Babies and blueberries in West Tisbury


The cygnets are swimming on the Mill Pond, still fuzzy gray, but growing bigger every day. Tomatoes are ripening, new potatoes, onions, garlic, peas, and beans all in abundance. I have been picking raspberries to mix in Mermaid Farm yogurt, a perfect summer lunch. Daylilies are at their peak, a different palette of colors every morning. Water is warming up for good swimming. The opening into the Great Pond has been newly cut.

On the negative side have been so many fire alarms, car accidents, water rescues. Our firemen, rescue personnel, and EMTs have been so busy. Mike was out three times during the other night, actually only twice, as the middle call came in before he got home from the first. Not just Mike, but he’s the only fireman who wakes me up in the night.

We have all been awaiting the birth of Bea Whiting and Patrick Ruel’s baby. It’s a boy. Asa Allen Ruel was born July 10 at 4:19 pm. He is a healthy 8 pounds 10 ounces, and 19 inches tall. Grandparents are Lynne and Allen Whiting of West Tisbury, Barbara and John Armstrong of Menemsha, and Bill and Angela Ruel of Old Lyme, Conn. His great-grandparents are Jim and Roberta Morgan of Menemsha and Bill and Kay Ruel of Portsmouth, N.H. With much love and wishes for the best life ahead for Asa and his lovely family.

Ellen Sturgis, clerk of the Riparian Owners of Tisbury Great Pond, reminds members of the annual meeting Saturday, July 26, 10 am, at the Howes House. Email Ellen at with any questions.

My opening Sunday was a lot of work and a lot of fun. My studio has never been so clean. Leslie, Ruth, and I make a stimulating artistic and visual combination, compatible and interesting together — as we are as friends. We were thrilled with everyone who came, but especially four princesses from different parts of the island: a regal Princess Reed (of Cabot Castle) in a turquoise tulle gown and flip flops, a comfortable West Tisbury-style princess; Mya O’Neill and her mom, Queen Linsey Lee, in matching burgundy brocade. Kaya Oslyn was in perfect Vineyard casual, escorted by three strong yeoman guards — Jeff and Sam Bryant and Marshall Pratt. Claire Chalfoun brought her visiting granddaughter, Ashly Freeman, who cast magic spells on our golden retriever, Nanuk, belly-rubbing her into total bliss.

Paul Karasik stopped on his way home from the opening of the show he curated at Featherstone. The Art of the Cartoon will be up through July 30.

A new show is opening at the A Gallery in Oak Bluffs. Stella Waitzkin, a longtime West Tisbury resident who died in 2003, is getting new attention nationally and on the Island. An exhibition of her drawings and sculpture opens on Saturday, July 19, 5-7 pm. Professor Charles Russell and Anna Carringer will speak about her work at the gallery on Wednesday, July 23, at 6 pm.

The West Tisbury Church’s Annual Blueberry Festival is this Saturday, July 19. Tables and chairs will be set up on the lawn from 12 noon to 4 pm, or inside if it rains. Blueberry smoothies, blueberry sundaes, blueberry pies and scones, blueberry jam, even blueberry lemonade will be served, with a raffle for a blueberry bush donated by Vineyard Gardens.

The West Tisbury Library Foundation will host a dedication ceremony this Sunday evening, July 20, at 6:30. The Program Room will be dedicated to Rosalee and David McCullough, who will be on hand to say a few words. Other rooms and gardens will also be dedicated in this ceremony, which is open to the public.

The All Island Art Show is coming up on Monday, August 4. Interested artists should look at their website,, or “for information the old-fashioned way,” call Ellie or Harvey Beth at 508-693-0371.

I walked over to the library this evening to look at the new gardens that had been going in all day. Oak Leaf Nursery did the planting, with help from Laura Coit, who designed the garden along the walkway. Many of the plants were propagated or grown from seed by Laura’s husband, Tim Boland, and the staff of the Polly Hill Arboretum. The plan called for many native species, including two beetlebung trees that will eventually provide shade for the parking lot. Beach plum, winterberry, highbush blueberry, butterfly weed, asters, goldenrod, and grasses are among the plants chosen. Cheryl Doble and Lil Province designed the beds on either side of the library entrance with benches and a stewartia tree, ferns, oak leaf hydrangeas, and lots of shade-loving perennials. By the end of the summer it will look like those gardens have always been there.

While there, I ran into Amma O’Gorman, who told me she had just turned six on July 8. Amma is Jamie and Rick O’Gorman’s daughter. A belated “Happy Birthday” to you.

Birthday good wishes to Hannah Hoff, daughter of Amy and Billy. Hannah turned nine on July 13.

Children’s librarian Nelia Decker needs 1 and 2 liter plastic bottles for a craft project. Please drop them off in the Children’s Room if you have some to spare. Thanks.

The library’s Monday Night Movies are Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs for families and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants for teenagers. Both begin at 6:30. Popcorn and attendance are free.

Emma Young will teach a two-day book making workshop for teens on July 22 and 24, 10:30–12:30. She will introduce students to a variety of forms. Pre-register at the circulation desk or online: The class is free.

Instead of the usual Saturday drop-in craft at the library this week, a special family craft is planned. Make paper airplanes with Bruce Riseborough between 10:30 am and 12:30 pm this Saturday, July 19.

Linda Hearn spent last weekend in South Carolina with her son Mark and his family attending the wedding of Mark and Renee Hearn’s niece, Kristina Smith, to Nick Woods. The ceremony took place at the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia. Both of Mark and Renee’s children, Devon and Blake, were in the wedding party. Between wedding festivities, they were able to do a little sightseeing, including visiting the State House.

Leslie Prosterman is leading two workshops on sacred and secular poetic transformation. Poets and non-poets are invited to discuss/write/read/explore. The first session, using the Book of Ruth as a departure point, is Sunday, July 20, 10 am to 12 noon, at the MV Hebrew Center library. Call 508-693-0745 to sign up.

We are due for some much-needed rain. It’s overcast now, the air heavy. John Hough’s new book, “Little Bighorn,” is in my hands and it’s a perfect morning for a lazy read on my porch.