Tag Archives: Rockport

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!

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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?

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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!

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

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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.

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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

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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

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

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BEAUTIFUL FEBRUARY SNOW MOON OVER CAPE ANN

Last night’s Snow Moon was stunning, although my photos don’t do it justice. Frozen fingers and I couldn’t find what I was looking for, which was a a tree, any tree, with snow laden branches, with the moon light coming through. Oh well, there’s always next year. 🙂 snow-moon-over-rockport-copyright-km-smith

The “Calm” Before the Storm

While the snow came later than expected, a full-blown winter storm was definitely in the air. We took a little tour of Rockport from Old Garden Beach, to Bearskin Neck, to Long Beach, and down Eden Road just before the storm blew in.  As we were driving home, the snow began to come down fast and furious.

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EARLY MORNING SCENES FROM BEAUTIFUL ROCKPORT HARBOR, GRANITE PIER, MR. SWAN AND DUCK ENTOURAGE, PAIR OF JUVENILE DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS, FV WINDY, AND OF COURSE, MOTIF NO.1

Photos from an early morning walk all around Rockport Harbor (sub0zero walk I should add). My technique for photographing when it’s 10 degrees out is to snap away until my fingers can’t stand it any more, run back to the car, which has been left running, warm up, and then try again. Repeat in ten to fifteen minute intervals. I have the utmost respect for the fishermen; I don’t understand how they can work on the water when the air temperature is so cold.

rockport-congregational-church-sun-rays-copyright-kim-smithRockport Congregational Church and Shalin Liu Sunrays

Double-crested cormorant-juvenile-sleeping-rockport-harbor-copyright-kim-smithOne of a sleeping pair of juvenile Double-crested Cormorants

MOLLY JOHNSON’S ARBOR DAY CHRISTMAS TREE

Snowy dawn in Rockport

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Nichole’s Picks 12/31 +1/1

First of year, Happy New Year.  May 2107 be all that you want it to be.

Pick #1: Rockport New Year’s Eve

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SEE FULL ENTERTAINMENT SCHEDULE AND BUY BUTTONS HERE

The mission of Rockport New Year’s Eve (RNYE) is to broaden and deepen the public’s appreciation for the performing, literary, and visual arts through innovative, diverse and high-quality programs that offer the community a shared cultural experience that is accessible and affordable.   RNYE presents year-round programs that both support this mission and raise funds.  RNYE is also supported by business sponsorships and individual donations.

RNYE’s most important event of the year, and the one for which the organization is named, is the celebration of the arts on New Year’s Eve. The evening is designed to be an impressive, “small seacoast town” version of First Night celebrations held throughout the country.  New Year’s Eve in Rockport is a treasured tradition enjoyed by Cape Ann residents and visitors

Attendees purchase buttons online or at stores throughout Rockport and Gloucester in advance of New Year’s Eve, or at the event headquarters on New Year’s Eve.  A button allows the bearer to attend any events that are scheduled throughout the evening.  The following description gives a good perspective of the depth, breadth and cultural diversity of the entertainment.

The celebration begins at 6PM on New Year’s Eve.  New Year’s Eve entertainment is scheduled on the hour, every hour, from 6PM to midnight, with 15 minute breaks in between each 45 minute session to allow attendees to walk from venue to venue and venue managers to reset for the next act.  The entertainment options scheduled throughout the evening are culturally diverse and suitable for all ages.  Musical acts may include folk, Celtic, blues, reggae, calypso, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, funk, soul, bagpipes, gospel, songs of the sea, 50’s and 60’s doo wop, country, western swing, African pop, New Orleans jazz, big band, and a cappella..  Other entertainment may include clowns, jugglers, puppeteers, story tellers, face painters, dancers, psychic readers, and telescope viewing with the astronomy club.  Children of all ages participate in the drum jam and parade through the downtown streets, with a large dancing dragon and costumes.  At midnight, attendees gather in Dock Square to watch the ball drop from the highest ladder of the town fire truck and sing “Auld Lang Syne”.

Pick #2:  Noon Year’s Eve at Legoland

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NOON YEAR’S EVE

Who says you have to wait until midnight to celebrate 2017?

Help us ring in the 2017 a few hours early with our first ever “Noon Year’s Eve” celebration! There will be special activities, prizes and giveaways, and a celebratory balloon drop, all included in the price of admission!

Read more about Legoland HERE

Pick #3: Rocky Neck Polar Plunge

Test your tolerance for icy cold water, have some belly laughs with friends, and (most importantly) help raise donations for the Open Door!

READ MORE ABOUT THE OPEN DOOR HERE

Once again, it’s that time to come and celebrate the New Year with our invigorating celebration. Please join us!! We ask everyone to bring non-perishables to help out those in need. The Open Door will have a van set up at the entrance of the beach !! We also collect cash or checks made out to The Open Door. If you haven’t joined us before, please do so and bring friends!!!!! We start this yearly tradition with a poem from George Sibley and then take our plunge !!

Sunday, January 1st at 9:00 a.m.

Rocky Neck. Stevens Way, Gloucester,MA

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As always, for a comprehensive list of family activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid

Thank You, Santa!

In Rockport, Santa comes to town twice.  He comes once, by lobster boat in early December, to help light the town Christmas Tree.  He comes back Christmas morning, after a very long night, so that the town’s children can say “thank you” for bringing Christmas into their homes.

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This Saturday October 15: “The Quarries of Cape Ann” by Les Bartlett at Cape Ann Museum

Les Bartlett will give a talk on the quarries of Cape Ann this Saturday at 10 AM at the Cape Ann Museum Click here for details.

Last month Rubber Duck visited Profile Rock and posted on the Rockport Facebook page.

Old photo of Profile Rock with Cape Ann Tool Company Smokestack in background.

Old photo of Profile Rock with Cape Ann Tool Company Smokestack in background.

Profile Rock as of September 2016

Profile Rock as of September 2016

RD checking out a circular mark at the very center of Profile Rock.

RD checking out a circular mark at the very center of Profile Rock.

Les promised to explain what that circular dent was during his Saturday talk. He said, “RD is next to perhaps the most important spot on Cape Ann and along the Northeastern seaboard.”

RD tried to google the answer but came up dry so she is going to the talk this weekend.

Sunrise this morning 10/6/2016

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Too late! The sun was blowing out the sensor on my poor iPhone.

After all the weather passing through now back to the standard gorgeous sunrises. Before the sun broke the horizon the backlit waves were gorgeous. But I was trying to keep baby stripers from chasing my popper so the iPhone stayed in the plastic bag. Then they were just babies in diapers, maybe 22 inches so I put the rod away and took a few shots.

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So shoot to the left of sunrise.

Shoot to the left of sunrise.

One more to the left.

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And shoot to the right of sunrise.

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and shoot to the right of sunrise

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