There are times when my behavior is questionable. This time of year, the vehicles fill with flies during the day. I am a complete maniac trying to get them out of the truck — I confess, even while driving.

My Gramma Kate had fly swatters at every rocking chair on the back porch. I do not think I ever saw her sit down without one in hand. I hate the ones that fly in perfect squares under an overhead light.

Now that I have shared that pet peeve, I guess I can get around to gardening. Things still look pretty good. I’ve been enjoying geraniums in pots about town. I brought mine all into the greenhouse, thankfully, since I had a hard frost last week.

I was going to comment on the sumac and locust in the field below the Tashmoo Overlook but noticed right before writing this that it was being mowed. Violet had mentioned this week that mowing needed to happen to prepare the hill for sledding in a few months.

My bulbs arrived. I was late in ordering this year. Good thing. Many of my choices had been sold-out so I saved a few bucks. Once again I ordered boatloads of daffodils. I never seem to have enough. Isn’t that the story of life?

This spring I froze several packages of fava beans. I boiled the pods and slipped the beans. The beans have unpleasant skin. After thawing a container, I patiently removed said skin from each bean. I must say, it was worth the considerable effort. I cooked them along with some Grey Barn kielbasa and my own leeks. Dinner was a hit with the family.

On the job sites we are busy deadheading hydrangeas. They still are presentable but not for long. I hate them rubbing on the house all winter causing fan-shaped marks on the shingles.

Now is the time to fertilize the evergreens and hydrangeas. Use North Country Organics Pro-Holly. They also make a Pro-Gro for the non acid lovers. I use it on the perennial beds but wait until spring. I lime those beds now to sweeten over the winter.

Back briefly to bulb planting. I have discovered that Bulb-tone in the holes will invariably draw skunks. The little rascals will unearth the bulbs looking for the bone meal in the fertilizer. I accepted this fact some years ago and now put a healthy sprinkle on top of the hole as well. I guess they lick it up and move on, leaving the bulbs where they belong.

Sad as it seems, we have been cutting the ornamental grasses. They still look spectacular, but if there is no one to enjoy them all winter, there is no sense leaving them as they will be a complete train wreck in the spring. They break under the weight of snow, and blow all over the lawn. By the way, I would think twice about planting them too close to the house. They are extremely flammable.

Also, some of the miscanthus can be quite invasive. They will reseed everywhere and cannot be removed except with a spade.

I have had some trouble of late with my lettuce germination. I planted several times in September to get some plants growing. I wanted to move them into the hoop house where they usually winter over nicely. I said “uncle” a few weeks ago and figured I would be hitting the produce aisle soon. Wonder of wonders, I found a big patch of Black Seeded Simpson which had seeded itself in a pathway. Isn’t nature grand.

The big news this week is TransCanada suspending its application for the Keystone Pipeline. Guess they are hoping for a GOP victory in 2016 to try again.

It’s been a while since I mentioned my oil country upbringing. The nearest town to Rew is Bradford, Pa. For years it was known as the high grade oil metropolis of the world. We had a well in our backyard as did most of the people in Rew. You’ve probably seen pictures of the pumps. They looked like giant grasshoppers.

Sometime in the 1970s the EPA shut down many of those wells because of terrible environmental practices. The streams all had a multi-colored sheen of oil, our tap water smelled and tasted like oil, and there were huge lagoons of tar in the woods. When the wells closed most folks switched their political affiliation to Republican from union member Democrats. That’s when I realized I was dropped there from Mars!