SHORT FILM: KID’S PASTA MAKING DAY AND HAPPY SAINT JOSEPH DAY FROM THE GROPPO’S FEAST!

VIVA SAN GIUSEPPE from the welcoming home of Nina and Franco Groppo ❤

This round one set of photos was taken at today’s lunchtime feast. Families with school-age children and another several hundred are expected for dinner tonight. All are welcome to the table at the Groppo Saint Joseph Day Feast.

 

See More Photos of the kids pasta-making day here –

SAINT JOSEPH’S DAY FROM MACHEROS MEXICO – Día de San José

Stopping to film inside the church in the center of Macheros, we were delighted to see this lovely poster for Saint Joseph’s Day – Día de San José – Viva San Giuseppe! 

Día de San José

JOIN CB FISK FOR AN OPEN SHOP CELEBRATION IN GLOUCESTER!

You are cordially invited to join us at our Gloucester workshop to celebrate the creation of a new pipe organ. See and hear Opus 153, tour the shop, and learn about the art and craft of organ building. We look forward to seeing you then–

Saturday, April 6
2 pm – 6 pm

C.B. Fisk, Inc.
21 Kondelin Road
Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930
978 283-1909 • http://www.cbfisk.com

OPUS 153

WESLEY UNITED  METHODIST CHURCH
MUSCATINE, IOWA

3 manuals • 39 stops • 34 independent voices
(1:16 scale model shown)

BEST PASTA MAKING DAY EVER!

With love and gratitude to Nina and Frank Groppo who each year open their hearts and home to the community, sharing in the true spirit of Saint Joseph ❤

This special, extra day of pasta-making, especially for kids, as well as grownups who could not attend last Tuesday, would not be possible without the love and help of Groppo family friends, grandparents, moms, dads, aunts, and uncles who take the time and care to show the “next generation” time held traditions and celebrations. Viva San Giuseppe!

SAFE TRAVELS LITTLE SNOW BUNTINGS!

Mostly when you see the pretty Snow Buntings at the beach, they are pecking at the sand, foraging for seeds caught between the granules. It was a joy to see one in this small flock briefly alight on a stem of grass so I could catch a glimpse of its beautiful wing.

Snow Buntings are preparing to migrate to the Arctic. They have a circumpolar Arctic breeding range, which means they breed all around the globe within the range of the North Pole. Snow Buntings are the most northerly recorded passerine (songbird) in the world!

I don’t have a photo of what they look like in summer, when the male’s plumage is a striking black and white, and borrowed this batch from wiki commons media.

 

HOME FROM BEAUTIFUL MEXICO AND FILMING THE MAGNIFICENT MONARCHS!

My husband Tom and I returned from filming Monarchs in Mexico very late Monday night. The first day back was pasta making for Saint Joseph Day at the Groppos and spending time with our son Alex and granddaughter Charlotte. Yesterday and today I’ve been pouring through the footage to add to the film. I’ll write some posts about beautiful Mexico, the fantastic JM Butterfly B and B, and the magnificent Monarchs as soon as I have time to sort through the photos. It was an adventure of a lifetime!

I was most worried about torturing Tom and wasn’t entirely sure we would have uninterrupted internet access so he could work remotely, but he had the best time meeting new people, riding horses up the mountain, climbing Cerro Pelon, and practicing his Spanish!

Monarch flakes fill the sky 

GLOUCESTER’S “PIPING PLOVER PLAN” REVIEWED BY KEN WHITTAKER AND MEET ADRIENNE LENNON, GLOUCESTER’S NEW CONSERVATION AGENT!

Last evening at the City Council meeting, former Gloucester conservation agent Ken Whittaker reviewed the City’s 3PPlan (Piping Plover Plan) with the Councilors.

We Piping Plover volunteer monitors are grateful for the time and effort Ken has put forth in helping to protect our threatened Piping Plovers. We’re especially appreciative of the time he spent coordinating the volunteer monitors–not an easy task! We wish Ken all the best in his retirement.

Ken and PiPl Volunteer Monitors, Good Harbor Beach

Ken and Jim Destino introduced Adrienne Lennon, Gloucester’s new conservation agent. We had a few minutes after the introduction to speak with Adrienne. Her experience includes working for seven years at Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center, located in Ipswich on the Plum Island causeway, adjacent to the infamous Pink House. While there, Adrienne gained extensive knowledge in Piping Plover conservation. She is especially interested in preserving and protecting our beach dunes. Adrienne can be reached at alennon@gloucester-ma.gov.

Best of success to Adrienne in her new position as Gloucester’s Conservation Agent!

Photos of Ken and Adrienne at City Hall courtesy of City Council Vice President Steve LeBlanc

During Piping Plover nesting season, I have visited the public beach at the northern end of Plum Island, Newbury Beach. I believe the PiPl nesting areas at Newbury Beach are monitored by Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center. Newbury Beach is similar in several ways to Good Harbor Beach in that it is a popular town beach in a residential area with many access points and nearby hotels. Last year the beach and dunes were extremely hard hit by late winter storms, just as was Good Harbor Beach.

About Joppa Flats Education Center: Overlooking the Merrimack River and near the entrance to Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, the Joppa Flats Education Center offers unique educational opportunities for people of all ages. Here, you can explore the region’s wildlife-rich habitats (salt marshes, mudflats, rivers, bays, and coastal waters) through guided tours, marine touch tanks, art exhibits, drop-in programs, and interpretive displays.

Scenes from behind the Joppa Flats Education Center and Plum Island causeway.

Councilors Steve LeBlanc and Melissa Cox wearing Piping Plover monitor hats provided by Ken Whittaker.

Coffins Beach and Wingaersheek Beach are going to be more closely monitored this year for Piping Plovers. The above photo is from 2016 when NINE chicks fledged at Coffins Beach!

Three-day-old Piping Plover Chick, Good Harbor Beach

 

ST. JOSEPH PASTA MAKING WITH THE GROPPOS!

If you weren’t able to make pasta today at Nina and Frank Groppos, a second special St. Joseph pasta-making day is taking place this Saturday at 10:00am. This additional day is especially for kids and everyone is invited to join the fun!

Charlotte was so super shy at first, but Kathy Pratl took her under her wing and showed her how. As soon as she understood everyone was making her favorite, noo-noos, Charlotte joined right in. Thank you Nina, Franco, Kathy, Roseanne and Friends for a great morning!

JOE VIRGILIO MAKING SAINT JOSEPH ROLLS

The Virgilios began making St. Joseph rolls in the early 1950s, for the Feast of Saint Joseph, and today, they make them year round. Back then, there were so many families that celebrated Saint Joseph traditions that even as young kids, Joe and all his cousins had to hurry to the bakery after school to help their grandfather fill the St. Joseph roll orders. Now the bread is made with state of the art equipment but in his grandfather’s day it was all made by hand. Joe smiled thinking about how his grandfather would love today’s mixing and baking machines. I went home with a camera-full of stories and bag full of Joe’s bread, both generous, and much-appreciated gifts.

Virgilio’s Saint Joseph rolls are super yummy plain, with a touch of butter, or olive oil, and are even more super delicious made into one of their world-famous sandwiches!

THE YOUNG SWANS RETURN!

Three Young Graces Update No. 3

Although Niles Pond had refroze, I wasn’t expecting to see the young swans, especially after sunset. But there they were, all three, sitting in the near dark on the ice.

They were taking turns drinking fresh water from a small opening in the ice. I watched for a moment when suddenly all three stood. In unison, they took a running start across the ice and were quickly airborne, flying in a northwest direction.

Where had they been and where were they flying to when nearly dark?

 

MAKING SAINT JOSEPH ALTAR BREAD WITH CAFE SICILIA’S MARIA CRACCHIOLO

Artists-in-the-Kitchen Maria Cracchiolo, and her parents Domenic and Nina Damico, demonstrate how to create beautiful bread in shapes symbolic of Saint Joseph and inspired by nature. Watch as Maria, Nina, and Domenic artfully shape angels, a carpenter’s saw, San Giuseppe scroll, Saint Joseph sun, snails, flowers, butterflies, grapes, and more.

Saint Joseph altar bread is available by special order at Caffe Sicilia. Call to place your order at (978) 283-2345.

Fish-shaped St. Joseph altar bread

FEATHERED FURY, FEATHERED GLORY – MR. SWAN, RULER OF CAPE ANN’S WATERWAYS, RETURNS

Three Young Graces Update No. 2

Niles Pond thawed, and so too was the knowledge that Mr. Swan would return. He is the bird-ruler of Cape Ann’s waterways, from Gloucester Harbor to Rockport Harbor, and vigilantly patrols all our local ponds and inlets. Mr. Swan does not take kindly to other swans in his territory. 

I checked in on the Three Graces at day’s end, and they were contentedly preening after a full day of eating.

Swanference

The following morning I returned and there was Mr. Swan, but no young swans. Although I did not see a battle take place, Mr. Swan’s behavior can only be described as victorious. Swans do a thing called busking when they want to appear big and bad and that is exactly what he was doing. Swimming with vigor and much greater speed than usual, he was patrolling one end of the pond to the other, with his feathers all busked out. It’s a swan’s way, and his territorial behavior is in part what has contributed to his longevity. Mr. Swan is more than thirty years old. I do so hope no one was injured, though.

Feathered Fury, Feathered Glory – Mr. Swan Busking

Perhaps the pond will freeze again, Mr. Swan will head back to Rockport Harbor, and we’ll see the Three Graces at Niles Pond once more.


Busking full speed ahead to the other side of the pond to see if the three young ones are hiding, and then taking a break after what must have been a demanding morning.

SNOWY OWL BESTIES ON THE BEACH

When one Snowy Owl boy left his perch and flew within several feet of a second Snowy stationed further down the beach I wasn’t sure what to expect, especially after witnessing several territorial battles between Hedwig and Bubo last winter, as well as a Snowy dispute between a male and female at Crane Beach.

These two behaved as if they were expecting a visit from their best bud. After landing next to the stationary one, the active one immediately began to eat seaweed. This went on for several minutes.

Then he washed his big feet and fluffed his feathers. Both nodded and dozed off, like it was the most normal thing to hang with a Snowy bestie on the beach. They were spotted a few days later again, not too far apart 🙂

GLOUCESTER STAGE COMPANY AND AURELIA NELSON SAVE THE DAY FOR MARBLEHEAD THEATRE!

Marblehead ‘Mockingbird’ production makes a comeback in Gloucester

By Mary Reines

Wicked Local Marblehead

Following lawsuit threat, Mugford Street Players relocate their production of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’

It seemed as if the Mugford Street Players would have to completely abandon their production of “To Kill A Mockingbird,” which was set to open at Marblehead Little Theatre on March 1, after receiving a cease and desist letter from Atticus Limited Liability Company last Wednesday.

“We took a big body blow last week when we were told we couldn’t go forward,” said Mugford Street Players producer Greg Mancusi-Ungaro.

In the letter, lawyers at Loeb & Loeb detailed a decades-old copyright agreement between the Harper Lee estate and play distributor Dramatic Publishing Company (DPC), which prohibited the production of “amateur performances” of the show within 25 miles of a major city during the “New York run” or “first class touring production” of the play.

The attorneys for Atticus asserted that these restrictions were being violated due to the current run of a new play adaptation of “To Kill A Mockingbird” written by Aaron Sorkin, which opened in New York in December 2018. The Players had been rehearsing an earlier play adaptation of the book, written by Christopher Sergel.

After the initial outrage and despair, the Players sent an email blast with their request for a theater more than 25 miles away from Boston that would be willing to host their production. According to Mancusi-Ungaro, Radio Host Aurelia Nelson, of North Shore 104.9 FM, spread the word and reached Chris Griffith, the interim manager at Gloucester Stage Company, who came forward and offered the space.

“John [Fogle, director] and I went and met him,” said Mancusi-Ungaro. “He’s been incredibly accommodating.”

Mancusi-Ungaro also discussed the relocation with lawyers representing the Sorkin play in New York, as well as the lawyers in Alabama representing the Lee estate, and was able to get the green light. He re-applied for a show license with DPC and was successful.

“It’s really been quite a process,” he said.

According to Griffith, Gloucester Stage Company is about 35 miles away from Boston, which is in accordance with the copyright agreement. He said he believes this is the first time that Gloucester Stage Company has come to the rescue like this.

“I think this is the first time that a situation like this has happened with a community theater production being caught between the Broadway production and the licensing company,” he said.

The Players’ near-cancellation has received national attention, as the theater company is among many others across the nation and the world that have been thwarted by this lawsuit threat, according to articles in the New York Times and the Washington Post. Mancusi-Ungaro thinks that the Mugford Street Players have been the only theater troupe to relocate its production, rather than cancel it altogether.

“A lot of companies have closed their shows,” he said. “I believe we’re the only company that adopted the strategy of taking our show outside the limit.”

The Mugford Street Players’ production of “To Kill a Mockingbird” will be playing at the Gloucester Stage Company on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from March 29 through April 14. Tickets are $15 for students, $25 for seniors and $35 general admission, available at http://gloucesterstage.com or the Arnould Gallery in Marblehead.

Read More Here

GORGEOUS GLOUCESTER AFTER MARCH SNOW STORM CHURNING SEAS EXPLODING WAVES BACK SHORE, BASS ROCKS, GOOD HARBOR, TWIN LIGHTS

Wild sea and atmospheric light made for some dramatic scenes this morning.