Thursday, December 31, 2009

Favorite Posts of 2009

fireworks for the New Year!

I guess it is nearly obligatory to recognize your 'best' or 'favorite' posts of the year when wrapping up the year on a blog. I do not want to disappoint. So here goes, the top 10, in no particular order...

10. My First Post. I had high hopes when I first started the blog. Most importantly, I wanted to post most everyday. Although I have missed a handful of days, for the most part I attained that goal. This first post reflects some of the best of the CapeMay internet world, including great photos and CapeMay.Com, the granddaddy and best Cape May site of them all.

9. John Hughes passes away. Most every pop cultural landmark I can think of somehow intersects with Cape May, at least in my memory. This post is a good example of that.

8. History Project. Through the miracle of internet archives, I plan to post old news articles about Cape May from time to time. I've already done it afew times, as you can see in this old post about a NY Times story published in the 1890s. One of my favorite aspects of the blog, but also one of the most time consuming.

7. Presenting...the Ivory Gull! The Ivory Gull took over all Cape May news in early December. This is just one post of many. The excitement over this little visitor from the Arctic was palpable!

6. Other Bloggers. Getting to know other bloggers a little bit has been a fun byproduct of running this site. There are many worth mentioning, but this post from last summer notes a Rutgers paleontologist who also writes about Cape May.

5. The Sinking of the Lady Mary. There were a number of sailors lost this year off Cape May, but the story of the Lady Mary has captured my attention. The story of its sinking is mysterious. I look forward (hopefully) to seeing the mystery unravel over the next year, and plan to post about it whenever the story hits the news. These blog posts also were the most searched-for, iirc.

4. Admiral Memories. The Christian Admiral looms large in my memories of Cape May. I found a blogger who told stories about working at the Admiral during the summer of '71. This blog post of mine is the second of two posts that linked to his blog. If you like human stories, check both this link and the first post where I linked to him, as well. Reverend McIntyre may be gone, but he is certainly not forgotten, as these blog posts attest.

3. Christmas Video. I enjoyed putting this video/slideshow together, which captures many of the blog's photos from over the year. I also learned how to post to youtube as a bonus, in order to get the video to actually work on the blogsite!

2.My Mom. After a courageous battle with ALS, my mom, Maureen Miller, passed away in early Summer. She loved Cape May as much as I did; and she is very missed. Love you, Mom.

1. Cooking with Persnickety Chef Part 2 and Part 1. I have to pick two posts as my favorite of the year, in that both posts were about the same occasion. Having read Cape May Magazine since its inception, and read CapeMay.Com (its precursor) since it began, it was a natural for me to often link to the great stories and photos the editor and writers put together over there. I don't know what motivated me to want to cook with CapeMay.Com's Persnickety Chef, but in these two blogposts I document my family's fun times whipping together a bunch of recipes the Chef has shared with his loyal readers over the years. My wife, children and I had a blast making this food, and even more fun eating it! And at least in terms of the blog, the nicest thing to happen all year was CapeMay.Com actually linked to these posts from there Facebook page, which led to by far the most hits I had all year.

...and there it is. The top posts of the year. Very exciting :-) ... see you in the New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Great News for the New Year!

A few days ago I posted worrisome news that the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts ("MAC") was in financial trouble. Well, today I received great news via email from MAC.. and the email reads,

Dear Friends of MAC:

While living in Europe in 1897, writer Mark Twain discovered that an American newspaper had erroneously reported his death. Responding to that story in his inimitable style, Twain wrote the often-quoted phrase, "Reports of my death are grossly exaggerated."

For those of our friends who read a recent story in the Philadelphia Inquirer, we would say the same thing.

The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) is not in imminent danger of "folding," as the story reported. 2009 has admittedly been a challenging and difficult year for us at MAC, as it has been for countless organizations and individuals around the country. The tourism industry, as well as the arts and history community of which we are a part, has been severely tested by the economy. Budget cuts have had an impact on all of us, as we saw dwindling resources and escalating costs.

The good news, however, is that we have received word that state funding for the arts and history community, frozen in recent months, has been released and all of us can breathe a little easier.

Even before that news, however, we have been doing what countless other businesses and organizations have done to meet these challenges: We have found new ways to continue meeting the needs of our visitors and our community. Despite the economy and coping with cutbacks in staffing, in 2009 MAC not only introduced several new tours and events, but also marked a major historic milestone with the opening of the World War II Tower.

As an organization, MAC and its staff will continue to change and grow. We know that Cape May has a special place in the hearts of the area's residents and visitors, and we will continue to do our best to make your Cape May experience a memorable one. Continuing our role as a leader in historic preservation and cultural tourism will happen, thanks to people like you. We hope we can count on your continued support through your membership, donations, and participation in MAC's tours and events. For more information about how you can help MAC, click here. We look forward to seeing you in Cape May in 2010.


B. Michael Zuckerman, Ph.D.

GREAT NEWS!!! The continued success of MAC is important for the continued vitality of Cape May.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

New Year's Eve Planning...

Looking for something to do on New Year's? If you are near Cape May, then I suggest you check out one of THESE EVENTS... if my wife and I were there, we'd be at Congress Hall, I suspect!

Have a good and quiet work week!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Video (& other news)

I know that the video I posted on Christmas Eve did not work at first; however, it is working now so if you still have not seen it please look at this LINK in order to watch.

In other, more important news...

Mid-Atlantic Center in trouble? Let's hope not!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas from your Cape May Blogger

I don't think teenagers appreciate solo piano much, or at least this teenager didn't. But as I walked through the Washington Street Mall with some friends on a mid-1980s July Saturday night, I heard the most beautiful music streaming out the speakers of what I believe was the Whale's Tale. Christmas music, of all things, in July. That did not matter to me -- what mattered was its beauty. Since that night, I've loved George Winston's music, even if my grandfather found it "repetitive." My mother also loved George Winston, after I introduced her to his music later that summer. She had the privilege to see Winston in concert several years ago, a treat I have not yet experienced. Anyway, I could think of no better way to celebrate my first Cape May Blog Christmas than to combine that beautiful Christmas music with many of the amazing photos I've posted or plucked from the wilds of the Internet, all related to Cape May. Merry Christmas to you, and thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cape May (Snowy) Times

Cape May Times, a site I do not visit as often as I should, has more wonderful snowy photos HERE, a collection which includes the photo above. They give a great 'you-are-there' description of Cape May following the snow storm that is a treat to read.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

White Christmas

...photo from the Herald

Capemay.com has some wonderful Cape May under snow photos right HERE.

and the Cape May County Herald has even more wintry photos (from Cape May County as opposed to Cape May proper) right HERE.

Merry Christmas. I hope to have a special post up for Christmas by late tomorrow. We shall see.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mike Crewe, brit bird blogger, shows us a Wintry Cape May

Mike Crewe, a Brit birding blogger in Cape May whom I've linked to before, comes through with many, many photos of Cape May covered with snow. You won't believe how many birds he's pictured, and there's a story behind almost every photo. Check it out! The two photos above are just a couple of the many great shots... thanks, Mike!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow in Cape May

Thank you to Bernie Haas of CapeMay.Com for this wonderful photo of what those of us not in Cape May are missing!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas is Coming

Cape May Christmas photos, and a nice story, at THIS LINK.

If you're like me, then I wish you HAPPY SHOPPING TODAY!

Friday, December 18, 2009

In News from Nearby...

One of my favorite rides in the background, 3 of my 4 favorite children in the foreground!

Yes, yes, I know it's not Cape May, but no trip to Cape May is complete without one visit to the second best boardwalk at the Jersey shore. I look forward to seeing what the Morey brothers have in store for us on Mariner's Landing! Check out the AC Press link for more information... Morey's Piers keeping new attraction a mystery - pressofAtlanticCity.com : Cape May County

Posted using ShareThis

Thursday, December 17, 2009

new TV show

I know several Jersey Shore bloggers -- like Jen Miller -- don't like the new TV show, "The Jersey Shore," or whatever it's called. I haven't seen it, doubt I will. Nevertheless, in reading this New York Times article about the show, I admit I laughed. Here's a funny snippet:

• Cologne, Application of Cologne should be applied with a minimum of four squirts, though up to eight is acceptable. Each wrist receives a full squirt while the chest area and neck can sustain four to five equally spaced squirts.

I knew many people like the young people described in this article when I spent summers in Cape May as a teen. Was every Italian like this? Of course not! But I loved the ones who were. Perhaps if I saw the show I'd be outraged, but I doubt it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pastor Rudy Nails It Again

Pastor Rudy Sheptock of the Lighthouse Church of Cape May has a great Christmas message at the Cape May County Herald for most everyone. Since the links are not working, I'll share the piece with you here:

Speaking in the Light - 12-9

By Pastor Rudy

The fastest growing religion in the world is not Christianity or Islam. The symbol of this rising faith is not the Star, the Crescent, or the Cross, but the dollar sign. This expanding belief system is called Radical Consumerism.

It promises transcendence, power, pleasure and fulfillment even as it demands complete devotion. But unfortunately, I do not believe that it delivers upon that which it promises and leaves too many of its followers dying broke.

Now before you say that I am not fully knowledgeable about that of which I am talking about, let me ask a simple question. Where is your heart today? For whether a person craves prestige, wealth, security or amusement, or whether a person lives for God, country, science or plunder, that person is demonstrating a faith and showing confidence in something.

Find out what an individual gives his or her deepest loyalty to and you have found their religion. It matters not so much what people may say with their mouths as much as it depends upon what they do with their actions.

Take a look at the world that we presently live in. What does the soul of our society seem most deeply committed to? And the sad reality is that I don’t think that most individuals are even aware that their deepest commitments are to stuff that could never return the attention they receive. Loving inanimate objects is a lousy way to invest a heart. If what you presently love can’t love you back, then it is truly time for you to reinvest your most valuable asset.

Let me ask you another question. What is it that you really want out of Christmas? Christmas can still be a world-changing- heart renewing event if we keep our focus upon what happened in Bethlehem and ignore what is happening on Madison Avenue. Do you know that every year some 450 billion dollars are spent on Christmas alone?

Sixteen billion dollars are forked over just on decorations. And every citizen of the good old USA spends on average of about $850 dollars for gifts. And when it is all said and done, too many are left with presents to return, looming debt that will take months to pay off and the empty feeling that somewhere along the way we missed arriving at the real destination.

When did a holy day that is supposed to celebrate the birth of a Savior become a time of anxiety, crowds, headaches, lists and impossible expectations? What if most of the Americans who presently profess to be believers in Jesus actually traded in their season of stress for a season of celebration and unbelievable memories with those that they love?

For consumerism to be successful, its customer must be dissatisfied. While a salesman sometimes spouts off to you that “this will be the last item you will ever need to buy,” we should know better. There will always be just “one more thing,” that we need to be successful or happy or complete. I don’t think the problem is that we necessarily want more, it is just that what we want, we can’t buy, but we try anyway.

According to the Scriptures, Christians believe that the most important gifts in this world are not the things that we can see or touch. What if this Christmas, instead of pursuing the latest gadgets and most comfortable lifestyles, we became pilgrims like the Magi? What if we were willing to leave behind our ease in order to witness and worship something infinitely better?

In our hearts we know that consumerism is not the way to honor the birth of Jesus. Could opting out of our cultural Christmas give us the chance to worship fully and love like we were created to do so? Might it be that the King of kings is more powerful and more worthy of our devotion and attention than the idols of consumerism? Are we willing to spend less, and give so that we may actually receive more of all that matters most?

God’s greatest gift to us was not a gift card to the mall! He actually offered to us Himself. He sacrificed His very best to offer us a relationship built upon the foundation of everlasting love. So, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that this is why we are drawn at this time of the year to love our friends and family in the most memorable ways possible.

Time is the real treasure of Christmas. It can’t be found in a store catalogue or at a midnight price buster extravaganza. It is found in being not doing. What gift of yourself could you give that could turn into the next family heirloom?

Is it time to write Mom or Dad a letter? Is it time to go play football with your kids out on the lawn and not in front of a simulated video screen? Is it time to visit a nursing home to bake really good cookies or sing really bad Christmas carols?
If you want to reclaim Christmas this year, then you must make your love visible through relational giving.

It will result in something a whole lot better than a sweater you will never wear anyway. When Jesus loved, He loved in ways never imagined before. Though He was rich, He became poor to love the poor and forgotten to remember those who were still special and He noticed the overlooked and comforted the sick.

By spending less at Christmas on ourselves to buy that which we don’t really need, it gives us the chance to be used in providing resources to help those who need it the most! By buying one less gift so you could invest yourself in being God’s instrument to meet a real need may sound insignificant, but I believe it puts you more in tune with the One whose birthday it is that we truly celebrate. And just like Jesus, we can offer light in the darkness and hope in the midst of despair.

Can Christmas still change the world? I believe it can if we are willing to drop everything that we have been stuffing in our arms so that we can be open to what God wants to do in our hearts. For I have learned that when God changes one heart, everyone around them benefits from that transformation too. I invite you to enter the story of Advent this season with an overwhelming passion to run to the manger and leave the mall behind!

As always, Rudy, thank you for the great thoughts.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Worth Watching

This video about the Fall 2009 migration through Cape May is well worth watching. Take five minutes out of your day when you need a break and drink it in.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ivory Gull: LIVE!

The funny thing about this video (or one of the funny things) is that it confirms for me something I had wondered: if I had seen this amazing Ivory Gull while spending some time in Cape May, would I have figured it was just another sea gull?

This video makes me realize the answer to that question is definitely, YES!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hello? Anyone Home?

Exit Zero reported a few weeks ago that the state Department of Environmental Protection (D.E.P.) has put a roadblock up for the new Convention Hall. In order to make the D.E.P. happy, the City plans to move Convention Hall closer to Beach Drive and then route the boardwalk around the Hall, jutting the boardwalk out into Beach Drive....

Hel-lo? Anyone home up there in Cape May County? Why isn't this making news in Cape May beyond a small mention in Exit Zero?????

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cape May at Christmas

The bloggers at the John F. Craig House invite you to spend some Christmas-time with them. Sounds like a good idea to me! Wish I wasn't 18 hours away!

As the Beach Theatre Turns

Jack Fichter at the Cape May County Herald gives us a very interesting update on the soap opera that is the Beach Theatre:

HPC to Rehear Demolition Application for Beach Theatre

By Jack Fichter

CAPE MAY — The city’s Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) will rehear an application for demolition of the Beach Theatre by its owners, Frank Theatres in January.

Bruce Frank, president and CEO of Frank Theatres, told the Herald a new application has been filed. He said he hoped that HPC would follow the law and “discharge their obligations in an unbiased manner.”
A contract was issued for asbestos removal from the Beach Theatre, said Frank. He said the theater will not reopen.

“I would hope that the vision from the city and from the members of the HPC would be outside the scope of personal emotions and deal with what will look good there 20 years from now,” said Frank.

HPC and the Beach Theatre have a complicated history that includes refusing a demolition certificate in 4-3 vote in May 2007 and then voting again and issuing a certificate in July 2007 when an issue was raised that HPC Chairperson Mary Ann Gaffney’s husband was part of the Save the Beach Theatre Foundation. She recused herself from the second vote and alternate Commissioner Wayne Copeland cast a “yes” vote for demolition.

That certificate was good for one year.
It appeared to have been extended until July 1, 2010 when Gov. Jon Corzine created the Permit Extension Act (PEA) of 2008.
City Solicitor Tony Monzo confirmed resident Jean Powick’s discovery last month that a certificate extension through PEA did not apply to the City of Cape May because it is classified by the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) as an environmentally sensitive area which is exempt from PEA.
That left Frank Theatres with an expired certificate.

A new approval for demolition may be an uphill climb for Frank Theatres. Since the first certificate for demolition was approved both the city’s HPC and Planning Board have deemed the Beach Theatre as a key historic structure. City Council has the option of confirming it as such and passing an ordinance which would make a new approval from HPC for demolition unlikely.

In June 2007, HPC voted 4-1 not to reopen a hearing on the matter that would have examined a report by preservationist Joan Berkey indicating the Beach Theatre may be eligible for the state and national registers of historic places.
The existence of Berkey’s report was not known to the HPC when it voted to issue a demolition permit in May 2007.

Before the demolition certificate was declared expired by the city, demolition was scheduled to begin last month.
Frank said while the Jersey coast has a tremendous amount of history, it also has a tremendous amount of progress. He said there are numerous locations where an older structure once was located.

He said foresight is needed to look beyond this year or the next and look ahead 20 years. Frank questioned if the city wanted people to point to the Beach Theatre in the future and remark that it has been closed for 20 years.

If a demolition certificate is issued, Frank said he would spend 2010 in the permit process and start construction in mid 2011 with the project completed by 2013.
The project received preliminary site plan approval from Cape May’s Planning Board to build six, three-bedroom condominiums above nine existing retail stores fronting on Beach Avenue.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

And Now for Something Completely Different

Now here's an idea that never once even occurred to me:

Earl Stauffer was exhausted as he swam steadily toward Cape Henlopen. He had been in the water for over 12 hours, and his goal was in sight; but Stauffer's strength was failing him. Reluctantly, he gave up and signaled his handlers to pull him out of the water. Stauffer's third attempt to swim from Cape May to Cape Henlopen had ended in failure. Stauffer wanted to be the first to complete the marathon swim across the mouth of the Delaware Bay; but he was two decades too late.

In the early years of the 20th century, America was learning how to swim. In Philadelphia, New York and other big cities, swim clubs were established to teach the latest strokes; and neophyte swimmers flocked to Rehoboth and other coastal resorts to test their aquatic skills in Atlantic surf. In addition, long distance swimming became a spectator sport. As cheering onlookers urged them on, long-distance swimmers tested their skill and stamina by swimming for miles in the waters near Philadelphia, New York and Boston. In addition to the cash prizes that were sometimes offered to the winners of the long distance contests, swimmers looked for notable waterways to conquer that would add to their prestige. In June 1912, Charles R. Durborow arrived in Cape May, where he planned to swim across the mouth of Delaware Bay to Cape Henlopen.

Durborow was a 29-year old Philadelphia bank clerk who was considered one of the best of the long distance swimmers. Durborow had mastered the trudgeon stroke, which was also known as the racing or East Indian stroke. While doing the trudgeon stroke, the swimmer combined the overhand movement of the arms with a scissors kick and rhythmic breathing. Using the trudgeon stroke required the swimmer to keep his head in the water most of the time; and in the early 20th century, this radical practice made the trudgeon one of the most difficult strokes to learn. Those, like Durborow who had perfected this stroke, were able to swim for hours before they were exhausted.

Durborow would need all of his strength to swim across the mouth of the bay. Although the distance was about a dozen miles or so, the tide-generated currents would be equal to an estimated 20 miles in still water. Captain F. R. Brewer of the Lewes, Delaware Maritime Exchange, had written to Durborow to warn him that many believed that the swift tides that a swimmer would encounter made the swim impossible. Brewer, however, advised Durborow that if he started when the tide was ebbing and avoided the Cape May shoals, he might be successful.

Before arriving at Cape May, Durborow had spent a week training at Atlantic City; and at daybreak on Sunday, June 30, the Philadelphia bank clerk entered the water near Cape May. As he left the New Jersey shore, Durborow was accompanied by a large power launch that carried his coach, a doctor, a sportswriter and a number of supporters.

Using the trudgeon stroke, Durborow kept his body low in the water and steadily made his way across the bay. As steamers and sailing vessels passed by, the swimmer doggedly edged closer to the Delaware shore. After over 14 hours in the water, Durborow finally reached the sandy beach of Cape Henlopen.

For Durborow, the swim across the mouth of the Delaware Bay crowned a stellar athletic career; and he decided to retire.

As with many athletes, Durborow did not stay retired. The next year, the New York Times reported: "Charles Durborow, the Philadelphia swimmer, who has to his credit the greatest feat of endurance in the water ever performed in America -- 43 miles across Delaware Bay in 14 hours and 35 minutes -- is willing to accept the statement of Samuel Richards of Boston that he is an amateur and wants to meet him in order to settle the question of national supremacy in distance swimming."

Although Durborow and others would continue their long distance swimming, the start of World War I in 1914 lessened the public's interest in such events. Following the war, the Roaring '20s brought a building boom to the Delaware coast; and by 1931, when Earl Stauffer began his third attempt to swim across the mouth of the bay, the accomplishment by Durborow had been forgotten by the people of the Cape region.

In reporting on Stauffer's failed effort, the Delaware Coast News published a somewhat garbled account of Durborow's feat: "According to reports in Lewes and Rehoboth there are no official records of Charles Durborow, of Philadelphia, making the swim in the year 1927 in the alleged time of 14 hours and 35 minutes. Several newspaper write-ups of this swim give Mr. Durborow credit for this time. The only recollection in the minds of the citizens of Lewes and Rehoboth of any man making the swim was about 40 years ago when a man landed near the Cedars at Lewes and claimed that he had taken off from the Jersey shore to be the first man to make the swim.

Margaret Montet writes about Cape May

Margaret Montet, who I've linked to BEFORE, has posted some short reviews of some of her favorite

Cape May-area restaurants. Although most are familiar, there are a few I'll bet you didn't know.

Besides this nice new post, I had missed another Cape May-related post of hers from LAST MONTH, full of beautiful photos like the one above.

Thanks, Margaret!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

All Ivory, All the Time!

Some intrepid birding bloggers have documented there trips to Cape May to see the Ivory Gull, and everyone appears to be successful in seeing him! Click HERE and also THERE and also OVER HERE, and for that matter, HERE TOO to read about how far some people have driven to see the celebrity bird, or how special the day the gull showed up actually was to those who lived it.

Monday, December 7, 2009

More attention than Hollywood Stars!

The Cape May Ivory Gull-- photographed more than Tiger Woods and Angelina Jolie!

JUST CLICK HERE to see what I'm talking about... the dude's a celebrity!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

More About the Ivory Gull

From the Atlantic City Press:

LOWER TOWNSHIP — Business is slow at Wayne Forsythe’s plumbing business in Hendersonville, N.C., which gives him more time lately for his hobby — birding.
While scouring the Internet for recent sightings, an ivory gull caught his attention.
Click here to view the photo gallery
Ivory gulls have a population of 24,000 worldwide, according to the National Audubon Society. But they are rarely seen, spending virtually their entire lives in the Arctic or following polar bears on pack ice in the Bering and Labrador seas.
This one — first seen Nov. 27 — was begging fish scraps at a Cape May County marina.
Forsythe did a mental cost-benefit analysis about closing shop and chasing the bird, which would be No. 666 on his list of lifetime species seen.
“Probably, the bird would be gone the next day. But when I got no calls for work, I said to hell with it,” he said.
At 4:08 a.m. Wednesday, he headed north. He figured he could call New Jersey Audubon a few hours later when its observatory opened and see if the bird was still there. If not, he could go home, wasting only a few dollars in gas.
But the bird was not gone. And at 3:20 p.m., after driving 11 hours, Forsythe pulled into the Bree-Zee-Lee Yacht Basin in Lower Township.
He and a handful of other birders watched sport fishermen filet enormous striped bass at the marina’s cleaning station while other gulls clamored for scraps. After a few moments, Forsythe spotted a distinctive snow-white bird with flecks of black.
The gull circled overhead and landed just a few yards away.
The ivory gull has generated enormous interest from birders across the region. On a freezing, rain-soaked Saturday, the Norwood Center at New Jersey Audubon was packed with out-of-state birders who were stocking up on new tripods, optics and bird guides.
“We’ve had people from Oklahoma, West Virginia, Ohio and Maryland,” store manager Gail Wilson said. “All because of the ivory gull.”
The bird was a good tiding for the local economy as birders took advantage of nearby restaurants and hotels.
Birding friends Noah Kahn, of Silver Spring, Md., and Kari Cohen, of Washington, D.C., had lunch at George’s Place in Cape May before making the slog back to Maryland.
Cohen last year flew to Providence, R.I., and drove a rental car up to Plymouth, Mass., last year in search of an ivory gull, but missed that bird by a day. He was luckier Saturday.
Local hotels such as the Blue Fish Inn in Cape May reported seeing more guests with binoculars and cameras.
“I believe (the bird) has helped the local economy,” Blue Fish Manager Natale Chew said. “We don’t see that many rare birds this late in the season. Having so many birders here in December is a rarity.”
Birders spend an estimated $10 million per year in Cape May County alone, Freiday said. This is part of the estimated $12 billion American birders spend each year, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
For many birders, this pigeon-sized gull with black doll eyes was a “life bird,” seen once and probably for the last time.
“This bird is like a drug. It is incredibly beautiful,” said Don Freiday, director of bird programs for New Jersey Audubon.
The sighting is the first ever recorded in Cape May County and the first ivory gull to be seen in New Jersey in 23 years, he said.
On Wednesday, Freiday estimated that 1,000 birders had come to see it.
Freiday said he shivered one frigid morning while watching the bird, too afraid to leave it to grab a coat from his car. The bird is especially meaningful because of its uncertain future. Climate change could spell disaster for Arctic species, he said.
“I said to my children, ‘This is the last one you’ll see in your lifetime,’” he said.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

Interesting Art Work

The blog Barking Bird has unusual paintings of the ocean at Cape May for sale. Above and below you may find some examples. Check his site out!

P.S., as I thought, I had linked to this artist before: Click Here for another example of his artwork. ...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Jack Fichter is one of my favorite Cape May writers today. He covers Cape May like nobody else; almost every article he writes for the Cape May County Herald addresses the community in a way that I think shows how special Cape May is. Today's article (click for the link) about a storm last night in Cape May is no different. The story includes the photo above -- and you can't expect much more than a photo of an insanely gorgeous Poverty Beach sunrise on the very day the sun rose in that photo (probably no more than two hours ago)!

Thank you, Jack!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ivory Gull Rocks Cape May-o-sphere

More on the Ivory Gull visitor to Cape May HERE.

Cape May Used to Demonstrate Global Warming?

This photo (said to be "near Cape May") is used at THIS LINK (scroll down a bit after clicking) to support the hypothesis that man is creating global warming which threatens our coastlines. Anyone know where this photo was taken? Perhaps on the Delaware side of the Ferry's course? It doesn't look like the Cape May side to me, although I could be wrong. Interesting.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Ivory Gull

There is much blog chatter, for example HERE and HERE, about a very rare bird sighting in Cape May over the last week. Here is a BLURB about this most interesting Cape May visitor:

The Ivory Gull Pagophila eburnea is a small gull, the only species in its genus. It breeds in the high arctic and has a circumpolar distribution through Greenland, northernmost North America, and Eurasia.

It migrates only short distances south in autumn, most of the population wintering in northern latitudes at the edge of the pack ice, although some birds reach more temperate areas.

This species is easy to identify. At 43 cm (17 in), it has a different, more pigeon-like shape than the Larus gulls, but the adult has completely white plumage, lacking the grey back of other gulls. The thick bill is blue with a yellow tip, and the legs are black. Its cry is a harsh eeeer. Young birds have a dusky face and variable amounts of black flecking in the wings and tail. The juveniles take two years to attain full adult plumage.

Ivory Gull breeds on Arctic coasts and cliffs, laying one to three olive eggs in a ground nest lined with moss, lichens, or seaweed. It takes fish and crustaceans, rodents, eggs and small chicks but is also an opportunist scavenger, often found on seal or porpoise corpses. It has been known to follow polar bears and other predators to feed on the remains of their kills.

Thank you to birding blogger Phil Jeffrey for the great photo of the Ivory Gull in Cape May you see above.