Nicole, Michelle, George, Charlotte, and I had an exciting morning watching Dan Murphy and Rob Porter arriving to shore with a beautiful 96″ Bluefin Tuna. The tuna meat was given a thumbs up!
On Sunday’s podcast we asked our guest, Chris Spittle, the Cape Ann weatherman to predict whether 2018-2019 would be a snowy winter, or not. Judging by the snowstorms of the past that have brought the greatest amounts of snowfall, it is likely that we may very well have a snowy winter and here’s why Chris suggests yes.
Historically, the greatest amounts of snowfall occur when North America’s trade winds are transitioning (Neutral state) from La Niña to El Niño. During the transition, and at the beginning (weakest) state of the transition to El Niño we are most likely to experience the greatest amounts of snowfall. Currently, La Niña (east to west trade winds) is oscillating to El Niño (west to east).
Chris shared the graphic below classifying the ten worst snowstorms of the past two centuries.
On the plus side, El Niño summers are generally warmer 🙂
NOAA website: What are El Niño and La Niña?
El Niño and La Niña are opposite phases of a natural climate pattern across the tropical Pacific Ocean that swings back and forth every 3-7 years on average. Together, they are called ENSO (pronounced “en-so”), which is short for El Niño-Southern Oscillation.
The ENSO pattern in the tropical Pacific can be in one of three states: El Niño, Neutral, or La Niña. El Niño (the warm phase) and La Niña (the cool phase) lead to significant differences from the average ocean temperatures, winds, surface pressure, and rainfall across parts of the tropical Pacific. Neutral indicates that conditions are near their long-term average.
Our front dooryard, in 2015, between blizzards.
We even had visit from a Snow Goose during the winter of 2015! He mixed with a flock of Canada Geese, staying for about a week, foraging on sea grass at Good Harbor Beach.
Nicole Duckworth shares a moment from her wonderfully fun household–never a dull moment with four kids– two teenagers and two toddlers!
Her son Jude this morning, “Mom, I’m turning into a butterfly.”
Jude this summer when he and his brother George stopped by to visit and see the caterpillars and butterflies from our garden.
Saturday morning at 8:30 am, an injured Eastern Coyote was spotted In East Gloucester. The coyote was not bearing weight on its right back leg. He trotted gimpily up Plum Street, before heading down a driveway halfway up the street.
Note in all the photos the Coyote is holding up his right side back paw.
Sick and injured coyotes can be unpredictable although, this one appeared nonchalant. I at first thought it was a large dog and was headed towards him to possibly help him find his way home. Despite its inability to put weight on its paw, his coat looks healthy and and he was almost jaunty, leg injury and all.
Our friend and neighbor Pilar Davis, who is a creative writing middle school student, wrote the following poem for a “Where I Live” assignment. Many thanks to Pilar for sharing her beautiful, beautiful poem ❤
I am from strings of lights
From incense and craft materials
I am from warm colors
From Ikea furniture and flower boxes
I am from hugs and kisses
I am from Thanksgivings together,
From cinnamon buns on Christmas morning
From salty hair and sandy feet
From sailboats and sunsets
I am from the treehouse in the huge maple tree
From wood and splinters
From bare feet and scrapes
From the ocean
From friends who are siblings
From a neighborhood of friends and family who love and trust
From camping in the summer and sledding in the winter
I am from Lemonade stands and quarry mornings
From running from house to house
From ”play ‘till you can’t anymore”
I am from please and thank you
From cozy rainy days with popcorn and hot chocolate
I am from “Lisa’s chocolate chip cookies” and “Grandma Davis pasta salad”
From boats and adventure
I am from art
I am from happiness and laughter
From singing my heart out and passion
From the big swing in the backyard
From fires in the fire pit
I am from beautiful and peaceful East Gloucester
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We voted at East Gloucester where they have insanely delicious treats. Nicole Duckworth’s (Duckworth’s Bistrot) desserts are flying out the door. Thank you for the WONDERFUL flourless chocolate cake. There is an array of delicious desserts awaiting you still. Thank you EG PTO and parents for all the baked goods. Also- record turnout of voters, over 800 at 2pm – YES!!!
Happy Halloween from East Gloucester!
circa 1900 vs 2018
Moving ivy –
ivy clad Gate Lodge built 1888, photograph ca.1900 Vs. ivy clad stone marker and grounds today
Searching for artist! Byron Brooks? query from Kate Foley posted November 2016 on Good Morning Gloucester generated comments about the artist and his work. I was inspired to piece together some of my primary research and the comments into an informal online catalogue. It’s very much a loose work in progress! Hope it helps people searching for information about the artist, and compels collectors to share additional images of his art. Just this week (6/27/18) another GMG reader commented that they acquired a Brooks painting in Tucson, AZ.
Byron Brooks is not listed in any artist biographical compilations. The index card sketch below mimics the format as IF he were listed in Who Was Who in American Art:
BROOKS, Byron [Painter] b. 1906, Manchester, Mass | d. 1978, Gloucester, MA.
Addresses: 12 Stage Fort Park Avenue and 2 Davis St in Gloucester, MA (Willet Street during the war)
Studied: not known
Member: Manchester Art Association
Exhibited: 1961, Tenth Annual Cape Ann Festival of the Arts, Visual Arts Exhibition, Section VIII, Balcony Show. Painting, “Rock Clipper Ship”. Emily Anderson chairman (curator) 1957, Sixth Annual Cape Ann Festival of the Arts, “Cottage by the Sea”, Group SP (Sunday Painters section), curated by Emily Anderson
*Brooks ran a gallery from his home
Work: collection of Addison Gilbert Hospital
Employment: Driver-Delivery; employed by City of Gloucester Highway Dept
Veteran: WWII veteran, served in the Coast Guard
Please be on alert for a pair of very bold coyotes in the neighborhood. Over the weekend I was standing with a group of photographer friends and we were noticing the coyotes along the edge of a field. The coyotes ducked behind the shrubby growth and soon after, my friends left. I became distracted and forgot about the coyotes while photographing a chatty little Downy Woodpecker. Without warning, the coyotes were suddenly quite near, within twenty feet. I yelled and clapped loudly, which did not in the least intimidate one of the pair. The smaller trotted a few steps back toward the woodland edge while the larger one started to dig in the ground, similar to a bull marking his territory. It was more than a little eerie, and while yelling I began to walk backwards off the field.
When a gentleman came to the field to walk his dog, the coyotes headed back towards the shrubs. Reappearing a few minutes later, they had circled around in the shrubs and began to stalk the leashed dog. I walked towards the man to give the coyotes the idea that we were a group and they didn’t come any closer after that. This post is not meant to alarm anyone, but to let you know that we have some very hungry coyotes in our midst; I had the oddest sensation that they had an expectation of dinner. I sure do hope no one is feeding them.
The internationally recognized “peace sign” was designed by Gerald Holtom as the logo for a group at the forefront of the peace movement in the United Kingdom known as the British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. The peace sign was adopted by counterculture and antiwar activists around the globe. Davis Street, East Gloucester
“…UK-based T.S. Eliot Foundation purchased the home for $1.3 million, announcing its plan to transform the residence into a writers retreat. Two years of planning and construction later, the foundation has made good on its promise, quietly welcoming its first cohort of poets, writers, and editors this summer…”
Link to Malcolm Gay article
On the walls at Zeke’s place, summer 2017:
Nancy Alimansky from Newton and Phyllis Paster from Wellesley are showing drawings in the main room. Both watercolor artists have painted Cape Ann scenes, many from Gloucester and Rockport.
David Kielier resides and works in Gloucester.
The first business to respond to the Mayor’s arts hotline was Zeke’s Place.
Friend and East Gloucester resident Dan Allen sent along these wonderful snapshots of recent visits by songbirds in his beautiful garden. Dan’s garden is abundant with wildflowers, food, and welcome shelter for birds, bees and butterflies. Thank you Dan!Nothing common about this gorgeous little warbler, a male Common Yellowthroat. Yellowthroats migrate north from winter homes in Florida, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
Yesterday I posted photos of a male Eastern Towhee. Dan’s photo is of the female! Wherever the male’s feathers are black, the female’s are milk chocolate brown.
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is another nesting migrant to Cape Ann. They eat fruit, seeds, nuts, insects, and especially Love sunflower seeds. Only the males have this striking feather pattern; the female’s feathers are shaded in quiet tones of gray, tan, and brown. During the winter months, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks live in the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
The coyote was trotting down Bass Ave in the direction of Good Harbor Beach. It paused briefly at the garden at the corner of Bass Ave and Brightside and then proceeded to jaunt up Brightside before ducking into a yard.
The Gloucester Daily Times published this image in 1923 with the photo caption: “Now Under Construction on the Southern Side of Western Avenue, this Project When Completed Will Give Gloucester one of the Finest Approaches of Any City on the Atlantic Seaboard.” The meticulously hand drawn credit within the drawing itself caught my eye as much as the drawing: “Proposed Treatment of Waterfront, Gloucester, Mass. Thomas W. Sears Landscape Architect, Providence RI”. Thomas W. Sears was a remarkable 20th Century landscape designer. The modern Boulevard work completed in 2014-17 gracefully carries out and returns to the original dreams for the Western Avenue highway and park that are more than a century in the making.
photo caption: Boulevard construction progress © Catherine Ryan, December 2016
Thomas Warren Sears (1880-1966) preliminary designs for Gloucester’s future Boulevard
Thomas Warren Sears was born in 1880 in Brookline, Massachusetts, and grew up in this elegant abode at the corner of Beacon and Charles Street. This black and white house portrait was shot in 1897.
Here’s a Google street view photo for comparison today.
After being ousted from the New York City parks department, the ‘father of American landscape design’, Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903), launched his business a ten minute walk from the Sears family home. The headquarters at 99 Warren Street was named “Fairsted” and was in operation until 1979 when it was declared a National Historic Site and transferred to the National Parks.
photo caption: Frederick Law Olmsted Fairsted © Jack Boucher, Library of Congress collection
If there was no neighbor connection early on, a professional one came soon: Sears worked for the Olmsted Brothers immediately after receiving two degrees from Harvard– his BA in 1903 and his BS in 1906. (There may have been an earlier Brookline connection.) Rather quickly Sears left to set up his own firm: first in Providence, RI, when he did work for Gloucester’s Boulevard, and not long after in Philadelphia. In 1911 he gave a talk for the Proceedings of the Engineers’ Club of Philadelphia 28 (April 1911):147-158., “The Functions of the Landscape Architect in Connection with the Improvement of a City” available online as part of an urban planning anthology compiled by John W. Reps, Professor Emeritus, Cornell University. I wonder if he shared his Gloucester photographs as part of his talk?
“There are two main approaches to cities: (1) On water by boat, and (2) on land by railroad. Along both of these lines of approach land should be taken for public use, and for very different reasons. Take first the use of water fronts: Unless some provision is made for the public, the whole water front, whether it be river or harbor, may be usurped by commercial enterprise and the public deprived of ever seeing the water except when aboard a boat. In certain cases, as in New York, where the water front must of necessity be utilised for dockage, a combination of commercial and public use may be successfully employed. There the docks are owned by the city and leased by the steamship companies; in this way their appearance can be controlled. At present it is planned to build on the tops of these docks huge recreation parks which may be used by the public.”- 1911 Thomas W. Sears
Mike Hale’s contemporary perspective shares a similar philosophy with Sears:
“An effort has been made in this paper to show clearly that landscape architecture is utilitarian quite as much as esthetic; that whatever one is designing, whether it be a city plan or any of the elements in a city, the design should be governed by use as much as beauty.” – 1911 Thomas W. Sears
By 1917 Sears was commissioned regularly and had a long, full career including notable designs for the Reynolda estate now part of Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and the wildly influential outdoor amphitheater for Swarthmore College, the Scott Outdoor Auditorium. His work in Gloucester is rarely mentioned.
Since the Gloucester drawing was marked ‘Providence’, I knew the drawing was done long before the 1923 construction. I tentatively dated the schematic ca.1910. Thankfully Thomas Warren Sears was a photographer, too. Turns out that this image is a Sears’ photograph of a lovely Sears’ design. The glass negative is dated 1908 which squares with his professional career timeline.
ALL NEW LED LIGHTS
One of the modern design elements is the welcome ornamentation of lights. They feel like they were always here because line is such an essential part of design and they add the vertical visual interest. When I saw the new light bases I thought of the line of trees in the Sears drawing. I love the mix of natural and formal design in his rendering, but am equally gobsmacked by the sweeping open vista. Both are sensitive approaches and part of the context of the Boulevard’s build.
photo caption: animation emphasizing new lights, late November 2016, ©c. ryan
BEFORE THE BOULEVARD- Sears photos
Thomas Warren Sears photographed Western Avenue for his preparatory work. See the homes along the beach that were later removed for the construction of the Boulevard; distant vistas to the Surfside Hotel (built after Pavilion burned) and Stage Fort park; and Western Avenue street scenes looking east and west before the road was widened.
More photos and Gloucester designs:
Continue reading “Stacy Boulevard Public Works stunner | Gloucester is an early client for the Harvard and Olmsted trained landscape designer Thomas Warren Sears. His 1908 photos are a must see! Part 2”