PERFECT WAVE

Set to music by Peter Dayton, “Perfect Wave” is a compilation of clips from the day after blizzard Jonas, filmed along the Back Shore and at Good Harbor Beach. I only needed a few shots of B-roll for several projects but the light was so beautiful I stayed and stayed. Mesmerizing, yet terrifying to imagine being on the sea in a boat, the waves were spectacular from every vantage point along Atlantic Road. As a friend said, it was a photographer’s dream that afternoon. I’d love to make another short to Peter’s fantastic surfing song, set in Gloucester at Good Harbor Beach, but during the summertime.

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So many thanks to my friend Peter for allowing use of “Perfect Wave.” I heard the song on his website recently. Boston rockers will surely remember Peter from La Peste. Peter is also a phenomenal painter and you can see some of his images of minimalist surfboard inspired paintings and collaged flower paintings on his website here: Peter Dayton

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floral-copyPeter’s stunning fabric designs for Dior on the New York runway

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KIM SMITH POLLINATOR GARDEN PROGRAM FOR THE NORTH SHORE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY TONIGHT

I am looking forward to presenting my “Pollinator Garden” program tonight at 7:30 for the North Shore Horticultural Society. The program begins at 7:30 at the American Legion Hall, 14 Church Street, Manchester (behind Town Hall). I hope to see you there!

male-female-monarch-butterfly-marsh-milkweed-2-c2a9kim-smith-2012-copyMale and Female Monarch Butterfly Marsh Milkweed

Good Harbor Beach Back Shore Storm Photos

The waves were sublime, terrifying, and mesmerizing all at once. And a photographer’s dream. I was also filming B-roll for several film projects and am looking forward to working with the footage. Follow the links below to check out Good Morning Gloucester for more Good Harbor Beach and back shore after Jonas storm coverage.

Twin Lights -2 Blizzard Jonas ©www.kimsmithdesigns.comThacher Island Twin LightsGood Harbor beach Blizzard Jonas ©www.kimsmithdesigns.comGood Harbor Beach

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A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Good Harbor Beach and Back Shore After Jonas

More Back Shore Good Harbor Jonas Photos

Farewell #BlizzadJonas

 

Life on the Leaf Edge: Photographs of Native Caterpillars

cat-11At the Museum of American Bird Art from January 31-April 24, 2016

Sam Jaffe’s spectacular photographs of New England caterpillars reveal their astonishing beauty, reminding us that we don’t need to venture far from home to be captivated by nature’s wonders.

A New England based naturalist, photographer, and educator, Jaffe grew up in Eastern Massachusetts chasing birds, mucking through ponds, and turning over leaves.  For the last seven years he has been photographing caterpillars, exhibiting his photographs and organizing programs to promote these special creatures to the public.

His photographs have received widespread acclaim. They have been featured in the Wall Street JournalThe Guardian and on the widely read art and design blog, This is Colossal. Jaffe has exhibited at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio, the Boston Children’s Museum, and the MIT Center for Theoretical Physics, among other venues.

Each year Jaffe raises thousands of caterpillars of hundreds of native species, capturing female butterflies and moths, collecting their eggs and releasing them. The founder of the non-profit The Caterpillar Lab, Jaffe’s goal is to share his passion for the caterpillars of New England through first-hand encounters at museums and nature centers as well as the stunning images in his photographs and videos.

Life on the Leaf Edge: Photographs of Native Caterpillars by Samuel Jaffe is open to the public January 31 through April 24, Tuesday–Sunday from 1 to 5 pm.

The Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon (MABA) is an art museum within New England’s largest conservation organization, connecting people and nature through art. The exhibitions feature art by internationally recognized artists inspired by nature. The Museum is located at 963 Washington Street in Canton and is sited within a 121 acre wildlife sanctuary.

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MR. SWAN HAS A GIRLFRIEND!!

Could this be the new Mrs. Swan?

Swans Niles Pond Eastern Point Gloucester  ©Kim Smith 2016

Note the young swan’s brownish feathers and greyish-pink bill (left). This tells us that she is not quite two years of age.

Today at 9:30am while out doing errands, I stopped by Niles Pond to see if I could find my brand new glove, which was lost the morning previously. That Monday, the day after the weekend storm, the mergansers had moved overnight to Niles Pond to escape the wind and waves on the harbor and I had captured footage of Mr. Swan with the Red-breasted Mergansers. Last I saw him, he was alone and circling the pond, plaintively calling.

Just as I got to the spot where filming yesterday I looked up and flying overhead were not one, but two swans! They were flying towards Brace Cove. I hurried back to my car to get cameras, checking all the while to see if the pair would stay at Niles or continue up the coast. They circled back around Niles before landing on the far side of the pond. The large pure white male looks like Mr. Swan and his girlfriend appears to be much younger as she is comparatively smaller and still has some brownish-gray cygnet feathers.

I immediately called my friend Lyn to let her know about the swan pair swimming at her end of the pond. There was a large patch of ice that prevented the swans from coming closer to where she was calling them from shore but we did have a good long look and we both agree it could very well be Mr. Swan (Lyn calls him Poppa Swan and in Rockport he’s known as Buddy).

The pair of swans stayed, feeding on pond vegetation and moving slowly through the icy waters. Swans use their powerful breast muscles in a lifting and lurching movement to break up ice. It takes a great amount of effort to cut a path through the ice and Mr. Swan is much more adept at ice breaking than is his new girlfriend.

By a swan’s second summer (in other words two years of age) it will have lost all the characteristics of an immature. The brown feathers are gradually replaced with the white feathers. The last thing to visibly change is the color of the swan’s bill. A cygnet’s bill is blue/grey changing over the two year period to pinkish and then orange. Swans can breed as early as two years of age although most don’t begin until three years.

I can’t saw with 100 percent certainty that this is Mr. Swan because I didn’t get a close look at the distinguishing marks on his bill however, all signs point in this direction.

Swans Niles Pond Gloucester ©Kim Smith 2016

DISCOVERED: THE MONARCHS MEXICAN HAVEN

national-geographicForty one years ago today, January 9th is celebrated as the day the Monarchs winter habitat was “discovered.” The woman who led the discovery, Catalina Aguado, was  born in Michoacán, the Mexican state that is home to the butterflies wintering grounds. Catalina is the only living member of the original team featured in the following 1976 National Geographic article.

Excerpt from “Discovered: The Monarchs Mexican Haven”

Doctor Fred Urquhart, the Canadian zoologist who had been studying and tracking the butterflies since 1937 writes the following:

“In our search for the overwintering place, years passed, years of frustration. Norah, late in 1972, wrote to newspapers in Mexico about our project, asking for volunteers to report sightings and to help with tagging.

In response came a letter, dated February 26, 1973, from Kenneth C. Brugger in Mexico City. “I read with interest,” he wrote, “your article on the monarch. It occurred to me that I might be of some help. . . .”

Ken Brugger proved the key that finally unlocked the mystery.

Traveling in his motor home with his dog, Kola, he crisscrossed the Mexican countryside. He searched especially in areas where tagged monarchs had been recaptured, and places where other visitors had reported numerous butterflies. “Go out in the evening,” we instructed him. “That’s when you’ll see the monarchs moving about looking for a place to roost.”

In a letter written in April 1974, Ken reported seeing many monarch butterflies in the Sierra Madre flying at random as if dispersing from a congregating site.

“Your data and observations are exciting,” I replied. “We feel that you have zeroed in on the right area.”

Ken Brugger doubled his field capability by marrying a bright and delightful Mexican, Cathy. Late in 1974 he wrote of finding many dead and tattered butterflies along the roads in a certain area. “You must be getting really close,” we responded. These butterfly remains suggested that birds had been feeding on large flocks of monarchs.

Swiftly came the dramatic conclusion. On the evening of January 9, 1975, Ken telephoned us from Mexico. “We have located the colony!” he said, unable to control the excitement in his voice. “We have found them—millions of monarchs—in evergreens beside a mountain clearing.”

Mexican woodcutters, prodding laden donkeys, had seen swarming butterflies and had helped point the way.”

The complete article is available to read online here.