What lovely weather we have had this past week. It’s chilly in the morning but by midday it’s pleasant to spend time outdoors. With Violet’s help, I’ve been busy moving dirt around outside. An unfortunate septic issue in the fall caused disruption where my garden used to be. It’s great, though, as now is an opportune time to correct some leveling details.

Here it is mid-January and the light change has me back in the greenhouse in earnest. I seeded my onions and leeks and placed them on a 60-degree propagating mat. It is way more economical than purchasing either sets or plants in the spring. My old favorite variety, Copra, has been discontinued. (Story of my life — everything I like is no longer available). It has been replaced with Cortland and/or Patterson. I started a package of each as well as New York Early, Ailsa Craig and Southport Red. Last year’s exact amount of starts produced enough for canning and winter storage. I use onions nearly every day for around $15 worth of seeds. I never count my time since it’s enjoyable.

I pulled the rest of my carrots. A vole or some other critter started eating them from below. Otherwise, they could say in the ground until spring under some hay mulch.

Probably 20 years ago I bought a 25-pound bag of alfalfa seeds and stored them in the freezer. I make sprouts all winter and finally used them up. It’s disappointing since they are now very pricey. While traveling down-Island about to enter West Tisbury, I had to stop sud denly as there was an immature swan in my lane. As I tried to go around him, he again stood in front of me. He kept coming right up to the front of my truck so I couldn’t see him. Horn blowing failed to move him. We stayed in this standoff position for quite some time. I considered getting out and chasing him but he seemed a bit aggressive. He finally came alongside the driver’s side, eyeing me all the while. I made a hasty getaway — happy there wasn’t other traffic.

Forgive me as I slide farther over to the bird column. A woodpecker has been working overtime on my sugar maple. The other chilly morning the sap was pouring from every hole he had made. It formed streams of ice all over the lower four feet of trunk. By midday, the ground around it was soaking wet.

How I wish I had some of my Dad’s sugaring equipment. He tapped all the maples on the property and boiled it into syrup. It takes 50 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup.

I figure I could maybe get a couple tablespoons when all was said and done. Violet and I wondered who thought it up originally and how. Dad sometimes tapped the telephone poles out front to confuse and/or amuse passersby.

What can even be said about the riot at the United States Capitol? The scariest thing to me was the guy carrying the zip ties. They intended to take hostages and who knows what next.

The video of the policeman being beaten with the American flag was another visual I’ll never get out of my head. When I went to the Women’s March we were told ahead that we could have no poles for flags or signs. Didn’t these same people take a fit when Colin Kaepernick knelt during the National Anthem and therefore “disrespected” the flag? So much for Blue Lives Matter.

It’s particularly rich that the right wing media is blaming Antifa. It stands for Anti-Fascism. Guess I’m one of them as I’m against fascism.