Walking along the edge of the pond I heard a new-to-my-ears sound, an odd sort of mewing, repeated over and over again. What could that be? I snuck along as quiet as could be following the sound. To my amazement, it was a pair of Muskrats cavorting in the reeds, and they were courting and mating!!! You can just barely make out two together in the photo with the dense reeds, too dense to get a good photo, but not too dense to see what they were up to.


A female Muskrat is ready to breed at only one year of age. The breeding season lasts from March through August. A pair will mate while partially submerged, or on water-logged debris above the surface (where our little pair was mating). She may have 2-3 litters per year, with an average of 6 to 8 kits per litter.

Lest folks worry the pond will become overrun with Muskrats, they are a relatively short-lived mammal and have many, many predators including Snapping Turtles, large fish, Eastern Coyotes, Red and Gray Foxes, Weasels, River Otters, Bobcats, Great Horned Owls, and Northern Harriers. But their chief enemy are Minks and Raccoons.

For our reader’s general information, Muskrats are easy to distinguish from Beavers. They are about a tenth the size; Muskrats weigh 1 to 4 pounds whereas Beavers weighs 30 pounds or more. The muskrat’s tail is not large large and flat, but slender and elongated.


Big fat Beaver Tail

Slender Muskrat tail – above Muskrat image courtesy wiki commons media

Real progress on the Magnolia Pier, pretty Shore Road and a Stand Up Paddle boarder

On a beautiful Wednesday took a walk to to the beach.  There were many people out walking with proper distance.  The Pier looks great, Shore Road is so pretty and love the fact there was a paddle boarder off Kettle Island.  It does not take us hardy New England citizens to adapt as soon as the sun is out.  Beautiful day.


Stop by Brother’s Brew for their fabulous homemade world famous donuts, fresh coffee, and various other wonderful baked goods and sandwiches.

Brother’s Brew is located 27 Main Street




Annisquam Exchange Update


In light of the National State of Emergency, and the uncertain, evolving situation, consignor packet mailings, confirmation of an opening date and other seasonal activities are now on hold until further notice. Thank you for your understanding. Well wishes for health and safety to everyone over these trying times.

For updates visit: or email:



Sandra Williams




So very much missing Saint Joseph Day friends. I think it’s especially difficult for senior friends who look forward each year to ten days with loved ones. I sure missed seeing my “granny” that I’ve come to love while celebrating and honoring St. Joesph at the Groppo home.

Here’s a happy St. Joe story for you – When my husband and I were looking for a home to purchase in Gloucester we were in a terrible bind. We had to be out of a rental home suddenly and unexpectedly. I found what seemed like our dream home but then learned It had sold only days earlier. We heard the woman had perhaps purchased the house without the intention to live in it. We approached her and she said yes she would consider selling it to us, but then over the course of the next month, she raised the price three times. The house was wreck, a true fixer-upper, but still it had great bones and I was in love with it.

My friend Claudia gave me a Saint Joseph necklace with the instructions to pray to Saint Joseph and to bury the necklace in the ground of our dream house. Patron Saint of homes and carpenters and all workers, she said it would bring us luck.

All that time ago, and this beautiful old house has provided us with 24 years of joyous memories, and a place to call home. Happy Saint Joseph Day friends

The photos are in random order and also include a few snapshots from Ann Margaret Ferrante and Maria Cannova’s beautiful Saint Joseph altars. Click on the first photo to view slide show.


St. Joseph’s Day

I hope all who pray to St. Joseph are blessed today. Here’s a little acknowledgement that appeared in the Mar 18 1924 edition of the Gloucester Daily Times regarding St. Joseph’s Day.  I do not know why it was celebrated on March 18 that year, perhaps someone has a thought? Thinking of all the novena ladies today! Also, happy first day of spring to all!

St. Joseph's Day GDT Mar 18 1924