Rachel Carson may have been wrong. I took my walk early Monday morning, the first day of spring, and it was anything but silent. There were so many birds singing I could not differentiate how many varieties were competing. Big kudos to Patricia Carlet. She facilitated the renovation of the brick building at the Tashmoo Water Works. It is positively breathtaking to look across the little pond to see the pair of nesting swans at dawn. We residents of Vineyard Haven are very lucky to have such a beautiful public park.
While I was walking along West Spring street, I remembered walks I took as a child on the outskirts of Rew, Pennsylvania. Since Rew is the second-highest spot in Pennsylvania, everything is off the side of the mountain. Back in the fifties people went to the town dump, which basically was anywhere off the side. We were warned as children to steer clear because of the number of resident black bears. My friend Sandy Woods and I were always trying to catch a glimpse of the bears, We loved to scare ourselves. Honestly, Mom, sorry if you read this.
My bees are dead. I’m so disappointed because they were still living on New Year’s Day. It was above 47 that day and they were out buzzing around cleaning out their home. On Saturday it was quite warm and I noticed several honeybees on my crocuses. I was so excited but when I checked my own hive there was no activity. The bees must belong to a lucky neighbor.
There is a four-session bee school to take place at the Agricultural Hall April 1 to 3 with Everett Zurlinden. It will feature the life cycle of the honey bee, swarming, when to feed and various diseases and pests. It will be a great introduction to beekeeping. Contact Emily Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The other morning I lounged in bed past dawn staring outside and realized my old apple tree has a tremendous amount of water sprouts, aka suckers. I promptly got up and hauled a ladder.
They have to be removed as they will suck the life out of any future fruit production. This is a task which could have been done last month. Oh, my! There is never enough time.
Speaking of pruning, the bittersweet is taking over my world. I do not have the energy to take it all down from trees and fences. I’m hoping that clipping at the bottom will slow it down for a while.
Last St. Patrick’s Day I saw three young girls in the post office parking lot. They were dressed in green and barefooted. I used to love being the first in town to take off my shoes. I confess it hadn’t occurred to me yet but I was pleased to see the girls doing it!
My helleborus is blooming. They are known as Lenten roses. They are by far the best harbinger of spring — well with a purchase of a plant or two. They multiply over the years. I have the heritage variety in white, purple and lime green!
I hope to toss some well-rotted compost on the perennial beds. I do not use manure on the flowers as the spring bulbs and irises do not like it. Some years ago I used horse manure and am still dealing with the weeds. I also introduced the Japanese beetle grub and they’ve been enjoying my roses ever since. Don’t do as I do!
It is time to start everything inside since, we hope, it will be only six to eight weeks before our last frost. All the cool weather crops can be direct-seeded outside right now. Lettuce can germinate at 32 degrees. Who knew?
There sure is plenty of world news. Japan, Libya, and don’t forget Wisconsin. President Obama cannot do anything right. Half of Congress is bent out of shape because he went into Libya and the other half says he waited too long. They hate that the French got there first. These same folks started eating “freedom fries” when the French failed to join President Bush in Iraq. I love how people keep bending the U.S. Constitution to fit their own agendas. Of course, we’ve been doing the same thing for years with the Bible.