The Chappy Community Center will host the first lobster roll dinner of the season on Wednesday, July 15. Place your order by noon on Tuesday and pick up between 5 and 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The $17 price includes a lobster roll made according to Marion Harding’s original recipe plus a bag of chips and a drink of choice. Eat in or take home. Stop in at Slip Away for veggies to counteract the chips.

The Chappy book club is getting right down to business with the classic The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Discussion will take place on Wednesday, July 22 at 10:30 a.m. addressing the question, “Why did we love this as young ladies?” A 12-year-old guest speaker will be on hand to help you to remember. Check the bulletin boards for the dozens of other activities at the CCC.

I’ve changed my mind about praying for rain for the July 4th holiday. The overwhelming number of people is unappealing to me. I have to confess that I have selfishly wished that we could skip the parade and fireworks once in a while. However, this year’s celebration was wonderful. Folks were cheerful and patient; the baby strollers out-numbered the exuberant college sophomores; medical and fire emergencies were just frequent enough to keep things interesting; the parade was a delight and the fireworks display was deemed the best that we’ve seen in years. The weather was as perfect as could be. The Vineyard experienced unseasonable clear dry air. I began watching the forecast for the 4th the moment it appeared in the long range Intellicast forecast. Never before have I seen a forecast so often revised and refined as this. I’m sure that with so much riding on it they wanted to get it right. Every kind of possible summer weather was predicted confidently for the 4th at some point during the week leading up to it. Even on the evening before, rain was deemed 50 per cent likely during the hours of the parade but clearing by dark for the fireworks. I do not envy the poor soul who would have had to make the decision to postpone either activity. Fortunately for all concerned and interested it was obvious at daybreak that this was to be a fine day.

The Trustees of Reservations have been juggling their desire to provide a quality experience for their human visitors at the same time that they provide mandated protection for certain nesting shorebirds. At the moment, dry land access between Chappaquiddick and the Vineyard is not possible because plover and tern chicks would be at risk of getting squished by vehicle traffic through their nesting areas. But the baby birds will soon be able to fly to escape from harm and the sandy inter-island connection will once again become a thoroughfare.

I wholeheartedly feel that it is our obligation as the most invasive species on the planet to empathize with our weaker animal brethren. We’re all in this together and really don’t know how important a role every other living creature plays in the quality of our own lives. So recognizing when a particular critter is in danger of foundering, it may be in our own self-interest to lend a hand. But it occurs to me that in some cases we may be going about it the hard way.

Consider this; we raise trout babies by the millions and dump them into ponds and streams by the truckload. That has been going on for decades, which indicates to me that it is considered cost effective, at least at the federal government level. My uneducated understanding is that protection of plover and tern chicks in the wild costs thousands per bird and the success rate is low because of the myriad of threats and predators they must face and survive while growing up. So how about raising baby birds in captivity and releasing them at a stage of development when they have the greatest chance of survival? I would like to be there when a hundred juvenile shorebirds burst from their opened cages on Norton Point and alight along the water’s edge. I pity the poor sand fleas that get exposed by the receding waves. I’m guessing that instinct and curiosity will help the new birds to adapt to their environment. That’s the idea that’s hatched in my brain. I expect that there is someone out there who can actually make the concept fly. (Apologies to Suzan Bellincampi for the blatant use of puns.)

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