Best Super Bowl Pic from Kenny MacCarthy!!

Thanks Kenny! LOVE IT!

In response to our call for funniest Super Bowl pics, Kenny MacCarthy submits –

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The Super Bowl Parade has been rescheduled for Wednesday morning at 11am. There will no rally due to the amounts of snow at City Hall Plaza. The parking ban will continue to stay in effect.

What to Feed the Robins

American Robin in the Snow ©Kim Smith 2014The robins in our community have several different habits for surviving winter. There are year round resident robins that breed throughout Cape Ann during warmer months and also spend the winter here.  A second group only breeds in our region, then migrates further south during the winter months. A third group, the robins that we see flocking to our shores beginning round about January 28th, are migrating from parts further north. They are very hungrand are looking for berries, fruit, and small fish.

In early spring, robins begin to disperse from flocks. The ground thaws and worms, insects, and snails once again become part of the robin’s diet. Spring, too, is when we begin to hear the beautiful liquid notes of the male robin. He is singing to attract a mate. The robin’s song is one of the of most beloved and it is his music with which we associate the coming of spring.

With several edits and updates since I first wrote the following article, I think you’ll find the information helpful in knowing what to feed and to plant for the robins.

American Robin Sumac ©Kim Smith 2014Flock of American Robins Eating Sumac, Halibut Point Rockport

Food for the American Robin

During the winter months Cape Ann often becomes home to large flocks of robins, and we have had the joy of hosting numerous numbers in our garden. I can’t help but notice their arrival. Their shadows descend, crisscrossing the window light, followed by a wild rumpus in the ‘Dragon Lady’ hollies. This pair of hollies is planted on opposing sides of the garden path, alongside my home office. I have learned to stealthily sneak up to a window, as any sudden activity inside startles birds that are investigating our garden, and they quickly disperse. Dining not only on berries of the ‘Dragon Ladies’, but also the ‘Blue Princess’ Meserve holly and winterberry bushes, I find dozens of noisy, hungry robins.

These winter nomads flock to trees and shrubs that hold their fruit through January and February, feasting on red cedar, American holly, Meserve hollies, chokecherries, crabapples, sumac, and juniper. Robins traveling along the shores of Cape Ann also comb the shoreline for mollusks, and go belly-deep for fish fry. Depleting their food supply, they move onto the next location. Gardens rife with fruiting shrubs and trees make an ideal destination for our migrating friends.

Year round resident robins will call your garden home when provided with trays of chopped fruit and raisins, supplemented with meal worms.

What to Plant for Robins

The garden designed to attract nesting pairs of summer resident robins, as well as flocks of winter travelers, would be comprised of trees and shrubs for nest building, plants that bear fruit and berries that are edible during the summer and fall, and plants that bear fruits that persist through the winter months. Suburban gardens and agricultural areas provide the ideal habitat, with open fields and lawns for foraging insects as well as trees and hedgerows in which to build their nests.

The following plants, suggested with robins in mind, will also attract legions of songbirds and Lepidoptera. The list is comprised primarily of indigenous species with a few non-native, but not invasive, plants included.

Trees for nesting ~ American Holly (Ilex opaca), Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana), Red Maple (Acer rubrum), Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum), Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida).

Summer and autumn fruit bearing trees, shrubs and vines for robins ~ Black Cherry (Prunus serotina), Blackberry (Rubus spp.), Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida), Gray Dogwood (C. racemosa), Red-osier Dogwood (C. sericea), Silky Dogwood (C. amomum), Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis), Apple (Malus pumila), Virginia Rose (Rosa virginiana), Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum), Lowbush Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium), Wild Grape (Vitis spp.).

Trees and shrubs with fruits persisting through winter ~ Winterberry (Ilex verticillata), Mountain Ash (Sorbus americana), Crabapple (Malus spp.)Sargent’s Crabapple (Malus sargentii), American Holly (Ilex opaca), Meserve Hollies (Ilex meserveae), Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana), Common Juniper (Juniperus communis), Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra), Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina).

American Robin winter crabapple turdus migratorius, americanus ©kim Smith 2015American Robin Eating Crabapples

I Love Sumac

Worms!

The American Robin and Bird Food

Snow: Gone Today and Here Tomorrow

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My friend Donna Ardizoni reports that Main Street, in Downtown Gloucester, now has sidewalks clear of snow. Tomorrow, Monday February 2nd, we’ll have plenty more of the white stuff. If the oncology clinic at Addison Gilbert Hospital is closed, I’ll stay home. Now that I’ve had some practice with my cane cleats, I feel more comfortable on paths shoveled thru the snow.

Community Stuff 2/2/15

THEATRE IN PINES POSTPONES OPENING OF CHAPATTI TO FEB. 20

Rockport’s Theatre in the Pines is moving the date of its presentation of the Irish play “Chapatti” from this weekend because of the snow.  The new dates for the performances are Febuary 20, 21, and 22 at the Rockport Community House at 54 Broadway. Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and Sunday at 2:30.  “Chapatti” is a delightful comedy by Christian O’Reilly about two elders who become friends and more through their mutual love of dogs and cats.  Martin Ray and Sarah Clark play the two main characters with a supporting cast including Nan Webber, Randy Dupps, Anne Roman, Chuck Francis, Harriet Rich, Ben Fuller and Barbara Brewer. Tickets are available at the door or in advance at Toad Hall Bookstore, Rockport, and The Bookstore, Gloucester.

 

News From Pinoli

Chef Paolo Laboa has decided to take a job offer on the West Coast and move his family back to California. This move is right for his family, but it is with a heavy heart that we at the Serenitee Restaurant Group say goodbye to Paolo and Pinoli.

Pinoli was built around Chef Paolo and his distinctive cooking style, which is why we have decided to evolve the space into something new, yet familiar. We have listened to what the community and our guests have to say, and are excited to announce that we will bring back the beloved Alchemy. The restaurant will continue with its commitment to utilizing the freshest, local ingredients, but the menu will be broader, incorporating many different cooking styles.

During this evolution, the space will not close; Jeff Cala and Serenitee Executive Chef Derek Clough will be in the kitchen to see the restaurant through this transition.

Expect to see a familiar name on Duncan Street sometime this month!

Sincerely,

The Serenitee Restaurant Group