It is astonishing how rapidly spring progresses once it finally starts. It seems the lawns and fields have greened-up overnight. The daffodils and forsythia are bursting everywhere. The magnolias are opening. The stellata (star magnolia) at the Olsen’s in North Tisbury is once again spectacular. There are several soulangeanas at the Vineyard Haven end of State Road.

My peonies are up six inches and the tree peony looks ready to bloom; the buds are big. All of the tulips have ready-to-open buds. One can only hope I will hit them with some Bobex before the deer come through for a midnight snack.

I uncovered my fig trees and agapanthus. I had them wrapped in Reemay under white plastic. The figs look great; the agapanthus, not so much. They have wintered over several years. I think they are old and tired. I can relate.

Ate my first asparagus. This was my new plot started last year. One is not really supposed to pick for the first few years. The root system needs to be fully established. Marie and I limed, fertilized and mulched the plot. We had several bales of hay at the ready since last fall. Every time we moved one, we unearthed a frightened vole. Honestly, the two of us turned into wimps. We screamed, “Eek! A mouse!” and each time we saw it we told rodent stories for some time after. It is memorable to have one run over a foot or find one living in plant pots. I have always understood the expression “rat and ruin!”

I picked a few dozen carrots. They spent the winter under several flakes of hay. They were quite large. Violet loves cooked carrots, although they are not my personal favorite. Naturally I will cook them for her. I do whatever she wants — that’s why we get along so well.

I may have planted my onion seedlings a bit too early, although I am loathe to admit it. They have been struggling to stay alive. They are so tiny I need to bend down with my reading glasses in order to see them.

How about that rain last week? We received almost five inches. It washed away mulch, seeds, roadsides and my composure. I was driving in the worst of it. Going through Five Corners, I had the thought that I would be stranded on the roof of my car awaiting rescue by helicopter. I could picture the news flash elderly woman airlifted in Vineyard Haven, her underwear showed during the rescue. Thankfully, my car soldiered on.

Marie started some quinoa under lights. It got so tall and leggy, she went ahead and ate the greens. Quinoa is a gluten-free grain grown in the mountains of Bolivia. It has become quite popular of late. It is a relative of one of my favorites, amaranth. Both can be enjoyed for their greens and their seeds. They are high in protein. There was an article in The New York Times on Monday about quinoa being acceptable for the Passover meal. One probably would enjoy some variety after centuries of matzo and potatoes.

It was demoralizing to see the passage of the Paul Ryan budget bill by the United States House of Representatives. I guess people who support these Republican lawmakers never see themselves as needing Medicare as they age. After all, it is way more important to provide the rich and powerful relief from taxation and pesky regulation.

I have to credit the big money right-wingers who have successfully sold a bill of goods to the general electorate. Those who will be hurt the most by these free market policies seem to be the biggest supporters. Good luck to them when they need that social security check or become disabled.