NEW on Ladies Night – Pop Up Gift Card Shop making it easy on Main Street

Thursday, December 6, 2018 – NEW for Ladies Night Gloucester, MA.

Gloucester shops are coming to the easiest address on Main – 123 Main Street home of the YMCA fundraising offices on the corner of Main and Hancock Street. (Kids Unlimited final location.) “Save time and do all your local Gift Card Shopping in ONE location on ONE night!”  

Cape Ann Lanes, Common Crow, George’s Restaurant, Maplewood Car Wash, Ryan & Wood, Schooner Thomas E. Lannon, YMCA…

Pop Up Gift Card Shop Ladies Night Gloucester MA 2018

OUTSTANDING COASTAL WATERBIRD CONSERVATION COOPERATORS MEETING!

Piping Plover Chick Lift-off! – Not quite ready to fly yet, but testing his wings and airborne for a few seconds.

On Tuesday this past week my friend Deborah and I attended the Coastal Waterbird Conservation Cooperators meeting, which took place at Cape Cod Community College in Barnstable. The meeting is held annually to bring together people and organizations that are involved with population monitoring and conservation efforts on behalf of coastal waterbirds. Threatened and endangered species such as Least Terns, Piping Plovers, and American Oystercatchers are given the greatest attention, while the meeting also encompasses efforts on behalf of heron, cormorant, and egret species.

American Oystercatchers

Conservationists from all seven Massachusetts coastal regions participated, as well as conservationists from nearby states, including representatives from New Jersey, Maine, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. To name just some of the organizations presenting at the meeting-Mass Wildlife, Trustees of Reservations, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), and US Fish and Wildlife. Gloucester was well represented. In addition to Deborah and myself, two members of the Animal Advisory Committee also attended; chairperson Alicia Pensarosa and former animal control officer Diane Corliss. Many of you may remember our Mass Wildlife Piping Plover intern Jasmine. She was there to give a presentation on habitat vegetation utilized by nesting Piping Plovers. Her aunt, Gloucester’s Terry Weber, was there to support Jasmine. This was Jasmine’s first time speaking in public and she did an excellent job!

Each region gave the 2018 population census report for nesting birds as well as providing information about problems and solutions. We all share similar challenges with predation from crows and gulls, uncontrolled dogs, enforcement, and habitat loss and it was very interesting to learn about how neighboring communities are managing problems and issues.

Just one highlight of a day filled with helpful insights and useful information is that we can be very proud of our state—Massachusetts is at the leading edge of the Piping Plover recovery effort. The representative from New Jersey was there specifically to learn from Massachusetts conservationists on how they could possibly improve their recovery program as the New Jersey PiPl population is not growing, with fewer and fewer each year retuning to nest. As you can see from the graph provided at the meeting, the Canadian recovery is going very poorly as well.

Readers will be interested to know that our region’s Crane Beach continues to have one of their best year’s ever. Trustees of Reservations Jeff Denoncour shared information on the latest census data from 2018 and Crane’s has a whopping 76 fledglings, with 25 more chicks still yet to fledge. Because of the huge success at Cranes Beach, the northeast region, of which we are a part, has fledged a total 136 of chicks in 2018, compared to 108 in 2017, and as I said, with more fledglings still to come! The northeast region encompasses Salisbury Beach to the Boston Harbor Islands.

Jeff noted that this year they had less predation by Great Horned Owls. Because of owl predation, several years ago Crane Beach gave up on the wire exclosures and now use electric fencing extensively. The Great Horned Owls learned that the Piping Plover adults were going in an out of the exclosures and began perching on the edge of the wire, picking off the adults as they were entering and exiting the exclosure.

Crane has an excellent crew of Trustees staff monitoring the Least Terns and Piping Plovers, as well as excellent enforcement by highly trained police officers. No dogs are allowed on Crane Beach during nesting season and dogs are prevented from entering at the guarded gate. As we saw from one of the graphics presented about nesting Double-crested Cormorants, when a dog runs through a nesting area, the adults leave the nest, temporarily leaving the eggs and chicks vulnerable to predation by crows, gulls, raptors, and owls.

Crane Beach Least Tern fledgling.

Compare the Least Tern to Common Tern in the above photo. It’s easy to see why the birds are called Least Terns; they are North America’s smallest member of the tern and gull family (Crane Beach).

Another interesting bit of information shared–if you listen to our podcasts, back in April, we talked about the potential dilemma of what would happen if Snowy Owls remained on the beaches as the Piping Plovers returned from their winter grounds. Knowing that Snowy Owls (Bubo scandiacus) and Great Horned Owls (Bubo virginianus) are close cousins and that the Great Horned Owl eats Piping Plover chicks and adults, I was concerned that a Snowy might eat our PiPl. At one particular beach on Cape Cod, a Snowy stayed through mid-July. An adult Piping Plover skull was found in the owl’s pellet.

Snowy Owls remained in Massachusetts this year through July.

After attending the cooperators meeting, I am more hopeful than ever that our community can come together and solve the problems that are preventing our PiPl from successfully nesting and fledging chicks. What we have going in our favor is the sheer number of amazing super volunteers along with strong community-wide support.  

Piping Plover fully fledged and flying up and down the beach – we”ll have these next year!

SNOWY OWL HEDWIG WEEKLY UPDATE AND THE REASON WHY CROWS ATTACK OWLS -By Kim Smith

Our beautiful Snowy Owl Hedwig was last seen on Monday night, March 12th. This was also the night before the third nor’easter. She was perched on the railing of the Ocean House Inn facing towards the sea. The wind was blowing fiercely. Well after dark, and after making several attempts, she successfully flew in a southerly direction out over the water.

It has been two weeks since that last sighting and perhaps we will see her again, but I imagine her to be safe and undertaking her return journey to the Arctic tundra, well-fed from her stay on Cape Ann. Whether she was well-rested is another story. The great majority of people who came to see this most approachable of owls were respectful and considerate of her quiet space. The crows however, were nothing short of brutal. After learning about why crows attack owls, and the degree of aggression possible, I am surprised she lasted as long as she did, and without great injury.

American Crow harassing a Peregrine Falcon, Atlantic Road

Crows and owls are natural enemies because a murder of crows may mob an owl to death (or any raptor by which it feels threatened) and owls occasionally eat crows. Crows are diurnal, which means they feed during the day. The majority of North American owl species that they encounter are nocturnal (night feeding). In the case of Snowy Owls, which feed both day and night, their paths may occasionally cross, as happened when Hedwig moved into the crow’s territory along Gloucester’s Atlantic Road.

American Crows harassing Snowy Owl Hedwig

A flock of American Crows can run circles around most owls, pecking, dive bombing, chasing, and in some instances killing. Snowy Owls are the exception; they are larger, stronger, and faster flyers than other North American owl species. And too, Snowy Owls are closely related to Great Horned Owls, a species known to eat crows when they are roosting overnight. So even though a crow in our area may never before have encountered a Snowy Owl, they instinctively know danger is present.

American Crow

With their incredible ability for recollection, crows are considered the brainiacs of the bird world. Daily, Hedwig outsmarted this smartest of bird species. She learned to stay well-hidden during the daylight hours, laying low atop the hotel roofs. Her salt and pepper coloring blended perfectly with the black, white, and gray colors of industrial roof venting equipment. She adapted to hunting strictly at night, after the crows had settled in for the evening, returning to her hideouts before the day began.

Where’s Hedwig?

From Hedwig’s perch atop the Atlantic Road hotels, she had a crystal clear view of the golf course and Bass Rocks, places prime for nightly hunting.

On one hand it would be fascinating if Hedwig had been outfitted with a tracking device. On the other, if she had been trapped for tagging, she may not return to this area. There is some evidence that Snowies occasionally return to an overwintering location. Next winter I’ll be taking more than a few peeks in the location of the Atlantis and Ocean House Inn Hotels to see if Hedwig has returned.

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“We Love You Too Snowy Owl” prints for sale

The sale of the “Super Blue Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse Over Gloucester Harbor” photo went very well. Thank you so very much to all who purchased a print! Many readers have asked about photos of Hedwig. For the next two weeks, I am offering a limited edition of the photo “We Love You Too Snowy Owl.” The 8 x 12 photo will be printed on fine art hot press paper and signed. At the end of two weeks, after orders are in and checks received, I will place the order with the printer. The $95.00 price includes shipping and tax. If you would like to purchase a photo of Hedwig, please email me at kimsmithdesigns@hotmail.com Thank you!

 

 

Crow Fest -Saturday 10/24/15 at Common Crow

CrowFestJoin us for a day long celebration of fall’s harvest at Common Crow Natural Market on Eastern Avenue! Live music in our backyard with Treehouse Charlatan, Brian King and more! Food demos, free samples, giveaways, community tables, art & family activities, herb and wellness classes, chair massages and 15% off storewide all day! A way of saying thank you to YOU, our incredible customers, for an amazing first summer season in our new digs.

Schedule of Events:
9am Bike Brigade
Road Bikes meet Jim Dowd at Niles Beach, Gloucester for Guided Ride to Store; Mountain Bikes meet Erin Canniff at Dock Square, Rockport for Guided Ride through South Woods

10am Crow Fest Begins
Cider Press Demonstration and Fresh Cider Sampling by Essex County Greenbelt;Community Tables with Cape Ann Farmers Market, Rockport Exchange, Open Door, Cape Ann Fresh Catch, Salt Marsh Poultry Farm, Cape Ann Vernal Pools Reptile Display; Vendor Demos and Storewide Samples & Giveaways All Day!

10 -11 Music
Bonnie Barrish & Jane Shapiro

10-12 Kid & Family Art Activity
Coco Berkman & Rocky Delforge Printmaking Station

11am Wellness
Family Plant Walk with Dr. Nicole Andrade

12-1pm Music
Drumming with John Holland & Lisa Bouchie

12-2pm Wellness
Common Crow Medicine Show with owner Pat Towler

12-4pm Kid & Family Art Activity
Crow Mural painting with Tina Lamond

1pm Family Activity
John Mahaney of Gloucester Uechi Karate Academy
Karate Demonstration and Instruction

1-2pm Wellness
Guided Ayurvedic Shopping Tour with Angela Corcoran

1-2pm Music
Brian King with Mike Leggio

2-4pm Wellness
Complimentary Chair Massage by Karen Lohnes

2-4pm Wellness
Meet the Herbalist with Margi Flint

2-4pm Music
Treehouse Charlatans

Fireball Hot Toddy

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Fireball  Hot Toddy

Today’s bitter cold temperatures are chilling to the bone…warm up the body from the inside out with a FireBall Hot Toddy!

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Fireball Hot Toddy

Ingredients

1 cup Hot black tea

1 tablespoon local honey (Sold locally at Common Crow)

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 shot Fireball Cinnamon Whisky

Step-by-Step

1 combine all ingredients

2 mix well

3 consume imediately

* Note~This is an adult beverage recommended for 21+ years of age

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

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Yesterday a package was waiting by my doorstep when I arrived home from Boston. I knew exactly what inside! Columbian candy and a case of Cinnamon Ceylon Sticks from our friends in Columbia. Several years ago we hosted a young girl from Armenia Colombia, who had come to America to train for tennis at the Manchester Athletic Club, with our daughter Amanda. During her stay with us, she made several trips to Boston’s North End with our family to buy specialty Italian cooking and baking supplies. Over the months she realized how much cinnamon I used, and was surprised at how difficult it was to purchase in America. In her town back in Columbia, cinnamon was sold on nearly every street corner and store. Without me knowing she called home to her family and requested to have some sent as a surprise before she departed. Some cinnamon turned into a case of cinnamon, that now arrives each year just before the holiday season begins. Mucho Gratias Zamira and Melvia Vasquez. I think of them every time I smell the aromas of that yummy cinnamon.

Last year, with my cookbook in the works and knowing what recipes were going to be included, I went to see Kate at Common Crow here in Gloucester. I asked if she could find this particular variety of cinnamon, and be willing to carry it in the store, and shared  that people would have difficulty finding it this ingredient locally once my Cookbook was released. After sharing the nearest place to purchase it currently was Boston Kate agreed to look into it for me. I stopped by to see Kate this morning and I’m thrilled to report that she came through!

The Common Crow  Natural Market is located at 6 Elm Street Gloucester, Massachusetts.

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Get to Common Crow and stock up for the holidays…Once you taste the difference in flavor from this verity verse the already store bought ground cinnamon found pre packaged on the shelves of the grocery store you will only want to use this verity when cooking and baking. It’s delicious!

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Freshly Ground Ceylon Cinnamon

Step-by-Step

1 Break cinnamon sticks in small pieces; place into a clean coffee bean grinder

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2  grind into fine powder

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3 Store in airtight container; will last several months

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A Special Note From Sista Felicia~I always store my ground cinnamon in my baking cabinet in a Smucker’s Sweet Orange Marmalade Jar, just as my Grandmother Felicia did!

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine's Day ©Kim Smith 2013

Fujifilm multiple exposure created from the Big Rose Heart window display at Common Crow. I wonder who made all the beautiful paper roses?

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Happy Valentine's day rose heart ©Kim Smith 2013

Common Crow 

 

2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series- Common Crow

The fourth year of the GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Video Series where we walk up and down Main Street and try to capture as many retailers as we can and highlight their best gift ideas one a day every day leading up to Christmas.

 

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2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series- Harbor Goods Life Is Good Store
2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series- Jewels Of Gloucester
2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series- G33K
2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series- Dogtown Books
2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series- Larsens
2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series- Main Street Art and Antiques
2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series- The Dress Code
2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series- The Weathervane
2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series- Menage Gallery
2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series- House of The Raven
2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series- Village Silversmith
2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series- Toodeloos
2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series Bananas
2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series- Nelsons
2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series Alexandras Bread Co
2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series Lone Gull
2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series Kids Unlimited
2012 GMG Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series- Harbor Loop Gifts
2012 Downtown Gloucester Holiday Gift Series- Pleasant Street Tea and Coffee Co

Common Crow Moving From 2400sq ft Space To 8000sq ft Space

Common Crow is Moving from their current 2400sq ft spaceacross the street to the former location of Camerons with over 8000 sq ft of healthy organic funky freshness.

If you’ve been in the Common Crow you know they’ve got this niche cornered locally and are bursting at the seams in their current location.  Common Crow is about to turn the local market game on it’s ear. 

Healthy Pre-Made Lunch Options Await At Common Crow

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Some Type of Healthy Desert At Common Crow

With my horrible memory I forgot what the lady said but you could throw all the greenie terms at it and it probably was what she told me-vegan, lactose-free, gluten-free, I’m not really sure if it was all or some of those things.  Bottom line is it looked delicious and had I not stuffed my gut at Gloria’s minutes before I would have stuffed this down too.

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What is Monsanto & Why Should I Care?

Why should you care about Monsanto, a massive multi-national corporation in the seed business? Because, whether you know it or not, Monsanto plays a big role in your life. To find out what this means check out the free and fascinating double feature at the Rockport Library this Sunday, March 27th. The movie about Monsanto will be followed by Fresh — an inspired and upbeat depiction of people from the inner city to the farm fields taking on the task of growing and raising their own food — just like we’ve always done, with the exception of the last few decades when we started to allow Supermarkets and food manufacturers to supply all of our nutritional needs, like helpless baby birds (with one nasty mama bird dumping twinkies and high fructose corn syrup down our throats. Yum!).

The World According to Monsanto begins at 1:30 p.m. and  Fresh begins at 3:30 p.m. Both films are free and open to the public. This event is sponsored by Cape Ann’s Growing Green Group and The Common Crow. For more information contact Nina at 978-546-7785.

Food & Writing & Walking

Gloucester’s own Denise Frame Harlan has been included in a book of collected essays called “The Spirit of Food”.  Denise is many things: mother, teacher, fabric artist and of course, writer – which makes her fit in perfectly on Cape Ann, with its community of creative people skilled in crafting both things and words.

Denise will be at Common Crow tomorrow, December 11th, from 11:30 to 1:30 pm to sign copies of “The Spirit of Food” or just chat with you about the life of a mother/teacher/fabric artist/writer.  This is a perfect complement to the Middle Street Walk going on just around the corner from Common Crow, so stop in and say hello, no purchase necessary (according to the writer herself).  You can take in a holiday walk on Middle Street, pick up your organic groceries and chat up a Gloucester writer all in one fell swoop.  Where else but on Cape Ann could you squeeze in so much good food and culture in the course of an ordinary Saturday?