West Tisbury


The summer solstice, and with it the longest day of the year, has come and gone. At this moment of warmth, sunshine, and abundant light, it seems unbelievable that by a minute a day we will begin to head toward winter’s darkness.

Meanwhile, the hayfields smell delicious. I love watching the wind-waved plumes as they approach maturity. Then the machinery comes in to cut and toss it into airy rows. This year we all learned something new watching Allen Healy’s white bags appear along the roadsides instead of the familiar rolls or bales. It will be interesting to know how this new method turns out.

No one could have imagined a more picture perfect day than last Saturday, June 19. The setting was perfect, too — Ruth Kirchmeier and Nelson Bryant’s garden — for the wedding of Ruth’s son, Eli Ohlhausen, to Elizabeth Fleshman. Congratulations and best wishes to you both.

Kudos to Colleen Morris. She did an excellent job as guest West Tisbury columnist in last Friday’s Vineyard Gazette, filling in for John Alley, who was on vacation with his wife, Anna. When I saw Colleen at the library and complimented her on her effort, she modestly said that John gave her so much information to use.

The J.C. Jazz Trio will perform at the West Tisbury library this Friday, June 25, at 4 pm. Come and enjoy the concert.

Also at the library, there will be a Summer Reading Open House at 11 am on Saturday. At 5 pm, after the library closes for the day, there will be a memorial gathering for all of us to celebrate and remember Paula Black. As if we could ever forget. Paula’s husband, Michael, has planted a tree in her memory in the back yard of the library property, where we will meet. Bring a favorite dish to share and bring your stories. And a handkerchief or two.

If you notice a big group outside The Field Gallery at the same time, they are hosting a fundraiser for our State Senator Rob O’Leary, who is running to be our 10th Congressional District member of the House of Representatives. He hopes to fill the seat held since 1997 by William Delahunt, who has decided not to run again.

Following Saturday morning’s Farmers’ Market, there will be “A Day of Music” at the Grange Hall. It is sponsored by Friends of the Martha’s Vineyard Homeless, who invites families to come from 1-4:30 pm to enjoy the events. From 6 to 8:30 that evening, there will be a “Vineyard formal” dance for adults. The cost for both events is modest, $5 for the family afternoon, $25 for the Full Moon Dance.

The Polly Hill Arboretum begins its summer series of lectures and hands-on programs this Saturday morning. Come from 9 am to 12 noon to learn about “Propagating Trees and Shrubs From Cuttings.” Bring hand pruners, a sharp knife, and an apron, as you will collect cuttings from the arboretum grounds, and prepare them for rooting. Participants will go home with a small box of cuttings and a head full of information. Pre-register at 508-693-9426.

Wednesday, June 30, the arboretum has invited Judith Tankard, landscape historian and Massachusetts Horticultural Society Gold Medal honoree for her role in the advancement of historical New England gardens. She will speak about legendary landscape designer Beatrix Farrand, the subject of her eighth book. The program begins at 7:30 pm.

Allen Whiting opens his Davis House Gallery for the 2010 season this Sunday afternoon from 4 to 7 pm. It is the official beginning of West Tisbury’s gallery Sunday afternoons and a place to see some wonderful paintings.

Rob Berkley and Debby Phillips held court at a table full of visiting relatives Sunday morning at The Plane View. Everyone was leaving after breakfast, except their nephew, Sam, who is staying with Rob and Debby for the next two weeks. Sam will be attending daily programs at the Farm Institute.

A few evenings ago, I stepped out onto our porch, probably to let the cat out or in, as she always wants to be wherever she isn’t. There was a clear sky overhead, star-filled. The only other lights to be seen were the first-of-the-summer fireflies. It was one of those perfect moments.