Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Around Here...

25 December 2009 | Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog at

What's Christmas like in your part of the world? Here's a glimpse at our town, the famous fishing port of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Most people visit in the summer months when the harbor is full of sailboats and whale-watching cruises. As soon as summer fades, the harbor seems much bigger. The tourists may leave but the seals come.

Christmas is a very special time in this community and a foot of snow the week before only enhanced the spirit this year.

In this video of still images by local photographer Jay Albert, you can see the Christmas tree up the hill from the Hoofcare & Lameness office. It is believed to the largest construction of lobster traps into the form of a Christmas tree in the world, and uses 400 traps! The buoys were painted by local schoolchildren. The effect is magical, although I can't decide whether I like it better at night, when it is lit, or during the day, when I can see the construction.

The U.S. Coast Guard stations are very important anchors in the seaside communities up and down the coast. In this video, you can see the lighthouse crew from Brant Station on Nantucket working on one of their annual Christmas traditions, a wreath for a lighthouse at the harbor entrance. I think the cross pieces on the wreath may be representing harpoons; Nantucket was the world's foremost whaling port. Remember Moby Dick?

This year was the 80th anniversary of "Flying Santa". I've been around a few times over the years when a helicopter would land next door at the Coast Guard station and Santa Claus could hop out! A non-profit group flies Santa up and down the coast to visit the children of lighthouse keepers and Coast Guardsmen every year.

Merry Christmas...from Hoofcare's little corner of the world!