Just like sheep, alpacas need to be shorn at least once a year. Their beautiful fleece is so thick by the time spring comes along, the animals would suffer tremendously in warmer weather if not shorn.

Family and friends lend a hand for alpaca shearing day.

Malcolm Cooper arrived Sunday morning with his assistant Krystian Hoszkiewicz.

Expert shearing, with a firm but kind touch. 

Andrew Spinney from Paynter Saltwater Farm in Essex brought three of his alpacas for shearing, along with Maggie the sheep. Maggie likes getting shorn, so much so that she turned into an acquiescing blob of jello.

Angela administers a monthly shot to prevent parasites.

Here’s Nikki helping with the Paynter alpacas. Next is an after-shearing photo, with the Marshall’s daughter Jennifer. What a difference!

Alpaca lower teeth and upper dental pad.

Alpacas only have bottom teeth. On the top they have a hard dental pad. Alpacas eat by trapping grass between their teeth and the dental pad, and then nipping it off. Some alpacas are genetically pre-disposed to misaligned teeth and need to have their teeth trimmed. If the teeth were not trimmed, it could lead to eating disorders and starvation. A protective guard is placed in the mouth and the teeth are quickly ground with an electric grinder. It takes all of about 30 second for an alpaca’s dental treatment!

Pippi Longstocking’s first dental check up.

One-year-old alpacas Maisy, Rascal, and Pippi Longstocking had their first shearing. The yarn made from the first shearing is referred to as baby alpaca, and it is silky soft, luxurious, and super warm.

Maggie’s wool is more course and contains lanolin. After she was shorn, you could feel the sticky lanolin on her skin. Because alpaca fleece bears no lanolin, the yarn is hypoallergenic.

Pippi Longstocking’s first buzz cut.

Phew, I was exhausted just filming the Marshall Family corral twenty plus alpacas and one tubby little Maggie. The Marshall’s alpacas are beloved family members, each named, and each with a unique personality to go with their name–Pokey, Magnolia, and Rascal, to mention just a few. Animal farming is super hard, non-stop work, especially when the animals are as well taken care of as are the Marshalls.

The public is welcome to come stop by and visit the alpacas. Yarn from the Marshall’s alpacas is available to purchase. At the present time, Angie’s Alpacas is open by appointment. Call 978-729-7180 or email Angela at Marshall’s Farm is located just next to Marshall’s Farm Stand at 148 Concord Street in West Gloucester.

GHS and St Ann’s Class of 1967 50th Reunion August 5th 2017

1967 Flicker CoverGloucester High School and St Ann’s class of ‘67 will be having their 50th class reunion at the Gloucester House on  Saturday, August 5th, 2017 at 7:00 PM.

Cocktail hour, including hors d’oeuvres, begins at 6:00 PM aboard the Privateer, which has been rented from 6:00-7: PM (boarding behind the Gloucester House at 5:45 PM). Hors d’oeuvres will also be served at the Gloucester House starting at 6:00 PM.

Dancing, reminiscing, and comradery encouraged. The DJ has been instructed no rap.”

For more information and reservations, please email

Special Summer Offers at Phia

Cape Ann Wellness

Now your first fitness class at Phia Women’s Center is FREE. Get a second class free when you purchase a 4 class punch card or 5 class ZUMBA punch card. Classes are only $10.


About Phia Women’s Center: 

Phia stands for the Greek word Sophia, meaning feminine wisdom. Our center provides a place for women to come and share their wisdom, experiences, and aspirations with each other. Phia Women’s Center strives to bring women together to support each other in their journey to health, wellness, empowerment, and understanding. Phia is a space for women from all fitness levels, all ages, all body types, all backgrounds to come together, learn from each other, and be well. We offer fitness classes, massage, groups, workshops, and fun events. Take a look at our fitness class schedule:

Group Fitness 5-17


Find out more information at

Don’t forget about our Cardio Dance Party on June 24th!…

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FREE Coffee, Treats & a Sneak Peek of Happy Belly!


Happy Belly Free day (1) (1)

Come try Happy Belly the day before we open our doors!

Everyone who stops by between 3 and 5 PM on Wednesday, June 7th will get a free cup of coffee and their choice of a Buddha Cookie or Brown Sugar Rice Crispy Treat!

Bring the whole family, check out the space, and get a taste of what Happy Belly has to offer.
Happy Belly will be open for breakfast & lunch on Thursday, June 8th and for all three meals starting Sunday, June 11th.
Happy Belly
3 Duncan Street Gloucester, MA
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Greetings from the Pond Team…

Here are three upcoming activities this week. Join us if you can make it!

Perley Elementary School
51 North St.
Georgetown, MA 01833
Wednesday, June 7th, 2017
9:30 am with set up at 8:30 am.

We will be presenting Intro to Vernal Ponds for three classes of young students – showing our Vernal Ponds DVD and showing them some cool critters.
We could use a volunteer or two.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Get Outside Center
186 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930

Friday, June 9th, 2017
4:30 to 6:30 pm.
Ribbon Cutting at 5:00 or 5:30.

Now that our sister organization, Kestrel Educational Adventures, is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Get Outside Center. Show up and watch me make a fool out of myself saying a few words about CAVPT.

Strawberry Festival
Mile marker One Restaurant
75 Essex Ave.
Gloucester, MA 01930
Saturday, June 10, 2017
11:00 am to 4:00 pm

We will have some sort of live animal display and we need lots of volunteers.

This family friendly festival will have 50+ local vendors, farm fresh food, adoptable puppies, Kids Zone with pony rides, dunk tank, alpacas, face painting, bouncy houses, live music, live broadcast, and tons of fun. Plus the most exciting festival activity will be our very own Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team Display! Come one, come all!


Remember that Visiting Scientist Day at O’Maley School on Friday? Well,,, it got cancelled due to lack of interest. Not due to student’s lack of interest (anything to get out of class). Not enough scientists wanted to do it.
Yesterday I was at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary with a bunch of our native snakes for their Nature Festival. I was helping out one of my favorite nature educators Richard Wolniewicz. Huge crowd. We were busy all day.

Hope to see you out there… if you can volunteer email


we only have one earth, save it

We keep adding to our website so check out our Activities Photographs…

Get Ready for Sail Boston visitors in Rockport June 18-21


Beginning Sunday June 18, we will be welcoming visitors on Conway Tours/Gray Line Coaches for four straight afternoons as part of Sail Boston. With the Chamber, the RCD will be organizing greeters at Dock Square from approximately 2:30-4:30 in the afternoon.  Since the visitors will not be here for long, our hope is to give them a taste of Rockport so they will want to come back for more.

Here is what we expect so far:

  • Sun. June 18 – 239 passengers
  • Mon. June 19 – 556 passengers
  • Tues. June 20 – 549 passengers
  • Wed. June 21 – 417 passengers

Sue Koehler-Arsenault
Rockport Cultural District

Don’t miss the Alice Gardner art exhibition at The Bookstore of Gloucester | dozens of Fiesta books already sold!

The Bookstore of Gloucester
Alice Gardner | St Peter’s Fiesta Gloucester, Massachusetts
A solo exhibition featuring the original illustrations (gouache, pen&ink, some acrylic) for her NEW children’s picture book published ©2017 the 90th Anniversary of Gloucester’s St. Peter’s Fiesta!
Address: 61 Main Street. Gloucester, MA 01930
Exhibition dates: June 3, 2017 – Fiesta and beyond!
Bookstore phone: (978) 281-1548

SAVE THE DATE: Saturday June 17

The first St. Peter’s Fiesta book launch and debut reading will be held at Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library as a special part of a celebration program for the 90th Anniversary Party of St. Peter’s Fiesta thrown by the library, The Bookstore and Caffe Sicilia on Saturday June 17, 10-11:15AM 

“After coming to Gloucester so much I finally said I have to get a studio so I can spend my days here!”

She did. Alice Gardner maintains a studio in downtown Gloucester, next to the Cape Ann Museum. She has lived on the North Shore for more than 40 years. St. Peter’s Fiesta is a subject Gardner has photographed, chronicled and painted for over a decade.

Gardner says that multiple programs and contacts stemming from the Cape Ann Reads initiative and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators were critical in getting this new book into production. “Just do it!” was a motivating topic from a Steven Pressfield talk sponsored by the latter. She did. She created an entire new body of some of the Fiesta moments that have touched her most, alive with color and completed in time to coincide with the 2017 90th year Anniversary. Gardner was also inspired by Anita Silvey’s Cape Ann Reads presentations. She said Silvey mentioned “calling all these celebrities for “Everything I need to Know I learned From A Children’s Book.” It made me think that. Why don’t I just call? I wanted to talk to the Mayor. I wanted to talk to many people…This is a Gloucester story. They all grew up with Fiesta. I did not. They became part of creating the book…”  Gardner’s generous acknowledgement narrative is given great attention in the design.

The new paintings on exhibit are not for sale, but you can see a small selection of Gardner’s joyous responses to the spirit of Fiesta in larger, earlier works at The Book Store; or call ahead and visit her studio. “I am inspired by public events that make people happy, they’re doing things where there’s a unique sense of place and culture.” Gardner painted a series inspired by Boston icons– like the Boston Common swan boats– for Massachusetts General Hospital’s Illuminations. She’s also captured the seasonal charm of Manchester by the Sea at Fourth of July.



Studio next to Cape Ann Museum

The Bookstore has a substantial children’s book section The Bookstore of Gloucester Facebook link

Alice print exhibit at the books store for Sebastian Junger reading and Fiesta 2016 

Alice photos OF Fiesta featured on GMG

D.E.S. – Crowning – Trinity Sunday June 11th 2017

This week at the D.E.S. Club is the Rosary. Here is the Rosary schedule for the week: June 5-11)

Monday, Tuesday, Friday at 7pm – Rosary Prayer
Wednesday at 6:30pm – Mass Service
Thursday at 6:30 pm – Rosary Song Prayer…
Saturday at 6:30pm – Rosary Prayer
Following a POTLUCK dinner and complimentary refreshments!!


The D.E.S. Crowning is on Trinity Sunday, June, 11, 2017
Mass Service at Our Lady of Good Voyage Church at 11:45 AM

Traditional “sopas do espírito santo” will be served at 1:00 PM

(Tickets are ($10.00) and are available during Rosary week at the DES or call (978)-283-9737
Raffle Tickets – will be available during the rosary week and the day of the crowning.
You may also contact any committee member or the club for purchase. (Tickets 5 for $5.00)

We look forward to your presence and your continued support.



Kudos to the Rockport Police Department and Rotary Club

On Saturday, after a lot of baseball, we wandered over to the track behind Rockport High School where the Police Department and Rockport Rotary Club were conducting a bike safety program.

I wish I had known about it early enough to share the information with you all, but put it on your list of things to look into for next year.

With bike and helmet safety checks, bike registration, obstacle courses, challenges, police cruisers to sit in, some free snacks, and sunshine it was a really great event.

Much thanks to all who volunteered and made it possible!

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Community Stuff 6/6/17

Essex Merchants Group is excited to announce its Best of Essex Online Goods and Services Auction. The auction will go live on Monday June 5th and run until 10:00 PM on Monday June 19th, 2017.
Participants will have the opportunity to bid on over 120 items donated by Essex friends and businesses.
Items include gift certificates from the town’s restaurants and many of its antique shops. Bid on fine art, specialty gift baskets, marine goods, landscaping and carpentry services, concert tickets, museum memberships and more. Fishing charters and cruises on the Essex River are well represented.
Some of the other highlights are a sculpture by Chris Williams; oil paintings by local artists, Teri Eramo of Eventide Fine Art Gallery, Kim Thayer of Thayer Art, Robert Hanlon of Walker Creek Furniture and Art Gallery and Marcia Savory of Savory Scenes; crab cakes and Caesar salad from Timothy Hopkins Catering and Cogswell’s Grant tickets to Herrmann’s Royal Lipizzan Stallions.

Beginning June 5th, follow this link to the auction


Welcome! Click Catalog to view the auction items.
Click on the picture of the item for a larger view.

Login or Sign Up to start bidding! Bidding closes at 10pm Eastern Time on June 19th!


Not a member yet? It’s easy to join. For more information, see our website at