It is my custom, as I drive to and fro, to jot down observations. I’d like to say I have a note pad but I use bank deposit slips, envelope backs and/or Kleenex box tops. Then, on column writing day, I have to rummage around for the information. My memory, it seems, flows out the end of a pen. If I write it down it no longer takes up brain space. Luckily, I found everything this week.

The cool nights have held the daffodils and forsythia for some time. I hate getting a few unseasonably warm days in the middle of spring flowering season. Everything seems to wilt and finish the process too quickly. I prefer the sparsely pruned forsythia with its fountain-like structure to the hedge shaped. There are two that always look nice. One is in the side yard coming out of Vineyard Haven before the Edgartown Road. There are chickens wandering around. Also up the road, the ones flanking the little building at the cemetery are nicely shaped.

This brings me to chickens. At the end of the day I let my small flock out of their yard into my sorely neglected perennial beds. There is a ton of the wild mustard in need of hoeing. The hens head right for it. They love it. Rumor has it that the wild mustard came over with the Pilgrims. It was the first “green” that could be eaten in the spring. I’ve tried it, didn’t die, but was not totally enamored. It’s a bit too spicy for my taste.

Lately, when I cross the Vineyard Haven post office parking lot I hear a rooster crowing close by. I saw him this week right in the lot — a handsome Buff Orpington.

On the way to Tabor Academy, Violet and I noticed several yards with the reddest mulch you could ever imagine. Truly, a color not found in nature. One place has several pink flamingos as yard art. We laughed out loud.

Conversely, look how nice the dark fresh mulch at the miniature golf course looks. I am happy with my star magnolia this year. My smugness was promptly dashed at the sight of the one in the Olson front yard in North Tisbury. Fabulous.

The stone wall on the right going from the Tisbury School along West and Spring streets is sporting a beautiful stand of ground phlox. Check it out. Also remarkable is the crab-apple starting into full bloom along the drive through at the MV Savings Bank.

The deer have mowed down every single tulip on one side of my house but haven’t worked their way to the other side yet. I’m trying to enjoy them for five more minutes. Probably 10 years ago, I planted some garlic in an out-of-the-way location and never looked back. It has grown into a very large patch of spring shoots. I picked a large amount lately and sauteed them with some chicken, boatloads of kale and walnuts. I wish I could repeat it as it was completely yummy. The large green part of the garlic can be used to great effect in a soup stock.

I was a big fan of Ruth Stout — and still am. Every fall I purchase a truckload of hay from Blackwater Farm. It sits out all winter and is perfectly wet and rotted to tuck in around the baby onions and cabbages. I sit on a bucket and take my time. I find it very meditative.

I’m astonished that I continue to be astonished in our present political environment. I watched an interview (don’t ask me why) with Sarah Palin after her visit, tour and dinner at the White House. When she was asked how it came about she said she was told to bring a couple of friends. She picked Ted Nugent and Kid Rock because “Jesus was booked.”

Thankfully I have no response to that. Wow.