann sunset (these snapshots from Loblolly Cove and Pebble Beach), was yet another splendid beauty treat. How fortunate are we who live here!

Thacher Island North Light sunset smith designs.comNorth Light, Thacher Island

Cape Ann sunset -2

Reeds reflected

A photo posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on


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