West Tisbury

Brooks Robards and I took my dogs, Talley and Nan, for the most beautiful walk at Quansoo. Driving down the long Quansoo Road, trees close and overhanging, then the landscape opening to a glorious meadow of colored grasses and brush, lavender asters, red rose hips, a walk over the bridge, up the dune, and there is the ocean. I always feel that excitement as the world opens out to the ocean. Waves beckoning, we began our walk.

Brooks is a collector. Walking with her involves lots of looking down and discussing every bit of crab anatomy, every seashell, every rock, every feather, every bit of discarded ribbon — you get the idea. So we were some way down the beach when I looked around and saw only one dog. Nanuk had disappeared.

“Nanuk. Nan,” I called over and over. Talley helped me and we discovered Nan over a dune, eating and rolling in something best unidentified. Not to be left out, Talley had a good roll herself. Eventually they had enjoyed to the fullest whatever it was, and rejoined Brooks and me for the rest of our walk. The deeply-cut beach and the opening between the sea and the great pond made a landscape to admire. And we did.

As we approached the car to come home, the smell of our dogs became evident. It was a heady ride back to Edgartown Road, a quick goodbye to Brooks, and two large dogs into the bathtub. They smell delicious and I am happy to bury my face in their soft, clean fur.

Congratulations to new grandma, Amy Eisenlohr. Ezra Agnew and Kelley DeBettencourt are the proud parents of Milo Everett DeBettencourt Agnew, born October 1 at the hospital. Milo is home now, listening to the Ramones over morning coffee with his dad and being photographed in every cute pose by his mom. Welcome, Milo.

The first Winter Farmers’ Market is this Saturday, October 12, 10 am to 1 pm, at the Ag Hall. Linda Alley promises a roaring fire, weather permitting, 20 vendors, a hot lunch prepared by Little Rock Farm, and a mystery band among the highlights.

I’m sure that farmers and gardeners are happy with even the little bit of rain we have had. It has been like hell on earth, watching not just annual plantings but large trees and shrubs turning brown, their leaves shrivelling up. I hope we will have some good rainfall soon and a wet winter to replenish the ground.

Also on Saturday is the Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard’s Second Annual Walk for the Animals. Optimistically, they have scheduled a rain date, Monday, October 14. The 2.25-mile course begins and ends at the Oak Bluffs School, where parking and water will be available. The walk through Trade Winds Park is from 10 am to noon. Bring your leashed pet, or just yourself. Get family and friends to sponsor you. Registration forms are available online or at the shelter. Go to http://animalshelterofmv.org or call 508-627-8662.

Sue Hruby came by with my copy of “Cats of Martha’s Vineyard,” Lynn Christoffers’s book of gorgeous photographs of cats and their people. It’s fun to see familiar faces and exotic breeds, lots of new kittens, along with some who are no longer with us.

I have been touched by the emails, phone calls, and stopping me everywhere from people who knew Porter, even if only from my columns. “I loved reading about him,” has been a much-repeated sentiment. He had such a presence. He really made an impression on all who knew him, and I am grateful for hearing it over and over again.

Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard is planning ahead for their Handmade from the Heart sale coming up in December. They are looking for artists, bakers, craftspeople of all stripes to donate work. Please call 508-693-0189 to let them know what you will contribute.

Drs. Enid Haller and Roni DeLuz will host a holistic retreat/celebrity detox at the Harbor View Hotel in November. The Lyme Center of Martha’s Vineyard is offering one scholarship. Contact the Lyme Center at 508-560-1893.

The Chilmark Women’s Symposium will be Saturday, October 26, 9 am to noon, at the Chilmark Community Center. The topic is “Finding A Way.”

The West Tisbury Library Halloween party will be at the Grange this year. Details closer to the event.

Mother Goose on the Loose will meet at the Vineyard Haven Library October 10 and 24 and at the Oak Bluffs Library on October 17. Story times begin at 10:30 am. There will be no MGOL on Halloween.

I love seeing the photographs from The Daily Paper Route in my inbox every morning. The highlight last week was a picture of 13 egrets wading in Sengekontacket Pond. You can sign up at dailyroute@vineyardcolors.com.

I am greeted by an explosion of color every time I look out my front door. The dogwoods have turned mahogany red. But the true star is a burning bush, a cascade of hot pink, with ferns faded yellow across the lawn. When the sun hits, it is truly spectacular. Now the wind is blowing through the trees, sending leaves twirling to the ground.