Adventures of the Squirrel-Whisperer
When I say that Martha’s Vineyard is too “City-fied” for me, people laugh.
Here is my perspective: I came to the Vineyard after living for ten years in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I lived in a condominium where bears came through the parking lot to the dumpsters on a regular basis and if I took a wrong turn out of the back yard, I could be lost for hours in the deep woods. THAT is a walk in the woods for me!
The Island is rural, but I like ‘the wilds’ so yes… “City-fied” is the word I use.
There ARE places on the Vineyard that come close enough to solitude to suit me. Okay, July and August there is NO seclusion to be had, but most of the time I can find a short trail with a decent level of quiet.
Felix Neck is great. We have taken several long walks through the Sanctuary over the years and it is full of gorgeous birds and plants.
Its location is also very nice. It lies well off the Vineyard Haven / Edgartown road and looks out across the State Beach area on the far end of the Sanctuary. As there is the wide expanse of water between the Felix Neck property and the Beach Road to Oak Bluffs, it feels more secluded than it really is.
I also enjoy it for the rabbits and squirrels. Most people would not suspect it to look at me, but I am a ‘squirrel-talker’. I can chirp and call red and gray squirrels from the trees to within several feet of me. They will chatter back at me as well. I also had a rare black squirrel accost me aggressively in my own yard once…pretty cheeky of him, but as I have no idea what I said first to him, I guess I have to overlook it.
I can’t wait to teach my daughter the ways of the ‘Squirrel-Talker’, but I digress!
The Colonial Inn is on the Felix Neck e-mailing list so ask at the Front Desk for a run-down on events. They have various guided tours and special events of different styles throughout the summer: Down By The Shore, Creature Feature and Coastal Water bird Walk all occur before July 4th but there is a daily guided tour that is free of charge Monday through Friday.
A recurring event throughout the summer is the Felix Neck Kayak Quest from the increasingly popular treasure hunt series for children. $40 per boat for non-Audubon Society members will provide boat, paddles (always helpful), lifejackets and the Quest materials. You work at your own pace and self-guide through the Sengekontacket Pond and the Quest book clues will lead your band of adventurers to the hidden Box.
That just has fun slathered all over it!
Tell the squirrels I said ‘Hey!’
Image courtesy of John Morgan