Puerto Rico Fundraiser for O’Maley Teacher

Martin Del Vecchio submits-

Bianca Robinson is a Spanish teacher at O’Maley. She was born and raised in Puerto Rico, USA, and her extended family still lives there. And they need help.

Have you watched the dire situation in Puerto Rico, thinking “I wish there was something direct I could to do help”?

Well this is something direct you can do to help a member of the Gloucester community.

Please click the link, check it out, and consider supporting Ms. Robinson and her family.




Our Catherine Ryan Receives Pioneer in Partnership Award!

  • Annie C. Harris, Chief Executive Officer awarded to Catherine Ryan a Pioneer in Partnership Award during the Fall Meeting of the Essex National Heritage area. Following is the wonderful description that was read about some of the work that Catherine has done in Gloucester MA.

Paline Besnahan writes-

Catherine Ryan, Arts Advisor & Writer, Gloucester: in recognition of her leadership and commitment to the region’s Cultural Heritage. With more than 30 years of experience working in the art world, Catherine has taken on many roles within the Gloucester arts community. She has worked as an independent arts advisor, a curator, a public arts consultant, an arts writer as well as a contributor to Good Morning Gloucester.  Volunteering her skills and experience, Catherine is actively engaged in and around the City of Gloucester and has served on Gloucester’s Committee of the Arts since 2012, as well as the Gloucester tourism commission. She was also instrumental in the formation of Gloucester’s Downtown Cultural District. Her work has included Gloucester’s wonderful Harborwalk, and the restoration of the magnificent WPA murals at Gloucester City hall, and her yearly cleaning and maintenance of the “Step on Fish Net” mural in the downtown, a site which annually participates in Essex Heritage’s Trails & Sails event.. Catherine works quietly – usually behind the scenes but with great drive and passion to ensure that the culture and history of the city she loves is conserved for present and future generations. She is an integral member of the community, a “team player”, who is dedicated to the promotion and expansion of art-centered initiatives on Cape Ann.

Catherine exemplifies the true spirit of partnership which is what this
award is all about.


Love That Cat Wore Her GMG Shirt To Accept The award!DSC03745


Monarchs Mating in a Milkweed Patch, Good Harbor Beach Dunes

Recently, Good Morning Gloucester reader John Steiger gave me a large bag filled with ripe milkweed seed pods collected from his garden. I had a total blast throwing the seed pods around on my early morning walk, tossing alongside the road where ever I thought milkweed might have a chance to take hold (which is easy as milkweed even takes root in sidewalk cracks).

I’d like to do more of this and Joe had the great idea to ask folks to make it a community project as we did several years ago with the milkweed and New England aster seeds and plant sales. He has again very generously offered the dock on Sunday morning after the podcast, between 10:30 and noon. If you have ripe milkweed seed pods in your garden, please bring them Sunday morning. Anyone who wants to distribute the seeds, stop by the dock and we’ll arm you with seed pods. I’ll also be collecting Joe-pye, goldenrod, and aster seeds later this fall when these wildflowers go to seed. If we get more folks dropping off bags of pods than wanting to distribute, that will be okay. I know tons more places that need milkweed and I will be happy to do the distributing. These are areas that probably at one time had milkweed and other wildflowers growing there, but they have been mowed over or taken over by bittersweet and phragmites. As people are learning more about the importance of wildflowers and pollinators, I am hoping the wildflowers will have a better chance of becoming reestablished.

Female Monarch Depositing Eggs on the Undersides of Milkweed Leaves


Collect ripe milkweed seed pods (only Common Milkweed and Marsh Milkweed please). Place in a paper bag, not plastic, as plastic can cause the seed pods to become damp.

Bring seedpods to Captain Joe and Sons on Sunday morning between 10:30 and noon. Captain Joes is located at 95 East Main Street, East Gloucester.

If you’d like to distribute seeds, meet at the dock between 10:30 and noon and I will show you what to do.

NOTE: It is easy to tell when milkweed seedpods are ripe. The seeds inside turn brown. Do not collect the pods when the seeds are white or green. If you pick them too soon, they will never be viable. You can check the seed pods by slitting the pod a tiny bit and peeking inside.

Any questions, please comment in the comment section or email me at kimsmithdesigns@hotmail.com. Thank you and I hope to see you Sunday morning!

Milkweed is not only the Monarch caterpillar’s food plant, the florets are a very important source of nectar for myriad species of pollinators.

To learn more about how you can help fund the documentary Beauty on the Wing and the Monarch Butterfly Film Online Fundraising, please visit the film’s website at monarchbutterflyfilm.com.



Please join me Tuesday afternoon at 1pm, October 9th, for my lecture, slide presentation, and short films screening “Beauty on the Wing: Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly” for the Wolfeboro Garden Club. To see a complete list of programs, go to the programs page of my website at Programs and Bio.

Monarchs Awakening at Daybreak, Gloucester

The lecture will be held at the All Saints Episcopal Church, 258 South Main Street, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.


Sending our heartfelt condolences to the Halsted Family on the passing of Tom, the kindest gentleman and one of Gloucester’s brightest stars. 

Thomas A Halsted, Tom, to all who knew and loved him, sailed out on the morning tide for the last time, on October 7, 2017, one day before his 84th birthday. Born on October 8th, 1933, he died of cancer. Now he is having a new adventure, sailing into the unknown.

Tom was a true Renaissance Man. He could do almost anything and he did most of them well. He was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather. From the 1950s to the 1980s he worked in Washington, in and out of government, on intelligence, national security and arms control issues, including SALT I and II, the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and Nuclear Test Ban Treaties. He was a founder and the first Executive Director of the Arms Control Association and the Director of Public Affairs of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency under President Jimmy Carter. He served in the US Army for seven years, from 1954 until 1961, leaving with the rank of Captain. Tom was also a proud member of Nixon’s second enemies list in 1972.

Before moving to Gloucester, Tom served as a Manchester Town Selectman, a role which highlighted his life-long love for community service. He was for many years a Docent at the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester, MA, a role he loved almost as much as the museum and its visitors loved and cherished him. In every job and circumstance, he demonstrated his skills and talents as Sailor, Writer, Historian, Artist, Humorist, Poet, Humanitarian, Patriot (in an original, true sense of the word) and all-around brilliant man, who cared deeply about his family, his friends, and his country. The world is a smaller place without him. He lives on through his deeds, his family, and his friends.

He is survived by Joy, his wife of 62 years, his son Tom Halsted and spouse Deb Dole, daughter Beth Paddock and husband Simon Paddock, and four grandchildren: Mo Dole, Abby Dole, Zoe Paddock, and Emma Paddock. He is also survived by his siblings, Nell Moore, Charles Halsted, and Bella Halsted.

A celebration of life will be held at a date to be announced. Contributions in lieu of flowers may be sent to the Cape Ann Museum or Care Dimensions Hospice 75 Sylvan St. Suite B-102 Danvers, MA 01923

The Sea and the Stars

By Tom Halsted

Posted on August 21, 2017

The sea has always been a part of my life. Every summer, from the time I was an infant, I could hear the boom of surf bursting on the rocks below our grandparents’ house, the sifting of tumbling pebbles and the louder clatter of larger stones as a just-broken wave drew back before rolling forward again, the mewing of the gulls and the groan of the foghorn, three miles away. Salt was in the air I breathed, and sun-warmed kelp, bladder-wrack and Irish moss.

One of the first books I remember reading was about a boy who grew up in a lighthouse. I remember nothing of the story but this: his father, the lighthouse keeper, sternly told him never to refer to the sea as the “ocean”. “That word’s for maps and schoolbooks; we live by and on the sea,” he said. I have adhered to that sound advice ever since. The “sea” connotes strength, power, and permanence. “The ocean” is only ink on paper.

When I was 6, I was invited by a friend’s parents to spend a weekend at their seaside summer house, where we boys were allowed to sleep aboard his father’s schooner. More than 75 years later, I still remember lying awake in my berth, listening to the sounds of waves splashing against the hull, the creak of a line running back and forth through a block somewhere in the rigging overhead, and those thoroughly nautical smells – a mixture of varnish, mildew, bilge water, and tarred marline.

When I was 8, my grandfather set out to teach me to sail, beginning with basic seamanship: how to turn an eye splice, tie a bowline, come up on a mooring, feather my oars, and make fast a halyard. How to rescue a “man overboard” in the form of a hat or cushion he would suddenly throw over the side. How to tell where the wind is blowing from by feeling the pressure in my ears, and how hard it is blowing by reading the ripples and the whitecaps on the waves. And how to read the weather in the clouds, and always, always, to sense from the rise, the fall, and the onward thrust of the great long swells the power, the dominance, and the endless permanence of the sea.

For most of my life I have owned a boat of one kind or another, and I’ve sailed the seas with many others on theirs, both large and small, whenever I had a chance. I’ve sailed on the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Mediterranean, and the Caribbean. For years I kept a boat on Chesapeake Bay, and then on Massachusetts’ North Shore. And for 30 years I cruised the waters of Maine, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick with a good friend in his Friendship sloop.

He didn’t care much for high-tech gadgets, and we navigated in the ubiquitous Maine fog more by our senses than anything else: the sound of waves on a nearby shore, the smell of seaweed on sunbaked rocks, the moan of a whistling buoy or the clang of a bell, the cry of gulls overhead. We were close to nature, and we liked it that way. My grandfather would have approved.

In 2006, when he was 88, my friend finally sold his boat, and I did very little sailing thereafter. But I often think of a spiritual moment on a summer night a few years earlier, anchored in a little bay surrounded by uninhabited islands.

In the early morning darkness I had gone on deck to find the half-moon had set and the sky was afire with a billion stars. The Milky Way spread overhead from east to west, dividing the sky in two. The Big Dipper lay low in the northern sky, and the close-packed seven sisters – the Pleiades – glowed faintly over my shoulder. I could make out Cassiopeia and Polaris, and broad-backed Orion was shouldering his way out of the sea to the East. Dozens of other stars and constellations whose names I couldn’t quite remember looked down.

And dozens more looked up from the surrounding sea. Without a breath of air blowing, without a ripple on the silent waters, every star above, every constellation, had its glittering counterpart reflected from below. We floated in the center of a sparkling sphere of light, broken only by the dark ring of islands that defined the horizon.

Then the remains of a great sea swell miles to the south sent a soft ripple through the waters of the bay, the silken mirror trembled, and the spell was broken. But I had been one with the sea and the stars.

Screenshot of Tom Halsted Doodle

CB at Halibut Point

My sister and her husband have been visiting from New York State and we have been having a grand time showing them some of our favorite Gloucester spots.  Despite the iffy weather, we rode out to Halibut Point State Park and Reservation.  We wanted to show off some of the nifty stuff we learned on our recent quarry tour.

It was like we were in a different climate zone when we got there.  The sky was a bit gray, but the winds were warm and welcoming.  There were a fair number of visitors already there.  I guess great minds really do think alike.  It was a great day to bring CB out to share the beauty with us.


Here’s a view from across the quarry of the World War II fire tower.  OK, you have to squint to find it, but it’s there!


Shout out to Cape Pond Ice from Halibut Point!


And here’s a backstage tour of how we make the CB magic happen:

Magic on Halibut Point

It may appear that I have fallen and cannot get up but, in reality, we were working to place CB just so.  The magic doesn’t just happen, you know.

Pet of the week-Toby


10.9.2017 Pet of the Week--Toby

Toby here and ready to move on!  I am a transplant from Texas and lucky for me I arrived here ahead of Hurricane Harvey.

Not so lucky for me I had an old trauma to my left hip, most likely from an accident involving a car but no one can know for sure.  The wonderful folks here took great care of me and got me the femoral head ostecetomy surgery I needed to ensure I could lead a much more comfortable and active life in the future.  I have had my staples removed and am healing well.  I still have to take things a little easy so they won’t let me run and play like I want to yet but they keep telling me I can slowly start to increase my exercise and some day soon I will be able to run and play like I want to.

I am a handsome and lovable fellow.  I adore tennis balls, rope toys and am much more of a fan of keep away than fetch but I will trade my toys for a tasty treat.  Did I mention I adore piles of comforters to lay on. I get along well with most other dogs, big and small although I can’t really play much (the vet says I need to take it easy for a little while longer).  I did get a chance to swim a little at the pool at Camp Spindrift and swimming is great exercise for me and it will help to strengthen my muscles and help me heal faster.

I keep my kennel clean so house-training should be a piece of cake.  I am an adult rescue looking for a more adult kind of home, one with older kids maybe 10 years and up who can respect my desire to not share a tennis ball sometimes. If you are looking for a loyal companion than I am your man.

Please come on down, spend some time with me and I am sure you will fall in love just like most of the staff and volunteers have already.  To see all of the available cats and dogs at the Christopher Cutler Rich Animal Shelter please go to our website: capeannanimalaid.org