Saturday, August 29, 2009

Summertime in Plymouth

I've been having so much fun with the Plymouth Digital Photographers Club this summer I've been remiss on my blogging. Not for lack of photos! I've set up 19 meetups with the group since I started it on June 15th and we are up to 140 members as of today. We had 2 other meetups that were set up and led by assistant organizer Julie. The positive feedback has been great and spurs me on to set up more events.

We've had 2 photo walks that started at the Farmers Market in Plymouth, a great place to photograph. Someone's sweet son was holding a 4 day old goat that the goat cheese farmer brought with her.

Sunrise at Ellisville Harbor.

The same sunrise, we were all so preoccupied taking photos we didn't see the tide rise and lock us in. It was impossible for pregnant Julie to walk the rocks, so Jamie was very gallant and carried her to safety. Julie went into labor an hour after she got home that morning and had a beautiful baby boy that same day. What an adventure!

Julie shooting the sunrise that morning.

Back to the Farmers market... these are a bit out of order... Joe joined us for this event and we stopped off at the Plymouth Yacht Club for a different view of the harbor.

The marina.

View of the yacht club from the marina.

Marina area to hang out.

Pegge and Shawn. Pegge's come a long way since she joined our group, she now has an email address and is learning her way around our site.

The assistants, Rhonda, Julie and Jamie. Pegge next to Jamie.

A lovely house by Plymouth waterfront across from the marina.

The waterfront stores overlooking Plymouth harbor.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Wonders of Nature

The cygnet that the banders saved, see old post, is doing well. I'm always happy to see 3 of the young ones when the family swims by.

The flowers in my yard did so well this year, all that spring rain worked it's magic. Daylilies.

Daylilies and Black Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia)

Butterfly Bush and a beautiful flying insect.

Juvenile Cardinal taking a bath.

Stella D'Oro Daylily that Ting gave me 8 years ago, lovely.

A photo of Milo for Fran, who takes good care of him when we're not around.

Gold Finch.

One of the Blue Heron that is often at our dock fishing.

So sweet! Chipmunk.

Walking to the far area of Plymouth beach with the photo club. 6 miles round trip.

Julie came, too, a real trooper being 9 months pregnant.

Sunset the same day, Plymouth beach, harbor side.

Plymouth beach chamber of commerce photo :-)

Another view of that sunset.


Sunrise at Ellisville Harbor. Our photo club met at 4:30am and walked through the woods to the beach, crazy but lots of fun!

A rare bird landed in our yard on August 6th and we had a lot of visiting birders come to the cottage to see it. It was fun spending time with people I hadn't seen in a while and Ian was very excited to find this 7th MA sighting of the White-winged Dove in our yard! This bird is very common in the South West, but is an uncommon vagrant in our area. Here's the info Ian posted to his list serves so birders could come take a look.


Subject: [MASSBIRD] Manomet White-winged Dove 8/6/09

Date: August 6, 2009 3:29:15 PM EDT


I was looking out my feeders about 20 minutes ago as all the birds at the feeder flushed, and I was like "hey, there's a White-winged Dove..OH GOD there's a White-winged Dove!" It flushed into a tree next to my feeders and is sitting there as I type this.
Anyone who wants to is welcome to chase it, my address is ....., Manomet, MA. I'll be here for the rest of the day today, and some of tomorrow, however I'll be gone for the weekend, so I will not be able to keep tabs on it if it stays. If you do come, please park along the road and knock on the front door. During the time I've been typing this it's started preening, so it seems content.

Good birding,
Ian Davies
Manomet, MA

Birders using our house as a blind. No one was allowed in the yard close to the bird for fear of flushing it.

The scope was set up in the kitchen to get a better look. Jeff and Betty getting a good look.

A note to let people know where to go see the bird when we weren't home.

Taken from A good way for Coffee drinkers to help the birds.

Many of you attended talks by Scott Weidensaul and Kenn Kaufman this past
spring about Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) certified
Bird Friendly shade grown coffee. Their strong and very clear message:
if you want to do the best thing for the migratory songbirds
you love and you drink coffee, buy SMBC certified coffee. This is the
best choice by far for birders who want to make a real difference, and
is the ONLY way to be certain that you are getting the right type of
shade grown coffee, certified as grown on rustic, canopy shaded farms
full of diverse plant and animal species, including birds, and not the
"shade" of monoculture trees that are little different than sun-grown
plantations when it comes to supporting wildlife. Unfortunately, much of
the "shade" grown coffee on the market today fits the latter
category (see excellent article by Scott Weidensaul on the subject on
Bird Observer's web site,

To help make it easier to find SMBC coffee, Massachusetts-based
Birds&Beans LLC, a for-profit company, was formed to exclusively sell
SMBC certified Bird Friendly coffee. At a time when tropical forests are
under attack and coffee farming is becoming a sun or ersatz shade
laden monoculture, SMBC certified Bird Friendly coffee provides our best
hope for habitat protection for the neotropical migrants we care
about. To learn more about SMBC and its stringent certification
criteria, go to

Recently, the Massachusetts Audubon Society (MAS), a leader in bird
conservation since 1896, joined Birds&Beans in their efforts to
provide consumers with coffee that helps stop population declines in
songbirds that migrate to Latin America. By protecting increasingly
rare winter habitat, Bird Friendly coffee farms give shelter and
sustenance to our most beautiful migratory birds of spring and summer:
thrushes, warblers, orioles, tanagers, and more. MAS's Important Bird
Areas Program identifies and protects critical bird habitat in the
Commonwealth. .

You can most easily get Birds&Beans coffee online
(http.// Sample size packets are available at the
Audubon Shop at Drumlin Farm and 12 oz bags are now available at the
Whole Foods in Newtonville (647 Washington Street). Plans are for Whole
Foods in Fresh Pond and River Street, Cambridge, to offer Birds&Beans
coffee. Also it is available at Bird watcher's General Store in Orleans
and at Cambridge Naturals in Porter Sq.

So, PLEASE consider making this very important switch to SMBC coffees.
Join MAS and many others who are supporting Birds&Beans in their
efforts to convince those of us who love our birds of the critical
importance this simple choice can make for them. As we said at the
outset, Birds&Beans is a for-profit company, but they are an example of
an eco-friendly business trying to the right thing for the birds
and the environment and still be a viable business. But above all,
regardless of whether you choose Birds&Beans or some other coffee
brand, if you want to make the biggest difference for the birds, choose
SMBC Bird Friendly certified coffees. Thank you for reading
this and if you would like more information on shade grown coffee feel
free to contact Martha at

Bob Stymeist

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Photo Walks around Plymouth, MA

The Second Annual Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk was July 18th and we all had a great time walking around Plymouth trying to get that winning shot. Here's the group, minus a few stragglers, that spent the morning with cameras around our neck.

Most of these people are in the Photo Club I started in Plymouth. We always have a good time!

Gotta love our pets.

Jenney Grist Mill, one of Plymouth's attractions.

Bill and his family on our walk.

Looking towards Brewster's Gardens.

Mallard from above.
The very famous Plymouth Rock is housed here, where the original pilgrim touched down on land. Or so they say, it does bring tourists to America's Hometown.

Scenic Plymouth, some ship captain's houses from a long time ago.

In front of the Mayflower Society House.

Burial Hill.

A funny guy showing off his underwear! Actually taken at the Boston Common in Boston, but they have some interestingly dressed people in Plymouth, too.

Our Photo Club did a few sunrise shoots in the last 2 weeks, here's one of them on White Horse Beach.

After the sunrise everyone came over for some bagels and tea and to take more photos of the yard and birds.

The Blue Herons have been at our pond frequently, big, beautiful birds.