A Plain Jane, resting on a tuft of grass at the marsh edge, backlit, I at first thought she was a stone. A slight turn of the head and upon closer look, not a stone but a very large shorebird, with feathers worn in a subdued arrangement of brown and white—still, nothing special. Then she began to unfold her long elegant wings. Boldly barred in chocolate brown, this Plain Jane was swiftly transformed to Beauty Queen.

Willets are one of the few shorebirds that nest not in the Arctic tundra, but prairie and salt marshes of America and Canada. For over one hundred years Willets were hunted to non-existence in Massachusetts. Biologists have a name for this tragic occurrence, when a species is not extinct, but is no longer present in an area, and the term is extirpated. Because of the Migratory Bird Act of 1918, the Willet population is increasing and the Massachusetts coastline has once again become a safe home for these beautiful members of the sandpiper family.

Belonging to the same genus as yellowlegs, they do look similar to Greater Yellowlegs, but are comparatively larger, their beaks are thicker, and their legs are not yellow but gray. Look for Willets on beaches, marshes, mudflats, and rocky coasts. They forage on crabs and other small crustaceans, worms, mollusks, fish, and grass. The call of the Willet is unmistakable, piercing and urgent and their name comes from the ringing “pill-will-willet.”

Sadie Green’s

When at Walgreens at the Corner of Main and Rogers, take a stroll over to Sadie Green’s. Great gifts and the store is having a sale of 20% off. Here a a couple of photos of their inventory.

We are very lucky to have great shops to pick up gifts. No need to go up the line.

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Sadie’s Green’s Curiosity Shop
205 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930

This Weekend in the Arts

Stephen LaPierre, Rocky Neck Artist Offers
All Cape Ann Plein Air Pieces are Half-off Listed Price

Stephen LaPierre,  a master oil painter from the school of Hard Knocks, has settled into his studio, home and gallery at 75 Rocky Neck Ave (2nd floor), near his former digs on Mad Fish Wharf.

All fall and winter, when not capturing the loneliness of The Rudder in Snow,  Ginger’s House, or the barren rocks on Rockport’s Eden Road, the painter has been capturing today’s clowns with cell phones culture within his huge museum-quality pieces. Seeing is believing! (

Meanwhile, falling in love and choosing an affordable Cape Ann plein air piece, pays the painter’s rent. So step right up those stairs, next door to The Rudder. All Cape Ann plein air pieces are half-off listed price… even The Rudder in Snow!!... through the merry month of May.

For more information email
Open Studio:   Monday- Sunday   noon-10PM 


Hudson Gallery – Opening Gala and Inaugural Exhibit
Driven by Technology
Fields of the Mind: Images, Spaces and Feelings from the Subconscious Mind
Interactive Sound Sculpture and Experimental Art

May 13 to May 29, 2017, Gala May 13th from 7-10pm
120 Main Street, Gloucester, MA 01930

Hudson, Gloucester’s premier contemporary art gallery, announces an opening gala and inaugural exhibit showcasing creative technologist MJ Caselden and experimental artist Donna Caselden. Fields of the Mind is a mother and son synthesis of visual and aural artwork exploring sound, magnetism, self-reflection and contemplation. May 13 to May 29, 2017 with a gala reception on Saturday, May 13th from 7-10pm. A participatory Mother’s Day weekend event.

MJ Caselden’s sound-generating sculptures use varying magnetic fields to induce vibrations in metal and wood. Viewers cast shadows while electromagnets and vibrating metal strings on wooden sculpture create resonance and sound. Participants improvise and interact controlling the sound through motion. “So the vibrations are acoustic, coming from organic materials, but the experience is driven through contemporary technologies,” MJ Caselden said.

Magnetic sound sculptures can provide a fully immersive, transcendent experience. MJ has collaborated with teachers from long-standing healing arts practices such as Asana Yoga, Tibetan Tummo breathwork, acupuncture, and Ch’an meditation. He leads group listening rituals and innovative technology workshops exploring integration of meditative sound into healing arts and lifestyle. His sculptures have been featured in art, meditation, and retreat spaces worldwide, including the New Museum of Contemporary Art, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and Times Square.

Donna Caselden is an experimental two-dimensional artist. She works with acrylic, watercolor, encaustic and oil. Sensorial memories and experience render her canvases deeply personal. “The imagery is born of feeling, as my brush marries the canvas I wonder what it will birth,” Donna Caselden said. The featured works engage via layers, depth and color baths. Donna is an active member of Cape Ann’s Experimental Art Group at Rockport Art Association, Society for Encouragement of Arts, Rocky Neck Art Colony, and National Association of Women Artists.

MJ and Donna are natives of North Andover and Andover, Massachusetts, respectively, suburbs north of Boston. They both approach art abstractly guided by either irrational actions or emotion. “We both prioritize the feelings that our works inspire over conceptualization or analysis. So, we are both “feelers”, like that, although our mediums are totally different,” MJ Caselden said. A connection exists in that sound meditation is about tapping into oneself, and often involves accessing internal mental visions from subconscious places. “Our creative energies collide in similar realms. Painting abstractly entails drawing imagery from the subconscious and projecting it onto the canvas,” Donna Caselden said.

MJ studied electronics at the University of Southern California and New York University, sound design at Berklee College of Music and signal processing at Tsinghua University in Beijing and at USC’s Laboratory of Neuro Imaging (LONI). His interest in energy exchange through technology led him to prototyping and electronics design. MJ presently directs a team
of engineers and designers creating innovative prototypes, products, and works of art for entities such as Intel, Lexus, and the Microsoft Music x Technology program with Listen.

Donna’s formidable design background includes interior space, experimental painting and wearable art. One wearable design was awarded the Certificate of Excellence by ManneqArt for recycled art. The dress was on public display in the greater D.C. area, and at the Peabody Essex Museum as part of the World of Wearable Art exhibit. Her work is shown in northeast museums and galleries. Donna attended Boston College and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.

Hudson’s mission is to create community through art, education, and social activism. The gallery is part of a collaborative national initiative celebrating the Science Art Movement and the aesthetic, intellectual and political impact of technology on artistic practice and discourse.

For more information, contact:
Cynthia Belchou


Gloucester is Boston Globe 2017 Game Changer: where will the Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute establish headquarters?

The Boston Globe named Gloucester to the 2017 Game Changers list!  “Bright ideas and breakthroughs, inventions and innovations, people and places making waves in the Boston area.”  This story was in a Boston Globe real estate section because the Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute “recently received $2.7 million in state capital funding for its waterfront marine genomics research laboratory, which could be leased soon and occupied by next year, says executive director Chris Munkholm.”

Where will they land?

Boston Globe same article

See the latest 2017 Game Changers list

Continue reading “Gloucester is Boston Globe 2017 Game Changer: where will the Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute establish headquarters?”

Last chance: must see Andrew Manning exhibition at the Hive

Inhabitations is a beautiful exhibition and solid first show from this young artist, Andrew Manning at The Hive, 11 Pleasant Street Gloucester MA . The show was extended and is closing tomorrow. Several works have been sold. Manning teaches at Art Haven where you can reach him with any inquiries.

IMG_20170429_152506 (1)



Drone captures dramatic sinking of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Tamaroa, formerly the Navy fleet tug Zuni, at the Del-Jersey-Land Inshore Reef. The reef is located 26 nautical miles southeast of Cape May. (Video by Andre Malok and Craig McCarthy | NJ Advance Media for

By Craig McCarthy | NJ Advance Media for
MAY 10, 2017

A famed Coast Guard cutter and former Navy tug has entered its third tour of duty as it now sits 135 feet below sea level off the coast of New Jersey, creating a destination for divers and adding to an already thriving ecosystem of marine life.

The Tamaroa, famously featured in the book and movie “The Perfect Storm” –where its crew saved three from a sailboat caught in the storm and four of five members of the Air National Guard whose helicopter had ran out of fuel– was first commissioned by the U.S. Navy in 1943 as the Zuni and tugged torpedoed ships to safety during the assault on Iwo Jima.

“Now she’ll serve forever,” said Rollie LeDoux, who was stationed on the ship 35 years ago. “It’s sad to see her go, but it’s better than her becoming some beer cans.”

Planning began last summer to scuttle the Tamaroa, which was retired in 1994 after nearly 50 years on the seas. The 205-foot ship began its trip to waters off the Jersey coast Monday night after it was towed to Suffolk, Va., where it was cleaned and prepared for its sinking.

Shortly after 1 p.m. Wednesday, The Tamaroa was on her way to join up with the largest vessel ever deployed on the East Coast, a 563-foot destroyer, in the artificial reef off Cape May Wednesday afternoon.

“It could last for 100 years, creating a marine environment for fisherman and the diving community,” said Peter Clarke, who coordinates the artificial reef program at the state’s Department of Environmental Protection. Clarke said the site where the Tamaroa was sunk has attracted a variety of fish, including mako shark, blue fish and tuna.

“She’ll be serving long after I’m gone,” LeDoux said.

Read More Here

bike happy tours then & now: 1885 Gloucester travel guide for cyclists & 2017 stylish new bike fleet at Beauport Hotel

Beauport Hotel guests can explore the city of Gloucester, MA, and Cape Ann…by bike. What a great perk for visitors!

Biking culture linked with tourism in Gloucester and Cape Ann hearkens way back…as in 1878. Scroll down to see historic tourist guides from 1881 and 1885 that catered to cyclists and visitors. The sights and recommendations are the ones we continue to celebrate.


Lookout Hill and Stage Fort Park as seen here from the Beauport Hotel deck is just a close walk or bike ride away.



Enjoy excerpts from an 1885 cyclist tourist guide

In and Around Cape Ann: A Handbook of Gloucester, Mass., and Its Immediate Vicinity. For the Wheelman Tourist and the Summer Visitor by John S. Webber, Jr with eleven illustrations. Gloucester, Mass: Printed at the Cape Ann Advertiser Office, 1885. Library of Congress collection

“…After months of labor–hard labor, too, for one unaccustomed to the work–I am permitted to send forth the present little manual on Gloucester and its immediate vicinity. The material here given is designed for the especial use of the touring wheelman and the summer visitor, and I have endeavored to describe–in a way perhaps peculiar–all the most important sights and places of interest to be found upon this rock-bound territory of Cape Ann

The streets about town are generally in condition for bicycle riding, though the surface of most of them is either cut up by thick patches of the coarsest gravel or a layer of loosely lying stones; the rider, however, can pick his way along without any very serious trouble. Main street is paved with square blocks of granite from Porter street to Hancock street, and from Chestnut street to Union Hill. Western avenue, or more frequently spoken of as the “Cut,” is a favorite street for bicycle riding; beyond the bridge take the deserted sidewalk on the left, and enjoy a very pleasant spin upon its easy running surface…

the first suggested itinerary- Bicycle rambles on Eastern Point

“And now let’s take our wheel for a short run along our harbor road to East Gloucester, and note the many points of interest on the way. The start is made at the Gloucester Hotel–the headquarters of all visiting wheelmen in the city–at the corner of Main and Washington streets;

Gloucester Hotel 1885 Washington and Main


photo: cyclist on the bend passing brick building at Main and Washington now features Tonno Restaurant. Notice the chimneys and same stairs as when it was the Gloucester Hotel. “Special Rates Made to Wheelmen”


“from thence the journey takes us over the rather uneven surface of Main street, going directly toward the east. In a few minutes we pass the Post Office on the left, and soon leave the noisy business portion of the street behind us, then, e’re we are aware of it, we reach and quickly climb the slight eminence known as Union Hill. Once over the hill the road has a downward grade, with generally a very muddy surface, but on through this we propel our machine to the curve in the road at its junction with Eastern avenue. To the right we follow the now well trodden thoroughfare and again pedal quickly up the steep incline before us. Now the machine is well taken in hand, and with a sharp look-out ahead a pleasant little coast over the gently sloping road is cautiously indulged in; down, down we spin, following the main road to the right over the well worn surface, an on, on we glide, past the dwellings of the rich and poor, directly though the business section of the settlement, until in a few minutes we reach the “Square,” so called, at the village center. Passing the pump at this place on our left, we continue the ride over the mud-covered highway, enjoying highly the magnificent stretch of harbor scenery before us. A short distance, and the first dismount is now taken at the foot of a rough incline known as “Patch’s Hill.” At this place are a number of prominent Summer cottages, among them being the Delphine House, Craig Cottage and Brazier Cottage, each affording first-class accommodations, with facilities for bathing, fishing, and boating in close proximity. Once again we bestride the slender wheel and continue on for half a dozen rods or more to the gate-way at the entrance to Niles’ Beach, which marks the terminus of the public way… 

Celebrity spotting famous authors

“…Our trip on the bicycle in this direction has finished, and so we sit awhile on the near-at-hand rocky bluff and watch the merry throng of bathers in their sportive antics in the cooling sea, and inwardly wish that we were among them in the refreshing exercise. At our back, as we sit facing the sandy shore, is the little Summer abode of the well known authoress, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps–the cottage in which she has already penned a great number of interesting works, and where she passes the greater portion of the long, warm  Summer days.

phelps 2

photo caption: Elizabeth Stuart Phelps house

“Directly in front of us, at the further end of the beach, is the old mansion house of the Niles family, and still further on, at the extreme end of the rocky shore, is the tall stone column of Eastern Point Light. “The walk across the beach and over the narrow winding tree bordered path is well worth taking, and makes a pleasant 

Continue reading “bike happy tours then & now: 1885 Gloucester travel guide for cyclists & 2017 stylish new bike fleet at Beauport Hotel”

More scenes from Open Door Empty Bowl at Cruiseport

There was a constant line out the Cruiseport doors throughout this joyous and growing annual Open Door Empty Bowl Dinner.



Silent auction: For this trio of bowls, can you guess which is which by Senator Tarr, Representative Ferrante and Mayor Romeo -Theken?


Continue reading “More scenes from Open Door Empty Bowl at Cruiseport”

Learning Express is on the Move

I stopped by Learning Express in Beverly yesterday afternoon…as I often do because it is so close to work….and discovered a sign on the door that says, “We’re Moving.”

Luckily, they’re not moving far…just down the road in fact, but you still might want to make a mental note so you’re not surprised when you go to visit them.