West Tisbury: 90 Osprey nests


How wonderful to wake up to rain this morning. I heard it start around 4:30, then stop, and start again in earnest. By 7 am the world was washed clear. Colors sparkled, the sky was bright blue, the humidity dispelled from the air. It’s not as hot today, and the week’s projected weather calls for cooler temperatures, especially at night. No more rain in the foreseeable future. We could certainly use some of the excess that flooded Louisiana. That said, we had a half-inch here, and I am grateful for it.

Pink and white mallows are blooming in marshy spots. Oakleaf and peegee hydrangeas have never been prettier or more heavily flowered. Of course, I don’t remember so clearly from year to year, my husband tells me, and think every one is the best it has ever been. But this year, they have been resplendent. So many of us suffered what appeared to be the loss of hydrangeas over the past two winters. I cut some down to the ground this spring, and they seem to have recovered nicely.

Felix Neck reports that their osprey have occupied 90 active nests, and 144 young have successfully fledged. Linda Vadasz was cited as a “Citizen Scientist Volunteer,” whose job was to observe the osprey as they nested and cared for their young.

You may have noticed a new farm stand in town along State Road on the way to Cronig’s. Susie Middleton, a.k.a. sixburnersue, has moved down the road to garden and open her stand in front of Trippy Barnes’s. (Tommy Thomas’s, as many of us remember.) I had a nice visit with Susie and her black lab, Farmer, yesterday, then my favorite summer dinner: fingerling potatoes and string beans, both from Susie’s garden. Just boiled with a little butter and salt. The best. There are bouquets of zinnias and sunflowers, squash, corn, eggplants, tomatoes, and huge herb plants to cut a few sprigs from yourself. Susie’s cookbooks are available, too.

My friend Blue Cullen had big plans for the arrival of her niece, Stephanie DaRosa, and James Bohan’s baby, due Labor Day weekend. She had gathered games and planned refreshments for a group of us to share in the hospital waiting room while Stephanie was in labor. Iyla Grace Bohan had other ideas. She arrived unexpectedly early, August 18, 5 pounds 11 ounces, totally perfect. Iyla and her parents are getting acquainted at home, but asking friends to wait awhile before calling to visit. Grandparents are Dennis and Candy DaRosa and James and Mary Bohan.

The West Tisbury library has a list of events planned for this coming week. If you read this in time, Michelle Chalfoun will read and sign her new children’s book, “The Treasure of Maria Mamoun,” at 5 pm today, August 25. At 7 pm, there will be a classical music concert by pianist David Rhoderick and violinists Cesar Atzic Marquez and Olivia deGeofroy. David Stanwood will perform some of his own piano compositions on Saturday, August 27, at 7 pm. Monday, August 29 is the last of the summer Monday Night Movies; come at 6:30 pm for “Open Season — Scared Silly” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and free popcorn. Cynthia Riggs will read and sign her latest mystery, “Bloodroot,” on Tuesday, August 30, at 5 pm. On Wednesday evening, August 31, a special “Rock ’n’ Roll Evening with Dave Kish” begins at 5 pm.

The library is partnering with Featherstone Center for the Arts for an all-day event this Saturday, August 27, called Vineyard VincyFest. It’s a celebration of the historical relationship of the sister islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Martha’s Vineyard, dating from whaling days. Festivities begin at noon at Featherstone.

There are lots of art shows this weekend and beyond, many involving West Tisbury artists.

Sheila Fane is having a one-woman show of her latest paintings at the Old Sculpin Gallery in Edgartown. Unfortunately, I got the notice too late to tell you about the opening. Now there is only one day left to see it; it closes tomorrow, Friday, August 26.

Next at the Old Sculpin is an exhibition by Plein Air Painters, who have been painting together at designated sites through the summer. Dates are August 28 to Sept. 9. The opening reception is Sunday, August 28, 5 to 7 pm. The group has planned several special events during the show. There will be a painting demo Tuesday evening, August 30, 6 pm, at the Harbor View Hotel. (Rain date August 31.) On Sept. 1, you are invited to paint with the artists in the Sculpin’s second-floor studio from 6 to 8 pm. More events next week.

“Personal Visions: 9th Annual Group Abstract Show” opens at Louisa Gould Gallery in Vineyard Haven this Saturday, August 27, 5 to 7 pm. Work in a variety of media ranging from recognizable subjects loosely rendered to completely nonobjective will be shown through Sept. 9.

The Epstein and Littlefield family is made up of several artists, three generations to be exact. They will be exhibiting together at Featherstone’s Pebble Gallery opening this Sunday, August 28, 4 to 6 pm. The matriarch is Ruth Epstein, who will be showing mixed-media collage. Her sons are Mitch, a photographer, and Rick, a ceramist. Son-in-law Ivory Littlefield makes furniture and carved wooden bowls. Leah Littlefield is Ivory’s and Lisa Epstein’s daughter, a writer of poetry and prose. The show runs through Sept. 7.

If you are looking for a worthy project, the Martha’s Vineyard Alliance/Commonwealth Corps and Island Health Care Community Health Center are looking to engage the Island community in the Martha’s Vineyard Partnership for Health, Wellness, and Healthy Living Goals. Massachusetts residents over 18 years of age with an interest in community advocacy and development are being sought to serve half-time from August 29 to June 24, including training and assignments to specific projects. There will be a semimonthly stipend. For job description and application, contact ksamways@ihimv.org or call 508-627-5797, ext. 114.

The fair is over for 2016. If you missed it, look at the MV Times website. Sam Moore has put up a slideshow that captures many of the highlights and plenty of folks enjoying themselves. I have to admit, I wish I had gotten one of Morrice Florist’s flower crowns. They look beautiful and would make anyone feel very special.