Tag Archives: Massachusetts

Ahhh…Winter in Massachusetts

A friend of mine found this somewhere….and I stole it from him.  While I can’t take credit, it made me chuckle.  Allow me to say, however, that despite all of this white crap, I do truly still love living in Massachusetts.  It seems terribly fitting for our current state of affairs….or snoffairs…as it would seem.

Dear Diary…

August 15 – Moved to our new home in Boston, Massachusetts. It’s so beautiful here. The lake to the north looks so majestic. I can hardly wait to see it snow covered. I’m going to love it here!

October 14 – Massachusetts is definitely the most beautiful place on earth. The leaves have all turned colors.  There are beautiful shades of red, orange, and yellow. Went for a ride through the park and saw some deer. They are so graceful. Certainly, they are the most wonderful animals on earth. This must be paradise, I LOVE IT HERE!!

November 10 – Deer season will start soon. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to kill such a gorgeous animal. Hope it will snow soon. I love it here. Those red, orange, and yellow leaves have covered my yard. Looks like a magnificent multi-colored carpet. HOW BEAUTIFUL. Raking and cleaning up the yard will be an opportunity for invigorating exercise in the cool crisp air.

November 15 – Ah, more leaves and more exercise.

November 18 – Jesus, still more leaves. Guess it’s best to wait until they’ve all fallen before I rake again.

November 25 – Finally, all of the trees lost their leaves and with today’s final raking it’s over for this season. Chiropractor suggested I use a lawn maintenance service next year. Only four blisters became infected. Should probably remember to use gloves.

November 30 – What the f…? Where did all of those leaves come from? Had a little wind last night and the lawn is covered again. Oh well, they’ll just have to wait until spring.

December 12 – It snowed last night, FINALLY. Woke up to find everything blanketed in white. It looks like a postcard. We went outside and cleaned the snow off the steps and shoveled the driveway. Had a snowball fight (I won) and when the snowplow came by and we had to shovel the end of the driveway again.
What a beautiful place. Massachusetts!

December 14 – More snow last night, I love it. The snow plow did his trick to the driveway again. Love it here.

December 19 – More snow again last night. Can’t get out of the driveway. Can’t to get to work. I’m exhausted from shoveling. F…ing snowplow.

December 22 – More of that white shit fell again last night. As if dealing with the leaves weren’t bad enough, now I’ve got blisters all over my hands from shoveling. Must remember to wear gloves. I think the snowplow hides around the corner and waits until I’m finished shoveling the driveway. Idiot.

December 25 – Merry F…ing Christmas. More frigging snow. If I ever get my hands on that son-of-a-bitch who drives the snowplow, I swear I’ll kill the bastard. Don’t know why they don’t use more salt on the roads to melt the f…ing ice.

December 27 – More white shit last night. Have been inside for three days except for shoveling out the driveway after that plow goes through every time.  F…ing gloves got wet and then froze on my hands.
Doctor said it was just a mild case of frost bite, disfiguration is probably only temporary. Can’t go anywhere, car is stuck in a mountain of white shit. The weatherman says to expect another 10 inches of the shit tonight. Do you know how many shovels full of snow 10 inches is?  A LOT.

December 28 – The f…ing weatherman was wrong. We got 34 inches of that white shit last night. At this rate it won’t melt ’till summer.
The plow got stuck up the road and the bastard came to the door and asked to borrow a shovel. I told him I’d already broken six of them shoveling all the shit he pushed into the driveway and then I broke my last one on his f…ing head.

January 4 – Finally got out of the house today. Went to the store to get food and on the way back I hit a damned deer that ran in front of my car. Did about $3000 damage. F…ing beasts should be killed. Wish the hunters had killed them all last November.

May 3 – Took the car to the garage in town. Go figure, it’s rusting out from all the f…ing salt they finally put all over the roads.

May 10 – Dumped the car.  Sold the townhouse. Moved to Florida. I can’t imagine why anyone in their right mind would ever live in that forsaken state of Massachusetts!


The beautiful juvenile Harbor Seal was found on a foggy morning in midsummer. The seal was beached at the high tide line and its breathing was heavy and labored. It had no interest in returning to the water and needed only to remain at rest.

For the next six hours the seal struggled to survive the world of curious humans.

Learn what to do if you find a seal on the beach.

The two agencies listed below have in my experience been helpful:

Massachusetts Environmental Police: 508-753-0603

Northeast Region Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding and Entanglement Hotline: 866-755-6622

Reposted from August 14th. See original post here.


Best Places to Photograph Butterflies

Monarch Butterfly Gloucester HarborWalk ©Kim Smith 2014

Monarch Butterfly Nectaring at the Gloucester HarborWalk

Reader Gia Vento writes the following:

“Dear Kim,
I met you at the Stoneham Garden Club two years ago.
I’d like to take butterfly photos for my own collection.
Is it too late in the year to do so outdoors?
Can you recommend a good outdoor place where I could capture some images–especially monarchs, other butterflies, ladybugs, and hummingbirds?
I appreciate your time.”
Gia Vento”

My response:

I recall our meeting and so good to hear from you Gia. No, its not too late. Many species of butterflies are on the wing during the late summer and early autumn months, as long as the warm weather holds up. Hopefully, too, the monarch migration will be more successful this year than last. I find the best time of day to see the most species of butterflies is from about 10:30 to about 3ish (generally the warmest and sunniest hours of the day).

The Massachusetts Butterfly Club offers a great publication, The Massachusetts Butterfly Club Guide to Good Butterfly Sites. Several of the best places featured are right here on Cape Ann! Follow this link to purchase the guide from their site (scroll down the webpage about half way): Massachusetts Butterfly Club Guide to Good Butterfly Sites

Happy Photographing!

Warmest wishes,


American Lady Butterfly New York Ironweed ©Kim Smith 2014

Painted Lady Butterfly Nectaring at New York Ironweed, Gloucester HarborWalk

Divots, Chukkers, and Mallets….Oh My!

It being Sunday and all, I thought I’d remind you of a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon during the summer.  Polo.

I know as much as anyone that it is hard to tear yourself away from the beach, boat, deck, or backyard BBQ on a sunny afternoon during the precious and all too fleeting summer months, but, if you’re up for something a tiny bit different, taking in a Polo match is really quite fun!

I’d like to add, however, that better than simply doing it….is doing it right!

The best way to do it is to gather a bunch of your friends, grab a chunk of tailgate space on the sidelines, pack the picnic of all picnics, stuff a cooler to capacity and have a lovely afternoon.  Despite popular belief, holding your pinky up while drinking is actually optional.  The polo crowd is quite mixed and quite lovely.  Ummm….and to any single ladies who happen to be reading….you could probably find a less attractive bunch of athletes elsewhere. Just saying. I should add that there are some pretty rad female players too.  I, for one, would LOVE to learn the game.

My boys enjoy walking around and meeting the players and ponies before the match begins.  I’ve yet to meet a player who wasn’t friendly and more than happy to let the boys ask questions and meet the horses.  They also get a kick out of replacing the divots in-between chukkers….often times barefoot. (Insert mild shutter….horse poop and all).

Myopia Polo

Do your homework here…if you care to.

New Video: Jack Russ ~ Friday 2014 Greasy Pole Champion

With funny Leggomen time lapse sequences!

Congratulations to Jack Russ, the 2014 Saturday Greasy Pole Champion. This was his first win and first walk. Jack was home on from leave from the United States Air Force.

Music by the Black Keys. “Fever” was the first single released from their latest album Turn Blue (2014).


Follow Kim on Twitter @kimsmithdesigns and be her friend on Facebook.

New Film: Mark Allen ~ Sunday 2014 Greasy Pole Champion Walking for Loved Ones

Mark Allen Walking for Loved Ones

Congratulations to Mark Allen, the 2014 Sunday Greasy Pole Champion! This was Mark’s first win, after 16 previous years of walking! Allen was walking for his cousin Peter “Black” Frontiero who has the second most wins of all time, with a total of nine.

Each year I look forward to filming and photographing the greasy pole events. The determination on the men’s faces, the camaraderie, the ecstasy and pride in winning, the anguish of defeat, the hilarious costumes, and the Felliniesque antics combine to create a fabulous fiesta of stories and images.

The film opens at the childhood home of the Giambanco Family, with Sefatia leading the Greasy Pole Walkers and guests in the rallying “Viva San Pietro,”  the cheer that is heard throughout the city of Gloucester during Saint Peter’s Fiesta. Giambanco sisters Marianne, Grace, Rosaria, and Sefatia continue with their mother Rosalia’s, “Lia’s” custom of feeding the Greasy Pole Walkers dinner before the walk. The tradition began years ago when their brother, Anthony “Matza” Giambanco, began walking. Sefatia explains that Lia had always held a huge family feast with relatives from all around the country attending. The first year her brother walked he told his mom he couldn’t eat because he was meeting everyone. She said I don’t care; you have to eat, and told him to bring everyone back to their home. That was in 1978!

Next the Walkers head over to rally at the Gloucester House, where they greet Lenny shouting his name over and over, to a packed restaurant full of guests. Several more stops are made along the way before the next rally at the Saint Peter’s Club. The Walkers make one last stop to say a prayer to Saint Peter, and perhaps pin a gold charm or coin to the statue, before departing for the greased pole platform at Pavilion Beach

*    *    *

With special thanks and appreciation to Nicky Avelis and all the Greasy Pole Walkers for allowing me to ride on the boat. It went by way too fast! And thank you to the skipper for giving me a ride back to shore.

With thanks and appreciation to Rosaria, Sefatia, Marianne, and Grace for inviting me to come film the Walker’s rally at your welcoming Fiesta Sunday Feast!

The song “Love Runs Out,” is by OneRepublic for the reissue of their third album, Native.

The song “The Walker” is by Fitz and The Tantrums from the album More Than Just a Dream.

Follow Kim on Twitter @kimsmithdesigns and be her friend on Facebook.

Mark Allen Sunday Greasy Pole Winner ©Kim Smith 2014

New Video: Kyle Barry ~ Saturday 2014 Greasy Pole Champion!

Congratulations to Kyle Barry, the 2014 Saturday Greasy Pole Champion! This was Kyle’s second win. He was also the 2013 Friday Champion.

The first clip is especially Felliniesque but then again, the entire time I am shooting the greasy pole I feel as though I am in the midst of a Fellini film. Friday’s and Sunday’s films are coming in the next few days, with some Very Fun Footage.

I Loved this song when first I heard it and thought it perfect for Greasy Pole Walkers. Written and performed by Fitz and The Tantrums, “The Walker,” (that is really the title of the song!) is from their second album, More Than Just a Dream.

Previous GMG Posts about Kyle Barry: Kyle Barry for the Win! Greasy Pole Kyle Barry for the WIN! Saint Peter's Fiesta ©Kim Smith 2014 -2 Additional music note ~ Fitz and The Tantrums will be performing at the House of Blues in Boston on November 15th.

Follow Kim on Twitter @kimsmithdesigns and be her friend on Facebook.

Bear Pooh!

American Black Bear Pooh ©Kim Smith 2014 copyI love it when friends and readers ask what bird or butterfly (and moth and caterpillar), and am only too happy to help them learn more about the creature they have found. Very funny though is the wide range of nature-related questions that I am asked. At a job site recently, the crew could not wait to show me the above humungous pile of pooh. Should I be flattered or dismayed?

Three times as large as the largest Great Dane pooh that you could possibly imagine, and not the right consistency for dog poop, it didn’t take much searching to determine that it was Black Bear pooh. We double checked with our friend Richard from the Department of Conservation and Recreation and sure enough, it was confirmed to be bear pooh.



As an alternative to what was suggested by the MSPCA in their “co-existing with coyotes literature,” which is that kids be kept indoors and that we keep donkeys and llamas as coyote deterrents, we instead perhaps should repopulate Cape Ann with bears. After all, bears were here before the earliest European settlers (think Bearskin Neck).



Willowdale is located within the Bradley Palmer State Park, which borders the towns of Ipswich, Topsfield, and Hamilton, which border the towns of Essex and Manchester. Has anyone in recent history spotted a Black Bear on Cape Ann?

11142685-large-1 Cape Cod’s Resident Black Bears Gets Evicted

Excellent link provided by GMG reader artbev on Animal Scat Notes. Thank you artbev!

American Black Bear Images courtesy google image search.

10 Best Cities In Massachusetts- Where Do You Suppose Gloucester Ranked?

The 10 Best Cities in Massachusetts

Thinking about moving to Massachusetts? Now you’ll know which of its cities are the best.

Natalie Grigson

Staff Writer MOVOTO

Massachusetts, the Bay State, is renowned for many things. It has some of the richest history and oldest buildings in the nation; some of our country’s best colleges; and, of course, Boston.

Bean Town is just one city, however, so we wanted to do all Massachusetts residents proud and determine which cities in the state are its very best. It’s the same thing we’ve already done with states like Washington and, a bit closer to home, New Jersey.

Of course, narrowing our selection down to a list of 10 and one winner overall—Marshfield—was not without a certain degree of challenge, but we figured Red Sox and Celtics fans are accustomed enough to dealing with that. When the results were tallied, the 10 best cities in the Bay State emerged:

Click here for the list-

The 10 Best Cities in Massachusetts


Video: Beautiful Blue Lobster

Beautiful Blue Lobster Landed at Captain Joe and Sons by Captain Dave Jewell of the Lady J, October 11, 2013.

Dave Jewell lands a blue lobster, Joey drives the forklift, and shows us how to tell the difference between a male and female lobster–set to a trio of Bruce Springsteen songs from the Seeger Sessions–just another day at Captain Joe and Sons!

In order of appearance ~

Joey Ciaramitaro
Frankie Ciaramitaro
Captain Dave Jewell

For information about the Lady J fishing charters visit their website at Lady J Fishing Charters.

~ Songs ~

American Land
Bruce Springsteen

Pay Me My Money Down
Bruce Springsteen

Working On A Dream
Bruce Springsteen

American Lobster, Homarus americanusSee GMG links to posts about the beautiful blue lobster:

Blue Lobster Landed At Captain Joe and Sons

Come Down To Captain Joe and Sons Through The Weekend To Take Your Picture With The Blue Lobster

Video: The Good Harbor Seal ~ What to do if you find a seal on the beach

The beautiful juvenile Harbor Seal was found on a foggy morning in midsummer. The seal was beached at the high tide line and its breathing was heavy and labored. It had no interest in returning to the water and needed only to remain at rest.

For the next six hours the seal struggled to survive the world of curious humans.

Learn what to do if you find a seal on the beach.

Written, produced, edited, cinematography, and narration by Kim Smith.

The Good Harbor Beach Seal PSA was created because of the lack of understanding on the part of my fellow beachgoers on how to mangae a seal encounter. Please help get the word out and please forward the link to friends and neighbors in other communities, whether or not the community is located by the sea. It was the folks from out of town that did not understand that the seal needed simply to be left alone. Thank you!

Although the Good Harbor Seal was not injured, help was needed with the gathering crowd. I called our local police, who in turn sent Lieutenant Roger Thurlow from the Environmental Police. Has anyone had experience with a marine stranding, and if so, is the following the best number to call: Northeast Region Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding and Entanglement Hotline ~ 866-755-6622? I will post your hotline recommendations here.

Technical note–The video was filmed without a tripod because I was afraid the tripod would look like a gun and didn’t want to further stress the seal. After reading more about Harbor Seals, I learned that their big brown eyes are particularly adapted to sight in murky water (i.e. harbor waters), but that their eyesight is not that good on land. In retrospect, I don’t think that the seal would have associated the tripod with a weapon. Also, I filmed at a distance much further away than my camera’s capabilities, which caused much vignetting around the edges of many of the clips. I didn’t want to stand close to the seal and be the filmmaker-who-becomes-part-of-the-problem, and not the solution.

Breaking News: Good Harbor Beach Seal Survives


Photos from the Massachusetts Military Heroes Memorial on Boston Common


I’m sharing on behalf of Veterans Director, City of Gloucester that went to Boston for this event.

Melissa Cox

Ward 2, City Councillor



            Thought you might want to see these, from the common in Boston, over 33,000 flags were placed and they read off the names of those from the Commonwealth who were killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan (The parents of the young men who were killed read the names, it was really tough to get through). 

Bottom Picture from Left to Right,  Rich Barbato Director Office of Veteran Services City of Gloucester & Captain, 82nd Airborne Division, Iraq**Governor Patrick**Jeff DaSilva,U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division, Afghanistan





Online Registration Now Open for 2012 Run Gloucester! 7-Mile Road Race on Cape Ann in Massachusetts

Third annual scenic New England road race, organized by DMSE Sports, set for August 19


Online registration is now underway for the third annual Run Gloucester! 7-Mile Road Race, one of New England’s most scenic road races set for Aug. 19 on Cape Ann.
Runners can register at www.rungloucester.com. The race begins at 8 a.m. at the famous Fisherman’s Memorial statue on the historic Gloucester waterfront and takes runners along over five miles of picturesque ocean views, through downtown and back to the memorial. Last year, Jacob Barnett (38:32) of Medford, Mass., and Kyle Linn MacQueen (42:59) of Boston won the men’s and women’s titles.
The Run Gloucester! 7-Mile Road Race is organized by Dave McGillivray, race director of the B.A.A. Boston Marathon, and his team at DMSE, Inc. It is the third in a series of major New England road races in August – the TD Beach to Beacon in Maine (Aug. 4) and the New Balance Falmouth Road Race on Cape Cod (Aug. 12).
“We’re hoping runners who want to run all three races will put Gloucester on their schedule this summer. Run Gloucester is still the new guy on the block, so to speak, but as anyone who has run this flat, coastal course can tell you, it’s a real gem and stacks up in terms of beauty and ocean views,” McGillivray said.
The national running magazine Runner’s World last summer cited the Run Gloucester! 7-Mile Road Race as a destination race, noting its “million-dollar ocean views” and historic seaport charm. “If you’re looking to race to the sights, sounds and smells of the Atlantic, than Run Gloucester! delivers the coastal vibe – without the crushing crowds,” the article said.

Early registration is encouraged at www.rungloucester.com. Also, for race updates and information, follow the race on Facebook and Twitter.
Volunteers are also needed on race day and to help promote the race in the Gloucester area and can sign up online or contact the race at info@rungloucester.com.
Proceeds from the race benefit the Gloucester Fishermen Athletic Association (GFAA) which raises funds for Gloucester High School student-athletes, sports programs and facilities, and is a key supporter of the renovation of Gloucester High’s Newell Stadium.
Founded by McGillivray in 1981, DMSE Sports, Inc. (www.dmsesports.com) is a leader in sports event management, specializing in creating, marketing and producing mass participatory athletic events throughout the U.S. and abroad. McGillivray has produced or consulted on more than 900 mass-participatory athletic events throughout the world and currently manages more than 30 races per year, including the TD Beach to Beacon 10K, the Feaster Five Thanksgiving Day Road Race, Harvard Pilgrim Finish at the 50 at Patriot Place – to name a few – and this year was named race director of the New Balance Falmouth Road Race on Cape Cod.

Gloucester, Massachusetts Oral History: Leo and Rosalie Favaloro

The Favaloros, residents of the Fort neighborhood, describe life in Gloucester between 1930 and 1978

Leo talks about fishing out of Gloucester during the 1930’s while Rosalie describes parts of her girlhood. They touch briefly on the loss of the fishing boat Captain Cosmo, which sank that September in a storm.

Credit: Sawyer Free Library/Linda Brayton/David Masters/Adam Bolonsky
Copyright: Public Domain/Adam Bolonsky

Click the picture to listen-


The Latest From Kim Smith- Butterflies of Massachusetts

I wanted to share with you a fabulous new resource—the Butterflies of Massachusetts website. Created by Sharon Stichter, Butterflies of Massachusetts “offers a comprehensive review of the current status of butterflies in the state. It is designed as a resource for all those interested in these charismatic insects, including butterfly enthusiasts, conservationists, biologists, land managers, and wildlife professionals.”  I find the Species List particularly useful for learning more about the earliest recorded sightings of Massachusetts’s butterflies, frequency and distribution, and caterpillar hostplants. My readers residing outside of Massachusetts but along the East Coast will find the information on the Butterflies of Massachusetts website nearly equally as valuable. Ecologically speaking, the Appalachian Mountains and Atlantic coastal plain are largely self-contained, allowing unrestricted north-south movement of individual butterflies and migratory populations. The information found on the new Butterflies of Massachusetts website represents many years of data compiled by Sharon Stichter and the Massachusetts Butterfly Club.

Check Out Kim’s Blog Here For The Full Post

Food Feuds In Essex–the Great Fried Clam Battle Airs Tonight–It’s CLAMTASTIC!

“Iron Chef, Michael Symon dives into this seafood battle head first. In Essex Massachusetts (http://visitessexma.com/) it’s all about fried clams but Woodman’s and JT Farnhams make them better than anyone else. Michael Symon jumps in their kitchens, talks to foodies and even goes clamming to figure out who has best fried clams in Essex.”

I grabbed this blurb about tonight’s episode from Internet Movie Database online because it pretty much sums up the action that took place here in our gorgeous town in July—but I have a few behind the scenes photos to share with you, courtesy of the wonderful crew at Essex River Cruises (http://www.essexcruises.com/) who took Chef Symon to the clam flats to see where these delicious fried morsels of seafood goodness came from.

Iron Chef Michael, Dillon from Essex River Cruises and the TV crew prepare for the clam digging–looks like they are waiting for the tide to go out a little more to me.

Receiving instruction on how to dig for clams–and it is a good thing because that clam fork is pointed and sharp!

Iron Chef Symon finds a razor clam.

Something you don’t see to often and might never again–makeup touch ups on the clam flats.

Chef Symon, Producer Mark Summers and the crew.

As much as I wanted to be there, I was taping my TV own show that day.  However, I asked a friend who works at Woodman’s to get me an autograph, and she did–thank you Roisin–and thank you Chef for taking the time to sign it:

I love what is says!

The fried clam was invented in Essex so this was the perfect place for such a food feud for sure!  Here is a link to they history of the friend clam


and in the interest of fairness, here’s a link to JT Farnham’s listing on the Visit Essex dining page:


Be sure to tune in at 10:oo pm Eastern Time tonight to Food Network and find out who wins this epic battle of the fried clam.

I know………….but I am not telling!

Autumn in Cape Ann Massachusetts HDR Slideshow From Doug Niedermiller

Doug Writes-

Cape Ann is located on the coast some 43 miles northeast of  Boston,  Massachusetts. It includes the towns of Rockport and Gloucester and is home of  The Second Annual Lobsta Fest and Seafood Extravaganza! The photos in this gallery were also shot in Essex, Magnolia and Manchester by the Sea. Autumn in Massachusetts may be the best in the country. Some of my favorite locations on Cape Ann are Plum Cove, Lanes Cove, Rockport Harbor, Gloucester Harbor, Rocky Neck, Atlantic Road, Halibut Point, Buswell Pond, Annisquam, Lobster Cove and Hoop Pole Cove. All of these locations afford excellent photo opportunities. I would love to photograph Cape Ann in the winter but,  the weather is too unpredictable. So I will have to leave the winter photos for my brother-in-law, Todd Harrington, of  Plum Cove Photography, who lives in Gloucester.


Click the Photo Below To View Doug’s Slide Show- Autumn In Cape Ann


Salty Dog Day at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum by Lily

Hi!  My name is Lily and I want to tell you about Salty Dog Days at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum on Saturday.

I went to the event because my Nana was a judge in the Dog Costume Parade Contest and I thought it would be fun.  When we got there, there was a dog water rescue demonstration going on:

I didn’t take this picture quite fast enough but it is a dog in the water.

and this is Salty, another one of the water rescue dogs:

This is Parker–he is a Newfoundland–and was part of the water rescue program

I went up on to the land and saw a cute beagle named Daisy:

Then the parade started.  There were only two dogs dressed in costumes but there were lots of dogs in the parade without costumes.  The winner of the of the costume contest was Black Dog the Pirate:

and the beautiful twin golden retrievers Dylan and Gladys who won the prize as the prettiest pair of dogs in the parade:

and Monk the St. Bernard puppy won for the cutest puppy:

And here is a picture of people looking at Harold Burnham’s frame for his new boat.  I got to sign the frame

The Salty Dog Days was really fun and educational–and I took a tour of the shipyard too.  My great grandfather Wendell Lufkin worked in that shipyard a very very long time ago.

I hope you like my post–be sure to leave a comment if you do.  Lily

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