#618: Go to Sconset, now. The roses are in bloom.

You know how every year you mean
to go out to Sconset in June to see the roses?
Well, this is the last day of June, so go!
They’re peeking over rooftops.

and climbing walls.
Lining the beach as the sun rises.

Even the tiniest yards are packed with floral glory.

The foxglove does her part.

 The Chanticleer‘s roses can’t be appreciated
in just a glimpse.
So maybe stay for lunch.
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#617: Rantum scoot: Not so crowded after all

As the edges of Nantucket fill with visitors
and year-rounders seeking beaches and shopping, 
the center remains quiet.
Not exactly uncrowded: there are hundreds of water lilies
on the pout ponds.

Crowding out the sky’s reflection.

Edged by water hyacinth.
Just starting into bloom.

Serenity by the water,
no wave action here.

Bushy rock roses in the center of the dirt road.
Tiny pond, teeming with life.
Just not the human variety.
Sheep laurel. Not because they like it,
but because it’s poisonous to them.
Shepherds cleared the Sheep Commons of this and other
poisonous plants before letting their flocks graze.
Iridescent green beetle. Isn’t it marvelous?

Another hidden pond.
We could do this all day…

A glimpse of the Silver Sea in C.S.Lewis’ Voyage of the Dawn Treader:
“There seemed no end to the lilies.
Day after day from all those miles and leagues of flowers
there rose a smell which Lucy found it very hard to describe;
sweet–yes, but not at all sleepy or overpowering,

 a fresh, wild, lonely smell that seemed to get into your brain
and make you feel that you could go up mountains at a run
or wrestle with an elephant.”

Cultivating the garden is today’s elephant,
and now I’m ready…

#616: Farmer’s and Artisan’s Market

For the first time ever
there was seafood at the Farmer’s Market.
David and I loaded up
under the watchful eye of a seafood expert.
We weren’t sure we’d have local product to sell
as the Ruthie B is still tied up.
If you’d like to help get her back fishing,
there’s a Kickstarter campaign here.
Tom Dunham, captain of the Abby&Holly, came 
through with fish just in time.

Local seafood from a local fishmonger.
I did the selling, 
David had to get back to the market.
We had fluke, bluefish, scup, calamari. 
Also bluefish pate´,which sold out.

A good day in spite of the downpour.
See you next week.

#615: Rainy Day Project

It’s a rainy day on Nantucket.
Bearded iris through my bedroom window.

The baby chicks are warm enough beneath their light.
The constant peeping is so sweet.
So, with no gardening possible, 
I’ve been working on a footstool.

This collection of ties came in the mail.
I’m weaving them for a recently bereaved widow.
She sent pictures of her husband to inspire me.
Which I posted as I wove.
He favored the richer hues: gold, maroon, navy.
Which produced a jewel-toned piece.
Right side up.

Upside down.

And forward. Isn’t it beautiful?
A rich-hued memorial of a well lived life.
Thank you, Jean, for the privilege of weaving for you.

#614: Baby chicks are here!

Aren’t they cute?
I got the call from the USPS Annex at ten of eight this morning.
I headed right out to get them.
The Annex doesn’t open till 10 but baby chick orders can’t wait,
I went round the back and they got them for me.

Fifteen of these little fluffballs!
This sweet girl is a Barnevelder, 
she’ll lay dark brown eggs. 

This one’s a ‘splash’ chick,
her coloring is a double recessive trait.
I’ll have to wait till she starts laying to figure her breed.
The muff feathers suggest an Easter egger.
I love guessing which chicks are which.
It gets easier as they feather in and start to lay.
For now, fluffy cuteness is enough.

613: Nantucket Restaurant Week

Oh the difficulty of choice.
It’s Restaurant Week June 2-6,
and we like several different restaurants.
Black-eyed Susans of course,
American Seasons, the Chanticleer,
Centre Street Bistro, Queequegs.
Island Kitchen and Kitty Murtagh’s for a leisurely lunch.
This island has so many excellent places to eat.
We’ll try 29 Fair, a new place which just
opened in the old Woodbox space where 
my parents used to take us for brunch on Sundays.
They still have the teeniest bathroom
and incredibly steep stairs.
Haven’t you always wondered what’s up there?
Here it is:
A huge bathroom with bookcase and dressing table

A sitting room

A couple of bedrooms, 
this one has a fireplace.
This one a step-down nook.
The rooms are for rent here.
In 1709, when 29 Fair was built,
folk were a lot shorter.

Executive chef, Charles Saillou,
previously of the Summer House,
talks to my fishmonger husband.

Nemesh, the chef on the left,
started as a dishwasher when he first came from Nepal.
Nantucket has so many folk who started at the humblest job
and worked their way to excellence.
I think I’ll have the Asparagus Salad
(poached rhubarb, pine nut paste, local greens,
proscuitto, truffle vinaigrette)
and Scottish Salmon
(spring vegetables, saffron beurre blanc, pea shoots).
Caramel Brulee for dessert,
(custard flavored with coconut cassonade sugar, caramel caviar).
I never could resist a brulee.

#612: Sermon Haiku #45: Matthew 13:1-23

Bob Earle spoke the sermon this week,
taking as his text the Parable of the Sower.
It’s all about soil
Seed’s growth depends on the earth
rich loam or packed path?
Listen, hearing’s not enough
Hard hearts won’t grow anything
Roots can’t penetrate
Looking to Jesus
Miracles and sacrifice–
Crowded out by weeds

Holy Spirit drives
Connection with himself
roots reaching deeper
Pure Godward focus
Joyful multiplication
Bountiful harvest

What kind of soil am I?

#611: Cherry Tree Haiku

In honor of the just ended Hanami season in Japan:
A Haiku.

Cotton candy blooms
Kwanzan cherry explosion
Why are there no bees?
An active beehive
A cherry tree right next door
What’s going on here?
Apparently the double blossoms of the Kwanzan cherry,
which smell faintly almondy,
don’t attract pollinators.
They don’t need to, as Kwanzan cherry trees don’t fruit,
they spread by shoots from their shallow roots.
They don’t live long, usually 15-25 years.
When this one dies, I’m replacing it with a 
fruiting cherry tree.
Good for the bees and good for pie.

#610: The Far Side of Sesachacha Pond

There used to be a wood gate off Polpis Road.
It opened onto a dirt road to Sesachacha Pond.
The gate and most of the road are gone now,
but it’s a peaceful 1/2 mile walk.
With a view of Sankaty Light over the marsh

And fox grape buds everywhere,
We’ll be sure to come back in the fall to pick grapes.

At road’s end there’s a path down to the pond.

Perfect for fishing.

Or duck hunting, in season.
the name of this building is
‘Duck Wack Shack’

There are bridges across waterways 
from the marshes. Improvised…
And solidly built. 
So many birds in here!
Heard but not seen.
Nature feels the same way about this sign as I do.

Here are the true resident of Sesachacha:
wild oysters,

Ospreys, and the fish they eat.

Garbage in the brush comes from people,

not trees reaching for the moon,

nor deer,

nor the sandpiper who left these delicate prints

Back up the path to home.
Leaving behind Sesachacha as we found it.
It’s all yours, sandpiper.

#609: The Grey Lady strikes again

Is all this grey getting you down?
Rain, rain and more rain?
Even on Daffodil Weekend!
Here’s a bit of color to cheer you up:
Let’s start with food.
What could be better than a sushi party
when it’s grey and rainy?

Caterpillar roll. Raa!

Flowers on the kitchen windowsill.
If one must do dishes,
 at least one can enjoy beauty while doing so.

A bouquet worthy of the flower show.
Brought to me by a friend who came
over for tea. 
I have the sweetest friends.

All color deprived Islanders need a mandevilla.
A showy feast for the eyes.

And a shy orchid.
She was hiding her beauty under her leaves
in the upstairs bathroom.
Surprised by beauty,
it’s more precious in all the grey.