From the April 3, 1936 edition:

The pinkletinks sing and it is a joyful sign that winter is over, but the woodticks appear at the same time and add a gloomy touch to the omen. For the information of anyone who has lived to the present spring without making the acquaintance of the woodtick, this creature is a mahogany colored member of the order of acarina of the class arachnida. It seems to flourish not so much in the woods as in tall grass in open countryside, and as dogs and human beings go out of doors to embrace nature they are embraced in turn by the woodtick. The tick clings to any passing skirt or trouser leg, and, if it can, eventually fastens its jaws in the skin of the unfortunate mammal.

A great offensive against the tick was made under the auspices of the Martha’s Vineyard Garden Club in 1929. Importations were made of the chalcid fly, a parasite peculiar to the tick. This fly is so small as to be almost invisible except under a microscope. In some parts of the Island the parasite must have taken hold, for a dog from which as many as 400 ticks were removed in a single night in 1929, yielded almost none in 1932 and subsequent seasons. This freedom from ticks is unique in more than forty years. But over the Island as a whole, the woodtick is apparently increasing, and arriving even earlier in the spring. It is our worst pest — almost, indeed, our only pest.

Parachutes dropping from the skies proved to be the most interesting feature of the second annual Boys’ Club kite flying contest. Edward Prada, winner of the contest, sent several of the chutes into the sky with a cleverly constructed trip which carried the small cloth to the kit and then released it. His kite was judged the steadiest flyer and the best built. Joseph Benefit, with a small white model, captured second place, and sent his entry higher than any other in the contest.

The contest for points which was based on height, novelty, size, workmanship and steadiness, was so close that honorable mention was given to six other contestants. These included Samuel Leighton’s Japanese kite, Wyman Mortimer’s most novel kite in the contest, a star, John Mello’s largest kite entered, Elmore Porter’s three-sticker, and Sylvester Luce’s three-sticker.

The stiff breeze of the afternoon proved to be disastrous to a number of the amateur airmen. John Mello, Ed Prada, Lawrence McGee, Elmore Porter, Edward Silva and Ted Morgan lost kites that might have been among the winners. Among those who flew kites successfully were: Nathan Mercer, Richard West, Dick Enos, Ed Gasper, Alvin Sylvia, and Paul Kelly.

The first and second prizes were donated by Mrs. Charles S. Perry, who was very much interested in the outcome of the contest.

A summons is being sounded for the coming of mainland and all city dwellers to their country homes for a visit in the spring of the year. The summons is more compelling than any message which members of the human race could send, and it comes from all sorts of creatures, beginning with the pinkletinks and ending, perhaps, with the aldermanic robins, already plump behind their red waistcoats, as they make their sudden runs and alert stops over freshly green lawns from daylight until dusk. No bird keeps longer hours than the robin, and he is a capitalist, too, for he asserts ownership over the grounds where he hunts; at least, he has the worm franchise and means to keep it.

The best time to come is on a sunny weekend. The sky and water will be bluer than at any time since last October. The daffodils are rushing up already, in an effort to be in blossom, as usual, by April 19, which is Patriot’s Day. Whether there is any connection we do not know. The flickers will call the spring visitor to breakfast with a tattoo no less urgent but far pleasanter to hear than a buzzer on an apartment wall. Red winged blackbirds are flashing their chevrons atop stone walls and in the brush of swampy places along the roads.

Even more than the creatures and signs of nature that are already here, however, is the eternal expectancy which has come in so suddenly and is now growing and swelling with April. This is where the song of the pinkletinks comes in most significantly. It is a chant which has no beginning and no end, and excites the human senses to be sure belief in and a sure love of the warm, living seasons of the year. In the country now one waits and watches as for a procession, a parade like the circus parades of childhood days. Long before the bright colors of costumes and the strange yet familiar spectacles come into view, the sounds are heard and the feeling is everywhere in the air. Everywhere, especially, where the sound of the pinkletinks soars in jubilations.

Now is certainly the time of times for the expectancy which marches ahead of spring and ushers the season in with a gradual unveiling of what has always been precious in every spring the world has known.

Compiled by Hilary Wallcox