West Tisbury: It’s good to have friends with gardens

— Kyra Steck

Another hot, humid week. We had a little rain, very little, just enough to wet the grass and cool the air for an hour or two. I have been avidly watching the progress of Hurricane Isaias, hoping it will bring us some rain this week, but our chances are not looking good. At last check, it looked like the storm would veer to the left, moving inland instead of over the water where our Island awaits. I hate this summertime ritual of waiting for rain that seems never to come.

On the bright side, Mike and I just finished a dinner of fresh corn and Sungold tomatoes, and our refrigerator is full of other delicious vegetables. Marie-Louise Rouff brought us the Sungold tomatoes. Squash and cucumbers came from Stephanie daRosa’s and Linda Vancour’s gardens. Carrots were grown by Iyla Bohan. We are lucky to have so many generous and able gardeners for friends.

We have two new babies in town. Nina Ferry and Matthew Montanile have a son, Leonardo Dale Montanile, who was born on July 21. Kayla and Joe Fournier’s son, Treyden Walter Fournier, was born on July 29. A new generation. Welcome to you both.

It’s always a thrill to note the birth of babies, then to note their progress. At life’s big moments, like last weekend’s high school graduation, I looked at the names and photographs of the graduates, remembering when many of them were born. It all goes by so quickly. I remember Diana Manter painting a little chair for Hunter Athearn. Morgan Estrella and his cousin, Andrea Pachico, were new babies. Violet Cabot and Rose Herman were little girls only a moment ago. 

Of course, so was Nina Ferry, mother of the baby whose birth was just announced in the previous paragraph.

One of the West Tisbury library’s Zoom programs this week is the second annual Dionis Coffin Riggs Day of Poetry. There will be readings by several Island poets, Cynthia Riggs and Dionis Montrowl (Mrs. Riggs’ daughter and granddaughter), Peter Lederman, Christopher Legge, Georgia Morris, Arnie Reisman, Brooks Robards, Fan Ogilvie, Susan Puciul, Annette Sandrock, Valerie Sonnenthal, Ellen Story, and Warren Woessner. The program begins at 5 pm today, August 6. Email wt_mail@clamsnet.org to sign up.

I was sad to learn that Skip Hunziker died last week. He was a lovely man with varied interests, birding and art among them, and quite a sense of humor. My condolences to his wife, Norma Holmes, and to Skip’s daughter, Robin Smith, and her family.

There is a striking bouquet of sunflowers on the coffee table in our living room. They have large centers colored a mix of brown, green, and gold, surrounded by a double row of petals of the most intense yellow. The faces are brilliant, but it is the backs of sunflowers that I like the best. I like the way the green backs encircle the flowers with a ring of pointed spikes that curl backward behind the forward-curling petals. I like the long stems that feel prickly or fuzzy. They have pronounced nodes where the leaves come out. Those leaves have their personalities, too, twisting and curving into themselves. Sunflowers are the most fun to paint because every one is so totally unique.

Several years ago, when Glenn and Linda Hearn still had their stand at the Farmers Market, they always had spectacular bunches of sunflowers come midsummer. In fact, they had a field full of them. Cosmos and sunflowers reseeded themselves every year. The field was colorful with open rows to walk along, space to choose and cut the flowers. I think of that magical field every time I arrange a sunflower bouquet for my house. 

If you have any West Tisbury Town Column suggestions, email Hermine Hull, hermine.hull@gmail.com.