Reader Robert Millman sent photos and wrote the following question:

I am new to Gloucester, having bought a home two years ago.

As we were clearing some down trees and brush, we came upon a small stand on what I think are Monotropa, related to Indian Pipes, but do not look like any other pictures I have found.  Corliss and another local nursery were not able to provide anything further information.

Can you ask your readers or do you have any suggestions of who I could reach out to?

Thank you

Hello Robert,

Your beautiful clumps of wildflowers are the North American native One-flowered Broom-rape (Orobanche uniflora); also called Naked Broomrape. I can see why you thought it was related to Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora), or Ghost Plant. Neither grows green leaves and both produce single flowers, typically seen growing in bunches.
Indian Pipes photo courtesy wikicommons media
Like Indian Pipes, it is a parasitic plant, which means it does not produce chlorophyll, or green tissue, deriving nutrients by attaching its roots to neighboring plants.
One-flowered Broom-rape photos submitted by Robert Millman
There are over 200 species Orobanche. Host plants for One-flowered Broom-Rapes include species of sunflowers, goldenrods, and sedums. 
Aside from white, Naked Broomrape also flowers in lavender and yellow.
The stems of Sporchia (Orbanche crenata), a species parasitic on the fava bean, are gathered and eaten in the region of Apilia, in southern Italy. Image courtesy wikicommons media.


Visitors from Rhode Island


A very loving family who now live in Cranston Rhode Island, but originally lived in Brooklyn New York.  We spoke at length about the Italian history in Gloucester.  She was very out spoken and said she is in a mixed marriage, she is Sicilian and he is from mainland Italy. They were headed on a whale watch at Seven Seas.  A wonderful encounter from a very colorful family.


With the rainy weather and chilly temperatures we’ve been having of late, I thought readers would like to see some snapshots from our daughter Liv’s wonderful trip to Italy. One of her best friends from college, Natalie, is getting married this weekend in Florence. For a pre-wedding adventure, Liv has been staying in the beautiful village of Manarola,  located on the Italian Riviera. Manarola is one of five fishing and wine producing towns that make up Cinque Terre (“Five Lands”) in the Province of La Spezia. The photos are from Manarola and the village of Monterosso.

Cinque Terre National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Paths, trains, and boats connect the villages; cars are not allowed. 

Liv is loving the local seafood. Aren’t these paper cone containers fantastic for fish-on-the-go?

Liv enjoys going to beaches where ever she travels and I’ve asked her to let us know how folks manage trash in remote villages by the sea, like Manarola and Monterosso. As you can see in the photos above, there are trash and recycling barrels along the beach, and lifeguards also pick up garbage left behind.

Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista, Monterosso al Mare


Cruise with Captain Hollywood from Wicked Tuna

IMG_8745Cruise with Captain Hollywood from Wicked Tuna, he is currently running Harbor Cruises out of Gloucester. 

Call (978)-290-6174.










Captain Bill Muniz “Hollywood” seen here with two local fishing captains and tourists from Italy.

Merluzzi- If the old timers were still alive they’d be having a field day.

Guys like Mickey Red, Leo The Flounder, they’d be going crazy for the whiting that’s been coming in.  Fried, in a broodu, you name it- Whiting, my favorite fish to eat.

Let the Menagani Babu eat 30 day old swordfish, I’ll eat a mess of fried whiting any day over that crap.


When we were in Ravello, Italy we saw the Merluzzi at a Farmer’s Market. Same fish in the Mediterranean that we’re landing here in Gloucester.

Commercial Fishing: Rome

Apparently commercial fishing in Rome is alive and well.  In my opinion you can tell how well the boats are doing by how well they are maintained.  These boats are all in good shape and devoid (mostly) of rust so they must be doing alright.

Click below to see the photos


Italy Day Four: Positano

Woke up late to a large breakfast served on the terrace off our room. Complimentary breakfast comes with the room which consisted of bread, butter, croissant, coffee and yogurt. For an additional 4 Euro you can get bacon and eggs. The bacon was THICK cut with no visible fat and the eggs seasoned and scrambled. The coffee black, strong and dark as the ace of spades.

Headed into the heart of Positano and had some pizza then hit he beach all day. I listened to music, the Mrs read. She may be into her fifth book for all I know as she’s totally engrossed from morning til dark in her nook.

Some observations-
The men here wear their pants tight as can be and use an incredible amount of hair gel. These dudes would make Justin Beiber blush the way they primp. Somewhere in the middle of the frumpiness of the way we dress in the states and the way the men in Italy coif themselves is probably where my happy medium exists.

There are also a few things that Italian men are quite comfortable doing in public (and when I say in public I mean right up in your grill while you are holding a conversation with them)-

Picking their noses and readjusting their nutsack and/or penis. It is amazing to me how you can be talking to someone and they go right into a knuckle deep nose pick like it ain’t no thing. All I can think of when this happens is “Really? You’re really just gonna dig right in there while we exchange pleasantries?”

The nutsack and/or penis readjustment thing is altogether different than the nosepick thing though. They aren’t pretending it isn’t happening while in your company.

It’s more of a “Yeah I know you’re right in front of me but I’m gonna push my junk around in my way too tight jeans. You see, it’s my penis down there. Yep I’ve got a penis and it’s right here in my way too tight jeans. Have you noticed I’ve got a penis in my way too tight jeans? Because, you know if you didn’t I can do some more readjusting of my nutsack and/or penis just to drive the point home.”

The beach here in Positano is made up of dark sand and bluish gray tumbled stone. The rounded stones make for an interesting place to rest, not nearly as uncomfortable as one might think. We rented two beach chairs from a guy $15 Euro and got in a much needed rest day from the go-go of Rome.

Dinner was at
La Tagliate

You take a bus up to the top of the mountain. A stunning outdoor room with an equally stunning view. You don’t order from a menu. They bring course after course, Sista Felicia style trying to take you down in a food coma because you simply can’t resist any of the culinary delights. It is owned by one family and they all work there. It gets Trip Advisors #1 rated restaurant in Positano and it lives up to the billing. They sent a car for us and dropped us off and it was a good thing. It took about a half hour to wind our way all the way to the tippity top of Positano and once there the view down was absolutely breathtaking.

First course- legumes and roasted eggplant, cheeses including the creamiest most delicious ricotta I’ve ever eaten (Felicia this made that Ricotta from Detroit taste like Dog Poop, or at least what I imagine Dog Poop tastes like) , then salads, breads, pastas, then plates of pork, steak, rabbit, and chicken. Locally made wine which was going down sooo smoothly, then lemoncello and grappa. Then dessert of profiteroles and “mama’s special cake”. Stuffed, I mean STUFFED. The brother and sister were always coming by the table to talk and laugh and make sure everything was to your liking. Every course was three to five different items.

The bill comes and it’s only $70 Euro. I asked if it was a mistake because honestly just what we had to drink I would have thought could have justified $70 Euro let alone the car service and the food.

Let me be clear- This was no semi-clean roadside dive, this was the nicest place we’ve eaten by far since we’ve been in Italy. Even though you read in travel guides that tipping is not expected we dropped an extra 20 Euro because I couldn’t consciously leave there without showing my gratitude.

This would be the absolute best place for a rehearsal dinner. The family is hilarious and gets the whole room jumping and in the party mood. They were pouring shots and doing them with us and more. Fun, beautiful, friendly, great service, great food, great room, great view- No Brainer must visit if you ever come to Positano.




Abbey Mathews Represents! In Italy

Hi Joey!
The Mathews family are big fans of Good Morning Gloucester and our daughter Abbey who just Graduated from UMass Amherst this spring is spending a year in Florence Italy working on her Masters.  Here she is "representing" at the Duomo and Ponte Vecchio.    She’s already missing the Fall here…so I’m sure she’ll be looking forward to the fall pictures on GMG!
Bridgette Mathews