Two nights of freezing temperatures last week finally brought a hard frost to Chappaquiddick. At Slip Away Farm, this means I will be digging the dahlia tubers, planting the last of our bulbs (I have 100 new daffodils still to go in the ground), and finishing the last of the to-dos before winter sets in for good.

Although we are just wrapping up this growing season, I am already looking ahead to next year and encourage you to reach out if you are interested in joining our 2020 CSA. We will be looking for additional summer help. If you are interested in applying, please email me at for a job description and application.

One cold afternoon last week, just before the sun dipped below the woodline, I went for a walk with my dog, Baxley, to the outer islands of Poucha Pond. Over the years, I have walked this trail countless times and I still find myself, each and every time, struck by the expansive beauty of it. The trail emerges from the scrub oak forest to a wide landscape of marsh grasses, phragmite reeds, open water and an infinite sky. Directly ahead, rising from the marsh and connected by a sandy trail, lie the three islands, each covered with a mix of beetlebung and oak trees.

On one visit to the outer islands a few years ago, I startled two large does just as I was passing from the woods into the open landscape. I watched, breathless, as they leaped elegantly across the marsh, heading for the safety of the woods on the other side. I had never before seen them move across such an expansive landscape, and it was enchanting to be able to observe them for so long.

On another visit, I found thousands of translucent horseshoe crab shells, deposited there during molting season and of all different sizes. Some were as small as a quarter, others as large as a grapefruit. The wind had scattered them about, and they were caught in the grasses, blowing like flags, and floating in patches of open water.

In recent years, the islands are not always accessible. Midway across to the first one, the tide often stops me and the threat of wet feet forces me to turn home. My loop back then brings me past the back fields of Pimpneymouse Farm. I once rode a pony through that field and down to the Islands. It was summertime, and the black flies were biting, driving us forward and maddening the horse. Now each time I walk by it, I am reminded of my first visit to the Poucha Pond islands, close to 12 years ago, with Edo Potter, matriarch of Pimpneymouse, as my guide.

On this recent visit, I found the trail out to the islands passable, a thin layer of ice gathering on the edges of the wet spots. Baxley and I walked all the way out to the farthest island, where we paused for a moment and thought to ourselves, “Surely, this is the most beautiful place on Earth,” before turning back towards home and the promise of a warm wood stove.

The Chappaquiddick Community Center open house and craft fair is Saturday, Nov. 30 from 1 to 4 p.m. .

The next Chappy potluck is Wednesday, Dec. 4.