Tag Archives: Cape Ann

COYOTE CLAN

Stopping on my way home from a job site in Boston late this afternoon, I met up with a beautiful immature Yellow-crowned Night Heron. While photographing and filming, out from the woods appeared a pack of coyotes, two youngsters and two adults, I think. Then the heron that I was filming flew low and toward the coyotes; please don’t do that I said to nobody but myself. Up he then flew into the trees above and you can see one of the adult coyotes looking up toward the heron.

The canids took a few sips of water from the pond’s edge before stealing back into the brush. A few seconds later there was a series of loud growling and yelping. I was tired and shaky from a long day with no lunch, a little spooked that the coyotes were so close and didn’t wait to see what would happen next.  With both cameras in hand, I did manage to film the scene (and record audio of the ferocious growling!) and here are a few snapshots.

Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Immature

FAWN AND MAMA DEER AT EASTERN POINT

Longtime Eastern Point resident Elli shares this lovely scene of a doe and fawn foraging in her backyard. I have seen lots of bucks in the marsh at the EP Lighthouse and we’ve had a few single deer in our yard on Plum Street, but never a fawn and doe. I sure would love to photograph/film a fawn and mom on Cape Ann. Thanks so much to Elli for sharing!White-tailed doe and fawn, Eastern Point, Gloucester

Cape Ann SUP – SUPahBowl 2017

Yesterday’s Cape Ann SUP event at the Beauport Hotel Pavilion Beach

MONARCHS HERE, THERE, AND EVERYWHERE PART TWO AND PLEASE CONTINUE TO REPORT YOUR MONARCH SIGHTINGS

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.

Female Monarch depositing an egg on an upper leaf of Common Milkweed.

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.

Four Monarchs in One Photo!

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. 

Lara Lepionka cell phone photo of Monarchs mating in a tree.Monarch and Common Milkweed Good Harbor Beach

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.

Patti Papows Common Milkweed with Monarch and Bee

 

NORTHERN GANNET MYSTERIOUS DIESEASE STRIKES AGAIN

A second Northern Gannet, in little over a week, has come ashore to die on a Cape Ann Beach. Jim Dowd messaged from the Backshore that the Gannet was resting on the rocks and was not walking well.

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.

MONARCHS HERE, THERE, AND EVERYWHERE! PLEASE REPORT YOUR MONARCH BUTTERFLY SIGHTINGS (EDITED)

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! 

*EDIT:

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.

Another Shark Sighting off of Rockport….because you can never have enough.

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.

https://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com/2017/07/05/our-lobsterman-gil-mitchell-hooks-great-white-shark_cisco-off-of-thacher-island/

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.

Thoughts?

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.

READ MORE ABOUT PORBEAGLES HERE

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Come to Seaview Farm and Support the Rockport Farmers Market!

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!

Musician Carlos Menezes- one of world’s greatest middle school band teachers!

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

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$2400 Gloucester liquor license up in the air “feels like the lottery” and suggestions by Brian Hamilton

Another Gloucester Licensing Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday May 9, 6PM at the City Hall Annex on Pond Road. Once issued, will it be flipped or will it be held?
Here are some scenes from last week’s liquor license meeting at City Hall. Setting local caps on liquor licenses is outlined here Massachusetts laws. Those in favor of caps feel the policy laws help residents weigh in on whether additional local licenses are desirable, and prevents favoring new business at the expense of established businesses including some that spent tens of thousands on permits. Those against it maintain that it’s arcane, random and a hindrance to economic development. There are year round and seasonal licenses issued. For example, Gloucester Cinema & Stage, the Cave and Topside Grill have seasonal liquor ones. It’s a rarity here. Holyoke added 13 additional licenses in 2015. This interactive Google map of MA liquor licenses dates from that time. You can use  +-  keys on the map to zoom in to Gloucester as in screenshot below.

Brian Hamilton’s thoughtful input at the Licensing board meeting last week:

 

BEAUTIFUL CAPE ANN FOGGY DAYS

Greater Yellowlegs foraging in the marsh.

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.

Piping Plover

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.

And then the sun came out.

MOTHER ANN

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.

CAPE ANN WINGED CREATURE UPDATE

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.

Nests will be hidden.

Five migrating Brant Geese were foraging on seaweed at Loblolly Cove this morning.

Red-breasted Merganser Bath Time

Gloucester downtown harbortown cultural district: Partner Updates | March 2017

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. 

Gloucester downtown harbortown cultural district march 2017 updates CR

What’s New March 2017 updates link (if embed doesn’t show)

*= Founding Partner    Yellow =  NEW partner March 2017      Bold blue= updates

More save the dates — creative placemaking, smart cities, sustainable cities, cultural districts, smartgrowth

Sneak peek inside the Braga’s new Italiano Restaurant and Bar opening soon in Gloucester’s Little Italy…and they’re hiring

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Hugo, Marcus, and Richard (owner R S Construction)

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The Bragas’s highly anticipated second stand alone restaurant, the new Italiano Restaurant and Bar, will be opening at 64 Main Street well before people flock to our coast this summer. The former space of La Trattoria is being transformed by RS Construction which also built the Dunkin Donuts in Magnolia and the Azorean’s gorgeous bar expansion and function addition. The new restaurant has been under major construction for months because the build out is much more than a revamp.  The small kitchen is GONE. The entire former function space in the back is a brand spanking new kitchen.
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In a city of incredibly good eats how do you make yours stand out?

An excellent reputation helps: the Bragas opened Azorean in 2007 which quickly established a legion of loyal customers with its unique and exceptional cuisine. Besides quality, hard work and experience how about that awesome historic West End location. Italiano Restaurant joins a tipping point where Gloucester’s West End meets Boston’s North End. Italy Magazine I propose your next article in the series, Where to find Italy in America?- Gloucester’s West End! Come visit!
Tonno. 2 Main Street
Virgilios Italian Bakery. 29 Main Street
Short and Main. 36 Main Street
Pastaio via Corta. 11 Center Street
Caffe Sicilia. (978) 283-7345 40 Main Street
the Cave 44 Main Street
Cape Ann Olive Oil 57 Main Street
Cafe Dolce, 3 Main Street
Plus Sclafanis Italian Bakery is quite nearby, two book stores and Pop Gallery 🙂
The Braga’s new Italiano Restaurant team is hiring. Contact:
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ITALIANO RESTAURANT AND BAR 64 Main Street, Gloucester, MA
c/o Braga Management
132 Washington St
Gloucester, Massachusetts
Call (978) 283-4339
dbraga7827@aol.com
Where to find Italy in America - Boston's North EndWhere to find Italy in America-New York's Mulberry Street Part 1
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