West Tisbury: Everyone’s talking about the weather


We are almost midway through March and the weather continues to seesaw between winter and spring. I have been raking out garden beds in sunshine and 40+ degrees, then awoke to snow Monday morning. The balmy weekend seemed to bring everyone out. Walkers with or without dogs and bicyclers in spandex were everywhere. Yardwork was a popular occupation. So was splitting wood for the rest of the winter and burning brush piles.

It seemed like everyone I know was at Cronig’s on Sunday, mostly talking about the weather, but also noting the passing of Angela Yamauchi. Angela was one of the faces that greeted us, smiling and competently managing to make us feel welcome with needs fulfilled whenever we shopped there. A floral tribute and her photograph are set up in the fruit/vegetable section that was part of her bailiwick. She will be missed.

Susie Middleton is briefly home between book signings and interviews for her new cookbook/memoir, “Fresh From the Farm.” She was snowed in in Washington, D.C., last week, and heads off to Chicago next, leaving Roy in charge of farm chores at home. Besides eggs, Susie and Roy have had the most delicious salad greens grown in their hoop house. I came home to tell Mike I wanted a hoop house. He just laughed. But I have watched the miracles Susie and Caitlin Jones have managed and it’s pretty impressive. Wouldn’t it be nice to have fresh, homegrown greens, early tomatoes, colorful bouquets?

Robert Herman and Madelyn Way took their children, Julian and Rose, to Cancun for school vacation. Lots of activity plus quiet time for catching up with one another. And warm sunshine.

If you are looking for a little beach time closer to home, consider volunteering to count spawning horseshoe crabs on lunar high tides this May and June. Fred Hotchkiss, Director of the Marine Paleobiological Research Institute, and Susie Bowman, Felix Neck teacher and naturalist, have planned a series of lecture/slide shows about the importance of horseshoe crabs in the bio-medical and bait industries and to pique interest in their project. The program schedule is as follows: March 20, Oak Bluffs Library, 6:30–7:30 pm; March 25, Vineyard Haven Library, 7–8 pm; April 9, Chilmark Library, 5–6 pm; April 16, Edgartown Library, 5:30–6:30 pm.

Holly Wayman’s new book of poetry, “Homeward Bound” is now available at Bunch of Grapes and at Pathways. The price is $12.

Don’t forget that our library is closed until March 22, when it reopens its new/old doors. Hold onto your books or return them to the other Island libraries.

There is still time to register for spring classes offered by ACE MV. Call 774-310-1131 or look at their website:www.acemv.org.

Our state legislature is deliberating on a bill to require insurance companies to cover long-term Lyme Disease treatment, H.989. Please contact Representative Timothy Madden, State House rm.167, Boston 02133. Phone 617-722-2810, or email Timothy.Madden@mahouse.gov and/or Senator Daniel Wolf, State House rm. 511B, Boston 02133. Phone 617-722-1570 or email Daniel.Wolf@masenate.gov. Senator Wolf also has an office in Hyannis at 508-775-0162.

Peter Simon will be honored tonight at Pathways in Chilmark, 6–9 pm, celebrating his 50 years as a photojournalist and his new DVD “Through the Lens.” His niece Sally Taylor will perform. Food and drinks will be served. The event is free.

The good weather makes most gardeners take stock of work to be done, usually involving pruning to clean up winter damage and to get overgrown trees and shrubs in hand. All are invited to a free demonstration at The Polly Hill Arboretum, how to tame overgrown hollies by a severe pruning method called “hat racking.” It’s a start. The demo is this Saturday, March 15, from 10 am to 12 noon.

Don’t forget Daffodil Day, March 17, sponsored by the Martha’s Vineyard Cancer Support Group. You may pre-order bunches of ten tightly-budded daffodils by calling Diane Ballay-Foley at 508-693-7115 or AnneMarie Donahue at 508-627-7958. Or stop by Cronig’s, the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, or Edgartown Stop & Shop on the 17th. You may also make an online donation at mvcancersupport.org to this group that helps island families dealing with cancer.

A heads-up to pet owners in town. Our golden retriever, Nanuk, wasn’t acting “herself” last Friday morning. Limping and lethargic, she hadn’t come upstairs during the night as was her habit. A visit to Dr. Jasny and we found out she had anaplasmosis, a tick-borne infection. She is on antibiotics and seems to be feeling better. The warm weather brings the ticks out, so do make sure your animals are on tick prevention and check them after being outside. Check yourself, too. This is our second experience with anaplasmosis; our kitten, Porter, almost died last summer. It’s easy to want to watch and see if the animal perks up, but these tick-borne diseases are serious, even fatal, to our pets and to us.