Is it just me or have we had an inordinate amount of rain and wind? It’s been very cool so forsythia and daffodils have been lovely for quite a while. A few years ago, just after my tulips bloomed, we had a rare 90-degree day. Those bulbs lasted a mere couple of days. They hate 90 degrees. I’m not fond of heat either but a few upper 60s or 70s would certainly lift everyone’s spirits.

Speaking of lifted spirits, I’ve spent a bit of time just watching my mother hen care for her babies. She gets all puffy and testy when she sees me looking.

Since I’m usually at work most days in the spring, it’s enjoyable to see the action in my own yard. I had no idea so many varieties of birds visit my feeders. I usually just fill them and walk away. My friend, Sharlee on Chappy, has been seeing an Indigo Bunting during the last week.

I put many of the cole crops out into the elements and now live to regret it. The wind has beaten them within an inch of their little lives. On Monday night, I had a hard freeze here in Vineyard Haven. Ice needed to be removed from the chickens’ water. I don’t think my marjoram seedlings survived.

A few years ago I planted white daffodils, yellow hyacinths and irises in the same hole. It’s a beautiful combination. Think I’ll try again next year with some different colors.

Most of the garden centers are now open with curb-side pick-up. Now is the time to get some bagged compost, lime and fertilizer if you are planning a vegetable garden. That would be a great plan as the food distribution system seems iffy. I mentioned last week how upsetting it is that farmers are plowing under perfectly good food and dumping enormous quantities of milk. I’m having trouble making any sense of this.

This past weekend was the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day. I barely remember attending the festivities in New York city that year. One thing I do remember is that I changed my world view for keeps. The following month, in May of that year, I came to the Vineyard for the weekend and never left. Pregnant with my fist child, I started a garden. I never paid much attention to the food growing of my grandparents so a garden was a brand-new endeavor. I think I grew rows of lettuce flowers and not much else but I was hooked. I spent that winter growing a baby and reading seed catalogs. The rest is history and I’m eternally grateful for this life-long passion and for landing on Martha’s Vineyard all those years ago.

That first Earth Day with its enormous turn-out and enthusiasm even led to change in the federal government. Richard Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency as well as signing the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Endangered Species act.

I wore a button during the Bush years that read: “I never thought I’d miss Nixon.” Now W. looks really good to me given our present occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania avenue.

On April 12, the Sunday Review section of the New York Times had a half-page article entitled What Writers Say about Plague Season. It seems fitting to end with a few quotes from that piece.

Virginia Wolf, The Years: “It was an uncertain spring.”

Joshua Ferris, Then We Came to the End: “Some days felt longer than other days. Some days felt like two whole days.”

The diary of Samuel Pepys: “Lord! How sad a sight it is to see the streets empty of people.”

The diary of Leo Tolstoy: “I have let myself go and am less strict with myself.”

Iris Murdock, The Sea, The Sea: “Of course reading and thinking are important, but my God, food is important too.”

Philip Roth, The Anatomy Lesson: “When he is sick every man wants his mother.”

James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson: “If you are solitary, be not idle.”

Ellen Bryan Voigt, Kyrie: “How we survived: we locked the doors and let nobody in.”

William Shakespeare, Cymbeline: “Nothing ill come near thee.”

Plato: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fight a hard battle.”