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Green Tip of the Week
Idling cars are the oil industry's playthings.
The Art of Conservation
Trees on the Island
By Austin Chandler
(MVRHS, 10th Grade)
First Place, Sculpture
See the other winning artworks and their creators' descriptions:
Photos of all of the entries can be found in this slideshow
(after following the link, click the "slideshow" button in the upper
left). Thanks to all who participated and helped make the first VCS high
school art contest a rousing success!
Starting August 1, see selected works from the Art of Conservation on display at Mocha Mott's in Oak Bluffs!
Conservator Appreciation Event
Wednesday, July 30, Oak Bluffs.
VCS hosts our annual appreciation event for our most generous donors at the home of Jesse Ausubel, Director
of the Program for the Human Environment
at Rockefeller University. For directions, RSVPs, and information on
becoming a VCS Conservator, please contact our office at (508) 693-9588
or via email
Film Screening: The Island President
Wednesday, Aug. 13, 7:30 pm, Vineyard Haven.
VCS, in collaboration with the MV FIlm Society and the Center for Biological Diversity, present The Island President
the story of the first year in office for Maldives President Mohamed
Nasheed. The Maldive Islands are a tiny nation threatened with complete
inundation due to sea level rise, leading President Nasheed to become a
major figure in climate change advocacy. At the MVFS's new theater in
Tisbury Marketplace, tickets ($12, $9 for MVFS or VCS members) can be
bought at their website
Saturdays on Sengie
Saturdays, 9:30 to 10:30 am, Oak Bluffs
A free Felix Neck program that explores a different aspect of
Sengekontacket Pond each week. From the birds above, to the creatures
below the water's surface, this program includes hands-on activities for
ages 4+. Sponsored by Friends of Sengekontacket. For more info, call
508 627-4850 or see Felix Neck website
West Tisbury Farmers' Market
Wednesdays and Saturdays, 9:00 to noon
, West Tisbury.
Fresh picked produce from local farms, flowers, delicious baked goods
and prepared foods from Island kitchens and more. Outside of the Grange
Hall in West Tisbury. For more info, see website
In Season Recipe
Brown Butter Summer Squash Linguine
Here’s a novel take on summer squash: use it as a pasta substitute! The recipe
recommends a julienne peeler
but for the less well-gadgetted kitchen a carrot peeler would work in a
pinch; you’ll just have to really dig in forcefully to get thicker
It’s definitely not the most resource efficient use of squash ever
devised, as you will have to discard a good bit of the center, where
they’re seedy and squishy. This is more a recipe for straight necks and
zucchini of medium-size or more; save those expensive tiny pattypans for
grilling (and check your local farm stand for discounts – sometimes
what’s called “overgrown” today is just a little too big for the modern
baby squash fad).
- 1-1/2 lb. summer squash
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 2 Tbs. finely chopped nuts
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 tsp. fresh tarragon or parsley
- 1/2 lemon
For prep, see recipe at finecooking.com
|Monday, July 28, 2014
Resilient and imperiled; hardy and fragile - nature defies easy categorization (Photo by Brendan O'Neill, click for full-size)
by Elizabeth Campbell
From a window in my off-Island home l look out on a yard bound in old
snow. It is a view without color, everything drawn in gray and white. As
winter drags on, I long for the blue sky of summer, for warm sand, for
green leaves turning in the wind, for the call of the cardinal – or even
the squawk of a gull. Yes, I long for the Vineyard’s summer season, but
even more, I long for the Vineyard’s sense of space. Here, in the
off-Island world, our vision is limited by boundaries of all kinds –
solid walls, high buildings, miles of pavement. In many places it is
almost impossible to put a foot directly on the earth, or to see more
than a slice of sky.
But, on the Vineyard, we see the sweep of the sky, feel the direction of
the wind, know the state of the tide, the slant of the sun. From
Vineyard roads we look out over rolling fields and see the ocean pulsing
at our shore. We peer through gaps in ancient stone walls. We watch the
colors change across the Katama plain as summer eases into fall, as the
grasses take on coppery shades and goldenrod comes into bloom.
Read the rest in our most recent issue of Vineyard Conservation (excerpt here).
VCS members receive our print newsletter twice a year. So while the Spring/Summer 2014 issue is now online, join today to receive the next issue hot off the presses!
Walking Martha's Vineyard
Last week, one of our own made the Boston Globe’s Cape Cod Beach Read
series, in which authors share excerpts of their work with the
newspaper’s readers. William Flender, creator of the ever-popular
Walking Trails of Martha’s Vineyard, shares his thoughts
with both loyal readers and people new to the book, as well as a
selection of property descriptions taken from the new edition (though
the absence of maps really doesn’t do the book justice).
First published by VCS in 1996, Walking Trails has long been both a successful outreach and
fundraising vehicle. It is truly an excellent guide to the Vineyard’s
many public trails (some of them not-so-well-travelled), with full-color
maps and thorough descriptions; in addition, though, sales benefit the
land protection and advocacy work of VCS. You can pick up your copy of
the 4th Edition for $15 at many local retailers (see this page) or online through our donation page (select the $20 option).
Turn it Off!
Every summer, gasoline prices across America rise due to the increased
driving associated with vacations and holidays. On the Vineyard, with
our roughly $1/gallon premium,
any extra summer surcharge provides strong motivation for some
introspection regarding our driving habits. For the next few weeks we’ll
take a look at some fuel-saving tips and other interesting stories from
the world of gasoline.
First up, idling: Knock it off already! The
simplest reason is that, on average, idling 15 minutes a day for a week
burns a half to a full gallon of gas. Somewhere along the line, most of
us had a teacher explain to the class how a “zero” on any assignment
would totally ruin your average, so you had better make sure to turn
everything in. That’s how idling for just a little while can drop the
gas mileage for a whole week by a meaningful amount – it’s a big fat
zero MPG thrown into the average.
But, contrary to conventional wisdom, it’s also not good for the car. Today’s engines do not need to warm up
(even in cold weather), and excessive idling can actually cause damage.
Further, by not idling a cold-started car, emissions are reduced above
and beyond simply avoiding what would have been emitted during the
idling. That’s because while the car doesn’t need to warm up, catalytic
converters do, so that they can most effectively remove toxic pollutants
from the exhaust – and this happens more quickly when driving than
The takeaway? While idling a
cold-started car, it is sitting in one place emitting exhaust that has
not been though a fully-functioning emissions system. Better to get that
show on the road.
While many anti-idling campaigns focus on passing regulations to
prohibit excessive idling among professionals driving big diesel engines
(and for good reason!), Sustainable America seeks to spread the word
about the very common idling of passenger cars. They have created an
“infographic” laying out the facts
and have also made a bumper sticker to help spread the word. (One
conclusion? If you’re stuck in place long enough to read a bumper
sticker, you probably should turn the car off . . . )
Waves from the Inside Out
Photo by Clark Little (click to enlarge)
Nothing can truly compare to the feeling of standing inside a breaking wave, but the work of photographer Clark Little
comes close. He describes his technique of capturing the power and
complexity of waves breaking at the shore as viewing “waves from the
inside out." This short video delves into his methods and motivations, and his very sudden rise to fame.