The frost is finally out of the ground and the mud is starting to dry out. There are a few green shoots poking up on the sunny side of houses. The buds on the rhododendrons look about to burst. And I found a tick crawling up my shirt sleeve the other day after being in the woods. But winter is not over just yet. There is still time for a snowstorm or two. Here on the islands we have had almost no snow. There were plenty of frigid nights and even a few well below freezing days. Lots of salt was spread on roads made very slippery by freezing rain or by half an inch of slush. We have had some very blustery days that brought down dead tree limbs. Last winter we had one big snow storm following on the heels of another. Trees were torn out of the ground by their roots. There were widespread power outages with some people waiting for days to get their heat back on.

On the whole we have had an easy winter this year.

Chris Kennedy reports that at the moment the beach connection between Chappy and the Vineyard is in good shape, but conditions may be very different after the next northeaster. Be cautious if you are traveling the beach during very high tides or if you are the first one out there after a big blow has subsided. In the time that it takes for a storm to pass over, a lot of sand can get blown and washed away.

Over-sand vehicle permits can be purchased online or in person at the TTOR office in Vineyard Haven on State Road which is opposite the north end of Lambert’s Cove road.

I always enjoy looking ahead to what is in the works for human activities as well as natural occurrences. Following are some items worthy of marking on your calendar. Chappy Community Center potlucks are from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays April 3 and 17, and May 1 and 15. Call the center at 508-627-8222 to sign up to host a potluck. Please bring a dish to serve six.

Elizabeth Whelan’s free art workshops at the community center are from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Thursdays April 4 and 18.

School vacation is during the Patriot’s Day week. Students will be out of class from Saturday, April 13 through Sunday, April 21. That’s plenty of time of get the kids to rake up last year’s leaves so the early flowers won’t get smothered.

On the night of April 22, the Lyrid meteor showers will be at their peak of 20 per hour. They are known for producing bright dusty trails that last for several seconds. If that particular night is cloudy, they will still be active for a couple of nights before or after.

On the night of May 6, the Eta Aquarids meteor showers will be at their peak of 30 per hour. The sky will be very dark since the moon will only be a thin crescent. The showers begin on April 19 and continue through May 28.

The Chappy ferry will revert to its summer schedule on May 23. That is the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend. When on the summer schedule, weather permitting as I always say, the ferry operates continuously through the evening until midnight. The morning start up time is the same year round.

The regional high school graduation is at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 9 at the Tabernacle. Occasionally, I will attend graduation when a relative or friend’s child or grandchild graduates. Half of the last names on the roster of seniors is the same as when my sisters and I were in high school. It was considered a miracle when the Island towns got together to build a regional high school. It opened in 1959. The kids who were in the first class to graduate are now 78 years old.