The temperatures have been a bit milder this week with still afternoons and plenty of sunshine. As the light is now lingering later into the evening, spring feels imminent. Chappy has started to come alive a bit; more walkers are out along the road, some with bare heads and only light jackets. The tulip and daffodil leaves are just barely peeking up from the soil.

As I write this, I am sitting in the sunshine behind our house in a warm pocket sheltered from the wind. My husband and toddler are making loops around the house, finding sticks and leaves to pick up and examine. Juna is pleased to be a bit lighter in layers and to have the use of her hands, usually swaddled in mittens.

The chickens and ducks are scratching for bugs in the leaf litter at the edge of the woodline, the buff-orpington rooster with one protective eye always cocked to the sky. The slightest hint of danger will send everyone running across the yard and underneath the house, where they chatter encouragingly to each other and wait for the all clear. One or two brave individuals will waddle out first, calling to the others to timidly follow. The flock will then resume their yard exploration until inevitably something spooks them once more and sends everybody careening for safety all over again.

Last week, as I was just putting our baby down for a nap, I heard something slam against the side of the house, followed by a cacophony of squawks and squeals from the flock. I looked out the bedroom window and saw a giant red-tailed hawk, wings spread, wrestling one of our large black cayuga ducks to the ground. With a just-asleep baby, I couldn’t bang on the window, so I leapt down the stairs and rushed out the door, the dog close on my heels. Together we yipped and yelled, chasing the hawk off as the duck, unscathed, escaped to join the others underneath the porch. Everybody was all aflutter for the rest of the afternoon and stayed closer to the house for a few days following.

I wonder if this was the same hawk that went for our rooster a few weeks ago and only succeeded in pulling out all of his tail feathers. If it is, Chappaquiddick duck and chicken owners beware, a thwarted hawk is out there and means business.

It was warm enough on Saturday afternoon for a family bike ride. We loaded Juna into her trailer (where she rapidly fell asleep) and headed out to Wasque. It felt busy out there for this time of year. A few cars were in the parking lot, and there were several groups out walking the beach. We stayed on the upper trail that cuts along the cliff edge and marveled at how blue the ocean was, mirroring the clear sky.

Wasque is such a dramatic spot, always shifting and changing with each visit. When I was first getting to know Chappy 15 years ago, a long boardwalk over the dunes brought visitors from the parking lot to the beach. The landscape was softer then, before the ocean cut its way in and created the cliffs of exposed roots and fallen trees that exist now. The unstoppable power of nature is on full display on that side of the Island.

After Wasque, we peddled over to Slip Away and found Collins Heavener milling floorboards for his new barn. He is still looking for sizeable logs to mill. If you are having any tree work done give him a shout at Be sure to congratulate him on his recent engagement to Lucy Leopold. The two plan to marry at Slip Away this August.

The next Chappy potluck will be Wednesday, March 20, followed by another Art Night hosted by Elizabeth Whelan the next day, March 21. If you were in attendance for last week’s Art Night you had the opportunity to draw a still-life of Kate Greer’s plastic handbag collection from the 1950’s. Who knows what the next still-life will include!

Send Chappy news to