#GLOUCESTERMA SNOWSTORM HIGH TIDE EASTERN POINT LIGHTHOUSE, BACKSHORE, GOOD HARBOR BEACH SURFERS, TWIN LIGHTS, AND TURKEYS

At sunset this evening, the skies cleared for a bit and one could see the snowstorm departing in an easterly direction, while more squalls were beginning to blow ashore from the west. The nearly half-Moon was rising over the marsh through the clouds. Swells along the backshore were larger than average, but nothing nearly as dramatic as the waves during a nor’easter. Perhaps the waves were bigger on the other side of the Island.

Although I didn’t get a snapshot, the small flock of Wild Turkeys was leaping about at the base of a bird feeder, hungrily looking for food. Which was actually pretty funny because grace is decidedly not a characteristic shared with these large-bottom birds. I wished I had a handful to give them.

 

#SNOWYDAYGIRL #GLOUCESTERMA – THE AGE OF WONDER

What is this thing called snow?

#GLOUCESTERMA RANKS NO. 2 IN THE TWENTY BEST PLACES TO LIVE IN MASSACHUSETTS!!

See what Money Inc has to say about Gloucester!

The Twenty Best Places to Live in Massachusetts

Massachusetts is one of the most remarkable states in America. It’s the place where many believe this country originated, being home to the historic city of Plymouth. The first European settlement was established there in the year 1620. What began as a farming and fishing community has grown and evolved into a highly industrialized center of activity in the country. Massachusetts has been listed as one of the best states to raise a family, and here are the 20 best places to live in Massachusetts, based upon safety, good school ratings, employment, amenities and reasonable cost of living.

RECORD BREAKING OCTOBER BOMB CYCLONE STORM HITS #GLOUCESTERMA LEAVING IN ITS WAKE UPROOTED TREES, GROUNDED BOATS, ROUGH SEAS OVER DOGBAR, TWIN LIGHTS, BACKSHORE, INNER HARBOR

The definition of a ‘bomb cyclone’ is one that drops in pressure by at least 24 millibars in 24 hours or less. As this storm intensified, the central pressure dropped to a new record for lowest pressure during October in our area.

#GLOUCESTERMA #NOREASTER MORNING AFTER BACKSHORE, ROUGH SURF, ATMOSPHERIC LIGHT, SEINE FIELD, GOOD HARBOR BEACH SURFERS, PEARLY SUNRISE, MACKEREL SKY, DOGBAR BREAKWATER

After the October nor’easter – photos in this morning’s beautiful atmospheric light.

HURRICANE #HUMBERTO DELIVERS GORGEOUS SURF AND RARELY SEEN IN #GLOUCESTER MA NEOTROPICAL BLACK SKIMMERS!!! MOTHER ANN, BACK SHORE, GOOD HARBOR BEACH AND MORE

Thanks to my friend Heidi Wakeman who texted to let me know there was what she thought a trio of Black Skimmers down the creek at Good Harbor Beach. I raced over and sure enough there were three Black Skimmers, as well as several Laughing Gulls, resting on the creek edge along with a flock of gulls.

You could tell they were weary and wind tossed so we observed from the far side of the creek so as not to disturb the little travelers. Heidi and I enjoyed watching for a bit. A Great Blue Heron briefly flew on the scene, joining a mixed gathering of herons and egrets. Heidi stayed awhile longer and got to see them fly and skim-feeding.

Black Skimmers are called as such because they have a unique-to-their species method of foraging. Their lower mandible is longer than the upper, which allows them to skim the surface for small fish.

Southern Massachusetts is at the very northern range of the Black Skimmers breeding range. I imagine they have been blown off course by Humberto’s wildy winds.

Black Skimmers are not all that Hurricane Humberto delivered to our shores. The surf was tremendous Friday afternoon, with long lovely rolling waves that towered and crashed ashore. The late day softening light and a fine mist from the heavy amounts of moisture in the air lent an atmospheric light to all.

Here are some photos I took of Black Skimmers two years ago at Cape May, New Jersey, while documenting the Monarch migration along the southern New Jersey coast. Just as do Monarchs, Skimmers gather in great numbers at Cape May in late summer and early autumn, waiting for the right conditions to cross the Delaware Bay.

$150,00 RAISED, 5500 MILES, AND 210 MARATHONS RUN! – A HEARTFELT CONGRATULATIONS FROM THE PEOPLE OF #GLOUCESTERMA TO GLOUCESTER ENGLAND’S ADVENTUREMAN!

All these fine folks came out to cheer on and welcome Adventureman!

Fantastic in-every-way turnout for Jamie McDonald! Thanks to Sheree Zizak for the fabulous welcoming reception at Beauport, to Mayor Sefatia, Joey, and Pat for getting the word out, for hosts and hostesses, Kerry from the Cape Ann Chamber, and to all who gave Jamie, his family, and friends a Gloucester Welcome.

If you would like to donate to Jamie’s Superhero Fund to help sick kids go HERE.

GOLDEN SPARROW STILL IN THE HOOD AND SPOTTED ON PERKINS STREET!

Thank you to Mary Ellen Stephens for sharing her photo of the beautiful blonde “Golden Sparrow, ” recently seen at her bird feeder in Gloucester. Anita Pacheco first alerted us to this rare beauty. 

If any of our readers see the sparrow, please let us know, and if you can possibly, take a snapshot. Thank you!

EXCITING NEWS FOR THE CAPE ANN MUSEUM, CAPE ANN COMMUNITY AT LARGE, AND ESPECIALLY FOR VIRGINIA LEE BURTON FANS!

As part of the programming for the Cape Ann Museum’s current exhibit “The Little House: Her Story,” a special program was presented by curators Martha Oaks, Michiyo Okabe, and Atsuko Tanaka to discuss the cultural collaboration behind the exhibit. Towards the end of the fascinating and oftentimes, humorous and deeply moving presentation, one member of the captivated audience asked, “what will happen to the Little House model.” Everyone was delighted to learn that the curators are gifting the Little House to the Cape Ann Museum!

Unfortunately, I could only stay for the first hour of the program, but I am sure Catherine Ryan, who would have loved to have attended the presentation (but is still under the weather with the terrible cold that is going around), will provide us with more details.

 

#GLOUCESTERMA FROZEN IN A HAZE OF SEA SMOKE WINTER STORM 2019 – GOOD HARBOR BEACH, LIGHTHOUSES, CITY HALL, NILES BEACH

Snapshots from a brief tour around the back shore while out doing errands this afternoon. With temperatures hovering at 5 degrees, Cape Ann was blanketed with a thick layer of impenetrable ice, snow squalls, and sea smoke.

Happy to see the temperatures are heading towards the forties after Tuesday!

 

A crazy person surfing at GHB 🙂

DAGGERS! SNOWY OWL HEDWIG WEEKLY UPDATE

Our beautiful Snowy Hedwig’s routine hasn’t much changed since she discovered the safety zone provided by hotel rooftops (safe from crows, that is). Hunting during the night, returning at dawn to the roof to various well-hidden niches, and then making her “entrance” at around sunset, she has adapted well to New England coastal living. After preening, pooping, and occassionally passing a pellet, she then scans the neighborhood. Hedwig bobs her head in an up and down motion a half dozen times, then flies east over the sea or west over the Arctic tundra-like golf course.

Snowy Owl Hedwig lifts her head in a bobbing motion to track prey.

Owls cannot move their eyes in the eye sockets. Instead, they employ several techniques to increase their range of sight. An owl can swivel its head a full 270 degrees. Additionally, owls bob their head up and down, a movement that aids in triangulating potential prey.

Dagger Sharp Talons.

Because the forceful impact of the Snowy Owl hitting its prey is so powerful, combined with the vise-like grip of its talons, the animal usually dies instantly.

Hedwig has so far survived three tremendously fierce storms during her stay in Gloucester. Last night, on the eve of the blizzard, she tried to take off several times towards the water. The wind current was strong, but she eventually flew successfully, heading in the direction of Thacher Island. Heres hoping she is waiting out the blizzard in one of her hideaways.

Folks are wondering how long will Hedwig stay. Most Snowies leave Massachusetts by April, although one was recorded at Logan Airport as late as July.