Chappaquiddick looks like it might be in a different plant hardiness zone than Vineyard Haven. The flowering plants and trees may only be a couple of sunny days behind, but our many oaks make the overall look here much less green than in Vineyard Haven, with all its maples and other early leafing trees. However, the beach plum bushes along the road coming up from the ferry are starting to bloom. The beach plums, with their clouds of dense white blossoms, should be beautifying our roadsides for the next couple of weeks.
Currents in the ferry channel have been strong, affected by wind and moon cycles. Sometimes they carry the ferry so far off course that it seems like a small miracle the captains can maneuver the boat into the slips. Last week there was a fishing boat tied up to Memorial Wharf, and Bob Gilkes talked with the fishermen on it. They told him that the gauge measuring the boat’s speed showed seven knots — and that was with the boat tied to the dock.
The new superintendent for The Trustees of Reservations on Chappy, Sarah Mello Trudel, came to a meeting with the board of the community center this week to introduce herself and talk about some new summer Trustees programs in the plans, to be held in conjunction with the community center. Dates were set for compost bin workshops and times for kids to take cameras and shoot pictures of what they see on the Chappy Trustees properties of Mytoi, Cape Pogue, Wasque, and Norton Point, all of which have become Sarah’s domain. She also plans some early morning birding and fitness walks to the Cedars.
Sarah, and her husband Jeff and son Taylor, will be moving into Dave and Cathy Belcher’s former house at Wasque in mid-June. Jeff is a police officer in Oak Bluffs, where he and Sarah own a house. He plans to ride his motorcycle to work to avoid the ferry lines. Taylor, in kindergarten at the Montessori School, will attend the Edgartown School next year.
Sarah grew up in Oak Bluffs, and worked as a Trustees tour guide for five seasons, and full-time as education coordinator for four years. Although they ended up in Oak Bluffs, when she and her husband moved to the Vineyard after college, Chappaquiddick was the first place they looked for land. There will be a chance to welcome them at a community center potluck on June 18.
This time of year I start enjoying the addition of wild greens to our meals. We’ve been eating watercress, dandelion greens (which you need to cook in three changes of water), and nettles, all of which I’ve found growing wild. Tomorrow, Saturday, May 17, there is a slow food potluck at 6:30 p.m., with wild food expert Russ Cohen. People are asked to bring a dish with a wild or local ingredient, and since these potlucks are often held at people’s homes, you can call 508-645-3820 for directions to the location.
Also tomorrow is the Chappy hazardous materials collection sponsored by the Chappaquiddick Island Association. Chappaquiddickers can bring used motor oil, stale gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel, oil paint (not latex), herbicides, insecticides and so on to the community center between 7 and 9 a.m. Thanks to Terry Forde for helping us get rid of our unwanted toxic products.
The Friends of Family Planning Art Show and Sale will be held at the agricultural hall on Panhandle Road in West Tisbury. Work by more than 100 Island artists will be shown, including paintings by Joan Kumpitch. The opening night gala preview is on Thursday, May 22, from 6 to 8 p.m. The cost is $40 per person. On other days there is no admission charge; hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., May 23 to 25. This is the Friends’ major fund-raising event through which they will help pay for and renovate the condominium that now houses Family Planning of Martha’s Vineyard.
After three more days of intensive cleaning, the Edgartown library was scheduled to be retested this week for air quality. Also, the fire alarm system was to be repaired — a major hurdle on the way to reopening. Meanwhile, the library continues to expand their new materials. Through the CLAMS network they are now offering an audio books and music downloading service. Patrons can download digital books and music onto their personal computers and MP3 players through a connection to the OverDrive audio service. You can find help to begin at the library or through the Web site.
The next community center potluck will be on Wednesday, May 21, beginning at 6 p.m. hosted by Shelley Wilbur, Jack McElhinney, and their daughter Gabrielle. All are welcome.
Last weekend I visited Portland, Me., which is a couple of warm days behind us, although their trees look greener than ours, too. Portland is a small city on the water that I like very much because it contains both my daughter and many really good restaurants with vegetarian options.
Sometimes when I go off-island, I like it that I can walk down the street and not see anyone who knows me. It can feel like a relief to be anonymous, to not have to talk to anyone just because I happen to see them while I’m out going about my business.
But last weekend I felt differently. When I arrived in the city, I stopped at Whole Foods to get some soup. As I was sitting there at a table near the check-out, with many people passing me on the way out, I realized that I was disappointed to know there was small chance that someone I knew would happen to come along and say hello. (I actually do know of three Vineyarders living there.) Arriving back on the Island a couple of days later, I was happy to be able to start waving to people I knew as soon as I got off the ferry.