Pat writes:


We read with interest Kim Smith’s posting of the visiting Harp Seal on Good Morning Gloucester, Saturday evening. Anne-Lise and I had the good fortune of visiting the southernmost breeding area on her map, the pack ice in the outer Gulf of St. Lawrence. The birthing to weaning period is just 3 weeks annually at the end of February and beginning of March. We flew out by helicopter from Les Iles de la Madeleine, and – yes – we followed the strict instructions of our naturalist. We topped off the experience with some dogsledding to wind down.

Best, Pat Morss

What a magnificent gift to see and to share. Thank you so much Pat!

Winter repair is coming | new holes, cracks, and breaks along Long Beach seawall

separation_20190203_ Long Beach walkway Gloucester Rockport Mass© catherine ryan

Michael Cronin writes about upcoming seawall repairs_Gloucester Daily Times front page feb 2 2019

Town Begins to shore up Long Beach seawall, by Michael Cronin, Gloucester Daily Times


Long Beach view from Gloucester Mass side_BEFORE winter seawall repairs_more beach for staging this side of beach_20190203_© catherine ryan
JANUARY 2019 (BEFORE REPAIRS) Long Beach looking from Gloucester Mass side to Rockport- this edge of the beach has more tide to stage construction from. Construction crews will contend with tides as they did last year.

Plenty of prior GMG posts (search “Long Beach seawall”); here are a few:


Seawall damage coverage GMG post May 25, 2018


Magnolia Winter Wonder Marketplace Magnolia Library and Community Center

Sunday, February 10, 2019 at 11 AM

Join us for our annual Winter Market. A great chance to grab some local valentines gifts and shop small to beat the winter blues! Come on down to Magnolia Library from 11-3 and sample some local flavor from Agape Brew community while you browse the gifts and crafts and soaps and knitwear from local Artisans and creators.

The Magnolia Library is currently raising funds to remodel our bathroom and front entry way to become more handicap accessible to our guests. Proceeds from table fees and any donations collected at the event will directly benefit construction.

Magnolia Library and Community Center

1 Lexington Ave, Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930

Ken Hecht shares-Lobster Trap Tree coming down Super Bowl Sunday!

What goes up must come down!

My 100 year and 3 month old mother in law, Edna, is thrilled to be staying with us for a few days so she can watch this dedicated team do their precision disassembly. She was here for the assembly and lighting in December.

What a team! We are so lucky to have this dedicated group. So much joy for so many.

And don’t forget the Lobster Trap Christmas Tree fund raiser at the Cape Ann Brewery on March 14!!! As that date is the Thursday before St Patrick’s Day, we are going to have a little St Patty’s Day warm up bash along with some very interesting programming about the history of our beloved LOBSTER TRAP CHRISTMAS TREE, the best one on earth and getting better every year!

This was the 19th year and that means next year is the big 20!

Many thanks to everyone who contributes in so many ways to this grand tradition!



The Lobster Trap Tree is coming down Sunday.
If anyone is interested in purchasing the traps Please call the shop 978-281-2080 ASAP! They will have to be picked up at the Gloucester Police Station By 2/4/19 to receive TRAP TREE PRICES!!!!!

Gloucester Lookout

I am very lucky that my in-laws are truly gifted as well as a gift to me. Jim’s sister and her husband came for a visit last fall.  They are each artists in their own right and were quite taken with the beauty of Gloucester and Cape Ann. Lucky for me!


Linda Hartman recently shared her first mixed media work of 2019 and Gloucester comes shining through!

Gloucester Lookout

And here’s Gloucester Lookout next to the photo that inspired it:

Gloucester Lookout Inspiration

I love it! I’d also like to add a Happy Birthday shoutout to both Linda and Scott who are both celebrating a landmark birthday today! Looking forward to more Gloucester inspired artwork at their studio Hartman Studio 44



Very late in the afternoon, just as the sun was setting, the juvenile Harp Seal attempted to head back to sea. He began to scooch and wriggle toward the creek, pausing often to scratch and roll around in the sand. At one point he reversed direction and started back toward the dunes.

Just like Harbor Seals, Harp Seals have a tail, too.

After a few more false starts he made his way to the water. Before sliding in, he paused at the water’s edge to drink.

Nearly dead low tide, the water was not deep enough to swim. It was painful to watch him splash and undulate along on his belly in the shallows. He seemed to tire quickly and was very undecided about what to do next. We watched as the young seal made his way slowly around a sharp bend in the creek, then held our breaths as he made it all the way to the foot bridge.

But then he suddenly stopped, turned around, and swam back down the creek, nearly the whole length of the creek from where he had come. The young seal seemed confused and it was heartbreaking to see. When I left at sundown he was on the flats in the creek.

Good Harbor Beach resident and Piping Plover monitor Sue W. reports that he is still there at 7:15. We’re hoping he makes it out at low tide, which is at 10:11 tonight.

The young Harp Seal appeared very tired when I left the beach at around 5:30.

Many, many thanks to Jane Goodwin, neighbor and Good Morning Gloucester reader, for alerting us to the Harp Seal.

For turtle, seal, and all mammal strandings, please call NOAA at 866.755.6622. Thank you!

Update to the Update

I checked on the little guy at 5:30 this morning on my way out of town to photograph and didn’t see any sign of him, but it was pitch black. I checked again on my way home, around 11am, still no sign, and there did not appear to be any signs of a skirmish with a coyote. The tide was high and the water was up to the top of the creek bed. It would have been much easier for him to slip into the water last night and head back out to sea.

In response to Facebook comments that the location of the seal should not have been posted publicly: The initial post was shared in the evening, after dark, and would not have been posted if people had not been behaving thoughtfully and kindly toward the seal. I believe it is important for adults and children to share the shore with wildlife, to love and respect a wild creature’s boundaries, not hide the whereabouts of the animal. There are exceptions in the case of at risk endangered and threatened species. ❤

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