As virgin nature elsewhere succumbs alarmingly, the Vineyard retains something of a Yankee dowager's aura of intactness. That's not all there is to say nor is it likely to hold true for long, what with the incursion of ruler-straight roads, oilslicks, and a deeply offending airport. But it's this aspect that Miss Meras champions and captures best in this miscellaneous record of a year on the island. Such retreats tend to encourage a mood of oohing-and-ahing complacency, and such writings seem to settle into picturesque ungainliness as naturally as any gray timber. And so, we indulge the author's breathless account of bobolinks, ""shame-faced"" rabbits, and unending spiritual benefit, and find her most charming when she least intends to be (e.g., ""In air clouded with dump smoke the fragrance of flowers and grass is missing""). Dull stories from her childhood and community interest bits left over from the Vineyard Gazette call for more patience, but the subject and the wholesome, avocational ring may appeal to a lot of wistful people.