Photo by Susan Safford
Walk through Weahtaqua
Not everyone found the trailhead where last Sunday's Martha's Vineyard Land Bank walk was to begin, so a few of us set off on our own in the light, frozen drizzle that marked the beginning of a heavier front, which would blanket Martha's Vineyard overnight. The paths were coated with crusty snow, yet walking was relatively easy given the flat landscape along the Weahtaqua Springs Preserve trail, located at the head of the Lagoon Pond in Oak Bluffs.
Our group of five had already reached the end of the trail and was on our return when we encountered the "official" group led by Julie Schaeffer, ecologist for the Land Bank. Since Julie is always full of interesting information, we decided to retrace our steps and listen in. Weahtaqua is the original Wampanoag name for the property, and was the first area of Martha's Vineyard traded to Thomas Mayhew by the local Sachem, an unpopular transaction that caused a split among the down-Island Sachems.
The Land Bank trail that borders Stepping Stone Brook is narrow, with fencing on either side. The stream to the right feeds into the upper end of Lagoon Pond; to the left is farmland owned by Elisha Smith. We passed through beech groves and viewed a variety of lichen. Some of us were able to properly distinguish black oak from white oak just by looking at the bark or the shape of those persistent leaves that seem to cling on despite the passing of fall into winter - with spring, we hope, soon to come. The scarlet oak, with its distinctive, lacy leaves, eluded us.
Before heading back to our car, which was parked near the road into Goodale's, we stopped into Featherstone for a little warmth and good cheer. A perfect ending.
Theatre: "The Lonesome West"
Christopher Brophy seems to be able to transform to whatever character he is playing. He did it again over the weekend as one of two feuding brothers in "The Lonesome West." Set in a 1990s small rural Irish farmhouse, Martin McDonough's gothic comedy was performed at the Katharine Cornell Theatre on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 27 and 28. Mr. Brophy and co-star Rob Myers were in top form, as were cast members Katherine Pilcher and Xavier Powers. First-time director Kristian Seney used a minimalist set to good comic effect. Proceeds of the play went to support the new Vineyard radio station, WVVY 93.7 FM.
This weekend, there will be an encore presentation of the play, one night only, Friday, March 6, 8 pm at Che's Lounge. Suggested donation, $10.
Photos by Susan Safford
Whaling, Wampanoags and more
Lifelong Island resident Ann Allen will present an eight-week course about Island history at the Vineyard Haven Library. From March 10 to May 2, Ms. Allen offers insight on the Wampanoag Indians, early explorers, the Mayhew family, immigrants, whaling, and much more. Pre-register at the library or at vhlibrary.org. Classes are every Tuesday from 6:15 to 8:35 pm.
In honor of Women's International Day, Women Empowered will host a benefit dinner at Zephrus this Sunday, March 8. Open to the public and featuring the regular menu, there is no extra fee beyond the cost of dinner. Zephrus will donate 20 percent of all dinner receipts to the nonprofit organization founded in 2000 that offers complimentary life skills courses. For more information, call 508-696-8880.
This Sunday at 1 pm, the Vineyard Conservation Society concludes its 25th year of winter walks with a guided hike to the Norton Point breach, along Katama Bay and South Beach in Edgartown. The walk is approximately two miles, and cider and cookies will be served. Meet at the left fork parking lot. For more information, call 508-693-9588.
2009 Bryant scholarship announced
Applications are now being accepted for the Betty Ann Lima Bryant Scholarship, which is awarded annually "To further the education of a resident of Martha's Vineyard who has demonstrated a commitment to community service and human rights and who plans to pursue these interests in the future."
The scholarship was started after Ms. Bryant's death in 1994 at the age of 55.
As a young woman, Betty Ann Lima Bryant was a dedicated advocate for disadvantaged Islanders, as well as a highly charged political activist. She was later elected to several offices - both tax collector and selectman in Chilmark, and eventually county commissioner.
For more information about the scholarship, or to contribute to it, contact Whit Griswold at 508-693-0680, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To apply for this year's award, contact the Permanent Endowment Fund of Martha's Vineyard at endowmv.org or call 508-338-4665. Applications must be postmarked no later than March 16.
Kind of blue
On Saturday, March 7, from 10 am to 12 noon, Polly Hill Arboretum and Susan Murphy, proprietor of Murphy Blueberry Farm in Chilmark, will host another hands-on workshop in the technique of pruning blueberries. Learn how proper pruning can stimulate growth to insure a bumper crop of berries on these native Vineyard shrubs. Meet at the Murphy farm off State Road in Chilmark; bring pruners if you have them. For directions and to register, call 508-693-9426. $24; $20 for members of the arboretum.
Pasta for peace
The second annual Celebrity Waiter's Dinner, which benefits the Peace Quilts Project for Haiti, is this week at the Federated Church in Edgartown. On Sunday, March 8, from 5 to 7:30 pm, enjoy a pasta and meatball dinner complete with Caesar salad, garlic bread, and dessert. $7 for adults; $5 for children; $25 maximum for families. The Missions committee of the Federated Church is sponsoring the event.
The Martha's Vineyard Arena is hosting a skate night for seventh- and eighth-graders tomorrow, Friday, March 6, from 7 to 9 pm. The event includes pizza, provided by Edgartown Pizza, and music. The first 25 people to arrive receive free rental skates or admission. $3 at the door.