marblehead-harbor-copyright-kim-smithClick panorama to embiggen

Tuesday morning I gave my Pollinator Garden program to a great group of women in Marblehead, the Winter Garden Club. Their first meeting of the year is held at the Corinthian Yacht Club, which overlooks Marblehead Harbor. The sight of so many sailboats was exquisite and made me wonder what it must look like not on an October morning but a summer Sunday. There is also an Audubon refuge located on the Neck, the Marblehead Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, which looks wonderfully interesting. I’ll definitely be returning!

This Weekend in the Arts

Researching Your Italian Ancestry
With “Genealogy Roadshow” PBS Co-Host Mary M. Tedesco

The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to welcome Gloucester native, Mary M. Tedesco, Co-Host / Genealogist on the PBS TV series “Genealogy Roadshow” (season 2 & season 3) and the Founder of ORIGINS ITALY, to speak on Saturday, October 8 at 1:00 p.m.

Do you have Italian roots? Come to the Cape Ann Museum on October 8 to learn about essential Italian genealogical records and how they are accessed. Italy and Sicily offer many records beyond birth, marriage and death. Onsite research in Italy and research by correspondence with repositories in Italy will also be discussed.

This program is free and open to the public. For more information please call (978)283-0455 x10 or email

Image: Mary Tedesco with Mark Vigil on Geneology Roadshow. Photo courtesy of PBS.

 Mary Tedesco speaks fluent Italian and travels often to Italy to conduct client genealogical research and visit family. She is the co-author of “Tracing Your Italian Ancestors” an 84-page Italian research guide published by Moorshead Magazines. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Boston University and a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University’s Center for Professional Education. In addition to her Italian ancestry (Calabria, Trentino-Alto Adige, and Tuscany) on her father’s side, she also has deep American roots (German, Irish, Danish & English) on her mother’s side and is a proud member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Tedesco is a native of Gloucester, MA.






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Professor Harp Tonight! Dave Sag’s Blues Party @ The Rhumb Line 8:30pm 10.6.2016

dave sag bw rl

We all need a little edumacation and respeck, so c’mon down to the Rummie this Thursday for another Blooz Semenar by that quixotic quack master of indigo, Professor Harp.* He’s got this harmonica that’s plugged into either an electric razor or a blender before it gets directly drilled into your skull. Goes ZZZZZ, beep,wheee, uncle!But seriously,folks. Prof H is the real deal and since he’s driving all the way from New Bedford to sing in Portuguese for you, the least you could do is bring some kale and mebbe some chorizo.

professor harp

Also, special guests Mari Martin and a dear friend from the west coast, George Friedenthal!
Mike DiBari, sizzling blowtorch of pain, will be on the guitar. Steevee Chaggaris, with that beautiful head of skin, will be on tubs.
This is the first of many weekends that I don’t have other gigs. Uh-


40 Railroad Avenue
Gloucester, MA 01930
(978) 283-9732


Upcycled pallets vs international playground design: one dad’s inspiring backyard ninja course, Stage Fort, and BSA Extraordinary Play


“And on to the zip line. Once again, she has a lot of stuffed animal friends to cheer her on the course today…one-handed over the water bottles, and she makes it no problem…” (the father’s sweet narration)

The inspiring viral video of one dad’s DIY backyard obstacle course for his daughter could easily have been featured in Design Museum Boston‘s  excellent Extraordinary Play exhibition which was held at the BSA space, Boston Society of Architecture.  Extraordinary Play featured the best international public playground design, mostly big budget projects. Based on the posters, my sons and an older cousin thought the sky playground in City Museum, St. Louis, the Blaxland Riverside Park in Homebush Bay Australia, and the Globe Dokk1 Aarhaus in Denmark look amazing!




We’d visit any of the BSA notable playgrounds in a heartbeat if we traveled nearby: Geopark Stavangar, Norway; Adventure Playground, Berkeley; Parque Gulliver, Valencia, Spain; The Globe Dokk1, Aarhaus, Denmark; Maggie Daley Park, Chicago; and Brooklyn Bridge Park, NY. (Scroll below to see those posters.)

Gloucester is lucky to have several good playgrounds. My children loved the gigantic truck, pirate ship and lighthouse at Stage Fort, plus so many paths, boulders and expansive fields and vistas. (I don’t think the sea serpent was there when they were little. We hope they might come back to supplement the excellent swings and climbing structure)


The BSA Space is just across the bridge from the Boston Children’s Museum and alongside the Greenway. The exhibitions are free.




A tip for visitors coming to Massachusetts for the first time is to stop by the BSA lobby to check out the model of the city.

Go before the Freedom Trail! Very helpful- reminded me of the old display at Gettysburg.



Continue reading “Upcycled pallets vs international playground design: one dad’s inspiring backyard ninja course, Stage Fort, and BSA Extraordinary Play”

Nichole’s Picks 10/8 + 10/9

Pick #1: Down on the Farm Concert Series: Appleton Farm


Click HERE for more information 

Sunday, October 9
Member Car: $20 Nonmember Car: $30

Join us for our first Down on the Farm Fall Concert Series at Appleton Farms! These family-friendly concerts will feature live music, food trucks, lawn games, and an opportunity to meet our dairy cows and farm animals. The series kicks off on Sunday, October 9th at 4pm. Bring your own picnic or purchase food from a selection of food trucks. Beer and wine will be available for purchase with Ipswich Ale, Old Planters Brewing, and Mill River Winery.

October 9th will feature classic rock music by Decades of Rock Band. The food trucks will be Gabi’s Smoke Shack and Joe’s on A ROLL

Gates open at 4pm and concert starts at 5pm.

Leaf-peeping and family photo opportunities among the foliage in our historic Stone Paddock a bonus! (Sorry, no BYOB or dogs)


Pick #2: Team American Chunker at Marini Farm with Captain Dave Marciano from Wicked Tuna

Read more about it HERE

Team AC is very excited to be headlining Marini Farms Family Fun Harvest Weekend, this Saturday October 8th.  As an added bonus, Captain Dave from National Geographic’s hit show Wicked Tuna will be on site to help Team AC as we take aim to annihilate a boat he’s bringing with him.

Marini Farms is the area’s premier farm and event attraction for family oriented fall activities.  In addition to their award winning farm stand and bakery, they have attractions to satisfy families and children of all ages.  In addition to an 8-acre world class corn maze, they also have a jumping pillow, 60 ft tube slide, bounce houses, hayrides, pick your own pumpkin patch, pedal cart track, rope maze, face painting, corn kernel silo, rubber duck races, play structures, sandcastles, and more.



As always, for a more comprehensive list of family activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid


Sunrise this morning 10/6/2016

Too late! The sun was blowing out the sensor on my poor iPhone.

After all the weather passing through now back to the standard gorgeous sunrises. Before the sun broke the horizon the backlit waves were gorgeous. But I was trying to keep baby stripers from chasing my popper so the iPhone stayed in the plastic bag. Then they were just babies in diapers, maybe 22 inches so I put the rod away and took a few shots.

So shoot to the left of sunrise.
Shoot to the left of sunrise.
One more to the left.
And shoot to the right of sunrise.


and shoot to the right of sunrise

Ann-Margaret Ferrante Hires New Legislative Aide

Ann-Margaret Ferrante Hires New Legislative Aide

Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester) is pleased to announce she has hired a new legislative aide, Andrew “Dru” Tarr, to act as a district liaison. Tarr, no relation to State Senator Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester), will split his time between work at the State House in Boston, MA and Essex, Gloucester, and Rockport.

“It’s exciting to be working for such a strong advocate for our community and the issues that matter to us,” said Tarr, a lifelong Gloucester resident. “I’m looking forward to being able to help serve the people in the district, including those in my hometown of Gloucester.” Tarr previously worked as campaign manager for Ed O’Reilly in his bid to become the Democratic nominee for Essex County Sheriff.

“I am excited to have Dru on board. His ability to serve as another local point of contact for my office will help ensure our community’s needs are addressed,” said Ferrante. “I’m pleased to have a fellow Cape Ann native as a liaison who understands the needs of our community and her constituents.”

One of Tarr’s roles will be to hold local “office hours” in each of the communities of the district, during which residents can bring issues and concerns to Ferrante’s office in person. Times and places of office hours will be announced in the near future.

Cape Ann Community Bulletin Board Listings For 10/6/16


Welcome To Cape Ann Community Bulletin Board

Joey C 

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.

Gloucester Dog Park’s Halloween Event

Image ~ October 6, 2016 ~ loriviator ~


West End Neighborhood Unplugged Play Fridays

October 5, 2016 ~ Rose ~

The Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church is hosting a series of Friday afternoon unplugged play sessions on October 7, 14, 21 and 28 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM for the West End Neighbors and Friends. Families are encouraged to attend together. Children older than seven years may drop-in. Children younger than seven please come with an adult.  The play sessions are free to all.october-2016-flyer

Sing Through the Seasons

October 5, 2016 ~ Rose ~

The Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church and Folk Life Studio are co-sponsoring two music classes.autumn-session-flyer-banner

Sing through the Seasons is focused on seasonal folk and traditional songs, games, chants and rhymes.


Families Together, a mixed age class for children from birth to five years, provides an opportunity to explore rhythm and rhyme, melody and chants, songs and games in a friendly social atmosphere with other adults and young children.  The class will meet on Friday mornings from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM for six weeks, October 14 through November 18.


Youth Folk Chorus participants will learn songs and singing games while building age appropriate skills in music, movement, and ensemble work. The final class will be a sharing performance for family and friends. The chorus will meet on Tuesday afternoons from 4:30 to 5:30 for six weeks, October 11 through November 15. Folk Chorus participants may opt to perform in “A Harvest of Stories and Songs” a concert scheduled for Saturday, November 19 as part of the Middle Street Harvest Festival.


All classes are taught by veteran folk performer, educator and organizer       Rose Sheehan. Classes meet at the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church, 10 Church Street, Gloucester, MA.

Tuition for each session is $60. Scholarships and sibling discounts are available. Sheehan can be contacted at or at          978-879-6826 for registration and tuition information.

Join Backyard Growers for October Cooking Workshops!

October 5, 2016 ~ backyardgrowersgloucester ~

Our October cooking workshops are almost here!! The first class is next Tuesday (Oct 11), 6:30-8:30 pm at The Open Door!!


RSVP/Register HERE!

Be sure to join us and guest cooks as we learn 3 new, seasonal recipes and share some special pro tips!

Everyone is welcome- including kids 5+, so dress up in some clothes you don’t mind cooking in and join us!

Below are the details and how to register. See you there!!

What: October Cooking Workshop

When: Tuesday, October 11, 18, and 25,  6:30-8:30 pm

Where: The Open Door (dining room)

            28 Emerson Ave,

            Gloucester MA 01930

Who: Everyone ages 5+!

Cost: Donations encouraged