West Tisbury: Harvest Festival

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— Kyra Steck

Roly-polies and mushrooms are the latest hot topic in West Tisbury. They are everywhere and seemingly in numbers and varieties worthy of note. Both are affected by the damp, rainy conditions which we have had of late. Roly-polies, or pill bugs, are harmless, just a daunting sight inside your house where they are drawn in looking for moisture.

Mushrooms are another matter. They can be toxic to humans and pets, and rot in the lawn, making a slimy mess, spreading their spores to perpetuate more and more mushrooms in the future. Yuck.

While on the subject of current annoyances, I have found tiny ticks on my dog and cats. Not unexpected this time of year once temperatures begin to drop, just something to be aware of.

M.V. Democrats will meet this Saturday morning, Oct. 9, from 9:30 to 11 am, on Zoom. Items on the agenda include updates on the proposed housing bank, VOTES Act, the reproductive rights rally, the Democratic convention and 2021 party platform report, also a discussion of national and state Democratic candidates and policies.

There are some changes relating to the remaining Farmers Markets this month. Beginning next  Saturday, Oct. 16, both the Saturday and Wednesday markets will change their hours to 10 am to 1 pm. Wednesday markets will continue through the month, until Oct. 27. The last Saturday market will be Oct. 30. They will remain outside in the Ag Hall field.

The Ag Society’s Harvest Festival will be held next Saturday, Oct. 16. The event will share Ag Society grounds with the Farmers Market.

Congratulations to Dick Burt and fellow archaeologist/historian James Richardson, whose newly published book, “Discovering a Lost Vineyard House,” documents the discovery and excavation of the Chilmark homesite of John and Experience Mayhew. The authors gave a book launch lecture at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum last week. Signed copies are available at the museum’s book store.

Kate Warner would like to remind everyone to go on the town’s website and fill out the Energy Committee’s questionnaire. It asks questions about how we heat and cool our homes, what kind of vehicles we drive, what measures we would be willing to take to be more energy-efficient. It will only take a few minutes. The link is westtisbury-ma.gov/energy-committee.

Hannah Beecher stopped by my house early Sunday afternoon and said, “Do you want to go to the beach?” I did and I could, so with a towel, a bottle of water, a book and my sketchbook  packed into my New Yorker bag, we were off. Neither of us had been to the beach in ages. It was a perfect afternoon, sunny but cool enough to be pleasant, with a soft breeze. We settled ourselves into warm sand and listened to the surf pounding heavily onto the shore. It was too rough to swim; no one was in the water except for one surfer. The view was lovely, both the ocean and clouds, and the grasses, goldenrod, and tulies growing on the slanting dune toward Crab Creek. It’s one of those things I always wonder why I don’t do more often. It really was heavenly.

I was shocked to learn that Arnie Reisman had died suddenly at his home early Monday morning. What an amazing man. He will be remembered for his writing, his wit, his ability to come up with the mot juste in real time, not at 3 am like the rest of us. He always seemed too full of life to ever leave it. Condolences to his wife, Paula Lyons, to his fellow poets, writers, play readers, and friends.

Bow hunting started this week, so don’t forget to wear orange or another bright color when walking in the woods. Keep your dogs safe, too.

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