Monthly Archives: November 2012

Cooperative Seagulls

Good Harbor Beach -1©Kim Smith 2012

While filming B-roll of gorgeous herons, ducks, geese, and gulls this morning, the homies were particularly cooperative. Click images to view larger.

Good Harbor Beach -2©Kim Smith 2012

Come to think of it, the sunbeams, the herons, the pearly pink-hued surf caught in the dawn light, and sand turned-brilliant-gold were also cooperating. It must be my good fortune! Several nights ago on my way home from work I purchased my first ever lottery ticket and, although unfortunate in that I did not win the half billion dollars, I feel fortunate everyday, for our shared beauty that is Gloucester.Good Harbor Beach -5©Kim Smith 2012

Good Harbor Beach -3©Kim Smith 2012JPG

Good Harbor Beach -4©Kim Smith 2012Good Harbor Beach November 29, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Tuesday, while filming beautiful B-roll ay Captain Joe’s dock, for my Monarch butterfly project, my friend Joey suggested I ask each lobstermen what they were thankful for. It was alot of fun, as you can see, and although I made this video for Good Morning Gloucester, I thought my readers would enjoy. And as you can see, I also got lots of gorgeous B-roll of lobstermen in action and lobster boats, which will help establish a wonderful sense of place for my film. You can watch the video on Good Morning Gloucester if you’d also like to read all the great comments.

Wishing everyone a happy and joyful Thanksgiving filled with lots of yummy food.

Brought to you by Good Morning Gloucester and the crews of lobster boats The Lady J and The Degelyse, and Brian O’Connor. Thanksgiving interviews with, in order of appearance, Joey Ciaramitaro, Ryan, Skipper Dave Jewell, Brain M O’Connor, Michael, Skipper Tuffy, Sean, and Frankie Ciaramitaro.

I’ve Got Plenty to Be Thankful For, sung by Bing Crosby and How Sweet It Is by Marvin Gaye.

Once again, a million and one thank yous to Joey and Frankie for allowing me to film and photograph from the dock at Captain Joe and Sons.

Fratelli Onofri

I think I love our new range. It is a little scary purchasing a new oven, especially a floor model, the week before Thanksgiving, but the heating element in our old range died; cost to repair, 800.00. A thirty-six inch range (the standard size seems to be thirty inches) is not easy to locate, but after finding several models to chose from I called a dozen or so local distributors to look at floor models. Frankly, most seemed completely disinterested in making a sale if it wasn’t something they had in stock and their choices seemed impossibly narrow–either entirely unsuitable crummy cheap ranges or deluxe models, beginning upwards of 4,000. I had set a budget and was determined to stay within.

Heading further afield and next on my list was Appliance Warehouse in Seabrook, New Hampshire. I was fortunate to get Angie on the phone and our conversation went something like–are you sure you want a Fisher Paykal? They are nearly impossible to repair. What is it you are looking for? I said no, that I was not glued to a Fisher Paykal and then described what I was looking for: a no bells and whistles clean-lined 36″ double oven, without computer, and with legs. And that the bigger of the two ovens had to be large enough to cook a turkey. She said, “Do you want to make a deal?” as they are in the midst of remodeling. Angie described her Fratelli and I thought it sounded interesting enough to go see. I googled the model number and felt the range was a little more classically styled than I had imagined, nonetheless worth going to see.

What I liked about Angie is she understood that I had set a budget, that she genuinely thought highly of the product she was offering, and that she was interested in imparting information and her personal opinion about the quality and ease in repair of various range manufacturers. And the fact that she had on hand a large rubber turkey to test the size of the oven!

I could not find much information online about our little oven and what I did read has proved to be inaccurate, such as the fan of the convection oven is extremely loud, which couldn’t be further from the truth. I adore the ease in which the shelves glide in and out, the different size burners for different heating needs, the cute legs for ease in cleaning, having both a large and small oven, and the overall very sturdy feel of the Fratelli.  My one complaint is that the oven temperature settings are difficult to read as the steel is so highly polished, although as you rotate the dial, it clicks into each increment so over time you would become familiar with the feel of each.  I practiced with lasagna last night and it came out perfectly–creamy, cheesy, tomatoey within, and golden crispy brown on top, just how my family likes it! I’ll let you know what I think about the Fratelli Onofri after all the pie- and turkey-making of this upcoming week

American Red Squirrel Midden

Pine cone stipped clear to the core, photographed at a Pine Squirrel midden. The mid-day light was very harsh and too contrasty-click images to view details.

Adjacent to where we noticed the Japanese maple tree, Dale Resca, the Facilities Manager at Willowdale, discovered an American Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) midden.

American Red Squirrel Midden

A squirrel midden is essentially a squirrel’s favorite place to eat; the fallen scales from consumed seed cones collect in piles, called middens. Sitting on their claimed stump, fallen log, or branch, the squirrel pulls the scales off the cones to get to the seeds.

American Red Squirrel Cache of Pine Cones

You can see from the above photo why the American Red Squirrel is often referred to as the Pine Squirrel. Ripening in late summer, the squirrels collect pine cones and store in a central cache. American Red Squirrels do not hibernate during the winter months; the caches of cones supply nourishment when food supplies are running low.

The American Red Squirrel is widely distributed throughout North America. They are smaller than a gray squirrel and somewhat larger than a chipmunk, with reddish fur and white venter, or underbelly.

American Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) ~ Image courtesy Google images 

Green Leaves Ignite

“Green leaves ignite, transformed by a kaleidoscope of incinerating colors—devil-red, burnt tangerine, caramelized amber, searing saffron, and smoldering crimson-purple. The air is impregnated with the aromatic perfume of orchard fruits ripening in the fleeting flush of the sun’s warm light. Hazy, slanting rays gild the late season glory in the garden. Surrounded by flowers of dissipating beauty and juxtaposed against the dazzling brilliance of autumn foliage, we are urged to spend every possible moment savoring our gardens before the onset of winter.”

Excerpt from my book Oh Garden of fresh Possibilities! Notes from a Gloucester Garden. Written and Illustrated by Kim Smith, David R. Godine, Publisher. To read more of this excerpt, click link: Exquisite Flora in Autumn.

Beautiful saffron yellow maple found, glowing gold in a shady knoll beneath a hardwood tree canopy, at Bradley Palmer State Park.

I believe this little tree is a Japanese maple tree, not typically found in a forest of North American native trees.

Part III Superstorm Sandy Trilogy

Superstorm Sandy Gloucester ~ The Morning After

Filmed on October 30, 2012, the morning after Superstorm Sandy, at Brace Cove, Gloucester. We were very fortunate to miss the brunt of the storm; Gloucester survived with relatively minimal damage. A heavy, thick steely-gray bank of clouds dominated the sky and the sun broke through for only a brief period. The streaming shafts of sunlight created a beautiful ethereal glow filtering through the atmosphere. The wind was very strong and caused a good deal of camera shake.

Music composed by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg and performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Opus 46: Morning Mood.

Part I Superstorm Sandy Gloucester

Part II Seagrass Fantasy

Part III Superstorm Sandy Gloucester ~ The Morning After

Fall Planting at Willowdale Estate

Fall Planting for Spring Tulipomania at Willowdale ~ 1,500 bulbs planted, only 1500 more to go!

The Super Fantastic Willowdale Facilities Team

Right to left ~ Dale, James, and Greg

Willowdale Estate ~ A Stunning Special Events Venue

Film: My Daughter Liv and Max Getting Married

This beautiful film was sent to me by one of my dearest friends, Claudia, the filmmaker’s Mom. Her daughter Magdalena is currently studying film and poetry at Hampshire College in Amherst. She is very interested in recycled images and has transferred many of the family’s old super 8′s. Magda would have to speak about her intention but her Mom wonders if it was from her perspective of looking up at the “big kids.” She loved to toddle after Olivia! The music is from her band with her friend Cody; they are called Stolen Jars. Magda wrote many lyrics for the album and sings on many tracks. One piece was used in an iPad commercial this summer. Thank you Claudia and Magda for Sharing!

Beautiful Film Magdalena!

My note: That’s my daughter Liv “getting married.” I think this is film footage from one of our many friend and family wonderful get-togethers on Martha’s Vineyard, at the funnest and most welcoming home of Rosemary, who is the Mom of our other best friend, Donna.

The Twelve Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas Dinner Napkins

Last week Good Morning Gloucester contributor E.J. posted photos of Haiti Projects merchandise for sale. I thought you might be interested to know that the set of four napkins pictured above was designed by me.

My designs were inspired by the first four verses of the English Christmas Carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas–A partridge in a pear tree, two turtle doves, three French hens, and four calling birds. Perhaps knowing what the images symbolize, you may be even more interested in purchasing as a holiday gift!

Daisy Table Mat with Matching Napkins

Over the years I designed many items for Haiti Projects and The Twelve Days of Christmas set of napkins was one of my favorites. All of the Haiti Projects linens are exquisitely hand embroidered, not machine embroidered. Additional photos are of several more of my designs for Haiti Projects, along with links to purchase each: Dove of Peace, Daisy Table Mat with Matching NapkinsDragonfly Eye Pillow, and Sweet Dreams Eye Pillow. See also Apple Blossom Table Mat. The prices are all very reasonable and make very special gifts–as E.J. said, Give a Gift for Good.” Photos courtesy Haiti Projects website.

Dragonfly Eye Pillow ~ filled with lavender

Dove of Peace  ~ Also available in white ground with red embroidery

Sweet Dreams Eye Pillow