When we at Bluedot are planning our issues, we typically start with a story, then assign pictures or illustrations based on that. But for this issue — our quiet season issue — we started first with the photographs first in all three of our feature stories.
Sheny Leon, one of our favorite photographers, told me he’d been taking photographs of Micah Thanhauser’s new kiln at Merry Farm Pottery studio in West Tisbury. Micah had been wanting to build a wood-fired kiln in his backyard for years, and it came together over the past few months, with other potters and friends arriving to help out. I loved Sheny’s images so much that we decided to create a story from it. Similarly, we took a photos-first approach with the story on the Allen Farm. Photographer Randi Baird was on board to do a “Day in the Life” photo essay. Reporter Lucas Thors went along for the shoot and wrote his story based on her photographs of the 260+ year old Allen Farm and three generations of Allen-Posins.
Both these stories reflect our desire to celebrate locally made goods, and Islanders creating sustainable lives here on Martha’s Vineyard.
In our other feature, writer Sam Moore talks to the men who founded Oceans Unmanned. The former pilots now guide drones with cameras to unobtrusively monitor wildlife all over the world. With NOAA, they’ve been tracking gray seals on nearby Muskeget Island, home to the largest population of the animals in the North Atlantic.
Next spring, we’ll feature upgrades Islanders have made to their homes to make them greener: Have you added solar? Replaced a furnace with a heat pump? Are you building in a way to accommodate composting in your kitchen or another room? Have you found a way to be more energy efficient by installing different windows or even changing the types of curtains you use? Have you built a new house or room that is extremely well insulated? Or a new home powered by geothermal energy? Or started a vegetable garden or switched out your lawn for a Natural Neighbors-style haven for pollinators?
We’d love to hear about everything from your composting station to your new net-zero home (and anything in between). Please write to me at ja***@bl***********.com.
If you’d like to support our solutions-focused journalism, you can chip in here: bit.ly/mv-bdl-support. We are so grateful for our readers’ contributions.
Have a great holiday season and winter.