Salem’s Fourth of July in 130 Seconds

Yes, I’m always raving about the wonderful fireworks that we have here in Salem but do I ever get a photo of them? No way! ¬†I try, but I’m just not there yet. So here’s a great video of our 4th of July celebration as it unfolds. If you look closely your sure to see Michael and the kids walking on the wharf ūüėČ . ¬†Next post will be about gardening, I promise! ¬† ¬†Enjoy! ¬†Michele


The Mystery Rose, Revealed!

IMG_1680In my travels this weekend  I saw the mystery rose. It was everywhere I looked, including all over Winter Island and even up at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester.

IMG_1679A little research identified it as the multiflora rose which is considered an invasive species. According to the National Park Service it was originally introduced into the eastern Us in 1866 as root stalk for ornamental roses, then it was used for erosion control and to contain livestock. The plant eventually became a problem because it reseeds and spreads aggressively, taking over space where it’s not wanted. The funny thing is that I see it appearing as a very welcome member of borders and gardens everywhere I look this week. ¬†I’ve been watching it establish itself in that border of ours for the past couple of years and I was kind of taken with it. ¬†¬†I was even thinking about joining the people who trellised it before I started my research. My learning curve is endless, what can I say?


So the question is, is this a weed to me? I kind of think so. I need to work on that side of the yard (but you know how snakey it is, and how much I hate those things). Maybe this will be the last straw that inspires me to get in there to clean it up and reconfigure everything. I think I’m going to have to before “my pretty little rose” takes over and invades the whole garden.

What do you think? What would you do?


Salem 101: A Walk on Derby Wharf

Here in Salem we have access to ocean air and history all year round. One of the best places to experience this is out on Derby Wharf. It’s a great place to walk and play. The wharf is located¬†right on Derby Street and is¬†part of the Salem Maritime National Historic Site

Pedrick’s Store House is the only building on the wharf. Historically the wharf was lined with warehouses like this that stored goods that came in on ships from all over the world. This building is originally from Marblehead and was moved to Derby Wharf a few years ago.
Next stop on the right is the Friendship, the centerpiece of the historic site, if not the whole city! Friendship is a fully rigged ship that was built by the National Park Service with the support of the Salem Partnership. She provides lots of educational opportunities for visitors from near and far. ¬†Everyone loves the ship! ¬†(Does anyone know this guy on the bike?) ¬†ūüėČShe really is a work of art. Did you know that ships are always referred to as “she’s”? ¬†I’m going to have to research this and do a post on why that’s so. This sounds like a good winter project.I love this view of the NPS flag and the American flag together.
Going a few steps further out you’ll find these great exhibits. They teach about navigation and Salem’s maritime history and they add a huge element of fun when you walk with kids!I think my little guy was testing his running speed in nautical miles per hour here.One of the neat things about these exhibits is that their designed to blend in with the wharf. When you look out from the street, or even walk along the path, their very slim and discrete.¬†They tell the story of all that happened on the waterfront over time.¬†

We’ve reached our destination, the lighthouse!

¬†I remember sitting on the ground on the other side with my eyes closed ¬†(obviously many, many years ago before kids) and opening them to see a huge German Shepherd standing right over me. He scared me half to death! We were both fine but I think of that dog every time I’m out there.
There’s always lots and lots of boat traffic. It’s fun to watch everything from party boats, to lobster boats to yachts going by.And then there’s the view out to the open ocean. I love to stand here and just breathe in that air!

Turn around and there’s a great view of the houses on Derby Street.

You can’t quite see it but when we were first married Michael and I lived in a little loft apartment over the blue building on the right.¬†The House of Seven Gables is just to the right.Here’s a closer shot.¬†Walking in, more exhibits…

And back to Derby Street!

It’s nice to take a rest in the shade of one of these yards. Their all part of the National Historic Site, so everyone is welcome!

This is really one of my favorite walks in the world. You just can’t beat it, history, exercise and nature all in one place. If you make your way to Salem as a visitor, or if you live here, take a few minutes to take a walk on the wharf!