Author Archives: Kim Smith


Dear Readers,

Last Tuesday we sent our letter to Mayor Sefatia and the City Councilors with a short list of recommendations, based on the past three years of daily Piping Plover monitoring by myself and our core group of volunteer monitors. We purposefully kept the recommendations modest out of consideration to both the Piping Plovers and to our Good Harbor beach going community. Please find below the recommendations suggested by the Piping Plover volunteer monitors.

July 9, 2018

Dear Mayor Romeo Theken and Gloucester City Councilors,

We, the Piping Plover volunteer monitors, are submitting our short list of recommendations regarding the Piping Plovers nesting at Good Harbor Beach. Our goal is to have in place by next April 1, 2019, measures and ordinances that will greatly increase the likelihood that the hatchlings of this tiny threatened shorebird will have a fighting chance at surviving life on Good Harbor Beach.

Piping Plovers began nesting at Good Harbor Beach in 2016. Each year, the PiPl are coming earlier and earlier. In 2016, they arrived mid-May, in 2017 they arrived at the beginning of May, and this year, they arrived on April 3. It would appear that the same pair is returning to Good Harbor Beach, as the male marks his territory and attempts to build a nest scrape only several feet from the previous year’s nest (at Boardwalk #3 nesting area). More Plovers than ever were seen at Good Harbor Beach this spring, and if not for constant interruptions in the Boardwalk #1 nesting area, we would have had two pairs nesting on the beach.

Why are the birds arriving earlier and earlier? We can presume that the pair are more experienced travelers and that Good Harbor Beach is their “territory.” Does this mean we will eventually have dozens of pairs nesting on Good Harbor Beach? No, because the PiPl are very territorial and they will defend a fairly large area, preventing other PiPl from nesting in their site.

This year the PiPl pair hatched four chicks. All four chicks were killed by crows, gulls, and dogs. All three are human-created issues, and all three can be remedied. The following are the four recommendations and actions we wish to see take place.


1) Change the dog ordinance to not allow dogs on the beach after March 31.

Currently, dogs are allowed on the beach from October 1 to May 1. The Piping Plover volunteer monitor core group, Dave Rimmer from Greenbelt, Ken Whittaker, and Mass Wildlife’s John Regosin, all agree that dogs should not be allowed on Good Harbor Beach beginning April 1, but that it would be safe for Piping Plover fledglings and other migrating shorebirds for dogs to return after September 15.

This new suggested time frame will allow birds to nest on the beach (as opposed to in the parking lot), with far less interruption, shorebirds will nest earlier in the season, which will help with the chicks survival rate, and the chicks will be stronger by the time Good Harbor fills with summer crowds.

This is a very logical and simple solution. Disallowing dogs on Massachusetts coastal beaches where shorebirds are nesting, beginning April 1, is the norm. Allowing them to return after September 15, and in many cases after September 30, is also very common. For Piping Plovers and other nesting shorebirds, protecting their habitat and sharing the shore is a matter of life and death.

2) Rope off the nesting area by April 1.

Poles, with threatened species signs, and a triple row of roping of nesting sites, to be in place no later than April 1. Essex County Greenbelt’s Dave Rimmer will assist with this measure.

3) Enforce the existing ordinances regarding dogs (and littering) at all times throughout the year.

Only enforcing dog ordinances at Good Harbor Beach during nesting season is creating hostility toward the Piping Plovers.

Additionally, we do not recommend extremely high fines as we feel that may become an impediment to issuing and collecting the fines. We know of at least one example where the magistrate dismissed the tickets issued to a woman who claimed to have a service dog. This woman was running rampant on the beach and throughout dunes with her service dog off leash throughout the entire time the PiPl were nesting, from April through May. Despite the fact that former dog officer Diane Corliss caught the woman on camera with her dog off leash on the beach, and in the dunes, all her tickets that were issued by the animal control officer were dismissed. This is neither fair to the officers who are working hard to keep the dogs off the beach or to the plover volunteers who are spending inordinate amounts of time trying to keep the PiPl safe.

4). Increase trash collection.

When no barrels are placed at the entrances to the beach, people dump bags of trash there anyway. When barrels are in place, people put trash in the barrels however, when the barrels become full, they again resort to leaving bags of trash behind, only next to the barrels. In either scenario, gulls and crows are attracted to the trash. Both gulls and crows rip open the bags and the trash is blown throughout the parking lot and marsh, soon finding its way onto the beach and into the ocean. Hungry gulls and crows waiting for people to leave their trash behind eat tiny shorebirds.

A friend who lives on a North Carolina beach shares how her community keeps their public beaches looking pristine. Not only do they have barrels, but every few weeks, police patrol the beach and hand out fines for littering. This is taken as a wake up call, everyone is good for a bit of time, but then become slack about littering again. Out come the officers for another round of ticketing.

Thank you for taking the time to consider our recommendations.

Sincerely yours,

Kim Smith

cc Paul Lundberg, Steven LeBlanc, Val Gilmam, Ken Hecht, Melissa Cox, Jen Holmgren, Scott Memhard, Sean Nolan, Jamie O’Hara, Dave Rimmer, Ken Whitakker

Piping Plover chicks coming in for some snuggles.


Gloucester sculptor and designer Morgan Faulds Pike’s arrestingly beautiful works of art are often inspired by the wildlife and wild habitats of Cape Ann. I love her description of a Red Fox she recently spied. Go here to Morgan’s website to see a collection of her stunning sculptures, carvings for pipe organs, and drawings. And of course, you can always visit her “Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Memorial” on the boulevard.
Thanks so much to Morgan for sharing!!
Hello  Kim,
Heading home Tuesday from an early morning run around the quarries, I saw this fox cross Granite Street toward the Tool Company. She munched on something under a bush in the empty lot while crows, and later mockingbirds, harassed her. I got out of the car and watched her calmly cross at the crosswalk, then head up Curtis street on the sidewalk. A beautiful animal with ink dipped feet and ears and a white tipped fat fur tail. Sorry it’s only iPhone resolution…
Morgan Faulds Pike

Red Fox are so elusive. We used to see them all the time in East Gloucester, especially on the backshore beaches, scavenging early, early in the morning. I see them now much more frequently in West Gloucester (and Gray Fox, too) and Joey recently saw one trotting along in East Gloucester, after years of no sightings.

I read that where you have a greater concentration of Eastern Coyotes there will be fewer Red Fox. I also read that because of habitat competition from the Eastern Coyote, they are now denning closer to people’s homes as these sites are deemed safer from coyotes. Coyotes typically sleep out in the open and don’t usually make a den, unless it’s pupping season, and then they may use a fox’s den.


Annisquam Village Church

2018 Concert Series

Sunday, July 22, at 8 PM



Offered during the centennial of his birth, this program is a tribute to one of Massachusetts’ greatest composers, the controversial international legend Leonard Bernstein.  Like other programs under the artistic direction of Beverly Soll, it adopts a trademark informality and direct communication with the audience as it explores the essence of the man and his music.

Because Bernstein himself made no distinction between art songs, operatic solos, and pieces for the Broadway stage, the performers won’t either, weaving together favorites from the vast repertoire of Bernstein’s music theatre, operatic, and art songs.  Bernstein famously said in one of his first Young People’s Concerts, “Music is never about anything. … Music just is.”  In this spirit, the recital opens with the first music he composed for voice and piano in which the 25-year-old composer proclaims, “I hate music, but I like to sing,” and goes on to complain about “the big, dark hall where people really don’t want to be at all.”

The program follows the wild comet ride of Bernstein’s life exploring his concerns and thoughts about social consciousness, love, and politics in songs from West Side Story, Candide, Trouble in Tahiti, and On the Town, and finally about religion, closing with the words of the street priest in Mass, “Sing God a simple song … for God is the simplest of all.”  In a 1950s “This I Believe” NPR radio broadcast essay, Bernstein said, “I believe in people. I feel, love, need and respect people above all else.”  His music reflects this incredible honesty and a search for a better society.

Performers are soprano Tiffany Baxter, mezzo soprano Angela Jajko, and baritone Mark Morgan, with artistic director Beverly Soll and husband Andrew Soll at the piano, all of whom are active professional musicians well known on the North Shore and in the greater Boston area.


Tiffany Baxter, Angela Jajko, Mark Morgan, Andrew Soll & Beverly Soll

The concert features a brief guest appearance by Les jeunes émissaires de Jeanne d’Arc (young students and campers from the CAPE ANN ARTS ALIVE program) in a reprise of their pageant based on the creation of Anna Hyatt Huntington’s iconic equestrian statue of Joan of Arc. Bernstein’s incidental music for Jean Anouilh’s play, The Lark, marks a moment when the tide had turned for France under Joan’s banner and her ‘emissaries’ celebrate her victories.  Sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington’s studio was on the causeway between Goose Cove and Lobster Cove, just footsteps away from the Village Church.

Settled in 1728 as the Third Parish of Cape Ann, the historic Annisquam Village Church offers ideal acoustics in an intimate, New England setting.  Located at 820 Washington Street (corner of Leonard and Washington Streets), the church is 3 miles from Grant Circle)

Handicap accessible.

General admission: $20 at the door or in advance with Brown PaperTickets:     Students $15. (at the door only)



The Good Harbor Beach Killdeer Family has hatched a second clutch of four chicks!

The first nest was located in the dunes, the second on the edge of the parking lot. The staff at the GHB parking lot placed two large stones on either side of the nest. A week or so later, an orange cone.

Nesting patiently and well hidden in the scrubby parking lot growth. 

Mama and Papa Killdeer successfully distracted many a beach goer from getting too close to to the nest with their broken-wing distraction display.

Killdeers are a species of plovers, as are Piping Plovers, Semi-palmated Plovers, Black-bellied Plovers, and Wilson’s Plovers. It takes about the same amount of time for the eggs to incubate, approximately 24-28 days.

Both male and female Killdeers brood the eggs. It is not easy to tell the difference between the male and female unless side-by-side. The male is typically a bit larger than the female.

Three of the eggs had hatched by nightfall, the fourth hatched early the next day. This new little Killdeer Family safely made it out of the parking lot the day after hatching, heading into the marsh, just as did the brood that hatched earlier in the summer.






A New Version of the Classic Tale with a Contemporary Spin

Gloucester Stage Company continues its 39th season of professional theater with the New England premiere of Jason O’Connell and Brenda Withers’Cyrano from July 13 through August 11 at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. Gloucester Stage Artistic Director Robert Walsh directs this adaptation of Rostand’s 1897 classic, Cyrano de Bergerac. According to Walsh, “Cyrano, a new adaptation of the famous play by Edmond Rostand (Cyrano de Bergerac), by Brenda Withers & Jason O’Connell, is a fast-paced, contemporized version featuring a small cast breathing fresh life into this large-scale classic.  Witty, clever, insouciant and fully enjoying the poetic bravura through a modern-day lens and very approachable language, this New England premiere will be perfect for Gloucester Stage!  A beautiful tale told with panache.”

A cast of five plays a multitude of roles in this imaginative retelling of the classic story of Cyrano and his love for Roxane. Acclaimed Boston actor Jeremiah Kissel makes his GSC debut as Cyrano. Andrea Goldman last seen at GSC in 2016’s The Last Schwartz, returns to play Roxane. Salem resident Paul Melendy, last seen at GSC in 2016’s The Last Schwartz with Ms. Goldman and in 2017’s Bank Job returns to play DeGuiche. James Ricardo Milord and Erin Nicole Washington both make their GSC debut as Christian and LeBret/Duenna. Jason O’Connell and Brenda Withers’ Cyrano had its world premiere in February 2018 at Amphibian Stage Productions in Fort Worth, Texas.”

Artistic Director and Cyrano director Robert Walsh has worked at Gloucester Stage as both an actor and director for over 20 years. Most recently, in 2017 he directed Bank Job, in 2016 he directed Songs For A New World and in 2015 he directed the Elliot Norton Award winning The New Electric Ballroom and starred in Gloucester Blue. Walsh’s other GSC directing credits include North Shore Fish, FightingOver Beverley, The Widow’s Blind Date, The Primary English Class, and Our Town. As an actor he has appeared on the stage in Gloucester in Sins of the Mother, The Subject Was Roses,The Barking Sharks, and Two for the Seesaw. He has also served as the Producing Artistic Director at the American Stage Festival where he directedBus Stop, Intimate Exchanges, Jacques Brel…, andLend Me a Tenor, among others. As Artistic Associate at Actors’ Shakespeare Project he has directed As You Like It, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Coriolanus, Twelfth Night, andMeasure For Measure. Other productions directed include:Othello with Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey; Round and Round The Garden, Table Manners, K2, Later Life and HolidayMemories at Merrimack Rep; Rancho Mirage, Race, Speed-The-Plow, andTrue West with New Repertory Theatre; The Secret of Sherlock HolmesandThe Goatwoman of Corvis Countyat Shakespeare & Co.; MisallianceandA Life in the Theatre at Two River Theatre Co.; I Hate

Hamlet with StageWest; The Little Foxesat Barter Theatre; and Of Mice and Men at Stoneham Theatre, among others. His roles in recent feature films include Black Mass, Patriot’s Dayand the upcoming, Altar Rock. Mr. Walsh directed the on-field ceremonies for the ’99 All-Star Game at Fenway Park. He is on the faculty at Brandeis University.

Jeremiah Kissel makes his Gloucester Stage debut as Cyrano. Winner of the 2003 Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence, Mr. Kissel is a thirty-five year veteran of Boston’s professional theaters, and has played leading roles for The Huntington, American Repertory, Merrimack Rep, as well as The Lyric Stage, Shear Madness, and various out of town companies when they passed through Boston. His recent appearances include Old Money and King Lear for Commonwealth Shakespeare, and Fiddler on the Roof and Two Jews Walk Into a War for The New Rep. He is the winner of Helen Hayes, IRNE, Hatch, Graniteer and Arts Impulse Awards as well as several Elliot Norton Awards including most recently, Best Actor for playing Bernie Madoff in 2014, and most notably, the very first Norton Award given to a local Boston actor in 1990. His screen credits include The Town, The Fighter, Joy,Stronger and The Wrong Car, and he can be seen in the upcoming Hulu series, Castle Rock. The last time he was in Cyrano, it was as Christian at The Theater at Monmouth, in 1983.

Read more


 Pip, the day before he was killed.

You may be asking, “where are the Good Harbor Beach Piping Plovers now?” Surprisingly, they are still around! After the night the last chick was killed (tracks point to a skirmish with a dog and several people in the nesting area), two Piping Plovers were reported at Cape Hedge Beach the following evening. Rockport resident Gail, who first reported the sighting, and PiPl volunteer monitor Laurie Sawin and I, found one at Cape Hedge the next morning, and by the next day, two had returned to the roped off area at #3 boardwalk!

Everyday since, either Greenbelt’s Dave McKinnon, my husband Tom, Deborah Cramer, or myself have spotted at least one in the cordoned off #3.

Recent PiPl sightings at the Good Harbor Beach nesting area.

Our thoughts are to leave some part of the roping up as long as the Piping Plovers are still using it as a sanctuary during high tide when the beach is crowded. For a second and even more important reason, many of us would like to see part of the cordoned off area stay in place for the simple reason it is helping with dune recovery.

You may recall that during late winter we had back to back nor’easters, which had a devastating effect on Good Harbor Beach in that much of the beach’s sand was washed away. The beach dropped about ten feet, which now causes the tide to come up high to the edge of the bluff. Beach grass and beach vegetation will help prevent future washouts. Because the area around #3 has been roped of since mid-April, a fantastic patch of beach grass has begun to take hold!!! If we leave a narrow strip roped off from the public, about ten to fifteen feet wide, running the length of the beach and around the creek bend, this simple step alone will have a marked impact on the overall health of the dune habitat.Beach plants help prevent erosion while also providing shade and shelter for tiny shorebirds.

A pair of one-day-old Least Tern chicks finding shade.



Congratulations to seine boat race champions Iron Village, Rowgue, and Uproar, congratulations to Greasy Pole winners Frankie Tarominga (Friday), Mike Sanfilippo (Saturday), and Randy Sweet (Sunday), and congrats to all the proud family members!!!


Happy 4th of July! We are sure you all enjoyed the enormous amount of sunshine this week, very thankful for this bit of rain today!
We are having a 20% off sale on all our plants this weekend (July 7th & 8th). Below is a list of what we currently have in stock.
We have a great selection of hanging baskets and window boxes with annual and perennial herbs and flowers. We also have our new wave of fall vegetables ready to go into the garden for succession planting. Our native perennials selection is stocked up and attracting all the pollinators you can imagine – bring them home to your gardens!
Hope you are having a wonderful summer!
All the best,
Elise and Tucker
Cedar Rock Gardens

Products in stock

Coast of Maine Potting Soil
Coast of Maine Garden Soil
Black Earth Compost
North Country Organics ProGrow
Neptunes Harvest Crab Shell
Neptunes Harvest Fish Emulsion
Neptunes Harvest Rose & Flowering Formula
Neem Oil
Captain Jack’s Dead bug
Inseticidal Soap
Diatomaceous Earth
Row Cover
Hay Bales



Broccoli arcadia
Broccoli Imperial
Brussels Sprout
Cabbage Faro 1
Cabbage Mix
Cabbage Napa (minuet)
Cabbage Red Express
Cauliflower Purple of sicily
Cauliflower Snow Crown
Celery Tango green
Cucumber Diva
Cucumber fanfare
Cucumber Marketmore 76
Cucumber Tasty Jade
Eggplant Beatrice
Fennel Fino
Greens  Our mix
Kale Red Russian
Kale Toscano
Kale Winterbor’
Melon Cantaloupe Sarah’s choice
Melon Halona
Melon Watermelon Sugar Baby
Pumkin New England pie
pepper Poblano
Pepper Ace
Squash Winter Acorn Jet
Squash Winter Buttercup Burgess
Squash Winter Butternut Waltham
Squash Winter spaghetti
Squash Summer Multipik
Squash Zucchini Alexandria
Squash Zucchini Bush Baby
Squash Zucchini cocoselle
Squash Zucchini Costata Romanesco
Squash Zucchini Spinless Perfection
Cabbage Rubicon
Summer Squash Zephyr
Tomatillo Toma Verde
Tomato Big Beef
Tomato Black Cherry
Tomato Brandywine red
Tomato Carbon
Tomato Carmello
Tomato Celebrity
Tomato Cherokee Purple
Tomato Glacier
Tomato Jaune Flamme
Tomato Juliet
Tomato Mr Stripey (Tigarella)
Tomato Paul Robeson
Tomato San Marzano Gigante
Tomato Stripped German
Tomato Sungold


Basil Compatto
Basil Genovese
Basil Lemon Mrs Burns
Basil Lettuce Leaf
Basil Mixed paks
Basil Purple Osmin
Basil Spicy Bush
Basil sweet genovese (perfume)
Basil Sweet Thai
Basil Kapoor Tulsi (Holy Basil)
Bronze fennel
Catmint (Nepeta mussini)
Chives Garlic
Cutting Celery
Dill Fernleaf
Dill Superdukat
Lemon Balm
Parsley Forest Green Curly
Parsley Italian Survivor
Sage Pinapple
Salad Burnett
Scarlet Bee balm
Summer Savory
Sweet Marjoram
Thyme English Winter
Thyme Garden  ( Winter)
Thyme White Creeping
​Thyme red creeping
Winter Savory
Zino Fino Fennel
Horse Radish
Jerusalem Artichoke
Lavender Elegance Purple
Lavender Hidcote Blue
Lavender Munstead
Lavender Provence
Lemon Grass
Sage Salvia Officinalis
Salad Burnett
Variegated pineapple mint

Perennial Flowers

Asclepias Tuberosa
Penstamon Digitalis
Geranium “Karmina”
Geranium Maculatum
Echinacae “Sombrero Flamenco Orange”
Echinacae “Cheyanne Spirit”
Baptisia “Carolina Moonlight”
Aster Divertata “Eastern Star”
Verbena “Homestead Purple”
Agastache “Blue Fortune”
Seedum “Aurumn Fire”
Coreopsis “Sunkiss”
Rudebekia “Prairie Sun”
Joe Pye Weed “Big Joe”
Beardstongue “Rondo”
Columbine “Origami Bue”
Echinope Ritro


Ageratum Red Flint​
Ageratum Tall Blue Planet
Alyssum purple/ lavender mix
Alyssum Snow Crystals
Angelonia Angelface Blue
Angelonia Angelface Perfectly pink
Angelonia Angelface Wedgewood Blue
Angelonia Super Blue
Angelonia Super Pink
Begonia Dragon Wing Red
Begonia Bossa nova Orange
Begonia Solenia Red
Browalia endless sensation
Calibrachoa superbells Blue Moon Punch
Calibrachoa superbells Double Orchid
Calibrachoa superbells Double Ruby
California poppy champagne and roses
California Poppy Thai Silk series Apricot Chiffon
California poppy double solar flare
California poppy orange king
Celosia Cramer series burgundy
Celosia Flamingo Feather
Celosia Fresh look gold series
Coleus Big Red Judy
Coleus Gnash Rambler
Cosmos Bright lights
Cosmos Double click mix
Cosmos psyche mix
Cosmos Sea shells
Cosmos Sensation Mix
Cosmos Diablo
Dianthus Ideal Select Cherry Picotee
Dianthus Ideal Mix
Gomphrena Globosa QIS White
Lantana Bandana Cherry Sunrise
Lantana Luscious pinkberry blend
Lantana Bananarama
Lantana Lucious berry blend
Lantana Lucious citrus blend
Lobelia Riviera Rose
Marigold Giant Yellow
Marigold Snowball Hybrid
Mariold Giant Orange
Nasturtium Empress of India
Nasturtium Kaleidescope Mix
Nasturtium Wbird Cherry Rose
Nasturtium Wbird Golden Yellow
Nasturtium Wbird Mahogany Red
Portulaca sundial Fuchsia
Portulaca sundial Gold
Portulaca sundial Mango
Portulaca sundial Peppermint
Portulaca sundial scarlet
Salvia Coral Nymph
Salvia homium rose
Salvia Victoria White
Sunflower Autumn Beauty
Sunflower Pro Cut Orange
Sunflower Sunrich gold
Sunflower Firecracker
Sunflower Florenza
Sunflower Soraya
Sunpatients vigorous majenta
Sunpatients vigorous orange
sunpatients vigorous white improved
supertunia bordeax
Supertunia rasberry blast
Supertunia royal Magenta
Supertunia Vista Bubblegum
Supertunia Vista Silverberry
Supertunia Picasso in pink
Verbena superbena Royal Chambray
Verbena superbena Royal Peachie Keen
Verbena superbena Tucana Raspberry
Verbena superbena royal whitecap
Vine MG Cardinal climber
Vine MG Heavenly Blue
Vine MG Moonflower
Vine MG President Tyler
Zinnia BG Purple
Zinnia BG Orange
Zinnia Dreamland mix
Zinnia Profusion double Fire
Zinnia Profusion White
Zinnia Profusion Yellow
Zinia Profusion Apricot
Zinnia State fair mix


Loved seeing the smile Fiesta Committee member Al Millefoglie was wearing as the Procession got underway. 

Photos from Saint Peter’s Fiesta Sunday morning Procession, and a splendid and grand procession it was. There were so many beautiful moments. Thank you to the Saint Peter’s committee for a magnificent Fiesta. Viva! 

Thank you to the Saint Peter’s Fiesta Committee President Joe Novello and to all the Fiesta Committee members for making this year, and every year, a truly beautiful and unique tradition for Gloucester. The committee members are as follows, and if you see them around town, please thank them:

Joseph Novello –  President

Michael Linquata – Vice President

Anthony Cusumano  Treasurer

Rose Aiello  – Clerk

Christopher Palazzola – Committee Member

Salvatore Ferrara – Committee Member

Ralph Puopolo –  Committee Member

Carlo Barbara – Committee Member

Rose Aiello – Committee Member

Alphonse Millefoglie – Committee Member

Tom Favazza – Committee Member

Lucia Sheehan – Recording Secretary

Photos from Saturday and from Sunday’s closing ceremony are still to come, and then there will be time to go through the footage and we can post the winning walks.




Additionally Sherri Casey from the Rockport Garden Club writes: All RGC members and guests are welcome to attend our July 9 evening meeting at the Rockport Art Association. This should be a beautiful, informative talk by Kim Smith titled, “Beauty on the Wing: Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly.” The evening starts at 6:00 with a wine and cheese reception followed by Kim’s presentation. If you would like to attend but do not drive at night we can arrange for a ride. Please contact Sherri Casey.

« Older Entries