Tag Archives: Rockport

Pigeon Cove Shovelers

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I physically can’t shovel snow and Janet had shoveler’s fatigue. This morning, I saw three people walking up the street, all carrying shovels. We asked if they were looking for work, and they started clearing our driveway and walkways. These were, in fact, our neighbors Eva Maria (L), Heike (mother of these kids), and Levin (R). They did an outstanding job, speak German (their native language), and I asked them to come back after the next snow storm.

When FRIENDS Have Babies

What do so many of us have in common?  Surely not all of us….but, many of us?

I’m guessing that, like me, many of you spent 30 minutes each week for 10 solid years hanging out with friends.   And, by “friends”, I really mean FRIENDS….as in the television show.

From September 22, 1994 to May 6, 2004 I tuned in for 30 minutes of serious bonding with Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Ross, Chandler, and Joey.  Good times.

Say what you will, but I’m not going to lie, I think we should all consider ourselves lucky if we are able to say that we have friendships in our lives as strong as theirs.   And, yes, I do realize that they were merely television actors…

But, fresh out of college when we first “met” I loved getting to know them.  I loved watching their ups and downs…while laughing, crying, wishing, hoping, wanting, wondering…you name it.  We should all have a “Chandler” or a “Rachel” or a “Ross” or a “Phoebe” that we treasure in our lives.

So, if…like me…you were tuning in during that decade, you may remember when Ross and Rachel had a baby.  An adorable little baby girl named Emma.  But…did you know that Emma was played by not one but two adorable little girls named Cali and Noelle.   AND….that Callie and Noelle have all sorts of Cape Ann roots.

They are the stunning, funny, generous, smart, talented, kind, and polite 13 year old daughters of Geoff Sheldon and Gretchen Carpenter.  While they now live out in California, Geoff hails from Rockport.  And nothing beats 4th of July week when they all usually make their pilgrimage home!

My own warm fuzzies about Geoff began the night I was introduced to him and my future husband on Christmas Eve back in 1998.  Ironically, smack in the middle of the FRIENDS years.  Little did I know when I met Geoff that night that I’d marry the guy he was out celebrating Christmas with….and that he and his beautiful wife would later boast to sharing custody of their daughters with Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer. Well, you know, kind of.  And then there’s “Aunt Heather”.  When Heather isn’t out being amazing on horseback….she can be found in all of her gorgeous glory making Halibut Point Restaurant and even better place to be!

So, how fun to read this article yesterday!

This is What Baby Emma Looks Like Now

Photo Courtesy of Reddit

Photo Courtesy of Reddit

Also pretty cool is…

The twins made #11 of this Hollywood List:

Top 20 TV Baby Births of All Time

 

 

What to Feed the Robins

American Robin in the Snow ©Kim Smith 2014The robins in our community have several different habits for surviving winter. There are year round resident robins that breed throughout Cape Ann during warmer months and also spend the winter here.  A second group only breeds in our region, then migrates further south during the winter months. A third group, the robins that we see flocking to our shores beginning round about January 28th, are migrating from parts further north. They are very hungrand are looking for berries, fruit, and small fish.

In early spring, robins begin to disperse from flocks. The ground thaws and worms, insects, and snails once again become part of the robin’s diet. Spring, too, is when we begin to hear the beautiful liquid notes of the male robin. He is singing to attract a mate. The robin’s song is one of the of most beloved and it is his music with which we associate the coming of spring.

With several edits and updates since I first wrote the following article, I think you’ll find the information helpful in knowing what to feed and to plant for the robins.

American Robin Sumac ©Kim Smith 2014Flock of American Robins Eating Sumac, Halibut Point Rockport

Food for the American Robin

During the winter months Cape Ann often becomes home to large flocks of robins, and we have had the joy of hosting numerous numbers in our garden. I can’t help but notice their arrival. Their shadows descend, crisscrossing the window light, followed by a wild rumpus in the ‘Dragon Lady’ hollies. This pair of hollies is planted on opposing sides of the garden path, alongside my home office. I have learned to stealthily sneak up to a window, as any sudden activity inside startles birds that are investigating our garden, and they quickly disperse. Dining not only on berries of the ‘Dragon Ladies’, but also the ‘Blue Princess’ Meserve holly and winterberry bushes, I find dozens of noisy, hungry robins.

These winter nomads flock to trees and shrubs that hold their fruit through January and February, feasting on red cedar, American holly, Meserve hollies, chokecherries, crabapples, sumac, and juniper. Robins traveling along the shores of Cape Ann also comb the shoreline for mollusks, and go belly-deep for fish fry. Depleting their food supply, they move onto the next location. Gardens rife with fruiting shrubs and trees make an ideal destination for our migrating friends.

Year round resident robins will call your garden home when provided with trays of chopped fruit and raisins, supplemented with meal worms.

What to Plant for Robins

The garden designed to attract nesting pairs of summer resident robins, as well as flocks of winter travelers, would be comprised of trees and shrubs for nest building, plants that bear fruit and berries that are edible during the summer and fall, and plants that bear fruits that persist through the winter months. Suburban gardens and agricultural areas provide the ideal habitat, with open fields and lawns for foraging insects as well as trees and hedgerows in which to build their nests.

The following plants, suggested with robins in mind, will also attract legions of songbirds and Lepidoptera. The list is comprised primarily of indigenous species with a few non-native, but not invasive, plants included.

Trees for nesting ~ American Holly (Ilex opaca), Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana), Red Maple (Acer rubrum), Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum), Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida).

Summer and autumn fruit bearing trees, shrubs and vines for robins ~ Black Cherry (Prunus serotina), Blackberry (Rubus spp.), Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida), Gray Dogwood (C. racemosa), Red-osier Dogwood (C. sericea), Silky Dogwood (C. amomum), Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis), Apple (Malus pumila), Virginia Rose (Rosa virginiana), Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum), Lowbush Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium), Wild Grape (Vitis spp.).

Trees and shrubs with fruits persisting through winter ~ Winterberry (Ilex verticillata), Mountain Ash (Sorbus americana), Crabapple (Malus spp.)Sargent’s Crabapple (Malus sargentii), American Holly (Ilex opaca), Meserve Hollies (Ilex meserveae), Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana), Common Juniper (Juniperus communis), Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra), Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina).

American Robin winter crabapple turdus migratorius, americanus ©kim Smith 2015American Robin Eating Crabapples

I Love Sumac

Worms!

The American Robin and Bird Food

Blizzard Blast: Old Garden Beach, Rockport

Brrrrrrrr.  Here’s some video footage from Old Garden Beach in Rockport along with some pics of the homes nearby. With a break in the snow and the plows slowing down, I ventured to the end of my street.  It is a short walk, but a coooold one today.  Mind you, it was not high tide, so the worst of it is yet to come.

The frozen salt water is beautiful albeit a menace to the ocean front homes. The price you pay, I guess.

Wonky

Kind of a wonky blizzard here in Rockport.

Freezing and SUPER WINDY, but not actually tons of snow….yet.

Our front deck is completely clean…as are our cars.  The snow in the front yard is accumulating in drifts and the snow in the back yard it 1/2 way up the fence so far.  Likewise, it is starting to devour the swing set.

We still have power and cable/internet….but yet the wind is louder than I’ve heard in a while!

Let’s hope the new construction on that breakwater holds!

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Looking Up

I am in love with this building.  From the inside and out.  For so many reasons.

If you haven’t seen a performance at the Shalin Liu, you really need to.

I snapped these quick shots while out for a run the other afternoon.  While my knowledge of architecture is very limited, my fascination for lines, angles, and the nuances of it all is pretty significant.  Little parts of the whole have always been of interest to me, I guess.

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Winter Storm Iola

SnowRkptWM5500 We had a beautiful snowfall in the afternoon, then a rainy-icey mess, and finally heavy snow for a short time. The total accumulation was 3 to 4 inches. Needless to say, I did not venture out into my first snowstorm since being released from medical facilities. The upside is that I can’t shovel or drive (yet).

Time to Reconnect

With a rare unscheduled morning suddenly before me and the boys off for a game of pond hockey, I put Marlin on his leash, grabbed a cup of coffee, and took off for a brisk walk around town.

It has been way too long since I’ve been able to find time to do that and it was exactly the dose of medicine that I needed yesterday.  I don’t often forget why I love living in Rockport, but this is the time of year that I don’t necessarily find the time to actually enjoy it….or appreciate it.  Early yesterday, for 90 fantastic minutes, Marlin and I played Who are the People in Your Neighborhood while walking past Old Garden Beach, down Atlantic, through town, up and down Bearskin Neck, to Front Beach, into Mill Pond Park, past the frozen pond, by the cemetery, down Hale Street, through town again, and back home….seeing friends and familiar faces along the way.

Along the way, Marlin was kind enough to let me wrestle my phone out of my pocket once in a while to snap a photo.  He isn’t keen on slowing down much…but, tolerated my pitstops.  He was most appreciative of the stops that allowed him to stalk birds.  He, unlike me, doesn’t have an affinity for front doors…but would take those opportunities for a quick pee.

There’s something magical about this town…no matter how cliche that sounds… and I’m so happy to have had the chance to reconnect.

 

Gallery 19 Artisans Sponsoring Save the Children Fundraiser

Hi Joey.

Gallery 19 Artisans, in Rockport, MA, is sponsoring a Save the Children Fundraising event on Saturday, January 10 from 6pm – 9pm.

Live jazz by the Eric Van Dam Trio, food/drink, silent auction and more….plus free admission!

I sure could use some help getting the word out and I’m told you’re the go to guy…:)

Thanks a million,
Cynthia Belchou
G19
19 Broadway
Rockport, MA 01966

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Artist at Work: No Rest for the Weary

I met a friend for a bite to eat and a couple of drinks at Stone’s last night and headed back out into the cold to head home at 9:30.  The chill was just leaving my car as I turned off of Broadway and onto South Street in Rockport to climb the hill towards home.

There, on the side walk, was an artist at work.  My clock read 9:42 and my temperature gauge read a mere 36 degrees, but he was happily painting away.

I drove past him and hemmed and hawed a bit about whether to continue towards home or turn around and capture the moment…with no camera, but at least, my phone.  I saw him painting on that same corner last week and was mad at myself for not stopping.  I didn’t want to make the same mistake twice.

I’m glad I turned around.

Chris Coyne, of Coyne Fine Art, was in the midst of an already gorgeous painting…surely to be all that more stunning upon completion.  This evening he was painting The First Baptist Church of Rockport. Last week he was painting one of my favorite things about the holiday season, the Dock Square Christmas Tree. He was kind enough to show me the completed painting of our beautiful town tree. Nothing short of stunning!

I’ve always had an appreciation for Chris Coyne’s art, but after seeing him out in the cold late at night to capture the perfect moment in time…I have an entirely new appreciation.

Do yourself a favor and browse his work at Coyne Fine Art or on his Facebook Page

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GloucesterCast 12/26/14 With Toby Pett, Kim Smith, Nichole Schrafft and Host Joey Ciaramitaro #GloucesterMA

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GloucesterCast 12/26/14 With Toby Pett, Kim Smith, Nichole Schrafft and Host Joey Ciaramitaro

Topics Include: Taping with The Blue Yeti, Guests Toby Pett, Kim Smith, Nichole Schrafft, Host Joey Ciaramitaro, Hockey Moms, D Small and His Kwanza Bowtie, Food Coma At Sista Felicias, Middle Street Is A Cool Place To Live, Christmas Rundown, Shout Out To Joe Marcantonio For Holiday Seafood, 7lb Banza In Three Days, Turkey For Christmas?,  Canada Goose Arctic Program Jackets, Relative Bargains, Restoration Hardware Robe, Ray Borque Wears His Canada Goose Jacket, Grit Pod Hockey Bag, Marmot Outerwear, Kim’s Camera, Rocky Neck Plunge Oakes Cove Beach, Bertha’s, Open Door Food Pantry, Joey’s Problem With Ugly Sweater Contests, The Phrase “Jump The Shark”, Giblees, Coogi Sweaters, North Shore Shopping Center and Liberty Tree Mall For The Holidays In The Old Days, Nichole Schrafft Holiday Vacation To-Do Picks, Joey Is A Grumpy Hungry Bear, Talbot Rink, Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, North Shore Kid, Check Out The Clam Post- Texting An Elf, Do You Think The Clamistas Use Online Collaborative Tools?, Joey’s Zero Success Rate In  Getting GMG Contributors To Use Online Collaborative Tools, Global Shark Tracker, Ukulele Christmas Sin-A-Long, Foreign Affairs Is Closed Til Some Time In February, Dinner Dealer Deck, Duckworth Bistrot Closed For January, New Year’s Plans, Rockport Rockin New Year’s Eve, Don’t Forget To Subscribe To The Podcast Here For A Chance To With the Cape Pond Ice Mug Generously Donated By Donna Ardizzoni

podcasticon1GMG Podacst #110 Joey Toby -2 ©Kim Smith 2014

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