Twin Lights Thacher Island
Cape Ann has been blessed with stunning sunrises and sunsets this winter, or perhaps it’s just that the weather temperatures are warmer than usual, which makes it much more fun to be out and about photographing. Fifties today and despite the overcast skies, the day was divine!
Another batch of photos from yesterday’s mesmerizing after storm wave-watching.
Thacher Island from the Back Shore High Tide
Towering waves and beautiful spindrifts all along the back shore today.
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I’ve been trying for some time to get a time lapse of the sun coming up between the Twin Lighthouses. I haven’t had time to look at the footage but if the camera wasn’t jostled by the wind, I may have gotten the shot and will post the footage this weekend.
After attempting to photograph the Moon, Venus, and Jupiter in the night sky Wednesday morning, the colors were so spectacular I couldn’t help but stay to photograph the rising sun. The beach was soon alive with surfers, paddle boarders, photographers, and dog walkers, in that order. The three panoramas were taken at about ten minute intervals. Click on the image or drag panoramas to your desktop to embiggen.
Thinking I would just take a few shots of the night sky, I had run out the door wearing only a light sweater. Staying longer than anticipated I came home shivering. Bundle up if out for an early walk on these gorgeous, albeit chilly, October mornings.
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Taken at the end of Grapevine Road on the backshore. The sound of the pebbles rolling every time a wave came and went was deafening.
Electric Light Orchestra!
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nb. Click photos to embiggen. The Twin Lights show the flaw of shooting with a tiny lens in the iPhone 5. I can straighten the horizon but the towers are leaning towards each other. Larger cameras, more glass in the lens, and shooting with the camera straight on and not pointing up can eliminate most of this convergence. Last ditch there is always Photoshop to straighten out structures leaning in.
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I often see the surfers arriving en mass at daybreak and then departing around 8:30–I imagine heading off to work. What a terrific way to start the work day! For the daily New England surf forecast, visit New England Surf.
Although ubiquitous where ever we turn, I was curious about the several different species that are often observed fishing and feeding together at dawn. The flocks of seagulls that we see on Cape Ann at this time of year are typically comprised of two species and they are the Great Black-backed Gull and the Herring Gull. In the above photo taken at daybreak (click to view larger), you can see both species; the gulls with speckled feather patterns are first year fledglings of both the Great Black-backed and Herring Gulls.
Interestingly, early in the twentieth century, both species of gulls were mostly winter visitors, neither staying to breed when the weather warmed. The first pair of breeding Herring Gulls was discovered on Martha’s Vineyard in 1912. The first pair of breeding Great Black-backed Gulls was found in Salem in 1932.
The Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) is the larger of the two, up to 30,” with a black back and wings, yellow bill distinguished by a red dot on the bottom near the tip, and pinkish legs.
The Herring Gull (Larus argentus), at 25 inches, has gray wings tipped with black, gray back, white head, pinkish legs, and yellow bill also with a red dot on the bottom near the tip.
The Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) is also a regular visitor but according to Mass Audubon, it has never successfully bred in Massachusetts. The Ring-billed at first glance looks similar to the Herring Gull but is the smallest of the three at 17″ and is also easy to distinguish as it has yellow legs and a dark gray band near the tip of its bill.
White light flashing five times at 20 second intervals.
Thacher Island is located about a mile offshore of Rockport. The island may be viewed from several locations in Rockport and from the Bass Rocks (Atlantic Road) in Gloucester. The Thacher Island Association provides boat service to the island for members of the Association. Kayaking is another popular way to visit the island.
Attached is my photo of the Twin Lights … perhaps you and your readers
may be interested other local photos on my site at
I’ve been photographing Gloucester/Rockport area for about 5 years; I
live west of Boston but I do manage to get to Gloucester quite often.
I like the way GMG ties together the spirit and creativity of the
community, and I appreciate all the hard work of you and your
It was nice to meet you tonight. Here is the web site I was telling you about.
Has you can see in the attached picture, I knew when, and where to be to get the moon between the towers. Knowing the time of the moon-rise ,and sun-set helps with the exposure of the Twin Lights. I’m still working on my settings, so I don’t over expose the moon, or under expose the rest of the shot.
I hope the other photographers find this has cool to use has I do.
The other picture is something I found on my way across the rocks, off Penzance Rd. in Rockport. I was told it is where the earth split millions of years ago, and filled in with molten lava.