Although Red-winged Blackbirds are spied around Niles Pond during the winter months, spring brings flocks, and the males are an especially welcome sight chortling atop the pussy willow branches along the water’s edge. Red-winged Blackbirds are one of North America’s most abundant birds. If you were a male of the kind, you might be singing your heart out, too. The species is highly polygynous and some males have been known to have as many as 15 mates during a single season!
The males are glossy black with distinctive red epaulettes and yellow wing bars, which they often puff out confidently when singing from their perches. The females have a streaky brown song sparrow-like wing patterning and stay close to the ground feeding and building their intricately woven nests at the base of cattails and reeds, along the marsh’s edge.
If you have a spare moment, send us a photo of your favorite signs welcoming spring and we’ll post them under a group ‘welcome spring’ post. Send photos to me at firstname.lastname@example.org (thanks Lenny).
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I am presenting 2 lectures this coming week, Monday on Butterfly Gardening in Shrewsbury and Wednesday evening on The Pollinator Garden at the Flint Library in North Reading. Please visit the events page of my website for more information.
Thank you Beth, Susan, Jessie, Catherine, George, and Charles–an awesome team and an awesome job well done!!!
We had our first Friends of the HarborWalk cleanup this morning and made great progress. We didn’t get to I4-C2 and hope to next weekend.
If you stop by to have a look, you’ll see the diminutive Dwarf-crested Iris (Iris cristata) just beginning to show their sweet little faces. Dwarf-crested Iris are native to Massachusetts and bloom in shades of sky blue, lavender, and darker blues and purples–the HarborWalk’s iris are are deep purple with gold on their crests.
All Those Hands and Feet!!
A Duo of Players : A Trio of Instruments
Carolyn and John Skelton bring their combined virtuosity to bear on the Gallery Organ, the Chancel Organ, and the Harpsichord at the Annisquam Village Church on this Palm Sunday program, April 13 at 4 PM, in a delightful concert of duets and solos that includes works of Bach, Handel, Buxtehude, Couperin, and Pinkham. From an antiphonal organ piece to a brilliant exchange between the harpsichord and gallery organ, these two expert players will take full advantage of the three instruments built by Jeremy Adams and the lively acoustic of the historic Village Church at the head of Lobster Cove in Gloucester. Contact: Kathleen Adams, Music Director, 978.283.6416
Jeremy Adams Gallery Organ, Chamber Organ, and Harpsichord
On Sunday, April 6, 2014, the Magnolia Library held an important meeting. Bill Fonvielle, City Councilor Ward 5, facilitated this forum. The panelists were Chief Eric Smith, Deo Braga, (The Azorean, Dunkin Donuts), Tim Flaherty, (YMCA), Mark McDonough, (Serenitee Group), Eric Loiacano, (new owner of property on Lexington Avenue), and Jon von Tetzchner, Innovation House. It was standing room only with more than 200 people attending this event. It was informative, important issues were discussed, such as the Magnolia Fire Station re-opening, the new 525 Restaurant and property under development to help revitalized Lexington Avenue. There was also a questions from the floor to the panelists.
Taking a walk on Main Street Saturday went into the new store, TBT. Beautiful shawls, sweaters, socks, dresses, gloves and jewelry. Everything in the store is from pure Alpaca and the jewelry are made by Richard’s mother in-law, the owner. Here are a couple of pictures and a short video.
The Gloucester Gig Rowers enjoying a cruise around Smiths Cove this beautiful morning with Gannet and Annie B.
The Gloucester Gig Rowers started in 1985, when a group of Cape Ann women approached boat builder Larry Dahlmer and asked him to build them a boat inspired by the pilot gigs of Southwest England. The result was the Siren Song — a 29’, plywood-construction gig. The original group of women remained active until the early 1990s, when other interests and events intervened.
At this point, Siren Song spent some time in dry dock, then was loaned to rowing programs at the Hull Life Saving Museum (Massachusetts) and in Kittery, Maine.
In the spring of 2001, Siren Song returned to Gloucester. Ann Banks organized a new group and created a program within the newly-formed Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center. In 2004, a second boat was commissioned by the Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center (now Maritime Gloucester) and built by Dave Condino. Launched in the spring of 2007, the Gannet is built to the standards of a traditional Cornish pilot gig.
Over the winter-spring of 2012, a new gig was commissioned to be built at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. This newest gig, named the Annie B in honor of Ann Banks, has been at their dock since summer 2013.
Melissa Hutt Pierce Writes~ Everyone who loves Peeps wants S’More!!!
Sista Felicia~ I S’More Agree !!!
Sista Felicia ~ Love the idea of caramelizing the peeps …yummy! Thank you for sharing your Peeps photos and ideas!
Check out this Fun, Quick & Easy Peeps Chick Sugar Cookie I made for my nieces Friday night… they loved them!
Send us your Peeps Ideas & Photos!
So, I’m doing some exploring this morning looking for fun things to do with kids, and I landed on good ol’ GLOUCESTERMA.COM. Then I see an ol’ favorite, the Gloucester Maritime Museum, harmless right? It’s a haven for kids, family, education and fun. Fair enough I feel. Then I click on this link
So, click and tell me what you find!
Cat Ryan Submits-
Turner, Monet, Whistler, Dow…Lane?
Check out John Wilmerding’s review of Fitz Henry Lane’s half-dozen foggy views such as Ship Starlight in the Fog (c.1860) which is in the collection of the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, OH.
For more hazy light and atmosphere, rivers and tides, and artists born in MA: the WSJ has covered the James Abbott McNeill Whistler biography by Sutherland
and current Whistler exhibitions which you can check out if you hustle. An American in London: Whistler and the Thames at Addison Gallery of American Art is closing April 13, 2014. Go!
Make time to visit Ipswich and seek out work by Arthur Wesley Dow.
And when it re-opens, Cape Ann Museum for all things Lane.