I must say last Monday produced some memorable weather. I was at a job site on Middle Road with a great expansive view of the Atlantic Ocean. Above the water, the sky was foreboding and downright scary. The cell phone announced a tornado warning. Oddly, however, I was standing in full sun with blue sky above me. It did give me pause as I expected to see a waterspout forming. I’ve never experienced a tornado nor do I wish to.

Once, growing up in Rew, Pennsylvania, a town some 50 miles away got one. We found a checkbook and some other papers in our yard belonging to a resident of that town.

At any rate, the word on the street was that a twister did touch down briefly near the Vineyard Haven harbor–never a dull moment.

Fall has come to the Vineyard in all her glory. There is nothing quite like the setting sun showing off the colors of treetops.

The maples are particularly nice this year. How about the three in front of the Black Dog Cafe to the right of the train car? I think the burning bush is a lovely contrast.

I know that burning bush (Euonymus datus aka winged euonymus) has fallen out of favor. It is entirely too invasive. I do not believe they can be purchased here any longer.

Nevertheless, they are beautiful. There is a nice little hedge of them on Skiff avenue about a third of the way to the big bend.

Another nice shrub blooming right now is groundsel (Baccharis halimifolia). It is found near the shore as it is extremely salt and wind tolerant. Sadly, it also tends to be invasive. A sharp eye is a must to weed out its many offspring but it is nice to have something in bloom right now.

A few weeks ago, I planted spinach, beets, lettuce, kohlrabi and field peas in my unheated hoop house. It took a while but everything has germinated. I am looking forward to some fresh greens in the dead of winter.

I cannot encourage you enough to try growing something outside under a single sheet of six millimeters. It will freeze but heats up just enough midday for picking.

Before I had the hoop house, I placed a U-shaped structure of hay bales on a south-facing garden bed and draped the plastic over the whole situation. It fed us all winter and then I used the hay for mulch in the spring.

Why do some rhododendrons bloom right now? Aren’t they spring shrubs? There is a fully-blooming pink one at the exit of down-Island Cronig’s. Another of nature’s mysteries.

I grew some very large Ailsa Craig sweet onions from seed this year. Sadly, they are not great keepers so I am using them at an alarming rate. Who knew onion could be included in practically every meal?

What can possibly be said about Trump world this week? He and the Republican midterm candidates are all out trying to terrorize the country about the impending invasion at our southern border. I guess he is deploying 5,000 military personnel to turn back the pitiful group of desperate women and children that are fleeing from poverty and violence in Central America. They are still 1,000 miles away for Pete’s sake. We can be sure that he will recall the troops after next week’s election.

He should be more concerned about the real terrorists in our own nation–white, crazy men with guns. We really aren’t safe, not first graders in Connecticut or 97-year-old women at temple.

When will the insanity end? Trump isn’t the cause–he’s the effect.

On a brighter note, why does the new museum overlooking the lagoon leave the lights on all night?