Summer must be here — the Chappy tennis courts have turned a lovely deep shade of Wimbledon green. But before the Chappy environmental police swing into action — paint, not high-nitrogen fertilizer is the catalyst to this tinting. I believe the courts will be opening soon for play, and the setting, placement and existence of the new courts settles them nicely into our town center (where else but Chappy would the hub of town be considered to be a community center, a tennis and basketball court, and a yet-to-be-occupied cemetery?) Thanks to all involved in this effort to bring fancy tennis to us country folk. Much appreciated.

The early mosquito season has been fabulous for bats, swallows and dragonflies. Less so for upright walkers. Having once been in the business of discouraging this population (the bug one), I am often the ear for bug tales. I hear the horror stories of gardening in a plume of biting mosquitoes; of bites on the inside of the lungs from jogging through a sun-blotting storm of mosquitoes (not physiologically possible, I think); and temporarily losing sight of small children beneath a shroud of the nasties. Oh well. I remember returning from summer vacations here, and having my friends marvel (from a distance) at my fantastic tan, but then close up recoiling at the sight of my scabbed and welted skin. Ahh, summer on Chappy. Lots of sun. Lots of bites. A recent informal geological survey revealed that 98 per cent of all Chappy land is within shouting distance of a salt marsh. These salt marshes are the breeding grounds for most of our island mosquitoes — when they flood, they hatch. So beware the full moon.

Jude Villa and Andy Kelley have assumed my role as mosquito warden, and have stepped into a fray the equivalent of a prison riot. So if you have contracted for their services, please be patient. They are proceeding exactly as I had, but are up against a perfect storm of mosquito conditions.

There is only one thing more difficult than surviving mosquitoes on Chappy, and that’s giving directions. I can find my way to almost any property here, but prevailed upon for directions to same property, I am at a loss. The first part is always easy: “Get off the Chappy ferry, and go straight on the paved road.” What follows is the challenge. Yes, there are now road signs, but I remember few of their names (they only recently went up). So I rely on counting driveways, turns and deceased skunks. Ultimately, I just try to get people close, and then have them look for a specific car in the driveway. If all vehicles are being employed elsewhere, then all bets are off. You want to visit Chappy? Bring an extra blanket and enough food for the day.

I’m becoming a bit more familiar with my golf course crows. We’re not on a first-name basis yet, but I’m starting to notice some unique characteristics of groups of crows by the golf green they frequent. These are personality traits, not physical characteristics, because I’m not sure how many of my readers have a seen a crow — but they’re mostly black, with shades of black, with a black crown and not a whole lot of variance from bird to bird. They come in two sizes: crow, and raven. So I rely on their social manners and voices to make at least a valiant attempt to treat them with individual respect. To this end, I’ve determined that the seventh-hole crows (less numerous, more quiet) are part of the friendly family. They will allow my approach with a nod and then get back to business. They also are more prone to working in pairs with less bickering than others. This family is tops on my list of possible first feeders. I’ve considered bringing some snacks to these guys and gals as I don’t think they’d abuse my generosity. The first-hole crows, however, would take me with the food. They’re led by Bruce (possibly three different ravens), who announces my arrival and then hangs out in the trees above me, berating my disruptive presence. Chill out, Bruce.

Perhaps the most striking aspect of the crows is their obvious hierarchy. It reminds me of Chappy dynamics. There are the lead ravens that rule both vocally and in reserve; you don’t really fly into any trees that they’d prefer you didn’t. Perhaps unlike the crows though, Chappy (the people, not the land) like you best when you’re down. Not too far down as to be remote or inconsequential, nor too far up as to be threatening. Just below. Yes, below is good. This may seem like a negative perspective of Chappy social politics, but I view it more as an observation of the subtle workings of a small community. There can only be so many chefs in the kitchen, and those wearing the tall, white hats have no great interest in inviting in another wooden spoon. But it seems to work all right. I’d only suggest that success sometimes comes through diligence, tenacity and perseverance — not bad qualities to possess. So your own success, whether it comes from generations back or recent, does not preclude that of another. Chappy (the land) is very secure in its place. The proverbial tough but fair teacher. I’d only suggest that we always remember to follow her lead.

In other news:

As mentioned above, the CCC tennis courts are open for use. Sign up for court time at the courts; you can pick up information about tennis subscriptions at the community center. Also, we now have a fantastic new play set off the back porch, thanks to the generosity of the Kidder Smith family. There are swings, slides, monkey bars, etc. Kids, come and try it out!

The annual CCC Fair is on Saturday, July 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a barbecue lunch, giant book sale, kids’ games, cake walk and dog show at 1:30 p.m.. All are welcome. The foreign film series shows the French film Paris tonight at 7:15, free. The craft and farmers’ market has started and takes place every Wednesday from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on the community center porch.

On Wednesday, July 20, there will be an ice cream social from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. (sundaes are $4), followed by a concert with Vineyard Sound at 7:30. On Thursday, July 21, a classical concert with Cassie Stephenson and Patrick O’Connell features viola and double bass and will begin at 8 p.m., by donation. Friday, July 22, is the deadline for the 2012 calendar photo contest. Please make sure your entries are at the CCC office by noon. On Saturday, July 23, Chappy Pong will host a free table tennis tournament starting at 10 a.m. for all levels.