Could last weekend have been more perfect? A 40-degree day is so much more pleasant in the winter than in the fall. I naturally tried to do everything.

I started cleaning the hen house, tossed some lime on a few vegetable beds, spread some just barely-unfrozen wood chips, dug some carrots and planted flats in the greenhouse like a mad woman. I’m writing this while waiting for the chiropractor. Live and rarely, if ever, learn.

I have a gate in disrepair so my chickens have been roaming the entire property all winter. It has to stop. They are scratching up everything. The last straw was finding broken hellebores flowers.

The sun has changed and has become very productive. All the areas with southern exposure are thawing nicely, while just across the driveway on the north side of a little knoll, it is still completely snow covered.

I walked around one of my job sites before the big melt. A boxwood knot garden was completely splayed with heavy slabs of frozen snow. I had to cut and lift the large chunks. Nature is so forgiving. The shrubs bounced right back into shape. Oddly, they were bright green everywhere the snow had been.

The callery pears lining Clough Lane were not so fortunate. Huge branches broke from the weight of the snow and ice. Michael Dirr says that planting a callery pear is like playing Russian roulette with your landscape. I remember those particular pears being planted in the early 70s. I lived on Lake street then, down by the power lines. There were only a few houses at that time. Now it’s a regular development.

At any rate, Wendy Andrews called to alert me of the downed branches. She said they are great for inside forcing. I zipped right over and took a few sprigs from a fallen branch near the corner of Clough and Pine. It has only been a few days and the buds are opening. I got inspired and brought in some twigs from forsythia and quince.

My entire gardening career has involved thwarting animals. I have a large vegetable garden surrounded by an eight-foot fence. Remarkably, I’ve had no deer damage. (I once saw a deer jump a six-foot fence from a stand-still.)

However, I believe I have a rabbit and his extended family living inside the fence. He has eaten the tops off of all the leeks and garlic. After the snow melted, I discovered my apple trees had been completely girdled. They are about three years old and just beginning to produce. I dumped a quart of Bobbex down the trunks and am hoping for the best.

I ran into Barry Donner at the Vineyard Haven post office. He’s a terrific gardener, by the way. He and I lamented about the amount of trash and cigarette butts along the pyracontha. Again, nature does her very best in adverse conditions — the daffodils were up six inches. People, please, field strip!

I’ve been following the rapidly changing situation in Ukraine. Honestly, it makes one ponder, with all the partisanship and false rhetoric going on in Washington, it still makes me grateful to live here under the rule of law.

The deaths at Kent State over the protest against Nixon’s bombing of Cambodia were the closest things in my life experience to what has happened in Kiev. How terrifying for those people.

It will be interesting to see, now that the Olympics are over, if Vladimir Putin remains on good behavior. What a mess if he decides to get involved like he did with his neighbor, Georgia, after the Beijing Olympics.

Is he completely humorless? I’ve never seen a photograph of him laughing.