Monthly Archives: May 2018


Pictured above are the beautiful mottled eggs of a different species of plover, the Killdeer. Notice how the Killdeer eggs look similar to the PiPl eggs, but are a deeper gray. Killdeers make their nest scrapes on the ground, just as do PiPl, but in gravel and soil, and the darker colored eggs are perfectly camouflaged amidst the sticks and stones. Piping Plover eggs are beautifully camouflaged when laid in sandy nest scrapes.

Stay tuned for wonderful news about our Good Harbor Beach Killdeer Family.

Piping Plover eggsKilldeer, Good Harbor Beach Gloucester


Good Harbor Beach looks pristine, with boardwalks recently repaired, beach cleaned and raked, snack bar opening, and helpful signs installed. A welcome sight this fine morning in May to see the crew setting in place the spiffy bright red life guard perches–a sure sign GHB summertime fun is just around the corner 🙂

Don’t Miss the Cape Ann Studio Tour

Cape Ann Artisans Celebrate 35 Years of Open Studios & Gloucester’s Designation as a Top Ten Crafts Destination!

See the Studios in style with a new private bus tour offering!


The Cape Ann Artisans Spring Tour will be held Saturday and Sunday, June 2-3.   There’s much to celebrate in 2018.  Just announced, Gloucester is ranked in the Top Ten destinations for Craft Lovers by American Craft Week.   The tour is primarily self-guided by car, but for the first time ever, the Cape Ann Artisans have partnered with a local arts and cultural tour operator to offer a new touring option.  Cape Ann Plug-In Tours will provide a 14 passenger bus alternative to meet tour-goers and navigate the neighborhoods of Gloucester and Rockport.  In total, there are three bus tours – Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, and Sunday morning in order to cover all the studios in two days.  For Boston visitors there will be a convenient train station pick up.  The bus will also have a guide to introduce the artisans and local history and on-board goodies including a Shopping credit from the Artisans!


The long New England winters provide needed incubation time for each artist on the tour.  Inspiration comes in many forms, from far and away.  Artisans from across the spectrum of media share their inspiration for their current work in the “From the Studio” blog.  Here are highlights from the recent posts:

  • Judith Wright returns from sabbatical and reflects, “Granite is everywhere here: in the quarries, in the ubiquitous stone walls, and in our yards. I love the look and texture of these local stones and enjoy using them in my artwork. I have placed mosaic birds and animals on granite rocks, some small enough to put on a book shelf, and some large enough to adorn your garden.
  • Rob Diebboll has evolved his beach scenes, “Figures tell stories, and a group of figures in the context of the ocean, time of day, season, and the cape’s light offers infinite possibilities.”
  • Terry Del Percio, “Just a few weeks ago my painting “Sacred Words” won an award.  It’s the first of a new series I’m working on that was inspired by an exhibit of Mark Tobey [American artist known for his densely calligraphic paintings]  Along with my painting and as a result of the tumultuous and stressful state of the world, I began a new project called The Mixed Up People Series of note cards”
  • Jacqueline Ganim-DeFalco, “I was inspired in my winter travels to Italy and Greece by the important connections between cultural icons and the ability of artists to preserve and evolve them through time. My collection of Bottle Neck Beauties preserve hundreds of years of history-in-a-bottle as does every piece of sea glass and pottery”
  • Cynthia Curtis, “Spring always inspires me to make flower vases.  This year I have a large selection of vases in many sizes, shapes and colors, some with beach glass melted into the rim.  I have been fortunate enough to have over 1,200 students in the last 24 years.  I am a big believer in the therapeutic value of working with clay and I see it transform people every day.  Sometimes I wonder if we are making the pots or the pots are making us. 
  • Pam Stratton has immersed herself in teaching over the winter – at the Boston Society of Arts & Crafts, the Somerville Museum, and closer to home, at the Sawyer Free Library.  She has also found a silver lining from the brutal storm that blew through Rockport last summer, “Last June I lost my magnificent 100 year old maple tree. It was struck by lightning in the last gasp of a powerful storm. We decided to leave a large trunk and have it carved into art after which I plan to incorporate mosaic into the design.”
  • Camilla MacFadyen, “Inspired by 19th century German biologist Ernst Haeckel’s technical drawings of single cell sea organisms and other creatures, I am working on expressing, in thread, the luminescence and intricacy that these creatures exhibit in their natural surroundings.I have developed a pattern for a silk organza tunic based on the shape of a traditional Japanese wrap apron.”
  • Beth Williams shares “After a class in January, I started exploring mixing metalwork with my glass again and am happy with the results so far. There will be much more to come as time allows me to lose myself in the work…..”

There’s nothing like seeing the artists and their spaces in the intimate studio settings.   Enjoy 20 studios and 23 Artisans in the upcoming 35th Anniversary Spring Tour.  The 2018 Artisans are:

  1. David Archibald
  2. Cynthia Curtis
  3. Rob Diebboll
  4. Jacqueline Ganim-DeFalco
  5. Deborah Gonet
  6. Elizabeth Harty
  7. Camilla MacFadyen
  8. Andy Matlow
  9. Anni Melançon
  10. Sinikka Nogelo
  11. Bond Street Studio: Terry DelPercio-Piemonte & David Piemonte
  12. Marcie Rae
  13. Margaret Rack
  14. Mi Robertson
  15. Pam Stratton
  16. Bart Stuyf *
  17. Twin Lights Studio: Erin O’Sullivan & Scott Place
  18. Beth Williams
  19. Ruth Worrall*
  20. Judith Wright
  21. Sara Wright

*Note this is one location

Here’s a re-cap:

What:  The Cape Ann Artisans open studio, self-guided tour of 20 studios
Bus Alternative: See
For more information or to reserve with a group of 6 or more, email

Check Eventbrite for Early Bird Rates expiring mid-May.

Long Beach, Mass: storm damage unearths submerged grove of mystery roots

Does anybody know the age of the mangrove-like roots that began to surface back in 2012 aside Eagle Rock and the creek? The 2018 winter storm erosion exposed more of a grove line parallel to the seawall. I am curious about the seemingly fossilized piercings and how the landscape may have looked before the beach we walk today.

more photos in my GMG post from 2016: Shore nature challenge: what are these? Long Beach Easter Island

Long Beach Massachustts after winter 2018 storm damage- mangrove like roots surface©c ryan_20180523_134700InkedLong Beach Massachustts after winter 2018 storm damage- mangrove like roots unearthed - detail marked up©c ryan_20180523_134700



FLAG CREW adorning the Boulevard

Ringo Tarr was up “supervising” the Flag Crew early this morning as they adorned the Boulevard for Memorial Day weekend!  Thanks to all who keep this going each year and glad to see Ringo looking and feeling better!  If you’d like to purchase a flag for a veteran or make a donation you can stop down to Pauline’s Gifts at 512 Essex Ave, Gloucester.




Essex Shipbuilding Museum Event

This should be a sell-out event so sign on-board early for a fun night. It is a benefit for the Essex Shipbuilding Museum. FOR TICKETS: Visit the Museum’s secure website:
or call: (978) 768-7541 or email:
Tickets are $50.

Burnham’s Field clean-up this Saturday morning!

All are invited to the clean-up of Burnham’s Field this Saturday, May 26, at 8 a.m. Bring a rake or broom or just yourself – we’ll bring the yellow trash bags. Burnham’s Field is the largest green space and ball field in central Gloucester, right across Pleasant Street from St. Ann’s church.

Can you believe it’s our 5th annual clean-up? This was the Good Morning Gloucester post a few years back by Joey, the World’s Greatest Headline Writer: “Burnham’s Field Getting All Clean And Shit! Lend a Hand April 21st!

It’s fun to look back at how much Burnham’s Field has improved in the last seven years – the creation of the community gardens, the world-exclusive Good Morning Gloucester video profiles of the Burnham’s Field gardeners, the construction of the new playground and videos where I totally held the camera sideways instead of right-side up. Check out this bunch of Good Morning Gloucester posts about Burnham’s Field.

So come on down this Saturday morning for the Burnham’s Field clean-up. There’s parking in the lot at 4 Sargent Street – see you at 8 a.m!

spring clean up

911 circa 1917

This is a call box I found on the side of a house on East Main Street recently.  Clearly, it has been well cared for and is even painted that “public safety blue” to indicate its purpose. These were used to report emergencies in the days prior to widespread telephone availability in homes.

The Gamewell Company manufactured this signal or call box which were common to this area.  From the Hamden Fire Retirees website (I had to do a fair amount of searching for this information and ended up in Connecticut!):

The Gamewell Co. manufactured police and fire alarm communications equipment for municipalities.  The company was originally headquartered in New York City and then in Newton, Massachusetts.


The website further states: Gamewell municipal fire alarm systems are still utilized today, especially in the Boston area. I found that interesting given our proximity to Boston.

City Directories were available in the days before telephone books and gave citizens information about call box locations. This is from the 1917 Gloucester City Directory and you can see the box above, no. 14, was located at East Main, cor. Highland.

Call Boxes Gloucester 1917 Directory

Immediately following these locations, the City Directory provided the code for various signals across the city.  I’m afraid I would have had to refer to the directory each and every time since it seems complicated, but I can imagine schoolchildren knew exactly that they should listen for “nine blows”. I have not quite figured out the Imaginary Boxes, perhaps these were places telephones were available to send an alarm out for neighborhood distribution.

Imaginary Boxes Gloucester City Directory 19170001

I guess the various signals are not so different from today’s changing ring tones or text message alerts, but one hundred years later, we once again find ourselves living in a world where landlines are less likely to be found in homes.  Food for thought.

Wine Raffle at Temple Ahavat Achim!

Cape Ann Community



Temple Ahavat Achim is raffling off 2 wine cellars valued at over $720 each! Tickets are $20/each OR 6 for $100. Drawing will be held on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 and winners will be contacted.

To purchase your tickets, please go onlineOR contact Natalia at, (978) 281-0739.

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