08.01.15

Seventy years ago this August, V-J Day set up a string of events that led me to the Vineyard and altered my life forever. When victory was announced, my mother made plans to visit her parents, who were vacationing at the Harborside Inn in Edgartown, and we set out the next day, taking the Cape Codder train from Grand Central Station in New York to Woods Hole, where we would board the Vineyard ferry. The streets of New York were littered with confetti and other leftovers from the uproarious victory celebration, and the train crew was still celebrating.

Kib Bramhall

08.01.15

Forty years ago Jaws put the Vineyard (masquerading as an island called Amity) and white sharks on the same Hollywood map. The celluloid great white shark that terrorized beachgoers gave sharks a bad rap, and swimmers reason for pause, for years. But interest in real sharks, especially the whites – the official name for the species does not include the “great” – has been on the rise in recent years, and today would-be Quints and Brodys would need more than a bigger boat before chumming the water for a shark. They’d need a permit.

Sara Brown

06.18.15

It’s not uncommon these days to hear of rare or threatened plants on the Vineyard – think of the broad tinker’s weed (aka wild coffee) that recently worried the Gay Head Light movers, or the orchids that occasionally halt would-be homebuilders. But one of the most important and endangered local plants grows not so much on the Island as beside it.

Sara Brown

06.18.15

I have an educated thumb. Do you? You have one, too? Then there’s a pair of us – don’t tell! They’d think we were obsolete – you know!

Kib Bramhall

06.18.15

An ecological crisis may not be what comes to mind when driving along Beach Road from Vineyard Haven to Oak Bluffs, with the harbor on your left and Lagoon Pond on your right and the seagulls wheeling overhead. In the summer, the Lagoon is a place of kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddleboards, and sailing lessons. In the fall, scallopers dot the surface with their dip nets and baskets and wooden peep sights, losing (or finding) themselves in the sparkling expanse. In some ways the pond is a picture of ecological health and beauty.

Alex Elvin

05.01.15

 

Ivy Ashe

05.01.15

To those who’ve been here long enough, it is known as “the yellow book,” a definitive history of the steamships and ferries that have sailed to and from the mainland going back to the start of the service, two centuries ago. Written by Paul C. Morris and Joseph Morin of Nantucket and published in 1977, The Island Steamers is a big, sprawling, somewhat roughly hewn coffee table book with the steamer Nobska on the cover, pounding her way from Oak Bluffs to Nantucket in the early 1970s.

Tom Dunlop

05.01.15

It’s springtime, and for right whales, the plankton feeding is easy. A large group of the endangered mammals were spotted via aerial surveys in the waters between Gay Head and Block Island in the late winter and spring. “That’s a really interesting area that’s had relatively little survey effort until recently,” said Philip Hamilton, a research scientist with the New England Aquarium. The surveys began because of the Cape Wind project, he said, as part of an effort to determine the impact the Nantucket Sound project would have on endangered species.

Sara Brown

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