By Anna Marie D'Addarie
How would you like to spend a whole year at the Ag Fair? That's just what the Martha's Vineyard Agricultural Society offers us with the 2008 Fair Poster Calendar. The slim (8 inch X 22 inch) size is the perfect showcase for the 12 fair posters that adorn the 12 monthly calendars. The dates are big and the elongated blocks offer plenty of room to write your daily activities. But the real stars are the 12 posters. Leafing through the calendar is a fun trip back in time and the memories of fairs gone by come rushing back.
This calendar includes two of my all-time favorite posters: the 2003 Leslie Baker lamb, and Kenneth Vincent's proud rooster and Island bounty from 2002. Each of the 11 artists represented (Alan Whiting has two months) brings a unique interpretation colored by his or her experience and also the year the work was done. It's fun to guess the year based on the look of the poster.
The last page provides interesting history about the fair; the new barn, raised in 1994; and society contact information. The question I get asked the most is, "When is the Ag Fair this year?" That question is answered right on the front and back covers of the calendar. Buy it and dream of August.u
Martha's Vineyard Agricultural Society 2008 Fair Poster calendar is available at Alley's General Store in West Tisbury and by mail from the society at P.O. Box 73, West Tisbury, MA 02575. The price is $20 and includes shipping and handling.
By Eleni Collins
Island resident and nature enthusiast Julian K. Robinson has put together another collection of his bird photographs for a 2008 calendar. The 26 color images, including the cover, depict common Island residents such as ospreys, northern cardinals, and blue jays, and uncommon visitors such as the snowy owl and snowy egret.
This compact and convenient calendar (5.5 by 8 inches) is truly a slice of nature. Throughout the years, Mr. Robinson has captured birds in mid-flight as well as simply perching and gazing. In one picture, August's common goldeneye glides into water. March's red-winged blackbird grips onto a twig, wings outstretched and beak open.
Among the action shots, Mr. Robinson includes birds at ease. January's red-tailed hawk sits perched on a telephone wire, April's great blue heron walks through grass, and August's red-breasted merganser sits on the water. January's blue jay strikes an eye-catching pose as it stands on a birdbath with a peanut in its mouth.
What makes this calendar so great, besides the fact the photographs were all taken on the Island, is the quality of the images. Many of the birds are particularly colorful, such as October's cedar waxwing and December's mandarin duck (photographed at Ben David's World of Reptiles and Birds Park), and Mr. Robinson maintains a high-quality standard of all 26 photographs. The calendar is also environmentally friendly. It is printed on recycled paper with soybean-based inks.
Though the calendar is sold out, you may contact Mr. Robinson to reserve one for next year. It is a wonderful addition to one's office or home.
Julian K. Robinson's Birds of a Different Feather 2008, Photographer's Edge, Inc. 2007. 508-693-4177.