Warden of Gloucester watersheds dies

By Michael Cronin

Staff Writer

Joe Orange, Gloucester’s long-time watershed constable, died on Tuesday at the age of 97.

Orange’s passion was preserving Gloucester’s water supply and woods. He made it his duty to clear out squatter camps erected around Babson and Goose Cove Reservoirs. In 2008, Orange told the Gloucester Daily Times he had evicted around 1,000 people from 60 camps at that point in his career. All the while, Orange made sure to keep an eye out for teenagers hosting illicit parties in the woods.

“The watershed is a huge area; you’d need about 50 people to control it,” he said at the time. “But we can control the shore of the water itself, and that is where we have to focus.”

From 1994 until this year, Orange would conduct nightly patrols around Dogtown. Usually, he would takes these walks all by himself.


Gloucester resident Joe Orange wore his trademark shorts for this portrait by Jason Grow made for a series on the city’s World War II veterans. Orange died Tuesday; he was 97.

Cape Ann Olive Oil

This Saturday, April 4, Cape Ann Olive Oil Co. will be open for curbside pick up and delivery from 11 to 3, 57 Main Street Gloucester, AM  01930.  We will be filling website and phone orders. There will be no tastings offered and no refills on empty bottles at this time. You can order online at and clink “in store pickup”, or email your order at please include your phone number so we can get credit card information, also let us know if you are picking up or would like free delivery. You can also call us at 978-281-1061. Rick and I appreciate your support during this difficult time. Please stay safe!! Patty


Hello Friends,

I hope you are all doing well, or as well as can be expected during this heartbreaking pandemic event. The following kind words were spoken by Pope Francis today and I think they could not be truer.

“We are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed,” he said.

“All of us called to row together, each of us in need of each other.”

In the world of wildlife spring migration is well underway and gratefully, nothing has changed for creatures small and large. That may change though in the coming days as resources for threatened and endangered species may become scarce.

A friend posted on Facebook that “we are all going to become birders, whether we like it or not.” I love seeing so many people out walking in the fresh air and think it is really the best medicine for our souls.

Several times I was at Good Harbor Beach over the weekend and people were being awesome practicing physical distancing. Both Salt Island Road and Nautilus Road were filled with cars, but none dangerously so, no more than we would see at a grocery store parking lot. I’m just getting over pneumonia and think I will get my old bike out, which sad to say hasn’t been ridden in several years. Cycling is a great thing to do with a friend while still practicing distancing and I am excited to get back on my bike.

An early spring wildlife scene update

The Niles Pond juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron made it through the winter!! He was seen this past week in his usual reedy location. Isn’t it amazing that he/she survived so much further north than what is typical winter range for BCHN.

Many of the winter resident ducks are departing. There are fewer and fewer Buffleheads, Scaups, and Ring-necked Ducks seen at our local waterways and ponds.

Male and Female Scaups

No sign lately of the American Pipits. For several days there were three! Snow Buntings at the berm at Brace Cove.

I haven’t seen the Northern Pintail in a over a week. Sometimes the Mallards play nice and on other days, not so much.

Male Northern Pintail and Mallards

As some of the beautiful creatures that have been residing on our shores depart new arrivals are seen daily. Our morning walks are made sweeter with the songs of passerines courting and mating.

Black-capped Chickadee collecting nesting fibers and foraging

Song Sparrows, Mockingbirds, Robins, Cardinals, Chicadees, Nuthatches, Tufted Titmice, and Carolina Wrens are just a few of the love songs filling backyard, fields, dunes, and woodland.

Newly arrived Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets have been spotted at local ponds and marshes.

Cape Ann’s Kildeers appeared about a week or so ago, and wonderful of wonderful news, a Piping Plover pair has been courting at Good Harbor Beach since they arrived on March 22, a full three days earlier than last year.


Why do I think it is our PiPls returned? Because Piping Plovers show great fidelity to nesting sites and this pair is no exception. They are building nest scrapes in almost exactly the same location as was last year’s nest.

Piping Plover Nest Scrape Good Harbor Beach 2020

I’m not sure if the Red Fox photographed here is molting or is the early stages of mange. It does seem a bit early to be molting, but he was catching prey.

We should be seeing Fox kits and Coyote pups any day now, along with baby Beavers, Otters, and Muskrats 🙂

It’s been an off year for Snowy Owls in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic with relatively many fewer owls than that wonderful irruptive winter of 2017-2018 when Hedwig was living on the back shore. 2019 was a poor summer for nesting however, reports of high numbers of Lemmings at their eastern breeding grounds are coming in, which could mean a good nesting season for Snowies in 2020, which could lead to many more Snowies migrating south in the winter of 2020-2021.

Take care Friends and be well

Mini-nature lover ❤


A beautiful, kind, and welcoming lady who will be missed by so very many
Gloucester – Grace Frances (Misuraca) Favazza, 92, wife of the late Peter L. Favazza of Gloucester, died on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, with a light of loving peace around her, and her daughters by her side, in the early morning, when only the birds were awake to fly her spirit home.
Gracie or Gray, as she was fondly known, was born in Gloucester, 2 Fort Square to be exact, in 1928 and was the daughter of the late Gaetano and Giovininna “Jenny” (LoPiccolo) Misuraca. She received her high school diploma at the age of 55, and her certified nursing assistance license when she was 68 years old, working private duty with the elderly, until she was 84 years old and had to have it explained that she was the elderly.
Gracie had an unwavering amount of energy and was proudly in many organizations. They were the Mother of Grace Club, Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives, Gloucester WWII Veterans, Madonna Del Rosario Society, Our Lady of Good Voyage Guild, St. Ann’s Women’s Guild, Seafood Retirees and St. Peter’s Women’s Auxiliary.
She is survived by her four children, son, Peter Favazza III and his husband Brian Smith, both of Las Vegas, daughter, Sarina Favazza of Dover, NH and Gina Rowland and her husband David Rowland of Dover, NH. She has three step grandchildren, Brandon, Kyle and Shanna Rowland; her sisters, Mary Parisi, Cathy Wallius and a brother John Misuraca from Florida. In addition to her loving husband Peter, she was predeceased by her siblings, her brothers, Vito, Natale, Samuel, Thomas and Joseph Misuraca and sisters, Helen Misuraca and Vincie Vairella. She had many nieces and nephews and was the Godmother of over 19 Godchildren.
The family is forever grateful to Care Dimensions Hospice and Connected Home Care, of all their services and assistance throughout the years of our mother’s journey into aging and beyond. The family wishes to thank all our friends and relatives that enabled Gracie to stay in her home as she aged gracefully and timelessly.
Given the current climate, Grace’s celebration of life will be held in the summer, which will be announced at a later date, with a graveside burial held in Calvary Cemetery, 151 Eastern Ave. Gloucester. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to: The Rose Baker Senior Center, 6 Manuel F. Lewis Road, Gloucester, MA 01930 or The Open Door Food Pantry, 28 Emerson Ave. Gloucester, MA 01930. Arrangements are by the Greely Funeral Home, 212 Washington St. Gloucester, MA 01930. Online condolences may be given at:
Published on March 26, 2020


Iain Ker forwarded these spectacular drone shots from the Ocean Alliance new dock installation.


Drone Photos by Iain Kerr using a DJI Mavic 2 Pro

Work on the docks has temporarily ceased due to the coronavirus situation however, although not quite finished, the docks are useable to a certain degree and are quite secure against bad weather.

A Drive Around the Cape

If Gloucester/Rockport is your home and you’re missing it or can’t get out, this video is for you.  My boys and I were getting a little stir crazy in the house thanks to no school, no hockey, no anything (aka Covid-19) so we took a long drive around the Cape. We thought we would video tape it for those of you who may be missing home….or who are home, but can’t get out. This is Cape Ann: Part #1. Stage Fort Park to Back Beach, Rockport.

Buckle up because it’s a long ride. I thought about speeding it up, but then you would have missed things.  Either way, it was a nice activity to do with the boys (who took turns filming for you) during these unchartered times.



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One hundred and ninety-two feet of new dockage is being installed at Ocean Alliance’s headquarters at the old Paint Manufactory. Work began today and will continue through Friday. The E-shaped dock will be accessed via a new gangplank and until that is installed a temporary gangplank is going up.

Alicia Pensarosa, Ocean Alliance’s assistant director writes, “The new docks will be available for transient/seasonal rentals with the goal of getting more commercial, research, schooner, and educational vessels coming to Gloucester.”  The new docks look beautiful and it’s a hopeful sign for Gloucester to see work continue during these unprecedented times of hardship.