West Tisbury: Crocuses buzzing with honeybees

— Kyra Steck

I had been disappointed at what appeared to be a smaller number of crocuses this year. They have spread on their own over the years, popping up all through the back lawn. But on Sunday, when the sun was shining and warming the soil, I was pleasantly surprised to see a purple and white carpet of crocuses buzzing with honeybees. The myrtle is beginning to bloom, too. I wish I could stop time.

Middletown Nursery has reopened for the season. I was driving home the other day, and saw a display of pansies that made me turn around and drive right into the parking lot. There were pansies of every color, almost all the large ones with faces that reminded me of my childhood, when my dad and I would share this annual spring ritual. There were fewer varieties in those days. Purple, blue, yellow, and dark red were the colors I remember, and none of the smaller violas we see today. That outing and a few days of sunshine make me think that spring is actually here. 

Susanna Sturgis let me know that Cris (Criseyde) Jones died on March 16. She had been living in a facility in Fall River the past few years, after more than six decades in West Tisbury. She will be buried in a private graveside service at the West Tisbury cemetery. A memorial gathering is being planned for when the weather warms up. My condolences to all who knew Cris and will miss her.

West Tisbury has a new poet laureate. Tain Leonard-Peck will follow Spencer Thurlow, who has held the position the past three years. You can read some of his poems on the library website.

Our annual town meeting and election are in three weeks, so expect news of candidates and warrant articles to predominate during that time. The town meeting date is Tuesday, April 12, and we will be back at the West Tisbury School. Note the new meeting time at 6 pm. The election will be Thursday, April 14, 7 am to 8 pm, at the Public Safety Building. If you need an absentee ballot, call town clerk Tara Whiting-Wells at 508-696-0148. She is in her office from 7:30 am to 12:30 pm.

Tara said there are openings on the finance committee and board of assessors that no one is running for. There are also some vacancies on appointed boards, and she could use some new volunteers to work at future elections.

In farm news, Tara told me that Whiting Farm’s 20 baby lambs are all doing well and spending some of their time in the big fields. Baby chicks are growing, too, and there is a pair of barn owls in residence.

Back to town politics. The energy committee will hold an information session to discuss and answer questions about the three articles at town meeting proposing that new construction and major renovations will be required to be 100 percent electric. Get your Zoom link for the program at the library, or wt_mail@clamsnet.org. It will be held this Sunday, March 27, at 3 pm.

I attended the session they held last week. Kate Warner and the other members of the committee did a good job explaining their proposals and their effects — costs, savings, implementation, what the regulations will entail. This is a critical time for all of us, and I am really proud of our town taking a proactive position to fight the effects of our warming planet. That said, it may not be easy for everyone to accept new regulations, or even the idea that it is up to us all to change our behavior. I was brought up by Depression and post-WWII-era parents who believed in sacrifice for the greater good. Enacting this bylaw will test us all and, I hope, encourage other towns to set their own goals for mitigating fossil-fuel use.

It also made me glad that Mike and I are already on Eric Lowe’s list to have our new heat pump system installed ASAP.

The League of Women Voters candidates forum is scheduled for Tuesday, March 29, at 7 pm. It will be live-streamed on MVTV, and available on demand until the town election on April 14. The one-year open seat on the select board is the only contested race this year, so the three candidates running will be interviewed and take questions at the forum. They are Chris Lyons, James Klingensmith, and Jessica Miller. Questions must be sent in advance. Please email kristi.strahler@me.com by March 28; she will give them to the forum’s moderator, Deborah Medders.

Major League Baseball has gotten its act together in time to start a full 162-game season. Opening Day is April 7. The Red Sox will be in New York for three games against the Yankees. Baseball. Oh, boy.