Dogtown: A Cross Between Easter Island and Stonehenge

We took advantage of Cape Ann Museum’s guided “Historic Dogtown: A Walk Back in Time” last Friday and it was aptly named. About a dozen ticket holders met up with 4 guides (Monica, Roasalie, Beth and Suellen) at the Dogtown Road parking lot for a 2 hour walking tour filled with stories and tidbits about the past inhabitants, history and homes. In its heyday, Dogtown was not considered prosperous but it was at least respectable for a time. But then it began to deteriorate and fade as the times and economy changed. Most striking to me was that the area had once been mostly cleared of trees and wild vegetation to make way for the farms. Now we all know it is full of trees and overgrowth. One of the artist-poets drawn to the beauty described it as a cross between Easter Island and Stonehenge. That seemed an appropriate description.

It’s a long walk with several stops along the way and the path is relatively easy to navigate. I would strongly recommend bug spray however. Other opportunities for this walk are upcoming and you might want to consider going for a very enlightening tour. The guides are well prepared and informative AND a very useful map is shared. Check out this and other Cape Ann Museum events here.

Satur-Sail-Day Aboard the Thomas E. Lannon

We took family visitors aboard the Thomas E. Lannon Schooner for a sail last Saturday. Even though the skies were a little cloudy and grey, it was another wonderful experience with Capt Heath Ellis and the crew. There was a small incident with an inexperienced boat crew at the dock as we were returning, but the crew handled it professionally and calmly so we felt very safe. The season will be coming to a close very soon (mid October) and we still have some great weather days coming up so give some consideration to a sail! Kids (to age 16) free with paying adult on Saturdays! Tickets and information here.

Craft Fair on Commercial Street Today!

If you are like me, you have started to think about the holidays with the potential of “supply chain delay” effects on your shopping. No issues with such delays when you shop local and at a craft fair such as the one being held today Saturday 10 AM – 3 PM at 44 Commercial Street (kind of behind Mom’s Kitchen). Stop down and say hi. I have a couple of gift baskets like this one ready for you! Also, notecards, prints, puzzles and other items featuring local scenes. Pat D’s Photos is ready to help with your holiday plans!

Lobstermen Mural on Pigeon Cove

In case you were wondering about these signs in Rockport directing you to the Lobstermen Tribute Memorial , here you go. We followed our noses and found this lovely little bright spot on Pigeon Cove decorated with lobster buoys and water scenes as done by 4 children of lobstermen under the guidance of artist Leslie Heffron. Financial support was provided by an Awesome Rockport grant of $1000 for Robert Morris IV, Alysa Morris, Ben Morris, Cayla Place and Aaden DeLeon Job to work with Leslie Heffron at the beginning of the summer to create this tribute. More information can be found in the Fall 2021 Cape Ann Magazine. Well done by all! If you’re driving by Pigeon Cove, take a closer look.

Pat D’s Photos Will be at the Cape Ann Timebank Artisan Market Saturday

I will be one of the vendors at the Cape Ann Time Bank Artisan Market this Saturday Sept 25 at 44 Commercial Street from 10 AM to 3 PM. Hope to see you there where I will be offering notecards, puzzles, prints and gift baskets using some of these images.

Harvest Moon Celebrates Equinox

The full Harvest Moon this week seemed to be celebrating the arrival of the fall equinox which is today Sept 22 2021. In case you are interested in the equinox, here’s a link with some interesting info. I think I am ready to move on to autumn, how about you? We visited friends Susan and Leo who have a spectacular harbor view to celebrate the full moonrise. These are sample of the varying moon moods as it rose this week. Susan LaRosa nicely provided some of the photos seen here.

September Is Great Whale Watching!

Cape Ann Whale Watch did it again and produced an outstanding experience out on the water with the whales yesterday. The boat was full to capacity and the day was just about perfect. Several other boats were out and about nearby but Capt. John did a great job maneuvering us to the whales and out of their way (though one seemed somewhat determined to cross us up). It is not too late in the season for a spectacular whale watch but the close of the season is drawing near, so if you mean to take this trip, September is a very good choice. More photos on Facebook at Pat D’s Photos and Adventures.

The Fish Box Derby Has Returned!

What a fun way to spend a Sunday in September! Congratulations to all the Fish Box Derby contestants, crews, volunteers and families for a great event. Here are some scenes from the racing, the spectators and the volunteers (the unsung heroes being the cadets and crew hauling the cars back up from the finish line). **We understand Master Jack Frontiero in the number 8 car (seen here with team members in the background) is this year’s winner!*

Always a Treat at Russell Orchards

All this talk of fall and cider donut maps brought Russell Orchards in Ipswich to mind. I had not made a visit in a while and one of our crazy castaways kind of loves those donuts, so off I went for a ride. It was a weekday morning and several families were there with toddlers and preschoolers, including our neighbor Owen! I did not pick apples, though the orchards are available for that. I do recommend bug spray as they do too because the bugs are biting out there! But it’s always a pretty spot with interesting stuff going on inside and out. I got some apple rollups, cider, cobbler and donuts……perfect starts to the fall season. It is a fun trip… time maybe I take GMG Jim.

Boston lights Lanterns at Franklin Park Zoo

We have a wonderful time at the Boston Lights Lantern Experience at Franklin Park Zoo a few days ago. After studying sunset times, we purchased tickets in advance online for 6:30 PM which worked out very well (except for the traffic on the way there due to rush hours and Red Sox game). It was just getting to be dusk and there was ample parking and fewer people as the sun began to set. When we left an hour later, the parking lot was jammed and people were pouring in. The traffic on the drive was no fun but it was still a very worthwhile visit. Additional pictures and details can be viewed at my Facebook page Pat D’s Photos and Adventures.

The light displays were awesome in their variety and entertainment value. Some move and/or make noises and all are pretty spectacular. As GMG Jim noted: “It is not lame”. Very popular with families and tickets appeared to be available upon arrival as well as by presale. Most of the zoo animals were not out at that time of day so don’t expect to see many if you are going for the light experience. Food, drink and snack stands were open for business.

If you aren’t up for the trip to the zoo, here are some samples of the sights for your enjoyment. Next time we go (and we will go again another year) we might round up some children to take along to add to the fun. The show goes on until Oct 11 2021.

Join us for the John handran memorial dedication

On Tuesday Sept 14 at 11 AM, a memorial dedication ceremony will be held at Calvary Cemetery to honor the life and service of Gloucesterman John Handran. In his short lifetime, he was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery in rescuing fellow Navy men after they were swept overboard in Portugal in 1876. He returned to Gloucester after his two terms of service and started a family. He was lost in the wreck of the Schooner Cleopatra in December 1885 leaving behind a wife and 3 very young children. He has never been recognized for his Medal of Honor and several years of work by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, a plaque has been placed at his widow’s gravesite in Calvary Cemetery. Tuesday’s ceremony is intended to dedicate that plaque and honor his life. All are invited to attend. Several descendants of John Handran plan to be in attendance.

Cape Ann Veterans Service has been instrumental in planning this ceremony. As a member of the Handran family, I am grateful to Adam Curcuru and Vee Chipperini for their assistance and support. We encourage you to join us and remember this Gloucesterman’s incredible story.

From Cape Ann Advertiser Jan 1 1886