Tag Archives: Rockport

Who is in the Know?

We mentioned the other day on the most recent podcast (from the gorgeous new Beauport Hotel) that a new restaurant is coming to Rockport.

The Feather & Wedge Restaurant and Bar (happy dance) is scheduled to open sometime this summer.  I honestly don’t know a thing about it.  Who can fill us in?  I’d love to know more!

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19th Annual Viking Baseball Academy

I’ve heard some great things about this baseball camp, I know John Parisi is fantastic, and I’m thrilled Thatch and Finn will be attending.

What a great way to kick off summer!  Check it out and consider signing up your 7-12 year-old.  The organizers are making final preparations now.

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Dinner at the Pigeon Cove Tavern

Met a friend for dinner at the brand new  Pigeon Cove Tavern last week.  I had one super yummy Blueberry Mojito, a roasted beet and arugula salad, and a delicious burger with Krystal Cave Aged Cheddar and Green Garlic Aioli.  So good.

I will definitely go back again and can’t wait to sit outside on the deck.  Give it a shot for sure.

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HAPPY MOTIF NO. 1 DAY!

Don’t miss this fun, action packed day with the Motif 1 5k Race, circus performers, live music, farmer’s market, art, poetry and much, much more! The festivities begin at 9am, Saturday, May 21st. For more information and a complete schedule of events visit the Rockport Exchange website here.

Motif No. 1 Rockport MA copyright Kim Smith

Here’s hoping for a warm, sunny day for Motif No. 1 Day. Best wishes to Sarah Kelly and festival organizers for a smashingly successful event!!! 

 

 

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.

MYSTERY AT LOBLOLLY COVE

Mystery at Loblolly Cove

Loblolly Cove late day

A photo posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Don’t you love the sound of the word loblolly? I am curious as to why Loblolly Cove is called as such. There is the Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda) but that is a species that grows in the the southern United States. Nautically speaking, loblolly refers to a thick gruel served on ships. Geographically, in some southern US dialects, a loblolly is a mire or mudhole. Loblolly Cove is neither of these. Perhaps the namer of Loblolly Cove just liked the name. To me, it sounds like the perfect setting for a mystery novel, the kind you read when a kid on summer vacation – “Mystery at Loblolly Cove.”

Scenes from around Loblolly Cove

Cardinal Loblolly Cove rockport Kim SmithSing Your Heart Out Fella!

Common Eider juveniles Kim SmithYou may have noticed odd-looking Common Eiders on our shores lately. They are juvenile males. It takes several years for the adult male to develop his distinctive black and white wing pattern.

Common Eiders Bufflehead Kim SmithAdult Male and Female Common Eider with Male Bufflehead in Flight

Sweet sounds of spring – male Cardinal love song ❣

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

 

 

 

A panorama of this morning’s DST sunrise

Usually when I try a panorama on sunrise the horizon is chewed up. Maybe because DST I drank less coffee this morning.

Usually when I try a panorama on sunrise the horizon is chewed up. Maybe because DST I drank less coffee this morning.

If you click twice to embiggen, the horizon is just a wee bit chewed but what is causing most of it is that there were two oil barges out about ten miles and they were replicated a few times as the software tried to cope.

Breakfast is Served…again

Last week, Steve and Kelly Salah closed the front door of Rockport’s Red Skiff for the last time.  The last time until its reopening under new ownership this morning, that is.  As I drove by at 7:30 last night I found new owner, Talia Khan-Bettencourt, and some others busy at work preparing for today.  With a new sign hung by the door, that only remained closed for a mere ten days, comes the promise of more meals, mug ups, and memories.

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EXQUISITE COOPER’S HAWK

Cooper's Hawk Rockport MA www.kimsmithdesigns.com 2016Cooper’s Hawk, at least I think it is an immature Cooper’s Hawk. Raptor experts reading this please weigh in!

Several nights ago while filming at T Wharf in truly gorgeous fading light a very cool hawk flew on the scene, hungrily hunting the flock of pigeons that were circling around Motif #1. The kerfuffle was captured on film, and then he perched about fifteen feet away from where I was standing! I very slowly and quietly turned cameras toward him. The hawk stayed for a few moments longer before heading back out to chase the pigeons.

I believe this is an immature Cooper’s Hawk because of the beautiful elongated teardrop-shaped patterning of the feathers on its breast, the distinguishing three bars on its long tail, and the yellow eyes. What do you think?

Cooper's Hawk Rockport MA www.kimsmithdesigns.com 2016 -2

Cooper's Hawk Rockport MA www.kimsmithdesigns.com 2016 -3The light was so dim and the hawk photos were shot at only a shutter speed of 40 and high ISO of 5400. Nonetheless, I’m impressed with the clarity of the images from my new lens when shooting in very low light conditions.

Filming at TWharf last night in beautiful light

A photo posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Motif #1 (Not fuji, iPhone 6sPlus photo)

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