As you mark down the days until Christmas, you might notice that the days to cross off are running out. Calendars are the physical manifestation of a whole year, and congratulations, you’ve reached the end of this one. It’s always fun to flip through the past few months and look at all the stuff you did. You were busy!
No one’s sure how Martha’s Vineyard calendars became a thing, though the Island’s memorable and beautiful scenery probably had something to do with it. These traditional calendars bring it to the people in the off-season, the on-season, and the in-between season, wherever they may be. Here’s the rundown on 2018’s best Martha’s Vineyard calendars, made by your favorite Island photographers and artists.
For all things Vineyard:
Peter Simon, $19.95
This calendar will keep you up-to-date with all the hip happenings. It marks historic events in Vineyard history, from the opening of the M.V. Railroad in August of 1874, to when the “new” WMVY hit the airwaves in May of 1983, and the Obamas’ first visit to the Island in August of 2009. It also sets reminders for various flea and farmers market openings, the Chilmark Road Race, WMVY’s Big Chili contest, Illumination Night, and other annual events. Plus the usual national holidays, solstices, and Jewish holidays are listed.
The calendar also lists average temperatures and rainfalls for the month, curated monthly quotes, and doubles as a moon chart.
Above all that, huge photographs by Peter Simon to be displayed in your kitchen or dining room. These are seasonally themed pictures, reminding us of the bloom of May flowers, the hot, red sunset of July, the bright warmth of October leaves. “I chose pictures that are slightly more scenic than the year before,” Peter said. Glimmering fireworks above a lighthouse, grassy dunes at Moshup Beach. “I put in a few quirky ones,” he added. Buoys in the snow, the Edgartown Christmas parade. Something for everyone Vineyard-obsessed. To order, go to petersimon.com or pick one up at the Simon Gallery or Bunch of Grapes in Vineyard Haven.
For lovers of dogs:
Vineyard Seadogs, $16
The popular Vineyard Seadogs calendar by Lisa Vanderhoop is 11 years old in 2018. “I find dogs that are interesting and unique-looking,” Lisa said, then she photographs them in locations around the Island. There is much to look forward to in this year’s canine calendar. A dog on a horse, for example, and on a boat, and on the beach. There are jumping dogs, swimming dogs, and pensive-looking scenic dogs. There are dogs young and old, big and small. “This project has enriched me,” she said. “I’ve met so many amazing people and so many amazing dogs.” On 2019’s calendar, she hints, “I’ve found a dog that surfs. I’ve always wanted a dog that surfs.” Vineyard Seadogs sponsors the Animal Shelter of M.V., too. To order, contact email@example.com or go to vineyardseadogs.com. The calendar is also available at Bunch of Grapes in Vineyard Haven.
For lovers of cats:
Cats of West Tisbury, $10 desk, $20 wall
We know there are cat lovers out there too, and Lynn Christoffers is a photographer of cats since way back. She even published a book about Vineyard cats. Her calendar features cute local cats for those feline-inclined. There is a small or large version. The calendar is available for purchase at Alley’s Farm Stand, or through Lynn herself. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And for lovers of birds:
Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, $14
This calendar features photos by Jeff Bernier, Michael Ditchfield, Marc Fournier, Timothy Johnson, Lanny McDowell, Susie Schwoch, Sharon Siminon, and Maria Thibodeau. Inside, find images of birds and other wildlife in their natural habitats on the Island — along with their scientific name and a few fun facts. This book is only about a fourth of the size of a regular calendar, a perfect gift for someone who better appreciates the little things in life. Proceeds of your purchase will support natural history programs at Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, and the calendar is dedicated to Susie Schwoch. You can purchase it at the gift shop at Felix Neck in Edgartown.
To see the Island in the best light:
Vineyard Colors, $19.95
The faces behind the camera are Moira Fitzgerald and Yann Meersseman, who not only provide a huge Facebook following with stunning visuals from year-round morning sunrises, but also deliver our daily newspapers. Their early-morning start is how they’re able to capture the bright orange water or misty pink glow on the water around the Island. The calendar also features poetry from Dan Waters on each page. Available for purchase on vineyardcolors.com or at Bunch of Grapes in Vineyard Haven.
For inspiration and encouragement:
Michael Blanchard, $19.95
Vineyard Serenity, this huge calendar (13.5 x 16.5 inches!) is published by Island photographer and recovering alcoholic Michael Blanchard. The calendar features essays about Michael’s journey to recovery, and each page includes three stunning photographs of Vineyard scenes. The calendar starts two months early, beginning September 2017 to December 2018. Last year, sale of his calendars raised almost $15,000 for addiction treatment on Martha’s Vineyard, and this year, proceeds will benefit Rising Tide Therapeutic Equestrian Center. Available for purchase on blanchardphotomv.com.
For all things Chappy:
Chappaquiddick Community Center, $20
This calendar features the results from the CCC’s annual photo contest, where anyone can submit, and Chappy residents vote on their favorites. All photos taken on Chappy, all scenics, all in color, so if you can’t get out there, at least you can appreciate the beauty from your kitchen. The calendar lists national holidays and all of CCC’s annual events, so you won’t miss a beat. Available at the Chappy Community Center for purchase.
For the homebody:
Susan Branch, $7.99 small, $14.99 large
Fans of Susan Branch will be familiar with her “Heart of the Home” series. Each page is complete with a watercolor illustration painted by Susan herself, at her home in Vineyard Haven. “This calendar is meant to slow things down as it celebrates the little things in life,” she writes on her website. The 7 x 7 inch version truly celebrates all things little — and is available for purchase at Bunch of Grapes in Vineyard Haven. You can purchase both versions on her website, susanbranch.com.
Reliable Market is giving out a 2018 calendar with “Delicious and Nutritious” recipes inside. Get away with making the same thing every day for a whole month. Pick one up for free at the checkout counter.