Good Morning Gloucester reader DB took a snapshot and reports that she saw this little Porcupine moseying along the side of the road in Essex on Friday.

The North American Porcupine is more commonly seen in central and western Massachusetts, less so in the eastern regions of our state. Porcupines are nocturnal, preferring to hide away during the day in dens and treetops, which is another reason we don’t often see them in these parts.

So wonderful that DB saw this and was able to get a photo. Thank you for sharing DB!!!

Additional North American Porcupine photo courtesy wikicommons media

The Story of a Gloucester Boy Caught In Between

Luke and his dad in 2013. good morning gloucester photo by Kim Smith

Luke and his dad in 2013 when he was 7. Good Morning Gloucester photo by Kim Smith.

He saw them by the front gate of Newell Stadium. Recognized them from school. A gaggle of O’Maley School 7th graders waiting to get into the Gloucester High football game, out on a Friday night talking and teasing and joking with friends and without their parents and how cool is that? Excited. Nervous.

We walked through the gate and found seats in the brand new bleachers. Talked about the game for a few minutes as the Gloucester and Marblehead players ran onto the field and started to play. We’ve always had sports, my son and me. Sunday afternoons watching the Patriots. “Do you think the Celtics will be any good this year, Dad?” An overnight trip to the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame. Like my dad and me before.

The first quarter played on and I could see that he was torn, feeling the tween tug of the O’Maley kids milling about over by the snack shack. Classmates from math and English. Teammates from soccer and basketball. There were girls there, too, a new thing in his world.

It’s a difficult age, 12. You’re doing new things out in the world, making a life separate from your parents for the first time, bonding with kids who are going through the same things you are. Slowly but surely you leave behind the dependent-on-your-parents life you’ve always known. It’s totally normal and a part of growing up and exciting and hard and scary.

“Go ahead over,” I said.

He felt bad about leaving me alone in the stands. Guilty and a little bit sad. He wears his feelings on his face or maybe it’s just that a dad can read these things. You know what your kid’s feeling inside. He’s an empathetic kid, cares about others’ feelings. A good boy.

He apologized as he stood up. “Sorry, Dad, but I’ll just check what they’re doing and be back.” Slowly clomped down the bleachers, looking back at me as he reached the bottom. Then his pace quickened as he saw the familiar faces, kids his own age, over by the track.

Remember the thrill of being 12? The independence from your parents, the bike rides beyond your neighborhood, the after-school trips to the pizza shop, the sleepovers at new friends. So many first times, learning your own way. Exciting. Nerve-wracking. Uncertain. New.

The lights of a fishing boat passed in Gloucester Harbor beyond the goal posts. “To the river!” chanted the sea of maroon sweatshirts and jackets around me, urging the Fishermen on toward the end zone. During a break, the cheerleaders stretched a slingshot wide between two girls and hurled T-shirts into the stands. One flew my way and I caught it, the crowd around me cheering. He would have smiled at that if he’d been there. Maybe given me a high five.

He was waiting for me when the game ended. Told me as we walked to the car about the kids he’d met by the snack bar. Ones he sits near in math class or homeroom or science but doesn’t get to joke around with or get to know. I could hear the happiness in his voice.

Then he stopped himself, conflicted, and apologized again for leaving me in the stands. I tried to reassure him, tell him that I was excited for him and glad he had fun. It was late when we got home.

Ready for bed, pajamas on, he came out to see me in the kitchen. Still wrestling with how much fun he had had at the game but guilty about leaving me behind.

“Good night, Dad,” he said and hesitated a few seconds, not sure whether to give me a hug like he always had when he was 5. Uncertainty showed in his face again. A kid caught in between boy and teenager. Torn.

Then he quietly turned and walked into his room, shutting the door tightly behind him.

Amy Newell color street nail polish strips | scenes from Magnolia Show

Amy Newell color street nails_ booth at Magnolia sip n stroll October 2018 fair _20181012_© Catherine Ryan (3)

I grabbed a couple Halloween nail polish strips for my goddaughters from Amy Newell’s booth at the Magnolia sip n shop. One of them glows in the dark! I think they’re great for a sleepover or party treat. Applying them is half the fun and easier than doing your own nails. Fine art fingers: some of the applications inspired  original combinations of colors and textures.


All Purpose Flower Shop opens Nov 1| scenes from Magnolia show

All Purpose Flowers coming to Magnolia November 1_20181012_©Catherine Ryan

Grand opening coming soon for a new business in Magnolia- the All Purpose Flower Shop  29 Lexington Avenue, Gloucester, Ma.

There are no florists in Manchester or Magnolia so this is a welcome addition. Owner Linda Brown set up a booth at the Magnolia Sip n Shop with autumnal dried and silk arrangements. Her boutique will have fresh flowers and designs for special events and on line orders. Loved the festive on brand dress! Find her work on Instagram and Facebook https://allpurposeflowers.net/

All Purpose Flowers coming to Magnolia November 1_20181012_©Catherine Ryan (2)


Donna Ardizzoni | scenes from Magnolia show

Donna Ardizzoni visits with Sharon at the October 12, 2018 sip n stroll in Magnolia. Her booth featured some of her favorite motifs and vistas. Donna works with Cape Ann Giclee to print and mount her photographs on various matrices, and for her gift cards. She appreciates the quality. “I mean look at this,” she exclaimed pointing to the rack of cards, “How great is the service for photographers: the cards include custom labels on the back, envelopes and plastic sleeves!” 


DONNA ARDIZZONI booth_ with Sharon _Magnolia sip n stroll October 2018 fair _20181012_© Catherine Ryan (2).jpg

DONNA ARDIZZONI photography_original photographs and gift cards_ booth at Magnolia sip n stroll October 2018 fair _20181012_© Catherine Ryan (2)
Donna Ardizzoni original photographs produced greeting cards. “Face of a Mom- Fisherens Wives” and “Softness of Wingaersheek Beach” shown here

Virginia Lee Burton “The Little House: Herstory” opens November 3 at Cape Ann Museum! Pre opening concert by New England Philharmonic Chamber Players October 20

The Little House: Herstory comes home to Gloucester. I can’t wait to check out Cape Ann Museum’s new Virginia Lee Burton show!

custom model of Little House designed by GalleryA4 Takenaka Corporation Foundation in Tokyo for Virginia Lee Burton survey traveled in Japan 2017.jpg

Model of Little House is back from the major Virginia Lee Burton survey in Japan (see photos from the installation)   

from the museum: “2017 marked the 75th anniversary of the publication of the children’s book The Little House, written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton (1909–1968). In recognition of that milestone, for the past two years the Cape Ann Museum has been pleased to collaborate with Gallery A4 at the Takenaka Corporation in Tokyo, Japan, creating an exhibition exploring Burton’s extraordinary career and legacy. The Sawyer Free Library in Gloucester, the University of Minnesota, the Burton-Demetrios family and the Tokyo Children’s Library also contributed to the project. The exhibition that resulted from this partnership featured archival material and a model of the little house at the center of Burton’s story. After being on display at Gallery A4 the exhibition traveled to a handful of other venues around Japan including Spiral, a multi-purpose cultural center in Minami-Aoyama. The exhibition was greeted enthusiastically by large crowds at each site. Now, a year later, the model of Virginia Lee Burton’s Little House that was at the center of the exhibition is on its way to America where it will soon be on display at the Cape Ann Museum.”

Creative and exciting programs are planned for the Burton exhibition. There is an inspired pre-exhibition warm up heralding Folly Cove designers:

New England Philharmonic Chamber Players: The Power of Pattern

Saturday, October 20, 7:00 p.m. Continue reading “Virginia Lee Burton “The Little House: Herstory” opens November 3 at Cape Ann Museum! Pre opening concert by New England Philharmonic Chamber Players October 20″

TODAY: author and cartoonist Denis Kitchen speaks about Harrison Cady at the Cape Ann Museum


“Madness in Crowds: The Teeming Mind of Harrison Cady”

Don’t miss this talk presented by celebrated cartoonist and author Denis Kitchen at the Cape Ann Museum today, Saturday October 13, 2018, at 2pm about Harrison Cady. Free for members. $10 for non members. Reserve tickets

Harrison Cady: View From the Headlands exhibition continues through November 9th.