Big doings out at Bayes-Norton Farm. I’ve been watching all week and wondering if the garden is being expanded or a if a house is on the way. Those big machines sure make short work of land clearing. I was thinking about our ancestors doing the same task with nothing but beasts of burden and pure brawn. They couldn’t stop by for take-out on the way home either.

My crocuses are covered with honey bees. Sadly, they are not mine. My hive that was established last spring did not make it through the winter. I’ve kept bees for years with moderate success. Never one to give up, however, I ordered another three-pound package and queen to arrive within the month. Violet was reading the back of the cereal box recently. (Field Day Honey Nut O’s). She repeated these fun facts about honey bees:

1. Honey bees communicate by “dancing” which alerts other bees to where nectar and pollen are located.

2. A honey bee flies about 15 miles per hour.

3. A hive of bees has to fly more than 55,000 miles to bring you one pound of honey.

4. A worker bee visits about 50 to 100 flowers during one collection trip.

5. Honey bees must tap around two million flowers to make one pound of honey.

That gave me a whole new appreciation for the little creatures. Hopefully, I’ll be more thankful when I slather some honey on an English muffin or biscuit!

It’s finally happened. I’m hopelessly behind. All my bare-rooted perennials for the business have arrived. I’m putting them directly into the garden in rows rather than into pots this year. If they do not all sell, they will be in place for my own enjoyment.

Thank you to Laurie Clements. She arranged my purchase of a darling little pair of canaries. The male has begun to sing. He hasn’t totally perfected the song as of yet, but is putting out a tremendous effort. I enjoy the sound while transplanting seedlings in my greenhouse. Life is grand!

I noticed some Iris Reticulata blooming at the Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank. Why, oh why, do I always forget to order a couple with the fall bulk order?

Now is the time to get some fertilizer and lime tossed about. I like to use North Country Organics. The pro-holly is great for the hydrangeas, evergreens and ferns! In my perfect world I would have spread it in January to let all the snow wash it into the plants. Better late than not at all!

Speaking of hydrangeas, for heaven’s sake, get out there with your clippers and rid them of deadwood and last year’s spent blossoms. I like to cut around them so they have a more upright structure, otherwise the heavy blossoms drag all over the ground and lawn come summer.

I don’t know why any of you read this. I just make stuff up as I go along. I’m tossing all the garlic and onions from last year on my asparagus bed before I mulch in hopes (probably futile) of foiling the voles. Even with two barn cats in residence, I still have a problem with the pests.

I was big admirer of Lady Bird Johnson. I came across a tiny tribute to her on a back page of the New York Times. It read, “You may suddenly find yourself in Lady Bird-mode, practicing more selfless acts; writing more necessary letters; being more grateful; attending more to self-improvement; forgiving more people their thoughtless behavior. You may find yourself paying more attention to friendships and to nature, and trying to stretch, as she did, your awareness of, and capacity for, joy.”

“I felt very small but very eager,” she declared about herself as a young woman new to Washington! Small but eager describes her entire essence.

It’s official. I am one of the angry people over President Obama signing HR. 933, a bill armed at averting a government shutdown. The amendment in section 735 is being called the Monsanto Protection Act. It bars the federal courts from halting the sale or planting of genetically modified crops regardless of future health consequences.

Monsanto, as you may remember, is responsible for saccharine and DDT. Oh, and let’s not forget their involvement in the production of Agent Orange in the late 1960s. Mr. President! I’m phoning Elizabeth Warren!