Kwanzaan cherry trees — enormously spreading, aggressively pink — decorate landscaped lawns across town. Shadbush, its blossoms as delicate as the cherries are blowsy, has appeared in the woods. Leaves are appearing, too, seeming to wrap trees in an acid-green gauze.
All this spread out beneath me as I flew to Nantucket to visit long-time friends Jim and Betty Harrington. It's always fun to pick out familiar landmarks from such an unfamiliar vantage, then to see the ocean's swirling blue-green patterns of colors and waves.
The Harringtons met me at the airport (where I always expect to see the cast of "Wings" in their familiar personae) then home for coffee and a tour of Jim's studio. His new paintings, as always, are astonishing. Musicians, circus performers, dancers, waiters and diners, dockside workers, museum-goers, cities and seasides, depicted in combinations of colors and brushmarks that invite attention and delight the eyes. It was a day of paintings and talking about paintings, totally delicious. As was lunch at Seagrille, their favorite restaurant. Jim promised me the best mussels I have ever had and they were, prepared in a flavorful creamy broth. I spooned out every drop. It was a perfect day.
Looking at art makes me think of galleries and the summer season. I heard from Kathy Tackabury that Night Heron Gallery, an artists' co-op, has opened for a second season. Besides Kathy, other West Tisbury artists are Ann Howes, Nicholas Thayer, and Sylvie Farrington. The gallery, on Main Street, Vineyard Haven, is planning an opening reception on May 12, from 5 to 8 pm.
Shaw Cramer Gallery also represents a number of West Tisbury artists: Leslie Baker, Lucy Mitchell, Ruth Kirchmeier, Marie-Louise Rouff. Nancy Cramer has been busy finding and arranging new combinations of art and crafts in her artful way.
Closer to home, The Granary has looked exciting, with new paintings and sculptures outside and an enticing view through their open doors. At the West Tisbury Library, Lyn Hinds is May's artist of the month. Meet her and see her paintings at a reception on Friday, May 11, at 4 pm.
The West Tisbury Church is planning an up-Island tour of five properties later this month, to benefit the Church's restoration project. Marian Irving promises more information as the date approaches, Saturday, May 26. Meanwhile, tickets are available at Heather Gardens, Vineyard Gardens, and Middletown Nursery.
Vineyard Gardens invites you to learn about perennials at their weekly garden lecture this Saturday, May 5, at 11 am. The program includes information about cultural requirements of different perennials, how to dig and divide them, and care for them. Deer resistant perennials? They promise such a thing exists.
West Tisbury School fifth through eighth graders are performing Disney's "Aristocats" this weekend — Saturday at 6 pm, and Sunday afternoon at 2. Tickets are $5 per person or $20 per family.
May is Western Movie Month at the West Tisbury Library. Monday, May 7, come and see "Hud" at 7 pm. Free popcorn.
Look for a cartoon by Paul Karasik in this week's New Yorker magazine.
Have you noticed the large black-and-white signs that have appeared recently around the Island? Meet their creator, artist Julia Kidd, at the West Tisbury Library on Tuesday, May 8, at 5 pm. She will show a slide presentation and discuss her work.
Don't forget the Alzheimer's walk this Sunday afternoon. You may still send donations to me at P.O. Box 8, West Tisbury, 02575 or stop me anywhere around town. Please make checks out to ASCCI (Alzheimer's Services of Cape Cod and the Islands.) Nurses, doctors, family, or professional caregivers may be interested to know that Suzanne Faith of Alzheimer's Services will be teaching a Dementia Certification Program on the Island at the Tisbury Council on Aging. It is a two-session course, to be held on consecutive Tuesdays, May 15 and 22, from 12:30 to 4:30 pm. It's a fascinating two days that you wish would be longer. Call Alzheimer's Services at 508-775-5656 to register.
Our neighborhood has been distressed by the disappearance of Cynthia Riggs's cat, Daphne, missing for seven weeks. Happily, Daphne has reappeared, somewhat bedraggled, but home now, where she is resting comfortably and being spoiled by her mistress. So glad you're safe, dear Daphne.