Tucked among the red cedars, black oaks and white oaks at Cedar Tree Neck Sanctuary stand six Atlantic white cedars, barely two feet tall.
Last year Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation planted 12 of these cedars at the sanctuary as part of a restoration project; the tree is said to be native to the Vineyard, according to executive director Adam Moore.
Visitors to the Cedar Tree Neck sanctuary might see a brilliant blue starflower, a state-listed box turtle, or a chestnut-sided warbler. If they are very lucky, they could spot a rhinoceros beetle, which is rarely still found on the mainland and with its characteristic horns can lift objects up to 850 times its own weight, making it one of the strongest animals on the planet.
A bit of the spectral from early Gazette editions:
Near the north shore of the Island just inshore from Cedar Tree Neck is what is left of the Crying Swamp. Here today is a small cranberry bog, surrounded by swamp bushes just like a hundred similar spots on the Vineyard.
Years ago even grown folks hurried past the place with a feeling of dread after dark. To all the neighborhood the swamp was known in a queer, supernatural way.
The place names are familiar and unchanging: Wasque, Cape Pogue and Long Point, Herring Creek Farm, Cedar Tree Neck and Fulling Mill Brook, Waskosim’s Rock and Pecoy Point, to name a few.
But the people who admire, use and could potentially contribute to the thousands of acres of land in conservation on the Vineyard have changed, and Island conservation leaders say this is what frames their biggest challenge today.