Tag Archives: Sawyer Free Library


What could be easier than to give the gift of membership to the Sawyer Free Library. There are different levels, beginning with the very low amount of only $10.00 for seniors and students. 

Membership dues are pooled to support the excellent library programming. One of the added benefits of becoming a member are the free passes or reduced admission to area museums, including the Peabody Essex Museum and the Boston Children’s Museum. CLICK HERE to learn more about what membership means and what your contribution brings.

Save the Date for the Gloucester Historic Middle Street Walk Event, upcoming December 12th unnamed-1


Monarch Butterfly Exposion -2 ©Kim Smith 2014 300dpi copy

What is a Monarch Butterfly explosion? The butterflies migrate to Mexico to keep from freezing to death in northern climates. The air is cool and moist in the trans-Mexican volcanic mountains, cool enough to keep them inactive and in a state of sexual immaturity, called diapause, but not so cold that they will freeze. As spring approaches and the Earth’s temperature begins to rise, the butterflies sleeping in the oyamel fir forests need to get out of the hot sun. Millions explode from the trees, drink water from nearby mountain streams, and move to a cooler, shadier spot on the mountain.

I hope you’ll come join our program Thursday night at 7pm at the Sawyer Free Library. We’ll be talking all things Monarchs including the current status of the butterfly’s migration, habitat destruction here in our own community, and most importantly, ways in which we can all help the Monarch possibly survive the warming of the earth.

We will be premiering the trailer for my forthcoming film about the Monarchs, too (also titled Beauty on the Wing). I hope to see you there!

For more information, visit the Programs page of my website and the Sawyer Free Library Facebook page.

Monarch Butterfly Explosion -1 ©Kim Smith 2014 300dpi copy

GloucesterCast 158 Taped 11/8/15 With Guest Kim Smith and Host Joey Ciaramitaro

GloucesterCast 158 Taped 11/8/15 With Guest Kim Smith and Host Joey Ciaramitaro

Topics Include:

Shout out to Cape Ann Coffee sausage egg and cheese croissant
something exciting coming from James Eves
jason grow’s wwII exhibit got a good feeling seeing the faces, kudos to Donna for great coverage
Election signs and people that freak out if they aren’t down the very next day
Present pop up
no brainer- christmas presents
Thursday night at 7 Kim’s Beauty On The Wing Kim’s lecture and slide program about the life cycle of the Monarch and habitat destruction and migration update
Passports wine dinner the 19th
saw in the times that the Cameron’s site  new architect’s rendering




Monarch Caterpillars Common Milkweed ©Kim Smith 2012Milkweed Munching Monarchs

Although scientists have long known that the toxic sap that flows through milkweed veins, called cardenolides, can make a bird very sick if it attempts to eat a Monarch caterpillar, it was unclear whether the butterfly’s acquired adaption to the toxicity was a side effect that allowed the caterpillar to eat the milkweed or had developed separately as a defensive mechanism against predators. A Cornell University study recently published in Proceedings B of The Royal Society Publishing reveals that they have indeed evolved to weaponize milkweed toxins! Thank you so much to Maggie Rosa for sharing “The Scientist” article and you can read more about it here. 

“Monarch butterfly caterpillars have evolved the ability to store toxins known as cardenolides, obtained from their milkweed diet, specifically to make themselves poisonous to birds, as has at least one other species of milkweed-munching caterpillar, according to a study published Wednesday (November 4) in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

“This finding is fascinating and novel,” Stephen Malcolm, a professor at Western Michigan University who studies cardenolides but was not involved in the new research, wrote in an email to The Scientist. “It is exciting to have evidence for the importance of top-down influences from predators.” Continue Reading

Please join me Thursday evening, November 12th, at 7pm at the Sawyer Free Library for my illustrated talk, Beauty on the Wing ~ Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Meadow monarch caterpillar ©Kim Smith 2015

Meadow Anderson and Monarch Caterpillar

“Small Jewels” Kathleen George Show at the Sawyer Free Library Matz Gallery

image33My husband Tom came home raving about Kathleen George’s show at the Sawyer Free, calling her paintings “small jewels!” Go see, they are indeed jems!

About the artist ~

I have loved art my whole life. I come from a family that has always valued art. I find that art is an inextricable part of my very being; it’s in the way I see light, in the way I can tap into energy that shouldn’t exist in my busy life to paint for hours and hours after a busy work day…It doesn’t matter if I spend 5 minutes or 5 hours doing art, it is always a window into true beauty for me. Lately, with gratitude, I am making more space in my life for this art I have loved always. Read more here.

Visit Kathleen’s website here.



Gloucester’s Middle Street – An ever evolving neighborhood

Guided walking tour offers historic perspective

GLOUCESTER, Mass. (July 31, 2015) – The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to present Historic Middle Street, a guided walking tour of one of Gloucester’s many historically rich streets, on Saturday, August 8 at 10:00 a.m. The tour meets at the Cape Ann Museum at 27 Pleasant Street and lasts about 1 1/2 hours. Tours are held rain or shine. Cost is $10 for Museum members; $20 nonmembers (includes Museum admission). Space is limited, reservations required. Emailinfo@capeannmuseum.org or call (978) 283-0455, x16 for more information or to reserve a spot. Additional walking tours are offered throughout the summer – please visitcapeannmuseum.org/events for more.

Did you know that a resident of Middle Street, Gloucester, saved the town from a British attack by sea during the Revolution? Or that a leading feminist and religious free thinker lived halfway down Middle Street? Or, that the 1764 Saunders House that forms part of the Sawyer Free Library has undergone at least three radical architectural changes including a massive Victorian tower? Four centuries of Gloucester’s social, economic, and architectural history are packed into this one short street in the heart of downtown Gloucester. Join us for a docent-led tour of an ever-evolving neighborhood where you will see surviving evidence of the past and will learn about structures and people now gone.

unnamed-1The Saunders House, now part of the Sawyer Free Library, in the early 1880s. Photo by Edward Corliss & J. F. Ryan House Photographs, c. 1882-85. 4″ x 6″ cabinet cards. From the collection of the Cape Ann Museum Library and Archives.

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