NUBAR ALEXANIAN’S FILM “RECIPE FOR DISASTER” PREMIERING AT THE SALEM FILM FESTIVAL!

Very excited for Nubar and very much looking forward to attending the opening!

The screening will take place at the SALEM FILM FESTIVAL on Sunday, March 31st at 10:00am at the National Parks Service in Salem. The event is free and open to the public. There will be five short films followed by a Q&A. Total time for this event will be 67 minutes. 

CONGRATULATIONS TO GLOUCESTER STAGE COMPANY! Boston Critics’ Recognize GSC 2018 Season With SIX IRNE Award Nominations

Boston Critics‏ Recognize Gloucester Stage Company’s 2018 Season

Non-Profit Theater Receives Six IRNE Award Nominations

Gloucester’s Lindsay Crouse and Ken Riaf Garner Nominations

The Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) recently announced the nominees for the 23rd Annual IRNE Awards. Gloucester Stage Company received a total of eight nominations for the 2018 season. The IRNE Awards honor the best of the previous year’s actors, directors, designers and companies across the full spectrum of large, midsize and fringe theater companies in the New England area.

The nominations for Gloucester Stage’s 2018 season include Best New Play: My Station in Life  by Gloucester’s Ken Riaf; Best Lighting Design: Marcella Barbeau for Sam Shepard’s True West; and four nominations for Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa:Best Play-Midsize; Best Director-Play-Midsize: Benny Sato Ambush; Best Actress-PlayMidsize: Gloucester’s Lindsay Crouse, andBest Supporting Actress-Play-Midsize: Samantha Richert.

According to GSC Artistic Director Robert Walsh, “We’re very excited for all our nominees and appreciative of the IRNE committee for this recognition! Looking forward to celebrating these nominations on April 8 along with the entire Boston theater community.”

The winners will be announced at the 23rd Annual IRNE Awards to be held on Monday, April 8th, at 7:30 p.m. in the Ballroom of The Inn at Brookline, just outside Kenmore Square. Tickets, as always, will be free, courtesy of the Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE).

Gloucester Stage Company’s 40th Anniversary Season opens on June 7 with Neil Simon‘s romantic comedy Barefoot in the Park.For information about Gloucester Stage, or to purchase single tickets or subscription packages, call the Box Office at 978-281-4433 or visit www.gloucesterstage.com.

Photo 1: True West by Sam Shepard featuring (L to R) Alexander Platt and Nael Nacer with IRNE nominated Lighting Designer
Photo 2 and 3: The world premiere of My Station in Life by Gloucester’s Ken Riaf:  Featuring Ken Baltin as Simon Geller and Gloucester’s Meagan Gallo: IRNE nomination for Best new Play
Photo 4 : Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa featuring Gloucester Resident and Academy Award nominee Lindsay Crouse: IRNE Nomination for Best Actress
Photo 5: Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa featuring(L to R) Samantha Richert(IRNE nominee for Best Supporting Actress) and Bryn Austin
Photo 6: Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa at GSC : IRNE Nomination for Best Play 
All photos above by Gary Ng for Gloucester Stage Company
Photo 7: Benny Sato Ambush Director of Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa at GSC: IRNE Nomination for Best Director Courtesy Photo

#supermoon MARCH FULL WORM MOON RISING OVER TWIN LIGHTS ROCKPORT

Hoping to capture the supermoon, in all its huge glory, rising between the Twin Lights last night, but the sky was pink and hazy around the horizon line. Still, I think it’s good to have a record of a rare full moon occurring on the first day of spring.

Thacher Island Twin Lights, waiting for the Moon to rise, North Light, left; South Light right.

#supermoon MARCH SUPER FULL WORM MOON DESCENDING WITH GLOUCESTER CITY HALL

The full Worm Moon descending aligned with City Hall this morning.

On my way to give a Monarch talk in Boston this morning I caught the full Worm Moon setting. It was gorgeous and the air was perfectly still, which would have been ideal for filming. I was trying to take some footage, but my tripod wasn’t cooperating. This was the last super moon of 2019 and is extra special because today’s full super moon also coincides with the vernal equinox (also my son’s birthday!). The last time this happened was in 1905, over one hundred years ago. The next time a super moon will be seen with the spring equinox is in the year 2044.

March’s full moon has many names including Crow Moon, Eagle Moon, Sugar Moon, Sap Moon, Crust Moon, and Lenten Moon. Don’t you prefer any of these other names over Worm Moon; I especially love Eagle Moon and Sugar Moon.

LITTLE RIVER VOLUNTEER FISH COUNTERS NEEDED!

Lily Pond, snowy day West Gloucester

Little River Volunteer Fish Counters Needed!

The Lily Pond and the Little River host a small, but resilient population of river herring. These fish, alewives and blueback herring, migrate from the ocean to the Lily Pond, spawn and then return to the sea. The young fish head downstream in late summer. This is one of the few “runs” remaining on the North Shore, and also one of the oldest in the commonwealth. We would like to know more about when and how many fish travel upstream every year. You can help us by volunteering to count fish as they migrate upstream to the Lily Pond from the Little River.

River herring provide important forage for cod fish, bluefish, tuna and striped bass….all important commercial, recreational and sport fish for the City of Gloucester. Each spring the City of Gloucester hosts a river herring count at the top of the fish ladder by the West Gloucester Water Filtration Plant. Volunteers monitor the once a year spawning run from the Atlantic Ocean This is a wonderful activity for families, scouts, home schoolers, youth and adult groups….. suitable for all ages!

Volunteering is simple and requires as little as ten minutes of your time.

The count runs from April 1st to May 30th .

There will be an informational training session held on Monday, March 25, 2019 at 6 PM in the first floor conference room at 19 Harbor Loop, Gloucester, and a field training session on Saturday March 30 at 10 AM at the West Gloucester Water Filtration Plant at 372 Magnolia Ave, Gloucester.

If you would like to count fish in Gloucester, contact:

Peter Seminara, Gloucester Shellfish Constable and Alewife Warden at the Shellfish Department at (978) 325-5248, by cell phone or text at (978) 949-1223, or by email at pseminara@gloucester-ma.gov.

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