Today we went duck watching, our usual day after Christmas tradition. We drive around Cape Ann, stopping at various places that are advantageous for duck viewing. The weather did not cooperate with us this year. It’s been very warm here in Massachusetts this winter. The ponds have not yet frozen over, and many of the ducks are on the still-unfrozen inland waters.
We only saw a few species this year: common eiders, buffleheads, black ducks, and a couple of American mergansers. Still, it was a pleasant day, and the scenery was enjoyable. Our travels took us along the Magnolia shore. The picture here shows the view toward downtown Gloucester. There are reefs all along the rocky shore here, including one called Norman’s Woe, made famous in Longfellow’s poem The Wreck of the Hesperus.
The Magnolia shore looking towards Norman's Woe
We stopped briefly in downtown Gloucester to take some photos of the working fishing port. With the decline of the local fisheries, the city of Gloucester is a bit down on its luck. The fishing port has always looked pretty gritty.
Lobster Boats in Gloucester
We ventured out to Eastern Point Light for some more duck viewing, and to walk on the jetty. The waves were occasionally crashing onto the jetty, so we didn’t walk very far out. I did get a nice shot of Leon channeling Meryl Streep in The French Lieutenant’s Woman. From Eastern Point, we headed along Bass Rocks to watch the surf and look at more ducks. We headed on into Rockport, hoping to see harlequin ducks along Marmion Way. There is often a raft of them reported there around this time of year, however we have only ever seen them during storms. From Rockport we continued around the north side of Cape Ann. The scenery is beautiful there, though we rarely see much in the way of ducks on that side of the Cape.
Eastern Point Light
Leon on the jetty
Waves crashing on Bass Rocks
Tomorrow: back home to Chicago.
Duck photos by Leon