That old phrase “love is in the air” never seemed truer than during a walk in the Chappy woods one day last week. My mom, Jan Pogue, was on a land bank trail by Poucha Pond when she started noticing a series of hearts etched in the soft dirt in the middle of the trail. She followed them along for a good distance, past some of the wooden boardwalks, to a big open field. There, the intent of the hearts became clear. Written in the dirt on the path was: Marry Me. I U Ela.

For such a tiny island, we have our fair share of romance. I met my husband at the Slip Away farm stand and we had our first date at the Gut on North Neck. It was a full-moon evening that would have been perfect had a swarm of mosquitoes not descended the moment the sun dropped below the horizon.

Wedding season is always a busy time on Chappy. The ferry is sometimes decked out in full flags to welcome wedding guests to the island. In one wedding at East Beach, a lone trumpet player serenaded the wedding party from the dunes. I know at least one couple that was married at Mytoi; I am sure there are more. Our friends Ethan and Bri were hitched at a pond near Slip Away, sunflowers floating on the water and tucked in the crooks of the trees. There has even been a wedding on the Chappy ferry itself, uniting ferry captains Becca and Jeff.

There is a new gardner and arborist for the Trustees at Mytoi. Marc Fournier recently retired as the deputy director of public works and highway superintendent for the town of Andover. He and his wife Nan have been visiting the Vineyard for 26 years and six years ago they purchased a home in Vineyard Haven. A Massachusetts-certified Arborist, Marc has participated in lots of volunteer work for the Trustees and Mass Audubon over the years, both on and off-Island.

For the past three years, Mytoi has not had a hired gardener. Instead, a small core of volunteers, led by Lindsay Allison, a dedicated volunteer of 41 years, has maintained the property. On a visit to the garden this fall, Marc spoke with Lindsay about his upcoming retirement. One thing led to another, and Marc started at the garden last week and will be working two to three days a week, still dividing his time between here and Andover. Although Japanese design is new to him, Marc has been doing his research and looks forward to bringing his new knowledge, along with his already existing extensive knowledge of trees and plants, to the garden.

As a first act to meet some of the community, Marc is hosting a tree planting at Mytoi this Friday, Arbor Day, April 26, at 10 a.m. He will be giving a brief history of Arbor Day and then demonstrate the proper technique for tree planting as well as answer any tree-related questions.

Please remember that the next Chappy potluck at the Community Center is May 1 starting at 6:30 p.m. Sidney Morris says the new format of not having a host is going well. All attendees are asked to bring a drink and either an appetizer or main dish. The last one had a huge turnout. It seems like Chappaquiddickers are emerging from their winter slumber.

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