I was thinking of commenting on our weather the last week or so. I can’t remember such an early ground-covering snow like we had last Tuesday. It was especially odd, but beautiful, to see snow cover on trees with so many leaves remaining. Then last weekend was so warm and lovely that I was once again lulled into denial about he approach of winter.

Even writing that last paragraph seems somewhat arrogant given the weather in other parts of the globe. The cleanup from typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines has barely begun and certainly the suffering will continue.

Then this morning (Monday) the news is pouring in from Illinois and Indiana. The photographs of the aftermath of the slew of tornadoes is truly mind-boggling. I’m so grateful to live here. At least we have plenty of warning when a hurricane threatens.

I finally got all the garlic into the ground. Not to worry — there is still time and SBS has some hard-neck varieties still for sale.

I wish I could say the same for the shocking amount of spring bulbs yet to be planted. I thought I would speed myself up by putting the multitude of boxes right in my way into the house. I’ve managed to trip over them daily for no good purpose, still procrastinating. I think I’ll start coming in the other door instead!

I was pleased to have a call from Tina Parton this week. Remember her and Charlie’s long tenure running Alley’s General Store? Loved them!

Anyway, her friends from Gilford, Conn., Rosemary and Gordon Terwillyger, sent along their advice for my endless vole problem. They upend a metal gutter in the garden with small mouse traps all along. Apparently, they are able to dispatch a large number of the little pests using this method. Thanks, Tina. Wish we’d have more time for a proper gabfest!

It only took a month but I finally planted the entire 50-pound bag of winter rye. Some of the earlier plantings are up to three inches already. I do love the cozy look of a vegetable garden gone to a cover crop.

Happily, I discovered an entire section of collard greens — gone to seed last summer and growing along without any help from me. Go figure!

Violet attends Sassafras Earth Education with Saskia and David Vanderhoop. This past weekend a group of preteens spent the night outside under the full moon and stars. Violet is still talking about it. Good for them. I spent a night outside with some young girls last winter. I have to confess, I love my creature comforts and did not find it altogether pleasant. I know I loved it when I was growing up in Rew, Penn. We did have to worry about black bears in our town, however. The Sassafras program is a wonderful adventure and opportunity for our Island youths.

There was an interesting article in Saturday’s New York Times in the business day section entitled In a Bean, Boon to Biotech.

The new federal push to remove trans fats from food is, of course, good for our overall health. It seems “the two developers of genetically modified crops, Monsanto and DuPont Pioneer, have manipulated the genes of the soybean to radically alter the composition of its oil to make it longer-lasting, potentially healthier, and free of trans fats.”

The new beans supposedly will help the image of the biotechnology industry with a trait that benefits consumers and not farmers.

Color me skeptical! I didn’t come down the stairs yesterday! Why can’t we just have real food? How about these big companies working on energy independence and curtailing global climate change instead.