Why Do Herons Stand on One Leg?

Great blue Heron one leg -2©Kim Smith 2013Great Blue Heron at Good Harbor Beach ~ Click to view larger

There are several theories as to why birds, especially large wading birds such as herons and flamingoes, stand on one leg, or “unipedal resting” as scientist like to refer to the trait. The seemingly most convincing and best-proved theory is that birds stand on one leg to conserve body heat. It is shown that birds stand on one leg more often when wading, which again points to the thermoregulation hypothesis because water draws away more body  heat.

Great Blue Heon one leg Good Harbor beach ©Kim Smith 2013 copyGreat Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

Standing on one leg is not necessarily a sleeping and resting habit. I have filmed Great Blue Herons and Snowy Egrets meticulously preening while standing on one leg. The characteristic is not limited to large wading birds; species with shorter legs, including ducks and swans, also stand on one leg. Another popular theory suggests that wading birds stand on one leg to look less suspicious to aquatic prey.

wp4768443cCenter of gravity and line of gravity

wp0e750516Goose standing on one leg

To read more about avian sensory physiology, visit the website of Professor Dr. Reinhold Necker. Additional images courtesy Professor Necker’s website.

Rhythm of the Tide

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Rhythm of the Tide

There are places, like the Goose Cove Causeway, where
the tide rushes into the cove, sounding like a
marathon runner sucking air during the
last kick before reaching the finish line.

The water foams and the buoys bend and the
tidal current rips under the bridge with just
a brief pause at slack to catch its breath before
reversing direction and roaring out.

Viewing the tide at such places can be
exhilarating and fascinating, but
I prefer to do my tide watching at the
calm pools and rivulets of Jones Creek.

In peaceful weather, through the afternoon into
the evening, I stand there listening to the
serene, quiet breath of the earth as the pool
gently rises and falls – a giant liquid Buddha.

It’s easy, in times such as those, to become
part of the pool, like the mist that sometimes forms
on the surface on a cool, still evening and
stays attached as the breath goes in and out.

My body is the body of the earth;
the rhythm of the tide governs my breath and
flow of the creek, pumped by the heart of the ocean,
nourishes me and cleanses me.

I will stare, listen and I will breathe with the tide
and receive renewed life blood from its flow
and be one with this wondrous world until
the tide runs no more and the creek  is finally dry.

Marty Luster

Encore, originally posted January 12, 2012

Start New Years Eve by helping to send Rockport High Band, Chorus & Orchestra students on a concert tour of Ireland and take home a rock star’s autograph

New Years Rockport Eve has so much music that trying to decide what to see will become your first decision of the 2014.  Check out the complete up-to-date music schedule here (this lists more shows than you’ll find on their website).

But before you even look at the schedule, check out this video & press release from Noreen Vincent about the amazing silent auction featuring instruments & sheet music autographed by Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, Aerosmith, Bob Dylan & the Eagles — all to support a program led by RHS Orchestra Director and local music star, Nathan Cohen:

Kick off New Year’s Eve with a Music and Silent Auction Fundraiser at the Shalin Liu Performance Center, Tuesday, December 31st from 3:30pm – 5:00pm.

There will be music of many genres, including a lively session of traditional Irish music performed by the Rockport High School students, faculty members and surprise guests. The Cape Ann Contra Dance Band will be joining the event for a live dance. 

Silent auction & raffle items include instruments autographed by Taylor Swift and Paul McCartney, sheet music and albums autographed by Aerosmith, Bob Dylan, and The Eagles, autographed drawings by Seth McFarland and Charles Schultz, circus lessons, lobsters, Celtics tickets, a summer weekend rental in Rockport, a pair of concert tickets at the Shalin Liu Center, a a three-day trip to Paris, and much more. The celebration will end at 5:00 p.m. – in time for Rockport’s New Year’s Rockport Eve festivities, which begin at 6:00 p.m.

Proceeds will help fund the Rockport High School Band, Chorus, and Orchestra’s Concert Tour of Ireland in April of 2014. The students will travel to Ireland to engage in the musical culture, study with some of Ireland’s most renowned musicians, and to perform at some of the country’s finest venues. Students will visit Limerick, Galway, Dublin, and Cork, and will work both with classical musicians and traditional Irish musicians and dancers. The fundraising efforts are critical in keeping the cost of participating in this tour affordable to all students.

This is not you’re grandpa’s bluegrass!

If you were at the Cape Ann Solstice concert, you heard Charlee Bianchini’s gorgeous version of Mark Erelli’s soulful “Snowed In.”  You may also remember Charlee say she was lucky enough to see him live — not many people are so lucky.   But you could be if you get your tix now to see him with Barnstar! at Old Sloop before they sell out!


Check out this video to see what I mean . . .

Gingerbread Muffin Tops With Mascarpone Frosting


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Gingerbread Muffin Tops With Mascarpone Frosting

My daughter Amanda and I have had a craving for a Gingerbread Muffin from the Gingerbread Confection Bakery chain out of town for over a week…every once in while my husband (AKA “St Barry”) will surprises us with a box  of muffins from this yummy bakery located near his work. Yesterday, while doing some after Christmas shopping with my kids, I spotted a muffin top pan on clearance for $9.99 at Marshalls…there was no way I was leaving the store without it. For the reminder of the day my mission was to get home and whip up a batch of our favorite muffins and cure our carving!

Muffin Ingredients

1 stick salted butter

½ cup dark brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

1/2  cup buttermilk

1/2  cup molasses

1 1/3 cup flour

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2  teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground mace

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 six section muffin top pan

Mascarpone Frosting  Ingredients

4 ounces cream cheese

8 ounces mascarpone cheese

4  tablespoons salted butter softened

3 cups confectioners’ sugar; (plus 1/4 cup for final dusting)

2 tablespoons buttermilk

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 large pastry bag  & decorative frosting tip

Muffin Step-by-Step

1 combine butter and brown sugar in bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment; on medium speed, cream butter and sugar two minutes or until fluffy

ginger bread muffin tops with mascapone frosting (14)

2 add egg, buttermilk , vanilla bean paste, and molasses; mix on low speed until all ingredients come together (mixture will be wet & lumpy)

3 in separate mixing bowl, sift all dry ingredients together

ginger bread muffin tops with mascapone frosting (9)

4   add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in bowl of stand mixer; mix on low speed until thick batter is formed

ginger bread muffin tops with mascapone frosting (12)

ginger bread muffin tops with mascapone frosting (11)

4 lightly spray muffin top pan with cooking spray

ginger bread muffin tops with mascapone frosting (13)

5  fill each muffin section with 2/3 cup batter

filled muffin pan

6 in preheated 350° oven bake 15 minutes or until cake tester is  inserted and removed cleanly

ginger bread muffin tops with mascapone frosting (19)

7 cool 10 minutes on wire rack before frosting

ginger bread muffin tops with mascapone frosting (24)

Frosting Step-by-Step

1 place all frosting ingredients in bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment

2 mix on low speed until frosting begins to form and confectioners sugar is incorporated; increase mixer speed to medium; beat mixture until smooth and creamy

ginger bread muffin tops with mascapone frosting (21)

3 transfer creamy frosting to large pastry bag fitted with a decorative frosting tip (I like to use my Wilton 6B tip); pipe frosting in center of each muffin top

ginger bread muffin tops with mascapone frosting (27)

4  finish with light dusting of confectioners’ sugar

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ginger bread muffin tops with mascapone frosting (30)

Mission Complete!

Yields 6 Muffin Tops

USCGC Escanaba Fall 2013 D7 Patrol Video Out Of Boston

USCGC Escanaba Fall 2013 D7 Patrol

Matt Bohannan writes-
We used a few GoPro’s to gather dozens of hours of video over our 6 week patrol sped it up to take 6 minutes! Directed by SN Bohannan, produced by BM3 Humphrey.

Here are other posts on Good Morning Gloucester featuring the USCGC Escanaba-

Cmdr. Edward Westfall of Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba Discusses the towing of the Michael and Kristen

Posted on December 19, 2009 by 

Cmdr. Edward Westfall, the commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba, discusses the towing of disabled Gloucester, Mass.-based lobster boat, Michael and Kristen, Friday, Dec. 18, 2009. The master of the 77-foot lobster boat called for help at about 3:30 …Continue reading →

USCG Pic Of The Cutter Escanaba Tilted Way Over as It Approaches The Michael and Kristen

Posted on December 18, 2009 by 

Thanks to Universal Hub for the link- Here is The USCG website report- BOSTON — The Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba is continuing to tow the Gloucester-based lobster boat that was disabled Wednesday with five people aboard more than 200 miles southeast of …Continue reading →

Grace Marie Being Towed By Coast Guarg 178 Miles

Posted on June 10, 2010 by 

Paul Frontiero photo BOSTON – The Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba is towing the fishing vessel Grace Marie to Provincetown and plans to arrive around 6 p.m., today. The Grace Marie, a 65-foot Gloucester-based fishing vessel, was reported to be adrift … Continue reading →

It’s Been far Too Long-Chickity Check Bowsprite- A New York Harbor Sketchbook

Posted on April 10, 2010 by 

It’s been far too long since I’ve visited buddy Christina’s Bowsprite- A New York Harbor Sketchbook I love her illustrations and stories and I suspect if you dig GMG you will love her blog too. I’ve been encouraging Christina to … Continue reading →

Emailing tweet from: USCGNewEngland (USCGNewEngland)

Posted on December 21, 2009 by 

USCGNewEngland: CG News (#uscg): Dec. 21, 2009: Video – Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba transits through Cape Cod Bay during snowstorm http://ow.ly/16bXZG Original Tweet: http://twitter.com/USCGNewEngland/status/6901604223 Sent via TweetDeck (www.tweetdeck.com) http://www.goodmorninggloucester.com

Beach Gourmet Ringing In The New Year :)

Dear Joey,

As the New Year approaches, all of us at beach gourmet would like to thank you for your support and wish you and your family a very Happy New Year. 

Let us assist with the final touches of your New Year’s Eve celebrations. We have many items prepared, and in the case, and many more available for order and pick up.

Our Winter Classes and Chef’s Table dinners have been scheduled and are beginning to book up. Call to reserve your space today!

About the Chef’s Table

Upcoming dates:

January 12th (limited availability)

February 16th

The Chef’s Table is a great way to extend our hospitality to clients or private tastings and classes. Our antique, hand-crafted table seats up to twelve people comfortably and is uniquely located inside Savour Wine and Cheese, adjacent to the beach gourmet exhibition kitchen. Guests at the table experience an exclusive private dining experience with a menu that is designed specifically to compliment the wine pairing by our wine expert, Kathleen Erickson.

These events are typically booked for private parties and are not open to the public, however we periodically open the table to reservations on a first-come, first-served basis. Sample Chef’s Table menus can be viewed on our beach gourmet web page. Do not delay in making your reservations. Open Chef’s Table events tend to sell-out very quickly.

Winter Cooking Classes

Braising Stews and Stocks                   January 9, 2014

Soups (limited availability)  January 23, 2014

Decadent Desserts  February 6, 2014

Brunch Fare                                        February 20, 2014

Make Ahead Hors d’oeuvres    March 13, 2014

Make Ahead Dinners   March 27, 2014

All classes are offered at $55 per person. Work side by side with 

beach gourmet Chef’s Matthew Beach and Meghan Pozzi to learn techniques for the beginner or the seasoned in-home chef.

Watch and Learn or participate in the cooking demonstration.

All classes will be held at the beach gourmet “Exhibition Kitchen” located in Savour Wine and Cheese.

Classes also available in home.

Holiday Menu

It’s the season to celebrate with friends and family! Let the professionals at

beach gourmet help ease the pain of entertaining, we will fuss over the menu details while you prepare to ring in the New Year.

Call now 978-282-1414 or stop by to place your order. It is that easy!

For New Year’s, please place orders by noon on Monday, 12/30.

Pick up by 4pm on Tuesday, 12/31.

Holiday Hors d’oeuvres

Available in the store throughout the holiday season:

Artichoke Dip – $3.95/8 oz.

Smoked Salmon Spread – $4.95/8 oz.

Caramelized Onion Dip – $3.95/8 oz.

Crab Dip – $5.95/8 oz.

Rosemary Spiced Nuts – $8.95/10 oz.

Creamy Brie en Baguette with Cranberries, Walnuts and Sage – $9.95/ea.

For pre-order (by the dozen):

Endive Spears with Waldorf Salad, $18/dz.

Caramelized Pear and Blue Cheese Tartlet, $18/dz.

Sea Scallop Puff, $21/dz.

Lump Crab Cakes with Lemon Aioli, $24/dz.

Salmon Cake with Remoulade, $18/dz.

Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Crepe, $18/dz.

Tuscan Grilled Shrimp Cocktail with Lemon Aioli, $18/dz.

Sausage Stuffed Mushroom, $18/dz.

Lamb Lollipop, $36/dz.

Beef Wellington, $36/dz.

Chicken Satay with Royal Thai Peanut Sauce, $18/dz.

Cocktail Meatballs, $18/dz.

Family Style serves about 8 people:

Whole Roasted Tenderloin of Beef, $150/ea.

Whole Side of Salmon with Accoutrements, $85/ea.

Quiche, $20/ea.

  • Rosemary Ham and Gruyere
  • Roasted Vegetables and Chevre
  • Sausage and Cheddar

Salads, $40/ea.

  • Mixed Greens with Roasted Squash, Goat Cheese, Toasted Pecans with Shallot Vinaigrette
  • Mixed Greens with Apples, Cranberries, Toasted Walnuts with Champagne Vinaigrette

Dessert, $25/ea.

  • Almond Cake
  • Pecan Pie
  • Chocolate Chambord Squares
  • Pumpkin & Pear Bread Pudding

Quick Links…

beach gourmet

beach gourmet facebook

Savour Wine and Cheese

Good Morning Gloucester

John Lamirande  

beach gourmet

76 Prospect Street

Gloucester, MA 01930