I feel that the weather deserves mention. Widely criticized for its July failures, it is coming through with some stellar efforts of late. Kudos to you, weather, for recognizing your poor showing in July and taking the steps to provide some August magic.
I was shopping for birdseed at the Stop & Shop on Monday for my clubhouse feeder and was having some trouble reconciling spending the extra money for the deluxe nuts and berries mix. A common dilemma for Chappy folk, I’m sure. Did the birds really need the added goodies? These are lean times at Chappy Golf. Then I noticed the gourmet cookies in my basket. And I saw the little bird faces of my feathered friends as they watched cookie crumbs collect on my sweatshirt front while they picked through a poor assortment of seeds. I knew what I had to do. And I apologize to anyone standing behind me at the seed rack — sometimes one needs a little extra time when making decisions of importance.
Speaking of birds and patience, I watched an osprey make several trips overhead with single twigs in its beak. Apparently, the choice nest twigs were located several hundred yards away, as the osprey would disappear over the trees of the golf course and only return after many minutes. What a long way to go, I thought, for just one brick in the wall. But then it occurred to me that this osprey might well have similar thoughts about me as it watched as I traveled to and from Cottles with a ton of lumber . . . many, many times. And again, I wondered at how closely linked we are with the rituals of nature, living as we do on Chappy. Then I went home and watched ESPN.
Driving around Chappy, I often notice downed limbs of trees as they encroach on passageways. I’m conditioned to see these things because after spending so much time pruning, trimming and culling golf course brush, I see the entire island as one big clean-up project. Sometimes I’ll make the effort to retrieve my chain saw and remove the intruding wood but I usually hope the landowner will make that move. That’s the interesting nature of trees — they are among the least respectful of property boundaries. To whom they, in fact, belong to can be debatable points of contention. They drop their leaves on the neighbor’s property; their branches wander and reach to power lines. But we forgive trees their transgressions because they were here first, and there is no malice in their trespassing. The trick is to afford our human neighbors the same grace.
Speaking of tolerance for interlopers, I have decided to forgo charging rent to the mice that have taken up residence in my irrigation valve boxes. There are maybe two dozen of these bread-sized boxes buried into the ground throughout the course, and I imagine my rodent friends looked upon their implementation as somewhat of a luxury condo development. I’m sure they’re not thrilled by their landlord’s intrusion into their homes as I make irrigation adjustments, but I figure it’s a small price to pay for subsidized housing. I will, however, resist their request for a community pool.
Speaking of mice, our cat Alphonso has a rule of thumb that he will not pursue any creature larger than his thumb (or whatever one calls that last claw pad). So mice are left to come and go as they please in our house, with nary a harsh look from him. Even crickets are out of play — too large and threatening to be reckoned with. Mostly he focuses on the lazy, slow-moving flying brown beetles. Nights are spent in vigilant protection of us from these menaces. The occasional lamp that is broken or head that is stepped on are small casualties to the greater good of our safety. Thank you, Fonzie.
Finally, I would like to mention that we have in our Chappy midst one of the nation’s foremost glass smellers in Sally Wells. Peter informed me of this news a few weeks ago but I’ve been remiss in reporting it. Seems Sally can tell old glass from new glass simply by its odor. So if you have panes of glass lying around the house that you’ve been meaning to assign appropriate age — now is the time to avail yourself of this valuable Chappy resource.
And in CCC news, please make note of the following:
The 5th annual all-island Chappy Pong table tennis tournament will be held Sunday, August 11 at the Chappaquiddick Community Center. Sign up at 10 a.m. Play begins at 11 a.m. in a round robin format. No fee required. Players of all skill levels and ages are invited and playing equipment is provided. The open tournament is cosponsored by the center and the Martha’s Vineyard Table Tennis Club. Prizes will be awarded to finalists. The community center is located a mile and half from the Chappy Point ferry landing. Contact Bob O’Rourke at 508-627-7902 or 301-509-7298 for more information.