Sort, Roll, Inspect, Repeat – Mary Ann’s descendant & construction progress on Long Beach seawall

Construction work continues on the Long Beach seawall at 3 compromised sections: two 500′ sections (one is closer to the Gloucester edge and the second pretty much mid beach) and a third 30′ area of trouble at the corner by the creek and footbridge. Last summer’s temporary pyres have been vastly expanded with truckloads of boulders from Johnson’s Quarry. The line of boulders helps to prevent sand from being scoured away by seas and the bottom of the wall from further erosion. The rip rap will add ballast support weight.

Besides the crew at Long Beach, the second unit labors at the quarry. It’s slow and careful going impacted by weather and tides. This week was busy. Next week’s conditions are less favorable. Extra time is allotted to make certain heavy equipment beats the tides or the very real possibility of large equipment breaks or malfunction (thankfully has not happened yet). People wondered if a jetty or two was in the works but that is simply temporary staging.

Boulders are deposited at the Gloucester entrance to the beach and transferred to repair sites. Excavators work with Rockport DPW and GZA engineers for optimum selection. (GZA was contracted for Gloucester’s Stacy Boulevard work.) “Spotters” can be seen atop the Long Beach walkway. After the boulders are dumped into piles, the excavator sorts, lifts, rolls and inspects the whole lot and singles like searching for an impossibly hard to find puzzle piece. Sometimes one boulder is turned 15x before it’s the correct pitch or timing. The sorting was remarkably graceful and reminded me of rinsing and prepping berries or beans.

One day at Long Beach I spotted a swimmer with a glorious and faithful arm tattoo of Mary Ann from Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. He was staying at Cape Ann Motor Inn. Did he know that the author and illustrator, Virginia Lee Burton, was from Gloucester? He was stunned and thrilled. She modeled the steam shovel after one she brought her son to see busy building Gloucester High School. Families with little construction fans might enjoy watching Mary Ann’s descendant shoring up the Long Beach seawall.

The timeline for permits and planning for a future sand phase have not been slated.

Long Beach seawall Gloucester Rockport Ma_20190315_© cryan

 

 

Wingaersheek Beach winter whites #GloucesterMA

Scenes from Wingaersheek Beach, Gloucester, Massachusetts, an icy wonderland after first winter storm 2019

color off but still wingaersheek beach gloucester mass_gif_after first winter storm 2019 © catherine ryan

Annisquam then and now | DPW and Greenbelt team up at Lobster Cove new land preserve to solve access at narrow and blind corner on Leonard Street

annisquam village circa 1901

In 2017, donations of $650,000 were secured to preserve four acres of Lobster Cove acquired by Essex County Greenbelt Ed Becker and Dave Rimmer working with the city staff (DPW Mike Hale, Ken Whittaker, Community Development) and many in the community. The property is co-owned by Mt. Adnah Cemetery.

Wilman Trail

Recently DPW teamed up with Greenbelt to scrub out trees, rocks, earth and stone to grade a pedestrian path along its Leonard Street stretch at the landing past Annisquam Church. Widening Leonard Street because of its variable and intermittent scale would be a very expensive and perhaps unwelcome project. This quick jaunt seems like a thoughtful solution to support safe access and property exploration in a tricky spot.

 

Essex County Greenbelt Annisquam Wilman Trail Lobster Cove Gloucester MA _20180702_©c ryan (5)

‘Squam rock has some practice boulders

No longer hidden by overgrowth, beautifully balanced granite outcroppings were exposed. If you look just so you might see the lines of a baby shorebird under wing or is that just me? Hmmm… Mother Ann, Squam Rock and baby Bird Rock.

Annisquam nestled bird rock_20180702_054907©c ryan

 

Niles Beach and Gate Lodge, Gloucester Massachusetts then and now

circa 1900 vs 2018

gate lodge and niles beach ca.1890

Moving ivy –

ivy clad Gate Lodge built 1888, photograph ca.1900  Vs. ivy clad stone marker and grounds today

approaching Niles Beach former Gate Lodge on right ©c ryan_20180630_072943.jpg

 

niles beach ca 1890

glacial rock boulders and coast line Niles Beach Gloucester MA ©c ryan _20180630_120331

 

 

 

Gloucester foreclosures include one of the 100+ Gloucester MA houses that Edward Hopper painted

Hopper by lees

Edward Hopper, Gloucester Houses, 1923, Whitney Museum of American Art, Josephine N Hopper bequest. You can match the boulders in Hopper’s drawing that the domiciles were built upon; Lee’s Breakfast Restaurant at the far right;  and the stacked granite blocks to the left of #7.

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IMG_20170409_063124 Continue reading “Gloucester foreclosures include one of the 100+ Gloucester MA houses that Edward Hopper painted”

Babson Boulders at home

The Babson Boulders of Dogtown are one of the harder-to-find attractions in Gloucester; you have to download a map and go trekking through the woods. It’s well worth the walk, and can be a lot of fun (especially when it isn’t tick-and-mosquito season).

But you can also get your own miniature, customized “Babson Boulders” at home. Here’s mine:

Truth

 

It was a gift from the artist, my friend Michael Foley.  I don’t know of anyone else who makes these!  You can see more of his work, including other “boulders”, on his website or on Facebook. He also has work at “The Art Nook” on Bearksin Neck.

Matthew Green