Male Red-winged Blackbird Love Song (turn up your volume)
SEE MORE PHOTOS HERE
Male Red-winged Blackbird Love Song (turn up your volume)
SEE MORE PHOTOS HERE
An illustrated lecture on the history of the R.B. Strong Excavating & Sewerage Contractor, Inc.
GLOUCESTER, Mass. (April 17, 2015) – The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to present Who We Are Is Who We Were – Historic Businesses of Cape Ann: R. B. Strong on Saturday, April 25 at 3:00 p.m.
Join professors Janeil Rey and Shelby Clark for an illustrated talk on the history of the R.B. Strong Company, dating back to its founding by their great grandfather Walter Cressy in the mid-1800s. From paving the original runways at Boston’s Logan Airport to their role in the creation of the Cape Ann Museum’s sculpture park, the excavation company has been “Strong on Quality” since the late 1800s. This program is free for members or with Museum admission.
R.B. Strong Going “Strong” on the Niles Pond Brace Cove Causeway Restoration
Who We Are Is Who We Were – Historic Businesses of Cape Ann is an ongoing series of presentations focusing on Cape Ann businesses that have been in existence for over one hundred years. The series launched in 2011 with Ryan & Wood Distilleries and has included Cape Pond Ice, H.A. Burnham Boat Building & Design, and the sail making, furniture restoration and fine art painting businesses located at 16 Rogers Street in Gloucester.
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The Cape Ann Museum tells multiple stories, all relating to Cape Ann. Founded in 1873, the Museum’s collections represent the history of Cape Ann, its people, its industries, its art and culture. For a detailed media fact sheet please visit www.capeannmuseum.org/press.
The Museum is located at 27 Pleasant Street in Gloucester. Hours areTuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is $10.00 adults, $8.00 Cape Ann residents, seniors and students. Youth (under 18) and Museum members are free. For more information please call: (978)283-0455 x10. Additional information can be found online at www.capeannmuseum.org.
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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!
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.
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.
The native pussy willow trees remain intact while much of the invasive phragmites appear to have been removed. Come spring, perhaps Seaside Goldenrod and other tough, salt tolerant natives will be planted to help hold the rocks in place.
Beautiful R.B. Strong Excavator Bucket ~ Do you think the lettering and decorative design were created by soldering metal to the bucket? The decoration must be incredibly well applied to survive daily earth-moving.
As has been reported here on GMG many times, the berm was severely damaged by a succession of storms, very notably after Superstorm Sandy. The causeway is also increasingly at risk because the Brace Cove breakwater has deteriorated, which means that the berm is harder hit during extreme weather.
Over time, the rocks that were used to build the causeway have gradually been swept into the pond. The excavator is permitted to scoop up the rocks from the Niles Pond side to rebuild the height of the causeway. No rocks from the Brace Cove side were used to restore the causeway.
The restoration of the berm is ecological progress at its best. By fortifying the causeway, the uniquely beautiful environment, where freshwater Niles Pond meets salty Brace Cove, will continue to remain a sanctuary for Cape Ann wildlife.
Reader Cynthia Hill wrote the following in response to a recent GMG post, Thanksgiving Day Brace Cove Gloucester:
Can someone prove to me that this is Brace Cove, when for 65 years it’s been Brace’s Cove?
Old maps show it both ways, but I spent a third of my life there ~ always at Brace’s Cove.
When I was small, all our parents “managed Brace’s”, kept it clean and raked, had many a great
clam bakes in front of the Kaknes’ house, all to keep us kids safe during the polio scare.
Every time I see your beautiful photos, I think Brace’s Cove….I’ve explored maps at Fred’s.
Would love it if an “old timer” such as myself, could help sort this out.
Hi Cynthia, Here’s what I found in Joe Garland’s book Eastern Point, page 11, 2nd paragraph:
“Incidentally, this is one of the earliest references to what should properly be called Brace Cove, variously identified as Bracy’s and Brase’s in contemporary documents. Viewed as a proper name, the etymology leads to a dead end; but rid yourself of that mental set, and the derivation is surpassingly direct: a brace, from the Middle English and Old French, was an arm. Brace is an obsolete word for an arm of the sea, an inlet–a perfect figure of speech in the case of the stunning cove whose waters are so nearly embraced by the lethal, pincer-like arms of Brace Rock and Bemo Ledge.”
Cynthia, I too have seen it spelled several different ways on antique and newer maps. Perhaps if they have a spare moment, some of our “old timer” readers will weigh in–it would be very much appreciated. Thank you!
Along with my recovery comes more energy, and I’m able to frame more photos at the gallery. On Saturday, I framed “Brace Cove, Eastern Point” and the map “Pigeon Cove, 1884.” I think we’ll be in pretty good shape for the holiday season, as I continue to deck the walls.
Out on Eastern Point this morning great flocks of seagulls were riding the waves while the Niles Pond swans and ducks were tucked into their shoreline retreats. The cormorants were many and could be seen clustering on rocky perches all around the inner harbor.
I only stayed for a moment at the Brace Cove berm because the waves were so tremendous that it really didn’t feel safe. I am glad to report though that at 10:30 this morning the narrowest slip of land that prevents Niles Pond from becoming Brace Cove’s salt marsh appears to have weathered this October nor’easter.
While filming B-roll for several projects I caught the sunrise at Brace Cove this October morning. The seals were awakening, as were the swan couple, the cormorants and gulls stretching wide their wings, and the songbirds breaking fast on the abundance of wild berries and seed heads found along the berm at Niles Pond. Click image to see full size.
A precariously perched pod of plump pinnipeds pose for passersby at Brace Cove. Say that three times fast.
Although Red-winged Blackbirds are spied around Niles Pond during the winter months, spring brings flocks, and the males are an especially welcome sight chortling atop the pussy willow branches along the water’s edge. Red-winged Blackbirds are one of North America’s most abundant birds. If you were a male of the kind, you might be singing your heart out, too. The species is highly polygynous and some males have been known to have as many as 15 mates during a single season!
The males are glossy black with distinctive red epaulettes and yellow wing bars, which they often puff out confidently when singing from their perches. The females have a streaky brown song sparrow-like wing patterning and stay close to the ground feeding and building their intricately woven nests at the base of cattails and reeds, along the marsh’s edge.
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I am presenting 2 lectures this coming week, Monday on Butterfly Gardening in Shrewsbury and Wednesday evening on The Pollinator Garden at the Flint Library in North Reading. Please visit the events page of my website for more information.
There was a time when I would have known what these were, but they are cute and there were a bunch of them on the shore at Brace Cove. Anyone know what they are?
View standing on the flooded path, looking towards the Atlantic
This big rolly polly seal was trying so hard to stay on his rock as the tide came in at Brace Cove. Eventually the sea won and knocked him off.