MESSAGE FROM MAYOR SEFATIA REGARDING GLOUCESTER’S PIPING PLOVERS

Message from Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken  

The Piping Plover is a “threatened” species under both the state and federal Endangered Species Acts.  As such, the City, along with the Commonwealth, is required to protect them under the law.  Having said that, we are committed to making every effort possible to protect the nesting Piping Plovers at our beaches while, at the same time, maintaining public access.
Piping Plovers typically arrive from their southern wintering areas to our local beaches in late March or early April.  Males and females quickly form breeding pairs that begin the process of courtship and select a nest site throughout April and May. During these months, it is critically important to limit any disturbance of the birds and their habitat.Chicks can hatch from nests in late May and are immediately mobile and move out of the nest in search of food.  As chicks grow older and larger, they will roam from the dunes to the water’s edge in search of food. Chicks are very vulnerable to human disturbance and are susceptible to predators like gulls, foxes, and dogs.
While dogs are allowed to run free during this time of year on many of our beaches, that right does not supersede the requirements under federal law to protect the Piping Plovers on those beaches.  Unleashed dogs can pose a very real threat to Piping Plover adults and chicks.  As such, dog owners are responsible for controlling their dogs and keeping them as far away from Piping Plover areas as possible.  The owner of any dog that adversely or negatively impacts the Piping Plovers and their habitats will be in violation of federal law and will likely face legal action.
Please keep a close eye or your dog during this Piping Plover season.A Piping Plover nest is a mere depression in the sand.
Male and female Plovers do not begin sitting on the eggs 24/7 until all are laid, which takes about a week. Especially during that time, the eggs are often left exposed and are extremely vulnerable to being stepped upon by people and dogs.

PIPING PLOVERS FORCED OFF THE BEACH FOR THE SECOND WEEKEND IN A ROW

Despite best efforts, the Piping Plovers were again driven off the beach.

Knowing an off leash weekend day was going to be tough on the PiPl, I spent most of Sunday at Good Harbor Beach. During the morning hours, it wasn’t so bad because most dog walkers were with their pooches by the water’s edge. As the tide came in, the situation quickly deteriorated. Countless dogs ran into the roped off area; I lost track after forty. The PiPl gave up on courtship and tried to forage. A pair of bird dogs chased all three Plovers up and down the beach repeatedly, when they finally gave up.

I searched for an hour and couldn’t find. As I was leaving, there were Mama and Papa, in the parking lot. Mama was sitting quietly on the painted white lines and Papa was desperately trying to dig a nest scrape in the course gravel. This exact same scenario happened last Saturday, on the off leash beach day.

Papa trying to scrape a nest in the gravel parking lot

I had hoped that by spending the day trying to keep dogs out of the #3 nesting area, the parking lot scene would not be repeated. Volunteers are desperately needed during this last week of off leash days. For the area around #3, where I was stationed, at least two are needed, because as you are trying to keep dogs out of one side, they are coming in from the opposite end.

Please email Ken Whittaker if you would like to help. His email address is: kwhittaker@gloucester-ma.gov

The worst days are going to be Thursday, Saturday, and Monday, the three last off leash days of April, with Saturday being by far the hardest.

High tides for the upcoming weekend off leash days:

Thursday April 26th – 9:03 am – off leash day

Friday April 27th – 10:01am – on leash

Saturday April 28th 10:54am – off leash day

Sunday April 29th 11:42am – on leash

Monday April 30th 12:27pm – off leash day

Our Piping Plover pair are resilient. They left the parking lot and returned to the beach at sunset, but again, the same pair of dogs chased them off the beach.

Mama and Papa Plover, and the little Bachelor, survived this past off leash weekend day, but as you can imagine, courting and nesting are again delayed. The most important thing for folks to understand is that the earlier in the season the Piping Plovers are allowed to nest, the earlier the chicks will hatch, which means they will have a thousand fold better chance of surviving.

Some good news—overnight four new additional Piping Plovers arrived! They are in a battle with one another over turf at the roped off area by boardwalk #1.

 

Beautful Fish: Hagfish

 

The hag, like the lamprey, lacks paired fins and fin rays. Its skeleton is wholly cartilaginous, without bones, its mouth is jawless; and its skin is scaleless. It is easily recognized by its eel-like form; by its single finfold (a fold of skin, not a true fin) running right around the tail and forward on the lower surface of the body with no division into dorsal, caudal, and anal fins; by the single gill pore on each side, just forward of the origin of the ventral finfold; by its lipless mouth, star-shaped in outline when closed; by the single nasal aperture at the tip of the snout; by its peculiar barbels or “tentacles,” two flanking the mouth on either side and four surrounding the nostril; and by the evertible tongue studded with rows of horny rasplike “teeth.”  Being blind, it doubtless finds its food by its greatly specialized olfactory apparatus. It feeds chiefly on fish, dead or disabled, though no doubt any other carrion would serve it equally well.

It is best known for its troublesome habit of boring into the body cavities of hooked or gilled fishes, eating out the intestines first and then the meat, and leaving nothing but a bag of skin and bones, inside of which the hag itself is often hauled aboard, or clinging to the sides of a fish it has just attacked. It is only too common in the Gulf  of Maine; perhaps it is not absent there from any considerable area of smooth bottom.

From Fishes of the Gulf of Maine by Bigelow and Schroeder (1953) online courtesy of MBL/WHOIhttp://www.gma.org/fogm/Myxine_glutinosa.htm

Al Bezanson

 

Spring is here | We are so excited we wet our plants

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“Spring is Here! We are so excited we wet our plants!” Wolf Hill’s clever sign is a hit with a few boys I know! Also a nice new store sign and the fleet’s out — Wolf Hill’s colorful stock of Adirondack chairs are lined up and ready.

 

LIVE from Gloucester High School tonight- USAF “Airmen of Note” Jazz Band

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Reminder about the USAF “Airmen of Note” Jazz Band free concert at Gloucester High School 7-9PM tonight. What a great name and special event for any high school, especially Gloucester, home of the Docksiders, great high school and middle school bands, and such rich music talent throughout the community! On this gorgeous spring day, enjoy a past video of the USAF band playing It Might As Well Be Spring (Rodgers and Hammerstein). Read more about the band below. Hope someone takes a picture like that one on the steps here in Gloucester by the Man at the Wheel and on the High School steps 🙂

More information:

Join the Airmen of Note live as they tour New England! These concerts are sure to thrill, featuring brand-new selections from the Airmen of Note’s upcoming album which will be recorded later this year! Continue reading “LIVE from Gloucester High School tonight- USAF “Airmen of Note” Jazz Band”

Juxtapositon Exhibition

Gloucester Artist Donna Caselden to Show at Stetson Gallery
April 25, 2018 – May 15, 2018

Artist Reception ~ April 29, 2018 Noon-2 pm
Stetson Gallery, 28 Mugford Street, Marblehead, MA 781.631.1215

Marblehead, Massachusetts/USA – April 4, 2018 – Stetson Gallery, Marblehead’s premier art gallery, announces an exhibit showcasing experimental artist Donna Caselden. Juxtaposition: The manner in which contrary forces in design complement and give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another, is a solo exhibit running April 25 to May 15, 2018 with an artist reception on Sunday, April 29th from noon to 2 pm.

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“I love the marriage of old with new, contemporary with traditional, yin and yang’” explains Caselden, “in the design field and especially with artwork. This show will feature a collection of abstract expressionism artwork framed in ornate, many times antique frames, a play on the juxtaposition of old versus new.

Donna Caselden is a well-known talent across the spectrum of visual design. An award winning experimental artist and wearable art clothing designer, Caselden also works one-on-one with clients on interior design and home décor projects.

Caselden works from her studio in the seaside village of Annisquam, Massachusetts. Her works are showcased in museums and galleries throughout the northeast, including the highly regarded Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem, Massachusetts. As a painter, Donna Caselden has won acclaim for her work with acrylic, watercolor and oil paint. She is known for her experimental 2D artwork, incorporating unusual substances like marble dust, sand, coffee grounds, or mica to achieve unique texture and effects.

Caselden is a member of Cape Ann’s Experimental Art Group at Rockport Art Association, Society for Encouragement of Arts (seARTS), and the National Association of Women Artists (NAWA.)

Us Sicilians Can Relate To @thesicilianguy_

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