Tag Archives: Cape Ann
The title of the post could just as easily have read Monarchs, Eggs, and Caterpillars Here, There, and Everywhere. I haven’t seen this much Monarch activity on Cape Ann in over ten years and hope so much the number of Monarchs seen in gardens, meadows, and dunes indicates a strong migration.
Thank you to everyone who has written in with your Monarch sightings! The reports are tremendously informative and fun to read, so please, do continue to let us know. The rainy cool weather has temporarily put the kibosh on mating and egg laying, but they are here on our shores and just waiting for a few warm hours and the sun to come out to renew breeding activity.
Monarchs not only drink nectar from the florets of milkweed, it is the only species of plant on which they deposit their eggs. In the above photo you can clearly see the Monarch probing for nectar with her proboscis, or drinking straw.
Look for the butterflies, eggs, and caterpillars wherever milkweed grows. In our region, they are most often found on pink flowering Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) and Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), as opposed to the orange milkweeds, A. curassavica and A. tuberosa.
The eggs are typically laid on the underside of the leaf, near the top of the plant. Tiny golden domes, no larger than a pinhead, Monarch eggs are easily confused with the eggs of other insects.
Once the tiny caterpillar emerges, it will stay towards the top of the plant, venturing further to larger leaves as it grows.
I was trying to take a snapshot of two Monarchs flying but not until I returned home did I realize that resting on a leaf were a pair of Monarchs mating. Lara Lepionka had just sent a photo the day before of a pair mating in a tree above her garden. Typically Monarchs will begin mating on the ground, or the foliage of a lower plant plant such as squash or milkweed. They will join together abdomen to abdomen and, once securely attached, the male then carries the female to a safer location. A male and female Monarch will stay coupled together for four to five hours before releasing (see photo below of a pair of Monarchs mating, towards center left.
Not everyone has a gorgeous milkweed patch like Patti Papows. Don’t despair. You don’t have to go far! I am finding tons of eggs and caterpillars on the Common Milkweed that grows around the edge of the parking lot at Good Harbor Beach.
More seaside little libraries on Cape Ann http://www.littlefreelibrary.org
Heartbreaking to see, the usually majestic Northern Gannet is struggling to survive.
This beautiful Northern Gannet appears to have the same neurological symptoms of the mysterious disease that has caused over one hundred Gannets to wash ashore on Cape Cod beaches. Veterinarians are sending samples of the dead and dying birds to the USDA to see if federal experts can find the cause. A harmful algae bloom (often referred to as Red Tide) is suspect.
The Gannet tried and tried to take flight, but to no avail, wobbling instead and repeatedly tipping over.
The first dying Northern Gannet seen on a Cape Ann beach was shared by Ann Rittenburg. On July 12th, she discovered the bird struggling at Good Harbor Beach. Dianne Corliss, Gloucester’s Animal Control Officer, rescued the seabird. Dianne tried to help, but the Gannet was eventually put to sleep. She warns that the bills of Northern Gannets are extremely powerful. If you come across a Gannet on the beach, do not go near it as they are known to go for the eyes and necks of people.
What makes the deaths even more troubling is that Northern Gannets are winter migrants through our area, and most months are spent at sea. 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.
My husband Tom and I saw these magnificent seabirds from the shores of Provincetown last spring. They were feeding along with the Right Whales. The Northern Gannets soared high above the whales and then plunged straight down with a powerful ferocity. It was dramatic and gorgeous to see. I hope the same illness or Red Tide that is killing the Gannets will not affect whales.
Reports of Monarch Butterfly sightings are coming in from all around Cape Ann, and beyond. I have seen more this this year than in recent summers. I wonder if higher numbers in July indicates a stronger migration in September. We can hope!
At this time of year, the females are depositing the eggs of the next generation. You can find Monarchs at wildflower meadows, dunes, and gardens, where ever milkweed and nectar-rich flora grow. Typically, the eggs and caterpillars are found on the undersides of the uppermost leaves.
If you would, please report any Monarch activity that you have seen–eggs, flight, caterpillars, nectaring, mating, whatever you discover. Please share the approximate date and place. Even if you have shared previously in a comment, I hope to keep all the sightings in one place, so please re-comment. Thank you!
Thank you everyone for writing! How exciting that so many are being spotted, many more than the past several years. One was in my garden this morning, again, and two at Good Harbor Beach dunes earlier this morning.
Adding JoeAnn Hart, Susan Burke and Michele Del, as they commented on Facebook.
Patti, do you have caterpillars?? I’d love to stop by and see.
Please keep your comments coming. Thank you!!!!
When watching, note that the first two minutes of the film were shot in Gloucester. I think you will be dazzled by the numbers of Monarchs that travel through Cape Ann’s backyards and meadows during the peak of migration.
We stopped down the docks at Cape Ann’s Marina Resort last night to visit quickly with “Uncle Ricky” on the Wicked Pissah and were happy to get the chance to also say “hello” to Captain Paul Hebert…as well as Beaker on the Miss Fern. After chatting with Beaker about the upcoming Bluefin Blowout Tournament (he’s always a huge contender…if not the winner), Ricky showed us some photos (the one he texted me is included) of a shark that they caught/released off of Rockport around 2:00 in the afternoon.
The jury is out as to whether it is a Great White or a Porbeagle? I’m no expert, but I do know all about Cisco and his recent sightings. I also read, as you may have as well, this awesome blog post about lobsterman, Gil Mitchell, hooking Cisco recently.
In addition, there have also been some porbeagle sharks seen in the area.
I do know that porbeagle sharks have a distinctive white triangle at the rear base of their dorsal fins….which this shark seems to have. The face, however, and the clear line between the bluish grey coloring and the white belly seems more indicative of a white shark. Also, the tail fin seems to be curved or rounded in the same direction as a great white as opposed to curved in like a porbeagle’s (see tail fin chart) Hmmm.
Porbeagle sharks, for the record, are members of the same family as great whites, but I’ve read that there have only been three recorded attacks on humans…and none were fatal.
Born in Denmark, but made Gloucester her home for the past five decades.
Perhaps she was drawn here because of her roots,
after all Cape Ann is named after Queen Ann of Denmark.
The Gloucester Times ran a story last week about the Rockport Farmers Market and the Essex Farmers Market, and the difficulty of keeping volunteer-run markets going. Essex is taking a hiatus this year while they regroup. We hope you will support their efforts, as the more local food each community can bring to the people who live there, the better. The Rockport Farmers Market brings food to a village without a grocery store, while providing a chance for locals and visitors to hang out and catch up every Saturday morning. The market has become a crucial part of the local landscape; it’s success is this reason the volunteers, vendors, and patrons drag themselves out of bed on the weekends.
On Friday, June 23rd, the Rockport Farmers Market will celebrate the kickoff to the summer season, with Rockport Exchange (the organizers of the market) hosting a party and fundraiser at Seaview Farm. Music from Old Cold Tater, and beef sliders from Seaview, prepared by Relish Catering, along with delicious food & drink generously provided by Common Crow, StudioCrepe, Cake Ann, Westport Rivers Winery and more!
For this Friday’s event: a suggested donation of $35 supports the Rockport Farmers Market and helps keep it going in its mission in bringing local food to Rockport! Go to www.rockportexchange.org to reserve your spot, or click on the photo, below. See you there, and thanks!
O’Maley bands and choruses killing it. Great job Gloucester!
And no wonder. Listen to this teacher and share: Carlos Menezes delivers an awesome introduction inspired by his students and the extraordinary Charles Allan Winter WPA-era mural at City Hall.
Band and chorus snippets loading..
Packed and happy house
$2400 Gloucester liquor license up in the air “feels like the lottery” and suggestions by Brian Hamilton
I have loved this past month’s atmospheric and textured, misty April weather. Do you recall an April as foggy? I don’t. Whenever out and about and a spare moment was mine, I grabbed my camera and had a go at capturing beautiful fog-shrouded Cape Ann.
Trying out the new teleconverter–note the little tiny figure fishing on the breakwater in the photo on the left, which was shot at 18mm, and then with the 400mm lens plus tele.
Same focal lengths with Ten Pound Island.
First named Tragabigzanda after a Turkish Princess, Cape Ann was later renamed by King Charles in honor of his mother, Queen Anne. The granite rock formation at the tip of Eastern Point looks to me like the silhouette of a figurehead on a ship’s bow. Historically though, Mother Ann is thought to represent either a reclining Puritan woman or Anne of Denmark, the mother of King Charles.
I have been experimenting with different focal lengths with the new 1.4 teleconverter. The first photo was taken at 400mm with the teleconverter. I am not sure if the fog or the lens is creating the softness but I think it’s going to be lots of fun nonetheless, especially for wildlife.
April 28 6:02AM
April 28 3:14PM
April 28 6:02AM
April 28 3:14PM
Don’t you love a scene that tells a story? I imagine a whimsical spirit lives here, with rocks arranged in the tree’s craggy branches and the swing hung in such a creative fashion.
Featured: Brant Geese, Black-capped Chickadees, Black-crowned Night Heron, Blue Jays, Cardinals, American Robins, Mockingbirds, Savannah Sparrows, House Finches, Red-breasted Mergansers, and Common Grackle.
Beautiful iridescent feathers of the Common Grackle.
Spring is a fantastic time of year in Massachusetts to see wildlife, whether that be whale or winged creature. Marine species are migrating to the abundant feeding grounds of the North Atlantic as avian species are traveling along the Atlantic Flyway to summer breeding regions in the boreal forests and Arctic tundra. And, too, the bare limbs of tree branches and naked shrubs make for easy viewing of birds that breed and nest in our region. Verdant foliage that will soon spring open, although much longed for, also obscures nesting activity. Get out today and you’ll be richly rewarded by what you see along shoreline and pond bank.
Male Red-winged Blackbird singing to his lady love.
Once the trees leaf, we’ll still hear the songsters but see them less.
Five migrating Brant Geese were foraging on seaweed at Loblolly Cove this morning.
Read dishy brief updates from downtown, marketing opportunities from MOTT, and trending topics from across the state. The arts scene in Gloucester and Cape Ann has so much going on and sets such a high, high bar for the state. We needed a calendar and GMG did it! Reminder: If organizations want to be featured on the essential GMG calendar and weekly arts round-up, they should email their listings to James Eves! Triple check the calendar before planning any major scheduling dates.
What’s New March 2017 updates link (if embed doesn’t show)
*= Founding Partner Yellow = NEW partner March 2017 Bold blue= updates
Sneak peek inside the Braga’s new Italiano Restaurant and Bar opening soon in Gloucester’s Little Italy…and they’re hiring
In a city of incredibly good eats how do you make yours stand out?
BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! Women’s Equality Cape Ann (WECANN) official t-shirt. Staying active and alert! #wecann #gloucesterma
Buy one or buy ten and help support desperately needed scholarships!
CLICK BELOW TO GET YOURS TODAY!!
Jessica Marie says “YES YOU CAN, YES WECANN!”
Slated to run in conjunction with National Women’s History Month, Women of Essex Stories to Share, will be on display most weekends from March 18-April 29. The show is hosted by Essex Historical Society and Shipbuilding Museum. Lee adds:
“The motivation for this exhibit was the recognition that, while our emphasis at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum has been on shipbuilding and the men involved with it, there were many significant roles of women in the community. Hence the exhibit Women of Essex – Stories to Share. This exhibit features about a dozen women that we are featuring individually in this first phase of the project. To help scope this effort, we are focusing this phase on women who are no longer with us. These include the women that were instrumental in building the first meeting house, one of the first woman auctioneers in the country, a female professional baseball player, a woman who was a motivator behind several town projects, several individuals active in the arts, and even an enslaved woman. There will be collections of several other groups of women, namely teachers and restaurateurs, an Essex mainstay.”