Complaining and saying “brrr” have no influence on the weather. It simply does not respond to criticism. I’m writing this on Tuesday afternoon — March 1 — which is the start of meteorological spring. It is based on annual temperature cycles as opposed to astronomical spring which is all about the earth’s annual rotation around the sun.

Last year at this time I had crocuses blooming but today they are barely poking through the ice.

I had a winter weather-related incident this week. The half-inch or so of ice coating on the top of my van seemed too daunting of a task for the ice scraper. I left the auto in the sun in hopes of loosening it. Guess it worked. When out for my errands, I simply tapped on the brakes and the entire sheet came forward and broke the windshield wipers. That’s not totally accurate — only the one on the driver’s side. Honestly, if it can happen, it will.

Purchasing slips of sweet potatoes is very pricey. Twelve wizened shoots can be $25. I’ve attempted starting my own for a few years, with moderate success. It takes forever. They, unlike the Irish potato, cannot grow from a tuber placed in the soil. They need to produce shoots that can be worried apart. I usually put the root end in a glass of water and wait a few months. This year the Google suggested laying the potato in soil with the root end barely covered in a warm place. I tried it and most of them turned white and rotted. There you have it!

I started some early crops in large pots in the unheated greenhouse. Radishes and kale come up in a week or so regardless of the chilly nights. Lettuce takes much longer. Don’t lose hope. If you use a propagating mat set at 60 degrees, the time is much shorter for everything.

This winter’s storms have left a remarkable amount of dead wood here and there. I hope it will not become tinder in the event of a droughty summer.

Last week I mentioned witch hazel. As promised, I looked around this week in my travels. For several years I have noticed two nice specimens. One is at Middletown Nursery in North Tisbury and the other at Doris Billings’s place on Skiff avenue in Vineyard Haven, on the right just as you approach the big turn headed down to the Lagoon. Once again they did not disappoint.

Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy is a true profile in courage. He is standing up to Vladimir Putin and the all-powerful Russian army. Many have mentioned David and Goliath. We, as the observing world, need to have hope. After all: in the Bible, David actually won.

The contrast between the comedian-turned-world leader and some Republicans in our own nation is striking. Some of them are cowards and all they have to do is stand up to a mean Tweet from the former, twice-impeached sore loser Donald Trump.

Guess I’ll fix myself a cup of afternoon tea so I am able to stay up past my bedtime to watch the State of the Union address.