Henry N McCarl, retired geologist Replies To Jackie Bennett’s Question About This Rock Formation On The Back Shore

I wonder if anyone can help me with this rock formation on the Back Shore.  What is the black in the granite.  It looks like it was poured in.

The rock formation on the back shore looks like an intrusion of a molten rock that moved through cracks or zones of weakness in the Cape Ann Granite and cooled more rapidly to give a finer crystalline texture and it it called a dike – probably a basaltic dike and possibly nearly as old but definitely younger than the older granite which has been dated about 430 to 450 million years ago – 

            Henry N McCarl, retired geologist

Cape Ann symphony playbill for 2022-2023. Season Tix available now!

Heidi Dallin reveals the slate. Mark your calendar for some days and nights filled with great symphonic music!


Cape Ann Symphony Celebrates


Cape Ann Symphony proudly announces the launch of the orchestra’s 71st concert season on Sunday, October 2 at 2:00 PM at Manchester-Essex High School Auditorium.

“We are so thrilled to be able to perform a full season schedule of orchestra concerts…. the first since 2019!’ says Cape Ann Symphony Board President Fran White.  “After facing the challenges of the past two years, Cape Ann Symphony is stronger than ever due to the amazing support from the musicians, our Music Director, our tireless Board of Directors, our sponsors and donors, and finally, our loyal audiences!  We look forward to gathering again in  Manchester and Ipswich to celebrate the joy of music.”

The upcoming season features a celebration of three of the world’s preeminent composers, The Big Three: Mozart, Beethoven & Tchaikovsky and guest artist violinist Victor Romanul makes his CAS debut performing Tchaikovsky’s “unplayable” Violin Concerto to kick off the season in October 2022. The concerto was severely criticized and declared unplayable when it premiered. But audiences loved it and the concerto now is a mainstay of violin concertos. 

The Cape Ann Symphony Chorus performs with the orchestra in the annual Holiday Pops Concert in November 2022; the return of Blaise Dejardin, Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Principal Cellist in March 2023, and  the virtuoso pianist Michael Lewin to wrap up the season in May 2023.

Cape Ann Symphony Music Director and Conductor Udagawa is eager to open the CAS 71st Season, “The musicians of the Cape Ann Symphony and I are extremely excited about the upcoming 2022-23 Season. “Our goal is to present to you concerts of the highest artistic standards that are guided by an enthusiasm for learning, a passion for the joy of music and love of good old fashioned fun and humor. Looking forward to seeing you at our concerts!”

Cape Ann Symphony’s 71st concert season kicks off on Sunday, October 2 at 2:00 pm at the Manchester-Essex High School Auditorium on 36 Lincoln Street in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA with The Big Three: Mozart, Beethoven & Tchaikovsky. Season subscriptions for the four concert season are available to purchase. Single ticket prices are $45 for adults, $40 for senior citizens, $20 for students of any age with valid Student ID; $5 for youth 12 years old and under. For information, call 978-281-0543 or visit www.capeannsymphony.org


  • Performance: Sunday, October  2, 2022: 2:00 PM: Manchester-Essex High School, Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

Cape Ann Symphony kicks off the 71st season with three of  music’s most renown composers Mozart, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky and guest artist Victor Romanul performing Tchaikovsky’s “unplayable” Violin Concerto in his CAS debut. The program also includes Mozart’s Magic Flute and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.



  • Saturday, November 26, 2022: 2:00 PM Dolan Performing Arts Center, Ipswich High School. Ipswich,MA
  • Saturday, November 26, 2022: 7:30 PM Manchester-Essex High School, Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA
  • Sunday, November 27, 2022: 2:00 PM Manchester, Sunday, November 27, 2022: 2:00 PM Manchester-Essex High School, Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

The Holiday Pops Concert, Cape Ann Symphony’s joyful holiday tradition, features a program of holiday favorites The Cape Ann Symphony Chorus under the direction of Rockport’s Wendy Betts joins the orchestra for this exciting celebration of holiday music including the annual audience sing-along.


  • Performance: Sunday, March 19, 2023: 2:00 PM Manchester-Essex High School, Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

Cape Ann Symphony welcomes back Boston Symphony Orchestra Principal cellist Blaise Déjardin to play Dvorak’s Cello Concerto. Déjardin made his CAS debut in March 2017 with his acclaimed performance of Saint-Saens’ elegant Cello Concerto. The orchestra opens the concert with Brahms’ stirring Symphony No. 1 in c minor, a piece which he struggled with for 14 years to complete.  


  • Performance: Sunday, May 14, 2023: 2:00 PM Manchester-Essex High School, Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

The Colors of Music features legendary composers: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn, and Johannes Brahms and guest artist Grammy winning virtuoso pianist Michael Lewin. The internationally acclaimed pianist has played in over 30 countries and commands a repertoire of over 40 piano concertos. Mr. Lewin joins CAS to play Brahms’ powerful Piano Concerto No. 1. The concert also includes Mozart’s joyous Marriage of Figaro Overture and Haydn’s delightful Symphony No. 101 “Clock.”

Photo 1: Violinist Victor Romanul, Guest Artist for October 2 Concert; Courtesy Photo
Photo 2: Cellist Blaise Dejardin, Guest Artist for March 19 Concert; Courtesy Photo
Photo 3: Pianist Michael Lewin, Guest Artist for May 14 Concert; Photo Credit Liz Linder
Photo 4: CAS Music Director and Conductor Yoichi Udagawa

BlackBurn BrewFest

The organizers of the first ever Blackburn Brew Fest should be pretty proud. Such a great event that will no doubt get even better. Be sure to keep an eye out and plan around it next year. The live music was phenomenal. Over the Bridge played the whole time I was there and were fantastic as always. There were 27 local breweries for sampling (included in the price of admission) under two large tents and several food trucks along the perimeter. Several of the breweries were ones that I had heard of before, but there were many that were completely new to me. It was really great hearing them talk about their beers and the inspiration behind the flavors. Fun vibes along the waterfront in Gloucester’s Stage Fort Park made for a really fabulous afternoon.

Northern Lights Farmstand Has Hidden Treasures

Something about September weekends makes me want to go to the local farmstands and look at the available harvest. We were riding up 133 and decided to stop at Northern Lights Farmstand in Ipswich (243 High St) as we had not been there in a while. Marshalls, of course, is also great but this is the area we happened to be in. Jim went straight inside but I was drawn to the “pick your own” flower beds. Then I wandered around the flowers and the back parts of the area and found all sorts of delightful surprises: chickens, donkeys, Francesca the pig! It’s a great little stop especially for curious children and senior citizens.

The store is packed with fresh fruits, vegetables, breads and even Virgilios sauce. Not surprisingly, we took home more than we had intended to. There doesn’t seem to be a website or updated Facebook page but additional information can be found at this link. You won’t be sorry you stopped at this fun farmstand.