Part One: Winter

By Kim Smith

Cape Ann provides welcome habitat for a menagerie of creatures beautiful, from the tiniest winged wonder to our region’s top predator, the Eastern Coyote. Last year and the previous year I posted Cape Ann Wildlife: A Year in Pictures 2016 and Cape Ann Wildlife: A Year in Pictures 2017. This year I changed the title to A Year in Pictures and Stories and have provided a partial list of some of the stories. You can find links to the posts at the end of each season. I hope you have found the wildlife stories of 2018 equally as interesting and beautiful. Click on the image to find the name of each species.

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The first days of January began with the dramatic rescue of our blue-eyed swan by Mr. Swan’s Niles Pond caretakers, Skip, Lyn, and Dan.¬†He flew onto the ice and could not maneuver off. The most amazing thing is that two black-eyed “angel swans” magically appeared at just the right time they were needed and, in a swan sort of way, helped release Mr. Swan from the ice.

Mr. Swan stuck on the ice.

One of a pair of mystery black-eyed ¬†“angel” swans.

“The” story of the winter of 2018 though is the story of Hedwig, the female Snowy Owl that made Gloucester’s Back Shore her home for several months.

She arrived sometime in December and stayed until mid-March. Hedwig staked out a territory that covered a great part of East Gloucester, from Captain Joes Lobster Company on the inner harbor, up over the Bass Rocks Golf Club hill, and all along Atlantic Road, even battling a young male we called Bubo to maintain her dominance over this rich feeding ground. Late in the afternoon we would see her departing for her nightly hunt and she was seen eating a wide variety of small animals, including rabbits, mice, and Buffleheads.

Hedwig was photographed battling, bathing, grooming, and eating.

Mostly though, Hedwig was observed while sleeping and resting on her various perches; not only the beautiful rocks along the shoreline, but Atlantic Road homeowner’s chimneys, as well as the rooftop railings of the Ocean House Hotel and Atlantis Oceanfront Inn.

Hedwig’s onlookers creating traffic jams on Atlantic Road.

This remarkably people-tolerant owl drew crowds from all over (including a Canadian visitor), providing a wonderful window into the secret world of these most magnificent of Arctic wanderers.

Resident Eastern Coyotes and beautiful migrating ducks were photographed and filmed. And then came the terribly destructive power of the four’easters of March, reeking havoc on wildlife habitats all along the coastline.

Hedwig was last seen during the early evening on March 12th, departing the rooftop of the Ocean House Hotel. This was also the night before the third nor’easter. She was perched on the railing of the Ocean House Inn facing towards the sea. The wind was blowing fiercely. After making several attempts, she successfully flew in a southerly direction out over the water.

We Love You Too Snowy Owl!

Mr. Swan Rescue Update and a Pair of Mysterious Swans Arrive at Niles Pond!
Mr. Swan Update Rescue #2
Not One, But Two Snowy Owls on the Back Shore
Snowy Owl Aerial Fight
Close Encounter of the Coyote Kind
Snowy Owl Hedwig Takes a Bath
My What Big Feet You Have Hedwig
Hello Hedwig! What Are You Eating
How Can the Wings of a Snowy Owl Be Quieter Than a Butterfly’s Wings?
Good Morning Sleepyhead
Snowy Owl Feathers in the Moonlight
Beautiful Brants, Scaups, and Ring-necked Ducks Migrating Right Now On Our Shores
Gloucester March Nor’easters Storm Coverage 2018
Clear Evidence of the Destructive Forces of Global Warming on the Coastline and How this Negatively Impacts Local Wildlife

LIVE MUSIC: Andrew James at Feather & Wedge, Thursday, Jan 10


This Thursday one of Boston area’s most talented young musicians, Andrew James, returns to Feather & Wedge at 5 Main Street, Rockport, MA. If you love James Taylor, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Tracy Chapman, you’ll want to come hear this incredible performer. Reservations recommended. 978.999.5917.

Thursday, January 10th

7:30 PM to 10: 00 PM

Andrew James

Feather & Wedge, 5 Main Street, Rockport, MA 01966

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I am More Project

January I Am More Displays

¬†The I Am More portraits by Amy Kerr are a reminder to all of us that we are more than our challenges. This month the portraits and essays can be seen at The Common Crow Natural Market (200 Eastern Ave, Gloucester), Cape Ann Coffees (86 Bass Ave, Gloucester), Cape Ann Cinema & Stage (21 Main St, Gloucester), and TILI ‚Äď Therapy for Intentional Living (11 Vinnin St, Salem). A huge thank you to these very generous display partners for sharing their spaces. You can see all of the portraits and essays at To host a display please contact Amy at





John Rockwell Tonight with Fly Amero! 7-10pm @ The Rhumb Line 1.9.2019

Dinner Specials Each Week!
Wednesday, January 9 – 7pm

My Musical Guest: JOHN ROCKWELL!

And now… ladies and gentlemen… the one… the very only…

JOHN ROCKWELL!¬†¬†Pictured here pretending he’s smoking the mic, John comes with an amazingly diverse bag of entertainment tricks. ¬†Sometimes it seems he knows every song that was ever written – and, if he doesn’t know it, he plays it anyway. ¬†Gotta love that! He’s positive. ¬†He’s funny.

He’s handsome. ¬†He’s the whole package, folks. ¬†I’ll simply say… BE THERE! ~ Fly

Dinner with great music!

*Each week features a special, invited musical guest
The Rhumb Line Kitchen……features Morgan Forsythe! ¬†Dishes are better than ever before!
Plus a fine, affordable wine menu!

Next week…

1/16 – Ellen Ford

1/23 – Allen Estes

1/30 – Lynne Taylor


Looking forward……to seeing you there ūüôā

Ellen F. Kenny from Mass Center for the Book, Mayor Romeo-Theken, & Justine Vitale share photos from Once Upon a Contest at Cape Ann Museum

Stop by and meet some of the participants featured in Once Upon a Contest: Selections from Cape Ann Reads at a special Cape Ann Museum CAM KIDS second Saturdays family activity on January 12, 2019, from 10AM-12PM. Later that same day, artists Mary Rhinelander and Julia Garrison are offering a printmaking linocut demo related to the Folly Cove designers and the major Virginia Lee Burton The Little House Her Story exhibition!

Thanks to the four public libraries of Cape Ann and Cape Ann Museum, Once Upon a Contest: Selections from Cape Ann Reads is a testament to the imagination and immense artistic talent of artists and authors. Below are photographs from the first reception for the exhibit at Cape Ann Museum January 5, 2019.

Courtesy photos from Ellen F. Kenny, Mass Center for the Book. Thank you for capturing the spirit of the reception at Cape Ann Museum! Mass Center for the Book Facebook [Folks featured in the big group shot from L-R: Anna Vojtech (Artist-Author), Claire Wyzenbeek (Artist-Author), Jean Woodbury (Author), Christina Ean Spangler (Artist), Maura Wadlinger (Author), Juni VanDyke (Artist), John Plunkett, Martha Geraghty ( Author), Barbara McLaughlin (Artist-Author)]


The Cape Ann Museum reception was beautiful. Everybody from the museum is so welcoming. The courtesy photos below document the start of the reception from Mayor Romeo Theken, Justine Vitale, and others. See Kim Smith’s photos from later in the afternoon¬†and from another visit here! We’re so grateful to have a record of this joyous time. The show continues at Cape Ann Museum through February 24 before traveling throughout Cape Ann in 2019.

Installation view Once Upon a Contest at Cape Ann Museum December 2018.jpg


View and/or print out the Once upon a contest selections from cape ann reads trifold brochure. It’s paginated at 6pp but can be assembled like so:

West Parish 5th grade class’s presentation of THE LORAX! Wednesday January 9th and Thursday January 10th at 7pm

Friends of West Parish Elementary School

January 2 at 6:30 PM

Attention West Parish Friends!

You are invited to attend the West Parish 5th grade class’s presentation of THE LORAX!

Tuesday January 8th, Wednesday January 9th and Thursday January 10th at 7pm at West Parish School.

The children have been working hard on this production for months and would love your support! All are welcome. There is a suggested donation of $5 per person. Special Lorax themed snacks will be available for purchase.

This production was made possible by the Gloucester Education Foundation. Please share!!


I am beyond excited that the first SoBowl has opened in Massachusetts and it just so happens to be in Beverly and super close to my office.

I feel in love with Acai Bowls this summer in Long Island so when I saw the sign for SoBowl’s grand opening in Beverly I went right away!

So delicious and a super cute vibe to sit for a little while.


Follow the link to read the menu and then be sure to visit their new Enon Street location in the Commodore Plaza.   

You can follow them on Facebook here as well. 

screen shot 2019-01-09 at 8.56.22 am


Art Haven New After School Classes

Cape Ann Community

This winter we have a new line-up of classes with old favorites and some fun new ones! Classes are offered as four-week sessions after school, at affordable prices. Sibling discounts and scholarships available.

Check out our workshops this winter and spring. Friday Art Night Parties, Slime and Special Art Making Workshops are a fun way for kids to spend a Friday evening with friends!

Register at


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Join Us for the 97th Annual Celebration

Cape Ann Community

beauportJoin us for the Cape Ann Chamber’s 97th Annual Celebration, where will say Hello to our new President, Bruce Feldman, of Gove and Feldman Insurance Inc., and say Good-bye to Patricia Slade, retired, Cricket Press.

January 26, 2019 | 6-11 PM
Beauport Hotel Gloucester | 55 Commercial Street, Gloucester
CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets.

The celebration will be held at the beautiful Beauport Hotel. The evening will start off with cocktails and socializing, then on to a very short program, dinner and ending with dancing to live music.

This year’s live music will feature favorite local 80s band: Safety! Join us on the dance floor for Bangles, Bowie, Blondie, Eurythmics, Kulture Klub, Go Go’s, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Prince, The Cure, Stacie Q., Devo, Talking Heads, The Pretenders, Michael Jackson, Depeche Mode… AND MORE OF YOUR FAVORITE HITS!


Silver Sponsors: Aberdeen Home Care, Inc; Endicott College
Supporting Sponsor: PrintLogic


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