Around Eastern Point — pat morss

  • “Swan and cygnet” candle drippings, on dining room table
  • Returning home in golden sunset light
  • Deer with new antlers on Audubon land
  • Eider diving school at Raymond Beach (starting dive, center)
  • Eider diving school (under)
  • Reproduction of “shallop” that came over on Mayflower’s deck 400 years ago
  • House finch parents keeping watch on their nest in our front door hanging plant
  • Last fuzzy photo of the House Finch fledglings
  • Fishing season is on with the boats in close to the rocks
  • Turkeys seeking shade during last week’s heat wave
  • White Rhododendron bud 10 days ago
  • Now in full bloom

From Spring to Summer — pat morss

A quick transition from a chilly spring to a summer heat wave. The Rhododendrons are blossoming from buds, the Chickadees are at work (I think he’s supervising and she’s building), just a lone coyote on the Audubon land, a first sail past Eastern Point light, and an Eider extended family enjoys a swim along Raymond Beach.

They Must be on Nests or in Dens — pat morss

There is a shortage of wildlife around these days on our walks. We’re waiting for the explosion of young ones. In the meantme, here are some recent random photos.

For those who access GMG through the daily email, it wasn’t sent out last Saturday. Joey kindly provided a direct link to my “Alewife Fish Ladders” posting:

USCG 87-ft Coastal Patrol Boat in sunset light
Repairing the Niles Pond/Brace Cove causeway after winter storms
Easy walking now
Turkey hiding behind a tree, stalking a mate
Can you see me now?
Goose Cove reservation (Gee Ave access)
Beavers contributing to dam construction
Reminds me of spring in France
Rainbows always draw attention
Gathering clouds, from Captain Joe & Sons – later than Joey’s 5:00 am shots
Just lifted off the boat

Alewife Fish Ladders — pat morss

A few days ago we visited the Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration in Newcastle, Maine. Some online investigation (very incomplete) turned up interesting information. The Damariscotta Fish ladder was built around the mills in 1807, and reconsted two centuries later between 2007 and 2017. As reported by GMG, construction at the smaller West Gloucester Alewife/Herring fish ladder on Little River, allowing spawning above in Lily Pond, was completed in 2018. It appears SumCO eco contractors and/or Becker Construction had a hand in both projects (need clarification).

Here are some photos from our Damariscotta Fish Ladder visit. The site was not staffed, and access was limited. Their website is:

Alewife assembling from the ocean, viewed from the highway bridge
Dense pack, with tens of thousands of Alewives on each side of the bridge
Clearer shallow water closer to the falls
Looking upstream to the falls, with the fish ladder around the falls hidden to the right
The lower portion of the fish ladder, open that day to the public, rising toward Damariscotta Lake
The barrier at the bottom of the falls
Plenty of fish were attempting the direct route through the barrier to the impenetrable falls
My understanding is that enough fish eventually find the alternate, and navigable, fish ladder route
This Great Blue Heron was surveying the menu, as a couple of Bald Eagles circled overhead

Wandering Rocky Neck — pat morss

Thursday was beautiful and a great opportunity to wander around Rocky Neck.

Nothing like lunch at The Studio before exploring
You know, gulls like sushi too
Schooner ‘Adventure’ on the ways at Gloucester Marine Railways
Always a good conversation with Phil Dunn
Phil says the First Mate has better tequnique
Topside plank replacement is going well; expect to relaunch the end of the month
North Shore Arts Association opens its 99th season this weekend. Can’t wait for the 100th!
A few boats moored in Smith Cove; will be crowded soon
Gloucester HS sailing team competing on the inner harbor
The Gloucester Historical Commission has been adding plaques – William Kiff Jr house, 1859
Great weather now, but a bit too much sun for this porch sitter

First Cruise Ship of the Year — pat morss

Yesterday afternoon a small cruise ship from American Cruise Lines, that has a New England, Nova Scotia, St Lawrence Seaway itinerary, came into Gloucester. The only oddity was there were no passengers – was she relocating in anticipation of relaxed COVID-19 restrictions?

Approaching the harbor
Arriving at Cruiseport. Throwing the heaving line with monkey fist, to transport the heavy docking line to shore
Hauling the docking line in on the pier
Fully secured
Behind me at Rose’s Marine, the new and the old
What could be better for sunset dinner than fresh mussels?
And they must be accompanied by a mulled puddle cocktail
Woe, that was good!

Crows Corner a Red-tailed Hawk — pat morss

This morning I watched another of several encounters between crows and a Red-tailed Hawk. Physical contact by 4 crows happened in the air, and I only caught one shot as the Red-tail headed to the ground for refuge. The other photos are of 3 crows doing fly-bys to encourage the hawk to leave.

Heading down into the Audubon Sanctuary
Three boisterous crows, hemming in the hawk
First crow with a fly-by
Second crow leaving its rock and heading in
Up and over
And flying off
Third crow in close, wing to wing
A chance to leave. Score one for the crows

More Signs of Spring — pat morss

It’s not JUST the birds

Tulips from the store, but they’ll be live on the Boulevard soon
Japanese influence
Not sure what tree produces these seed pods
But they blow around like creepy-crawlers on the ground
The Yankee Fleet has been taking people fishing for several weeks
A crazy inverted mirage of Nahant covering the Boston skyline
The Humpback Whales are back (no tail action)
Looking into our living room
The boys are on the prowl
Glad I found you
Heralding spring

The Bird Population Doesn’t Disappoint — pat morss

Recent activity on daily walks. Our family of 9 turkeys appears to have finally broken up for mating.

A Song Sparrow lives up to its name
Half a squirrel is better than no squirrel
Throw it around
You have something for me?
Lunch at Niles Pond
Thank you
She’s avoiding me. Or is she my sister?
The local clans are mixing; this female is on the Audubon rocks
And this male is in a mating mood
Two males discussing the new neighborhood; wing stretch

Easter Sunday Dinner is for the Birds — pat morss

Our neighbors are celebrating with special menus – at the feeders, and on Niles Pond.

APPETIZER: Gourmet Nyger Seeds
ENTREE: Shelled Sunflower Chips
DESSERT: High Energy Suet Cake
Flaps deployed for the pluck
Landing gear forward and locked
Touchdown on target
Delicious day-old Tonno bread
Didn’t even get my wings wet

More Courtship on Niles Pond — pat morss

We got to watch some of the action before the Northeast Storm hit yestarday afternoon.

The Bufflehead guys weren’t having much success with this female
Merganser – maybe I’ll sneak up on her
Nice choreography, but no interest
A couple of Mallards trying different approaches
In any case, don’t make the women mad
Or this will happen
This Mallard has her attention
Perfect execution
Looks like it worked
The birds and the bees are everywhere

Mostly Feathers and Fur — pat morss

But, a few other photos first.

Servicing Eastern Point nun buoy “N4”
Heading out on a calm spring morning
Easter ornaments replace Christmas on Fort Hill Ave
Beauport Museum chimneys
Last “ice flower” dipping in Niles Pond
Lonely Canada Goose
Mallard pair and Merganser sharing rocks
Merganser races
Grackles fighting for feeder rights
Deer were eating our azaleas; Anne-Lise used the air horn
Is it safe to return?
Turkeys are following the same evening routine
Not too graceful
At least they don’t eat the bushes and flowers
Final strut to the trees

Late Winter at Halibut Point — pat morss

Last weekend we had a beautiful and uncrowded visit to Halibut Point.

Quarry and Ipswich Bay
State Park Visitor Center at quarry
Clear day – Mt Agamenticus, ME (81 miles) and Isles of Shoals
Rocks to themselves
Resident Harlequin Ducks
View from on top of the quarry tailings; note the “maze” at center
Taking a breather at the maze
The Inuit People build “Inukshuks” like this as navigational markers
Guess who’s coming to dinner