A HEARTFELT SHOUT OUT TO OUR COMMUNITY -THANK YOU FOR THE N-95 MASKS!

Our friend and local midwife, Mandy Davis, who yesterday made a plea for N-95 masks, wishes to thank everyone who donated so generously. The Brigham midwives were down to only two masks. Thanks to our community they now have 120 and will be sharing with Beverly midwives, too!

Thank you, thank you, thank you ❤

GLOUCESTER’S TREASURED CONSERVATIONIST JOE ORANGE PASSES

Warden of Gloucester watersheds dies

By Michael Cronin

Staff Writer

Joe Orange, Gloucester’s long-time watershed constable, died on Tuesday at the age of 97.

Orange’s passion was preserving Gloucester’s water supply and woods. He made it his duty to clear out squatter camps erected around Babson and Goose Cove Reservoirs. In 2008, Orange told the Gloucester Daily Times he had evicted around 1,000 people from 60 camps at that point in his career. All the while, Orange made sure to keep an eye out for teenagers hosting illicit parties in the woods.

“The watershed is a huge area; you’d need about 50 people to control it,” he said at the time. “But we can control the shore of the water itself, and that is where we have to focus.”

From 1994 until this year, Orange would conduct nightly patrols around Dogtown. Usually, he would takes these walks all by himself.

READ MORE HERE

Gloucester resident Joe Orange wore his trademark shorts for this portrait by Jason Grow made for a series on the city’s World War II veterans. Orange died Tuesday; he was 97.

THANK YOU KRAFT FAMILY AND GOV BAKER! A Million N-95 Masks Are Coming From China—on Board the New England Patriots’ Plane

WSJ

The Massachusetts governor struck a deal for supplies but needed a way to transport them. The result was a tense saga and a shipment on the NFL team’s 767.

At 3:38 a.m. Wednesday morning, the New England Patriots’ team plane departed from an unusual locale: Shenzhen, China. On board the Boeing 767, in the cargo hold that used to be home to Tom Brady’s duffel bags, were 1.2 million N95 masks bound for the U.S.

READ MORE HERE

NEW SHORT FILM: DO YOU REMEMBER CAPE ANN’S SNOWY OWL HEDWIG?

Dear Friends and Snowy Owl Lovers,

Not last winter but the winter before, an exquisite Snowy Owl arrived on Cape Ann. I think it was sometime in December we first began seeing her perched on Bass Rocks. Many of us followed her escapades daily and we took lots of photos. I was also filming her. Like many Snowies, she was tolerant of people, but I think she was especially unperturbed by humans. I also filmed other Snowies that irruptive winter, a stunning nearly all white male nicknamed Diablo at Salisbury Beach, a pretty female at Plum Island, and a pair of males that were located at a beach just north of Logan Airport. And while filming one morning in the dunes at Crane Beach, two were having an epic battle. I was sitting super still and one of the combatants landed within several feet of where I was perched, startling us both!

About two months ago my computer crashed and I lost my film editing program and also became sick with what I thought was a cold. I had been mostly self-quarantining for a month prior to the mandated quarantine because I didn’t want any elderly friends to catch my cold. It turns out it is pneumonia. So between quarantining and learning my brand new film editing program I have made a series of short 3-5 minute films, mostly for the parents and kids in our neighborhood, and also for all our owl lovers. Hopefully, these shorts will help a bit to pass the time.

A Snowy Owl Comes to Cape Ann is part one in the first of five episodes. Next to come is Snowy Owl Hunting. Stay tuned 🙂

Please share with your neighbors and Moms and Dads home with the kids. I think you will love seeing the Snowy and how beautiful, too, Cape Ann looks in wintertime. And we’ll also learn some fun facts about Snowies!

Thank you for watching and please be well ❤

 

NO, THIS IS NOT A RARE TROPICAL BIRD!

Aren’t the colors of the Common Grackle’s feathers beautiful in the morning sun? When they fly by you may think oh, just an ordinary blackbird, but in the early morning light when the sun hits their feather just right, you’ll see deeply hued iridescent shades of violet, green, and blue, along with metallic gold and copper.

They are everywhere all around us right now, in large and small flocks, singing their hearts out while pairing up to nest, and often mixed with Red-winged Blackbirds and Brown-headed Cowbirds.

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 spring migration is well underway and 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 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 collecting nesting fibers 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 local ponds and marshes.

Cape Ann’s Kildeers appeared 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.

Kildeers

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 2020

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 migrating south 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