Chappaquiddick island appears to be a hotbed of activity for the invasion of the Lone Star tick. Several people have experienced multiple bites from the larva of this most recent new-comer to the wide array of tick-borne diseases.

Folks have had so many bites that they thought that they had a rash. Fortunately, the ER doctor for one of the victims knew where to look for information and a treatment. The bites were tiny blisters with a teeny tiny six-legged tick larva in the center. Going to the ER helps not just your case but also alerts and educates the doctors to this new tick malady previously unheard of on the islands. Folks suffering from tick diseases will tell you to get treatment immediately.

If you are outdoors on Sunday or Monday evening after darkness sets in, keep an eye on the sky to the north. The very fickle Draconids meteor shower will be in full swing. Some years it produces half a dozen shooting stars per hour and other years, thousands. We won’t know until the earth passes through the tail of the comet that produces them. However, that comet, which has a long back slashed and hyphenated name, passed very close to the sun last month so there could have been some accelerated deterioration of the comet giving it a grander tail.

I apologize for sounding like a skipping record (that reference surely dates me) but here is another reminder that beginning on Sunday, Oct. 14, the Chappy ferry will operate on the winter schedule and take one of the ferries out of service. The winter schedule differs from the summer schedule in the following way: the ferry stops running between 8 and 9 p.m. as well as between 10 and 11 p.m. with closing time at 11:15 p.m. The out-of-service ferry will be hauled out of the water in Vineyard Haven for Coast Guard inspection and maintenance. That ferryboat will probably return to Edgartown sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Word has it that the Norton Point beach route to town is in good shape. If you plan on going that way this winter, it will be prudent to make your first trip in the daylight. It doesn’t take very much of a wrong turn out there to get you into trouble. Remember that you will need to deflate your tires to 15 pounds. You can re-inflate them again at Mytoi Garden on the Chappy end and at the air station just over the Herring Creek bridge on the town end.

If you have wondered about the rows of buoys and the barges that are anchored in Katama Bay, buy some Island-grown oysters at the fish market. Several local fishermen are farming them right there from seed to adult. They are very tasty and very reasonably priced here on the Vineyard. I had some in Boston last New Year’s Eve. They were a lot pricier in the city and called Chappaquiddick oysters. I’m quite certain that Katama Bay oysters never set foot on Chappy except for the ones that went home with a Chappaquiddicker for dinner. Try them. You will be supporting local and sustainable food production.

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