The fickle month of March is on its way out. Perhaps by the time you read this, you will have heard peepers or seen a daffodil blooming. The beginning of the week, with its below-freezing temperatures and chill winds, certainly showed no signs that those events might take place, but my records from past years show they’re possible.
While I was away last weekend, my family raked the yard, cleaned out the garden beds, and cut up some fallen trees, which makes a big difference in my mental outlook — and makes me think I should go away more often.
Peter Wells has been supervising a bit of tidying up in the ferry channel. Heidi, the diver, joined forces with ferry captain Walter Streeter to take up some nets that had caught on the electric cable at the bottom of the channel off the town wharf. Peter figured the nets might become a problem in the summer for some of the bigger boats passing through and, as they floated upward in a low tide, might catch on the ferry propellers.
As Peter points out, the channel and harbor look very nice from above, but down below there’s a lot of junk, including old bicycles and tires. My daughter thought the bikes were left over from the days of aquabiking, when we rode bikes off the ferry ramp, but I assured her we had Clorox bottle floats attached so we could haul them out. Maybe someone got tired of there being no room in the rack at the Point and threw a couple of those ancient rusty bikes into the drink — the ones that look as if they’d fused into one solid hunk of metal, adorned with drooping rubber tires.
At the encouragement of Peter’s business partner (his wife), he got an underwater radio in order to communicate with Walter while he’s down below. Walter dives under the ferry about every three weeks to make sure everything looks all right on the ferry props and the underside, and it seemed safer to be able to stay in touch by radio while he’s underwater. Lately, Walter has had to remove pieces of rope that have washed down the harbor from the ocean.
Tomorrow is Lights Out Martha’s Vineyard, during which we are encouraged to join the world’s Earth Hour in turning out all nonessential lighting for one hour, between 8:30 and 9:30. This is a way to demonstrate that we can take actions that will save electricity, reduce carbon emissions into our air and help preserve our natural resources. Lights Out Martha’s Vineyard also has some energy savings tips: turn off nonessential lights when not in use, install motion sensors or timers on all outdoor lighting, get an energy audit and follow the energy saving recommendations, install compact fluorescent light bulbs in homes and offices, and plug all electronics into power strips that can be turned off when not in use. You can join Felix Neck for their Lights Out guided night walk; call 508-627-4850, extension 100 for details.
Also Felix Neck needs volunteers for their Osprey Festival on Saturday, April 4. Call them if you’re able to help out at 508-627-4850.
CIA president Terry Forde told me about some of the plans for the new land bank property at Quammox, formerly belonging to the Chasins. Evidently plans include a rack for boat storage at the beach. Quammox is directly across from the Norton Point breach and gives a good view of the changes going on there. Nancy Slate told me that a lot of sand had washed away, including the end of the boardwalk, from the beach where people swim at Wasque.
Spring seems to bring babies. Dale Carter called me to inquire about community center T-shirts because she suddenly has three new nieces and nephews, including a set of twins. The lambs have started being born across the harbor at the Farm Institute. These little wobbly creatures are worth a visit, especially in the first couple of days while they’re trying to figure out what the heck they’re doing here.
Fran and Bob Clay will host the next potluck at the community center on Wednesday, April 1 at 6 p.m. for appetizers and 6:30 for dinner. Everyone is welcome.
Hopefully the Clays are not practical jokers. April 1st as growing up because my mother was an inveterate practical joker. In looking through old papers recently, I found her second grade report card which states: “She has a fine sense of humor, which she sometimes misuses in playing practical jokes.” So, she was probably just born that way.
Once on the steamer from New York to the Vineyard, she and her cousin Olive Pinney (later Tilghman) locked all the doors in the women’s bathrooms from the inside. Evidently when her mother heard the doors had been locked, she knew just who the culprits might be. In my family, we learned to be suspicious on April 1st. We might be served flannel pancakes, which were regular pancakes with round pieces of flannel concealed inside.