Much more common in my neighborhood are Gary Squirrels so it was a real treat for my daughter and I to see this little Red Squirrel on a recent walk at Halibut Point. He scampered over a quarry pool frozen with thick ice and then retrieved from a midden, hidden in a jumble of granite rocks, a sprig of what appeared to be Bayberry. The little fellow then proceeded to devour both the fruits and twig before retreating deeper into the wood.

Red Squirrels eat a wide range of foods including seeds, bark, nuts, insects, fruits, mushrooms, maple tree sap, and pine seeds and pine cones. Occasionally, Red Squirrels also eat young birds, mice, and rabbits. And as we can see from the photos, Bayberry fruits and twigs.

Going, going, gone

Bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica) is a wonderfully easy native plant that doesn’t mind salt, compacted soil, and is both heat tolerant and very tolerant of flooding. The waxy winter fruits of Bayberry are eaten by myriad bird species including Tree Swallows, Chickadees, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Gray Catbirds, and Eastern Bluebirds. The wax coated fruits are high in fat, making them a great source of energy for migrating birds such as Cedar Waxwings and Yellow-rumped Warblers. Bayberry thickets also provide excellent nesting habitat for songbirds, offering protection from raccoons and other nest predators.


Find out why Dr. Brian Orr, Gloucester pediatrician and President of the Backyard Growers’ Board of Directors, believes in the power of learning to grow your own food.

“Hi, I’m Brian Orr. I’m a pediatrician in Gloucester, and I’ve been here for close to twenty years. I’ve been taking care of young kids and asking them a lot about whether they eat their vegetables. And, to much frustration on my part, a lot of times kids say they don’t eat their vegetables, or question my question, or wonder what a vegetable is.

And so, over time, I’ve become part of Backyard Growers. I’m now President of the Board. I’ve seen what they do for kids in the schools, in their homes, and at their gardens. I see that kids actually see vegetables growing, learn what vegetables are, and, to, my great pleasure, I now hear answers from kids saying that, ‘yeah, I know Backyard Growers, yeah, I eat my vegetables.’ And they can even name some vegetables that they eat.

I think that Backyard Growers does a great job educating our kids as to what healthy eating really is. It’s a great thing for kids to be a part of. If you’re interested in supporting them, check out”



Friend Elise Smith writes,


Come on by Alprilla Farm (94 John Wise Ave. Essex, MA) this Saturday for a Pop Up Farm Stand!

10 am – 1pm

The pop up will be down in the greenhouse at Alprilla farm. There is parking right as you pull in the driveway, it is just a short walk past the barn to the greenhouse.

Alprilla will have lots of goodies to sell: roots, potatoes, squash, alliums, fresh milled grains, beans, ground beef and tomato sauce. They will also have kraut from Pigeon Cove Ferments. Chris from Grant Family Farm in Essex will be there with fresh eggs and chicken.

Tucker and I will be there with a bunch of fresh picked greens including spinach, arugula, Cape Ann mix and baby chard.

We look forward to seeing you! Hope the winter has been good and the holidays enjoyable!

All the best,
Elise and Tucker
Cedar Rock Gardens


Jon Sarkin featured in three person art exhibition at Princeton | opening reception January 4, 2020

JON SARKIN artist studio_37 Main Street Gloucester Mass_historic west end across from Caffe Sicilia_2017_©c ryan
streetscape, west end Main Street, Gloucester Mass, Jon Sarkin Fish City Studios 2017

PRESS RELEASE from The Arts Council of Princeton:

Three Individuals Who Became Artists By Chance to be the Focus of  
“Inside Out…When Worlds Collide” An Exhibition at the Arts Council of Princeton January 4 through February 22

Princeton, NJ – The Arts Council of Princeton will present “Inside Out…When Worlds Collide,” an exhibition of works by three individuals who became artists by chance. The exhibit will be on display in the Arts Council’s Taplin Gallery, from January 4 through February 22, 2020. (website here)

Join us on Saturday, January 4 from 2-3PM when the three artists will be creating works of art while the public can watch prior to the Opening Reception to be held from 3-5PM.

Becoming an artist was not the initial intention for Jon Sarkin, Jennifer Levine, or Kenneth Lewis Sr. Through distinct circumstances, art and the need to create became the driving force in their lives. Despite receiving no formal training, these artists are consumed in the process. Their work conveys joy and frustration and questions life on the canvas. It is out of the ordinary, provocative, imaginative, and even obsessive-compulsive.

According to co-curators Ruthann Taylor and Colette Royal, “The show addresses the power of self-taught artistic talent and the drive of the human spirit to create.”

Meet These Extraordinary Artists

Jon Sarkin, of Gloucester, MA, was working as a chiropractor when he suffered a massive stroke one hot day in 1988. He felt a throbbing, excruciating pain in his head and heard a ringing in his ears. After surgery, his brain began to swell and bleed. When Sarkin woke up, he was a completely different man. After the critical phase of the stroke passed, Sarkin began to have a ferocious need to draw and paint. The stroke, says Sarkin, “made art my top priority in life. It made it more important than just about anything.” Sarkin is the subject of the book Shadows Bright as Glass, which traces his journey from doctor to manically-compulsive artist. website here:

Jennifer Levine, of Montclair, NJ,  started painting at age 40 when she was going through a divorce. “I had no experience, but needed something to hold onto as I faced the ordeal. I read Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and it led me through a process that ultimately changed my life in the most profound and wonderful way. Through drawing and painting, I was able to unearth the depth of my being and find a way to express myself that served others,” says Levine. “Now I paint because I love the process – the feel of the paints and the brush on the canvas. I love the unknown magical alchemy of going from nothing to something. I like discovering the images that appear on the canvas I like how people react and get nurtured or informed or uplifted by the pieces.”

Kenneth J. Lewis, Sr., of Trenton, NJ,  is a self-instructed artist who began painting on canvas at the unusual age of 47 years. Kenneth has a spiritual relationship and deep sensitivity for what he produces. On New Year’s Day 2008, Kenneth painted his first piece; he called it “Contemplation”. It was an inner reflective painting as he sat home contemplating his future after 24 years of marriage. He quickly learned he had a very raw and latent gift that could no longer be held back. Lewis painted more as a hobby from 2008 until the death of his mother in 2012. His mother could draw, yet she never attempted to embrace or further explore her talent. He knew that he had to create, not only for himself, but also for his late mother, and for generations that follow. Since that time Lewis has created enormous collections of work. To date he has hosted/curated over 30 group shows, 22 solo shows, and participated in many group shows. He is the curator for Starbucks Trenton.

About the Arts Council of Princeton

The Arts Council of Princeton is located in the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, 102 Witherspoon Street in Princeton, NJ. For more information, please visit or call (609) 924-8777.

The Arts Council of Princeton, founded in 1967, fulfills its mission of Building Community through the Arts by presenting a wide range of programs including community arts outreach, exhibitions, performances, free community cultural events, and studio-based classes and workshops in a wide range of media. Housed in the landmark Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, Arts Council of Princeton programs are designed to be high-quality, engaging, affordable and accessible for the diverse population of the greater Princeton region.  Visit for more information.

*The press release included two photos of Jennifer Levine and Kenneth Lewis works.

Jack Evans art show opening Saturday January 4th Jane Deering Gallery

JEvans . Blues So Bad 2018 . oil based enamel on canvas . 48x36 inchesmed

PRESS RELEASE from Jane Deering Gallery 917-902-4359
Jane Deering Gallery presents Jack Evans | AS IS opening Saturday January 4th, 2020 with a reception from 3:00 – 6:00pm at 19 Pleasant Street, Gloucester MA.  AS IS is a selection of new paintings and prints by Gloucester’s well-known Jack Evans, owner of Mystery Train Records and respected poet. Evans, self-taught painter, fell in love with the paintings of the 20th-Century abstract expressionists and developed a style influenced by the energy and improvisation of those giants — Kline, De Kooning, Pollock et al.  Evans’ passion for art and his  tireless commitment to study and exploration is impressive. The exhibition continues through January 31st.  Gallery hours: Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 1-5pm and by appointment.


Come on down to the Beverly Franco-American Club Saturday night December 28th and enjoy the Jukebox Hits of The Jantelles. You will be glad you crossed the bridge for a fun night of dancing to the hits of your youth.

Beverly Franco-American Club. 44 Park Street. Beverly, MA. Saturday December 28th, 8-12 PM

JAZZ BRUNCH: Jose Allende at Feather and Wedge!


Feather & Wedge is delighted to feature Jose Allende for this week’s Jazz Brunch. Allende delivers a captivating mix of jazz standards and Latin American music featuring improvisation, South American rhythms and classical music influences.

Reservations highly suggested!  978.999.5917

Sunday, December 29
10:30 AM – 2:30 PM

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

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