More seaside little libraries on Cape Ann http://www.littlefreelibrary.org
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.
Yesterday’s captivating visibility at noon.
Thursday the boulevard….Friday the back shore and Good Harbor Beach.
Photos from the Fiesta Ferris wheel taken Thursday evening. Click the slideshow to see larger.
I know there are some photographers with lenses out there…and that my binocular-phone combo didn’t cut it! Stunning sight.
Saint Peter’s Novena 2017
Do you know anyone that would like to join our Cape Pond Ice “Coolest Guys & Gals” Team?
We have a part time summer position available at our Gloucester location!
We are looking for an Office Assistant / Tour Guide to help handle the day-to-day office functions, Gift Shop, web orders, manage merchandise inventory, social media accounts and be an Historic Ice House Tour Guide!
Come to Cape Pond Ice “down the Fort” to fill out an application. 104 Commercial Street, Fort Wharf.
NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE
Bluenose II is operated by the Lunenburg Marine Museum Society on behalf of the Province of Nova Scotia. Read about Bluenose II here.
The Tall Ships Drop Anchor in Canada and the US
More than 40 Tall Ships will be sailing Canadian waters to honour the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation in 2017. They are scheduled to stop at host ports in Ontario, Québec and the Maritimes, giving thousands of people the opportunity to admire the majestic beauty of these cathedrals of the seas.
Mr. Swan super stressed and panting while being chased around Henry’s Pond.
Photos courtesy Kim Smith
A popular swan at Henry’s Pond in Rockport managed to stay one step ahead of rescuers who were trying to capture him Tuesday.
The elderly bird, known affectionately as “Mr. Swan,” has been a common sight at the pond for many years. During that time, he’s fathered many cygnets and outlived two of his mates, and led a peaceful existence on the water.
But things took a turn recently when Mr. Swan hurt his leg. Although he could still swim, some people began to notice that Mr. Swan was having difficulty walking. And they began to worry.
Soon enough, the Animal Rescue League was called in to help.
“The swan is considered a community pet, so the goal was to capture it, have it treated, and then returned to the pond,” said Michael DeFina, a spokesman for the Animal Rescue League.
While that mission sounds simple, carrying it out proved to be anything but. Catching Mr. Swan turned out to be an impossible task for the organization’s rescue team. Armed with large nets, the two rescuers — Bill Tanguay and Mark Vogel — used kayaks to pursue Mr. Swan on the water. At one point, Vogel almost caught Mr. Swan in his net, but the bird was able to break free.
Mr. Swan eventually sought refuge in the reeds, and the rescuers decided to call off the chase.
“The swan was stressed, and the soaring temperatures made him very tired,” said DeFina. “The fact he eluded capture and was able to swim without showing obvious signs of pain led to the conclusion that the injury may not be that severe.”
“After giving up the chase, ARL and the concerned parties agreed to continually monitor the swan’s condition, and if it worsens, ARL will be contacted to get the swan medical attention, and again, have him returned to the pond,” DeFina said.
Kim Smith, a Gloucester resident who counts herself among one of Mr. Swan’s many fans, described the rescue attempt as a “wild swan chase.”
“He was chased back and forth across the pond,” she said.
What made his escape even more impressive is Mr. Swan’s age. According to Smith, sightings of Mr. Swan date back to the early 1990s, which would make him at least 27 years old. (Smith knows Mr. Swan well: she’s spent the past six years filming him for a documentary film.)
“He’s an amazing creature,” she said.
DeFina said that the average lifespan for a swan in the wild can be about 10 to 15 years due to the hazards they can encounter (getting caught in fishing gear, getting hit by a boat, etc.), while a swan living in a protected environment can live 20 to 30 years.
“It’s clear that there are certainly people in Gloucester who care for this swan, if he’s in fact been around that long,” DeFina said.
Smith said that although the Animal Rescue League’s efforts were well-intentioned, she’s happy that Mr. Swan eluded capture.
“He’s lived this long, he deserves to spend his last days in his own neighborhood with his friends,” she said.
Long live Mr. Swan.
Emily Sweeney can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter@emilysweeney.
What’s happening on Maplewood? Much of it is underground. Orchestrated crews are working on a huge project in a neighborhood that has been neglected for some time.
Status: in progress
The work includes 4000 feet road resurfacing (July) and nearly 5000 feet of new sidewalk (both sides). DPW is working to make improvements to utilities as well: all new water services, a series of valves and some drain work. “National Grid is also replacing some aging gas mains and services.”
Progress June 2017: nearing finish line
Project start: partial sidewalk begun last year
Funding Awarded: FY2017-18
Contract completion: part of City’s annual paving bid and on schedule.
Locations: downtown Maplewood Avenue. This work dovetails with larger water work “bid and awarded to Granese of Salem. They worked on the right hand side of Washington Street all spring (Riverside, Gloucester Ave, Whittemore and now moving to Grove and Derby see photo today) cleaning and lining water mains.”
Priority: Top Level! Mayor’s Office considers infrastructure and safety improvements a priority and walkability adding into quality of life benefits for residents, visitors and economy.
Upcoming streetscape work– Middle Street
I had a lovely encounter early this morning with a pretty doe. Isn’t she beautiful? It was around 5:30 am and still a bit dark under the trees. We checked each other out for at least five minutes, me filming away and she nibbling on greens, before she somewhat nonchalantly headed into the woods. The deer appeared on the young side, with her knobby knees and keen curiosity. Please, any deer experts reading this post, do you think she is an adult deer or a teenager? How can you tell? Thank you!
Please join the Gloucester Clean City Commission, Councilors Melissa Cox and Sean Nolan, and Seaside Sustainability, Inc. in supporting a ban in Gloucester on all single use plastic bags and polystyrene (Styrofoam) containers like coffee cups and takeout food containers.
We believe this initiative is important in maintaining the beauty of our city and the health of our ocean and land. Given the availability of biodegradable and reusable alternatives and the economic benefits of the proposed ban, we anticipate support from Gloucester’s residents and businesses.
This proposed ban is similar to those already passed in dozens of cities and towns in Massachusetts (and counting) including our neighbors Ipswich, Manchester, Marblehead, and Newburyport. Cities and towns (and entire states – Hawaii) along the coast line of our country have been particularly vigilant in creating this ban. Just between 2015 and 2016, bills similar to ours were proposed in 23 states regarding the regulation of single use plastic bags and/or polystyrene. In a recent investigation of Gloucester Harbor using an ROV (remotely operated underwater vehicle), observers reported an abundant amount of plastic bags and Styrofoam cups on the ocean floor.
There are economic and feasible alternatives to these products that all businesses, large and small can stand behind and support!
After almost giving the game away the boys come back in the last of the 7th scoring twice to win in dramatic fashion….WELL DONE guys!!
Phil Curcuru shares that a new and improved boardwalk is being installed this week at Good Harbor Beach at the #2 location, directly in front of the snack bar. The boardwalk will be wide enough to be handicap accessible.
Thank you Phil and Mike, and thank you to the Gloucester DPW for the tremendous job they do maintaining Good Harbor, and all of Gloucester’s public beaches, throughout the year.