Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Part One


Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk listening for prey

I am in the midst of doing research for the Piping Plover film project and have found the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge to be a great resource. Recently I met a terrific warden there, Jean, and she gave me a copy of the historic brochure written in 1947 by Rachel Carson about the refuge. The brochure was reprinted and if you inquire, they may still have some copies in the back office. You can also download it at this link: Rachel Carson Parker River Wildlife Refuge brochure

The brochure provides an early history of the refuge and is a fascinating view of mid-century conservation. And, too, it is a tremendous example of Carson’s thoughtful and thought-provoking style of writing.


Barred Owl hunting – The refuge provides over 300 species of migratory and resident birds with vital habitat.

Some interesting facts about the refuge —

Located along the northeastern coast of Massachusetts, the Parker River National Refuge includes lands that lie within the three towns of Rowley, Ipswich, and Newbury. We think of Plum Island as the heart of the refuge. The wildlife refuge also consists of a range of diverse habitats and geographic features; over 3,000 acres of salt marsh, freshwater marsh, shrub lands, a drumlin, cranberry bog, salt pannes, beach and sand dunes, and maritime forest. The land is not conserved to revert back to a wild state, but is intensely managed in order to preserve and maintain the diversity of wildlife habitats.parker-river-national-wildlife-refuge-wardens-headquarters-copyright-kim-smith

The original warden’s headquarters

Unlike our national parks, which preserves parklands and historic buildings, and are designed for people, a national wildlife refuge is established first and foremost for wildlife and their habitats, not for people. The preservation of wildlife is the number one priority of all our national wildlife refuges.plum-island-sunrise-copyright-kim-smith

sandy-point-parker-river-national-wildlife-refuge-copyright-kim-smithPlum Island is a barrier island and especially noteworthy for providing critical habitat for Piping Plovers.

The Parker River National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1942 to help species of waterfowl that migrate along the Atlantic Flyway. There were three sharp declines in waterfowl populations in the early half of the 20th century, notably the American Black Duck, and national wildlife refuges all along the Atlantic coast were created in response to the precipitously low numbers.

parker-river-wildlife-refuge-impoundment-copyright-kim-smithSalt Island Impoundment

As we can see with our local Niles Pond, Henry’s Pond, and Langsford Pond shorebirds, waterfowl, and myriad species of wildlife thrive where they have easy access to both fresh water and salt water. The three bodies of fresh water that you see in the refuge look like ponds but they are actually manmade impoundments, created by dams and are highly controlled by a series of dykes and pumps.parker-river-wildlife-refuge-impoundment-pump-copyright-kim-smith

Salt Island Impoundment Pump

Parker River provides pristine habitats for a wide variety of mammals, insects, fish, reptiles, and amphibians. Hunting birds such as owls, hawks, osprey, eagles, herons, and egrets find an abundance of food at the wildlife refuge. Whenever at Parker River I never not see a raptor!

Red-tailed Hawk Preening

red-tailed-hawk-copyright-kim-smithWhen the Hunter is Hunted

Transfixing Owl Eyes


Because owls mostly hunt at night their eyes are very efficient at collecting and processing light. To protect their extraordinary eyes, owls are equipped with three eye lids; an upper and a lower lid, and a third lid that diagonally closes across the eye. This action cleans and protects the eye.


More about Parker River National Wildlife Refuge to come.

Gloucester Civil War Coat Preservation Plan Wins Statewide Recognition, Grant Money

Cape Ann Community

GLOUCESTER, Mass., Feb. 1, 2017 – Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and Committee of the Arts Board Member Catherine Ryan announced that Gloucester has been awarded a statewide grant of $6,620 from the Massachusetts State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) to help with conservation and historical education for a Civil War uniform coat.

“I’m proud of our city volunteers, students and residents who came together to help raise awareness of this American artifact that has history to our country and to our local community,” said Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken. “With this SHRAB grant, as well as Awesome Gloucester and online fundraising monies, the education and heritage will live on for years to come.”


The SHRAB program is an extension of grants awarded by the Massachusetts Sesquicentennial Commission of the American Civil War with supporting services from the Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin and Massachusetts Archives Department

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This Weekend in the Arts

The Rocky Neck Art Colony (RNAC) and Backyard Growers will host FRESH, a six-week exhibition at the Cultural Center at Rocky Neck February 2, through March 12, 2017 and accompanying workshops and presentations. 

This is an exciting collaboration by two inspiring non-profits—Backyard Growers, which cultivates an active relationship with food and the earth, and Rocky Neck Art Colony, which encourages and promotes excellence in the arts.

This partnership exhibit and events, are sponsored by Duckworth’s Bistrot, Short & Main, Artscope Magazine; as well as, Patty Knaggs Real Estate, Peter Dorsey North Shore Abodes and Neptune’s Harvest.

In this exhibition, artists from all over New England will present works that reflect on the theme FRESH, exploring the ways in which food connects us to the earth, nourishes us, and ties us to, warmth, family, friends, and memories. FRESH is the sense of new life that emerges as we leave the dark of winter for the optimism of spring. Contemporary, experimental and traditional art in all media will be on view. Artwork for the exhibit was chosen by juror, Dawn Southworth.

Backyard Growers is a Gloucester-based grassroots organization helping to reshape Gloucester’s relationship with food. They provide resources and support to establish vegetable gardens at homes, housing communities, organizations, and schools. Their mission is to create life-long gardeners inspired by the power of growing one’s own food.

 “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”—J.R.R. Tolkien

Rocky Neck Art Colony member artists and Backyard Growers volunteers have created lectures and workshops to accompany the exhibition.  Lara Lepionka, an artist and Executive Director of Backyard Growers, will give an artist presentation at the Cultural Center at Rocky Neck, 6 Wonson Street, on February 9.  Three workshops (February 16, March 2, and March 9), will be presented at the Backyard Growers headquarters, 271 Main Street. The closing reception on March 12, 2-4 p.m. will include a raffle of a wonderful basket of gifts donated by Gloucester and Rockport merchants.

FRESH Exhibit Companion Events At A Glance:

  • Feb 4 – Opening Reception/Raffle Launch (6 Wonson Street) 5-7pm
  • Feb 9 – From Paper Pods to Pea Pods, an artist’s presentation by Lara Lepionka, Artist and Executive Director of Backyard Growers (6 Wonson Street) 7pm
  • Feb 16 – Pressed Flower Art Workshop and Free Seed Swap (271 Main Street) 7pm
  • Mar 2 – Seed Starting and Eco & Produce Printing Workshop (271 Main Street) 7pm
  • Mar 9 – Square Foot Gardening Workshop  (271 Main Street) 7pm
  • Mar 12 – Closing Reception/Raffle Event (6 Wonson Street) 2-4pm

To register for workshops please visit Proceeds from FRESH  events will be shared equally by Rocky Neck Art Colony and Backyard Growers.

 For More Information:




Cape Ann Museum Offers Adult Drawing Workshop with Gabrielle Barzaghi

 The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to offer a three week drawing workshop with visual artist Gabrielle Barzaghi. The workshop will be held on Thursday February 2, 9 and 16 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in the Museum’s Activity Center and galleries.

Cost including materials is $85 for Museum members/ $100 for non-members. Space is limited, reservations are required. For more information please contact Tickets can be purchased by calling 978-283-0455 x10 or online at Eventbrite.

Drawing from still lifes and in the Museum galleries, participants will practice basic drawing skills such as visual measuring, line, value, composition and perspective. The class structure will remain flexible to allow for each individual’s drawing ability.

Gabrielle Barzaghi is a visual artist and former Senior Lecturer in Art and Design at Suffolk University. She is a Gloucester resident.

Gabrielle Barzaghi, Catbriers, pastel, 2012. Collection of the Cape Ann Museum.

Workshop Schedule:

  • Session One will meet in the Museum’s Activity Center. Basic observational drawing techniques will be covered by showing examples, demonstration, and practice.
  • Session Two will involve drawing in the galleries from sculptural forms focusing on structural line, value, and volume.
  • Session Three will include compositional analysis and the study and copying of a masterwork in the Museum’s collection.


 The Cape Ann Museum celebrates the art, history and culture of Cape Ann – a region with a rich and varied culture of nationally significant historical, industrial and artistic achievement. The Museum’s collections include fine art from the 19th century to the present, artifacts from the fishing, maritime and granite quarrying industries, textiles, furniture, a library/archives and two historic houses. For a detailed media fact sheet please visit

The Museum is located at 27 Pleasant Street in Gloucester. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is $10.00 adults, $8.00 Cape Ann residents, seniors and students. Youth (18 and under) and Museum members are free. For more information please call: (978)283-0455 x10. Additional information can be found online at




TBT Post Reaches Out

TBT Post responds. 

To be clear Donna and I tried to reach out several times. 

From TBT Post-

Hello and good morning GMG,

TBT Post Gloucester would like to  enlighten you in reference to your Blog. We have always enjoyed a great business relationship with you. Therefore, surprised you did not contact TBT Post to verify the information m the Blog.

Please see the attached Blog below.

Mario and I are heart broken that the TBT Post Store in Gloucester is closed. The blog was like a stab in the heart.

The Blog has a picture of TBT Post Rockport Store “last month” and a picture for “this month” showing the new art gallery located their.

TBT Post Rockport Store closed in a great injustice to us and Cape Ann at the end of September 2016 and not last month.

The communications that TBT Post sent out on January 16, 2017 was 100% true that the store was not closing. What happened after January 16th 2017 was even more of a surprise to us than anyone.

TBT Post Gloucester, Rockport, Salem and Beverly did not closed the joint/s as mentioned.  Instead we lost all of our stores in an injustice put upon us. Not only did we loose the stores we lost every penny the company owned.

I was in Gloucester this past Monday and was immediately surrounded by shop owners and customers asking us to please come back. Thank you to all of them.

As I have always said over and over again from the heart we love you Gloucester!!!

Mario and Richard had a meeting just yesterday discussing how to raise funds to come back. Including discussing other options to come back to Gloucester since we grew so attached to the community, business partners and our customers as well.

TBT Post had a great business plan for Gloucester 2017. We would like to mention a few as follows:

1. A marketing campaign entitled “Eat & Shop Gloucester Main Street.” TBT Post customers would be allowed to come into the store and receive a 10% discount off their entire order by showing a current day receipt from any restaurant and/or food & beverage establishment on Main Street. Once the pilot proved to be effective it would be expanded out to all of Gloucester food & beverage establishment and the new hotel.

2.  TBT Post kicked off Christmas and the New Year 2017 by providing a 25% discount to all business owners and all their employees. This was working and was to be rolled out to Gloucester City Hall in 2nd Quarter 2017.

3. TBT Post had a third business plan as follows:

TBT Post was greatly concerned that Main Street did not have enough retail stores. Mario and Richard were discussing putting together two completely new clothing lines in 2017 that would open two more retail stores on Main Street fall of 2017. Two more additional clothing stores on Main Street would have been great for the community.

Note: The two new store on Main Street would have been open 7 days a week just like TBT Post was.

The reason TBT Post Stores were forced to closed was due to an unscrupulous person from Rockport who decided to swamp our business in legal proceedings to the point that the company had to close in order to regroup.

Rockport store at 8 Dock Square last month-
Rockport Store Dock Square Location today

Thank you

Richard P. Fenk

Mario A. Bravo

“We love you and miss you Gloucester MA!!!! “

J.B. Amero & David Brown Tonight! Wednesdays with Fly Amero @ The Rhumb Line 7-10pm 2.1.2017


Dinner Specials Each Week!
Wednesday, February 1st – 7pm
Special Guests: D.B. & J.B.!


A rare treat, to say the least. David Brown and J.B. Amero
have been cultivating a wonderful, magical chemistry together
over recent years. In many ways, they bring out the best in each
other. I’m sure it’ll be a great and special night. Come early! ~ Fly
Dinner with great music!
*Each week features a special, invited musical guest
The Rhumb Line Kitchen…
…now features Janet Brown with some new and healthy ideas!
Plus a fine, affordable wine menu!

02/08 – Charlee Bianchini






02/15 – Tony Frontiero






02/22 – John Rockwell








Looking forward……to seeing you there 🙂