This has been a stunning week for loss of life, with the suicide of Anthony Bourdain coming on the heels of Kate Spade’s suicide. Please dear hearts, no matter how depressed and overwhelmed, suicide is never, ever the answer. I learned several days ago that a friend passed away. I had the great fortune to travel with Tom Emmel in 2014 to the Monarch butterfly sanctuaries and we developed a lasting friendship. He shared information generously–it was his 44th trip to Angangueo–and he was one of the first scientists to study the Monarchs in their winter home. Tom leaves behind a lifetime of friendships as well as his legacy in research and conservation.

Tom loved the people and town of Angangueo; here he is in his element at the Sierra Chinqua Monarch Butterfly Reserve.

It is with great sadness that the family of Dr. Thomas C. Emmel announce his passing on Saturday, May 26, 2018, while traveling abroad in Brazil. He was 77 years old.
Tom is lovingly remembered by his brother, John Emmel (Phyllis), his nephew, Travis, and his niece, Alexis. In addition, a multitude of friends, colleagues and former students will forever honor Tom – a noted conservationist, naturalist, prolific author and visionary – for his kindness, humor, encyclopedic knowledge and wide-ranging interests. He epitomized the ideal of the professor as educator, mentor, supporter and inspiration.
Born on May 08, 1941, Tom grew up in Los Angeles, California. His parents, Edward and Ardyce Emmel, met on an outing sponsored by the Sierra Club and encouraged an interest in nature, including taking Tom and his brother on many camping trips to all the national parks in the western U.S. Around age eight, at the suggestion of his father, Tom, then younger brother John, began collecting butterflies on all their family trips. This began a lifelong passion they shared. Their mother further encouraged their interest by driving them to entomological society meetings at Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. His parents, a den mother and scout master, respectively, were very much involved with the scouting program, and the brothers were Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Explorer Scouts, and became Eagle Scouts as well.
When Tom was a high school senior, he was one of 40 winners of the Westinghouse Science Talent Search, for which he won a trip to Washington, D.C. Upon graduating from high school, Tom went with ornithologist L. Irby Davis, for a three month trip to southern Mexico. Tom assisted Mr. Davis in recording bird songs in the early morning and evening, then collected butterflies during the mid-day. He returned to southern California with several thousand specimens – and his lifetime interest in tropical entomology was secured. As it would turn out, some of those specimens were representative of a new species – which in April 2018 was named Cyllopsis tomemmeli in his honor.
Tom earned his B.A. at Reed College in 1963. During the summer breaks from college, Tom was a nature counselor at Sanborn Western Camps for Kids, in Colorado. He earned his Ph.D. in Population Biology at Stanford University in 1967, and was a Post-doctoral Fellow in Genetics at the University of Texas from 1967-1968. His unbridled commitment to and support of the University of Florida began in 1968 when he joined its faculty as Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences & Zoology. In 1973, he became an Associate Professor of Zoology and three years later, in 1976, he became a Professor of Zoology. He served as department chairman for Zoology, directed the Department of Zoology Division of Lepidoptera Research from 1980-2003, and directed the UF Boender Endangered Species Laboratory since its inception in 1995.
In 2004, Tom was chosen to be the Founding Director of the Florida Museum’s McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity at the University of Florida. The McGuire Center was Tom’s vision and concept: A state-of-the-art research and teaching center that focused on Lepidoptera and the biodiversity they represent, and by extension a facility that engaged the public and created awareness of nature’s beauty and relevance to our lives. The Center was brought to fruition by the generous support of Dr. and Mrs. William McGuire, lifelong friends and admirers of Tom and his efforts. Under Dr. Emmel’s leadership, The McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity has become world-renowned for research on biodiversity, habitat loss, and Lepidoptera; a major publisher of related scientific studies; a force in public education about our environment and its biodiversity; and the repository for the largest collection of Lepidoptera specimens in the world
Tom authored more than 400 scientific publications, including 35 books. His many personal research interests included the endangered Schaus Swallowtail population in the Florida Keys; the effects of mosquito control pesticides on non-target wildlife and humans living in south Florida; microevolution, population biology, and ecological genetics of Cercyonis butterflies; chromosome evolution and macroevolution in the Lepidoptera; mimicry complexes in Mechanitis and Melinaea ithomiine butterflies in the Neotropics; biology, life histories, ecology, and conservation of the California butterfly fauna; fossil butterflies; and butterfly diversity in many areas of the world. He worked tirelessly to encourage efforts to promote conservation and natural habitat preservation, such as through the Miami Blue–Save Wild Florida license plate initiative and conservation biology efforts for the overwintering Monarch butterfly sites in southern Mexico. Throughout his lifetime, Tom mentored countless students – fostering and encouraging their careers in entomology, taxonomy, the study of tropical rainforests, and conservation biology.
Dr. Tom Emmel leaves behind a tremendous and unparalleled legacy. His vision, imagination, and energy in the service of conservation and Lepidoptera will continue to inspire and inform future generations of scientists, as well as the public in general. His life work contributed to making a better world, and the impact will be enduring.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in memory of Tom can be made to the Thomas C. Emmel Founding Director’s Endowment, which supports collections and research at the Florida Museum’s McGuire Center.
Funeral services and a celebration of life for Tom are to be announced in the near future.
Arrangements are under the care of MILAM FUNERAL AND CREMATION SERVICES 311 South Main Street Gainesville, FL (352) 376-5361

@Glostaplover sharing updates from the piping plover volunteers

Thanks to city staff like Ken Whittaker, Gloucesters conservation agent, and  experts  like Kim Smith, volunteers have been inspired  to have some fun helping wildlife in our own backyard.  You can join in and follow their reports on Twitter

The  2018 reports are also logged here

No sign in required for either format. There’s a link for the 2017 records, too. Last year’s monitors were all ages and a few commuted from over the bridge. One mother daughter duo from the tri-state area  scheduled a volunteer vacation in Gloucester because of Kim Smith and the city’s outreach!

As I write, folks have an eye  on the plover pair in the Good Harbor Beach parking lot (still) incubating 4 eggs (still). Sign up with Ken Whittaker for a shift Last year’s post about how to sign up. Everything ramps up for chicks.

(through the binoculars-  distraction dashing as crow went by )


Sun Kissed Harbor

The best light for photographing sunsets is always after a heavy quick moving thunder storm this image I took last year.. image size is 9×20 I will only be printing 10 images at this size please feel free to contact me at (978) 559-1944 or email at

Saint Peter’s Fiesta Schedule Gloucester, MA | Since 1927

Editing thanks to Bill O’Connor, Daily calendar also available at


Novena to Saint Peter
  • Monday, June 18 through Tuesday, June 26, 2018
  • 7:00 p.m at the American Legion Hall
Wednesday, June 27
  • 7:00-10:00p.m.| Musical Entgrtainmen | Saint Peter’s Park: VINYL GROOVE
  • Carnival Open 5pm – Midnight
Thursday, June 28
  • 6:30 p.m | Fiesta 5K Road Race -with Cape Ann YMCA – Starting location Stage Fort Park – Finish Line at Saint Peter’s Park
    • For further details, contact Cape Ann YMCA
  • 8:00-11:00p.m | Entertainment, Dance and Music | Saint Peter’s Park featuring: WILD FIRE
  • Carnival Open 5pm – Midnight
Friday, June 29
  • 4:45p.m | Greasy Pole Contest and Women’s Seine Boat Races | Pavilion Beach
  • 6:30p.m | Entertainment | Before Opening Ceremonies
  • 7:00p.m | Formal Opening at Saint Peter’s Square
  • Entertainment will immediately follow until 11:30 pm:
    • 8:15-9:45 pm Music by MORENO FRUZZETTI
  • Carnival Open 2pm – Midnight
Saturday, June 30
  • 10:00a.m | Pavilion Beach | Seine Boat Race: Gloucester Coast Guard vs. Gloucester Fire Department & Gloucester Police Department
  • 3:00 p.m | Children’s Games | Beach Court
  • 4:45 p.m | Sports Events | Pavilion Beach: Seine Boat Races & Greasy Pole Contest
  • 8:00-11:30pm | Musical Entertainment | Saint Peter’s Park featuring: FRANCO CORSO
  • Carnival Open 12pm – Midnight
Sunday, July 1
  • 10:00a.m | Celebration of Mass of Saint Peter | St.Peter’s Park
  • 12:00 noon | Procession followingthe Celebration of Outdoor Mass
  • 3:00p.m | Blessingof the Fleet | Stacy Boulevard
  • 3:00 p.m | Concert | Saint Peter’s Park: U.S Navy Band Northeast, Rhode Island Sound
  • 4:45 p.m | Sports Events | at Pavilion Beach -Seine Boat Races & Greasy Pole Contest
  • 6:30p.m | Children’s Pifiata Contest | at Pascucci Court
  • 7:15p.m | Awards Ceremony – Trophies awarded to winners of the Sports Events
  • 8:30 p.m | Musical Entertainment | Saint Peter’s Park featuring: NATALIE PINTO and PANORAMA
  • 10:15 p.m | Raffle Drawings and Closing Procession
  • Carnival Open 12pm – Midnight
Ride Coupons

Wednesday: 5pm – Close
Thursday: 5pm – Close
Friday: 2pm – 5pm

$30 per person, per day
$25 per person, per session


Save the Date: Next Year
Saint Peter’s Fiesta June 26 – JUNE 30, 2019

Fire Department Annual Firefighters Memorial Service Sunday June 10

From the Gloucester Fire Department News Blog:


Gloucester Fire Department Invites Residents to Firefighters Memorial Service

GLOUCESTER —  Chief Eric Smith invites the public to join the Gloucester Fire Department at its annual Firefighters Memorial service this weekend.


Sunday, June 10, at 9 a.m.


Cherry Hill Cemetery next to Addison Gilbert Hospital


  • Gloucester Fire Department
  • Gloucester Fire Fighters Relief Association


The Gloucester Fire Department will hold a ceremony to honor the deceased firefighters who have served the Gloucester community.

A drum-led procession will march up Washington Street, from the Department of Public Works to the Firefighters Memorial Site at Cherry Hill Cemetery. Once there, the department will honor its fallen firefighters and will place wreaths and flags on their graves.

“It’s an honor to pay our respects to those who have come before us and sacrificed on behalf of the City of Gloucester,” Chief Smith said. “I hope residents will take the time to join us for this traditional tribute to the firefighters who served our community and dedicated their lives to keeping it safe.”

Here’s part of an article from the June 12 1922 Gloucester Daily Times naming those lost for that year’s ceremony.  It is difficult to read due to the method of digitization but, sadly, the list is long.

Deceased Firemen GDT June 12 1922

Interestingly, it also appears in the June 12 1922 edition of the Gloucester Daily Times that the Firemen’s Monument was dedicated at Cherry Hill Cemetery that year.

Cherry Hill Firemen's Monument dedicated GDT June 12 1922

The Department is to be commended for maintaining a long history of this memorial service. Godspeed to all past and present.


Be a lighthouse ~

Cape Ann Wellness

Our office is located in a very beautiful, calming and refreshing area, surrounded by lighthouses but our favorite is the Annisquam Harbor Light.  Lighthouses help to guide in ships to safety…we too can be a lighthouse and guide those around us to safety by being kind and lending a sympathetic ear.

Together we can all create healing white light..become a lighthouse.

“Blockage is disease/Flow is health”


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Red, White and Blue Pancake Breakfast

Cape Ann Community

Red, White and Blue Pancake Breakfast

In just two weeks the Red, White and Blue Pancake Breakfast will be here. This will be the 29th annual Breakfast and traditional start of the Fourth of July holiday. Save the date for Saturday, June 30, rain or shine, 7:30am-11am at Tuck’s Point. The Manchester-Essex Rotary Club needs volunteers to host this event. We have many returning workers, most notably Sen. Bruce Tarr and Rep. Brad Hill who return every year to flip pancakes. We welcome all volunteers, new faces and regulars. Please email to help us plan. Students in need of community service hours are welcome.

Look for Rotarians selling tickets in front of the Post Office and Crosby’s Saturday mornings, 9am-noon, June 16 and 23, or stop in at the Parks & Rec Department or Nor’East Frameworks. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 the day of the event…

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