Gray Catbird holly tree copyright Kim SmithMew, mew, mew coming from the trees overhead–my husband asks–“Are those catbirds making that dying cat sound.” Yes, honey, and we’re going to be hearing a great deal more of that cat call with this sweet Gray Catbird nest!

Discovered amidst the holly bush branches while giving the shrub a good pruning, the female was seen building the nest, with her mate supplying bits of straw and twigs for the nesting materials. The Gray Catbird is a frequent visitor to gardens. I swear, the day we planted blueberry bushes is the day the Catbirds began to call our garden their home. If you want Catbirds nesting in your garden, plant the foods they love, which include shadbush, holy, winterberry, and both high and low bush blueberries. And too if we don’t have any fruit ripening in the garden, I’ll place a bowl out on a table with berries from our frig (chopped into small bits), not only attracting Catbirds, but also Cardinals, Robins, and many of our other fine feathered friends.

Gray Catbird egg nest copyright Kim SmithOne pretty blue Catbird egg–on average, the female will lay four. Hopefully more are yet to come.

Gray Catbird copyright Kim Smith


In remembering many, and in honor of all our veterans, we wish you a peaceful Memorial Day.

Originally posted May 27, 2013

Icelandic Poppies sunny day ©Kim Smith 2013 copy

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

To read about the origins of In Flanders Fields see the following from the Arlington National Cemetery website.

Icelandic Poppies ©Kim Smith 2013

In Flander's Field Illustration 1921

In Flander's Field

Boston Globe features Walter McGrath’s work at Gloucester’s Cove Hill Cemetery

Great story by Hattie Bernstein in the Globe today gives a shout out to Walter McGrath in Gloucester.

Boston Globe may 30 2016 grave guards

“If you go to a cemetery on Memorial Day, you’ll see flowers and flags planted everywhere and a lot more visitors than usual.

What won’t be obvious on this holiday dedicated to military veterans who died fighting in wars are the efforts of Northborough’s Beth Finch McCarthy, 53, Gloucester’s Walter McGrath, 83, and Jordan Hurley, 15, who lives in Middleborough.

The three are among an uncounted battalion of volunteers across the region who share a common pursuit: maintaining their communities and ensuring that those buried there aren’t forgotten.

McGrath, a retired engineer with a long list of interests…

Continue reading “Boston Globe features Walter McGrath’s work at Gloucester’s Cove Hill Cemetery”

Motif Monday: Memorial Day, Gordon Parks, Poppies

Respectfully thinking about art that helps us celebrate, remember, remind and reflect every family who has suffered a loss in service.

Five reds five  whites five blues
Donald Sultan Five Reds, Five Whites, Five Blues, 2008 color silkscreen with enamel, flocking and tar like texture
Gordon Parks, Library of Congress, 1943 photograph, Gloucester policemen, Memorial Day Ceremonies

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place, and in the sky,

The larks, still bravely singing, fly,

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead; short days ago

We lived, felt  dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

in Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe!

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high!

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields. 

John McCrae, 18721918

Veteran of the Boer War and WWI, a teacher, and doctor, Canadian John McCrae wrote In Flanders Fields in the spring of 1915 while still at the bloody battlefront in Ypres, Belgium, in an area known as Flanders. The Germans had already used deadly gas. Dr. McCrae had been tending to hundreds of wounded daily. He described the nightmare slaughter: “behind it all was the constant background of the sights of the dead, the wounded, the maimed.” By this time he had already devoted his life to art and healing. He couldn’t save his friends. How could anyone?  Twenty years prior, he sketched poppies during his medical residency in Maryland. He published poems and stories by the time he was 16.  I’m not surprised he noticed the brilliant fragile petals and horror. He wrote for those who couldn’t speak and those who had to see. Meningitis and pneumonia killed him January 1918 after several months battling asthma and bronchitis. His poem and the emblematic poppy continue to inspire and comfort.

A few poppy images follow. I was thinking about their poetic illumination before and after WW1 and layers of meaning and beauty.

John McCrae sketch book 1896, Maryland
John McCrea sketchbook, ca.1896, Maryland

Paul Cummins blood swept lands and seas of red tower of london 2014 ceramic poppy
Paul Cummins, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, 2014, Tower of London, individual cast ceramic poppies fill the moat  (photo during installation in progress) commission to mark 100 years since the first full day of Britain’s involvement in WWI
Monet poppy field in a hollow near giverny 1888 mfa
Monet, Poppy Field in a Hollow near Giverny, 1888,  Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

More representations of poppies in art

Continue reading “Motif Monday: Memorial Day, Gordon Parks, Poppies”

Off the Island…

Long weekends are too short!  Neil and I love to head up to the White Mountain area whenever we get a chance and this weekend we spent some time taking advantage of the overcast day yesterday to explore some waterfall spots.  The first spot is at Jackson Falls in Jackson, NH, which is a very easy access area, the falls are literally next to the road, but don’t go on a warm day if you want some photography shots because it’s a popular swimming area on a beautiful summer day!



The second spot we checked out was Glen Ellis Falls, Jackson, NH, which is about 8 miles away from Jackson Falls and while it’s only a .3 mile walk in, the walk back is pretty steep for anyone with knee issues.  The Glen Ellis is a 64 foot drop and a pretty powerful.   (AND…if you drop anything…you are not getting it back as I found out when I lost a camera filter down the ravine ~ I just can’t have nice things lol!)   So happy exploring!



Dinner at the Pigeon Cove Tavern

Met a friend for dinner at the brand new  Pigeon Cove Tavern last week.  I had one super yummy Blueberry Mojito, a roasted beet and arugula salad, and a delicious burger with Krystal Cave Aged Cheddar and Green Garlic Aioli.  So good.

I will definitely go back again and can’t wait to sit outside on the deck.  Give it a shot for sure.



Grilled Turmeric Chicken & Orange Cucumber Salsa


Grilled Turmeric Chicken

Happy Memorial Day to All! 

This past week I’ve  been thinking up creative ways to incorporate dozens of oranges used as decorations in centerpieces last weekend at our son BJ’s “Go Orange” theme High School Graduation Celebration.

We thought we’d jump right into the “Bleeding Orange”Syracuse University  school spirit  with our friends & family  knowing “Orange” will be a bery big part of our lives for the next several years!

BJ is super excited to be moving to Syracuse NY in August, and eagar to begin his studies at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Business.

imageThe last few oranges from our sons graduation party were finally used when I decided to fix a fresh sala to accompany the Grilled Turmeric Chicken I had marinated earlier in the day for dinnner.A mixture of English  Cucumbers, fresh clientro and a jalapeño pepper I had on hand made the perfect addition to our meal. The combination of  ingredients tasted amazing together. They are definitely equally appetizing to the eye as they are to the pallet!

Click link for Recipe!

Online Free Storage- Dropbox Free- All About Making It Easy To Sync and Collaborate and Store Your Files

I wrote this two years ago but it remains my favorite collaboration and sync storage option when working with decent sized files that you can’t transfer by email-


File this under cool free useful stuff on the internet.

What is Dropbox you ask?

From the website-

Dropbox is software that syncs your files online and across your computers

Put your files into your Dropbox folder on one computer, and they’ll automatically appear on any of your other computers that also have Dropbox installed (Windows, Mac, and Linux too!). You can even download Dropbox apps for your smartphone or mobile device (iPhone, iPad, Android, and Blackberry). Everything in your Dropbox is available from the Dropbox website, too.

I use it almost daily for files that I want to have access to on my android phone, desktop computer and iPad.  The feature I like most however is the sharing capability.   I share Dropbox folders with some people I collaborate with on projects like videos from Jim Capillo at Cape Ann TV.  Also Alicia Cox and I share a Dropbox folder for her Alicia Unleashed Podcast.  We share online Dropbox folders in which they share copies the audio and video files of our podcast when they are done editing them and we can both access the files.  I then grab the files from wherever I happen to be: home computer, on my mobile android phone or on my iPad at a coffee shop and I can then upload them to the blog.  The difference between this way of sharing and storing files through email is that Dropbox hosts them everywhere at once because it is stored to the cloud and you can transfer and store huge files that would never be allowed through regular email because they are too large.  you’d never be able to transfer a file that big through email.

You get 2GB of free cloud storage and it opens up a ton of possibilities to host music, pictures or movies which you can stream from any of your devices.

You can’t beat it so if you want to get something  cool for free, you can go to the Dropbox website and sign up for a free account here

Here are some reviews from trusted tech websites that can probably explain it even better than me-

The appeal is its utter simplicity — it’s essentially invisible, doing the task that isn’t hard but none of us care to remember to do, namely, backing up our files.

from “There’s room yet in the cloud”

by G.F., The Economist – 8/24/10

We’re building the fabric for a new, different kind of Web, where your files follow you to whichever device you happen to be working on.

from “Dropbox: Files without Borders”

by Victoria Barret, Forbes – 6/10/10

Pick a file: a photo, text document, PDF, … or anything supported on the iPad. Tap the “Open In” icon and choose from the list of available apps. You’re done.

from “Dropbox Updated for iPad, External Editing Added”

by Charlie Sorrel, Wired – 5/4/10

Dropbox is better.

Dropbox replaces:

  • Emailing file attachments to yourself and other people
  • Using USB drives to move files between computers
  • Renaming files to keep a history of previous versions
  • Complicated backup software and hardware
  • And more!

Not convinced yet? Then take a look at our list of features. Otherwise, go ahead and get started!

Download Dropbox

Lifehacker posted a good explanation of ways to collaborate using Dropbox today.

Cape Ann Community Bulletin Board Listings For 5/30/16


Welcome To Cape Ann Community Bulletin Board

Joey C ~ 1 Comment

A place where non-profit Cape Ann organizations can post press releases directly and then those press releases will be reposted to . This is not an advertising space for businesses, fitness or wellness organizations, or music listings.

The web address will be

To have your community organization news posted here, contact Joey C who will grant access for you to post directly.

Yoga on the Harbor

Image ~ May 29, 2016 ~ maritimegloucesterprograms

YOGA flyer