It’s heartbreaking to read about the death and devastation wreaked by Hurricane Dorian. Never having been, but greatly wishing to go someday, our hearts go out to the people of this beautiful and magical archipelago, the Bahamas.
Several friends have written asking about what happens to shorebirds, especially the Atlantic Coast Piping Plovers, during a monster hurricane like Dorian. Some lose their lives, some are blown far off course and hopefully, more will survive than not.
One somewhat reassuring thought regarding the Piping Plovers that are tagged in Massachusetts and Rhode Island is that they may not yet have left the States. After departing Massachusetts and RI, a great many tagged PiPls are soon found foraging on the shores of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Cape Lookout National Seashore, and Cumberland Island National Seashore, GA. Data suggests that the Outer Banks are a priority stopover site for Piping Plovers well into the late summer. After leaving our shores, southern New England Piping Plovers spend on average 45 days at NC barrier beaches before then heading to the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos.
A male Piping Plover that I have been documenting since April, nicknamed Super Dad, still in Massachusetts at his breeding grounds as of August 28th.
Here is Super Dad with his two fledglings, aged 31 days, On August 24th, 2019.
Thirty-one-day old fledglings, sleeping after a morning of intensive foraging and fattening-up.
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Last Chance! These must see 2019 shows are closing soon: Don’t miss ICA Watershed Purple (installation view above) closing September 2; DeCordova New England Biennial and the Provincetown Art Association & Museum’s 1945 Chaim Gross exhibition close September 15; and catch Renoir at the Clark before it’s gone September 22nd.
A few of the listed upcoming exhibitions to note: the NEW building and exhibits at PEM are opening September 2019; Homer at the Beach is on display at Cape Ann Museum thru December 1 (and catch a Richard Ormond lecture on John Singer Sargent’s Charcoals Sept.28 at Cape Ann Museum (ahead of the Morgan exhibition opening October); three new shows opening at MFA; Gordon Parks at Addison; and Alma Thomas at Smith. A Seuss-focused experience was pronounced destined for Boston, ahead of its TBD venue, by the LA entertainment company co-founders. Some shows I’ve already visited and may write about, mostly from a dealer’s perspective as that is my background. Exhibition trends continue to evolve and reveal new directions. A few patterns I see in the exhibition titles: what’s annointed for display and how it’s contextualized (corrective labels); immersive exhibits; revisiting colonial methodologies and themes; major solo surveys; women artists (and this upcoming season boost underscoring womens’ suffrage and 100th anniversary of the ratification of women’s right to vote); illustration; environment; and issues of humanity and migration. The list is illustrated with images of the sites. All photographs mine unless otherwise noted. Right click or hover to see info; click to enlarge. – Catherine Ryan
The guide – Massachusetts Museum Guide, Fall 2019
Note from author: The list below is alphabetized by town, and details upcoming exhibitions at each venue as well as some that are closing soon. Click the word “website” (color gray on most monitors) for hyperlinks that redirect to venues. For a list alphabetically sorted by venue, see my Google Map (with a Candy Trail overlay) “Art Museums in Massachusetts” hereand embedded at the end of this post. I pulled the map together several years ago. No apps to download or website jumping. Easy scroll down so you don’t miss an exhibit that’s closer than you think to one that you may already be exploring.A few are open seasonally (summer) or weekends only–call first to check before visiting. Major new architectural building projects are underway at BU (closed) and MIT. The 54th Regiment Memorial on Boston Common will undergo restoration. Get ready for close observation of conservation in process. – Catherine
1. John Greenleaf Whittier historic Home and Museumwebsite
18. Boston Harbor Islands National and State Parkwebsite
(photos show info gateway on the Greenway near the ferry access to Boston Harbor Islands)
Summer 2019 public art: Boston Harbor [Re]creation The Project: Artists Marsha Parrilla; Robin MacDonald-Foley; Brian Sonia-Wallace more(Jury: Luis Cotto MCC; Lucas Cowan, The Greenway; Celena illuzzi, National Parks; Caroly Lewenberg; Denise Sarno-Bucca DCR; Courtney Shape, City of Boston; Rebecca Smerling Boston Harbor Now; Kera Washingon; Cynthia Woo, Pao Arts Center)
Unveiled 2019 – Super A (Stefan Thelen) Resonance, 2019, latex and spray paint
Note to Greenway (see photo notes below): food trucks by the stop should be relocated to other food truck areas (and maybe one tree) to optimize and welcome sight line to the Greenway and public spaces from streets, sidewalk, and South Station. There are pauses elsewhere along the lattice park links, and a generous approach past the wine bar. The temporary commissioned mural could extend verso (or invite a second artist) so that the approach from Zakim Bridge/RT1/93North is as exciting as the approach from Cape Cod.
Skip the app AI download– swamped my phone battery despite free WiFi on the Greenway.
See complete list of 2019 public art currently on view at The Greenway here
The Greenway packs a lot of punch in a compressed area; its lattice of dynamic public spaces and quiet passages are an easy stroll into the North End or along the HarborWalk to the ICA, roughly similar in size and feel as walking Battery Park and Hudson River Park in New York City.
24. Innovation and Design building (aka Boston Design Building makeover in process in winter 2016 photos posted here) website
Through September 2, 2019 at The Water Shed, ICA Boston John Akomfrah: Purplemore
What’s coming in 2020 to The Water Shed? Still TBA
Through September 22, 2019 ICA Less Is a Bore: Maximilist Art & Designmore
Nice installation with a few surprises and thoughtful connection to other exhibtions on view. (The LeWit and Johns selections triggered what about that work or artist? I wish May Stevens and Harmony Hammond were included and my list grew from there. That’s part of the fun of the exhibit.)
September 24 – February 7, 2021 ICA Yayoi Kusama: Love is Callingmore
September 24 – February 7, 2021 ICA Beyond Infinity: Contemporary Art after Kusamamore
October 23, 2019 – January 26, 2020 ICA When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Artmore
Through December 31, 2019 ICA 2019 James and Audrey Foster Prize Boston area artists: Rashin Fahandej; Josephine Halvorson; Lavaughan Jenkins; Helga Roht Poznanskimore
Through October 20, 2019 Ship of State…Paintings by Robert Henry
Through December 21, 2019 Interpreting Their World: Varujan Boghosian, Carmen Cicero, Elspeth Halvorsen and Pual Resika
71. The Art Complex Museum (Weyerhaeuser collection) website
August 18 – November 10, 2019 Steve Novick: Approximation
September 15 -January 12, 2020 Draw the Line
September 15 – January 12, 2020 Rotations: Highlights From the Permanent Collection Nocturne including Lowell Birge Harrison (American, 1854–1929), Suzanne Hodes (American, b. 1939), Kawase Hasui (Japanese, 1883–1957), George Inness (American, 1825–1894), Johan Barthold Jongkind (Dutch, 1819–1891) Martin Lewis (American, 1881–1962), and Henri Eugene Le Sidaner (French, 1862-1939)
November 17 – February 16, 2020 George Herman Found Paintings
72. Thornton W. Burgess Society Green Briar Nature Center & Jam Kitchen website *may join Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster to combine and become the Cape Cod Museums of Natural History
The safest cities in America are not remote, rural places. They are closer than you think. They may not be big, but often they are just minutes from the largest cities in the U.S.
One of America’s safest cities is just 3 miles from Manhattan, and 7 miles from Central Park, in the heart of New York City. That city is Fort Lee, New Jersey. Fully eleven of them are within the New York Metro area.
In many ways, these cities serve as neighborhoods within the large metro area.
Similarly, NeighborhoodScout’s research revealed nineteen of the safest cities are in the Boston metro area, and eight are in California, including Danville, which is a scant 22 minutes from Oakland, one of the nation’s most dangerous cities. This is a common pattern our researchers have noted: the safest and most dangerous parts of America’s great urban areas are often just a few miles apart.
Will the winter of 2018-2019 bring another Snowy Owl Snowstorm similar to the irruption of 2017-2018? It is too soon in the season to know. They have been trickling in, but Snowy Owls typically begin to move southward in greater numbers in mid- to late-November.
The Snowy spotted today is a male, with a beautiful nearly pure white face and neck. Although off in the distance, he appeared to be in good health, with plushy full set of feathers, big furry feet, and tell-tale pinkish hue smudged around his beak (hopefully from a recent catch). He was quietly nodding off until suddenly disturbed by someone approaching too closely. He swooped across the landscape and away from the onlooker to a more remote location, and was hopefully left undisturbed for the remainder of the day.
Grooming and dozing off amongst the tall grasses and dried wildflowers
On high alert and then flushing after sudden disturbance.
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Good Morning Gloucester reader DB took a snapshot and reports that she saw this little Porcupine moseying along the side of the road in Essex on Friday.
The North American Porcupine is more commonly seen in central and western Massachusetts, less so in the eastern regions of our state. Porcupines are nocturnal, preferring to hide away during the day in dens and treetops, which is another reason we don’t often see them in these parts.
So wonderful that DB saw this and was able to get a photo. Thank you for sharing DB!!!
Additional North American Porcupine photo courtesy wikicommons media
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The little seal pup was seen today washed ashore at Niles Beach. He couldn’t have been more than three feet in length. From Maine to Massachusetts, more than six hundred dead or dying Gray and Harbor Seals have been reported this summer.
Two Humpback Whales washed ashore on Massachusetts beaches in a single day, one on Little Brewster Island in Boston Harbor and one on Revere Beach. The Revere Beach Humpback is the same whale that was spotted off Gloucester several weeks ago. Last week, two dead Minke Whales were found floating in the waters off Gloucester and Sea Bright, New Jersey. Another Minke Whale washed ashore in Rye, New Hampshire earlier this past week.
Over the winter, we got a sneak preview at a GMG podcast of Alice’s wonderful and whimsical illustrations for her Saint Peter’s Fiesta children’s book. St. Peter’s Fiesta Gloucester, Massachusetts has been published just in time for Fiesta. Even without baby granddaughter Charlotte on the way, we would cherish a copy of this delightful book. I cannot wait to purchase ours.
St. Peter’s Fiesta Gloucester, Massachusetts is available at the The Book Store of Gloucester
located at 61 Main Street (978-281-1548). When at The Bookstore, be sure to check out Alice’s illustrations for St. Peter’s Fiesta Gloucester, Massachusetts. They are framed and on display. Each year Alice is the featured artist at The Bookstore during the month of June for her many paintings over the years of Fiesta.
Please join us for Alice Gardner’s BEAUTIFUL St. Peter’s Fiesta children’s picture book launch party! The daughter of the founder of St. Peter’s Fiesta will be reading the book 🙂 Details below. Mark your calendars! Please share!
90th Anniversary Party for Saint Peter’s Fiesta
Saturday, June 17, 2017 10-11:15
Book reading: 10:30
The Sawyer Free Library
2 Dale Avenue, Gloucester, Massachusetts
The Children’s Room and The Friend Room
Please join us for the debut of St. Peter’s Fiesta, a beautiful children’s book by artist and author Alice Gardner, commemorating our favorite time of year.
Sara Favazza has graciously offered to read the book to all those, young and old, who love St. Peter’s Fiesta! Sara is the daughter of Salvatore Favazza, the Gloucester sea captain who founded Fiesta in 1927 to thank Saint Peter for keeping the fishermen safe.
Preceding the reading, there will be special activities for children.
Following the reading, please stay for the book signing outside in the garden where refreshments will be served.
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Featuring Dowitchers, Ruddy Turnstone, Least Tern, Eastern Kingbird, Eastern Towhee, Northern Flicker, Black-bellied Plovers, Brown Thrasher, Black-and-white Warbler, Chipping Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Female Red-winged Blackbird, Tree Swallow, Willets, and Piping Plovers.
May is a magical month in Massachusetts for observing migrants traveling to our shores, wooded glens, meadows, and shrubby uplands. They come either to mate and to nest, or are passing through on their way to the Arctic tundra and forests of Canada and Alaska.
I am so excited to share about the many beautiful species of shorebirds, songbirds, and butterflies I have been recently filming and photographing for several projects. Mostly I shoot early in the morning, before setting off to work with my landscape design clients. I love, love my work, but sometimes it’s really hard to tear away from the beauty that surrounds here on Cape Ann. I feel so blessed that there is time to do both. If you, too, would like to see these beautiful creatures, the earliest hours of daylight are perhaps the best time of day to capture wildlife, I assume because they are very hungry first thing in the morning and less likely to be bothered by the presence of a human. Be very quiet and still, and observe from a distance far enough away so as not to disturb the animal’s activity.
Some species, like Great Blue Herons, Snowy Egrets, Black-crowned Night Herons, Great Egrets, Brant Geese, and Osprey, as well as Greater and Lesser Yellow Legs, are not included here because this post is about May’s migration and these species were seen in April.
Please note that several photos are not super great by photo skill standards, but are included so you can at least see the bird in a Cape Ann setting. I am often shooting something faraway, at dawn, or dusk, or along a shady tree-lined lane. As so often happens, I’ll get a better capture in better light, and will switch that out, for the purpose of record keeping, at a later date.
Happy Magical May Migration!
The male Eastern Towhee perches atop branches at daybreak and sings the sweetest ta-weet, ta-weet, while the female rustles about building a nest in the undergrowth. Some live year round in the southern part of the US, and others migrate to Massachusetts and parts further north to nest.
If these are Short-billed Dowitchers, I’d love to see a Long-billed Dowitcher! They are heading to swampy pine forests of high northern latitudes.
Black-bellied Plovers, much larger relatives of Piping Plovers, look like Plain Janes when we see them in the fall (see above).
Now look at his handsome crisp black and white breeding plumage; its hard to believe we are looking at the same bird! He is headed to nest in the Arctic tundra in his fancy new suit.
This one is for Joey. Sorry its a crummy photo–they were far in the distance–but it’s a record nonetheless. The bird on the right is his favorite, the calico-colored Ruddy Turnstone. They also nest in the high Arctic.
The Eastern Kingbird is a small yet feisty songbird; he’ll chase after much larger raptors and herons that dare to pass through his territory. Kingbirds spend the winter in the South American forests and nest in North America.
With our record of the state with the greatest Piping Plover recovery rate, no post about the magical Massachusetts May migration would be complete without including these tiniest of shorebirds. Female Piping Plover, Good Harbor Beach.
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What fun to encounter a small flock of terns teaching its young to fish. Nearly as large as the adults, the tubby terns cheekily squawk and demand food (shrimp I think in this case). Watch as the fledglings try to master fishing skills while the adults tirelessly guide the young on how to feed themselves.
With thanks to Paul St. Germain, president of the Thacher Island Association, for information about the ongoing restoration of shorebirds on Thacher Island.
After spending the past eight weeks filming the sparrow-sized Piping Plovers, it was fun to unexpectedly encounter these tubby Common Tern fledglings. Although able to fly, they stood at the water’s edge, unrelentingly demanding to be fed. The adults willingly obliged.
Unlike plovers, which can feed themselves within hours after hatching (the term is precocial), tern fledglings are semi-precocial, which means they are somewhat mobile at hatching but remain and are fed by their parents. Terns and gulls are semi-precocial.
The fledglings appear larger than the adults and are very well fed. Both parents feed their young. The terns are building fat reserves for the long migration to the South American tropical coasts, some traveling as far as Peru and Argentina.
Common Tern dive bombing gull
Although unperturbed by my presence, they sure did not like the seagulls. Any that ventured near the fledglings feeding were told in the most cheekiest of terms to buzz off–dive bombing, nipping, and nonstop loudly squawking–the intruder did not stick around for very long.
Common Tern populations are in decline, most probably because of pesticide poisoning and habitat loss.
A friend of mine found this somewhere….and I stole it from him. While I can’t take credit, it made me chuckle. Allow me to say, however, that despite all of this white crap, I do truly still love living in Massachusetts. It seems terribly fitting for our current state of affairs….or snoffairs…as it would seem.
August 15 – Moved to our new home in Boston, Massachusetts. It’s so beautiful here. The lake to the north looks so majestic. I can hardly wait to see it snow covered. I’m going to love it here!
October 14 – Massachusetts is definitely the most beautiful place on earth. The leaves have all turned colors. There are beautiful shades of red, orange, and yellow. Went for a ride through the park and saw some deer. They are so graceful. Certainly, they are the most wonderful animals on earth. This must be paradise, I LOVE IT HERE!!
November 10 – Deer season will start soon. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to kill such a gorgeous animal. Hope it will snow soon. I love it here. Those red, orange, and yellow leaves have covered my yard. Looks like a magnificent multi-colored carpet. HOW BEAUTIFUL. Raking and cleaning up the yard will be an opportunity for invigorating exercise in the cool crisp air.
November 15 – Ah, more leaves and more exercise.
November 18 – Jesus, still more leaves. Guess it’s best to wait until they’ve all fallen before I rake again.
November 25 – Finally, all of the trees lost their leaves and with today’s final raking it’s over for this season. Chiropractor suggested I use a lawn maintenance service next year. Only four blisters became infected. Should probably remember to use gloves.
November 30 – What the f…? Where did all of those leaves come from? Had a little wind last night and the lawn is covered again. Oh well, they’ll just have to wait until spring.
December 12 – It snowed last night, FINALLY. Woke up to find everything blanketed in white. It looks like a postcard. We went outside and cleaned the snow off the steps and shoveled the driveway. Had a snowball fight (I won) and when the snowplow came by and we had to shovel the end of the driveway again.
What a beautiful place. Massachusetts!
December 14 – More snow last night, I love it. The snow plow did his trick to the driveway again. Love it here.
December 19 – More snow again last night. Can’t get out of the driveway. Can’t to get to work. I’m exhausted from shoveling. F…ing snowplow.
December 22 – More of that white shit fell again last night. As if dealing with the leaves weren’t bad enough, now I’ve got blisters all over my hands from shoveling. Must remember to wear gloves. I think the snowplow hides around the corner and waits until I’m finished shoveling the driveway. Idiot.
December 25 – Merry F…ing Christmas. More frigging snow. If I ever get my hands on that son-of-a-bitch who drives the snowplow, I swear I’ll kill the bastard. Don’t know why they don’t use more salt on the roads to melt the f…ing ice.
December 27 – More white shit last night. Have been inside for three days except for shoveling out the driveway after that plow goes through every time. F…ing gloves got wet and then froze on my hands.
Doctor said it was just a mild case of frost bite, disfiguration is probably only temporary. Can’t go anywhere, car is stuck in a mountain of white shit. The weatherman says to expect another 10 inches of the shit tonight. Do you know how many shovels full of snow 10 inches is? A LOT.
December 28 – The f…ing weatherman was wrong. We got 34 inches of that white shit last night. At this rate it won’t melt ’till summer.
The plow got stuck up the road and the bastard came to the door and asked to borrow a shovel. I told him I’d already broken six of them shoveling all the shit he pushed into the driveway and then I broke my last one on his f…ing head.
January 4 – Finally got out of the house today. Went to the store to get food and on the way back I hit a damned deer that ran in front of my car. Did about $3000 damage. F…ing beasts should be killed. Wish the hunters had killed them all last November.
May 3 – Took the car to the garage in town. Go figure, it’s rusting out from all the f…ing salt they finally put all over the roads.
May 10 – Dumped the car. Sold the townhouse. Moved to Florida. I can’t imagine why anyone in their right mind would ever live in that forsaken state of Massachusetts!
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The beautiful juvenile Harbor Seal was found on a foggy morning in midsummer. The seal was beached at the high tide line and its breathing was heavy and labored. It had no interest in returning to the water and needed only to remain at rest.
For the next six hours the seal struggled to survive the world of curious humans.
Learn what to do if you find a seal on the beach.
The two agencies listed below have in my experience been helpful:
Massachusetts Environmental Police: 508-753-0603
Northeast Region Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding and Entanglement Hotline: 866-755-6622
Monarch Butterfly Nectaring at the Gloucester HarborWalk
Reader Gia Vento writes the following:
I met you at the Stoneham Garden Club two years ago.
I’d like to take butterfly photos for my own collection.
Is it too late in the year to do so outdoors?
Can you recommend a good outdoor place where I could capture some images–especially monarchs, other butterflies, ladybugs, and hummingbirds?
I appreciate your time.”
I recall our meeting and so good to hear from you Gia. No, its not too late. Many species of butterflies are on the wing during the late summer and early autumn months, as long as the warm weather holds up. Hopefully, too, the monarch migration will be more successful this year than last. I find the best time of day to see the most species of butterflies is from about 10:30 to about 3ish (generally the warmest and sunniest hours of the day).
The Massachusetts Butterfly Club offers a great publication, The Massachusetts Butterfly Club Guide to Good Butterfly Sites. Several of the best places featured are right here on Cape Ann! Follow this link to purchase the guide from their site (scroll down the webpage about half way): Massachusetts Butterfly Club Guide to Good Butterfly Sites.
Painted Lady Butterfly Nectaring at New York Ironweed, Gloucester HarborWalk
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It being Sunday and all, I thought I’d remind you of a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon during the summer. Polo.
I know as much as anyone that it is hard to tear yourself away from the beach, boat, deck, or backyard BBQ on a sunny afternoon during the precious and all too fleeting summer months, but, if you’re up for something a tiny bit different, taking in a Polo match is really quite fun!
I’d like to add, however, that better than simply doing it….is doing it right!
The best way to do it is to gather a bunch of your friends, grab a chunk of tailgate space on the sidelines, pack the picnic of all picnics, stuff a cooler to capacity and have a lovely afternoon. Despite popular belief, holding your pinky up while drinking is actually optional. The polo crowd is quite mixed and quite lovely. Ummm….and to any single ladies who happen to be reading….you could probably find a less attractive bunch of athletes elsewhere. Just saying. I should add that there are some pretty rad female players too. I, for one, would LOVE to learn the game.
My boys enjoy walking around and meeting the players and ponies before the match begins. I’ve yet to meet a player who wasn’t friendly and more than happy to let the boys ask questions and meet the horses. They also get a kick out of replacing the divots in-between chukkers….often times barefoot. (Insert mild shutter….horse poop and all).
Congratulations to Mark Allen, the 2014 Sunday Greasy Pole Champion! This was Mark’s first win, after 16 previous years of walking! Allen was walking for his cousin Peter “Black” Frontiero who has the second most wins of all time, with a total of nine.
Each year I look forward to filming and photographing the greasy pole events. The determination on the men’s faces, the camaraderie, the ecstasy and pride in winning, the anguish of defeat, the hilarious costumes, and the Felliniesque antics combine to create a fabulous fiesta of stories and images.
The film opens at the childhood home of the Giambanco Family, with Sefatia leading the Greasy Pole Walkers and guests in the rallying “Viva San Pietro,” the cheer that is heard throughout the city of Gloucester during Saint Peter’s Fiesta. Giambanco sisters Marianne, Grace, Rosaria, and Sefatia continue with their mother Rosalia’s, “Lia’s” custom of feeding the Greasy Pole Walkers dinner before the walk. The tradition began years ago when their brother, Anthony “Matza” Giambanco, began walking. Sefatia explains that Lia had always held a huge family feast with relatives from all around the country attending. The first year her brother walked he told his mom he couldn’t eat because he was meeting everyone. She said I don’t care; you have to eat, and told him to bring everyone back to their home. That was in 1978!
Next the Walkers head over to rally at the Gloucester House, where they greet Lenny shouting his name over and over, to a packed restaurant full of guests. Several more stops are made along the way before the next rally at the Saint Peter’s Club. The Walkers make one last stop to say a prayer to Saint Peter, and perhaps pin a gold charm or coin to the statue, before departing for the greased pole platform at Pavilion Beach
* * *
With special thanks and appreciation to Nicky Avelis and all the Greasy Pole Walkers for allowing me to ride on the boat. It went by way too fast! And thank you to the skipper for giving me a ride back to shore.
With thanks and appreciation to Rosaria, Sefatia, Marianne, and Grace for inviting me to come film the Walker’s rally at your welcoming Fiesta Sunday Feast!
The song “Love Runs Out,” is by OneRepublic for the reissue of their third album, Native.
The song “The Walker” is by Fitz and The Tantrums from the album More Than Just a Dream.
Congratulations to Kyle Barry, the 2014 Saturday Greasy Pole Champion! This was Kyle’s second win. He was also the 2013 Friday Champion.
The first clip is especially Felliniesque but then again, the entire time I am shooting the greasy pole I feel as though I am in the midst of a Fellini film. Friday’s and Sunday’s films are coming in the next few days, with some Very Fun Footage.
I Loved this song when first I heard it and thought it perfect for Greasy Pole Walkers. Written and performed by Fitz and The Tantrums, “The Walker,” (that is really the title of the song!) is from their second album, More Than Just a Dream.
Previous GMG Posts about Kyle Barry: Kyle Barry for the Win! Additional music note ~ Fitz and The Tantrums will be performing at the House of Blues in Boston on November 15th.
I love it when friends and readers ask what bird or butterfly (and moth and caterpillar), and am only too happy to help them learn more about the creature they have found. Very funny though is the wide range of nature-related questions that I am asked. At a job site recently, the crew could not wait to show me the above humungous pile of pooh. Should I be flattered or dismayed?
Three times as large as the largest Great Dane pooh that you could possibly imagine, and not the right consistency for dog poop, it didn’t take much searching to determine that it was Black Bear pooh. We double checked with our friend Richard from the Department of Conservation and Recreation and sure enough, it was confirmed to be bear pooh.
As an alternative to what was suggested by the MSPCA in their “co-existing with coyotes literature,” which is that kids be kept indoors and that we keep donkeys and llamas as coyote deterrents, we instead perhaps should repopulate Cape Ann with bears. After all, bears were here before the earliest European settlers (think Bearskin Neck).
Willowdale is located within the Bradley Palmer State Park, which borders the towns of Ipswich, Topsfield, and Hamilton, which border the towns of Essex and Manchester. Has anyone in recent history spotted a Black Bear on Cape Ann?
Massachusetts, the Bay State, is renowned for many things. It has some of the richest history and oldest buildings in the nation; some of our country’s best colleges; and, of course, Boston.
Bean Town is just one city, however, so we wanted to do all Massachusetts residents proud and determine which cities in the state are its very best. It’s the same thing we’ve already done with states like Washington and, a bit closer to home, New Jersey.
Of course, narrowing our selection down to a list of 10 and one winner overall—Marshfield—was not without a certain degree of challenge, but we figured Red Sox and Celtics fans are accustomed enough to dealing with that. When the results were tallied, the 10 best cities in the Bay State emerged: