MV Obsession

My obsession with Martha's Vineyard.. phototography.. life in general and this and that…


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Vineyard Februaries …

I’ve been to Martha’s Vineyard in February and I love it.  I love it any time but February is as different from summer on the Vineyard as you can possibly get.

There’s a  cold crispness in the air, the colors are more vivid, the Island is quiet and yet speaks volumes to those who take the time to look, listen and drink in the beauty and wonder that is the soul of Martha’s Vineyard.

February 1989…  a light dusting of snow made everything look like powdered sugar had fallen all over the Island.

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February 1995…  no snow that trip but bitter cold.  Did not stop me from visiting the Gay Head cliffs in Aquinnah on the western most tip of the Vineyard… or hiking through the woods of Christiantown to visit the tiny chapel there.

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I also  experimented a bit with black and white film. From top left… Edgartown harbor, Christiantown stone wall..Sengekontacket Pond and South Beach.

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February 2007… bitter cold, dusting of over night snow, icy ponds and harbors… and brilliant sunsets.

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My birthday is in February and sadly the only one I’ve ever spent on the Vineyard was in 1950 when my beloved godmother, Gertrude Norris passed away.  But I’m not anywhere near done having birthdays so who knows what the future will bring 🙂


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Tripping New England Part 2 …

Or rather part one as this part came before Newport !!

 In October of 1995 my daughter Deb and I went to MV and Newport, Rhode Island for an autumn get-away.We were supposed to leave NJ on Saturday for Martha’s Vineyard but due to the forecast of heavy rain we left around 3 on Friday afternoon after Deb got home from work. We would stay over night in Mystic, Ct and continue to the Vineyard on Saturday morning as originally planned. Things were going smoothly for oh, at least an hour and then 7 or so miles before the dreaded Tappan Zee Bridge things came to a dead stop.  We decided to get off at the next exit and wend our way through the smaller back highways and eventually rejoin good old route I-95.  Sounded like a good plan.  Actually a lot of motorists thought so too and before we knew it we were stuck in a worse traffic jam.

And…. that rain that we were trying to avoid…well, it came early and it was heavy and oh, it was also getting dark !  Nine hours later at 11:30pm we arrived in Mystic, Ct… a drive that should have only taken 3 or 4 hours at the most.  And so our adventure had begun.

The next morning we arrived in Woods Hole and got an earlier ferry to Martha’s Vineyard… we like when that happens.

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We checked into the inn and spent the day walking and relaxing.  After supper it began pouring,  I half kiddingly said we should take a walk in the rain and before I knew it that’s what we were doing.  I never like walking in the rain, especially in the dark, but for some reason it just seemed the right thing to be doing.

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The following day after breakfast we rented bikes.

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Mind you it had been years since I’d been on a bike and I’d never used hand brakes… but how hard could they be !!   Off we trotted to the bike shop by the harbor in Edgartown. 101_5363  After a few instructions … most of which I’d missed we got on our bikes and headed out of the shop.   Somehow I wound up not on the road but heading for a hedge of flowers and before I knew it had made contact with them… it was all in slow motion so it seemed like an eternity until I hit the ground. 101_5364 I laughed and so did the rental guy, my daughter though, after showing concern for my well being was convinced I’d want to turn in the bikes and forget about our ride.  But no, I was determined to carry on after we’d gone back to the inn however so I could bandage my cuts and bruises.   So back on the bike I got and we headed to the inn just a block or so away.  I was doing pretty well until I turned into their driveway and sort of, well, bumped into one of the cars in their lot.  Finally    got myself put together and once again started off on our bikes… my daughter still wasn’t convinced we’d make it out of Edgartown.   I eventually got the hang of the hand brakes even though I automatically was using my feet too… sometimes dragging them on the ground as a back up maneuver. The road between Edgartown and Oak Bluffs is 6 miles of scenic beauty… for most of the ride the ocean is on one side…

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and Sengekontacket Pond is on the other.101_5368

It’s one of the prettiest bike paths (or roads) on MV.   We stopped several times to take pictures and for me to catch my breath.

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At one point the bike path changes from one side of the road to the other… there are big signs telling you about this…  I missed them.   When I saw my daughter move across the road I figured I should follow suit… as I have a problem turning my neck I didn’t see the truck that was coming down the road.   I made it to the other side still not aware how close the truck had come… I do however remember the scared and horrified look on my daughter’s face.   She claims to this day that I gave her several grey hairs… I say, turn about is fair play.

It was a fun day… the company, the weather, the experience of hand brakes… I’m glad we did it ……. once.

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The following day was spent driving around the Vineyard.  Not too much walking was done due to the sore leg muscles one of us had… not mentioning names but I’m sure after reading about our bike trip that you can guess who it was !  Tuesday was also the most normal of our four day get away… a ploy perhaps to coax us into a false sense of security!  That remained to be seen as you read in part one about Newport 🙂


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1959 MV Photo Booklet …

RecentlyI found this little booklet of MV photos from around 1959.

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Let’s take a look inside.

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“The Basin, landlocked harbor of Menemsha fishing village on picturesque Martha’s Vineyard. Summer headquarters of the lobster and swordfishing fleet.”

Picture below is from 2013.

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“Ocean Park and Bandstand on the water front at Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard Island.”

Picture below is from 2010.

Ocean Park is beautiful any time of day and any season. I took the picture below around 6pm on an October evening.

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Ocean Park 2013

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“Beautiful homes overlook the broad harbor in Vineyard Haven.”

Picture below is from 2012.

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“Edgartown harbor lighthouse in the beautiful whaling port of Martha’s Vineyard.”

Picture below is same area today.

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“Picturesque lobster gear at Menemsha.”

Below is picture from Oct 2010.

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What do you think… much of a difference or not ?

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“Gay Head cliffs on beautiful Martha’s Vineyard Island. Bright clay souvenirs are made by the inhabitants of Gay Head Village, a link with the past that stirs the imagination.”

Below is picture from 2010.

 

The cliffs have certainly receded and lost some of their vibrant red and orange colors, and the houses are gone now. They still remain an awesome sight and one of the prettiest photo-ops on the Vineyard

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“Ferry Islander, of the Steamship Authority fleet serving Martha’s Vineyard with frequent and dependable schedules the year round. The Islander carries 50 autos and 700 passengers and has the most modern equipment including two-way radio phone and radar.”

Below is picture of Islander in 1998.

I see a few changes in the Islander…there are a lot more antenna’s and it looks like there used to be a door near the front.101_5199

 


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The Former Daggett House …

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I stayed a few times at the Daggett House Inn before it was renovated and turned into a private residence. One of the things I remember most is their famous Grape Nut bread/toast.

On the lower level of the inn was the breakfast room. According to the Guide to Martha’s Vineyard:

“The room was the first tavern on Martha’s Vineyard to sell beer and ale. In 1660 the taverner, John Daggett, was fined five shillings for “selling strong liquor.” In 1750 the Daggett House was added to the building. Through the years the Daggett House was a custom’s house, a sailor’s boardinghouse, a store, and during the whaling era, a counting house. ”

An interesting feature of the Daggett House was its secret room. I’m not sure what it was used for in the 1600′s or so but during the past years as a B&B it was a guest room, provided they could find the secret door and providing the GHOST wasn’t in residence!!!

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The back of the Daggett House had a nice expanse leading to the edge of Edgartown Harbor. A perfect place to have a breakfast or sit and read.

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I stayed at the Daggett House twice… once in the main house and once in the charming 2 room house in the garden.

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Grapenut Bread from the Daggett House.

(This recipe was a staple of the Daggett House Bed & Breakfast on Martha’s Vineyard until it closed. They used to readily hand out recipe cards so I’m assuming there are no copyright issues. But just in case there is, I’m giving full credit here to the inn as it’s their recipe)

Makes 2 loaves

Mix:

2/3 c Grapenuts

1/3 c wheat germ

3 T butter

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 c dark brown sugar

1 1/3 c boiling water.

Stir and let cool to barely warm.

Then, combine 1 T yeast, 1 tsp sugar and 2/3 c warm water, and let stand until bubbly.

Add yeast to the dry mixture. Add 4 c all-purpose flour.

Knead until soft and smooth, then return to bowl and let rise, covered, until double in volume.

Punch down and divide into two loaves, knead for a few minutes, and put into greased loaf pans. Let rise until double in size.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Freshly baked Grape-Nut bread…yum

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(In all fairness I have to give credit to my daughter Deb who baked this delicious bread).


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Trivia XII Answers …

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100_5681_001-When was the Vineyard Gazette first published.

1- 1846

2DSC_0118 2-When was Martha’s Vineyard formed.

2-12,000 – 18,000 years ago

3-What is the name of the local Portuguese sausage.

3-linguica

4-What does the name ‘Beetlebung’ mean

4-the wood was used for making mallets (beetles) which were used to bang in the bung (plugs) on casks

5-What does the Possible Dreams Auction benefit.

5-Martha’s Vineyard Community Services

DSC_02376-Which town is the only town in the world with its name.

6-Edgartown

7-What former first lady had a home on the Vineyard.

7-Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

100_99118-Name three ice cream stores on Circuit Ave in Oak Bluffs.

8-Mad Martha’s  – Carousel  – Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium

So, how’d you do on this one ?