West Tisbury

Venus and Jupiter have made a spectacular show in our night sky. Oddly, it is Venus that appears the largest to us because of its closeness to Earth.

Daytime has been spectacular, too, with temperatures into the 60s. I can’t ever remember having daffodils in mid-March. Forsythia, cherries, and magnolias all have big buds and an occasional flower. I hope everything doesn’t get blasted by a frost. It seems inevitable and probably “seasonally correct.” I wonder if we will have an extra-hot summer as a result of such an early spring.

I came home one day last week to find a huge bouquet of pussy willow branches on my porch, the result of Linda Hearn’s annual pruning. They were delivered by Laura Caruso and her daughter, Morgan, here for a few days with Linda and Glenn. The branches are arranged in an ironstone pitcher on a table in our sunroom, in front of windows looking out to, at the moment, a soft lavender sky above the rhododendron hedge that borders our woods. It looks like a Jane Freilicher painting and will probably become a Hermine Hull painting in short order.

We have a new resident in town. Griffin McQuillin Neago was born on March 13 at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. He is the son of Darcy Hodgson Neago and Jason Neago, baby brother of Tristan. Griffin is now at home on Tiasquam Road in the turquoise blue cottage that once belonged to his great-grandmother, Nancy Whiting. It’s an easy walk or carriage ride to visit grandpa Tom Hodgson and Christine Gault, just up the now daffodil-lined path. Welcome, Griffin.

“Brava” to Heidi Schultz, who is announcing her new career as a proofreader and editor. As Town Clerk (she retired in 1995) this was part of her job, preparing town reports and other official reports and documents. An avid reader and Scrabble player, she knows about words and usage, so she has decided to offer her skills to budding authors, creative writers, and those who have to prepare reports. Contact her at 508-693-9417. She has a weekly classified ad in both papers under “Services.”

I hope that all interested parties will read this in time to attend this afternoon’s meeting at 2 pm at the Howes House. It will be a discussion of the up-coming year’s school budget and proposed Up-Island School Meals Program. There will be time for questions, answers, and refreshments. Please come to hear their presentation and be informed.

The library will also be hosting a last pre-Annual Town Meeting forum on Monday, March 26, 5:30 pm, at the Howes House. It will give residents and voters an opportunity to see the latest designs for the proposed library addition. Architects, building committee members, trustees, friends, and foundation members will all be on hand. The project must be approved at both Town Meeting and on the ballot.

Another issue at this year’s Town Meeting will be whether or not to reinstate dog-walking privileges at Lambert’s Cove Beach this summer. The Friends of Lambert’s Cove Beach will hold a meeting on this issue downstairs in the Howes House Monday evening following the library’s meeting upstairs. It will begin at 7 pm. Pat Gregory will be on hand to moderate a discussion of the pros and cons. I know that people feel strongly about this, so hope everyone who is interested can attend.

Jackie Foster, feta cheese maker at Mermaid Farm, will be the featured speaker at a Slow Food Wine and Cheese gathering at Morning Glory Farm this Friday evening, March 23. She will show slides from her trip to Slow Cheese in Italy and visits with Italian cheese makers, and talk about her plans for the cheese cave she is working on at Mermaid Farm. There will be wines and artisanal cheeses from Italy, France, Spain, and New England. The event begins at 6 pm.

Come to Bee School this weekend, March 24 and 25. An Island-Grown Bees workshop will teach attendees about hive splits, managing swarms, and more. For more information, contact Randi Baird at dune@vineyard.net.

Happy belated birthday wishes to Betsy Macdonald, who celebrated her birthday on March 20, the first day of spring.

Paul Karasik, local cartoonist, author, and cartoon historian is just returning from Northern Illinois University, where he curated an exhibition, “Graphic Novel Realism: Backstage at the Comics,” detailing the work behind the creation of a comic, and gave a series of lectures over two days.

Mike and I have been entertained watching a pair of house finches building a nest just outside our sunroom window in ivy I have carelessly allowed to grow up the trunk of a tree. The birds fly back and forth throughout the day, carrying in bits and pieces of grass and other dried material scavenged in their travels. It looks like a cozy spot for raising a family. I enjoy being an observer.