Daily Archives: June 12, 2008

Nantucket Film Festival Update

William H. Macy will be attending the 13th Annual Nantucket Film Festival, taking place here from June 19 through the 22nd. The Academy Award-nominated, double Emmy, and SAG Award-winning actor has appeared in such films as Bobby, Seabiscuit, Magnolia, Boogie Nights, and Fargo, and will talk about screenwriting and acting with Time Magazine critic Richard Corliss in the In Their Shoes program.

Morning Coffee With returns with host this year the film critic Leonard Maltin. And for the first time, the Festival will present the Music Café and Panel, featuring Aware/Columbia artist Mat Kearny, who released his major label debut “Nothing Left to Lose” in April 2006. Mr. Kearny will be performing his songs that have been heard on Grey’s Anatomy and Friday Night Lights at the Straight Wharf Restaurant. His set will be followed by a discussion on how songs find their way into films and television. Other participants will be East Coast Creative and EMI Publishing Vice President Dan McCarroll, and Aware Records/Asquared Management President Gregg Latterman.

The theme for Late-Night Storytelling this year is “I Should Be Committed,” or stories that make you wonder if you’re going crazy. Performing will be both invited guests and randomly chosen audience members.

As previously announced, Judd Apatow will receive the NBC Universal Screenwriting Award, with presenter Paul Rudd. Meg Ryan will receive the Compass Rose Acting Tribute, given to an actor who has reached a level that inspires writers to create roles specifically for them. Read the earlier story.

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The Gallery at Four India



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Birds Around Us on Nantucket

Candelita

By Kenneth Turner Blackshaw

If you’ve been truly bitten by the birding bug, you spend hours pouring over the bird guides, oohing and aahing at this bird and that, and one bird is probably on your most-wanted list. Some of the ‘ooh aah’ birds prove disappointments when seen in real life. Their colors are muted or their behavior not satisfying. Not so with this species, it is an overachiever.

This is the American Redstart, known in Latin as Setophaga ruticilla, the ‘red-tailed moth-eater.’ My first experience with this species, actually a wood warbler, goes back to the early 1950s when it was possible to journey from the Madaket Road to the Hummock Pond Road on a magical lane known as Hawthorn Road. The dirt road wound through a marvelous forest of hawthorn trees. These formed a vicious and impenetrable thicket with their mighty thorns. It was here that my mentor, Edith Andrews, had told me to look for redstarts. I rode along on my bike until I heard a song that was new to me. It sounded a bit like a Yellow Warbler, but different.

Listen to the song.

After I made some spishing sounds into the bushes, out came the songster. Here was my first redstart, a male clad in flashy orange and black, smaller than I expected, and continually in motion.

Indeed that’s what strikes you about redstarts. Their diet is one hundred percent insects and many of those are caught on the wing. So the birds continually dart this way and that, and as they do, they create a kaleidoscope of color. They are mostly jet black above, but there are brilliant orange panels in their wings and tail that they display by fanning their tails, letting a wing droop or extend. It is as if they are using their colors to confuse the insects they are trying to catch. Occasionally they drop like a spinning orange and black leaf toward the ground, following a caterpillar or other prey they have dislodged.

Bird books show redstarts frozen in an illustration, but seeing them in real life adds another dimension. Of course, up to now, we’ve been discussing what an adult male American Redstart looks like. The females and young birds follow the same color pattern, but in grays, olive greens, and yellows. But the behavior is the same. On our island, you probably see five ‘yellowstarts’ for every redstart. But it just makes the males more appreciated when they do show up.

On Nantucket, these are warm season birds, common when migrating north in May, and south, August through October. They are rare in mid-summer but they are one of the six warbler species that nest here regularly. This year they are only being reported out near the end of the Wauwinet Road, but other years they have nested on Polpis Harbor Road and near the Hidden Forest. They probably still nest in the aforementioned stand of hawthorns.

American Redstarts are true neo-tropical migrants. That is, all of them depart south from the U.S. In Cuba, they are abundant in winter and a local favorite, known as ‘Candelita’ – ‘Little Torch.’ But they are also common throughout Central and Northern South America. They are such a favorite in many countries that they have been chosen as the symbol for the organization ‘Partners in Flight.’ Their mission is to bring people’s attention to the needs of these tiny mites of color who make the dangerous flight over thousands of miles from the tropics up into our area and then back every year.

Redstarts continue to sing on territory until their young are fledged in mid-July. If you are fortunate enough to catch one in song (even the females sing occasionally), the whole bird seems to vibrate in cadence to the melody. After nesting, the birds disperse and the fall migration starts. They gradually become more common here, but in the fall you must think ‘yellow’ rather than ‘red.’ It’s mostly the hatch year birds that follow the coastal migration route. If you see a tiny bird, flashing yellow and gray as it chases something through the shrubbery of your garden, you have found a redstart. They are easily seen until the end of October and a few into November, although this species has never been found on our Christmas Bird Counts.

George C. West creates illustrations for these articles.

The Maria Mitchell Association sponsors bird walks every Saturday, leaving at 8 a.m., and on Tuesday and Thursday, starting at 6:30 a.m., all leaving from the Hinchman House on at the corner of Milk and Vestal St. There is a fee. Call 228-9198 for more information.

Ken Blackshaw is the author of more than ten books focusing mainly on natural history subjects. He writes the weekly bird column for the Nantucket Independent, and has just published Volume Three of his “A Year of Birding Nantucket” series.

Originally published in the Nantucket Independent, June 25, 2004

Company of the Cauldron

Nantucket Artists Association Sidewalk Art Show

The Artists Association of Nantucket Sidewalk Art Show took place on Saturday, May 24 in the parking lot of the Dreamland Theater, the first of many initiative planned by the Dreamland Foundation to partner with island organizations to foster the arts.

The first Sidewalk Art Sale was founded in 1930 by artist Maud Stumm, and was traditionally held for several days in August, and open to professionals and amateurs alike. The Artists Association took over the event in 1960, and in subsequent years, some of which were sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, the Sidewalk Art Show venues included Straight Wharf, the Town Building, and the Atheneum.

I stopped by for a few minutes, or so I thought, but kept running into old friends, and a few minutes turned into more than an hour. Almost all the artists I spoke with were happy with the attendance and sales. I asked if it could happen more aoften than once a year, and most felt it could and should. I hope so.

I didn’t have my camera with me, so I asked Robert Frazier, Gallery Director, to send me a few.

Oran Mor

Nantucket Wine Festival Opening Reception

The 12th Annual Nantucket Wine Festival opened on Wednesday, May 14th with a reception at the White Elephant.

Some of the people we saw there: Denis Toner, Dorothy Slover, Judy Waters, Khaled Hashem, Nicole Bousquet Worden, Michael Gaillard, Libby Oldham, Richard Campbell, Ellie O’Keefe, Tanya Jones, Bill Tramposch, Dave Murphy, Andrea Murphy, Marjo Biddinger, John Biddinger, Kirra Lea Nilson, Anna Marie Collins, Jim Sulzer on guitar, Maria Parko, Irina Chelnova, Phil Stambaugh, Bob Lamb, Kim Corkran, Charles and Karen Duponte, Lilly Fitzgerald, Franklin P. DeMarco Jr., Mark Donato, Frank Spriggs, Kristen Weber, Ray Coursen, Maria Helm, Alexandria, Rob, and Ella Sinskey, Azra Wilmot-Smith, Diane Asche, Troy Ellen Dixon, Donna Hamel, Sophie Davies and Haley Kinerson, Susan and Sam Chambers, John and Susan Trudel, Frank Neer, Craig and Sara Callahan, Tedo Van Buskirk, Lyman Perry, Michel & Martine Anglada, Tom Sollas, Janie and Gene Goodwillie, Carolina Lorenzo, Audrey Wagner, Maeve Markey, Fifi Greenberg, Dan Lynch, Emily Cande, Michael Cain, Amanda Morgan, Chuck Gifford, Andrew Smith, Cecil Barron Jensen, Beth Davies, Vivian and Ted Steinbock, Mark Goldweitz, Kerry Hallam, and David Kuhn. Photographs by Gene Mahon, assisted by Mai Linh Norton.


Wine Fest


Wine Fest


Wine Fest


Wine Fest


Wine Fest


Wine Fest

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Wine Fest


Wine Fest


Wine Fest


Wine Fest


Wine Fest

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Click here for more photos of this event and photos of other recent events. For older photos, go to the Mahon About Town Photo Pages.

Nantucket Airport Day



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Nantucket Wine Festival 2


Wine Fest


Wine Fest


Wine Fest


Wine Fest


Wine Fest


Wine Fest

Click on any photo to order a print. If you reach a dead link, click here.


Wine Fest


Wine Fest


Wine Fest


Wine Fest


Wine Fest

If you see anyone you know in these photos, please forward the newsletter and encourage your friends to subscribe. You can forward to as many people as you want at the very end of each newsletter by clicking the “Forward email” link. (Forwarding through your email program will not work.)

Click here for more photos of this event and photos of other recent events. For older photos, go to the Mahon About Town Photo Pages.

Yack

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