After the Fall Color — pat morss

From the past week. It’s getting more black-and-white out there, but these are all color photos.

Almost home
Go ahead, I’ll catch up. I’m talking to someone.
Buffleheads on Niles Pond
Red-breasted Mergansers practicing (almost) synchronized head dips
And back up together
Young Herring Gull at Brace Cove
Elegant when taking off
Layers of wing feathers
Norwegian Cruise Lines headed north, on today’s coldest morning – crew only?
However, the climbing ivy hasn’t given up on Green

Post-Halloween — pat morss

Following the turkey trick-or-treaters
A fallen horse, after 55mph gusts
Halloween desserts never end
A Gonzaga Retreat path with Stations of the Cross
Station 12 (XII)
A visitor explained the rocks, at the end of the path, represent the 15th Station (Resurrection)
Unfortunate Black-backed Gull with a fishhook in his leg
Thacher Island and Twin Lights, beyond Brace Cove
Some remaining foliage
The Wooly Caterpillar’s wide brown stripe is supposed to mean a mild winter
And there are more sunsets to come

Normal Routine here — pat morss

Pied-billed Grebe on a calm Niles Pond
Follow me – great rock. Spoiler – dad fell first
Unbounded energy; new antlers
Mom turkey took to the tree (main branch) to keep track of her full-grown brood
Photo taken Sunday; our resident Great Blue Heron between naps
Photo taken Tuesday (no kidding); eyes closed
Full nap
Requisite fluff-up before the sunset hunt
Wing test
Take off

Recent Encounters — pat morss

Everything pretty normal (but rewarding) this past week.

Halloween is getting closer
Welcoming party
Trails looking elegant
Cooper’s Hawk after swooping under the feeder
Resident Great Blue Heron preened and napped for 5 hours before the evening hunt
It’s dinner time, deer
Take Five. Mom turkey and 9 grown youngsters (one on woodpile, far L)
Time to move out – follow Mom
Back on July 4th Mom was pushing her brood of 9
A choppy return, early evening
Menacing weather over the Magnolia Shore
But you can usually count on it turning into a classic Gloucester sunset

Heron sequel — pat morss

Don’t mean to inundate you with Great Blue Heron photos, but our friend did return and put on a good follow-up act.

Same routine of preening and napping
Wing stretches
Limbering up on the Greasy Pole
Greasy Pole 2
Greasy Pole 3
Almost fell
Fluffed up and ready to go at susnset
Off to hunt
Quick departure

Great Blue Herons — pat morss

Three Great Blue Herons visited yesterday. They spent the afternoon in the trees preening and napping. We kept checking on the last one, that flew off to hunt at sunset. These are yesterday’s photos, but it is the same routine today.

Three herons that were closest together
Not preening yet
This neighbor left early
The contortionist
But there are still places that are difficult to reach
A good wing stretch, assisted by a leg
After several hours, every feather in its place
Looks like good visibility over Audubon this evening
Moving a few twigs out of the way
Flight time

‘Wicked Tuna’ Filming — pat morss

A ‘Wicked Tuna’ film crew was busy yesterday in the harbor, and then outside slightly offshore. The captions to these photos are my imagination as to what was going on.

Helicopter concentrating a long time on Hot Tuna
And getting some real closeups
With sunset approaching, the helicopter followed the first boat into the harbor
The other boats milled around waiting for instructions
Then the word came to speed into the harbor
The helicopter escorted the fleet
The boats passed by Eastern Point Light, heading into the sunset
Another, with Boston in the background
And another rounding the lighthouse
Mother nature rewarded the effort with a beautiful Cape Ann sunset
Firey clouds peeking over the Magnolia shore

My Take on Teddy — pat morss

Teddy was offshore and nothing like our March northeast storms a couple of winters ago, or past hurricanes with a more direct hit. But teddy wasn’t timid.

Water coming over Dogbar breakwater
Waves marching out the breakwater
Wave looming over the Audubon rocks
And breaking
Astronomical tide making gangway uphill to the float at Raymond Beach
Unfortunate Zodiac
Modest waves at Eastern Point light
Coastal wave looking like marble
Windblown sunset wave near the lighthouse

The Monarchs and Seals are back — pat morss

A week with the return of migrating Monarch Butterflies, a couple of our seals from last winter, and the local population growing up.

A migrating Monarch feeding on goldenrod
A pair of Monarchs
Feeding Monarchs
Monarch on goldenrod
One of the returning seals at Brace Cove
Sun over Niles Pond dimmed by west coast fires
Mars? Full eclipse of the moon? No – sunset dimmed by west coast fires
Red-tailed Hawk hovering over lunch at the Eastern Point Audubon sanctuary
Our favorite Niles Pond juvenile Common Cormorant, growing up
Painted Turtles at Niles Pond
All nine turkey youngsters still following mom
Who ya lookin’ at , Fred?

Post Labor Day — pat morss

Labor Day is already in the rear view mirror.

Half Moon Beach in Stage Fort Park is a hidden gem
Before COVID-19, this was to be the Youth Sailing Program float
Better casting when close to the water
But you take the consequences
Didn’t realize Snapping Turtles hatch in Aug-Sept
Typically a long and dangerous walk from nest to water
Could this be Mom or Dad? (June encounter)

Labor Day Weekend — pat morss

A very nice holiday weekend, and of course a few photos. But, starting with a couple of the well documented August 23rd squall line.

Our menacing Covid-cloud
Squall line over Gloucester Harbor
By contrast, a tranquil Lighthouse Cove mooring field
Breakfast in the driveway – one of three “Bambi” siblings
Cooper’s Hawk studying fishing technique of an egret
Pre-sunset drinks (“staycation”)
The Vikings DID make it to Cape Ann (Polaris)
To the enthusiasm of the native cormorants
And some post-sunset fishing close to the rocks

Recent Encounters — pat morss

More walks and views from the house over the last couple of weeks.

Sculpture and skyline, from Ocean Alliance
Ardelle sailing past Eastern Point
Tight Lines evening fishing off Eastern Point
Paddleboarding in Gloucester Harbor
Near miss from Hurricane Isaias
Bumble bee pollinating at Brace Cove
Time to go inside when the Tree Swallows swarm the sunset mosquitoes
Tree Swallows taking a break
Double-crested Cormorant at Niles Pond
Mom turkey and 9 chicks back on the Fourth of July
All grown up on August 15th

Fur, Feathers, Fins, Flukes, and Family — pat morss

We have had quite a weekend with walks to the causeway (between Niles Pond and Brace Cove) and a water show in front of our deck. With family visiting, we enjoyed lobsters from Joey’s operation.

No shortage of bunnies
Resting Mallard with good balance
A vigilant Canada Goose
Cormorant in the setting sun
A school of bait fish in front of the Striper fleet
Fishing for Stripers (presumably); evening rush hour
Bait fish stirring up the water
Enjoying an evening whale watch from our deck; bait fish
Humpback whale diving (non telephoto)
Humpback flukes
Family wating for lobsters from Capt. Joe & Sons