Looking for the King

King Eider – #3

Recently I went looking for the king–the King Eider, that is. King Eiders are an Arctic species, usually seen only in Alaska in the United States. Very rarely they will wander to the shores of New England in the winter, however. Over 25 years ago one was seen in Rhode Island waters, off the shores of Sachuest Point National Wildlife refuge. That was the first one I had ever seen until this winter, when a male King Eider started floating along the Cape Cod Canal with a bunch of Common Eiders.

King Eider with Common Eiders

Common Eiders are slightly larger than the King, but not as colorful, lovely though they be. The eiders were in a large raft hanging around Herring Run, where it flows into the canal, just south of Bourne, Massachusetts, on the west side of the canal. It was easy to get close to them, as they seemed not to mind people sitting on the rocks beside the water. The Common Eiders were showing some dominance and pair bonding behavior, as males chased one another and lifted up in display of their breasts. Young males were also among the group, the first year males having more dark areas in their plumage than the second year males. Also among the eiders were some Red-breasted Mergansers.

Common Eiders

Male Common Eider – #2

Enjoy these pictures of the King and his cohort.

Gloucester Walk-about

Colorful Post

Colorful Post

The Ardelle Heads Home

The Ardelle Heads Home

Our photo workshop on Cape Ann included a sunrise stop on day two and a walk around the harbor on the final day.  In this gallery you’ll find the sun rising over the marsh and highlighting an unusual sculpture installation called “Flight.”  Harbor highlights include the waiting umbrellas at a local restaurant, “Latitude 43” and some other colorful items.

When I arrived at the harbor “The Ardelle,” a local schooner, was heading out in the fog.  Later that afternoon it returned, illuminated by a brief break in the clouds.  Enjoy!

Rockport, Mass–Part 2

Waiting For Work At Rockport Harbor

Waiting For Work At Rockport Harbor

This post shows more from the photography workshop on Cape Ann in September 2013.  We went to Rockport harbor the evening of the second day for moonrise, then returned for sunrise on the third day.  Yes, sometimes photographers don’t get much sleep!  What we saw ranged from a little girl enjoying ice cream on the rocks to various views of “Motif #1,” seemingly a photographer’s favorite.  This is a rebuilt version of a lobster shack, rebuilt only for show, as it no longer processes lobsters.  It exists for the enjoyment of tourists.  One member of our group is shown here as she takes an interesting shot of her shadow on Motif #1.  Many boats are secured at the harbor, ranging from sailboats and yachts to fishing vessels and colorful rowboats.  Someone living by the harbor seems to have a jump on Christmas decorations.  All activity is supervised by a great black-backed gull, who seems to think he’s the harbor master.  Enjoy!

Crane Estate, Ipswich, Mass

Great House Entrance

Great House Entrance

It’s good to be in plumbing!  At least it was good for Robert Teller Crane, Jr.  Next time you’re in a water closet, look at the name on the fixtures.  RT Crane, Sr., founded a foundry in Chicago.  Upon his death and the split between his two sons, RT Crane, Jr. took over the helm and moved into the production of plumbing fixtures for the home.  Actually, the company had been producing plumbing fixtures since 1896, but the demand for indoor plumbing and more luxurious bathrooms took off in the 1920s.  RT Crane, Jr. was at the helm during this boon and saw to it that the company responded to this new market demand.  Having become quite wealthy as a result, he eventually purchased 165 acres in Ipswich, Massachusetts.  The property is now run by the Trustees and consists of two parts:  Castle Hill and a wildlife refuge.

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Rockport, Mass–Part 1

Rockport Sunrise #1

Rockport Sunrise #1

In September I participated in a photography workshop on Cape Ann, Massachusetts. We shot sunrises and sunsets, visited Halibut Point State Park and the Crane Estate, and walked around the harbor in Gloucester, among other things.  This post shows some of my photos from the first day.  We began with the sunrise at Rockport, then went to Halibut State Park and walked around the quarry, and finished the day with the sunset.  During our sunset time a young woman was sitting on the rocks holding a scarf in the wind.  The slideshow includes a meditative shot of her resting.