August is Festival Month on Cape Ann!

August is Festival Month on Cape Ann!  Did you know that the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce organizes the following fun events?

  • August 3 – Festival By the Sea in Manchester
  • August 10 – Gloucester Block Party
  • August 18 – 39th Annual Gloucester Waterfront Festival
  • August 30 – Gloucester Block Party




Schools of pogies makes for fat happy whales – back and forth, from roughly Good Harbor Beach to Brace Cove, the whales were following a school of pogies this morning at sunrise.

Sorry the photo is so out of focus, but at least it helps us see what species. I think this is a Humpback based on its white pectoral fin but hopefully one of our expert whale loving readers will chime in and let us know for sure. Thank you!

Humpback Whale and calf photo courtesy Marine Mammal Research Program


HORRAY FOR THIS BANNER SUMMER OF MONARCHS!!!! I hope it translates to a great migration this fall 🙂

I went to my garden to gather a sprig of milkweed to feed a single caterpillar. I checked the leaves for eggs and didn’t see any. A few days later I had dozens of teeny weeny caterpillars munching away on the sprig. The Mama Monarch laid her eggs all around the milkweed buds and it’s nearly impossible to see eggs on buds.

Keep your eyes peeled for eggs on the leaves, and also on the flower buds of your milkweed plants, especially Marsh Milkweed.

Monarch waking up in the Joe-pye wildflower.

“Kaboom” J. Schneider submits- Postcards from the Edge… of Summer Vacation Part 2

As a kid, a rainy summer day in Gloucester in the 1960s meant a movie at the theater on Main Street, Candle Pin Bowling by the dreaded rotary, a museum, or arts and crafts at home with WSBK on the TV as background noise. When it came to arts and crafts, it was a mix of writing and addressing postcards my mother insisted my sister and I send to friends and relatives before school started in the fall, and my weird, creative, warped mind screwing with those postcards. My mother blamed it on MAD Magazine, which is why I read it. Years later I would work for MAD, so there you go, mom!


Decades before the computer, email or Photoshop, I would sit and cut out pictures from magazines and newspapers, then using gobs of Elmer’s Glue to paste them onto the postcards. Each one a piece of art. No longer would I hear how anyone got the same postcard, and considering there were only six different postcards available at Mal’s (then Ame’s, now a giant Stop& Shop), it was quite an accomplishment.


During the 1980s I was able to make color copies of postcards I was still defacing. I now have folders full of them, from cities around the country, but Gloucester will always be my favorite place to make the recipients wonder if the town is a little too weird.


“Kaboom” J. Schneider

Rockport Gallery Celebrates Five Years: Illuminations Weekend

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When Rockport artist David Arsenault and his wife, Rev. Sue Koehler-Arsenault, opened a gallery in March 2015, they felt like they were in an ideal place to share his light-filled, colorful work. Now in their fifth year and at a location just 200 yards away from the first, it appears as if they were right.

In the half-decade since Arsenault sold his first Cape Ann oil painting, the Old Garden Road-inspired “Swaying in Time”, he and his wife have not only sold over 1100 works of art, but they have become active contributors to the Cape Ann community.

“It was important to us when we opened the gallery to do two things: to be able to help support local non-profits and to make David’s work accessible to people across many income levels,” says his wife, Sue. “We both feel so fortunate to live here on Cape Ann. Every day we are aware of the beauty that surrounds us and feel grateful to be part of such a supportive art community. We have made so many friends here and have been delighted to meet people who come to Rockport from all over the world.”

To celebrate their success since opening, the Arsenaults will host a 5th Anniversary Party over Illuminations Weekend on Friday, Aug. 9th from 5-8 p.m. at their 8 Dock Square gallery in Rockport.  Local favorites Jace Mason and Rhiannon Hurst will entertain guests with jazz guitar and vocals. And a 24” x 18” canvas giclee print of Arsenault’s latest Motif painting, “Mirror Motif” will be raffled in support of the Open Door, the same non-profit they supported during their Grand Opening Celebration in 2014. Raffle tickets may be purchased at the gallery or online at

The gallery has supported dozens of non-profits, ranging from the Open Door to Rockport Illuminations to the First Congregational Church of Rockport’s Steeple Fund to the Thacher Island Association to Senior Care, raising thousands of dollars.

After working 20 years in his private upstate New York studio, Arsenault shares “When we first opened the doors, I wondered what it would be like to try to paint while also welcoming guests. Now I sit right in the front window! What I learned is that when people see some of their favorite Rockport and Gloucester places depicted in my artwork, they come in and open up to share favorite memories and thoughts and feelings about themselves and Cape Ann. It’s a privilege to experience people reflecting on their lives simply because they connect with something they see or feel in my art. Since opening the gallery, I’ve met thousands of fascinating people and had some of the most interesting conversations of my life here. It’s been more fun than I ever imagined.”

Like many artists who have called Cape Ann home or visited, Arsenault ultimately felt compelled to try his hand at painting the iconic Motif No.1.  “It is has been painted so often and by so many of the greats. I wondered how I could approach it in a way that I had not seen done before.” His first Motif painting, entitled “Center of Attention” achieved his goal.  The oil painting was acquired by local collectors, and Arsenault has now sold over two hundred canvas giclée prints of the image as well. When Rockport innkeepers decided to publish a cookbook, “Center of Attention” was chosen for the cover.

Since that first Motif painting, Arsenault has decided to paint a different view of the Motif each year. His second Motif painting, “Taking the Other Side” (2016) was featured on the poster for the 2017 Motif No.1 Day Festival. Other Motif paintings have included “SuperMoon and Motif” (2017), “Christmas Motif” (2018) and his most recent, “Mirror Motif” (2019). Why keep painting it? “What I intend to do is continue to discover meaning and beauty in something so familiar—and beloved—by so many. It will keep me growing as a human being who’s also an artist and observer of the world I live in and love. The truth is, if an artist can’t find inspiration on Cape Ann, even in the ordinary, then you won’t see it anywhere.”

Looking back over the last five years, Arsenault notes a number of  highlights: “Being juried into the Rockport Art Association the first year I applied…A visit from (and art sold to) Grammy-winning singer Sam Smith…Watching the Christmas Tree lighting and Declaration of Independence reading outside my gallery…Meeting and making friends with so many quality people. More than anything, the joy of knowing that an individual has come in to see my work, made a personal connection to something I created, and is willing to invest their money—whether twenty dollars or ten thousand dollars—to bring it home is a feeling I can’t quite explain. It’s a blessing I hope to experience for the rest of my life.”


September 1st Degree Reiki Training: 15 CE’s for Nurses, Case Managers and Social Workers

Cape Ann Wellness

Begin Your Reiki Journey With Thorough, Supportive Training Steeped in Japanese Tradition

First Degree/Shoden (Beginning Teaching)2 day, 15-hour training.**

When: Saturday, Sunday. September 21 and 22

Where: Peabody MA

No pre-requisite necessary. Come with an open-mind and open-heart!

Contact Us for Details and to Register – 978-283-4258 or Email:

Usui Reiki Ryoho – a Japanese Healing Art/Method that originated in 1922 with Founder USUI Mikao Sensei of Japan. Komyo Reiki System: A Keep It Simple system of reiki as taught by Buddhist monk INAMOTO Hyakuten Sensei, based on Japanese aesthetic – Less is More.

Learn Reiki (ray-kee) in this traditional apprentice-style training. Class is offered in beautiful, peaceful settings surrounded by nature. Includes instruction, discussion, practice, meditation, attunements (Reiju,) manual, ongoing mentoring and much more. Learn the history of Reiki Ryoho, techniques for self-reiki and self-care, potential benefits and use of reiki, reiki research, ethics…

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Front page news| Sawyer Free Library features Once Upon A Contest children’s picture books

Photos courtesy Sawyer Free Library ©J Vitale



Gloucester Daily Times tremendous support for arts and library coverage is a big community builder.

Read Gloucester Daily Times article, “Cape Ann Reads Show Moves to Sawyer Free library”, by Caroline Enos here


glouc sfl postcard final 4 x 6




Congratulations, Sandy Bay Yacht Club Race Team

Fourteen members of the Sandy Bay Yacht Club’s Race Team,  along with some phenomenal coaches, and spectator parents spent the weekend down in Duxbury at the Duxbury Bay Junior Olympic Sailing Regatta for two days of racing.

At the end of two competitive days, Sandy Bay had a team of 420 sailors who took home 2nd Place in a big fleet of boats. Congratulations to Ian McCaffrey and Katy Benagh!   Wyatt Wilkinson walked away with a huge Opti Champ Fleet 1st Place win in his division out of a group of more than 20 boats and 2nd Place overall in a group of more than thirty competitors.  Finn Schrafft ended the weekend in 1st Place overall from a group of 21 Opti Green Fleet racers.  Actually, in addition to Finn’s win, all SBYC’s Green (1st year racers) fleet landed in the top 8 positions when the weekend was over.

Great sailing from all 14 of the team’s members this weekend and a ton of fun!  Sandy Bay definitely made a big impression down there and we have great coaching and a great club to thank for that!


Live Music Featuring Headlands at Feather and Wedge!


Headlands, featuring John Rockwell, Amy Rich and Eric Wilson, all of Rockport, return to Feather & Wedge this Thursday for an evening of entertainment and great food. Their set list includes selections from Roots and Americana to a little bit of Country. Reservations highly suggested! 978.999.5917

Tuesday, Aug 6
7:30 PM – 10:00 PM

headlands at feather and wedge

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

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