CALM AFTER THE STORM

mr-swan-sleeping-2-copyright-kim-smithMr. Swan was safely nestled in along the shore at Niles Pond yesterday morning during the nor’easter. I found him this morning sleeping amongst the reeds, none the worse for the storm.

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Niles Pond Causeway

The newly restored causeway weathered the storm beautifully. By day’s end the waves had settled but this morning at high tide they were still packing some fury. In the next photo, I am standing on the far side of the pond, looking towards Brace Cove. As you can see, the waves were crashing into the causeway.

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BEAUTIFUL BACKSHORE-BRACE COVE-GOOD HARBOR BEACH-TWIN LIGHTS BIG ROLLERS – and hello there fearless (crazy) person(s)

good-harbor-beach-gloucester-waves-copyright-kim-smithAs one bank of clouds departed, another soon took its place. The waves were wild and wooly but the surfers were out in full force at GHB and Brace Cove.back-shore-good-harbor-beach-gloucester-waves-copyright-kim-smith

Pretty Spindrift Wave

Not for the faint of heart–from where I was standing way across on the other side of the Cove you could hear the roar of the waves slamming Brace Rock–would you ever try this?surfers-brace-cove-back-shore-gloucester-waves-2-copyright-kim-smithsurfers-brace-cove-back-shore-gloucester-waves-copyright-kim-smith

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And crashers #gloucesterma #scenesofnewengland #waves

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HOLY CANNOLI–A PENGUIN IN GLOUCESTER–AT NILES POND–NOW I’VE SEEN EVERYTHING!

great-cormorant-juvenile-niles-pond-gloucester-massachustts-2-copyright-kim-smithThose were my initial thoughts upon catching a glimpse of a large black-feathered and white-breasted mystery creature from across the pond. I entered the narrow opening through the shrubby growth that surrounds Niles Pond and inched my way closer to the sleeping bird, when up popped its head. Naturally not a penguin, it looked like some sort of cormorant, just not the ones we see on a daily basis on the shores of Cape Ann.

I later learned it was a Great Cormorant. As you can see from the photo below, in the early morning light and from a distance, its not hard to imagine a penguin.great-cormorant-juvenile-niles-pond-gloucester-massachustts-copyright-kim-smith

I wrote the title of the post thinking that possibly we could all use a beautiful creature to learn a bit about and a touch of humor, too. It has been a very difficult and divisive election and a very tough day for slightly more than half of the American electorate. Let’s keep our chins up, and realize going forward that it is preferable to build bridges together than to construct walls that divide.great-cormorant-juvenile-niles-pond-gloucester-massachustts-3-copyright-kim-smith

Back to Great Cormorants. With its white-feathered breast, this one is a juvenile. Great Cormorants, although widespread in much of the Old World, are generally only found in North America along the Atlantic Coast. Great Cormorants are described as heavy-bodied seabirds and larger than the usually seen Double-crested Cormorant. I watched him depart, his take-off was heavy and clumsy, but perhaps that was because he had awoken only moments earlier.

double-crested-cormorant-niles-pond-gloucester-massachustts-copyright-kim-smithCompare the Double-crested Cormorant (above photo). Massing in great numbers as they fly along the Annisquam and Essex Rivers at this time of year, the Double-crested Cormorants are ubiquitous. They are a true North American species and breed, winter over, and migrate along the shores of Cape Ann. great-cormorant-juvenile-niles-pond-gloucester-massachustts-1-copyright-kim-smith

Great Cormorant — notice the white throat pouch of the Great Cormorant, versus the orange pouch of the Double-crested Cormorant.

great_cormorant_map_largeRange Map Great Cormorant in North America

double_crested_cormorant_map_bigRange Map Double-crested Cormorant

GOOD MORNING GLOUCESTER BROUGHT TO YOU BY BRACE COVE

Lovely and peaceful Brace Cove sunrise this morning

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Good morning from Brace Cove #gloucesterma

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Gloucester Cape Ann: history of fall art fairs and events

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October is gorgeous!  And it’s teeming with parallel exhibitions and cultural events. What an exciting environment to view and buy vital work from living artists and artisans– emerging, mid-career and established.

Founded in 2016-  Cape Ann Plein Air October 10-16– beginning next week!

Founded in 2015- Brace Cove 2nd Annual Art Market (one day only!) 1pm till dark.

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Founded in 2015 – Pumpkin Carving at Cape Ann Art Haven, October 29, 2016

Founded in 2012- Paint Essex annual Plein Air moved from summer to fall to coincide with Cape Ann Plein Air in 2016

Founded in 2009- the Annual DoctoberFest Documentary Film Festival curated by Cape Ann Cinema & Stage (estab.2008) runs Oct 14-20. Busy schedule includes  3D Flight of the Monarch Butterflies co-hosted with Kestrel Educational Adventures and Screenagers co-hosted with Sawyer Free and evenings with filmmakers.

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Founded in 1984- Annisquam Arts & Crafts show Oct 8 & Oct 9, 10-5

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Founded in 1984-  Annual Art Auction, Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library, held October 5, 2016. October book reading with Anna Solomon October 13, 2016

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Founded in 1983-  Cape Ann Artisans Studio Tour (the oldest in the country)- Oct 8 and 9th featured as part of Artweek Boston Sept 30-Oct 9

 

Founded in 1979- Gloucester Stage is world class professional American theater in our country’s oldest seaport. Premiering this month- Man in Snow, the newest play by Israel Horovitz through October 23rd. GMG Podcast

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Founded in 1873- Cape Ann Museum is a top notch American art museum. The must see exhibit Design/Build closes October 9th. Voicing the Woods- Jeremy Adams, Instrument Maker opens October 20. Recent Acquisitions continues into December.

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More scenes from October 2016 Annisquam Arts&Crafts fair, Annisquam Exchange, and Brace Cove Art Market and links to other fall happenings!

 

Founded in 2006- Cape Ann Farmers Market outdoor market Thursdays into October.

Founded in – Oktoberfest at Cape Ann Brewing Company

Founded in 1972- Annual Essex Clamfest October 22 (rain date Oct 23)

Founded in 2016- Look for Magnolia Sip and Stroll nights –  “Enjoy complimentary food, beverages and live music while visiting the wonderful shops on historic Lexington Avenue in Magnolia, MA” October 7th was the last one.

Founded in 2012- Fall Fest at Mile Marker 1 by Bridge Cape Ann October 4th. Look for this fun event next year!

Annual American Craft Week held in October

The list above gathers special events and festivals that run annually each October.  At the same time, look into the monthly art gallery exhibitions, live music, performances, and readings going on in the many art and culture venues as well as non-traditional spaces, businesses, organizations, accommodations, and restaurants. 

IN THE SHADOW OF LIGHT

Recently, I was contacted by the writer Claire Alemian as she was hoping to license one of my Brace Cove sunrise photos for the cover of her forthcoming novel. Claire grew up in Gloucester, her Dad worked at Cape Pond Ice, and her story is set in Gloucester.

Here is the cover!

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I’ve never met Claire but she and her husband Bruce are taking me out for lunch this week. I am looking forward to meeting she and Bruce and wish Claire the greatest success with her novel. The following is the synopsis submitted by Claire ~

Claire (Tebo) Alemian, author of the novel “In the Shadow of Light, grew up in Gloucester during the sixties and knows well the many cultures that live there, including the waterfront where her father worked all of his life at the Cape Pond Ice Company. Before leaving at the age of eighteen, Claire worked in the fish factories one summer, an experience that gave her a first-hand view of the tough work and even tougher people that get up every day and make it happen.

Although her novel is a fictional story of survival and the search for truth, most of it occurs on Cape Ann and draws on her familiarity with it’s unique settings, colorful characters and diverse cultures that live side by side.

The story is told in the voice of Ramona Newton as she looks back on her earlier life. By the time she is fifteen, her mother has walked out, her father soon to follow, and she ends up at a place called the Far East, tending bar for Charlie Big and hustling pool in order to survive.

The story captures the turbulence of the 1960s and reveals the clash of generations and class divides, the turmoil created by the Vietnam War and racial injustice, and ultimately, a remarkable journey of finding oneself.

Anticipated release: June 27, 2016. Claire can be contacted at: claire@clairealemian.com

EAST GLOUCESTER COYOTE LAIR #2

Coyote lair ©Kim Smith 2016Evidence of a second coyote lair, found at Brace Cove. There were 5 piles of fresh coyote scat along with neat piles of bones scattered throughout the rocky clearing. Coyotes mostly sleep above ground in an open clearing, unless it is pup season.

Reminder also about Monday night’s informational meeting about living with wildlife, City Hall, at 7pm. More information here. 

Coyote scat ©Kim Smith 2016coyote den ©Kim Smith 2016Coyote lair -2 ©Kim Smith 2016JPG

East Gloucester Coyote Lair #1