There is a little disruption in the gull community on Cape Ann. The gull chicks are grown enough to be on their own. This Herring Gull is looking a little lost hanging with his two buddies. All through town, the fledglings are being chased around by older gulls demonstrating that the first year birds have not figured out their place. These birds have not learned enough to stay out of the way of other gulls and out of the traffic.
This time of year, the lobsters are plentiful in Gloucester Harbor. A lobsterman will set a string of pots with buoys at both ends. He will pull the pots up pull the lobsters out. Undersized lobsters and egg carrying females are returned. The lobsters have their claws bound closed.
The lobsters are tossed into a tank with sea water circulating.
The pots are receive fresh bait and the string is set.
Okay, the weather has been absolutely terrible here. I like to post current pictures however with all the rain, there just hasn’t been any real opportunity to get out. So here are two pictures of Carib Grackles I took down in Sint Maarten. The black bird is an adult and the gray bird is the juvenile.
When we first arrive in Sint Maarten, I heard a real bell-like bubbly call. I traced it to these grackles. How cool, totally unlike the grackles we have up here. These are actually friendly. After all, Sint Maarten is “The Friendly Island”. It says so on their license plates.
Later in the week, the night I took the sunset picture, we were walking up the hill to dinner. The sun was setting in front of us and I heard a “yeep” and felt something brush my arm. I figured the bird got confused because it was blinded by the low setting sun and I had a green, tropical shirt on.
Later, the next day, the same thing happened to my wife. This cowardly little bird waited for us to walk past their nest and then take a cheep shot from the back. I’ve never been ambushed from behind like this before. This was especially weird because the nest was over the path and he waited in both cases for us to be walking away.
I still have an affinity for these little guys. Yes they are grackles and yes, they did take a shot at us. But they are actually very friendly for the most part. They are just a little neurotic and don't like it when you walk away. I guess Carib Grackles cannot read license plates.
We stopped in to Piscataqua Fine Arts on Ceres Street and had a nice chat with regional woodcut print artist Don Gorvett. If you are interested in Gloucester based art, a visit to Don’s shop is a worthwhile trip.
Don has stories about working in Gloucester, knows a bit about the history and is just a great guy. He admits that 90% of the people that walk into his shop have never considered owning art. "I go to auctions and see great paintings that nobody is bidding on, and people don't know what they are passing up."
Gloucester is a rough-and-tumble fishing port. It has a texture, a mood, a hardness that no other seaport has. This is reflected in Don’s art with a sensitivity that only comes from understanding what it means to be Gloucester. Don’s work covers Portsmouth, Maine and Massachusetts.
Today, I photographed these Vignoles grapes growing at Jewell Towne Vineyards in Amesbury, MA. When they ripen in September and October they will be fermented into white wine. In about a year, these grapes will be in a wine bottle. I can’t wait.
I expected to see a few birds in Sint Maarten. While walking through the trails in the brush, I heard a "sweet, sweet, sweet, ti, ti, ti, sweet". This could only be the song of the yellow warbler. It was like meeting an old friend in a distant land.
Sugar Bird is the local name for the Bananaquit. The Bananaquit is a tiny bird that is quite common in the Caribbean. These were photographed on the island of Sint Maarten. The Bananaquit feeds on nectar, fruit, and insects.
Blogger allows the uploading of images and displays them in three sizes. The largest size is 400 px. I’ve been dissatisfied with the 400 px wide display of my images. Plus I don't want my viewers to have to click-click-click to see my images.
In order to increase the size of the layout, I’ve changed the template for the blog, click "Customize", "Layout", "Edit HTML". I changed the the “Outer-Wrapper” from 840 px to 1060 px and I’m using a 220 px sidebar-wrapper and a 1060 px “Header-wrapper” and “Outer-Wrapper”.
My photos are stored on Picasa Web Albums which will create a link to an 800 px wide image. You can still use the Blogger uploader tool to upload your images. When you upload a “large image”, you will have “s400” in the string. Change this text to “s800” and you will get the 800 px wide display.
With the large format, the link to the image is not needed nor is the style string. Here is a screen shot of how I edit the image HTML. The top string is the blogger generated HTML for the image. I've put the text string I'm removing in red. The resulting image HTML is in the bottom paragraph of the.
Here you can see a 400 px image and an 800 px image. Picasa also has a 640 px that you can use. For photo blogs, I think it works well. I’m much happier. Let me know what you think or if this has helped you.
I came upon these lilies in a pond in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Water lilies are fairly common here. What attracted me was the challenge of making a picture with the pure white flowers against a dark green background. The leaves on this plant have a nice rich green top and beautiful red under side. Treat yourself and click the images to enlarge.
We came upon this ghost crab (Ocypode quadrata) on the beach at Mullet Bay in Sint Maarten. Ghost crabs live above the high tide line, and I understand that day time appearances are rather unusual. This little guy was excavating a new burrow.
We have been in Sint Maarten for the last week. Three of the four bottles of wine we tasted were hollow and most likely cooked. We decided to stick to beer. I had a really nice beer at the Sugar Cane Café in Cupecoy.
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