Save the date

Islander photographers share their 2020 calendars.

As 2020 dawns we can all find something to worry about — the climate, the election, the economy, our jobs, our families, cluttered basements, shrinking paychecks, aching backs, and creaky cars. But we say raise a cheer, raise a glass, and raise your spirits and welcome 2020 wholeheartedly!

Every New Year’s Day can be a fresh start and there’s magic in the dreams of a future yet to evolve. And nothing says hope for the future like fresh, shiny Vineyard calendars with their images of happy days, heartwarming months, seasons full of promise.

Colorful calendars by Vineyard photographers are ready to guide us through the days, reminding us of the beauty all around us. So take a deep breath, hang that Vineyard calendar and look forward to a happy, bright New Year.

 

“Vineyard Serenity” — Michael Blanchard

This 18-month calendar is chock full of compelling nature photos along with thought- provoking reflections. Blanchard has chosen Misty Meadows Equine Learning Center to benefit from proceeds and features photos and info on its program throughout the calendar.

Blanchard’s shots alternate between dramatic and peaceful and all are breathtaking, often surprising us with unusual features or angles.

A giant moon rises surrealistically above a snowy farmyard. Sparkling fireworks fill the sky, winter surf crashes as sunlight breaks through dark clouds. The Edgartown Lighthouse photographed from above, surrounded by a terrace of memorial bricks is a solemn yet comforting sight.

 

“The Vineyard Calendar 2020” — Peter Simon

 

When photographer Peter Simon passed away in November 2018 his countless fans and friends were glad that his 2019 calendar was already published, a perfect last gift from Peter. All assumed it marked the final edition of a brilliant 31-year series in which Simon captured the essence and atmosphere of the Vineyard like no one else.

But Simon’s wife Ronni and son Willie were determined not to let the story end there. They worked tirelessly with assistance from other supporters to produce this 2020 calendar, compiling photos Peter had planned for it with some earlier images and the photographer’s thoughtful words, all drawing us gratefully once more into his world.

The cover glows as the Campground decks out for Illumination. Snow frosts a stone wall but can’t keep brave daffodils down. Edgartown forsythia blooms, Lucy Vincent welcomes a jubilant crowd, and soft snow embraces St. Andrew’s Church.

 

“Vineyard Seadogs Calendar” — Lisa Vanderhoop

Wonder what joy looks like? Just take a look at Lisa Vanderhoop’s charming canines. These 2020 personalities are as lovable and energetic as those in her last 16 calendars as they celebrate the months, giving us plenty of healing giggles along the way. Dogs have a wonderful knack for enjoying life. These exultant dogs inspire us to throw ourselves into every moment with joy and abandon and savor every day just like they do.

A Golden Retriever trotting triumphantly down the beach is the picture of freedom and delight. Tyto, a spirited Aussiedoodle, braves the wind in frothy surf. There’s a quartet of elegant little Papillons and happy pups splash through the sea. Our favorite, Tuckernuck, a long-coated German Shepherd, lounges serene and stately on Moshup Beach. We love that Vanderhoop includes pages packed with small snapshots of all the wonderful seadogs she has photographed over the year, each cuter and more compelling than the next.

 

“Vineyard Colors 2020” — Moira Fitzgerald and Yann Meersseman

Most landscape photographers struggle to catch the light at dawn or dusk to get that perfect shot. But for Fitzgerald and Meersseman, finding that sweet spot came as a fringe benefit of their job delivering newspapers around the Island.

Their pristine views of Vineyard landscapes while most of us are barely awake are suffused with that cleansing dawn light that makes familiar vistas look fresh and new.

Ice chunks float at an Edgartown beach as the sky turns golden. Only a few lights shine above darkened Oak Bluffs Harbor. The drawbridge is reflected in quiet water under a lightning purple sky. Poetry by Dan Waters adds literate whimsy. And you can plan your days with the Vineyard Colors photo-rich date book.

 

Felix Neck Wildlife Calendar — 2020 Special Edition

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary offers a unique calendar to mark the occasion. Along with current images of local birds and wildlife often seen at the idyllic Edgartown property, this special edition mixes in history. Images from Vineyard Gazette archives spotlight special moments and people.

Admirers of Gus BenDavid will love views of the dedicated naturalist/teacher helping raise an osprey pole, holding a Golden Eagle, surrounded by fascinated youngsters. Director Suzan Bellincampi wrangles a massive Green Sea Turtle.

The late Julian Robinson, talented wildlife photographer and staunch friend of birds and Felix Neck, is represented by his image of a swooping barn owl. This calendar is dedicated to longtime director Gus BenDavid, “consummate teacher of nature who was instrumental in getting Felix Neck up and running.” Proceeds benefit the sanctuary.

 

“Cats of Martha’s Vineyard” — Lynn Christoffers

Any cat lover who has tried to take a picture of this uncooperative, camera-shy creature will be in awe of Lynn Christoffers. Her annual cat calendars highlight images of local felines filled with personality.

They preen on tables, doze in sunshine, stalk through gardens, lounge on cushions. Cat whisperer Christoffers somehow gets these independent pets to stop, look, and pose.

Stars include photogenic Scooter of Shadbush Hollow, calico Scrappy at Grey Barn, and gorgeous orange kitten Andre of the long bushy tail.

Christoffers offers her calendars in three formats — small desk and large and medium wall-hanging styles. She uses different selections of photographs for each, and will create a custom calendar beginning any month you choose. Email her at lchristoffers@gmail.com.

 

“Vineyard Inspirations 2020”/”Seascapes Calendar” — Barbara Reynolds

Barbara Reynolds offers two calendars in unusual formats. Her “Vineyard Inspirations” desk calendar marks each month with a lovely Island vista — seashores, fields, April lambs, July’s festive Ocean Park — paired with an uplifting message.

“It’s up to you to see the beauty in everyday things,” appears in February. “Learn From yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow,” urges December’s message as snow falls.

The unique Seascapes Calendar features a frame and a dozen cards to change as the months go by. Each card is a wonderful piece of art on its own, with scenes from stormy winter seas to crisp deep blue water in April, pastel hued sunsets and one magic moment when sea and sky glow lavender.

 

“Birds” — Sarah Mayhew

Wildlife photographer Sarah Mayhew lives and works in California and visits family in her native West Tisbury several months a year. Whether on the East or West coasts or somewhere in between, Mayhew keeps her lens squarely focused on the birds.

Her smashing “Birds” calendar features feathered denizens of many locales including California, Florida, Texas, and Newfoundland. Though none were photographed here, all images are captivating. Puffins are quirky and perky. There’s an iridescent Green Jay, a fluffy Snowy Owl, breathtaking Roseate Spoonbills, a Tricolored Heron graceful as a ballet dancer. Irresistible!

Email slmayhew77@gmail.com.