Contemplating taking flight, the perching juvenile Great Blue Heron moved its feet slowly, while turning to face the shore, then gracefully lifted its wings and departed, with a very loud and un-elegant QWOCK. 

No sign of Cape Ann’s Great Blue Herons since the big Thanksgiving Day freeze. Two days into the frigid temperatures, the last one observed appeared very unhappy. The unfrozen bits of water were too cold to forage. He seemed so cold, wasn’t fishing at all, and was only standing on the shore, in the glummest manner. I urged him onward, worried his frozen self might look tempting to a coyote, and hope perhaps he departed under the brilliant light of the full November Frost Moon.

November sunset waves like Turner seascapes | Long Beach Gloucester and Rockport MA

So this is November at Long Beach, views mostly from the Gloucester edge approximately two hours post high tide which was at 2:00PM November 27, 2018.

sun drops fast November surf_4PM_Long Beach looking back to Gloucester MA edge_20181127_©c ryan

sunset November surf_Twin Lights Rockport MA from Long Beach Gloucester MA_20181127_©c ryan

High tide was here


30 second video clips


— when sunlight broke through spin drifts tossed rainbows

Just a shave away | The Black Bear Barber Shop opts for a different Main Street location

East End Main Street, Gloucester, Massachusetts, street-level retail news

Before building out a new space at 261 Main Street, next door to Alexandra’s Bread, The Black Bear Barber Shop will set up instead across the street at 260 Main Street. The business will be the first commercial tenant in the new 260 Main Street multi use building. (Cape Ann Animal Aid was the last tenant in the razed building.) There was a chance to customize plumbing for a ground floor retail space and it might mean more customer parking.

Blackbear Barber Shop moving to 260 Main Street Gloucester instead ©c ryan.jpg

Settling into 260 Main Street rather than 261 means that 261 Main Street (Eastern Point Lit House was last there and seasonally PRESENT) is available to rent.

260 Main Street_20180619_new construction multi use in progress©c ryan.jpg
The Black Bear Barber Shop coming to 260 Main Street

More Great Light Fights

It’s funny how some holiday traditions are tried and true over the years and some happen very spontaneously and somehow become ritualist when you’re least paying expecting it.

Watching the Polar Express on Thanksgiving Night is a tradition that I started intentionally and one that we look forward to every year.  Heading to the Beverly Tree Farm the day after Thanksgiving to find our perfect tree is also something that we chose as a tradition and are sure to repeat each year in the hopes of building memories for the boys.  Christmas wouldn’t be the same without my mom’s coffee cake….and my boys look forward to pulling and kneading the dough for their fried dough after opening their stockings each year.

The Great Light Fight….well, that is a tradition, maybe just as special to the boys, that has just kind of happened….with no planning, no forethought, no intention.

So….last night, there we were again, all of sudden snuggled on the couch watching the new season of The Great Light Fight.  I grabbed Finn at the hockey rink after his practice, cooked brussel sprouts upon his request, and then hunkered down to watch the first episode of the new season of the Great Light Fight.   I didn’t know it was on….hadn’t bothered to actually check any kind of programming….but, when Finn somehow heard a promo, we were both pretty excited.  Thatch rolled in an hour later and plopped himself down immediately.  And then, just like last year and the years before that, we started our familiar routine of choosing which light display we liked the most, who we thought would win, how they might spread more good cheer with their winnings….and where we might drive to see some lights this weekend.

It is so, so silly….but yet someone these often quirky strangers, these Captains of Christmas and Directors of Decorations, always manage to teach Thatch and Finn something about the true holiday spirit and about family ties and bonds.  One contestant said last night, “The family who displays together, stays together.”  No doubt.

I’m happy that while those families share their traditions with their communities….and now national television….we can at least pop a squat on the sofa and have a mini tradition of our own.

Sometimes the littlest things are the best.


The Great Christmas Light Fight showcases the wildest and most spectacular Christmas displays in America. In each one-hour episode, four families from all around the country decorate their homes to the extreme in the hopes of winning the coveted Light Fight trophy and a $50,000 prize, with a total of $300,000 given away for the season. As the temperature cools down, the competition heats up when families invite us from out of the snow inside their homes to witness their fanatic Christmas décor for the very first time. In addition to all of the stunning inside/outside displays, the first ever “Heavyweights” episode will showcase light shows that have grown too large for any home.

screen-shot-2018-10-17-at-10-06-05-pmlightfightlight-fight-1543287701Duluth Christmas Lights Fresh Olson Family Light Show The Great Christmas Light Fight

High Tide Tussle

We came across these two bucks having themselves a wrestling match in the marsh during high tide at Parker River! One appears to be a 6 pointer and the other a 4 pointer, but with a damaged antler. I don’t know when the antler damage occurred, but they tussled long enough for it to have happened at the time. It was very dramatic!


Transcending the Story

Cape Ann Wellness


Join yoga teacher and storyteller Alyssa Sullivan as she guides you through a rich vinyasa flow, moving you from the identity of your story into a sweet connection to your inner being. After practice we will circle up and have an open discussion into the inquiry of interpersonal relationships and the art of communication. You’ll see blocks and transform them into bridges of connection and resonance.



Alyssa Sullivan is a Rhode Island based teacher, writer, business owner, and speaker. She was inspired to begin her life-long journey of self inquiry after her dream of becoming a Broadway dancer was stymied by debilitating perfectionism and self doubt. For the past 35 years, she has studied the mind, body, and spirit interconnection and it’s impact on our experience in daily living. Alyssa has been mentored by a number of extraordinary teachers, psychologists, and specialists in the fields…

View original post 137 more words

1 = 2 #GivingTuesday at Maritime Gloucester

Cape Ann Community


Want to stretch you gift giving dollar?  It’s the holidays and we all want a way to have our gifts mean more.  Well it is #GivingTuesday and Maritime Gloucester is proud to announce their new 1 = 2 Matching Gift Campaign.  For every dollar given to Maritime Gloucester during this campaign, the Amelia Peabody Foundation has agreed to match it, dollar for dollar, up to $25,000!  So your gift goes farther!  Thinking of giving?  Now is the time.  This campaign runs through the new year…but let’s see if we need that long!  Give now at and let us know you want the 1 = 2 match!

View original post