Life Itself at 9pm Tonight on CNN

Sometimes, life is hard. I’ve been feeling that way for the last five days. My legs are almost all solid muscle, yet there’s always a painful area in one leg or another. Coordination is off in the walking department, my appetite is lacking, and it’s a relief to sit down at any time. As you know, I’m a CNN news addict. Tonight at 9pm, they’re debuting one of their productions: “Life Itself,” about the late film critic Roger Ebert (1942-2013), who bravely battled and eventually succumbed to cancer. He was the first film critic to receive a Pulitzer Prize. I’ll be either inspired or saddened. In Comcast’s Cape Ann area, CNN is channel 23 or 760 HD. I never liked the movie reviews of Roger and co-critic Gene Sissel (1946-1999), but I have to watch this. I hope you get to see it also.

Mini Mini Short Clip: American Robin Nestlings

During this past summer while filming B-roll for the monarch film I shot some wonderful little scenes, the baby robins for example. Oftentimes I just happen upon some stunningly beautiful event unfolding and because too many beauty scenes got away from me in the past, I have gotten really smart about nearly always traveling with camera bag in tow.

The four baby robins were in a nest that had been constructed at slightly higher than waist height, in a tree that was for sale at Wolf Hill. My friends at both Wolf Hill and Goose Cove Gardens are always so kind to point out these exciting happenstances, whether robin nestlings or Black Swallowtail caterpillars and eggs, and they are always tremendously accommodating, never minding when I run back to the car to grab my cameras! I only needed approximately fifteen seconds of robin footage, and here you have it! Thank you so much Kate for steering me to the robins!

In my monarch film there is a sequence about the different types of migrations that happen through our region. American Robins are especially interesting as the species has evolved a multi-fold strategy for surviving winter; in the fall, some robins leave Cape Ann for regions further south, some stay throughout the winter, and some arrive in great flocks in January and February from parts further north; for the Canada to Gloucester winter robins, Cape Ann is like their Bermuda!


Sunday Afternoon Chocolate Party

Our hot cocoa party quickly became a chocolate party when Nicole Duckworth arrived with a platter of chocolate-dipped-and-delicious strawberries, pineapples, and bananas (and I had as usual doubled the amount of chips in the chocolate chip cookies). I so hope the kids fall asleep tonight!

friends ©Kim Smith 2015

See Happy Hot Chocolate Snow Days

Focusing on the Future of the Fishing Industry

Message from City Council President Paul McGeary:

“The City Council and the city’s Fisheries Commission are holding a joint meeting on the current state and future of the fishing industry. The meeting will be held on Friday, Jan. 16, at 1 p.m. in the Kyrouz Auditorium at City Hall. 

Mark Ring, the chair of the Fisheries Commission, and I decided to hold the meeting to provide an opportunity for city, state and federal officials to meet with representatives of the fishing industry–both those who work on the sea and those who work ashore–and the public to assess the current state of the industry and to help identify what steps can be taken to preserve and help prosper this industry that is so important to Gloucester.

The forum will have two focuses:

  • Short-term needs of the industry: How do we preserve the infrastructure and help those hurt by recent cutbacks in allowable catch survive the next few years, which are likely to be difficult ones for the industry?
  • Long-term future of the industry: What are the options for our fleet and those businesses that depend on it in the long term?

Representatives of government, industry and advocates will be present to share their ideas. It’s a chance for all of us who have busy lives and don’t always have the time to closely follow the events that impact our fishermen and shoreside businesses to hear firsthand from those most affected by the current situation. As well, it’s a forum for people with ideas on how to protect and help grow the fishing industry to air them.

The agenda for the joint meeting can be found here:

 I hope you will avail yourselves of this opportunity to hear what is happening in this industry that is so much a part of who we are.”


Paul McGeary Photo

Cape Horn, The Movie

Here is the third installment of our South American journey.

Early in the morning of December 16 our expedition cruise ship, the VIA Australis reached, 55 degrees 56′ South latitude, the southern tip of South America. From our cabin we had our first glimpse of Cape Horn and we were soon on deck hoping to hear if the weather conditions would permit a landing. After a bit of a wait we were told to don our warm and waterproof layers and jackets, gloves and hats. It was a go!

This was our first boarding of the Zodiacs that would ferry us to and from Cape Horn and 6 other excursions in the Chilean fjords over the next few days. We had a cold, windy and wet trip to the tiny landing area on Cape Horn and then proceeded to climb 157 steps up the sheer face of the Cape to a more or less level boardwalk that took us to the summit. It was a typical day on Cape Horn: cold, windy, cloudy, sunny, rainy, snowy and dry, all within one hour. We visited the various monuments on the summit, witnessed the wind damaged massive wing sculpture, met the new resident Argentine Navy caretaker and stopped by the windblown chapel.

Having read about Cape Horn all my life, this visit was a must on my bucket list. Because of the harsh and changeable weather, only 40% of visitors get to land on the Cape, We were lucky and very happy to have stood upon this unique piece of the earth.

Gallery 19 Artisans Sponsoring Save the Children Fundraiser

Hi Joey.

Gallery 19 Artisans, in Rockport, MA, is sponsoring a Save the Children Fundraising event on Saturday, January 10 from 6pm – 9pm.

Live jazz by the Eric Van Dam Trio, food/drink, silent auction and more….plus free admission!

I sure could use some help getting the word out and I’m told you’re the go to guy…:)

Thanks a million,
Cynthia Belchou
19 Broadway
Rockport, MA 01966