Happy Arbor Day (A Week Later)

Last week The Bean brought home a sugar maple from school for Arbor Day.  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen her more excited to do anything like the way she was excited to get home from school and plant that tree.

From what they say about Sugar Maples we should be able to tap it in 40 years for maple syrup.  I doubt I’ll be around by then but maybe The Bean will remember this day.  the day we planted her Sugar Maple tree together.


Brace Cove, Eastern Point

Brace Cove, Eastern Point ©Fredrik D. Bodin
My friends Surrey and Rob, who live on Eastern Point, have a view of Brace Cove and Brace Rock. Surrey once remarked that she loves it when the rock turns “pink” late in the day. I made this photograph as a wedding present for them. While setting up my tripod and camera to capture the fleeting light, I was attacked by swarms of tiny biting insects, who had colonized the piles of damp seaweed on the beach. After suffering through several exposures, I grabbed my fully extended tripod with camera still attached and ran for the car. I’ve since learned to wear pants and long sleeved shirts, a hat, and carry insect repellant on photographic outings, just as I do for clamming and fishing. Surrey and Rob loved their present, and it hangs in their house to this day. Although I didn’t have it mind when I shot this photo, there’s a similarity between my photo and luminist painter Fitz Henry Lane’s Brace’s Rock, circa 1863–1864. We’re fortunate to have many of his paintings reside at our Cape Ann Museum.
Shot on 6×7 centimeter transparency film. Printed from a 4×5 inch color internegative. Image #FDB9667-001c
Fredrik D. Bodin
Bodin Historic Photo
82 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930

Message from Chris Leahy about the Mass Audubon Bird-a-thon

Spring has finally returned to New England! It is arguably the most exciting birding season of the year, when it is possible to find over 100 species in a day with relative ease – many of them in stunning breeding plumage!  And each year I organize a small group here on Cape Ann to bird for conservation as part of Mass Audubon’s Bird-a-thon. It’s great fun, involves some friendly competition, and supports bird conservation.

Here’s how it works.

This year Bird-a-thon takes place May 11-12 and consists of having as much birding fun as we can stand in the 24 hours between 6:00 PM Friday until 6:00 PM Saturday. Back in 2004, I thought it would be fun to see how many species we could find without leaving Cape Ann (Gloucester, Rockport, Essex and Manchester). In addition to the geographical challenge, this reduces birding time lost to driving (one of our team birds by bicycle!) and of course shrinks the team’s carbon footprint. In the 7 years that Cape Ann has fielded a team, we have ticked 183 species total with an average of 132 species per year –dragged down by monsoon rains in two years! In our best single year we found 156 species.

The Cape Ann Bird-a-thon team is back this year with its (catchy?) nickname, “Twitchers with a Purpose” to emphasize the fact that all funds raised will go to specific bird conservation projects. The conservation dollars that can be raised can be significant. For example, last year, Drumlin Farm’s team won the prized Hathaway Cup for raising the most money ($34,820) and a dedicated individual on that team was the statewide top fundraiser with $15,309 raised. My team is trying to hit the $5,000 mark this year.

This, as you’ve probably guessed, is where you come in by pledging to my team as generously as you can. You can either pledge an amount per bird ($1/species @ 132 species = $132) or just pledge a set amount. Pledging is a snap. Just go to my webpage:http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/chrisleahy/bird-a-thon-2012 , click on the green DONATE button and just follow the simple pledging instructions. OR you can just send a check made out to Mass Audubon and designated for the Bertrand Chair (that’s me), attn: Ellen McBride, Mass Audubon, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln, MA 01773. No gift is too small (or too large!) and all are eligible for a charitable deduction.

I hope you can help. Remember, your pledge will be dedicated to specific bird conservation efforts undertaken by my colleagues and me at Mass Audubon, such as the recently publish and authoritative State of the Birds report. I can assure you on the best existing evidence that our birds need all the help you can give them.

Thank you Chris for all you do to help the birds of Massachusetts!

Gray Catbird 

In looking through my photo library for an image for this post, I am reminded of when the Catbirds and Mockingbirds began to call our garden home–when our first batch of blackberries ripened! Catibirds dine on fruits and berries and are year-round frequent visitors for the feast we provide, including blueberry, Juneberry, winterberry, and holly berry. As the fruits of our magnolias approach their ripening time, the Catbirds noisily guard the trees in anticipation of the ripened fruit.

For more information about the Gray Catbird:

Mass Audubon: Gray Catird (Dumetella carolinensis)

All About Birds: Gray Catbird

The Cornell website has excellent crisp, clear recordings of the Catbirds “mew” sound. Anyone who has heard the repetitious male catbird vocalizing at daybreak knows exactly why they are called Catbirds. From Cornell, “The Gray Catbird belongs to the genus Dumetella, which means “small thicket.” And that’s exactly where you should go look for this little skulker.”

Love the beautiful shade of blue of Catbird eggs!

Gray Catbird Eggs image courtesy Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Another chance to be a star!

What were you doing on St. Pat’s Day?  If you weren’t at Minglewood, then you weren’t in this video (look for people you know.  I’m SURE you’ll be able to find at least one local, who recently wrote the funniest account EVER of a flight to Rome — plus you can see 6 behind the scenes videos here be sure to scroll down).

Don’t despair, you’ve got another chance to be a star TOMORROW night!  Brad Byrd is bringing his full band to Minglewood and Hollywood director Brandon Rose is coming back to film.  (If you see Brandon, be sure to congratulate him on his distribution offer and 8 award nominations for his latest film, The Key — see trailer here).

Music starts at 9.  Go there early, have dinner and get yourself into the next big video made in Gloucester!

But don’t wait for tomorrow night.  There’s a legend on Cape Ann tonight: Peter Yarrow of Peter Paul & Mary is at the Shalin Liu — and believe it or not, there are still good seats left  (see here)!

And of course, plenty of other great music in Gloucester for free.  See full music lineup here.

Compost Facility Open this Saturday

This is from Rose LoPicolo the Recyling Coorindator for the City of Gloucester…

Compost Facility Is Open This Saturday!

Gloucester’s compost facility, located on Dogtown Road off Cherry Street will be open this Saturday May 5th .  There will be extended hours for the first Saturday only – the hours will be 8am – 5pm.

The facility will be open May 12, May 19, May 26, June 2 and June 9th, with the hours of operation being 9am – 3pm.

Leaves must be clean and free of rocks & debris. Brush must be less than 4″ in diameter and 4′ in length. Please empty all bags for better composting and remember no bricks, no stumps and NO PLASTIC BAGS.

The Brad Byrd Band~Saturday night @ MinglewoodAtLat43 ~ From 9-12

I absolutely love Brad Byrd and have all of  his CD’s. There’s just something about that voice that grips you and the songs that he sings are so heartfelt. I am sure many of you can identify with the lyrics. Go see Brad Byrd and his band and have a look at the links below to get familiar if you are not already. My favorite song of all time.”ReleaseMe”



Click here and check out Brad Byrd >http://www.thetroubadoursroad.com/featured-artist-brad-byrd-zero-to-the-101/

Show me Yours and I’ll Show you Mine! a call to Artists

Show me Yours and I’ll Show you Mine!

A call to Artists!

Deb Clarke shares her paint box with us. If there are any painters out there that would like to share their Paint box photos with us please email with a Photo and info like Deb has done. Also include anything you’d like to share. Such as; Your website, facebook page, exhibits etc. Email me at Frontiero@hotmail.com

From Deb Clarke;


“This was my father’s french easel, now it is mine. it was pristine when i got it a few years ago, now it is broken in.

my colors:
cad yellow light
cad yellow medium
lemon yellow
yellow ochre
burnt sienna
grumbacher red (napthol red)
alizarin crimson
pthalo green
winsor blue (pthalo blue)
cadmium blue
ultramarine blue
grumbacher pre-test white original (titanium)

a few big brushes, mostly flats, a few rounds, maybe a filbert or two”.

Deb Clarke


Deb’s Facebook page:


Origami in Gloucester? and Year of the Dragon, part 3

Would you be interested in a monthly meeting or workshop in Gloucester for origami enthusiasts?  Do you have friends who might be? Contact me to let me know! If we get enough people interested, I would like to get something going.  I posted on this before and got one or two responses, but I’d like to expand that base.

Continuing my posts in honor of the year of the dragon, here’s origami dragon #3:

Designed and folded by me, from a (single uncut) 6″ square of textured foil. The final model is 3″ from head to tail.

This Weekend in Rockport: Kim’s Walk of Hope

12th Annual Kim’s Walk of Hope
Saturday, May 5th, 2012 at 10am at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockport
In memory of those loved ones lost to cancer.
Visit: kimswalkofhope.com for more information.

Please contact Amy Rich (sister of Kim) at 978-325-0428 or at amyrichstein@gmail.com for more information.

Gloucester Webcam of The Day- 7 Seas Whale Watch

This Webcam and more can be found at www.gloucesterwebcam.com


Visit The 7 Seas Whale Watch Website Here

This www.gloucesterwebcam.com local webcam portal project was an idea I had last year to have as many webcams streaming from local businesses or organizations as possible which highlight the incredible vistas that we as people that live and work here get to enjoy each and every day.

The idea was to have the organization install the webcam, have them embed the webcam feed on their own websites as well and have a link to each business website on the Gloucester webcam portal website to showcase their business as well.

Tim Blakeley from Gloucester Bytes provided the initial installation at ridiculously cheap cost because he believed in the project.

Video- Cape Ann Real Estate Trends 2012 Q1 From Kenny MacCarthy


Check out Kenny’s website here-CapeAnnInfo.com , he’s my podcasting partner and a straight shooting, honest and hard working real estate agent.  Kenny gets my A+ grade for being knowledgeable about what is out there and putting your interests first.