CAPE ANN EARLY SPRING WILDLIFE UPDATE

Hello Friends,

I hope you are all doing well, or as well as can be expected during this heartbreaking pandemic event. The following kind words were spoken by Pope Francis today and I think they could not be truer.

“We are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed,” he said.

“All of us called to row together, each of us in need of each other.”

In the world of wildlife gratefully, nothing has changed for creatures small and large. That may change though in the coming days as resources for threatened and endangered species may become scarce.

A friend posted on Facebook that “we are all going to become birders, whether we like it or not.” I love seeing so many people out walking in the fresh air and think it is really the best medicine for our souls.

Several times I was at Good Harbor Beach over the weekend and people were being awesome practicing physical distancing. Both Salt Island Road and Nautilus Road were filled with cars, but none dangerously so, no more than we would see at a grocery store parking lot. I’m just getting over pneumonia and think I will get my old bike out, which sad to say hasn’t been ridden in several years. Cycling is a great thing to do with a friend while still practicing distancing and I am excited to get back on my bike.

An early spring wildlife scene update

The Niles Pond juvenile Pond Black-crowned Night Heron made it through the winter!! He was seen this past week in his usual reedy location. Isn’t it amazing that he/she survived so much further north than what is typical winter range for BCHN.

Many of the winter resident ducks are departing. There are fewer and fewer Buffleheads, Scaups, and Ring-necked Ducks seen at our local waterways and ponds.

Male and Female Scaups

No sign lately of the American Pipits. For several days there were three! Snow Buntings at the berm at Brace Cove.

I haven’t seen the Northern Pintail in a over a week. Sometimes the Mallards play nice and on other days, not so much.

Male Northern Pintail and Mallards

As some of the beautiful creatures that have been residing on our shores depart new arrivals are seen daily. Our morning walks are made sweeter with the songs of passerines courting and mating.

Black-capped Chickadee nest building and foraging

Song Sparrows, Mockingbirds, Robins, Cardinals, Chicadees, Nuthatches, Tufted Titmice, and Carolina Wrens are just a few of the love songs filling backyard, fields, dunes, and woodland.

Newly arrived Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets have been spotted at Cape Ann’s marshes.

Cape Ann’s Kildeers arrived about a week or so ago, and wonderful of wonderful news, a Piping Plover pair has been courting at Good Harbor Beach since they arrived on March 22, a full three days earlier than last year.

 

Why do I think it is our PiPls returned? Because Piping Plovers show great fidelity to nesting sites and this pair is no exception. They are building nest scrapes in almost exactly the same location as was last year’s nest.

Piping Plover Nest Scrape Good Harbor Beach

I’m not sure if the Red Fox photographed here is molting or is the early stages of mange. It does seem a bit early to be molting, but he was catching prey.

We should be seeing Fox kits and Coyote pups any day now, along with baby Beavers, Otters, and Muskrats 🙂

It’s been an off year for Snowy Owls in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic with relatively many fewer owls than that wonderful irruptive winter of 2017-2018 when Hedwig was living on the back shore. 2019 was a poor summer for nesting however, reports of high numbers of Lemmings at their eastern breeding grounds are coming in, which could mean a good nesting season for Snowies in 2020, which could lead to many more Snowies in the winter of 2020-2021.

Take care Friends and be well

Mini-nature lover ❤

GET A (BOAT)LOAD OF THESE PRICES -FISHERMANS WHARF GLOUCESTER POP-UP EVENT TUESDAY!

**Update**
Drive-Thru “Pop-Up” Event-Tuesday 3/31/20

We at Fisherman’s Wharf Gloucester were so overwhelmed with the unexpected turnout from Saturday’s event. We want to continue to provide seafood to the public. We’re stocking up on Fresh Haddock right off F/V Miss Trish II and Scallops from our local day boats. Thank you for your support of our local business, and we look forward to seeing you at Tuesday’s event.

Scallop and Haddock Drive-Thru “Pop-Up” Event
Tuesday March 31st
Starting at 12:00 pm-5pm
37 Rogers Street, Gloucester, MA

Haddock Fillets Vacuum sealed in 2 lb. Bags
$15.00 / Bag (Only $7.50 / lb.)
Scallops Vacuum sealed in 1 lb. Bags
$15.00 / Bag (limited supply)

Cash Only
Please try and bring exact change to cut down on the transfer of money.
This will be set up as a “drive-thru” style pick up only. No need to get out of your vehicles. Please follow the signs and stay inside your vehicles to ensure social distancing.

WE HAVE A PIPING PLOVER NEST SCRAPE!

As you may recall from Sunday’s post, our sweet Piping Plover pair arrived on March 22nd. This is three days earlier than last year. The two are concentrating their courtship in exactly the same area they have been courting, nesting, and raising their chicks for the previous four years (with the exception of the parking lot nest). Today PapaPl made a serious nest scrape about five feet away from last year’s nest.

Each year, as they become better at migrating and better parents, they are arriving earlier, and earlier, and are wasting no time in getting down to the business of reproducing. Piping Plovers famously show great fidelity to their nesting sites and our PiPls are no exception.

Piping Plover nest scrape today at 8:30am

You can see in the photos, the male is in the nest scraping, and the sand is flying in the middle photo as he digs out the nest.

We are very much hoping the symbolic Piping Plover fencing can be installed as quickly as possible. Yesterday, protective dune fencing was installed the length of Good Harbor Beach. What was installed yesterday only needs to be widened in a relatively small area  to accommodate the Piping Plover’s nest scrape.

With all the terrible consequences of Covid-19 taking place all around us, some people may think it not important during the pandemic to help the Good Harbor Beach Piping Plovers. I don’t think I am in the minority when I write nothing could be further from the truth. It’s critical to post the threatened/endangered signs and symbolic fencing and let the community know the birds are here. Helping endangered and threatened species is a meaningful way for us all to better understand our natural environment. The fact that the PiPls successfully fledged three chicks last summer gives us hope for a brighter future for all living creatures on our Planet.

Pops Plover getting down to business this morning!

GRACE FAVAZZA OBITUARY

A beautiful, kind, and welcoming lady who will be missed by so very many
Gloucester – Grace Frances (Misuraca) Favazza, 92, wife of the late Peter L. Favazza of Gloucester, died on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, with a light of loving peace around her, and her daughters by her side, in the early morning, when only the birds were awake to fly her spirit home.
Gracie or Gray, as she was fondly known, was born in Gloucester, 2 Fort Square to be exact, in 1928 and was the daughter of the late Gaetano and Giovininna “Jenny” (LoPiccolo) Misuraca. She received her high school diploma at the age of 55, and her certified nursing assistance license when she was 68 years old, working private duty with the elderly, until she was 84 years old and had to have it explained that she was the elderly.
Gracie had an unwavering amount of energy and was proudly in many organizations. They were the Mother of Grace Club, Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives, Gloucester WWII Veterans, Madonna Del Rosario Society, Our Lady of Good Voyage Guild, St. Ann’s Women’s Guild, Seafood Retirees and St. Peter’s Women’s Auxiliary.
She is survived by her four children, son, Peter Favazza III and his husband Brian Smith, both of Las Vegas, daughter, Sarina Favazza of Dover, NH and Gina Rowland and her husband David Rowland of Dover, NH. She has three step grandchildren, Brandon, Kyle and Shanna Rowland; her sisters, Mary Parisi, Cathy Wallius and a brother John Misuraca from Florida. In addition to her loving husband Peter, she was predeceased by her siblings, her brothers, Vito, Natale, Samuel, Thomas and Joseph Misuraca and sisters, Helen Misuraca and Vincie Vairella. She had many nieces and nephews and was the Godmother of over 19 Godchildren.
The family is forever grateful to Care Dimensions Hospice and Connected Home Care, of all their services and assistance throughout the years of our mother’s journey into aging and beyond. The family wishes to thank all our friends and relatives that enabled Gracie to stay in her home as she aged gracefully and timelessly.
Given the current climate, Grace’s celebration of life will be held in the summer, which will be announced at a later date, with a graveside burial held in Calvary Cemetery, 151 Eastern Ave. Gloucester. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to: The Rose Baker Senior Center, 6 Manuel F. Lewis Road, Gloucester, MA 01930 or The Open Door Food Pantry, 28 Emerson Ave. Gloucester, MA 01930. Arrangements are by the Greely Funeral Home, 212 Washington St. Gloucester, MA 01930. Online condolences may be given at: www.greelyfuneralhome.com.
Published on March 26, 2020

MESSAGE FROM BACKYARD GROWERS LARA LEPIONKA: HOW TO PUT HEALTHY FOOD ON YOUR NEIGHBOR’S TABLE

I’ve been told that spring isn’t canceled. So with this promise of spring, we are working hard to get our community and backyard gardens ready for the growing season so people can have fresh, healthy food to put on their tables. As with most things these days, this pandemic is threatening this promise.
Now more than ever community and backyard gardens are a critical part of our local food system. Gardens help improve food security and the health and nutrition of our most vulnerable populations. And now, with looming job losses and income instability for many more residents, growing some of one’s one food in backyard, community, and even container gardens can make a big difference in the health and wellness of our community during this unprecedented time.
We want you to know that we are working harder than ever to deliver new and innovative ways to serve our economically vulnerable seniors and families–through virtual training, safe seed and seedling distribution, enhanced digital content through our website, and a new, affordable container garden program.
We need your help to keep the promise of spring alive for our gardeners and program members. Please consider making a monthly, sustaining gift to Backyard Growers so we can continue to serve our community. When you make a new or increased monthly contribution today, your donation will be DOUBLED thanks to our friends at The Lenny Zakim Fund . Please make the biggest impact possible by supporting us today. DONATE HERE
If you’re interested in more Information on how you can become a Backyard Garden participant or Community Gardener, including income eligibility information, click here . For households that do not meet BYG income eligibility, Backyard Growers has partnered with Black Earth Compost to deliver and install raised bed gardens around the region.
For more information on our plans for Backyard Growers’ programs, visit my blog post here.
With gratitude and wishes for strong health and happier time
Lara Lepionka
Founder & Executive Director at Backyard Growers

BROTHERS’ BREW COFFE SHOP REMAINS OPEN FOR TAKE-OUT!

Stop by Brother’s Brew for their fabulous homemade world famous donuts, fresh coffee, and various other wonderful baked goods and sandwiches.

Brother’s Brew is located 27 Main Street

Rockport

978-546-3775

 

Gloucester Stage ANNOUNCES THE 2020 SEASON

Gloucester Stage Company

ANNOUNCES THE 2020 SEASON:

Featuring two regional premieres and one world premiere with deep local roots

 

Gloucester Stage Company Artistic Director Robert Walsh and Managing Director Christopher Griffith are proud to announce Gloucester Stage’s 2020 season of professional theater on Boston’s North Shore.

“We are tremendously excited to announce our 2020 season which will once again provide an engaging and eclectic roster of plays including several recent hits from New York and a world premiere!, shares Artistic Director Walsh, “Eager to build on the success of our 40th anniversary season, we are proud to present the first regional premieres of plays that have captivated audiences in extended runs Off-Broadway. Equally, with the rest of the world, we are observing the precautions surrounding COVID-19 and will continue to keep our patrons informed on our capacity to produce.”

Managing Director Griffith adds, “We’ve curated a season of stories that will take full advantage of our intimate stage and give audiences a powerful encounter with world-class plays. Productions that celebrate different perspectives and examine our beliefs, start a conversation on stage that follows us into the lobby and ride home. Inviting our patrons to join us again on Cape Ann this summer will be dependent on the health of our community, but I believe live theatre will provide necessary catharsis in alleviating our post-distancing blues.”

 

 June 5 – June 28

 

Based on the book by New York Times Best Selling Author Cheryl Strayed

TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS

Adapted for the Stage by Academy Award Nominee Nia Vardalos
Co-Conceived by Marshall Heyman, Thomas Kail & Nia Vardalos

 

Directed by Rebecca Bradshawo

 

Based on Cheryl Strayed’s New York Times best-selling memoir, Tiny Beautiful Things is a celebration of the simple beauty of being human, and explores Cheryl Strayed’s journey as the unpaid, anonymous advice columnist Dear Sugar. Over the years, thousands of people turned to Sugar for words of wisdom, compassion, and hope. At first unsure of herself, Sugar finds a way to weave her own life experiences full of laughter and hope together with the deep yearning and heartrending questions from her readers.

Adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos, the Academy Award-nominated writer of My Big Fat Greek Wedding,  and co-created by Vardalos, Wall Street Journal columnist Marshall Heyman, and the Tony Award winning director of Hamilton, Thomas Kail. Tiny Beautiful Things premiered at The Public Theater for a sold-out run starring Vardalos as Sugar and directed by Kail. Tiny Beautiful Things runs June 5 through June 28. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA.

 

July 10 – August 2

 

Ken Ludwig’s

BASKERVILLE

A Sherlock Holmes Mystery

 

Directed by Jim O’Connoro

 

From Tony Award winning playwright Ken Ludwig, comes Baskerville, a fast-paced comedy following the iconic detective, and his sidekick, Dr. Watson, as they solve one of their most notorious cases. The duomust crack the mystery of “The Hound of the Baskervilles” before a family curse dooms its newest heir. Holmes and Watson investigate a dizzying web of clues along with three actors who deftly portray more than 40 characters, providing a hauntingly fun ride for audiences of all ages.

Led by distinguished professor of theater and award-winning director, Jim O’Connor, Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery runs from July 10 through August 2. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm. at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA.

 

August 7 – August 30

 

A REGIONAL PREMIERE

FIRST PRODUCTION SINCE SOLD-OUT OFF-BROADWAY RUN

 

SEARED

by Theresa Rebeck

 

Directed by Victoria Gruenberg

 

Seared is the new comedy by critically-acclaimed playwright Theresa Rebeck (Bernhardt/Hamlet, Bad Dates, Spike Heels, among others). A prolific and widely produced playwright, Rebeck is the most Broadway-produced female playwright of our time. Seared sets the table in a small New York restaurant and explores where art ends and commerce begins. When brilliant, hot-headed chef Harry scores a glowing mention of his signature scallops in a high profile magazine, his business partner, Mike, sees major profits within reach. The only problem is that the temperamental Harry refuses to cash in and recreate his masterpiece for the masses.

Originally commissioned and produced by the San Francisco Playhouse, Seared premiered Off-Broadway October 2019 at MCC Theater Space after an East Coast premiere at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Directed by Victoria Gruenberg, who previously assisted Tony nominee Moritz Von Stuelpnagel, Theresa Rebeck’s Seared, runs from August 7 through August 30. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA.

 

 September 4 – September 27

 

A REGIONAL PREMIERE

FIRST PRODUCTION SINCE NYC WORLD PREMIERE

 

REPARATIONS

Written by James Sheldon

Directed by Myriam Cyr

Gloucester Stage proudly presents the first regional production of James Sheldon’s poignant new play, Reparations, since its world premiere Off Broadway at the Billie Holiday Theatre in November 2019. The story begins when Ginny, a successful book editor, invites a young, black aspiring author, Reg, to her apartment after a boozy book party. She wakes up to find that a night of tenderness and passion is turning into a tumultuous morning-after when he threatens to reveal a dark secret from her past. As family friends join them for an ill-timed paella feast, all four are soon embroiled in whether the young writer is due his restitution. Personal revelations lead to laughs, tears, and coming to terms with racial injustice and personal betrayal in this poignant new play by James Sheldon. Poet Laureate and critically acclaimed actor, Myriam Cyr directs.

 

Reparations runs from September 4 through September 27. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA.

 

October 2 – October 18

 

A WORLD PREMIERE

COMING FROM A SOLD-OUT NEVERDARK LAST SUMMER

 

Think of Me Tuesday

Written by Ken Riaf

 

Directed by Robert Walsho

 

Think of Me Tuesday tells the story of Jim “Buddy” Chum, a mayoral candidate who continues to run in election after election in the same tattered tweed suit jacket, never deterred by the years of embarrassing losses at the polls or being the longtime target of neighbors’ jokes in his hometown of Fishtown, Massachusetts. After yet another failed campaign, a freak accident puts this improbable hero in the city’s captain chair. Newly minted mayor Jim ‘Buddy’ Chum is immediately faced with a quixotic turmoil bigger than any one man can handle in the world premiere of Think of Me Tuesday.

Gloucester resident and playwright, Ken Riaf, returns to Gloucester Stage with his newest play after the hit world premiere of My Station In Life. Think of Me Tuesday reunites Riaf with the 2018 Elliot Norton Award winning My Station in Life actor Ken Baltin who returns to GSC to play Jim “Buddy” Chum. Acclaimed Boston actress Jacqueline Parker who recently directed Broken, Healed and Holding On at GSC and appeared in GSC’s sold out 2019 Never Dark staged reading of the new work also returns for the production. Think of Me Tuesday runs from October 2 through October 18. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA.

o = Denotes Member Stage Directors and Choreographers Society

GLOUCESTER STAGE 2020 SEASON INFORMATION

PERFORMANCE TIMES:

Wednesdays – Saturdays: 7:30 pm;

Saturdays – Sundays: 2:00 pm

PLACE:

Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA 01930

SINGLE TICKET PRICES: Single Ticket prices range from $15 to $48 with discounts available for previews, senior citizens, military families, college students, and youth under 18 years of age. For detailed ticket information visit www.gloucesterstage.com

SUBSCRIPTIONS: Season Packages start at $167 for 5 tickets to use for any show and include early access to seating, no online fees, and free ticket exchanges. Subscribers also have the ability to reserve their favorite seats for the entire season. Packages can be purchased or renewed by calling the Box Office at 978.281.4433 or by visiting gloucesterstage.com/subscribe

PAY WHAT YOU WISH: Gloucester Stage is committed to inclusion and diversity, especially socio-economic status. Pay What You Wish performances are the first Saturday Matinee (2pm) of each production, allowing access to the arts for all. No one is turned away for lack of funds and donations can be made before or after the show.

CAPE ANN NIGHTS: Enriching our local community is key to our mission impact. Residents of Cape Ann (Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester and Essex) can access $25 discount tickets to previews and Wednesday night performances. Limit of 2 (two) per household. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office 978.281.4433, with a valid address.

ABOUT THE COMPANY: Gloucester Stage Company is Boston’s North Shore premier professional, nonprofit theater company. Located in a century-old repurposed brick warehouse on the edge of the Atlantic and at the entrance to the Rocky Neck Cultural District, the intimate venue has provided the setting for premiering award-winning new works and rousing classics over the past four decades. Presenting professional productions of intellectually stimulating and socially relevant theater since its inception, Gloucester Stage has developed a highly engaged audience, eager to experience the power of live theater.

For further information, call the Box Office at 978-281-4433 or visit www.gloucesterstage.com

 

Photo 1: Academy Award Nominated writer for My Big Fat Greek Wedding Nia Vardalos , Adapted Tiny Beautiful Things for the stage  
Photo 2: Theresa Rebeck, Playwright  Seared REGIONAL PREMIERE 
Photo 3: Victoria Gruenberg, Director Seared REGIONAL PREMIERE 
Photo 4: Jacqui Parker, Actor,  Think of  Me Tuesday WORLD  PREMIERE 
Photo 5:  Rebecca Bradshaw, Director Tiny Beautiful Things Photo Credit: Nile Scott Studios
Photo 6: Ken Baltin,  Actor,  Think of  Me Tuesday WORLD  PREMIERE
Photo 7: GSC Artistic Director Robert Walsh, Director Think of  Me Tuesday WORLD  PREMIERE 

PASTAIO VIA CORTA IS OPEN! CALL THE PASTA HOTLINE FOR CURBSIDE PICKUP AT 978-868-5005!

APERTO. Yes, we are open today!!! With the most safest precautions and intentions of feeding our community! We have fresh local produce just harvested from @cedarrockgardens, lots of pasta, our house made tomato sauce, @consorziovaccherosse parmigiano + all our Italian friends provisions! Call today for curb side pick up ☎️ PASTA HOTLINE 978-868-5005.

Pastaio Via Corta is located at 123 Main Street, Gloucester.

BEAUTIFUL DRONE SHOTS OF OCEAN ALLIANCE’S NEW DOCKS!

Iain Ker forwarded these spectacular drone shots from the Ocean Alliance new dock installation.

 

Drone Photos by Iain Kerr using a DJI Mavic 2 Pro

Work on the docks has temporarily ceased due to the coronavirus situation however, although not quite finished, the docks are useable to a certain degree and are quite secure against bad weather.

HOW TO SEW SURGICAL MASKS AND ELASTIC IS DESPERATELY NEEDED BY LOCAL SEAMSTRESSES

Home sewers across the country are pitching in to make face masks for hospitals. Local Essex shop owner Georgeanne Richards from Sea Meadow Gifts and Gardens has been sharing how she and her sewing warriors are organizing, sewing, and collecting supplies for these much needed facial masks.

Georgeanne writes, “There is a desperate need for 1/4 inch flat elastic or elastic cord as you see in the photos.

The elastic is used to hold the masks in place. About 14” of elastic is used for each mask. Please check your home craft and sewing spaces for much needed elastic. Your very much appreciated donations can be placed in a bag and left on Sea Meadow’s porch in the boat planter on the bench.”

Sea Meadow is located at 7 Main Street Essex.

There are several styles of masks and here are instructions for two. Both these sets of directions are written very clearly and are super simple to follow.

From the Button Counter – Facemask: A picture tutorial

And from Sweet Red Poppy – How to Sew a Surgical Face Mask 

RED FOX MOLTING, HUNTING, AND POOPING!

Charlotte and I caught a glimpse of a wonderfully energetic Red Fox this morning. It was all over the field vigorously digging in the ground for mice and voles, running in a sort of leaping and prancing manner, rolling around in the grass, and then just before heading into the wooded edge, it took a long pause to poop.

I at first did not understand what was going on with its fur. You can see a funny looking fluff of white remains on the tail and parts of it coat are still thick with winter fur whereas the fur was very short in other areas. I didn’t think it was mange because he appeared full of vim and vigor.

Both Red and Gray Fox begin to moult (or shed) their fur in spring. The shorter and cooler summer coat grows in while the long shaggy coat falls out, still clinging in some areas.  Perhaps the Fox was rolling in the grass to help rid itself of the old coat.

Rolling in the grass

Pausing to poop