Captain Mark Ring and crewman hauling lobster traps in the early morning along Gloucester’s backshore.
Late afternoon after last week’s nor-easter, I drove along the backshore to check out the waves. The breakers were only mildly dramatic but what caught my attention were the ribbons and ribbons of migrating birds flying over Twin Lights, heading toward the backshore. They just kept coming and coming and I think they may have been waiting out the storm before setting out on their night time journey. I followed them along the shore and past Eastern Point Lighthouse before losing sight of the travelers as they were crossing Massachusetts Bay and heading towards Boston.
For the past several days there has been a remarkably tolerant Snowy Owl feeding and perching on the rocks at Atlantic Road. Perhaps she (or he) is the same Snowy that has been noticed on the backshore over the course of the past month. I write tolerant because this Snowy was perched about fifteen feet from the sidewalk and neither traffic nor birdwatchers seemed to faze her much. As word has gotten out, her fan club has grown, so much so that there was a bit of a traffic jam today. Every several hours I stopped by to check on her whereabouts. At 2:00 today, she had only moved about a foot from where she was at daybreak. By sundown, she had flown up onto the rooftops of an Atlantic Road resident.
Early morning and the Snowies face and talons were bloodstained, which is a very positive sign that she is feeding well. Snowy Owls wintering over in our region eat rabbits, rodents (lots of rats), songbirds, and ducks. Being good stewards of the Snowies means not applying rat poison around your home or business. There are several methods equally as efficient in killing rats as rat poison. When a bird of prey such as a Peregrine Falcon, Snowy Owl, Red-tailed Hawk, or Bald Eagle ingests a rat that has eaten rat poison, the raptor becomes sick and will usually die.
The Snowy spent the better part of the day mostly dozing, preening, cleaning her talons, and puffing her feathers for warmth. At one point she pushed her face into a snow patch but I couldn’t tell if it was to drink or to wash.
After posting a photo of Schooner Sugar Babe, First Mate Amy of the Schooner Green Dragon asked if we could see how the Green Dragon fared, and yes, she appears to have weathered the storm. Three crazy surfers were at Good Harbor Beach (no margin for error here). The wave action along the backshore was dramatic although they didn’t seem quite as huge as after some recent nor’easters. Temperatures are predicted to drop below zero this weekend. I hope everyone has their power restored and are keeping cozy.
The water has receded and left in its wake tremendous damage to a number of homes and property. In many cases, from the exterior, it appears as though the record breaking high tide never occurred, but interiors are an entirely different story. Power is being restored around the Cape and if you were one of the lucky ones, as were we, you never lost it.
Things are looking up, with the sun poking out around 10:30, and folks doing their best to dig out, urgently so, with temperatures predicted to drop into the single digits overnight.
The roads are very driveable! Thanks to incredible efforts by Mayor Sefatia, Representative Ann Margaret Ferrante, State Senator Bruce Tarr, Gloucester’s awesome DPW, policemen, firemen, emergency medical crews, and the Coast Guard for all that they did yesterday to help our community keep safe and all that they continue to do today to recover from the Bomb Cyclone of 2018.
Evocative views looking through sea smoke along the shoreline this morning, from Ten Pound Island to Twin Lights, and at every vantage point along the way. On my very last stop photographing a buoy in the sea smoke, I spied a mystery bird far off shore. Bobbing in the water and with a bill not at all shaped liked a seagulls, it was a SNOW GOOSE! He was too far away to get a great photo, but wonderful to see nonetheless!