Just when we thought it was safe . . .

It’s Monday morning as I write this and I’m listening to the weather channel. Winter simply is not ready to let go. We’ll see if the forecast for significant snowfall on Wednesday is correct.

Regardless, hope springs eternal. I have snowdrops and crocuses everywhere. The crocuses are popping up all over — even in the yard where I know I did not plant them. I finally have a sizable patch, some 20 feet in diameter. It only took about 30 years.

As I continue to plant like a crazy person, I take comfort in the fact that Polly Hill started the arboretum plantings when she was 50.

A huge crowd bid farewell to Louie Larsen on Saturday at the Abel’s Hill cemetery. It was a perfect day at one of the Island’s most beautiful spots. I was moved to see all the grandsons carrying his coffin. What an honor for them.

I forced some more branches in my bathroom. I turned up the heat and left the light on for a few days and was rewarded with blooms in half the time. Quince, forsythia and cherry all take the same amount of time. Dogwood and apples are a bit iffy and take forever. They are worth it, however.

After the great front page article in last Friday’s paper, my friend Phyllis and I made a trip up to the Chilmark Store parking lot for a fabulous food truck lunch. Josh said they have been serving over 100 lunches weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is only available for another couple of weeks, so try to make it up there. You’ll be pleased!

I seeded some royal wedding oriental poppies. They are the white perennials with black centers. They all germinated so I transplanted them into large plug trays. I am hoping for the best since they, like all poppies, resent transplantation.

I planted some bulbs into pots this past fall to force for early bloom. Wouldn’t you know . . . the outside ones came up first and the crocuses all bloomed on the same day in and out. Go figure!

I get dozens of correspondence weekly asking for donations to one charity or another. I would love to help out all in need but honestly, I’d need to be a millionaire with loads of time.

At any rate, one, Friends of the Earth, caught my eye. There was some information about the death of bees worldwide as a result of neonicotinoids. That’s right. Nicotine is a toxic poison used on at least 140 commercial crops. It does not differentiate between insect pests and beneficial bees.

One in every three bites of food is pollinated by bees and 80 per cent of flowering plants rely on bees and other pollinators to reproduce.

Neonicotinoids are systemic pesticides — they permeate the entire plant, including pollen. They cannot be washed off. Bees are “canaries in the coal mine.”

Watch for the following chemicals on labels: acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam,

After reading this alarming newsletter, I noticed a front page article in Monday’s New York Times titled Selling a Poison by the Barrel: Liquid Nicotine for E-Cigarettes.

Liquid nicotine is being sold to refill electronic cigarettes. E-liquids are powerful neurotoxins. They can be absorbed through the skin. As little as a teaspoon can kill a child and it only takes one tablespoon to do-in an adult.

All of this information came to me just days after seeding nicotiana for the flower garden. Talk about giving a person pause.

There is a fabulous witch hazel next to the barn at Brookside Farm. Besides that, there does not seem to be any flowering shrubs right now, and it does seem late in the calendar. Last year on this date I attended an affair and snipped some forsythia straight from the yard.

Christie Kingsbury had a great idea. In the same thinking of sports teams who wear the names of their various sponsors, politicians should be required to wear clothing with the names of their corporate funders and lobbyists. At least then, during congressional voting, we would know who they really represent.