Tag Archives: Sawyer Free Library

MONARCHS WEAPONIZE MILKWEED TOXINS

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.

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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.

Congratulations to All the 2015 Poetry Without Paper Winners!

To celebrate April as National Poetry Month, the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library is proud to have participated in its twelfth annual Poetry Without Paper contest.

Poetry Without Paper 2015 Gloucester MA ©Kim Smith 2015

Elementary School:

First and Second Place (shared): Charles King, Grade 5, East Gloucester Elementary School: “Fireworks”
and George King, Grade 5, East Gloucester Elementary School: “Blank Slate”
Third Place: Calvin Del Vecchio, Grade 5, East Gloucester Elementary School: “The Sun”
Honorable Mention: Aurelia Harrison, Grade 3, West Parish School: “Immortal”

Middle School:
First Place: Mila Barry, Grade 6, O’Maley School: “Living in The Valley Green”
Second Place: Willa Brosnihan, Grade 6, O’Maley Innovation Middle School: “The Swarm”
Third Place: Ruby Mills, Grade 7, O’Maley Innovation Middle School: “Forest”
Honorable Mention: Katherine Bevins, Grade 7, O’Maley School: “Memory Window”

High School:

First Place: Emily Ryan, Grade 11, Gloucester High School: “Loving in Reverse”
Second Place: Josette Thompson, Grade 12, Gloucester High School: “True Love Haiku”
Third Place: Spencer Taft, Grade 12, Gloucester High School: “A Note for the Windshield”

To read all of the prize-winning poetry, click here

PRIZES: Each winner will receive a cash prize, a book of poetry, publication of the winning poem, an invitation to read the poem at the awards ceremony, and the chance to appear on the local TV program The Writer’s Block.

See Martin DelVecchio’s Beautiful Photo Gallery Here:

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