Up to date

Island calendars ring in 2019.


Time flies, and the best way to capture it is by finding a calendar that will not only keep you up-to-date, but also bring you joy, inspiration, and a chuckle here and there. Although some folks pick their New Year’s calendar before now, many of us wait for strains of “Auld Lang Syne” to fade away before choosing our date keepers for the year ahead.

A host of Vineyard photographers have weighed in for 2019 with monthly images to soothe, surprise, and make us smile, even as we are penciling in that next dentist appointment, work deadline, or tax-due date.

We’ve rounded up a sampling of Vineyard calendars. Their striking views of harbors and fields, towns and farms, beaches, gardens, and birds and wild creatures are reminders of what a lovely and special place we are blessed to inhabit.

This year marks the 31st that Peter Simon published his resplendent calendar, chronicling the months, the life, the personality, and the essence of the Vineyard like no one else. It is with a sad heart that we recognize his calendar for the final year. When our friend and colleague Peter passed away in November, his calendar was already completed. We, his admirers, are fortunate for it.

As in so many calendars before, Simon maintains an uncanny talent for conveying not only the visual image of each place he features, but its atmosphere — the feeling of being there.

June’s lush view of Polly Hill Arboretum in full bloom brings us hope for returning warmth. February’s skaters dot a frozen pond, seen through bare branches. August’s exultant celebration rains fireworks around the Ocean Park gazebo. Fred Fisher III and daughter Prudence guide draft horses on a meandering hayride through October, and the Simon family dog Zeppy sits in sunshine by a Chilmark stone wall in November. Each view is exquisite and thoughtfully planned. Pure Vineyard; pure Peter Simon.

Sobering, though, to note his loss. Peter would not want us to enter the New Year with anything other than joy and appreciation for life and the Island he loved.

Catch yourself in a swirl of vibrant energy with Lisa Vanderhoop’s annual Vineyard Seadogs Calendar. Even after 15 years of capturing these spontaneous images, neither Vanderhoop nor her subjects have lost a drop of enthusiasm. As we all know, dogs live life to the fullest — taking risks, enjoying every effervescent moment, and relaxing in the sunshine. They encourage us to do the same — a great New Year’s message.

A quartet of Labs — yellow, black, chocolate — paddle ecstatically in Vineyard Haven Harbor, tennis balls held proudly. A Dalmatian puppy and Great Dane dance on smooth sand in February. Weimaraner Claus sits stately as the Sphinx on Moshup Beach in March. A yellow Lab rescue pup with soulful eyes luxuriates in welcoming summer sea in April; and Kota, a perky Alaskan Klee Kai, welcomes December with a doggie smile. Faithful companions, these canines join their owners for fishing adventures, horseback rambles, and even surfboard yoga.

Cat fanciers will be delighted by Lynn Christoffers’ Island felines. From the tiny, tiger-striped kitten in a lush green garden to elegant, inscrutable tuxedo cat Jose, each cat exudes personality. Gus emerges from under a blanket; Marilyn, a golden beauty, dreams of mice and mischief behind those green eyes.

Christoffers has a talent for picturing cats being their cute and quirky selves: they stalk, they preen, they stare, they climb, they ignore us, and they enjoy a good nap.

Christoffers offers her calendars in three formats, including a small desk calendar and a large and medium wall-hanging calendar. She uses a different selection of photographs for each of the three calendars, and has whimsical cat ornaments, too. For information or to order a calendar, email lchristoffers@gmail.com.

Vineyard Colors Calendar offers wonderful serenity with its luminous images, captured in quiet mornings or twilight hours. It all started when creators Moira Fitzgerald and Yann Meersseman started compiling the dawn scenes they shot while delivering newspapers. The calendars offer unique Island views.

Swirls of snow frost Ocean Park in January; cold green sea splashes decorate March. May’s Edgartown Great Pond is a study in blues. An antlered buck in Aquinnah stares into the lens; hydrangeas celebrate spring, and for December, a brilliantly lighted tree floats in nighttime Sunset Lake. Poetic wit and whimsy by Dan Waters is an added bonus each month. New this year is a useful photo-filled date book.

The Felix Neck Wildlife Calendar raises funds for the sanctuary while adorning our walls with close-ups of our feathered and furry neighbors. The sight of a bird, insect, or wild animal each month is a poignant reminder of the preciousness of all living things. The 2019 calendar is aptly dedicated to the late Edo Potter, who’s described as “a matriarch of conservation.”

Eight local photographers contributed to this 16th edition of the calendar. We shiver with Timothy Johnson’s northern cardinal in January. For April, Brian Packish shows a flock of red-winged blackbirds bursting with springtime energy. There’s a puffy little pine warbler — a northern pintail on still water. Sharon Siminon captures a hummingbird clearwing moth.

Dedicated wildlife photographer Sarah Mayhew has issued her third annual calendar — a bird lover’s delight. Mayhew admits not all the photos were taken on-Island, although most of the birds featured could be spotted here. Dividing time between West Tisbury and Davis, Calif., Mayhew photographs on both coasts, and even in Canada.

A bright evening grosbeak welcomes January. A western bluebird marks April amid pink blossoms. A trio of young birds joins in a “feed me!” chorus. There are a stately bald eagle, a northern gannet performing intricate aerial ballet while a hummingbird floats, suspended, and a soft snowy owl brings us once more round the seasons to December. For more information or ordering, contact slmayhew77@gmail.com.

A New Year’s surprise at the Steamship Authority terminal is the third annual “Sail into Imagination” calendar. The colorful free calendar features designs by Cape, Islands, and New Bedford winners of the boat line’s Student Art Contest. We, of course, focused on two cheerful entries by Vineyarders Chloe Nicotera, a Tisbury School fourth grader, and Lethicia Diniz, a third grader at Edgartown School. Congratulations to all talented young winners, and Happy New Year to everyone.


Most calendars are available at Island shops, and can be purchased online or directly from the artists.