Town Column : West Tisbury
Last Thursday, Tom Hodgson found an early Mayflower blooming on the north edge of his yard near Ridge Hill, off Music Street. The day before, I saw the first daffodil of the season, along the front walk into Tom Vogl and Katherine Long's house. This feels like such an early spring. Tree buds are swelling, forsythia buds beginning to color, an odd leaf or two appearing on early shrubs like honeysuckle or autumn olives.
I was at Tom and Katherine's last Wednesday to buy a dozen silkie eggs as a birthday present for my brother, Andy. Andy and his partner, Edward, raise chickens, but had never had silkies before. As it turned out, Tom and Katherine had a hen they were keeping separate because she was pecking the chicks. After a phone call to Andy, it was arranged that Fern, a beautiful silkie hen, was moving to Redding, Conn.
Fern rode in a cage in the back of my car, a perfect lady and excellent traveller. Andy and I set the cage in a separate part of his chicken coop, gave her food and water, and left her to settle in. When we checked on her, she was out of the cage and comfortably settled into a bed of straw. By Saturday, she had flown to the top of the gate of her pen and seemed eager to meet her coopmates.
At last report, Fern had introduced herself to the rest of the flock, and all seemed to be going well. Andy took some wonderful photographs of her. If you have never seen a silkie, look for a picture. They are small chickens, white, with exuberantly-feathered heads and feet that appear to be shod in feathered spats. And they lay the most delicious eggs.
Connecticut was lovely all weekend, sunny and in the sixties. We spent our time looking at art, Friday at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford and Saturday at Norwalk's Center for Contemporary Printmaking, where we saw an incredible show of aquatints by Emily Mason and monotypes by Wolf Kahn. There were also special meals and a binge of cupcakes from a new bakery in Westport called Crumbs. I took a tour of the Westport Library, which seemed new to me, although it was built in 1996. Obviously, it's been a long time since I was in Westport. Meeting my brother, Mike's, new kitten was another high point.
Hilary and Tessa Wall were home for St. Patrick's Day. We had our annual corned beef and cabbage dinner with Howard, Diane, and the girls, as we have done every year but one since 1985.
Simone DeSorcy asks West Tisbury voters to take the opportunity to read over the Planning Board's proposed bylaw revision regarding cell towers in town. At 20 pages, it is too long to print in the warrant. Copies are available in the Town Clerk's office at Town Hall, at the library, and at the Howes House.
The existing zoning bylaw that covers cell towers, or "personal wireless service facilities," as they are called by the industry, is more than 10 years old and seriously outdated. As we all know, technology seems to change at the speed of light. So please do read this bylaw through before town meeting.
The League of Women Voters is sponsoring a Candidates' Night on March 31, 7 pm, at the Howes House. Although we have no contested races in West Tisbury this year (Eric Hammarlund withdrew his candidacy for selectman), it is still important to inform ourselves for the upcoming election.
Carol Carrick sent an email from Florida. She wrote about a day filled with what she calls "Florida music," a cacophony of police, ambulance, and fire sirens that seems always within hearing. She reports a particularly "musical" day recently when driving along Gulfport Boulevard. She encountered accidents both going and coming home from an outing, with the attendant sounds of emergency personnel. Carol will return home to West Tisbury soon, at the beginning of April.
Olivia DeGeoffroy will perform in the Nineteenth Annual String Concert at the Old Whaling Church this Sunday afternoon, March 28. The concert begins at 4 pm. Admission is free.
Belated happy birthday wishes to Eli Saunier, who turned six on March 24.
A very personal and heartfelt thank you to everyone who came to our rescue when Mike's mother fell outside her house Saturday afternoon. Skipper Manter found Mike right away. Bruce and Jennifer Haynes brought the ambulance. I don't know who else showed up or who took care of Bobby at the hospital, but all of us are very grateful.
It was a treat to see open signs at the nurseries along State Road. It's time to plant pansies in the planters outside our doors. What colors will I choose this year?