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Google maps sent me back to Cape May via a different route and I did not again pass the one gas station that appeared to be open for business. Concerned though that the Jetty Motel’s office would close for the night before I had checked in, I headed straight there, passing several closed gas stations along the way. Not looking good in the refueling department. I arrived just in time, moments before the front desk closed, and was helped tremendously by the receptionist. She pointed me in the direction of the one and only gas station open and provided great advice for dinner, The Lobster House, located on Schellengers Landing Road, Fisherman’s Wharf at Cape May.
My dinner of chowder and oysters was fabulous! I met a super nice guy at the bar and he shared lots of information about the area. He is marine biologist on one of the local whale boats, which is actually a schooner! He was headed the next morning to the Keys to help a friend rebuild his campgrounds.
The Lobster House is open seven days a week, all year round, and includes several restaurants, a coffee shop-lunch counter style diner, fish market, and dining on the Schooner American, which is moored dockside. The commercial fishing fleet at the Lobster House offloads millions of pounds of seafood and supplies much of the fresh seafood on the Lobster House menu.
The following morning I had checked out by daybreak, filled with anticipation to return to Stone Harbor Point to see the Monarchs departing the trees at first light. First though I headed to the beach across from the hotel for a very quick glimpse. The wide sandy beach has a perfect view of the Cape May Lighthouse. You can walk along the beach and through the trails of the Cape May State Park for direct access to the Lighthouse.
At the shoreline were poised to cross the Bay a great flock of Black Skimmers. Overnight the wind had picked up tremendously and the flock were aligned in perfect soldier-like order, all facing into the strong gusts. Oh how I wished I could have spent more time there exploring this area so rich in fabulous creatures and wildlife. Most definitely on my next visit!
Notice the amazing lower mandible of the Black Skimmer. While flying, the Skimmers use their bill to skim small fish along the surface of the water. The Skimmers pictured here are mostly young Black Skimmers in plumage mottled brown and white.
I arrived at Stone Point Harbor just as the butterflies were awakening. When butterflies roost in trees, they will often situate themselves so that the eastern light of the early morning sun rays warm their wings. They will also typically (but not always) choose overnight sleeping areas that are out of the way of the of the prevailing winds.
Because of the strong wind, instead of leaving the trees all at once, as I have often observed, the Monarchs would take off, have difficulty navigating the wind, and then return to the trees. These attempts lasted several hours as the Monarchs tried again and again to negotiate the harsh wind.
In the mean time, the Monarchs that weren’t as intuitive as the ones that were roosting in trees had roosted overnight on the dried out stalks of wildflowers. They were having an extremely tough time, clinging with all their might to the stalks or getting pulled down to the sand. This was challenging to observe as there was nothing that could be done to help the butterflies expending so much energy to stay grounded.
Monarchs Clinging to Dry Stalks of Seaside Goldenrod and Beach Grass in the Sand
Time was spent between the trees and the dunes. After several hours there were still a number of butterflies warming in the trees, barberry bushes, and wildflowers when I had to leave Stone Harbor Point to return to Cape May Point to check on butterflies that may have been there.
None were roosting at the Cape May Lighthouse and few were on the wing. With the wind blowing in precisely the opposite direction for safe travel across the Delaware Bay, the Monarchs were waiting yet another day to take the next leg of their journey. Looking towards a nine hour drive ahead of me, I couldn’t stay a moment longer. Except to grab a bowl of chowder at the Lobster House and have a quick glimpse in the daylight hours at the Fisherman’s Wharf at Cape May.
Sea Bass fishing season was open and fisherman Jim is cutting up squid for bass bait.
Monarchs began arriving in Angangueo several days ago. And in much greater numbers than have been seen in recent years. Barring any huge weather events, this late, great batch of migrants will make it too. Friends are reporting that there are Monarchs in their gardens still, and I have one of Patti Papows caterpillars in its chrysalis, yet to emerge.
Eggs, caterpillars, chrysalides, and butterflies that would have been killed by more seasonable colder temperatures are able to survive in the unusually warm weather we are experiencing on the East Coast. However, most of the wildflowers that provide fortification to the Monarchs on their southward journey have withered. You can help late stragglers by keeping nectar producing flowers in your garden going as long as possible. In our garden, it is the old passalong Korean Daisy that is providing nectar to bees and butterflies, and it will bloom until the first hard frost.
Friends of the Monarch Butterfly: If you would like to help towards the completion of the documentary film Beauty on the Wing: Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly, please consider making a tax deductible donation here:
Donors contributing over $5,000. will be listed in the credits as a film producer.
For more information, visit the film’s website here: Monarch Butterfly Film
For an overview of the film’s budget, please go here: Budget
Thank you so very much for your help.
Tapping CAM Granite
A Talk & Selection by Les Bartlett
The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to present Tapping CAM Granite, a talk and selection by Leslie Bartlett of paintings and tools related to the granite quarry industry, on Saturday, November 4 at 2:00 p.m. This program is free for Museum members or with Museum admission. For more information call 978-283-0455 x10 or visit capeannmuseum.org.
Leslie Bartlett, originally from Epsom, N.H., is a photographer, local historian and graphic designer. For the last two years he has partnered with Susan Quateman, a silk painter, urban planner and writer. The two landscape and environmental artists developed SQ & LB Artist Collaboration. Through this collaboration, Bartlett focuses on the theme of Climate Change and Resilient Landscapes of Cape Ann. He has worked to produce art which explains complicated science in a clear manner, which evokes emotional responses. It is through this process that he sees how his photographic works of stone are so relevant to our times. October 2017 marked the 10th Anniversary of Les Bartlett’s installation at the Cape Ann Museum of “Chapters on a Quarry Wall.” Learn more about the artist at http://www.lesliebartlett.com/.
About the Cape Ann Museum
The Cape Ann Museum has been in existence since the 1870s, working to preserve and celebrate the history and culture of the area and to keep it relevant to today’s audiences. Spanning 44,000 square feet, the Museum is one of the major cultural institutions on Boston’s North Shore welcoming more than 25,000 local, national and international visitors each year to its exhibitions and programs. In addition to fine art, the Museum’s collections include decorative art, textiles, artifacts from the maritime and granite industries, two historic homes and a sculpture park in the heart of downtown Gloucester. Visit capeannmuseum.org for details.
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 $12.00 adults, $10.00 Cape Ann residents, seniors and students. Youth (under 18) and Museum members are free. For more information please call: (978)283-0455 x10. Additional information can be found online at www.capeannmuseum.org.
For a detailed media fact sheet please visit www.capeannmuseum.org/press.
Lone Gull Coffee House is featuring Kathryn Roberts from November 1 through November 30th. There will be a Meet The Artist Saturday, November 4, 2017 from 3:00 – 5:00. Enjoy
Mark your calendars it’s time again for the CAPE ANN SUP TURKEY PADDLE.
This race is meant to be fun and bring people together before most of us spend a few months in hibernation! Profits will go to our good friends at The Open Door, who will help fill the bellies of many Cape Ann-ers this holiday season. When: Sat, November 4th – 12:00 PM
Where: All participants can park at Essex Marina (35 Dodge St. Essex, MA 01929). Spectators can feel free to watch from the marina but, chances are, the Essex causeway will give you a better view.
Race Course/Rules: Paddlers will launch from the Essex Marina and and paddle to the “Cox Reservation.” There will be someone standing on land there with an item. Paddlers will have to grab something from them and paddle it back to the marina. “The Item(s)” are TBD (full Turkey’s are not out of the question!). First one back, wins. Plain and simple. Paddle whatever you wish, prone, race board, rec board, heck you can swim if you really want to!
Distance: approx. 1.5 mi.
Donation Amount: $40.00
After the event, we invite all participants & family members to the Cape Ann SUP board barn for a post-race, pot-luck celebration! Bring whatever you can/want. We will have outlets available if you want to bring your slow cooker! That worked well in the past.
Sign up by calling the board barn (978-233-1787) or clicking the link below.
“The GHS boys soccer team is making a name for itself in the Northeastern South Conference, as Head Coach Armando Marnoto’s culturally diverse squad represents more than ten different countries.” – great opener by Joe Kibango
Columnist Joe Kibango knows what he’s writing about; he’s one of the team captains. Kibango, GHS soccer team player #3, was born in Tanzania. His wonderful article includes profile interviews with some of the team players and Coach Marcos Trejo:
#5 Mohamad “Mo” Alsweidani
#10 Elijah Elliott
#13 Robert Mugabe (freshman!)
#17 Anthony Suazo
#8 Kevin De Oliveira
#30 Lasse Struppe
#23 Mario Santos
Read the complete article here: https://thegillnetter.com/5565/features/diversity-breeds-success-new-perspectives-for-boys-soccer-team/
PLAYOFF GAME Come support the team this Saturday November 4th 7PM at Newell
You can’t visit downtown without feeling the impact of Gloucester’s generous local businesses and restauranteurs. 10% of Jalapenos business on Monday night November 6th will be donated to the Gloucester O’Maley Innovation Middle School afterschool program, O’Maley Acadmey. Jalapenos has a longstanding committment to community fundraising nights.
Come hang out or take out! Jalapenos is located at 86 Main Street Gloucester, MA (978) 283-8228 Jalapenos menu
O’Maley Academy works with many community partners, like Backyard Growers (Love this sweet new corner of happy on Main near their HQ!)
We’ve recently moved from one side of Rockport to the other. While both sides have their pros and cons (well, “cons” may be a stretch for any address in Rockport) one thing I love about our new local is the view as we leave town each morning. Almost, without fail, I am compelled to either stop to take a photo….or kick myself for not having my camera.
On another note….what I wouldn’t give to have my morning coffee in one of those deck chairs each morning.