Good Morning! Brought to you by Thacher Island’s North Light sunrise.
Rockport “I Am More” Reception
The Rockport Police Department will be opening their doors to the public this Thursday evening (April 25th) from 7-9 pm for a reception featuring eight of the I Am More portraits by Gloucester artist Amy Kerr with accompanying essays on display in the Community Room at 168 Main Street in Rockport. The pastel and colored pencil portraits of mostly Cape Ann residents are displayed with essays by the subjects that describe all the ways they are more than their depression, alcoholism, bi-polar disorder, grief, suicidal thoughts, eating disorder, anxiety and panic attacks. There will be information available about free health and wellness resources available in Cape Ann, along with light refreshments.
A big thank you to Chief John Horvath and retired Rockport Police Officer Roger Lesch for making this event possible.
Over the winter, a Black Vulture has been calling Cape Ann home. My friend Lois first alerted me to this back in December where he has been seen quite often in Rockport. I have been trying to capture some footage of him/her but only ever saw him soaring high above. The Black Vulture in flight is stunning and you can recognize the bird by its distinctive white wing tips.
As luck would have it, East Gloucester resident Larry shared a photo recently and his friend Frank generously allowed me to stop by and take some photos and footage!
Being found mostly in South America, Central America, and the southern US, the Black Vulture’s range does not historically include Cape Ann (nor anywhere in Massachusetts). The bird’s range has been expanding northward since the early decades of the previous century and it is safe to say there may even be a few pairs breeding in the furthest most western regions of Massachusetts!
Black Vultures feed primarily on carrion. They fly high above on thermal winds looking for dead creatures, and also follow Turkey Vultures, which reportedly have a better sense of smell and can more easily locate carcasses. Black Vultures also kill skunks, possums, Night Herons, turtle hatchlings, chickens, young livestock, and sickly small pets. And, too, they pick through dumps and dumpsters, and even wade into water for small fish and floating carrion. It’s no wonder their range is expanding!
The Black Vulture visiting Frank’s yard appeared to be communicating with Frank. Black Vultures lack a voice box; instead of singing, one of the sounds they make is a low ruff sort of bark. Frank can imitate the bark perfectly, and the bird barks back!
Black Vulture Historic Status in Massachusetts, from Mass Audubon:
The first Black Vulture identified in Massachusetts was shot in Swampscott in November of 1850. The second appeared in Gloucester on September 28, 1863, where it, too, was killed (Howe & Allen 1901). Throughout the next century, the bird was considered an accidental straggler in Massachusetts; and, by the middle of the nineteenth century, the species was on the move from its deep Southern roots, breeding in southern Maryland for the first time in 1922 (Court 1924) and in Pennsylvania by 1952 (Brauning 1992).
If you see Cape Ann’s Black Vulture hanging around your property, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you so much!
Seaview Farms in Rockport has great food but also visiting the horses and goats is one of my favorites.
Sorellanza Concert New Year’s Eve!
Rockport Congregational Church
Shows at 6 & 7 PM
Join us for an eclectic a cappella journey of inspiration, ferocity, wonder
and a bit of reverie, too! Patti Pike, Musical Director.
Click to Purchase Buttons, Volunteer
or see Rockport New Year’s Eve Schedule
They lighted candles in the winter trees.
They hung their homes with evergreen.
They burned beseeching fires all night
long to keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake they shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them echoing behind us – Listen!
All the long echoes sing the same delight, this Shortest Day, as promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
On my way to Ace hardware in Rockport this morning, I passed Rusty and Ingrid’s beautiful print shop and noticed a very cool Rusty and Ingrid graphic in their front window–about a new holiday festival called the Rockport Makers’ Market. I just had to stop in and find out more.
Rusty took a few moments from his super busy morning to explain. “This is the first event of its kind in Rockport. We are creating an on-trend holiday market (like the one’s we sell at in Boston), and we are combining it with a town-wide festival in Rockport. Ingrid and I designed the concept of the event and we are doing most of the production. We are even hand printing much of the event decor in our shop.
WOW, JUST WOW!!!
Rusty shared the press release (see below) and you can find out more here:
Phone: (978) 491- 9632
Event Website: www.rockportmakers.com
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2143538435913075/
Making a Trendy New Holiday Festival in Rockport!
Friday afternoon, after the nor’easter, the sun came out just barely before the skies again darkened with a brief snow squall. I was driving along Atlantic Road during those fleeting in between moments when way off in the distance I spied a flock of birds, with the distinct shape of swans in flight. Swans fly with their long necks extended, unlike herons and egrets, which fly with their necks tucked in. What is Mr. Swan doing out in this wildly windy weather I thought. But it wasn’t Mr. Swan, it was an entire family of Swans! There were two adults and four cygnets. Stunning to see and very uplifting. They flew over the Twin Lights and then further and further until I could not see them any longer.
The first and third swans are the adults, the second, fourth, fifth and sixth are the cygnets, or first-hatch year juveniles.The young swans will retain their grayish brown feathers until their second summer.
Please write and let me know if you saw the Mute Swan family on Friday afternoon. They were flying along the backshore at about 2:15. Or, if you live on the Northshore and know of any swan family with two adults and four youngsters, I would love to learn more about them. My email address is email@example.com. Thank you so much for any leads!
A few more of the Mute Swan family flying toward and over Thacher Island
Rockport’s quaint Lattof Farm has expanded to include Lattof Farmhouse Kitchen. I have been trying to get there for weeks to try their avocado toast, the quiche, or their sweet salad but I haven’t been able to make it yet. My boys are dying to try their smoothies….Strawberry Banana, PB Rescue, or Seasonal Splash.
I just missed the kitchen hours the other day, but I stopped to browse their gorgeous produce and snapped photos of the Farmhouse Kitchen menu for keeping. I am hopeful that tomorrow will be the day I can stop by on the way to work and you can bet I’ll update you on how delicious my breakfast was….and, I know it will be because I’ve heard so from many a townsfolk!
For now though, check out their farm stand and menu!
Lattof Farms is definitely a Rockport treasure and we’re so lucky to have them conveniently located on the way in and out of town on Main Street!
The first 6 photos are from their Facebook page…and are the reason that I can’t wait to get back to the Farmhouse Kitchen.
The other photos I snapped in the farm stand while admiring the abundance of fruits and vegetables.
Lattof Farmhouse Kitchen is located at:
205 Main Street, Rockport
It is open Monday-Saturday, 7:00-2:00
Red Fox are so elusive. We used to see them all the time in East Gloucester, especially on the backshore beaches, scavenging early, early in the morning. I see them now much more frequently in West Gloucester (and Gray Fox, too) and Joey recently saw one trotting along in East Gloucester, after years of no sightings.
I read that where you have a greater concentration of Eastern Coyotes there will be fewer Red Fox. I also read that because of habitat competition from the Eastern Coyote, they are now denning closer to people’s homes as these sites are deemed safer from coyotes. Coyotes typically sleep out in the open and don’t usually make a den, unless it’s pupping season, and then they may use a fox’s den.
Winter, spring, summer and fall- beach paths, trails, sidewalks, boulders and streets are not immune to collections of remaindered dog poop bag offerings.
I assume this back windshield wiper tie off is temporary. However I’ve seen them on parked cars like this one in the Cape Ann Museum lot.
A Gloucester resident writes about this inconsiderate habit common in local…cemeteries. I have seen them there, too. Today’s paper July 9, 2018 Dog Owners should remove waste
Not just Gloucester. Friends are barking mad about dog poop on Manchester Singing Beach. A frustrated Rockport resident penned a letter to the editor May 2018 “The Dog Poop Saga” , Gloucester Daily Times.
Why is Gloucester providing bags at all especially at the newly completed Boulevard? They don’t seem to work.
Around the globe:
- Cities go to extreme lengths to tackle a dog poop epidemic- excerpt “And so cities, tired of the turd, are devoting precious brainstorming hours to inventing ever-more-novel ways to combat it. The latest is Madrid, which this week announced a “shock plan” to force dog owners in two districts to clean up after their pets: Those caught not doing so must either spend a few days as substitute street cleaners or face a $1,700 fine. The Spanish capital’s city hall said “there is still excrement in the streets, parks and other places” despite “repeated public awareness campaigns” and the distribution of millions of free poo bags, according to The Guardian…In 2013, Brunete, a suburb of Madrid, boxed up dog feces and mailed it to scofflaw owners. For two weeks, volunteers spied on dog walkers, sidled up to those who didn’t scoop and asked the name of the pooch — which, because most were registered with the city, was usually enough information to determine the owner’s address. Mayor Borja Gutierrez told the New York Times that the problem was the No. 1 constituent complaint, and that the mail-bombs had improved things by 70 percent. “It’s your dog, it’s your dog poop. We are just returning it to you,” Gutierrez said. Why are such absurd programs necessary? Fortunately, someone tried to find out. Last year, Matthias Gross, a German sociologist, published an entire paper about it in the journal Environmental Sociology. Its title: “Natural waste: canine companions and the lure of inattentively pooping in public.”
- DNA pursuits: “People used to think dog poop was harmless; it was considered fertilizer when in fact it contains more bacteria and chemicals than human poop, spreads parasites and pollutes our water supply,” said J Retinger, CEO of BioPet Labs. “We also have way more dogs in the world. Millennials have dogs before they have children.”… BioPet’s subsidiary, PooPrints, may be the ultimate solution for eradicating dog poop scofflaws. The company, which has grown 40 percent since 2016, provides a DNA testing program to 3,000 clients — primarily homeowners’ associations and building managers — in the U.S., Canada and England, including 250 in Florida. More than 250,000 dogs are in the PooPrints registry. Communities that implement the program require residents to profile and register their dogs. Offending poop gets tested, and the DNA is matched with the offending dog. The owner faces fines or eviction.“Property managers report a 95 to 99 percent reduction in waste,” said Ernie Jones, PooPrints sales manager. “People know DNA testing is accurate and will make them accountable. If you know you are going to get fined $250 to $500 you will take a couple minutes to pick up after your dog.”
- Japan- (2015)City launched app to report dog poo
Along with consequences (taxes and fines), some communities try incentives beyond bags. New Taipei Taiwan unleashed a dog poop lottery: “Officials in New Taipei City say that more than 4,000 people have collected 14,500 bags of excrement. For each bag they turned in, they were given a lottery ticket. A woman in her 50s won the top prize – a gold ingot worth $2,200 (£1,400). The scheme was due to end in October, but officials said it had been so successful it had been extended…”
The Poop Problem: What to Do With 10 Million Tons of Dog Waste, op-ed, Live Science, April 2014 What’s wrong with scrap paper or newspaper? I used that in New York when Bags were not a thing.
Rockport’s Annual 4th of July bonfire is pretty special. We almost didn’t go this year. I’m glad we decided to stick with tradition and keep the party bus rolling.
Thank you to the firefighters who helped keep the towering flames in check to keep everyone safe!
Small dragon comes out of the outhouse. Becomes much bigger and rids Rockport of arm hair.
So sorry this PiPl update is so terribly brief but I am leaving shortly to go film Fiesta.
On the evening of the day our GHB Piping Plover Family were terrorized off Good Harbor Beach (between Tuesday 9:30 pm and Wednesday 4:40am), two were seen at Cape Hedge Beach by Rockport resident Gail Borgman.
The following morning, Thursday, I met Boston PiPl monitor Laurie Sawin at GHB. She had come all the way from Boston to check on the Cape Hedge report. We headed over to Cape Hedge to check on the sighting and met Gail and her husband there. Sure enough, a PiPl was going back and forth between the sandy beach and rocks at Cape Hedge! We didn’t stay long because of the downpour.
This morning, I met Essex Greenbelt Dave Rimmer’s assistant, Dave McKinnon. We were contemplating removing the symbolic fencing, when one, and then two PiPl entered the roped off nesting area. At first we thought it was the Mama and Papa, but it could also have been two males.
The symbolic fencing will remain at least for another few days. Although it is late in the season for nesting there is the possibility that the PiPl will re-nest. I guess we will all just stay tuned as to what our remarkable PiPls will do next!
We don’t know what terrorized the PiPl Tuesday night. There has been a great deal of dog tracks around the nesting area , as seen by all the morning volunteers, over the past week, as well as evidence of a party Tuesday night. A hypodermic needle was found on the beach by one of Coach Latoffs players early Wednesday morning. Friends, it is going to take a village if the PiPl re-nest. Please, please, if you see anything suspicious at GHB–bonfires, dogs, heavy drinking, and anything else along those lines, please, please call the police. Thank you!
Thursday night lights. Rockport Little League Play-offs, Major B. Game One.
A sweet little Thursday night game under the lights at Parisi Field with the High School field of dreams looming in the background.
National Anthem, 6 innings, team BBQ (for both teams of course), laughter, running, more laughter, and then ice cream over at the Dairy Train.
Quintessential small-town Little League and the stuff that childhood is made of.
Please join us for an informative presentation and discussion regarding the Eastern Coyote facilitated by Conservation Biologist and Wild Canid Ecologist Christine Schadler, MS, MA.
While wolf recovery was the focus of her early work, Chris’ attention shifted to the eastern coyote when she moved to New England. Using sound livestock management and non-lethal predator control, she prevented predation for two decades at a sheep farm with known coyote problems. Chris has provided talks to livestock growers and the general public for 30 years on living with coyotes.
Chris is now the Representative for Project Coyote in NH and VT and co-founder of the New Hampshire Wildlife Coalition. She divides her time between teaching, giving talks, and working on her book Becoming Wolf: The Eastern Coyote in New England. Between presentations, she can be found at camp in northern New Hampshire researching coyote feeding patterns and responding to the occasional wolf. She is also the Chair of the Webster Conservation Commission.
Chris earned her MS at Antioch University Graduate School. She has taught Conservation Issues, Dendrology, and Wolf Ecology at the University of New Hampshire (UNH), and is now an Adjunct Professor at Rivier University.
Brought to you by the Friends of the Rockport Public Library