Juno, mom Mary Ellen, and friend Julie were out on the Niles Pond berm Sunday, admiring the Harbor Seals basking. We counted thirteen seals that afternoon.
I didn’t realize one seal had its mouth wide open until looking at the photos the following day. Seal’s use their strong teeth and powerful jaws to rip apart prey and are yet another reason not to get too close to a seal hauled out on land.
As was everyone else, the Harbor Seals were enjoying Tuesday’s 50 degree weather. Much jockeying, grunting, and gnarling over prime rock-real estate was taking place. Paintings of nudes by Renoir and Botero, along with the made-up word tubylette, come to mind whenever I see these bathing beauties basking on the rocks at Brace Cove.
My fingers froze and I had to call it quits yet despite the bitterly cold five degree temperature and biting wind, day break brought blue skies and beautiful sea smoke all along the backshore, from Gloucester’s Ten Pound Island Lighthouse to Rockport’s Twin Lighthouses.
Take heart friends -today is the last day of January- only 48 more days until the spring equinox!
Fresh wild animal tracks crossing Niles Pond
Love visiting these cuties just hanging out on the rocks.
November’s nearly full Frost Moon was rising over Brace Cove, while the sun was setting over the harbor. Violet sunset clouds swirled around the rising moon when moments later the moon shone brightly through the pine trees.
November’s full moon is also called the Beaver Moon-both the early colonists and Algonquin tribes named it so because November was the designated time of year to set Beaver traps before ponds and swamps froze.
November Frost Moon rising over Niles Pond
Harbor Seals in the setting sun and rising moonlight–a seal-a-rock 🙂
Gloucester public schools have stellar community partners and locales
Mass Audubon Eastern Point Wildlife Sanctuary
Two+ centuries of naturalists in Gloucester is quite a legacy. Here’s a partial list from Robbins to Cramer and Smith to Smith–there have been notable champions most every decade.
- Mason Walton (Hermit of Gloucester)
- Alpheus Hyatt, principal founder of world famous Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole– from 1880-1886 the school was on Goose Cove and later off Lobster Cove
- BH VanVleck (wrote book with David Starr)- instructor at Annisquam seaside laboratory
- Samuel Sawyer land conservation
- Alfred G. Mayor (Hyatt’s son in law) marine zoologist- his studies on marine life led to 1905 book Sea Shore Life
- Prince Mahidol of Thailand “Sanitary Survey of the City of Gloucester, Massachusetts 1921 by M. Songkla” in city archives- Includes brief history of Gloucester and description of public health activities
- Roger Babson land conservation and watershed
- Dr. Ralph Dexter, began his studies on marine life in 1933 (later Kent State) and chimney swifts
- Ivy LeMon banded monarch butterflies to trace their migration wintering in Mexico
- Sara Fraser Robbins curator of education ( the title of her classic book The Sea is All About Us was a nod to Gloucester summer resident TS Eliot’ Four Quartets)
- Betty Smith
- Dan Greenbaum
- Sara Evans
- Philip Weld, Jr
- Jane Benotti
- Deborah Cramer
- Chris Leahy
- Harriet Webster
- Martin Ray
- Kim Smith
- Ian Kerr
organizations such as Gloucester Civic and Garden Club, Essex County Greenbelt, Mass Audubon, Ocean Alliance, Martime Gloucester, UMASS Marine Station…
Before sunset last Friday evening, the sky and clouds were so beautiful. Did you notice the crane in the background? Hope they can fix the wall between Brace Cove and Niles Pond.