Hart Haven Beach Buddies Plovers, osprey and oystercatchers in your neighborhood

by Chelsea Polevy, Shorebird Monitor, Mass Audubon at Felix Neck It’s that time of year again—the shorebirds have returned and are nesting on beaches across Martha’s Vineyard! Over the past few months, we’ve witnessed the arrival of the piping plovers, American oystercatchers, and osprey (just to name a few). Piping plovers are small, sand-colored shorebirds that have a black neck collar, black forehead bar, and orange legs. Males typically have darker neck collars and brighter orange parts (legs and bills). In Massachusetts, plovers return to…

Family Spirits

By Sam Low Coming into the harbor, I remember my father. His boat was a Jersey sea skiff built by Hubert Johnson. It was lap strake, 24 feet long. He named her Dollop which means “a little bit” as in a splash of bourbon . When my father throttled back to enter the channel, the engine’s heat rose into Dollop’s cockpit. It smelled clean and comforting. There was the sweet aroma of fish covered by wet rags in the wire basket. Turning toward our pier,…

A Hurricane is Coming

By Sam Low September 16, 2003 Sunday morning at ten – the air is vapid and the sea is flat off the Steamboat Pier in Oak Bluffs. It’s hot and muggy. It feels like something has sucked the energy from the atmosphere. Something big. I’m aware of Isabel, of course, having followed its festering ball of wind on the internet for the past week. She’s tracking toward us – a category five storm – with winds of 160 miles an hour. So the weather on…

A Tolerance for Nature

By Sam Low Vineyard Gazette, Spring 2000 I’m gonna shoot them. They carry on at all hours. They ignore polite suggestions. I bang on the walls but it does no good. They think their tenure is more righteous than mine because they’re year-round residents and I’m a wash-a-shore. I mixed up some poison but I couldn’t go through with it. What if they die up there and stink? Another reason – poison is for cowards. Our antagonism deserves a more Darwinian approach. I need to prove that I’m…

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