Bananas Are A Berry?

Banana Flowers ©Kim Smith 2015Although not native to the Americas, we came upon a banana tree, bearing both blooms and bananas, growing at an abandoned ruin in Solstice Canyon, which is located in the Santa Monica Mountains. The brilliant red high up in the treetops caught our attention and we were amazed to see the cluster of bananas along the stem of the inflorescence. The red bracts are not petals; new flowers emerging are the yellow curly blooms peaking between the opening bracts.

Did you know that bananas are technically speaking a berry? Botanists define a berry as a fleshy fruit produced from a single ovary. The berry is the most common type of fleshy fruit, where the entire ovary wall ripens into an edible pericarp and the seeds become embedded in the flesh of the ovary. One banana inflorescence produces 50 to 150 bananas! Blueberries and cranberries are also examples of a true berry.

tomatfr1The tomato graphic above illustrates the pericarp, the fleshy edible part surrounding the seeds. You will most likely not see any seeds in a commercially grown banana because they are cloned from a single cultivar, the ‘Cavendish,’ which also makes them highly susceptible to disease and a potential mass die-off.

Inside_a_wild-type_bananaWild banana seeds

Every morning while visiting Liv and Matt, Liv made deliciously healthy smoothies combining bananas, spinach, avocado, and whatever other fruit and veggie were on hand. That’s how we began our Solstice Canyon day hike and I was glad to have had the power-packed breakfast. As you can see, we encountered beautiful and enchanting wildlife along the trail.Pocket Gopher Southern California ©Kim Smith 2015

Pocket Gopher

California Sister Butterfly Santa Monica Solstice Canyon ©Kim Smith 2015

California Sister Butterfly

Acorn Woodpecker Solstice Canyon Southern California ©Kim Smith 2015Acorn Woodpecker Stashing His Acorns

Acorn Woodpecker Solstice Canyon Southern California -2 ©Kim Smith 2015If I were still designing clothes, the Acorn Woodpecker would definitely inspire an outfit, or two! 

A few more snapshots here – Continue reading “Bananas Are A Berry?”

Thank You Dr. Cahill from SeaPort Veterinary Hospital




This morning Coconut went in for a scheduled routine dental cleaning at SeaPort Veterinary Hospital. Just prior to her procedure, Dr. Cahill noticed a small growth on Coconuts right eyelid. He immediately recommend removal today while she was already under anesthesia for her teeth cleaning. It’s not easy turning your beloved pet over for surgery. The thought of her being sedated worried us all, but knowing she was under Dr. Ray Cahill’s incredible care we found comfort. He promised to keep an extra watchful eye because he knows how sensitive Coconut can be to medications. We knew he was keeping his promise after his sharp eye this morning detected the mass on Coconuts right eye lid during his throw per surgery exam.  We are truly grateful for Dr. Cahill’s loving care he and his staff showed to Coconut and to our family today. Coconut is home resting comfortably by the fireplace and is well on the road to recovery, with pearly white teeth!



MISSING DOG! Eastern Point area near Nile’s Beach/Brace Cove, Bass Rocks and in between

GLOUCESTER FRIENDS – Eastern Point area near Nile’s Beach/Brace Cove, Bass Rocks and in between —
Ben’s dog has gone missing.
He’s a golden retriever – about a year old – who vanished late on Wed, 1/28. He does not have a collar; is very reddish, and a sweetheart. If you see a dog meeting this description please call Ben 802.349.9993


Reason #98 Why Rockport Rocks

We get this big dump of snow and John Penaloza has a harebrained idea it would be fun to flip the lights on at Evans Field and go sledding. Jeff Proposki finds the keys to the light pole and done. People bring hotdogs, hot chocolate, kids, and sleds and this is what Evans Field looked like on Sunday night.

Jen Keough backed way up to get 99 people in the shot.

Where's Waldo?
Where’s Waldo?

Facebook group “Rockport Stuff”. If you live in Rockport, definitely worth joining and checking out.

Tonight at Katrina’s ~ Inge Berge Filling in for Toni Ann 7-10pm 1.29.2015


Dear Friends,
Once upon time there was a local singer songwriter who got a steady Thursday night local gig.
This was very exciting for her to play weekly with some of the finest players in her little town. One January
Thusday night she had planned to play with her good friend, and, have for the first time, her cousin
as her guest!
Sometimes the best layed plans mean nothing…this singer songer got the flu and couldn’t
Luckily her friend, Inge Berge, put on his superhero cape and saved the night! THE END

ib c-001
At Katrina’s tonight 1/29 from 7-10PM Inge Berge will be covering for me, so please show him your support and I’ll see you next week!

katrinas nye

14 Rogers St
Gloucester, Massachusetts

The Good Ole Salty Jazz Band at Dave Sag’s Blues Party – 8:30 PM to 11:30 PM Thursday 1.29.2015



I’m late again! Poetic licence had expired and had to wait in line for *** tetragrammation**** to re-up my status. So let’s go!

I can’t wait for you to hear this fabulous band: The Good old (Sea)Salty Jazz Band. All 35 of them are showing up on Thursday to wail away your blues!
But seriously, folks there’s only 8 to 11 of us,depending on who has a doctor’s appointment at the time. Looks like there’ll be 10 of us this evening. We’ve been holding SRO concerts at The Rose Baker Senior Center for years, and now that our record sales have gone platinum, it’s time to play the big time! So grab a date (or some prunes), put on those soft shoes and beat me, daddy eight to the bar! and don’t forget to try one of Jeff, the bartender’s famous Metamucil-infused cocktails for the smell of success. Ahhhh.

The Ole Salty Jazz Band  play great music  at Rose Baker a few times a month. This was shot on  Monday March 19th.

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Henry Ferrini video 2012

Community Photos 1//29/15

Josephine McCullough submits-

Just witnessed the most amazing ballet of dump trucks w a front loader clearing North Street in Manchester.  HUGE thanks to our local DPW workers!!!



Not sure how to offer a couple pictures to share but thought these
where pretty cool.

Gregg Shupe

Blizzard Juno 2015 Blizzard Juno 2015

Catie Partridge submits-

Shark, The Other White Meat?

Taking photos today and caught seagulls having a fish dinner.
Oddly, there was more than one shark for the main course!


Niles Pond Road – photo from Anthony Marks

Niles Pond Road

Nichole’s Picks of the Weekend 1/31 and 2/1

So, somehow, I have a new time slot.  I think something may have gone down. I may have missed something….I’m not sure.

Regardless….here I am at 7:00 a.m.  Wow….it’s an early time slot to fill!

I’m feeling kind of tired, crazy blizzard and all (did you know that we had a blizzard?), two young boys, full-time job….lots going on. Plus I’m kind of crampy. And out of Midol.  Just saying.

I know that I accepted the responsibility to report some family friendly Picks of the Week…and accepted eagerly at that…but, maybe I’ll just sit back and hope that someone else will cover this mumbo jumbo this week.  Maybe Craig will randomly step up and offer some kid friendly activities.  I wonder types of activities those would be 😉    Maybe, Donna or Kim will.  Maybe Paul or the other Paul.  Surely someone will pick up my slack.  After all, my hands are still cold from sledding and shoveling…..and taking photos and videos during the blizzard at the end of my street.

Oh, wait, that would be wrong, I mean I agreed to do this….I WANTED to do this.   I mean, if I suddenly wasn’t in the mood to do this……or was too busy doing it for someone else….obviously the right thing to do would be to let Joey know.  You know….so he could count on someone else right??

So, on that note….   Here are my Picks of the Weekend.

It’s all about the snow, bout the snow, bout the snow….

It’s all about the snow this weekend because we haven’t had much to enjoy thus far this year!

So, that being the case, my favorite picks would just be to get out and enjoy it!

Pick #1

Sledding, snow shoeing, cross country skiing, you name it.

If you’re looking form simpler things to do in your own backyard, check out these links full of snowy day activities!

Snow Day Activities from Woman’s Day Magazine

Parents Magazine: Snow Day Activities

And, here’s a link to a cute blog with a perfect Homemade Snow Ice Cream recipe!  Ummm….Yummm.  Just stay away from the yellow snow 😉

Gimme Some Oven: Snow Ice Cream


Pick #2

If you’re tired of the snow already (it’s ok to admit it) and are looking for an indoor activity that you haven’t already done 100 times, maybe check out the North Reading High School Masquers Club and their performance of Peter Pan!

READ MORE HERE    Please note that this also runs next weekend!


Pick #3

It’s Groundhogs Day!

I am well aware that I use the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary as my go-to weekend “to do”, but I can’t help that they offer such interesting and fantastic activities each weekend.  This weekend is no different!

Groundhog Day Extravaganza   Saturday 1:00-4:00

Registration is required.

Register online or call 978-887-9264 to register by phone.

Is spring on the way, or are we faced with another six weeks of winter? According to legend, Punxsutawney Phil foretells the impending weather each year. If he sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If not, spring is near. Ongoing activities throughout the afternoon include nature hikes, a groundhog obstacle course, snow sculptures (if there’s snow), crafts, refreshments, and more. The official groundhog celebration takes place at 2:00 pm in our warm and spacious Barn. Families with children of all ages are invited to join us for this fun seasonal event.


My Apology Is No Longer Here Because Pete Asked Me To Take It Down

Before the conspiracy theorists come out of the woodwork, the reason the post is no longer here is because Pete asked me to take my apology post and his farewell post down.

Out of respect for his wishes and because I believe I was wrong to call him out publicly I’m obliging and once again extending my thanks for the posts he did here and wish him huge huge success.

If you would like to follow him for his passionate weather reporting you can follow his Wicked Weather Facebook Page with great videos from the top 5th or 6th storm of all time.

Here’s the link, follow and like his awesome page-