Fern & Feather is 50, celebrating the life of a friend, and more

Black crowned night heron at Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, Edgartown. — Alison Shaw Photography

Here they come, people! Get ready! On Friday, those ferries start spouting summer residents, vacationers, day-trippers, bikes, babies, and black Labradors, and that deluge of new faces and frenzied paces is due to continue clear into September. Summer season is officially upon us. Time for endless days of sunshine, fried clams, ice cream, and social calendars promising an abundance of fun.

We got a taste of summer this past weekend, when we decided to take a ride out to Norton Point. A “ride” turned into “might as well bring a grill and chairs,” and the next thing we knew, six hours had passed in a sandy, sunny, sausage-with-mustard-y haze. A couple of brave souls even jumped into the ocean. That’s one way to clean out those winter cobwebs right quick.

Last week, we celebrated the opening of The Port Hunter, our favorite summer spot. The soft opening granted a great opportunity to reconnect with some of our migratory friends, such as Lee and Cheryl Welch, who once again spent their winter on their boat, cruising around the Caribbean. From port to port, island to island, a pirate’s life for these two. We are thrilled to have you back in the home harbor.

I ran into Kevin Searle the other day, who is currently facing another round in the ring with cancer. Kevin will be undergoing surgery at Falmouth Hospital on May 30, and requests all happy thoughts, good vibes, and prayers you wish to send his way. And if you would like to go a step further, cards can be sent to the hospital or to 51 Chase Road in Edgartown. Good luck, Kev. You got this!

Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary is marking the 50th anniversary of its Fern & Feather Day Camp with a series of celebratory events commencing this month and extending to the Columbus Day Weekend. The creation of the Fern & Feather Day Camp was a pivotal moment in the history of the wildlife sanctuary. Conservationist Anne Hale and friends believed the island community needed a place where children could roam free to explore the outdoors and learn from knowledgeable naturalists. The group founded the Martha’s Vineyard Natural History Society in 1964 and started the day camp at Felix Neck that year. A number of special 50th anniversary events are planned over the next few months to commemorate Fern & Feather, including book signings, various educational programs, and visits from renowned naturalists. The wildlife sanctuary is also undertaking a 50 for Fifty scholarship drive, with a goal of raising $50,000 to ensure that all Vineyard families can participate in this enduring tradition. For more information on Fern & Feather Day Camp and the 50th anniversary events at Felix Neck, visit massaudubon.org/fern-feather-fifty.

Beginning on May 26 and running until August 31, the 1828 Meetinghouse of the Federated Church will be open from 1 to 3 pm every day. Hosts will be on hand to answer questions, and information about the history of the church will be available. Sit in the pews both downstairs and upstairs and imagine what it is like to hold worship services in this special place, which was built 186 years ago. It has changed little since then, from its large chandelier adorned with old whale oil lamps from the days of whaling to the large windows that  provide ample sunlight. Frederick Baylies Jr., the architect of the Meetinghouse, later designed the Baptist Church on School Street and the Old Whaling Church on Main Street. For more information, please call Marna at 508-627-4421.

I’ve had word from Judy Bruguiere regarding an upcoming celebration of Pat Brown’s life that will take place June 27, beginning with an 11 am service at St. Elizabeth’s Church followed by a reception. Pat was a lifelong resident of Edgartown and the school nurse for all of the Island schools as well as Judy’s oldest and closest friend. Pat’s friends, neighbors, former coworkers, and students are encouraged to submit their special memories, photos, and tributes (dated if possible) by email to Jennifer Marlin (Jennifer.w.marlin@ampf.com) or mail to Jennifer W. Marlin, P.O. Box 1311, Edgartown, MA 02539. These will be shared on memorial display boards, and anyone wishing to speak at Pat’s celebration will be encouraged to do so: her life was filled with many beautiful stories that have yet to be told.

Birthday wishes go out this week to Nicole Le Blond and Janice Donaroma, who celebrate May 22; to Jerry Bennett, May 23; to Ashley Van Murphy, May 24; and to Eliza “Disco” Dolby and Denise “Diamond D” Solomon, May 27. Have a good one, party people.

Got Edgartown news? Contact Linley Dolby here.