I’m all over the place this week. In a seven-day period I have been off-Island five of them. I do not do well with travel. It has given me the opportunity, however, to observe different things, not all of which are related to gardening.

For starters, it is astonishing to be the only person in the lunch room of the ferry who is not using a device of some sort. This is true even with foursomes sitting together. It makes me wonder if they are texting each other. It seems we might be losing the art of conversation.

I went all judgmental about some of the plantings around the parking areas at the malls. For starters, know the plant, people. Everything including azaleas and forsythias and rhodies were all pruned into perfect balls. I hate that. I feel completely justified in criticizing since we don’t know the people.

The Main street of Falmouth still has some lovely pots and boxes decorating the businesses. I did notice quite a few with Bright Lights Swiss chard. It’s a great filler for a fall arrangement. Good thing, since I do not find it to be a favorite in the kitchen. I want to love it. It’s so dependable and beautiful but honestly it’s a bit bitter for my taste. I do chop the ribs into a stir fry occasionally.

There is an inordinate amount of crows hanging around the Five Corners lately. I think it is called a murder of crows instead of a flock. I swear, the other day it was positively Hitchcockian.

For three years in a row, I’ve had dismal failures with my Brussels sprouts. Instead of forming tight little sprouts, they simply make loose wimpy leaves. I think it’s because I expect them to grow in our hot, dry summers. Next year I shall try them in the greenhouse over the winter.

Speaking of the greenhouse, I was so pleased recently to discover a patch of romaine lettuce seedlings which had seeded themselves into a pathway. I promptly transplanted each one into the unheated hoophouse in hopes of a decent crop in January and February.

Recently, there was a segment on NPR about the global seed vault. Started and funded by the Norwegian government it is located 1,300 kilometers below the North Pole. Since 2008 it has held seeds from over 4,000 plant species. It has duplicates of national and international gene banks. Hopefully, it is a safe and secure storage facility to back up the world’s food supply in the event of a global crisis.

The interviewee on the show was Lauren Redniss. She recently wrote the book Thunder & Lightning: Weather Past, Present, Future. She loved her subject and I was trapped in the driveway hearing her out. Oh, to live long enough to read everything I want to.

On Sunday, we were delighted at a wonderful concert at Symphony Hall in Boston. The Soweto Gospel Choir gave everyone a real treat. They had unbelievable, colorful African costumes, drums and songs.

For a few moments, however, I felt so overwhelmed at the experience of the poor concertgoers in Paris on Friday night. Here we were, a large group of people in a darkened room being transformed by music and dance. To think that crazy people could come into that hall, shatter our world and slaughter innocents is so mind-boggling, terrifying and unspeakably sad. What’s to become of us?