Daily I have been checking and this afternoon we were overjoyed to see two foraging at low tide at Good Harbor Beach. They were super hungry, looking for food non-stop at the sand bar and in the water.

The PiPls are three days ahead of last year. Each spring they have been arriving earlier and earlier.

The Piping Plovers annual return is an event that I and many others have come to look forward to. Especially this year, not only because they are a sign of hope and renewal during the extremely challenging times we are experiencing but because of the hurricane that destroyed much of their Bahamian habitat last autumn.

Thanks to our amazing crew of volunteers, Essex Greenbelt’s Dave Rimmer, Gloucester’s DPW, Gloucester City Council, and to all our Piping Plover friends, three chicks successfully fledged at Good Harbor Beach last summer. Let’s stay positive for another fantastic year with our PiPl family!


Hard to miss in the wintertime both at Crane Beach and at Plum Island are the layers and swirls of pink and purple sand. On a recent visit to Revere Beach I noticed there were also rivulets of pink and purple sands.

The pink and purple are mineral deposits of rose quart and garnet and come to north of Boston beaches via the White Mountains. Water and wind worn rock is carried in river waters until it meets the ocean and becomes deposited on barrier beaches. We mostly see the garnet and quartz deposits in winter as storms erode the dunes, leaving the heavier minerals exposed. During the spring and summer, the lighter white quartz sand blows back over the dunes and covers the heavier sand.

JEOL is a supplier of electron microscopes, ion beam instruments, mass spectrometers and NMR spectrometers. On a visit to Plum Island looking for Snowy Owls, several JEOL employees found purple sand. They analyzed it using an optical microscope, a scanning electron microscopes (SEM) and an energy dispersive X-Ray spectrometer (EDS).


At first look under the optical microscope, the granules of sand appeared like scattered jewels of many colors; predominantly glassy pink angular grains, with smaller quantities of milky white rounded grains, clear angular grains, black grains (some magnetic and some not), and even the occasional green.


What could be the cause of the purple color? The answer was one that came as no surprise to the scientist, but was exciting for the beach walkers because they had an exact answer to a question that no doubt is one that many people have when they visit Plum Island – which was actually named for its beach plum bushes, not the plum-colored sand.

When large amounts of fine grained pink is intermixed with a smaller number of darker grains and dampened by rain or sea water the human eye will “see” the sand as a much darker pink to almost purple. The two most common pink minerals are rose quartz (while quartz is one of the two most common minerals on earth, the pink rose quartz variety is not so common ,especially in the New England geology, and is found only in a few isolated pegmatite deposits in NH & southern Maine which are where most gemstones originate) and the solid solution series of almandine and pyrope garnet which is also a very common mineral (and is quite common in the Seacoast area from the abundance of metamorphic rocks called mica schist and from contact metamorphism. This is also why many commercial sandpaper products have a pink color as the angular hard gains of almandine / pyrope garnet are the perfect abrasive. The most likely candidates for the white and clear are any of the feldspars and or quartz. The green is most likely epidote. Just based on the optical examination these are no more than educated logical guesses (but still guesses).

Vern Robertson, JEOL’s SEM Technical Sales Manager, originally examined the grains under a low power optical stereo microscope with the above conclusions. In addition to providing technical and scientific support to JEOL SEM customers for a multitude of applications, Vern holds a degree in Geology. After a cursory look optically, it was time to get down to some spectroscopic analysis to determine the actual mineral species present in the sand.

Individual grains of various colors were selected and mounted for examination with the JSM-6010LA+ InTouchScope SEM and for analysis using EDS. The SEM allows much higher magnification imaging with greater depth of field than a traditional OM and the low vacuum capability allows examination of the sample without the traditional conductive coating that needs to be applied for SEM imaging. However, it generates images in only black & white (electrons have no color!). One specialized detector in the SEM, the Backscatter Electron Detector, yields images with the gray level intensity directly proportional to the average atomic number (or density). This means that minerals containing only lighter elements like O, Si are darker in appearance to minerals that contain heavier elements like Fe or any of the metallic or rare earth elements.

Once located, each grain can be analyzed with the EDS. When an electron beam hits a sample it creates not only an image from the emitted electrons but creates X-rays, which when collected in a spectrum, indicate what elements are present and at what concentrations. This allows not only the elemental composition of the individual grains to be determined but the concentrations can be compared to known stoichiometry of the suspected mineral grains. The combination of color and magnetic properties from OM examination and the chemical makeup of the individual grains yield the answer.

The purple color (or more appropriately, pink color) comes from the abundance of almandine-pyrope garnet with a nominal solid solution composition of Fe3+2Al2Si3O12 to Mg3+2Al2Si3O12. As expected, the white grains are a mix of feldspars but mostly K-feldspar (potassium alumino-silicates) and quartz SiO2. The black nonmagnetic grains were a mix of a pyroxene called augite which showed its characteristic strong cleavage, (Ca,Na)(Mg,Fe,Al)(Si,Al)2O6 , and a mix of ilmenite FeTiO3 and hematite Fe2O3 which are the magnetic components. The green was confirmed to be epidote Ca2(Al,Fe)3(SiO4) 3(OH). With the exception of the high concentration of garnets the rest are common minerals one would expect to find in sands.




Streaming Nia and Restorative Yoga Classes via Zoom with Linda All Free!

Cape Ann Wellness

nia flyer shout out broadwayIMG_5059

Current routine will be our homage to Broadway.  You can be a Broadway diva in your living room.  No critics, whew!

Last Thursday’s test went pretty  well.  I did get a new cord so I’m hoping the music will be of better quality.  It did in a test session yesterday, but you never know!

So here is how it works.  It will be easier for you if you download the Zoom client for meetings for a desktop or laptop, or the app for phones and tablets.

Click here for the link to download the client or the app

Then click on this link which takes you to my web site and a list of the week’s classes

Click on the right class link.  Otherwise you will be all alone!

If you have downloaded the client/app, the meeting will open automatically in that interface.

If you have not downloaded the app/client…

View original post 220 more words

Live GloucesterCast 390, With Scottie Mac, Chris and Connor McCarthy and Joey Ciaramitaro 3/22/20

GloucesterCast 390, With Scottie Mac, Chris and Connor McCarthy and Joey Ciaramitaro 3/22/20

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When you subscribe you need to verify your email address so they know we’re not sending you spam and that you want to receive the podcast or GMG in your email.  So once you subscribe check your email for that verification. If you don’t see it, check your spam folder in your email acct so you can verify that you’d like to get them via email subscription.

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Topics Include:
Kenny Rogers Dies at 81 (not of coronavirus)

Governor Charlie Baker today activated the Massachusetts National Guard to support the Commonwealth’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, representing a significant addition of supply chain resources available to the Commonwealth and its residents.

Governor Baker’s order authorizes activation of up to 2,000 National Guard members across the Commonwealth, who will be tasked with supporting requests from state agencies for equipment, logistics, warehousing, and related duties. Local cities, towns, and state agencies should submit requests for support through the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

Delivery Shark

Savour Wine and Cheese

Home DeliveryGuidelines to Place Your Order

-Call – (978) 282. 1455, Tues. -Sat., during business hours.

-Call – (312) 286. 1924,  Sundays & Mondays,

-email: kathleen@savourwineandcheese.com …anytime.

We have all your recent purchases on our database for reference, and I can select wines for you, please ask.      

>Free Delivery (Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester, Magnolia and Essex).

>Minimum Purchase of $50 includes: wine, beer, cheese, charcuterie, pantry item, bread, snacks… everything Savor.

>Require a person 21yrs to receive order & please provide recipient’s phone # to confirm delivery time.


New Orleans

Baker-Polito Administration Activates Massachusetts National Guard to Support COVID-19 Response

national guard pr.png

Governor Charlie Baker today activated the Massachusetts National Guard to support the Commonwealth’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, representing a significant addition of supply chain resources available to the Commonwealth and its residents.

Governor Baker’s order authorizes activation of up to 2,000 National Guard members across the Commonwealth, who will be tasked with supporting requests from state agencies for equipment, logistics, warehousing, and related duties. Local cities, towns, and state agencies should submit requests for support through the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

“Activating the National Guard will help support our Administration’s efforts to keep residents safe and secure during the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The expertise of the Massachusetts National Guard will benefit our communities with logistical support and other assistance as we continue to respond to this crisis.”

Life Going On

It has been hard for me in recent days to determine what tone to take with these posts. For myself, one minute I am panic planning and preparing. The next minute I feel pretty confident knowing I am doing my part along with so many others and that this will not last forever. I expect it is the same for many of you.

Many of you follow us from afar, longing to see familiar sights and hear what’s new. I’m not going to tell you anything new here today, but we took our daily ride-around and noticed a few things.  Mostly, we noticed “life going on”. Lots and lots of people were out on the beautiful sunny day, but perhaps that was because so many normal inside locations are not available. It was Saturday, but does that matter now? Tough to look at empty municipal lots……heartwarming to see kids playing in the sand……gratifying to see groups of people respecting distance recommendations. It’s life as we know it now. It’s life going on. Here are some shots from our ride today showing this for those who need to see it. Stay well.


Beauport Hotel to Close Temporarily

An email notification I received this morning Mar 22


To Our Guests,

With an abundance of caution and in the best interest of our employees, their families and our guests, in recent hours we’ve decided to pause all operations at Beauport Hotel Gloucester, this evening through April 5th, 2020. At this current time, we plan to accept room reservations for arrivals beginning April 6th, 2020 and beyond. This timeline may be adjusted as we continue to assess the situation daily. We do look forward to reopening and welcoming guests just as soon as we feel it is safe to do so. Our reservations team is ready and available to assist you with future plans – please contact our team at info@beauporthotel.com.

Our Weddings and Events Teams remain fully available for future bookings and planning – we’re your virtual wedding planners! Pease contact us at events@beauporthotel.com for all questions and interests. While in-person visits aren’t available at this time, we’ll be doing virtual site tours, video conferencing and more, working closely with clients to plan future celebrations and events.

We’ll still be (happily!) taking overnight stay reservations for this Spring, Summer and beyond, and we hope you’ll continue with your plans to join us – something to look forward to.

We wish you health, safety and positivity during the time. Look toward enjoying the Beauport deck in the sunshine, relaxing in the lobby lounge, and taking in the BirdsEye Rooftop ocean views, very soon. Please stay tuned for news on our reopening.


Ray Johnston & Lauren Johnston

Managing Directors

City of Gloucester Coronavirus Advisory -Number of actions in place to prevent community transmission

City of Gloucester Coronavirus Advisory


-Number of actions in place to prevent community transmission

-Local officials urge social distancing to slow the spread of the virus

GLOUCESTER, Mass. (March 21, 2020) – Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and the City of Gloucester’s COVID-19 Response Team have taken significant unprecedented precautionary measures to limit person-to-person contact and to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). As of this morning, Saturday, March 21, 2020, there are 3 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the City of Gloucester.

This is not an unexpected development and our local health officials have been preparing for this scenario.  The number of cases in Massachusetts, and Essex County, increase daily and the City expects this number to rise as testing becomes more widely available.

Once notified, the City’s Health Department began their investigation which includes tracing back these individuals’ recent contacts.  If you have not been contacted by the Gloucester Board of Health (BOH), you are not considered a contact of any of these cases.

At this time, all individuals are recovering at home and following the recommended isolation protocols.  The Gloucester Health Department will be in regular contact with these individuals to monitor their status and condition.

City of Gloucester Public Health Director Karin Carroll said, “We’ve seen a spike in cases in Massachusetts and across the nation.  The Gloucester BOH and the City of Gloucester have been preparing for the last several weeks for the arrival of COVID-19 in our community. The City has been at the forefront on planning for this outbreak and has taken appropriate steps to adapt to the situation.”

In consultation with Gloucester’s BOH, Mayor Romeo Theken has taken a number of actions in the interest of public health and safety and to prevent community transmission of coronavirus, including:

·         Closed all Gloucester Publics Schools before the state mandate;

·         Closed all municipals buildings to the public;

·         Declared a State of Emergency in the City of Gloucester to implement broad emergency measures to ensure public health and safety;

·         Ordered the closure of all City playgrounds; and

·         Earlier today issued an emergency order for all personal care businesses in the city to close by 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 22.  Personal care business include, but are not limited to:  hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, day spas, message and body work establishments, tattoo, piercing and body art establishments, aesthetics establishments, tanning salons, gyms and fitness centers.


The City’s COVID-19 Response Team continue to work closely and meet regularly to discuss the latest guidance and determine the actions needed to keep the City prepared as the situation continues to evolve.  Mayor Romeo Theken is being briefed daily to coordinate efforts across City departments. The Mayor and City officials are also joining daily briefings with state and federal officials to coordinate containment strategies regionally while at the same time prioritizing public communication and ensuring critical continuity of City operations.


According to the CDC, symptoms of the virus appear within 2-14 days of exposure. The DPH reports that symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath and pneumonia in severe cases.  Anyone who displays symptoms of COVID-19 are advised to contact their primary care physician.

Mayor Romeo Theken said, “We are relying on you, our residents, to help us slow the spread of the virus in our community.  This is a very fluid situation with many fast moving developments.  Everyone in Gloucester needs to follow all the local and state guidelines and recommendations.  Please check in on your family, neighbors and friends – especially seniors.  We all have a responsibility to do our part to keep each other and our City safe.”


The Gloucester Health Department and the Mayor’s Office encourage the following precautions to prevent infectious diseases from spreading:

·         Wash your hands frequently, with soap and water, for a minimum of 20 seconds;

·         If you are sick, stay home to protect others;

·         Using proper techniques when coughing or sneezing;

·         Avoiding touching your face;

·         Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily;

·         Practice social distancing (remain at least 6-foot distance between others); and

·         Restrict all social interactions to essential activities, such as getting food, medicine and gas.


Mayor Romeo Theken said, “Our City has always pulled together during difficult and trying times.  The thoughts of the entire community are with the affected individuals and their families.  Together we will all get through this.”


For more information about COVID-19, call 2-1-1 from any landline or cellphone, visit the City’s website www.gloucester-ma.gov, the state’s website www.mass.gov, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website www.cdc.gov .