Monthly Archives: October 2012

Happy Halloween!

A Seagrass Fantasy for your Halloween enjoyment!

Filmed at Brace Cove during Hurricane Sandy, October 29, 2012. Created for Good Morning Gloucester. Music composed by Camille Saint-Saëns ~ Carnival of the Animals.

Have Prius–Can Do!

I wrote this post several days ago. Westport was hit very hard by Sandy.

Let’s hope Westport is spared coastal flooding from Hurricane Sandy

The upcoming planting week for my newest project, The Mary Prentiss Inn, a beautiful inn in the heart of Cambridge (more about The Mary Prentiss Inn later) has been disrupted by Sandy. One of the nurseries I work with cancelled delivery and wanted to reschedule, but not until after the 5th of November. By that time I’ll be knee-deep planting Willowdale for the spring of 2013. I didn’t want to disappoint my clients and postpone work until later in November. What to do? Have Prius, will travel.

Much has been written about the super fuel efficiency of the Prius (saving me much, much $$$ over the eight years I have owned a Prius), but rarely do I see mention of it’s fantastic carrying capacity when the back seat is made flat. People look at me in disbelief when I tell them I have transported trees and (smallish) sofas in the back of my Prius so I thought you’d like to see.

125 Boxwood plants, with room to spare in the front passenger seat

Friends often tell me I need a truck or a van. Perhaps when an auto manufacturer designs a 22k truck or van that gets 45 miles to the gallon (when loaded to the max), I’ll consider. In the meantime-have Prius, can do!

Westport is one of the most exquisite New England towns you will ever see. The topography is such that the farmland runs to the ocean’s edge. Through community and conservation groups, Westport is earnestly endeavoring, and succeeding, in preserving its historic and agricultural heritage–as we know in Gloucester, it is very intelligent when communities work together to help protect and preserve their farmers and fishermen.

The Bayside Restaurant ~ Charming little spot to eat in Westport, across the road from Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary. The Bayside offers a complete menu, including many delicious seafood entrees and Homemade Pies!

Super Fresh Rhode Island Calamari

You can see why Sylvan is one of my top five nurseries, not only for their exquisite plant stock, but because they are located about a hundred yards down the road from Allens Pond Wildlife Santuary.  In autumn, after the coastal Monarchs depart Cape Ann, they fly south and next congregate in the Westport area, in and around Allen’s Pond and Horseneck Beach.

Allens Pond ~ Hurry Monarchs and Get Going! October 26, 2012

From the Trustees of Reservations website, “In many towns throughout Massachusetts The Trustees of Reservations have worked in partnership with the state’s Department of Agricultural Resources to help preserve family farms. Nowhere has that work been more successful than in Westport, where the partnership includes the Westport Land Conservation Trust and the town. Together, the groups have protected 13 farms in Westport over the past five years, including two dairy farms, two Christmas tree farms, an organic fruit and vegetable farm, a beef cattle operation, and even a piggery. There are now a total of 28 preserved farms in Westport, encompassing over 2,100 acres.”

Westport, Massachusetts

Superstorm Sandy Gloucester

Filmed around Gloucester’s eastern most shores at noon during high tide on October 29, 2012 during Superstorm Sandy. Mother Ann Cottage fared well (the house next to Eastern Point Lighthouse), the swans were tucked in near the dock at Niles Pond, seagulls found shelter against a seawall, and the backshore road was still open (although jammed with sightseers) at the time of filming. Created for Good Morning Gloucester.

Music composed by Antonio Vivaldi ~ Le Quattro Stagioni, Opus 8, Concerto 2 in G Minor.

Lucky Mom!

Our son Alex loves to cook–this is what I came home to–melt-in-your-mouth steak dinner with some sort of fabulous mushroom, onion, butter, garlic, tomato reduction. Lucky Mom that I am!

Alex’s Steak Dinner

Korean Daisy and Pollen-dusted Bee

Blooming today are the gorgeous Korean daisies. From a tiny little rooted-cutting passed along from a friend, we have masses and masses of these old-fashioned beauties. I share them with all my clients and not only do they love them for late season color and fragrance, but so do the bees and butterflies on the wing in autumn.

Click to view larger to see the pollen clinging to its eyes and body.

Korean Daisy (Chrysanthemum ‘Single Apricot Korean’) and Pollen-dusted Bee

Joey Ciaramitaro Receives Community Builder Award

Joey Ciaramitaro Receives Outstanding Community Builder Award

Highlights from The Open Door Autumn Breakfast ~

My friend Joey Ciaramitaro received the “Outstanding Community Builder Award”–so well-deserved, as anyone who reads or is involved with Good Morning Gloucester knows. His love for the people of Gloucester and for our community is evidenced a hundred times a day through his commitment to the stellar community blog Good Morning Gloucester. We who are GMG contributors are so fortunate to share in his passion.

Award Receipients

Guest Speaker Amanda Donovan

Open Door Executive Director Julia LaFontaine and Senator Bruce Tarr

Wooly Bear Caterpillar

I am often asked about the Banded Wooly Bear caterpillar and questions range from, “Why am I seeing a Monarch caterpillar in the fall” (the Wooly Bear is not a Monarch caterpillar) to “how will the Wooly Bear survive the winter?”

The Wooly Bear caterpillar is the larva stage of the Isabella Tiger Moth. They are typically seen in autumn as they search for a place to curl up for the winter–under a rock, log or leaf debris or in the chinks of bark. The heavy coats of members of the Acrtiid family of moths help them overwinter, along with their ability to produce a natural sort of antifreeze called cryoprotectant.

Banded Wooly Bear Caterpillar (Pyrrharctia isabella)

The following spring, the caterpillars emerge from their winter nap, begin to feed, form a cocoon (pupate) and emerge as the adult form of the Isabella Tiger Moth. Female Isabella Tiger Moths deposit their eggs on a wide variety of plants including birch, elm, maples, asters, sunflowers, spinach, cabbage, grass, and plantain; all caterpillar food plants. In our region there are usually several generations per year and it is the last generation of the growing season that over winters, nestled in, well-hidden and wrapped in their furry coats.

Fun fact from wiki: Caterpillars normally become moths within months of hatching in most temperate climates, but in the Arctic the summer period for vegetative growth and hence feeding is so short that the Woolly Bear feeds for several summers, freezing again each winter before finally pupating. Some are known to live through as many as 14 winters. 

Isabella Tiger Moth (Pyrrharctia isabella)

Isabella Tiger Moth image Courtesy wiki