West Tisbury: Full moon


The full moon has come and gone, so it feels safe to put out tender summer plantings in the garden. I look forward to emptying our sunporch this afternoon of all the wintered-over houseplants and cuttings, sticking them outside under a shady bush. Can’t wait for the space and the ease of dousing them with a hose when I think of it, instead of having to water and fuss over houseplants. Much as I enjoy the color over the winter, I’m always glad to get them outside.

This past fall, I brought in some pots of annuals that bloomed all winter and plan to do it again this fall. They produced little bouquets of nasturtiums, petunias, and verbenas. I cut them back and fed them when they started to look straggly, and they regrew with vigor every time. A recommendation to all of you.

Our landscape and views are turning greener by the day. Edgartown Road is totally leafed out; the big maples along the road are always early. The oaks are still between the soft pink that precedes their turning into pale, then full green, the mix of complementary colors that makes their leaves an intriguing gray-green. The Mill Pond is surrounded by fresh chartreuse foliage and an underpainting of red and violet. Parsonage is all striped marsh grasses, dark green to light, a rivulet all that’s left of the pond. Beach roses and viburnums surround the Great Pond. I’m waiting for the splendid rhododendron display on Middle Road, for the kousa dogwoods at the Arboretum, all to come.

The garden centers are all full of gorgeous temptations. I looked at the plant list for the Polly Hill Arboretum sale this Saturday (rain date is Sunday) and saw several possibilities. Their Visitors’ Center opens with a tour of the gardens at 9 am, the plant sale from 10 to 2, and a garden talk at 1. Ghost Island is open now, too. Mermaid Farm has wonderful seedlings for sale, along with milk, yogurt, cheese, and meat. Green Island Farm has their “Eggs” sign out on State Road. The Grey Barn is well-stocked with cheese, meat, and milk.

Right across State Road from Ghost Island is Marie-Louise Rouff’s gallery/studio, which has opened for the summer. Leslie Baker is having an opening this Saturday, May 28, 4 to 6 pm, at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse Art Space in Vineyard Haven. Allen Whiting’s Davis House Gallery is open by appointment. The Family Planning Art Show is this weekend at the Ag Hall. Ruth Kirchmeier’s retrospective opens at the library June 1.

Other things happening at the library this week are: Saturday, May 28, June Manning is teaching a genealogy workshop, 3 to 4 pm. On Tuesday, May 31, there are two evening events. At 6 pm, the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury will host a screening of “Spotlight,” an Academy Awardwinning film. And Sangha, Martha’s Vineyard Community of Mindfulness, will hold its weekly meeting at 6:30. Next Friday, June 3, Judy Kranz’s four-week Pilates class begins. Please sign up at the library, as spaces in the class are limited. All events are free.

The library staff has been far-flung, but all have returned in time for the holiday weekend. Laura Coit and Tim Boland visited their daughter Clare in Prague, where she is studying. Beth Kramer attended the Massachusetts Library Association Annual Conference in Hyannis, where she served on a panel about “Library Design and Technology.” This past weekend, she traveled to Omega, in Rhinebeck, N.Y., to take a meditation class with Pema Chodron, whom she greatly admires. She has wanted to meet her for 30 years. Nelia Decker is also home after a week off-Island.

A reminder from Dr. Fred Hotchkiss to sign up for his Horseshoe Crab Mating Survey, either for Sengekontacket or Tashmoo. New moon dates are June 3, 5, and 7. Full moon dates are June 18, 20, and 22. Volunteers are also needed for 8 am nest counts. Please call 508-627-4850 to sign up.

Dr. Steve Atwood, as a Trustee of University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, was invited to a private showing and demonstration for trustees of the first robotic CT scanner for horses at the school’s New Bolton Center. The machine goes around the horse, giving 3-D images in real time. Penn has pioneered this technology. Their goal is to develop further the technology to use when treating children with cancer. You can see for yourself at bit.ly/equineimaging.

Nice news that the Reverend Terry Newberry and his wife, Barbara, will be returning to West Tisbury for awhile. The Rev. Newberry will be the sabbatical coverage minister at the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury from August 22 to Dec. 15. The Reverend Cathlin Baker will be spending her sabbatical in Scotland. The Newberrys and their bichon, Tizzie, named for West Tisbury, are looking for housing from mid-August to mid-October when they will move to a house in Chilmark for the rest of their stay.

Mike and I were having our dinner one evening last week when Nanuk, our golden retriever, went to the door, eager to be let out. Talley, our yellow lab, ran over and joined in. Fortunately, Mike looked outside before opening the door, as a large hen was strutting and clucking on our porch. Nelson, our cat, was wide-eyed, looking at this strange creature. Mike held the dogs while I went out and got Nelson inside. Then we had to deal with the chicken. She was very tame and used to being held. Mike picked her up in his arms, carried her out to his truck, and returned her to our across-the-street neighbors, the Holthams, who were happy to have her back. They were missing three chickens and feared that hawks had taken the other two. Glad we could return this one.

Beth Kramer will be taking over the column for the next two weeks. Please send her your news at bkramer@clamsnet.org.