Tag Archives: gloucester

A Gloucester Motif Monday

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From where I  was standing the same viewpoint on 11/21/16 was all sky and water, morning breaking and taking an easy minute to breathe.

Ever since I was quite young, my eyesight required assistance from optics. On my first day wearing glasses I discerned individual leaves on tall chestnut trees.  I was thunderstruck by the revelation that others could observe such a vivid world with bare eyesight. Ever after ‘yet do I marvel’.  I’m no artist, obviously. Snapshots are a reference tool or record for research and writing. On this day I was overjoyed observing the fleeting moment, snapping off to my side without looking through the phone. Later a bit of my thoughts were about iconography and series guiding unaided eyes–and no splitting hairs (poetry, photography, impressionism, music.) What series guide you? I’d be happy to share another motif Monday.

GloucesterCast 178 w/@kimsmithdesigns @donnaard Karen Pischke Charles and George King, Dennis Funk and Host @Joey_C

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GloucesterCast 178 w/@kimsmithdesigns @donnaard Karen Pischke Charles and George King, Dennis Funk and Host @Joey_C

Success sold out the hoodies to buy T Shirts for The One hour at a Time Gang
Reiki and Running Dennis Funk Karen’s Cousin
charles and george king talk about the civil war coat and awesomegloucester
Earth Day Weekend Friday April 22
Gloucester Bingo
The Jungle Book Directed By  Jon Favreau
Paulie Walnuts Father’s Painting/He posted an Art Rock this morning!
2 year later vasectomy check up revealed interesting fact

Giving up splenda

North American River Otters
Please watch and share Kim’s Monarch trailer that will be released this week

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THE KING BROTHERS PRESENTING TO AWESOME GLOUCESTER MONDAY AT THE GLOUCESTER HOUSE!

We are looking forward to attending the Awesome Gloucester presentations tomorrow night, Monday the 18th, at the Gloucester House Restaurant, at 7pm. Very best wishes to George and Charles, and all the presenters!!Charles and George King Civil War Coat -3 Kim SmithCharles and George demonstrating the Alfred Bacheler Civil War Coat You Caring website to friends.

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.

BREAKING: SAVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BREAKING NEWS: Saved!! With Your Help

Save Our Shores Gloucester has closed on the property at 166-178 Atlantic Road!

The next step will be to place a conservation restriction on the land that will protect it and preserve it in perpetuity for the benefit of all forever.

Save Our Shores Gloucester thanks all of those who provided financial support, contributed time to attend meetings and donated supplies and materials to make this effort so successful.

On Friday, May 6, a ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at the site to celebrate victory over development along the Back Shore, a spot revered by so many people from Gloucester, and from many places around the globe.

Thanks to Marilyn Hyde, realtor extraordinaire, for her help in securing this property.

We look forward to seeing you on May 6. Details to follow.

— Save Our Shores Gloucester
Roger Armstrong
Martin Del Vecchio
Hazel Hewitt
Dave Manley
Mark Poulin
Pam Poulin
Barbara Silberman

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Happy Dog Running Glistening Long Beach

Rockport to Gloucester and back again, speeding along for a shore close-up at the very end. We couldn’t resist filming the speedy little guy. Did the dog know? Hoping this Monday minute whisks you away to a fabulous shore.

 

Any soundtrack can work. I was tempted to write ‘Ryan’s dog’… The west coast of Ireland vistas in the movie Ryan’s Daughter flicked in my mind. The 1970 movie was directed by David Lean, cinematography by Freddie Young, and score by Maurice Jarre.

Ryan's daughter

MARIA CRACCHIOLO DEMONSTRATES HOW TO CREATE SAINT JOSEPH ALTAR BREAD

Artists-in-the-Kitchen Maria Cracchiolo, and her parents Domenic and Nina Damico, demonstrate how to create beautiful bread in shapes symbolic of Saint Joseph and inspired by nature. Watch as Maria, Nina, and Domenic artfully shape angels, a carpenter’s saw, San Giuseppe scroll, Saint Joseph sun, snails, flowers, butterflies, grapes, and more.
As you will hear Maria’s story unfold (while deftly shaping the dough), her family’s tradition of making the Saint Joseph altar bread began several years ago, for a very heartfelt reason. In 2010, her young daughter was facing a very serious operation. Maria had never made the special Saint Joseph altar bread, but decided that year to make it her devotion to Saint Joseph. Maria taught herself how to shape the bread, finding inspiration in old photos of altars, and also from images, which she found online, of bread made in Sicily. Maria lived in Italy for five years, attending art school and studying fashion design. When I write “Artists-in-the Kitchen” you’ll see why after viewing the video.

Both of Maria’s parents, Nina and Domenic, were born in Sicily and grew up celebrating the Feast of San Giuseppe in the Sicilian tradition of feeding the poor and orphaned, and welcoming all who came to their table. Thank you Maria, Domenic, and Nina for graciously welcoming me into your Caffe Sicilia’s kitchen!

Saint Joseph Bread is available by special order at Caffe Sicilia. Call to place your order at (978) 283-2345.

Many thanks to Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken for the suggestion to contact Maria and her family to interview for Gloucester’ Feast of Saint Joseph Community Film Project.

JOE VIRGILIO MAKING SAINT JOSEPH ROLLS

Joe Virgilio Makes Saint Joseph Rolls is a wonderful addition to Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Community Film Project. So many thanks to Joe for taking time from his busy work day to allow filming! Highlights include Joe sharing stories about the early days working alongside his grandfather and cousins, when the thousands of rolls needed for Saint Joseph’s Day were made by hand.

To order your Saint Joseph rolls call 978-283-5295 or stop by. Store hours are from 8:30am to 5:00pm.

Originally posted 2014.

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To learn more about Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Community Film and the real story about how the project evolved, please go to the film’s website and click on the About the Film link and the Director’s Statement link. For periodic updates about the film, you can keep in touch on the blog page of the film’s website or friend me on Facebook.

IN THE SHADOW OF LIGHT

Recently, I was contacted by the writer Claire Alemian as she was hoping to license one of my Brace Cove sunrise photos for the cover of her forthcoming novel. Claire grew up in Gloucester, her Dad worked at Cape Pond Ice, and her story is set in Gloucester.

Here is the cover!

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I’ve never met Claire but she and her husband Bruce are taking me out for lunch this week. I am looking forward to meeting she and Bruce and wish Claire the greatest success with her novel. The following is the synopsis submitted by Claire ~

Claire (Tebo) Alemian, author of the novel “In the Shadow of Light, grew up in Gloucester during the sixties and knows well the many cultures that live there, including the waterfront where her father worked all of his life at the Cape Pond Ice Company. Before leaving at the age of eighteen, Claire worked in the fish factories one summer, an experience that gave her a first-hand view of the tough work and even tougher people that get up every day and make it happen.

Although her novel is a fictional story of survival and the search for truth, most of it occurs on Cape Ann and draws on her familiarity with it’s unique settings, colorful characters and diverse cultures that live side by side.

The story is told in the voice of Ramona Newton as she looks back on her earlier life. By the time she is fifteen, her mother has walked out, her father soon to follow, and she ends up at a place called the Far East, tending bar for Charlie Big and hustling pool in order to survive.

The story captures the turbulence of the 1960s and reveals the clash of generations and class divides, the turmoil created by the Vietnam War and racial injustice, and ultimately, a remarkable journey of finding oneself.

Anticipated release: June 27, 2016. Claire can be contacted at: claire@clairealemian.com

MAKE SOME NOISE FOR ONE BILLION RISING!

One Billion Rising Gloucester kimsmith designs.com -2Hosted by Mayor Sefatia, a tremendous and well-attended event was held today in support of Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention. A coalition of survivors, supporters, community leaders, local police, and service agencies gathered in City Hall’s foyer to stand up for compassion towards survivors and an end to violence against women locally, nationally, and internationally. Make some noise for One Billion Rising!

One Billion Rising at Gloucester City Halll

A photo posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Profound, positive, and supportive speeches from One Billion Rising event

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Chief Campanello speaks about Gloucester Police Department's commitment to domestic violence awareness.

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

DO SWANS DRINK SALTWATER?

Male Mute swan Cygnus olor www.kimsmithdesigns.com copyright 2016In the above photo you can see our super smart Mr. Swan drinking freshwater from snow melting on the roof above its head, which was running down the gutters and into the harbor.

Mute Swans mostly drink freshwater (and a great deal of it) because most of the places that you find swans living at are on freshwater ponds, lakes, rivers, and inlets. However, just above the eyes and under the skin, swans have a gland that enables them to drink saltwater. This gland removes salt from their bloodstream and concentrates it into a solution that is excreted from their nostrils, which the swan can shake its head to clear.

There are a number of good folks in Rockport and Gloucester who keep a watchful eye on our local swans. Thursday I had the joy of meeting Lois and Serena, who have been feeding and observing the swans for over twenty years. They have photos of Mr. Swan (known as Buddy in Rockport) dating from 1998. He was already full grown by then, which makes him at least twenty years old. That is quite extraordinary as most Mute Swans in the wild live on average only to twelve years of age.

My deepest thanks and appreciation to Lois and Serena for the time they took sharing swan stories, the reading material lent, and for their kind and goodhearted nature, especially towards Buddy/Mr. Swan!

As you may or may not have read here on Good Morning Gloucester, I have been filming the swans over the past several years for a film project. If you have a Cape Ann swan story that you would like to share I would love to hear from you. Please contact me at kimsmithdesigns@hotmail.com. Thank you so much!

CAKE ANN!

After reading Joey’s post about Cake Ann, I just had to make a beeline when done filming today. The newest bakery in town had been inundated with customers all morning, and having sold out several times earlier in the day, were on their twentieth or so batch, of everything! I brought some blueberry muffins and Kouign-amanns (pronounced queen-a-mahn) home and they were quickly devoured by husband, son, and myself. Oh Lucky Us Cape Anners!

Cake Ann is located at 214 Eastern Avenue, in the small shopping plaza next to Common Crow.

Eben Cake Ann ©www.kimsmithdesigns.comEben

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