May 8, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Thank you to everyone participating in the Cape Ann Milkweed Project!
Monarch Butterfly Nectaring at Common Milkweed ~ Good Harbor Beach
Milkweed may not be for everyone’s garden; even if you did not order plants, you are welcome to come on down to the dock Saturday morning, the 18th of May, and learn more about the Monarch-milkweed connection. The plants are being shipped on Monday the 13th and I will keep you updated on their progress.
February 15, 2013 § Leave a Comment
I thought everyone would like to know that a photo of mine, Gloucester’s First Wind Turbine, has been licensed for a million-run children’s textbook on wind farming. I think its pretty exciting that our turbine and Gloucester Harbor will be featured not only in one million textbooks, but in the electronic version of the book as well. Upon publication, the publisher is sending a copy of the book and I plan to donate it to the Sawyer Free Library. This photo was shot at daybreak last October while filming the barge transporting the wind turbine through Gloucester Harbor.
Thanks to a google search, I found this very handy Stock Photo License Pricing for Editorial Use chart and it really helped to negotiate a fair price: Photographers Index
January 27, 2013 § 2 Comments
The male Eastern Bluebird shows a brilliant indigo blue on the head and back, with a rusty reddish brown breast. The female is more softly colored overall, with elegant gray wings, tinged in shades of blue, and paler breast. Joe Ciaramitaro photo
Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)
Several days ago my friend Joe from Good Morning Gloucester blog captured (with camera) a pair of Eastern Bluebirds. Everyone who responded in the comment section spoke so fondly of this beautiful bird that I thought we’d all enjoy knowing a bit more about its current status in Massachusetts. And too, sightings at this time of year give reason to share a favorite Emily Dickinson poem—“Before you thought of spring, except as a surmise…”
Before you thought of spring,
Except as a surmise,
You see, God bless his suddenness,
A fellow in the skies
Of independent hues,
A little weather-worn,
Of indigo and brown.
With specimens of song,
As if for you to choose,
Discretion in the interval,
With gay delays he goes
To some superior tree
Without a single leaf,
And shouts for joy to nobody
But his seraphic self!
Bluebirds do indeed appear to sing with great joy from the treetops, and reading this poem always makes me smile, thinking about “a fellow in the skies” singing to nobody but his rapt self. As is so typical of her work, Emily Dickinson’s poem is an astute and honest observation of the natural world, but I also interpret her poem to mean that joy is an emotion that doesn’t need an audience; that it can be expressed for the sake of joy itself.
Eastern Bluebirds sing several types of songs; one is a liquid birdsong—sort of a turee song—and another is a soft melodious warble. When trying to attract a mate, unpaired males typically sing from a high perch, and sometimes even in flight. Both male and female sing in all seasons to keep in touch with each other and to signal to nestlings that food is on its way. Bluebirds are in the Thrush Family, as are American Robins, and Robins too sing a lovely liquid birdsong.
From the Mass Audubon State of Birds:
“The very widespread breeding distribution seen in the Eastern Bluebird in Massachusetts today is, in large part, the result of considerable support received by concerned citizens who, for more than half a century, erected large numbers of nest boxes across the state and helped save the species from near-extirpation.”
What does “extirpation” mean? Not that a species has become extinct from our planet, but that it is no longer found in a particular area. We are very fortunate that the Eastern Bluebird did not become extirpated from our region. Bluebirds are cavity nesters and use suitable bird boxes, tree cavities, and old woodpecker holes in trees and fence posts to build their nests. During the era when settlers cleared forests and planted fields and orchards, the Eastern Bluebird became quite common. In the 20th century their population decreased by nearly 90 percent for several reasons, two of which are because vast areas of New England have reverted to forest, and because the bluebird is competing for nesting sites with the alien European House Sparrow and European Starling. The return of the Eastern Bluebird during the spring and summer breeding period is due in large measure to citizens throughout the state building and placing nest boxes along “bluebird trails.”
Eastern Bluebird and Winterberry
If you are fortunate enough to have bluebirds visiting your backyard, you may want to provide them with supplemental food. Bluebirds are primarily insectivores. They do not visit bird feeders because their bills are not designed for cracking open seed and nut shells (but they will eat hulled sunflower seeds). They eat berries at this time of year because there aren’t any insects. The winterberries won’t last long on the bush with flocks of hungry birds descending to your garden. Mealworms (which aren’t really worms at all, but are the larval form of the darling beetle) are the most nutritious supplement you can provide bluebirds. For more information on feeding mealworms to bluebirds go to this fact sheet: North American Bluebird Society’s Mealworms Fact Sheet.
For a wonderful FREE downloadable 15 page education packet designed for grades 1-5, with coloring pages and puzzles follow this link: Education Packet
For more information on how to build, and where to site, bluebird nest boxes, along with plan drawings, follow this link: Getting Started with Bluebirds
To read more about the devastating effects of European House Sparrows and European Starlings follow this link: House Sparrow Control.
Just this past week, 15 Eastern Bluebirds were spotted at Allens Neck Wildlife Sanctuary in Westport, Massachusetts. See Bluebird Nestbox Walk at Allens Neck post for information about an upcoming.
Additional images courtesy Google image search.
November 22, 2012 § Leave a Comment
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.
November 8, 2012 § Leave a Comment
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.
October 14, 2012 § 1 Comment
Stills from my B-roll. Click images to view larger.
One of the most gorgeous, interesting, and enjoyable aspects of filmmaking I find is shooting B-roll. I am swamped with design work, organizing lecture programs, and hoping to finish the edits on my Black Swallowtail film very soon, but there is no better time of year to shoot B-roll for my Monarch film than autumn in Gloucester; the light is simply stunning, and what I like to refer to as “atmospheric.”
B-roll further tells the story in a beautifully subtle, and alternatively not so subtle, manner and gives the project a sense of place. While filming and waiting, for example, for birds to take flight (whether swans or homies) I have my still camera readily available.
The most extraordinarily beautiful things occur spontaneously. I feel so very fortunate to see, and in turn share, the natural world through the camera lens. Only several weeks ago while filming a spider’s web in a tree, capturing the filaments of silky webbing dancing in the light of the setting sun (with the pinky schooner Ardelle and the Dog Bar Breakwater in the background!), the web’s maker came cavorting through the scene, with a capture of her own!
September 21, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Click the photo to view larger and you will see the little Monarch flakes heading into the cherry tree. The clustering Monarchs are well-camoflouged by the autumn foliage nonetheless, their silhouettes are clearly visible in the setting sun.
Another passel of Monarchs poured onto the Point Thursday at dusk, carried in by the warm southerly breeze. Overnight the wind shifted, coming in from the northeast, and by day break Friday morning, the Monarchs had flown from the trees, carried to shores further south by the blustery tailwind.
September 11, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Willowdale Estate Courtyard
Monday night I was filming at Willowdale as we are in the early stages of creating a web page about the butterfly gardens for the Willowdale Estate website. I was hoping to film the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at dusk and did succeed! They were nectaring from the Rose Mallow, hosta, Snowberry Bush, and butterfly bushes.
I love the new bistro lights in the courtyard garden–so romantic!
August 20, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Painted Lady–never a more aptly named butterfly! Although ubiquitous, the sheer number of Painted Ladies found in gardens this summer is simply astonishing.
This morning in our postage-stamp-of-a-lot, there were quite possibly over one hundred newly emerged Painted Ladies nectaring from the Joe-pye, Baby Joe, zinnias, butterfly bushes, phlox, and Rudbeckia.
August 17, 2012 § 1 Comment
Introducing ‘Henry Eiler’s’ Quilled Sweet Coneflower ~
New to our garden this year is the Quilled Sweet Coneflower. The finely quilled sunny yellow petals are simply lovely, as is the overall shape of the plant. The wildflower is a North American native and bears the name of the southern Illinois horticulturist and prairie restoration specialist who found it growing in a railroad prairie remnant.
When lightly rubbed, the leaves of Rudbeckia subtomentosa reveal their sweet vanilla scent. I’ll let you know if it attracts bees, butterflies, and songbirds when the center florets open.
Railroad Prairie Remnants
“…the only remnant of any virgin, unplowed prairie that remains is along railroad tracks. When the railroads were originally built in the 1800′s, if they were going over a natural prairie, all they had to do was lay down the wooden crossties, pack in bed fill, and lay the rails….the remaining right-of-way remained essentially undisturbed. In many locales, a road also was constructed parallel to new tracks, so that the few hundred feet of railroad right-of-way trapped between the tracks and the road remained unplowed to this day, and in many areas has reserved a remarkable diversity of prairie species. In most areas, accidental fires happen fairly regularly, which enhances the vigor of the prairie vegetation.” Larry Lowman, Arkansas nurseryman and native plants specialist.
August 13, 2012 § Leave a Comment
In full bloom this month at the Harbor Walk is the fabulous North American native ‘Baby Joe’ (Eupatorium). While maintaining the Harbor Walk gardens, Jay Ramsey of Farm Creek Landscaping reported seeing no less than half a dozen species of butterflies nectaring simultaneously at the ‘Baby Joe’ on a warm sunny morning this past week. Given your average warm sunny summer day, butterflies are typically on the wing throughout the day; I find the very best time of day to see the very most is between 10:00 am until 12 noon.
August 1, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Look what Fred Bodin from Bodin Historic Photo shared!
Julia Lane, later Julia Wheeler, posed for Alice M. Curtis on August 12th, 1915, in Gloucester.
Fred read my post about Dutchman’s Pipevine and Pipevine Swallowtail Butterflies that originally appeared on Good Morning Gloucester, titled Plant, and They Will Come! I mentioned in that post that the Dutchman’s Pipevine had it’s heyday in gardens in the previous two centuries. Pipevine was planted to climb porches and arbors in pre-airconditioning days, providing shade and cooling the rooms within. The Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly is rarely seen in our region today because the Dutchman’s Pipevine is rarely planted.
Thank you Fred for taking the time to find this delightful vintage photo showing the Dutchman’s Pipevine growing on the porch in the background!
Dutchman’s Pipevine is the host plant for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly and makes a wonderful addition to the garden. Back when it was in vogue (and practical) to plant Dutchman’s Pipevine, Pipevine Swallowtail Butterflies were a regular occurrence in the northeast.
Note: the flower in the second photo of the Dutchman’s Pipevine is a Rose of Sharon, not the flower of the vine.
July 31, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Nearly five years ago in late September 2007, I photographed a male Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly (Battus philenor) nectaring in my garden. I found mesmerizing its dark beauty, with black wings punctuated by brilliant orange spots and shimmering iridescence. The wings flashed electric blue in the fading late day sunlight and I became completely captivated!
Although the Pipevine Swallowtail is not rare in its southern range, this exotic looking butterfly is an unusual occurrence in the northeast, and even more rarely found on the eastern outer reaches of Cape Ann. Mine was a stray, carried in on a southerly breeze. I imagined that if a male can drift into our garden, so can a female. And if a visiting female found in my garden her caterpillar food plant, she would deposit her eggs. The following spring we planted the Dutchman’s Pipevine (Aristolochia macrophylla). Four years later, and our pipevine has grown well. With emerald green enormous heart-shaped leaves, she is quite a showstopper clambering over the back fence. The plant is named for its flower, which resembles a Dutchman’s pipe, although when ours flowers, the blooms are so small, so few, and so lost in the foliage, I barely know when it is in bloom. Our pipevine took several years to become established, but once firmly rooted, it grew vigorously, but not invasively. At the end of the growing season, or the beginning of the next, I cut the vine hard, down to the ground. Dutchman’s Pipevine grows in full sun and partial shade and is hardy in zones 4 to 8.
Aristolochia macrophylla had its glory days in gardens during the two previous centuries, prior to the invention of air conditioning. It was planted to cover porches and treillage; cooling and shading the rooms within. When looking through old photos you can easily spot the porches and arbors that are embowered with pipevine because of the distinctive heart-shaped foliage. I imagine Fred Bodin may even have a few pictures of pipevine shrouded porches in his treasure trove of vintage photographs.
While doing chores in our backyard, about a week ago Saturday, I noticed the rapid movements of a dark butterfly investigating the pipevine. I immediately paused because say, for example, if it was the more common Eastern Black Swallowtail, which deposits eggs only on members of the carrot family, it would not show the least bit of interest in the pipevine. Upon close investigation, it was a Pipevine Swallowtail and, without doubt, it was a she! After first zooming in and out of the house to grab my camera, I observed her as she fluttered from tendril to tendril. She deliberately chose the tenderest leaves, pausing briefly several times to curl her abdomen to the underside to deposit her eggs. After she departed I ran in the house to tell anyone who would listen of the Great News. In our household my butterfly news is pretty much the family joke, although my husband kindly offered to get the tallest ladder from the basement. He held tight while I climbed to the top rung in search of eggs. I struck gold! Unlike the female Monarch and Eastern Black Swallowtail butterflies, which deposit eggs singularly, the Pipevine Swallowtail oviposits eggs in clusters. I counted somewhere between 25-30 eggs (very approximately) in the clutch we cut from the plant. I hope we have enough pipevine to feed this many hungry Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillars!
~ Map courtesy NABA
June 25, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Last summer the Ciaramitaro girls stopped by our garden to see a newly emerged Monarch butterfly. After releasing the butterfly, Eloise wanted to learn more about the Monarchs, and butterflies in general. This year she remembered from their visit the previous year that the Monarch caterpillar food plant is milkweed. Eloise, who I am convinced is a budding naturalist and artist, is an avid gardener (just ask her about her vegetable patch!), so I promised her milkweed plants. We scouted out a sunny a corner of the family’s yard and, after mom Jill helped dig up the sod, we planted a petite butterfly garden, with Common Milkweed for the Monarchs, parsley and fennel for the Black Swallowtails, and marigolds to attract the nectaring insects. We’re looking forward to their first butterfly sightings!
June 25, 2012 § Leave a Comment
What more could one ask for in a fine dining experience–inviting location and ambience, beautifully prepared food, and welcoming service. A recent trip to enjoy The Seaward Inn’s Sunday brunch provided all of the preceding, and then some.
The Seaward Inn is located on Marmion Way, which runs along Rockport’s picturesque shoreline. Sunday brunch is served from 10:30 to 1:30. The cost is 18.95 per person--really quite reasonable considering coffee, juice, freshly baked breads and croissants, organic yogurt, and homemade granola are all included with the three course prixe fixe menu.
For starters my husband had the exquisite wild mushroom, caramelized onion, goat cheese, and watercress Savory Tart Tartin and I had the Roasted Beet Salad with spring greens, blue cheese, toasted walnuts, and balsamic vinaigrette. We were both hard-pressed to decide which was the more fabulous. Cheese blintzes, with citrus ricotta and seasonal fruit, as well as the classic Caesar salad are also offered for the first course.
The entrees were equally as difficult to chose between. Roasted breast of chicken, pan-seared salmon, grilled flank steak, waffles, French toast, and quiche of the day were the entrees to which we had to say no. Tom had the Omelet to Order with a wonderful medley of fresh veggies and I had their gorgeous Eggs Benedict with exquisitely creamy, lemony Hollandaise and perfectly cooked spinach. I am looking forward to another visit soon to the Seaward Inn for brunch as every item on the menu sounded irresitible. Guinness Chocolate Cake Tom loved the homemade basil ice cream with fresh strawberries and I had the simply divine Guinness chocolate cake–the cake’s texture was amazingly light and perfectly sweetened. Key Lime pie is another favorite offered–I guess the next visit won’t come soon enough!
Tom loved the homemade basil ice cream with fresh strawberries and I had the simply divine Guinness chocolate cake–the cake’s texture was amazingly light and perfectly sweetened. Key Lime pie is another favorite offered–I guess the next visit won’t come soon enough!
The Seaward Inn opened for its 68th year in business in May of this year, and has been continually in operation under the same family for all these many years. Nancy Cameron Gilsey, the youngest daughter of the original proprietors Roger and Ann Cameron, has partnered with the renowned chefs of Beach Gourmet Catering for their brunch menu, special events, and continental breakfast; their weekly continental breakfast is also open to the public.
See Joe Ciaramitaro’s Good Morning Gloucester video posted earlier this year for a first look with John Lamarinde at the new Savour Wine and Cheese and Beach Gourmet Catering, opening very soon, and located at 76 Prospect Street, across from St. Ann’s School.
June 19, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Boston Globe garden writer Carol Stocker stopped by to visit my garden today. I made lobster salad, purchased fresh from Captain Joe’s earlier in the morning. She thought the lobsters so delicious she wanted to bring some home to her family and also meet fellow blogger Joey Ciaramitaro.
Carol Stocker and Joey Ciaramitaro
Check out Carol’s outstanding gardening blog where several times weekly she posts information and updates about all things gardening for our region–horticultural advice, garden tour and plant sale schedules, design tips, and with links to her weekly live gardening chat.
June 17, 2012 § Leave a Comment
The Luna Moth, one of the most stunning and easily recognized moths, belongs to the Giant Silkworm Family or Saturniidae. Moths in the Sautrniidae are generally medium to large, with bulky bodies, dense, fur-like scales, and eyespot patterns on the wing. There are roughly forty species of Saturniidae in North America, including the Promethea Moth, often seen at twilight, and the giant Cercropia Moth, with a wingspan of a half-foot or more! The caterpillars of the Luna Moth feed on many trees including alders, beech, cherries, sweet gum and willows.
Male Luna Moth found at Willowdale Estate early Thursday morning. Photo courtesy Dale Resca.
June 17, 2012 § Leave a Comment
June 11, 2012 § Leave a Comment
I never know what interesting species I am going to encounter when at Willowdale– usually tending to find more of the native variety–
From wiki: Indian Peafowl, Pavo cristatus, is a resident breeder in South Asia. The peacock is designated as the national bird of India and the provincial bird of the Punjab. The term peafowl can refer to the two species of bird in the genus Pavo of the pheasant family, Phasianidae. Peafowl are best known for the male’s extravagant tail, which it displays as part of courtship. The male is called a peacock, and the female a peahen. The female peafowl is brown or toned grey and brown.
Come join us tomorrow evening in the garden at Willowdale.
June 10, 2012 § 1 Comment
3 minute video featuring the Eastern Carpenter Bee. The music is the opening movement of Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
The Eastern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica) is an important pollinator for many open-faced spring flowers including the blossoms of fruiting trees—crabapple, apple, pear, peach, plum, and wild cherry—as well as holly and brambles. X. virginica has an especially bad reputation with blueberry growers because they have strong mouthparts (capable of boring into wood), which will easily tear flowers with a deep corolla—blueberries and azaleas, for example. In the video you can see the bee probing into the sides of, and in some instances tearing, the petals to gather nectar from the blossoming Japanese Andromeda (Pieris japonica). The damage done to wood is usually minimal and cosmetic.
Carpenter Bees are regularly mistaken for bumblebees. Their shiny black abdomen most easily distinguishes them. Male and female carpenter bees can easily be differentiated at a glance. The male has a patch of yellowish-white cuticle at the top its head; the females face is entirely black.
Male Eastern Carpenter Bees are aggressively territorial. They will fly at you noisily and vigorously when in their territory, but it is all just show—they are incapable of stinging!
June 2, 2012 § Leave a Comment
This past week at Willowdale we planted the stunning tree peony ‘Keiko’, which means “adored.” Briar’s favorite color is pink so I am always on high alert for rose-hued blossoms. I took one look at this drop dead gorgeous plant and just had to have it for Willowdale. Don’t you find in nature there are seemingly infinite shades of pink? The beautiful blowsy blossoms of ’Keiko’ possess myriad.
Did I mention ‘Adored’ is delightfully fragrant? The fragrance is sweet, but not cloying–very light and fresh.
May 19, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Click any photo to view slideshow-
For weeks I had planned to photograph the tulips in bloom at Willowdale, but only in the late afternoon sun. Each afternoon I headed out, the sky grew overcast. Last Monday the sun shown gloriously the entire day.
Fortunately I caught the tail end of North Shore Wedding Magazine photographing their Premier Issue in the gardens at Willowdale. North Shore Wedding Magazine is a brand new biannual publication featuring quality North Shore wedding professionals and venues, and is the sister publication to New Hampshire Wedding Magazine.
Sarah Boucher’s (Willowdale’s Planning Manager) lovely table styling for the North Shore Wedding Magazine photo shoot.
Kristina Hathaway with model
I hope this does not sound boastful however am mentioning because I just love it when people understand the design intention of a project. Kristina Hathaway remarked that she loved the feminine quality of the garden’s design juxtaposed against the masculine architecture of the stone mansion—music to my ears! The design challenges at Willowdale are multifold, yet rewarding, and from April 1st to until the first week of November you will find the gardens in bloom!
Tuesday evening, June 12, at 7:00 pm come join me in the gardens at Willowdale Estate. Enjoy refreshments and a tour of the garden, followed by a showing of my film “The Butterfly Garden at Willowdale Estate.” RSVP to Info@Willowdale Estate.
Click any photo to view slide show-
May 18, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Before heading out to dinner last Saturday night my husband Tom and I stopped in briefly at the Monsterrat College of Art annual fundraiser, Artrageous! 26. Tom had donated several paintings, as are all the works of art donated, and we had a great time looking at the paintings, prints, photos, mixed media, and sculpture. My favorite piece in the show was a self portrait by a young artist from Wenham, Camilla Jerome.
May 18, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Jay Ramsey with his crew Mauriocio Tuquerres and Mike Rogers planting hawthorn Crategus viridis ’Winter King’ at Gus Foote Park.
Last week Jay Ramsey and his crew planted the garden at I4-C2 and two trees at Gus Foote Park. Jay (Farm Creek Landscaping) suggested the hawthorn ‘Winter King’ and project architect Chris Muskopf and I agreed it was a great suggestion. Jay has had good success with ‘Winter King;’ notably with the several he planted along a windswept bank of the Annisquam River. ‘Winter King’ is relatively disease and pest free (atypical for members of the Rose Family) and is noted for its profusion of white flowers in May and tight clusters of bright red fruits that persist through the winter. The fruits are usually not eaten by birds until late winter. Crategus viridis is tolerant of poor soils and urban conditions. Crataegus means strength and viridis refers to the greenish bark of the species, however ‘Winter King’s’ bark is more silvery.
May 9, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Welcome Tulip Trees!
The magnificent Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), also called Tulip Poplar or Yellow Poplar, is named and noted for its tulip-shaped flowers. Tulip Trees are native to the eastern United States and are relatively fast growing, without the problem of weak wood strength and the short life span typical of fast growing trees.
The foliage of the Tulip Tree has a distinct four lobed shape, with a beautiful fluttering habit when caught in the wind. Come fall, the tree is ablaze in brilliant clear yellow. Rich in nectar, Tulip Trees are a major honey plant of the east. In our region the tree typically flowers in June. The nectar also invites songbirds Cardinal and Gold Finch, as well as Ruby-throated Hummingbird.
Liriodendron tulipifera is one of only two species in the genus Liriodendron in the Magnolia Family.
Fun fact from wiki: Native Americans so habitually made their dugout canoes of its trunk that the early settlers west of the Appalachian Mountains called it Canoewood.
May 9, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Monday the Tulip Trees were planted at St. Peter’s Square and Tuesday was devoted to Whale Watch and General Store planting areas. Today we are tackling Gus Foote Park. You may notice a few bare spots; not all plants have been delivered. We’ll be adding more to the gardens as they arrive.
Jay Ramsey and his crew from Farm Creek Landscpaping are doing a top-notch job—professional and so enthusiastic. We are all so excited to see the installation of the city’s Harbor Walk gardens underway. I’ll be bringing you information on some of the native beauties we have planted and their value to the landscape and to wildlife. People often ask me why they have so few bees in their garden and I respond, “What have you planted for the bees and for all the pollinators?” When you plant for the pollinators, they will come!
April 27, 2012 § Leave a Comment
You could say I have an obsession with spring flowering trees, especially our native dogwoods. Is it a mystery why?
I adore flowers, and branches shrouded with tree-flowers are even more romantic, perhaps because we are seeing repeating flower shapes, en masse.
Native Flowering Dogwood ~ Cornus florida
Even with only the tiniest bit of space, I encourage everyone to plant a tree-garden. Contact me if you need help in finding the perfect tree for your garden.
April 25, 2012 § Leave a Comment
No exciting news yet to report on our Giant Silk Moth Cocoon. The leaves of the American Birch Tree are unfurling, but no movement within the cocoon.
April 10, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Flowering Plum Tree ~ Prunus cerasifera ‘Thundercloud’
Filmed on Plum Street, Gloucester. Liltingly fragrant and a hummingbird attractant, Prunus cerasifera ‘Thundercloud’ is the most widely planted purple-leaf street tree in the U.S.
Rendering and compressing are very, very fast in this application; it is designed for ease of use and for speed. There are are no editing transitions, audio overlays, or other extra features included in this app, however that is not necessary when you want to capture, edit, and share in the fastest time possible.
Open Video Edit, click on the plus sign in the lower right corner, chose a clip from your camera roll, and click Choose in the lower right hand corner. Wait while the application compresses the video clip; a one minute clip took about 20 seconds to compress. You can add up to twenty clips and rearrange the clips in any order by dragging the clips in the timeline with your fingertip. Next type in the title, click Done. Click the check mark in the upper right corner, which brings you to the Render To page. You can render to iPhone, Email, Facebook, or YouTube. The 2 minute and 9 second video took less than ten seconds to render to my iPhone and twelve minutes approximately to render to youtube.
April 5, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Yesterday while visiting our daughter Liv we stopped briefly at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. We could not have come on a more perfect day to see both the magnolias and the cherry trees in the Japanese garden in full, spectacular bloom.
You may recall that in a previous “Top Five Magnolias” post I mentioned that Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’ was patented by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in 1977. She was first hybridized in 1956 and is named after Elizabeth Van Brunt, a patron of the garden.
Everyone was taking snapshots of Elizabeth!
April 4, 2012 § 1 Comment
I am so excited to tell you about this wonderful find. I was walking my pooch Rosie on our usual route down to the harbor and, dangling at eye level from a tree that I have passed a hundred times this winter , there was this structure. Thinking it was what it is, I ran home and checked my Lepidoptera books, and it is the cocoon of a member of the Giant Silk Moth Family, Saturniidaee (not to be confused with the oriental silk moth, Bombyx mori, from which silk fabric is spun).
Hanging from the tip of the American White Birch branch you could easily mistake it for a dry withered leaf, and that is exactly what the caterpillar has done, weaving the leaf around itself to pupate within. The cocoon is quite a good size, approximately two inches in length by one inch in width. The caterpillar pupates during the summer, overwinters in the cocoon stage, then emerges sometime in May or June. Giant Silk Moths live only for about a week. They mate soon after eclosing and then perish. Giant Silk Moths do not have mouth parts; all eating is done during the caterpillar stage.
Several members of the Giant Silk Moth family of caterpillars eat birch leaves. I am hoping (and it looks a great deal like) it is the cocoon of the simply stunning Luna Moth, however it could also be the beautiful Polyphemus Moth.
Luna Moth ~ Images courtesy Google
Polyphemus Moth ~ Image courtesy wiki
April 3, 2012 § 1 Comment
Top Five Recommended Magnolias: Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’
When Liv was attending Boston University I would often pick her up for lunch, and if the weather were fine, we’d end up at the Arnold Arboretum. After a winter of wearying shades of gray and brown, imagine our shared delight in coming upon the lovely Magnolia ‘Elizabeth.’. Not only is her beauty great, but the sweet lemony scent, divine. Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’ is a cross between Magnolia acuminata, the Cucumber Tree, a native to the eastern regions of the United States and Canada and the Yulan Magnolia (Magnolia denudata), native to China; both species are much appreciated for their heady fragrance.
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden patented Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’ in 1977. I find the luminous primrose yellow blossoms much, much more preferable to the more common and relatively newer cultivar, Magnolia ‘Butterflies.’ Besides, M. ‘Butterflies” has comparatively ZERO scent.
Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’ is pyramidal in habit with elegantly tapered buds, characteristic of its parent the Yulan Magnolia. I would grow the Yulan Magnolia in a heartbeat if only we lived in a slightly warmer climate because it is the most dreamily scented of all the magnolias; its parentage is what gives both Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’ and the Saucer Magnolias their gorgeous fragrance.
Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’ grows 20 to 35 feet and does best when sited in full sun in Cape Ann gardens. Magnolias like moist soil, but hate wet feet, in other words, they require excellent drainage.
April 2, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Does your magnolia look like this:
Rather than this:
Today begins a series on my top five magnolias, based on many years of observing and writing about this most highly appreciated species. Magnolias are one of the loveliest of springtime flowers, with silky buds developing into waxy fragrant goblets, and with their stunning display juxtaposed against bare branches, few trees are more breathtakingly beautiful than a mature magnolia in full glorious bloom. If you have a favorite magnolia, please write and let me know why!
Foremost in recommending magnolias are that the flowers have a beautiful shape, which will hold up well even in inclement weather, that they are intensely fragrant, and no less importantly, that they come into flower a bit later in the spring, or early summer. I had formerly recommended the Star Magnolia (see Joey’s photos Blooming Baby) however, Star Magnolias (Magnolia stellata) bloom the earliest of all the magnolias and they are the most susceptable to damage from a hard frost. Their bloom time is fleeting, at best, and the flowers are often quickly ruined.
Today’s recommendation is for the Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia soulangiana x ‘Alexandrina’). The saucer magnolia is the magnolia of Boston’s Commonwealth Avenue fame. A simply stunning and mature pair can be seen in Gloucester flanking the front entryway to the Classic Revival brick house on the way to Eastern Point (opposite Niles Beach). The outer petals of ‘Alexandrina’s’ flowers are a richly colored deep pink, shaded white and pale pink inside, with a lovely fragrance. This variety has an upright habit, which makes it ideal for standard tree forms. Plant in full sun, to very, very, light shade.
Tip –if you hold fragrance in as high regard as do I, go to the nursery when the species of tree that you are shopping for is in full bloom. Oftentimes a tree may identified as a particularly fragrant variety, but then again it may not be accurately identified. Through no fault of the nursery– perhaps tags were switched, or perhaps their distributor has not accurately labeled the plant; whatever the case, take your nose from tree to tree.
No group of trees and shrubs is more favorably known or more highly appreciated in gardens than magnolias, and no group produces larger or more abundant blossoms.” ~ Ernest “Chinese” Wilson, botanist and plant explorer
Global climate change is creating extremes in weather worldwide. The horticultural problems created by a spring cycle of freezing-thawing-freezing temperatures are only going to increase. The gardener’s best defense is to plant species that can withstand these new horticultural parameters.
April 2, 2012 § Leave a Comment
This post is for my friend Donna. A Carolina Wren flew in through her open windows last week. I wrote this several years ago but thought you would enjoy it today.
Bird Come-to-me, come-to-me, come-to-me, repeated from sun up to sundown. Mellow and sweet—though loud enough to attract my attention—what was this new-to-my-ears birdsong coming from the thicket of shrubs? Occasionally we would catch a quicksilver glimpse of a petite sparrow-sized songbird singing energetically atop the fence wall or rapidly pecking at the chinks of bark on our aged pear tree. But this was definitely not a sparrow. His is a rounded little body with tail held upward. He has pale orangey-buff underparts and rich russet plumage, with white and black barred accents on the wings, and long white eye-stripes. Because his coloring is so similar to, my husband took to calling it “that chipmunk bird.”
After much running to the window and out the back door at his first few notes I was able to identify our resident Carolina Wren. All summer long and through the fall we were treated to his beautiful and sundry melodies. Here it is late winter and he is again calling me to the window. We can have a longer look through bare trees and shrubs. Much to our joy there is not one wren, but a pair!
The Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) is common throughout the southeast; so populous it is the state bird of South Carolina. When found on Cape Ann it is at its most northern edge of its territory. Gradually, as the climate has warmed over the past century, its range has expanded. They are sensitive to cold and will perish during severe weather. The Carolina Wren is a highly adaptable creature, dwelling in swamps, forests, farms, and tree-filled urban and suburban communities. They hop around leaf litter and dense brush, using their elongated bills to forage for food close to the ground. A pair may bond any time of the year and will stay together for life. It is the ardent male who sings the loud song and he is apt to anytime and anywhere. Carolina Wrens work together to construct their nests and feed their young. Their nesting sites are varied, built in both man-made and natural nooks and crannies; tree holes and stumps, and just as frequently, windowsills, mailboxes, tin cans, garage shelves, and holes found in porches, fence posts, and barns.
During the breeding season they have a voracious appetite for insects, supplemented with fruit, nuts and seeds. Hoping to keep our pair healthy and in residence, and worried that they would not have enough fat in their diet, I made a peanut butter feeder. It took under an hour and cost less than five dollars. I am experimenting with different recipes and will let you know which songbirds are attracted to what mixture and whether ornot the squirrels become intolerable.
How to make a Peanut Butter Bird Feeder
Materials and tools needed: Portion of driftwood or fallen branch, approximately 4 to 6 inches in diameter; one dowel, approximately 1⁄4 inch diameter; one 1-inch open S hook; one size 12 screw eye; approximately six feet of chain; saw; drill, with one large bit, and one small bit that is slightly larger than the dowel; sandpaper; wood glue.
It took several tries to find driftwood that was not soft, wet, and mushy inside. Look for wood from hardwood. The driftwood in the photograph was cut to eight inches in length, after determining where the center hole and holes for the perches should be drilled. Mark, with a pencil, a two- to three-inch diameter hole, depending on the diameter of the wood. Mark the two spots for the perches, about 1 and 1⁄2 inches below the hole. Drill the side holes for the perches one inch deep. Drill the center hole, approximately two to three inches deep, again depending on the diameter of the log. Smooth the center hole with sandpaper. Cut two perches from the dowel, 4 inches in length, and glue into the drilled perch holes. Allow to dry overnight. Center and screw the screw eye into the top of the feeder and add the S-hook. Loop the chain around a tree limb so that it hangs five to six feet off the ground. Attach the S hook through the screw eye and chain. With pliers, close the upper end of the S-hook firmly around the chain and the opposite end just enough to hold the screw eye firmly in place, but not too tight that the feeder cannot be removed for easy filling and cleaning. Fill with peanut butter mixture.
Peanut Butter and Fruit Recipe ~
Basic recipe: Mix one or two tablespoons of peanut butter with an apple slice that has been finely diced. Add a teaspoon of raisins, coarsely chopped. This makes a perfectly appetizing and healthy mix. For variety, add dried cranberries, currants, chopped almonds, sunflower seeds, millet, and/or crumbled whole grain crackers.
March 31, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Two events I am especially looking forward to this week are the Good Morning Gloucester Spring Fling, Saturday (March 21, 6:00 pm) at Bodin Historic Photo Gallery, and the premier of Wim Wenders Pina at Cape Ann Community Cinema.
If you attended the GMG Christmas party, then you know you are in for a fabulously fun night. GMG contributors will all be there, and I especially love meeting the people who comment regularly on the blog. Fred Bodin and Joey Ciaramitaro are the perfect hosts. BYOB, bring food, or not-not required, and bring your fun-self! The party is for FOBs, FOGs, contributors, and is open to all.
Just a few of the GMG artists and FOBs you’re likely to meet at the Spring Fling!
Perhaps Felicia will make her heavenly ricotta pie…
Pina premires locally at Cape Ann Community Cinema on Friday, March 30th at 2:30, 7:30, and 9:45, with a special sneak preview at 6:00 pm tonight, Monday, March 26th.
PINA is a film for Pina Bausch, the great German choreographer, by Wim Wenders. He takes the audience on a sensual, visually stunning journey of discovery into a new dimension: straight onto the stage with the legendary Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch ensemble; he follows the dancers out of the theatre into the city and the surrounding areas of Wuppertal – the place, where for 35 years, was the home and centre for Pina Bausch’s creativity.
Pina ~ A Film for Pina Bausch by Wim Wenders
For more dates and showtimes visit Cape Ann Community Cinema.
Cape Ann Community Cinema
February 27, 2012 § 2 Comments
More About Depression Era Quilts ~
Reader Sandra G recently wrote: Thank you for Sharing the Antennae For Design Article and Photo. I recently acquired a Vintage Butterfly Quilt Top, that has me puzzled as to what the fabrics are and dating it ? The Butterflies appear to be very similar to your Photo. I am clueless about this Quilt Top and any help would be greatly appreciated. You have a great Website and Blog!
I asked her to send photos and she did send several. I do think this is a Depression era quilt for several reasons. The red butterfly especially, with the cheery cherry printed over the red and white polka dot fabric, looks very 1930s-1940s. All the butterflies are hand-embroidered, which also leads me believe the top is from the Depression era. It’s really a charming quilt top, and beautifully made. I love the design placement of the butterflies. The colors are so vibrant–the finished quilt will make any room sing. What a great find Sandra G.!
* Note ~ a quilt top is just that; the top only. Quilt tops are a wonderful way to acquire a vintage quilt. For some reason or other, the quilt was never completed. Ideally the quilt top would have been tucked away and stored out of direct sunlight–just waiting for some industrious- type to complete the job! If stored properly, you’ll find the vintage fabrics in their original vibrant colors as sunlight and repeated washings are most damaging to textiles.
February 21, 2012 § Leave a Comment
There is beautiful assortment of waterfowl inhabiting the harbor. While there filming the birds and trying to get closer (ever closer!), I’ve become fascinated with the graphic industrial compositions from atop and from below the pier. For example, the above snapshot of Gloucester’s iconic Paint Factory, through the piling’s grid.
February 20, 2012 § 2 Comments
The Jodrey State Pier is named after Everett R. Jodrey, a barber by trade and activist sympathetic to the fishing industry. Jodrey envisioned a changing waterfront and eventually won support to construct a state fish pier in Gloucester. The money was appropriated in 1931; the pier opened for business in 1938.
February 16, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Happy Birthday Briar!
As many know from reading my posts, my dear friend, and one of my favorite design clients, is Briar Forsythe, proprietor of Willowdale Estate, located in Topsfield. I was delighted to attend Briar’s birthday party, which was a wine and food tasting event, and held in the new conservatory at Willowdale. Usually when there I am up to my elbows in design projects so it was a real pleasure to get a sense of how it feels to be a guest.
The party started at 4:00 and the late afternoon sunlight streaming through the conservatory windows lent a warm and welcoming glow to the event. The service was absolutely impeccable (do you find that is not often easy to say?). Chef Joe Joyce and staff had prepared simply the most elegant and divine tasting courses, paired with wines that perfectly complemented each dish. All the wines were delicious and I can imagine they would be great paired with any number of meals.
Unfortunately, I did not take a snapshot of the first course, which was a Duxbury Oyster with Champagne Foam and Blood Orange Caviar, served with a sparkling Dibon Cava Brut. I love sparkling wines and found this perfectly not overly sweet. I am not going to go on and on telling you how super delicious was all–it was–and hope the photos give an idea. The wines were provided by Geoffrey Fallon.
Visit Willowdale’s website—they are a full service special events venue, specializing in their own in-house fabulous catering. Tours are offered throughout the year and many Gloucester companies do business with Willowdale, including several of our local florists and photographers.
Click last photo to see slideshow of all party pics.
February 15, 2012 § 2 Comments
Which version do you prefer, black and white or color?
Beginning in November, we maintain a continuous flow of blooming narcissus by planting a new batch every two weeks or so. Paperwhites ‘Ziva’ blooms before the first of the year and ‘Galilee’ just after the holiday season. The ‘Chinese Sacred Lily’ (Narcissus tazetta var. orientalis) is almost as easy to force and has a sweeter, though no less potent fragrance. The scent is a dreamy blend of orange and honeysuckle. They are also a member of the tazetta group bearing multiple blossoms atop slender stalks, with white petals and cheery yellow cups. The ‘Chinese Sacred Lily,’ brought to this country by Chinese immigrants in the late 1800s, is traditionally forced to bloom for New Year’s celebrations.
With both paperwhites and ‘Chinese Sacred Lilies,’ place the bulbs in bowl or pot and cover with stones. The emerging green tips should be poking though the stones. Water up to the halfway point of the bulb and place in a cool dark room; an unheated basement is ideal. Water periodically and within a week or so, new growth will be visible. Then place the bulbs in the room away from strong light, continue to water as needed, and once in bloom, they will flower and scent your home for a week or more. Illustrations of paperwhites and the Chinese Sacred Lily, as well as the complete chapter, can be found in Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities! Notes from a Gloucester Garden (David R. Godine, Publisher).
February 12, 2012 § 2 Comments
The Public Trust Doctrine is a legal principle that dates back nearly 2000 years, which holds that the air, the sea and the shore belong not to any one person, but rather to the public at large.
Yesterday my husband, our dog, and I were walking along Wonson’s Cove through the muck of the low tide zone when a woman approached us, at first with a friendly hello. We smiled back and said hello. She immediately became confrontational and informed us that we were trespassing, demanding that we turn around and leave. We politely said that we believed we had the right to walk across the beach especially as we were heading to the Wonson’s public landing. She became livid and said she was going to call the police. I said okay, call the police. She then made some very rude remarks.
I do not wish to inconvenience or offend any property owner however, I had my camera and we were clearly only there to enjoy the great beauty of the cove. We were not littering or damaging the beach in anyway, as a matter of fact, large amounts of trash washes ashore and accumulates at that little beach and I have often come home with armfuls.
What has been your experience in a similar situation?
Below I’ve posted the Public Trust Doctrine of Chapter 91, The Public Waterfront Act, and underlined the information I think is particularly pertinent for photographers and for all lovers of nature. The complete chapter is posted in the Read More section and here is the link to the Mass DEP, or Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection page that highlights Chapter 91.
Through Chapter 91, the Commonwealth seeks to preserve and protect the rights of the public, and to guarantee that private uses of tidelands and waterways serve a proper public purpose:
Preserves pedestrian access along the water’s edge for fishing, fowling and navigation and, in return for permission to develop non-water dependent projects on Commonwealth tidelands, provides facilities to enhance public use and enjoyment of the water.
Seeks to protect and extend public strolling rights, as well as public navigation rights.
Protects and promotes tidelands as a workplace for commercial fishing, shipping, passenger transportation, boat building and repair, marinas and other activities for which proximity to the water is either essential or highly advantageous.
Protects Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, ocean sanctuaries and other ecologically sensitive areas from unnecessary encroachment by fill and structures.
Protects the rights of waterfront property owners to approach their property from the water.
Encourages the development of city and town harbor plans to dovetail local waterfront land use interests with the Commonwealth’s statewide concerns.
Assures removal or repair of unsafe or hazardous structures.
Read More… « Read the rest of this entry »
February 11, 2012 § 4 Comments
My favorite places and time of day to walk our sweet terrier Miss Rosie Money Penny (also know as Rosie, Rosa, Rosalicious, Rosalita, Rosebud, Rose-Muffin, Rosie-Pie…) is at sunset and all around my East Gloucester neighborhood and water’s edge of Eastern Point. The above photo was taken from the narrow strip of land that separates Niles Pond from Brace Cove. It is believed that at one point, not too long ago, Niles Pond was a lagoon, which was sealed off by rising sand and rock. Over time, it became a fresh water pond, fed by springs and rainfall.
Surrounded by reflected light from the sea, sunsets are gorgeous from nearly any Cape Ann vantage point. Luminous light is made all the more atmospheric from moisture in the air; combine that when seen through the golden lambent glow of sun’s low slanting rays– I call that heaven on earth! Click photo to see full size image.
February 11, 2012 § 1 Comment
Gloucester: A Community of Neighborhoods
Juni and Maggie Rosa discuss design elements of the Eastern Point panel.
Yesterday I had the joy to meet Juni Van Dyke and several members of the Rose Baker Senior Center art class. Juni and her students are working on a project titled Gloucester: A Community of Neighborhoods. Each fabric panel measures approximately five-foot square and illustrates through iconic imagery characteristics unique to Gloucester neighborhoods. The banner’s design in it’s entirety, along with the individual artist’s whimsical designs and choice of fabrics, is utterly captivating and a vibrant visual feast.
This is not the first grand scale project of it’s kind created by Juni and the fiber artists at the Senior Center. The banner titled From Sea to Shining Sea: Celebration of the American Landscape that is currently on view at the Senior Center lunchroom was also exhibited at the Lexington Heritage Center for six months, and it measures nine feet in height by thirty feet in width.
Lois Stillman’s elegant rendition of the birch tree clump at Niles Pond
Eastern Point panel detail with Mother Ann and butterflies.
I am honored to have been invited to create a butterfly for the Eastern Point panel although I think they have it beautifully covered. The whimsical swirl of butterflies in the upper left corner was created by students at the Eastern Point Day School and the beautifully detailed Monarchs fluttering around Beauport by Maggie Rosa.
Lois stands in front of the panel she designed. Note her genius interpretation of the Abram Piatt Andrew Bridge, replete with cars (click photo to see larger version) and including Nichols Candy House. Her deep love of trees is apparent in the beautiful and skilled manner she has stitched and pieced many different species of trees created for the panels.
As the work on Gloucester: A Community of Neighborhoods unfolds we’ll bring you more stories and detailed photos about this vibrant and captivating work of art in progress–there are simply too many beautiful tales to tell in one post!
Juni and Priscilla ~ Sunlight streams through the large picture windows of the second floor art room at the Rose Baker Senior Center.
Pauline, Juni, and Maggie
Juni and Maggie
February 8, 2012 § 1 Comment
An atypical chocolate brown duck–possibly a hybrid between a domestic duck and a Mallard, filmed at Wonson’s Cove, Rocky Neck.
February 7, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Coming Soon: Life Story of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly tells the story of the ubiquitous and stunning Black Swallowtail butterfly.
My new documentary film captures the beauty and mystery of the Black Swallowtail, through all its life stages, and in it’s surrounding habitats. I think you will be amazed and captivated by this garden-variety and seemingly ordinary, extraordinary butterfly!
From Egg to Caterpillar to Chrysalis to Adult
One of several preferred Black Swallowtail habitats—Gloucester’s sandy wildflower meadow at Good Harbor Beach. The milkweed provides nectar for swallowtails on the wing and Queen Anne’s Lace is a food plant of the Black Swallowtail caterpillars.
January 28, 2012 § Leave a Comment
The point of the Aftermath video is to showcase the litter, not who owns the pond. Thank you Daniel for pointing out the litter and thank you Anonymous for sharing that Niles Pond has Massachusetts Great Pond Status. And thank you to all who wrote comments-it just goes to show how much we all care about our beautiful Niles Pond and surrounding environment.
Irrespective of who owns the pond, let’s all please not litter, and if you do see trash left behind, clean it up, and if you can’t manage the job yourself, email the wonderfully good eggs Donna Ardizzoni and her One Hour at a Time Gang for the really tough jobs.
From the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection website: Chapter 91 comprises four basic areas of geographical jurisdiction. Any activity that takes place in one of the hot link areas listed below requires Chapter 91 authorization. The areas are:
Flowed Tidelands – Any project located in, on, over or under tidal waters seaward of the present mean high water (MHW) shoreline. Jurisdiction in this case extends seaward three miles, to the state limit of territorial jurisdiction.
Filled Tidelands – The limit on filled tidelands is: A.) Outside Designated Port Areas, the first public way or 250 feet from mean high water, whichever is farther landward and B.) Inside Designated Port Areas, the historic MHW shoreline (i.e., all filled areas).
Great Ponds – Any project located in, on, over or under the water of a great pond. A great pond is defined as any pond or lake that contained more than 10 acres in its natural state. Ponds or lakes presently larger than 10 acres are presumed to be great ponds, unless the applicant provides unequivocal evidence to the contrary. Ponds 10 or more acres in their natural state, but which are now smaller, are still considered great ponds.
Non-Tidal Rivers and Streams – Projects located in, on, over, or under any non-tidal, navigable river or stream on which public funds have been expended either upstream or downstream within the river basin, except for any portions not normally navigable during any season by any vessel. Additionally, the Connecticut River, the Merrimack River and portions of the Westfield River are within jurisdiction.
Chapter 91: An Overview and Summary ~ Read more to find out how Great Pond Status directly affects Niles Pond: « Read the rest of this entry »