I was prepared to complain about the humidity building on Tuesday afternoon. However, after watching a segment on the Weather Channel, I thought better of it. They were talking about the extreme heat in the western United States. The pavement registered at 180 degrees. The reporter suggested carrying around a towel for turning doorknobs. Wow! I love the Northeast.

I know I mentioned Kousa dogwoods last week but it bears repeating as there is another beauty, both pink and white, at Abel’s Hill Cemetery. It’s at the bottom of the hill near the resting places of Ralph and Ethel Sherman. Managers of the Water street SBS, they were a staple at the West Tisbury Farmers’ Market for years.

I had a couple of big garden disappointments this week. Now that my very elderly barn cat has gone to his just reward, I am overrun with voles. They ate an entire bed of Detroit beets. I have another bed of Lutz beets and see the same fate in their future. I went to Cash and Carry and purchased an industrial-sized container of cayenne pepper. I mixed a huge amount in a watering can and poured the slurry liberally over the entire bed. We’ll see. I’m on the hunt for a new barn cat and put my name in at the SPCA.

Second: my peas are not a complete crop failure but are hovering in the D-minus range. Between the rabbits nibbling them in their infancy, they are seriously taken over by wild morning glory. Honestly, it’s hard to maintain a cheerful attitude.

In better nature news, a bird built a nest in a plant pot in the green house and is caring for five babies. We check on them daily and are happy that the barn cat is no more for their sakes.

I guess speeding is a problem in the Vineyard Haven post office parking lot as they have installed a second set of speed bumps. It’s easy to become annoyed these days.

I have a tiny chicken who is determined to raise a family. For a month or so I moved her off the eggs but have given up. Violet and I moved her into a separate pen after dark with five eggs. She should hatch them in less than a month. She did it last year and I ended up with one hen and four roosters. It figures. No matter, they were delicious.

It’s the beginning of day lily season. There is a huge patch of already blooming stella d’oro variety at the emergency service building in Vineyard Haven. I noticed them on Tuesday when we went down to vote. They are particularly nice as they will bloom again later this summer.

Also, I’ve noticed some promising buds on the old-fashioned orange ones. The flower stalk is easily three or four feet tall. They look nice alongside hydrangeas and yucca. I wonder if they are the original plant from which many of the new hybrids are started?

It was wonderful to see a unanimous vote in the Senate to make Juneteenth a national holiday. In the House of Representatives, it was a different story. Fourteen Republican white men voted against it. The reason that many of them gave was the definition of irony. They claim they are concerned about the money paid to federal workers for yet another holiday. These are people who work less than any other federal employees. They are off the month of August, weeks at Christmas and other holidays, and only work at the most four days a week. They are off work for more than 200 days a year.

Don’t even get me started about pensions and healthcare.

At any rate the bill passed and it was actually good bipartisan news for a change.