Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Two Boats

One skimming the surface of the ocean, one locked in sand, and time.

Crane Beach, Ipswich, MA

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Not Your Average House Tour

If I were to design a tour of interesting houses and buildings in my town I would surely include this one.

I wonder how many generations it's been standing, with its sills slowly sinking into the earth.
I am grateful, every time I go by it, to see it still there.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Inside Out Art Gallery

Ordinary-looking house near downtown Ipswich, MA. But what's in those windows?

Paintings!  Facing out, for all the world to see. 

I wonder who creates them and shares them in this unique way.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

"Rivers and Tides" in the woods........

I went to check out a newly-opened conservation area today and as I walked down the trail and through the woods, I became convinced that Andy Goldsworthy- or someone inspired by him-  must have got here first.....

Meet Andy Goldsworthy

and enjoy his documentary, Rivers and Tides

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Right place, right time

Today's fun photo is a short video. It's the glimmering image of the water reflecting light up onto a brick wall on Gloucester Harbor. I think it makes the bricks come alive.  I've been enjoying this for several seasons, but I've never captured it.
It only happens when the light is coming from the east, and you can only see it from the water. So several things have to happen all at once- a morning row, a sunny day, very little wind (a lot of wind pushes the dory around too much when I stop rowing,)  and....... a charged camera battery.

(The sound is the engine of the small lobster boat "Restless" heading out.)

Friday, May 22, 2015

God Bless the Taxi Men of Dublin

 Dublin taxi men in O'Connell Street, April 2013

A young friend in Dublin, Sarah Murphy, just posted this on facebook:

Taxi men of Dublin kicking  people out of their cars who say they're a NO vote. A sounder chap I've never met. "Sure where would I be driving him?  He can walk if he's so sure he knows where we're going." 

Sarah has been working day and night canvassing Dublin neighborhoods for a YES vote on marriage equality for Ireland.  If I could vote in Ireland I'd be with her. If it weren't for Sarah and her friend Tom Lawlor's generous hospitality, I wouldn't have the wonderful memories I do of the neighborhoods of Dublin...

Memorial to the taxi drivers of Dublin, O'Connell Street. 

I forgive every single misspelling and typo.

It Never Gets Old

Rowing (for me, anyway) never gets old. I row for fun, and it keeps me from getting old before my time.

I don't have to do it every day to make a living. I don't need to row a dory across the harbor in all kinds of weather to do my shopping or get to school, as dory-rowers have done here for 150 years.  I row
recreationally, as a member of the Gloucester International Dory Racing Committee. I don't even race- I just cheer on those who do. It costs me only $77 a year- the cheapest way to "own" a boat in Gloucester!

Gloucester Harbor on a weekday morning. Paint Factory (Ocean Alliance nonprofit research center) on the left, Ten Pound Island on the right. 

Every time I untie one of the dories and row it away from the dock, it's a new kind of fun. Here's another rower making his way around the famous Greasy Pole off Pavilion Beach yesterday, practicing for races next weekend.

(Turn down the sound to avoid the annoying noise of construction of an oversized and incongruous luxury hotel in the middle of Gloucester's historic Fort neighborhood. ) 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Optical Illusion

This arch at Buswell Pond in the Magnolia section of Gloucester, Massachusetts (on Route 127)  forms one of my favorite optical illusions.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

15-Minute Field Trip

I was walking by the  Cape Ann Museum when I realized it wouldn't be closing for another 15 minutes, so I ducked in for a quick visit with one of my favorites. 

Sea serpent billet head from the schooner Diadem, built in Essex, 1855.

I learned today that, in 1817, more than 50 people in Gloucester, many of them "prominent members of the community," reported seeing a serpent in the sea off Pavilion Beach. The entire incident was written up in a pamphlet published that year by the Linnaean Society. read it here 

Love those 15-minute field trips! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day = Ocean Day ....for me

I observed Earth Day*  by rowing out to Ten Pound Island in Gloucester Harbor this morning. Feeling wealthy, and humbled by this gift of a PLACE. And compelled to take care of it every day. 

                 These barely perceptible swells show how wild it got out there this morning. Flat calm.

 The Paint Factory at Rocky Neck, which I love because it was NOT destroyed to make way for condos!

* April 22 is the day for the Americanized  Earth Day , but I know that Earth Day was meant , by its founders at the United Nations in 1971, to be observed at the time of the Equinox which, this year in the Western Hemisphere, was March 20.

And just for some perspective- here's what the Grand Banks Dory was made for.....

photos courtesy Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Massachusetts

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Lobster Boat Two-fer!

I walked down to the docks this morning and stopped to take some pictures of a lobsterman I know,  with his crew getting ready for a day of setting traps.......and learned of a great new book he is promoting.

Jay Gustaferro of Gloucester, captain of the Jean Elizabeth,  has been catching lobsters and fighting nukes since the 1970s and he is nowhere near done.

Friday, October 24, 2014

A new way to measure rainfall

Now I have a new way in which to measure rainfall-  
not in inches, but in time: How long will it take me to bail a dory before I can row it? 

Dory full of rainwater after a few days of stormy fall weather here in Gloucester, MA.....

...and after half an hour of steady bailing.

UPDATE:  December 10, 2014
After another few days of rain, I had company this morning when I went to the docks to see about bailing...Alex, a fellow member of the Gloucester International Dory Racing Committee, brought his hand pump.

I prefer hand-bailing with a sturdy re-used plastic bottle.

Bailing, bailing, gone!

and another update: February, 2015: A new way to measure SNOWFALL!

6-8 inches of slush-water under the snow

Since the dories are kept in the water year-round, the snow and slush has to be removed as well as the rainwater,  so that they will be ready to row on a good winter day. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014


There's a saying that goes, "The road to a friend's house is never long."

I have another saying: "The gate at a friend's place is never a puzzle."

I get a certain satisfaction, when I arrive at a friend's yard, in being familiar enough with their gate to breeze through it, no matter how persnickety the latch may be.

Sometimes you have to lift and pull, or push and jiggle. You only learn these things through experience-  coming and going over time, visiting, dropping off muffins, returning a book.

It seems to me that gates and latches in New England are particularly quirky- just like my wonderful friends.