Tag Archives: Rockport

O’Shea Family Reunion

IMG_6807 A very energetic group from Florida, Ohio, New Jersey, and several other States.  The photo below only has a few of the 41 members that embarked on Cape Ann to celebrate with “Ma”, Lillian O’Shea (88) of Rockport Massachusetts.  She is the mother of 8 children, 4 boys, 4 girls, which accounts for the large group.  Some were wearing their reunion motto for 2017, “Our Family Doesn’t Suffer from Insanity, We Kind of Enjoy It!!”

IMG_6803

IMG_6812

O’Shea Family Reunion

Music at the Beach was a HUGE Success

Oh my word…so much fun.  Rockport’s very 1st Music at the Beach was such a huge success last night.  There were tailgates, beach chairs, picnics, dancing children, friends catching up, laughter, smiles, a gorgeous view, and fantastic music!

Thank you again to the Rockport Board of Selectmen, Awesome Rockport, Wyatt Wilkinson (and of course his parents, Sarah and Greg), and Bruce Reed.  Also, of course, a huge Thank You to Pier Ave!  No joke that there were people from age 2…to 82…enjoying their music!

Check out the schedule and be sure not to miss Mari Martin in two weeks!

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 9.26.02 PM

IMG_1135IMG_1117IMG_1123

Courage, Daring, Brave, Honor, Renaissance, and Commitment

The names are as wonderful as the US Navy sailboats themselves…and they were back in Rockport for Rockport Navy Weekend.

The sleek ships, adorned with the colorful nautical flags make an already beautiful New England harbor even more perfect.

The boats were open to visitors throughout the weekend and Sunday afternoon the Junior sailors from Sandy Bay Yacht Club were welcomed aboard.

IMG_0966

Music at the Beach Concert Series

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 9.26.02 PM

The new and exciting Music at the Beach Concert Series  kicks off this week, on TUESDAY night, with Pier Ave performing at the bandstand at Rockport’s Back Beach at 6:00pm. Check out Pier Ave in their video here!  

The idea for Music at the Beach started taking shape thanks to a conversation between Bruce Reed and Don “Duffy” Greel, the Supervisor of Rockport’s DPW.  During the conversation Duffy spoke of the concert series at the bandstand in the New Hampshire town where he has a camp. Reed had already been thinking that the bandstand could prove to further build community and would be the perfect venue for family events.  

Bruce Reed explains…

I discussed some ideas with Rockport’s Town Administrator, Linda Sanders.  Funding was always the major issue.  I had a core group willing to help with ideas, but we still had no funding.  Selectwoman, Sarah Fiumara Wilkinson, learned about a group named “Awesome Rockport” who is committed to identifying and supporting local initiatives.  We filled out their form and were selected as one of three finalists.  My 9 year-old cochairman, Wyatt Wilkinson, and I developed a presentation and won the grant.  Wyatt and I then presented to the Board of Selectman and received their sponsorship.    

The buzz around town for Tuesday’s event is quickly spreading and many people, including yours truly, are really excited to attend!  We are very appreciative to Bruce Reed, Wyatt Wilkinson (9 years-old, bears repeating!), Awesome Rockport, and the Board of Selectmen….as well as anyone else who played a role.

These are community events for all ages and people are encouraged to bring blankets, chairs, and picnics.

TUESDAYS 6:00-8:00 pm

CHECK OUT THE MUSIC AT THE BEACH FACEBOOK PAGE HERE

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 9.26.02 PM

 

 

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

FullSizeRender

 

MR. SWAN IN THE BOSTON GLOBE!

Mr. Swan super stressed and panting while being chased around Henry’s Pond.

Mr. Swan Makes the Big Time in the Boston Globe!

In Rockport, Chasing Mr. Swan

Article by Boston Globe correspondent Emily Sweeney

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.

Mr. Swan is Not in need of rescuing. Drinking and eating just fine❣️#swan #birdsofinstagram

A post shared by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Emily Sweeney can be reached atesweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter@emilysweeney.

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.

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

HERALDING HARBINGER OF SPRING

Aside from Spring Peepers, is there a sound of the New England meadow that announces the arrival of spring more eloquently than that of the Red-winged Blackbird calling to his lady love? I think not. Happy Spring!

AMERICAN WIGEON JOINS THE SCENE!

A small duck with a big personality, the little male American Wigeon flew on the scene, disgruntling all the Mallards. He darted in and out of their feeding territory, foraging along the shoreline, while the Mallards let him know with no uncertainty, by nipping and chasing, that they did not want him there. American Wigeon was not deterred and just kept right on feeding.

Smaller than a Mallard but larger than a Bufflehead, the pretty male flashes a brilliant green swath across the eye and has a beautiful baby blue bill. They are also colloquially called “Baldplate” because the white patch atop his head resembles a bald man’s head.

Male American Wigeon and Male Mallard

According to naturalist and avian illustrator Barry van Dusen in “Bird Observer, “In Massachusetts, they are considered rare and local breeders, uncommon spring migrants, and locally common migrants in fall. They are also fairly common winter residents in a few localities. Spring migration occurs in April and fall migrants arrive in September with many remaining until their preferred ponds freeze over.”

After looking at the range map below, I wonder if our little American Wigeon has been here all winter or if he is a spring migrant. If you have seen an American Wigeon, please write and let us know. Thank you!

*   *   *
Female American Wigeon (above) image courtesy Google image search

Motif Monday New England architecture: religious conversion

So many titles! This Old Church. When a house of worship is a house. I wonder about the people and the history behind their unique architecture, and smile thinking about dedication and reverence. What were the maddening, fascinating and funny stories of the houseproud chapters?

granite hillIMG_20170301_084202

IMG_20170223_142058

IMG_20170301_075951

Read more

What if…a section of Dogtown brush was cleared away? If you missed Chris Leahy at Sawyer Free Library last week come to a summit by Essex County Greenbelt & Mass Audubon at Cape Ann Museum March 4

“This Saturday morning forum is offered in collaboration with Essex County Greenbelt, Friends of Dogtown, Lanesville Community Center and Mass Audubon and held at Cape Ann Museum. The forum will be moderated by Ed Becker, President of the Essex County Greenbelt Association.”

Register here

UPDATE: Cape Ann TV is scheduled to film the event!

hopper-yale

Edward Hopper Cape Ann Pasture watercolor drawing (ca.1928) was gifted to Yale University in 1930

2

East Gloucester Atwood’s Gallery on the Moors as seen on the left in 1921–open vistas at that time

 

Chris Leahy gave a presentation at Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library on February 23, 2017: Dogtown- the Biography of a Landscape: 750 Million Years Ago to the Present
A photographic history through slides presented by the Gloucester Lyceum and the Friends of the Library. Mary Weissblum opened the program.

Chris broadly covered the history of the local landscape from an ecological bent with a bias to birds and blueberry picking, naturally. New England is a patchwork of forested landscapes. He stressed the evolution of bio diversity and succession phenomenon when the earth and climate change. “Nature takes a lot of courses.” He focused on Dogtown, “a very special place”, and possible merits of land stewardship geared at fostering greater biodiversity. Perhaps some of the core acres could be coaxed to grasslands as when parts of Gloucester were described as moors? Characteristic wildlife, butterflies, and birds no longer present may swing back.  There were many philosophical takeaways and tips: he recommends visiting the dioramas “Changes in New England Landscape” display at Harvard Forest HQ in Petersham.

“Isolation of islands is a main driver of evolution”

“Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Worcester has the highest concentration* of native butterflies in all of Massachusetts because of secondary habitats.”  *of Mass Audubon’s c.40,000 acres of wildlife sanctuaries statewide. “The fact that Brook Meadow Brook is in greater Worcester, rather than a forested wilderness, underscores the value of secondary habitats.”

“1830– roughly the time of Thoreau (1817-1862)– was the maximum period of clearing thus the heyday for grasslands…As farmsteads were abandoned, stages of forests return.”

Below are photos from February 23, 2017. I added some images of art inspired by Dogtown. I also pulled out a photograph by Frank L Cox, David Cox’s father, of Gallery on the Moors  (then) compared with a photo of mine from 2011 to illustrate how the picturesque description wasn’t isolated to Dogtown.

img_20170223_200058img_20170223_190206img_20170223_190350img_20170223_200204

hopper-2

Edward Hopper, Cape Ann Granite, 1928, oil on canvas can we get this painting into the Cape Ann Museum collection?

dogtown-cape-ann-massachuestts-by-louise-upton-brumback-o-c-vose-galleryLouise Upton Brumback (1867-1929), Dogtown- Cape Ann, 1920 oil on canvas

atwood-cox-gallery-on-the-moors-photo-1921

StudioCrepe in Rockport is a must

StudioCrepe on 17 Railroad Ave is an absolute must try if you haven’t been there. I am guilty of not making my way into Rockport with all the great restaurants.

My daughter Talia loves it and introduced me to brunch! Can’t make it for brunch? No worries they have lunch and dinner!

Here’s a glimpse of brunch but they offer so much more! Check out their website www.studiocrepe.com

20170219_114159

20170219_114150

I got the Sunrise Crepe with some Rose! Great beer and wine selection!

20170219_114503

« Older Entries