Summer officially started last week on Tuesday and you can really feel it in town. Things have definitely kicked up a notch. School’s out and there are more people around, and nicer weather (well, for the most part). There are some unwelcome things about summer in Aquinnah however, namely, ticks and poison ivy.

Are there more deer ticks around this year? Two weeks ago my husband found four on our son, and the other day we found two and every day I seem to find one crawling or just settling in. If you are unaware of the hazards of deer ticks or what they look like, Google it or go to the library for tick and Lyme disease information (there is also a great article about tick-borne illness in the new magazine, Martha’s Vineyard Arts and Ideas).

Now we are a really small town and surely there is some action we could take that would wipe out Lyme disease in these parts? Whatever happened to the feeding station idea where the deer would enter into it and get brushed with Advantix? It’s really time to work on this. As for the poison ivy, I know it is so rampant all over the Island, but could it at least be plucked from the beach paths? The paths to Lobsterville, Philbin, and the Cliffs beaches are all lined with poison ivy, and it’s impossible to really protect your kids from getting it all over themselves. Please, can we get rid of it?

Today at the library from 3 to 4 pm bring your kids under age 5 for Music Together with Joyce Maxner, a program of song and movement for children and their parents or caregivers. This is great that the library is doing this program that you usually have to pay for, and Joyce doesn’t even run classes in the summer, normally. My son loved it, and I credit it for instilling in him a love of music and, more importantly, making and singing music. Come and check out a little sample of what Joyce does.

On Friday at 6 pm at the Aquinnah Shop there will be a live Reggae show; no cover charge.

This Saturday, July 2, from 10 am to 12 noon at the new Ag Hall in West Tisbury is the Annual Summer Reading Kick-Off! Face painting begins at 10 am, and clown Bill Ross will perform at 11 am. Open to all, admission $3, face painting $1.

The Spindrift Marionettes had to cancel last week’s performance at the library, but it has been rescheduled to Tuesday, July 5, at 2:30 pm. They will be performing a Celtic tale called “Catkin.”

Also on Saturday, there will be a Native Plant Walk with Aquinnah Elder Kristina Hook, at 2 pm and “First Farmers,” a video loop of traditional 17th-century Wampanoag farming (photos courtesy of Plimoth Plantation). Both events take place at the Aquinnah Cultural Center, 508-645-7900 or

The Fourth of July is of course on Monday and as we know, it’s all downhill from here folks. There will be a large parade in Edgartown and fireworks but first there will be a small parade of kids and dogs and maybe a classic car or two down Old South Rd. The parade starts at 11 am. Lineup starts at 10 am at the top of the hill.

Also on July 4, from 8:30 am to 10 am the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at Merchant’s Mart in Vineyard Haven is having a free pancake breakfast to honor our veterans and celebrate our freedom. Everyone is welcome. Pancakes, sausage, fruit and juice will be served. Local Cub Scouts will begin things with the pledge of allegiance, and there will be a veteran on hand. If you have any questions, call Jonathan Polleys at 774-563-0460.

Cinema Circus and the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival’s summer film series is back at the Chilmark Community Center every Wednesday night starting at 5 pm. The circus is going to be awesome this year, lots of great performances and food by Jan Buhrman’s Kitchen Porch (burritos! smoothies!) and a coffee bar by Todd Christie’s Chilmark Coffee Co. After the kid’s film there will be live music, more food, and then a film for grown-ups at 8 pm. Next week’s film is, “Mission Blue,” a documentary by Beach Plum Inn owner Bob Nixon about the organization whose goal is “to raise public awareness, start conversations, and inspire people to help protect” the oceans of the world. Sylvia Earle, the renowned oceanographer and undersea explorer, will attend the screening with Bob.

Happy 20th birthday to Christine (Gary’s niece); she celebrated last week.

The Chilmark Preschool ended the school year with a picnic on Menemsha Beach last week and said goodbye to Olive and Violet, Axel, Noah, Lily, Yossi, Peter, and William who will all be going on to kindergarten next year. In September there will be a whole new crop of little ones, but that’s ages from now.