SNOWBERRY CLEARWINGS MATING ON SUNFLOWERS!

Reader DB sent in this terrific capture of a pair of Snowberry Clearwing Moths mating on her sunflowers.

Another name for the Snowberry Clearwing Moth (Hemaris diffinis) is Bumblebee Moth. Snowberry Clearwings are in the same family as Hummingbird Clearwing Moths (Hemaris thysbe). Snowberry Moths have yellow and black colors similar to Bumblebees while Hummingbird Clearwings, which are reddish brown and green, look more like Ruby-throated Hummingbirds.

If you would like to attract clearwing moths to your garden, plant plenty of nectar-rich flowers that bloom in July especially. And even more importantly, plant the caterpillar food plants. The females deposit their eggs on honeysuckles, viburnums, blueberries, snowberry, and members of the rose family.

Another way to help clearwing moths is to NOT tidy up your garden in the fall. As is the case with so many species of Lepidoptera, and other insects, they overwinter in the leaf litter at the base of plants. Snowberry Clearwing Moths emerge in late spring and early summer from cocoons hidden in leaves.


Snowberry Clearwing Moth

Dogtown news

Consideration of Dogtown for National Historic Register failed to pass last night 2 to 6 (and one recused).  1623 Studios (formerly Cape Ann TV) films city council meetings so if you missed the meeting you’ll be able to catch it there.

This just in from Lisa Smith: “1623 Studios recorded last night’s City Council Meeting, which had a hearing about Dogtown, and it will air on Channel 20 on Saturday at 1pm and 11:30 pm.” Once 1623 Studio edits, they’re uploaded to its youtube channel here. 

And here’s a link to Ray Lamont’s coverage in Gloucester Daily Times posted on line now and in print tomorrow.

Dogtown detail google maps
detail from satellite view Google maps – blue dots indicate photos for some Babson boulders relative to (red circles) O’Maley, Applied Materials, Babson museum, watersheds, whale’s jaw

Twentieth century gift to the city by Roger W. Babson

Babson Reservoir and Sanctuary 1931 dedication plaque Gloucester MA photograph 20160810_©catherine ryan
BABSON RESERVOIR AND SANCTUARY [eleven hundred and fifty acres] commemorative plaque 1931 “This reservoir, watershed and reservation are for the people of Gloucester, the land having been given in memory of my father and grandfather who roamed over these rocky hills. They had the vision that some day it should be conserved for the uses of the city and as an inspiration to all lovers of god and nature. Roger W. Babson”

a few prior Dogtown posts-

April 28 Annual Dogtown day – ribbon cutting and some reasearch results

Oct 2017 there was a public presentation about an archaelogical consultation and information about historic designation: Before Dogtown was Dogtown

March 2017 What if…a section of Dogtown brush was cleared away? Summit by Essex County Greenbelt & Mass Audubon at Cape Ann Museum 

WHO ATE ALL THE PEACHES?

Perhaps you didn’t think much of all the little baby squirrels running about your neighborhood this past summer. We had half a dozen nests on out street, and each nest appeared to have half a dozen babies. Early in the morning I would often see the young families playing in, around, and under our neighbors cars, scampering up and down trees, and leaping about the branches. I wasn’t paying too much attention, until we began to notice large toothy chunks missing from my unripe peaches. Half eaten peaches, still on the branch, along with disappearing fruit, plagued our little tree until by harvest time we had little more than a handful, when usually we have baskets full.

We found the culprit(s) mid-summer, brazenly scurrying and chomping through the peach tree. The squirrels ate all our blueberries, too, and most recently, have been depositing the large green balls of the Black Walnut tree fruits on our front porch.

Why the squirrelnado? During the 2017 growing season there was a bumper crop of acorns, which means many more adults went into winter with a full belly and an ample supply of acorns in their pantries. A greater number than usual survived the winter, which translates to many more baby squirrels in the spring of 2018. This year’s acorn crop has been smaller than average. The squirrels are desperately trying to stockpile food. Not only are they eating foods they don’t normally eat, but they are also exhibiting extremely at risk behavior. Driving along New England highways and byways, you may have observed a great many dead squirrels as both roadkill and laying alongside the road.

If a squirrel runs out in front of your car when traveling at high speed on the highway, it is best not to swerve. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but the squirrels look at the car as a large oncoming predator. By swerving, you confuse the critter, and run the risk of injuring yourself and/or another party.

With far fewer acorns, not as many squirrels will survive the winter. Will we see an upswing in Lyme disease next summer? I imagine so. White-footed Deer Mice and Eastern Chipmunks also feed heavily on acorns and they, along with squirrels, harbor Lyme. This year there are lots of small woodland mammals the ticks can attach themselves too. Next year, not so much. With far fewer wild mammals the ticks will be looking to people and furry pets for their next meal.

Chipmunks are also a Lyme disease vector.

Dogtown Days 2018 research updates and special events! Cape Ann Museum May 5 & ribbon cutting May 6

Dogtown Days 2018

Dogtown Days 2018

 

CAPE ANN MUSEUM PROGRAM, SATURDAY, MAY 5, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m

“This program, presented by the Friends of Dogtown, offers an opportunity to remember the past and imagine the future of Dogtown. Free and open to the public.

Starting off with a presentation by local artists recalling Thoreau’s 1858 visit to Dogtown, Dogtown Days will present a collection of newly discovered historical photographs of the early 20th century landscape and will debut new poetry inspired by the “ghosts” of the old settlement. Members of the Gloucester Historical Commission will review the history of archaeological investigations, including the recent survey of Dogtown, and will explain the process and implications of its inclusion in the National Register of Historical Places. The City of Gloucester’s Dogtown Advisory Committee and privately-supported Cape Ann Trail Stewards will describe ongoing projects including site cleanup, trail maintenance, and the construction of a new footbridge at the site of Gloucester’s first mill. The program will conclude with a presentation by members of the Friends of Dogtown on a new project that is underway to restore key historical, ecological, and art landscapes in Dogtown.”

ENTRANCE TO DOGTOWN –RIBBON CUTTING – SUNDAY MAY 6th 10am-noon

“celebrating the new footbridge constructed by Gloucester High School students followed by tours of the art, ecological and historical landscapes described on Saturday.”

2016 PDF vision for dogtown (maybe visitor center)

Boston Globe on #GloucesterMA Dogtown

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Dogtown has inspired artists working in all media. This photo shows some of the panels comprising the Dogtown Commons section of the Frederick L. Stoddard monumental “conventionalized treatment” (his favored descriptor) of Gloucester and the region — two story “mural fresco in situ, completed in 1934 for Saunders House, Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library, under the auspices of the WPA. The city of Gloucester was awarded an impressive array of WPA-era pursuits- from creative expression in all media to civic construction projects.

Boston Globe article: A Plan to keep Dogtown wild and Free by Sarah Shemkus 

Dogtown Historic Place Boston Globe above the fold _20180325_100152.jpg

7PM tonight | Dogtown National Heritage project kicks off at Gloucester city hall

Reminder-  Dogtown could be eligible for the National Register. A team of archaeologists began surveying and reviewing Dogtown the week of November 13. Come to a special public presentation TONIGHT – November 29th in Kyrouz Auditorium, Gloucester City Hall, 9 Dale Avenue, at 7pm.

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 Artistic practice inspired by Dogtown takes on many forms across generations and centuries. I’ve shown examples of 20th century artists and writers connected to Dogtown. Here’s a 21st century one to note: Deborah Guertze, Babson Boulders # (Courage), original small and lovely hand colored etching, ed.50. This particular impression is currently for sale at Rockport Art Association.

Oct 28 GMG post announcing tonight’s public meeting: Before Dogtown was Dogtown: archaeological survey project to be presented at City Hall November 29! Maybe hello blueberries bye bye lyme disease

“Presenters at City Hall on Nov 29th will include Betsy Friedberg from the Massachusetts Historical Commission, who will explain how the National Register program works and what it does and does not do, and Kristen Heitert from the PAL, who will present an initial plan for defining the boundaries of Dogtown as a National Register District. People attending the meeting will be asked to respond to that plan and to express their views about what makes Dogtown special. What should be the boundaries of the proposed National Register District, and what cultural features should be included in it? What would be the benefits of National Register status, and are there any drawbacks?”

Before Dogtown was Dogtown: Archaeological Survey project to be presented at City Hall November 29! Maybe hello blueberries bye bye Lyme Disease

Old tree Rockport Road ca.1892

Dogtown is eligible for the National Register! Will Gloucester earn another major district designation?

Nov 29th, 7PM, Public Meeting

Come to a special public presentation November 29th in Kyrouz Auditorium in Gloucester City Hall, 9 Dale Avenue, at 7pm.

Read excerpts from the press release shared by Bill Remsen, local project coordinator, and Mary Ellen Lepionka, co-chair Gloucester Historical Commission, and some Dogtown maps and memorabilia 1633-1961:

Continue reading “Before Dogtown was Dogtown: Archaeological Survey project to be presented at City Hall November 29! Maybe hello blueberries bye bye Lyme Disease”

FLEDGLING STEALS PAPA’S BREAKFAST

Papa Cardinal enjoying his breakfast in peace.

“Rats, is that Pesky Pants I hear coming?”

Junior swoops in and swipes Dad’s blueberry.

“That was delish! You snooze, you lose Pops.”

HELLO FUNNY CATBIRDS!

I’ve yet to meet a Catbird I don’t love! With big personalities and a repertoire of beautiful melodies they are no stranger to gardens planted with blueberry bushes.

The first Gray Catbird to make an appearance in our garden arrived the day we planted blueberries. We don’t grow enough blueberries to provide all that we, and the Catbirds, would like to eat, so for the past several years I have been feeding the Catbirds handfuls at a time, the ones that come in the box that are smallish, and generally more sour tasting. If I forget to refill the bowl, the mom Catbird perches on a table just outside the kitchen window, calling and calling until the bowl is replenished. This summer she was joined by two fat little fledglings, also demanding of blueberries. The other day, both fledglings sat smack in the middle of the blueberry bowl and then proceeded to have a disagreement over the fruit!

Mature Gray Catbirds are mostly slate gray all over, with a little black cap, and when in flight, flash rufous red underneath. They belong to the same family of birds as do Northern Mockingbirds and Brown Thrashers, Mimidae, having that wonderful ability to copy the sounds of other songbirds and string them together to make their own music. During mating season, male Catbirds use their songs to establish their territory. The song may last up to ten minutes. This past spring, while walking along the wooded edge of a dune, I came upon a male singing his heart out. I didn’t have my tripod with me, but began recording him while singing. Boy, did my arms grow weary trying to capture the song in its entirety!

Catbird Egg

The oldest Gray Catbird was recorded to live 17 years. Catbirds are monogamous and if undisturbed, return to the same nesting site year after year. I love knowing that it’s quite possible that our current Catbird mama and papa may be the very same family that have been here for the past several years.

Patti Papows resident blueberry-eating Catbird

Note about the benefits of of planting blueberry bushes ~ Did you know that blueberries are native to North America? Fantastic for attracting songbirds to the garden, the foliage is also a caterpillar food plant for Spring and Summer Azure butterflies, and the blossoms provide nectar for myriad species of pollinating insects, including many species of native bees.

 

KIM SMITH POLLINATOR GARDEN PROGRAM FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC THURSDAY EVENING

Please join me Thursday evening, August 10th, at 7:00pm, at the Peabody Institute Library, South Branch. I will be giving my talk about how to create a garden to benefit a host of pollinators and screening several short films. I hope to see you there!

The day we planted blueberries, is the day the Catbirds moved in. Many species of songbirds are pollinators, too!

Painted Lady nectaring at wildflower Joe-pye, Good Harbor Beach

Grandma Felicia’s Sunday Morning Blueberry Cake Shared Today On Sista Felicia’s New Recipe Website!

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Grandma Felicia’s Sunday Morning Blueberry Cake

Hey check out my new website

http://www.sistafeliciaskitchen.com/grandma-felicias-sunday-morning-blueberry-cake/

Over the past several months you may have noticed my GMG “Sista Dish” posts have been few and far between with the exception of my St. Joseph and St. Peter’s Fiesta posts. I’ve been crazy busy designing and uploading 900+ recipe posts and thousands of photos to my new www.sistafeliciaskitchen.com  website with the help of my good friend and cookbook designer Cathy Kelly. Over the winter I realized it was time to make some major changes to better showcase the enormous archive of recipe content posted on GMG and other Social Media Outlets, in more organized and easily accessible fashion for my loyal followers. I’m super excited to take this next step and even more excited for what’s planned for the near future, and ask for your continued patience during this transition period over the next few months. I am working as fast as the computer will allow me to load. Every post uploaded fuels my determination to have this new  Sista Felicia’s Kitchen website organized and running smoothly for your convenience by September. Lots of summer recipes are being added daily so be sure to take a peek before headed to the Farmers Market or Grocery store for some easy to prepare summertime dishes! Lots of yummy salad and grilling recipes are just a click away!

http://www.sistafeliciaskitchen.com website

Blueberry Cake Cookies

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Blueberry Cake Cookies

Last week I received a phone call from friends that were on their way to the Gloucester area, for the day and were planning to stop by for a quick visit.  Excited for their arrival,  I went straight to the panty to see what sweet confection I had to serve with Iced coffee.  Remembering how fast and delicious the PB&J cookies recipe using a boxed cake mix is, ( PB&J a recipe I posted a few months back using boxed cake mix), I decide to get creative with a boxed white cake mix and a small container of fresh blueberries I had on hand.  With fingers crossed and company expected to walk through he door in a few hours, I successfully created this yummy Blueberry Cake Cookie in less then and hour.  I’m looking forward to trying it with fresh raspberries next time!

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Fore Step-by-Step recipe details and photos click see more

Continue reading “Blueberry Cake Cookies”

Red White & Blue No Bake White Chocolate Delights

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Happy Fourth of July!

Red White & Blue No Bake White Chocolate Delights

Ingredients

2  4.4oz Lindt White Chocolate bars

11/2 cups fresh blueberries

12 oz. fresh raspberries

Mini baking cups

Step -by-Step

1 melt both bars white chocolate in double boiler pan; stir until completely melted; carefully transfer “hot” melted chocolate to pastry bag fitted with Wilton #5 or #18 pastry tip *Note~ I highly recommend wearing oven mitts when fixing 1/2 teaspoon hot chocolate into cups”

2 line cookie sheet with mini baking cups; fix ½ teaspoon melted chocolate into each cup; top with 1 blueberry and 1 raspberry; drizzle white chocolate over tops; chill till ready to serve

*Note~ will keep refrigerated 24 hours