post haste

Hello everyone; yes, once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here to make a quick post before our internet goes out again. You may remember me from such posts as “While We Were Away”, which was also about having no internet, and being rather spoiled by such a technological marvel.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. I’m thinking about not having any internet, of course. 14091506Not much has been happening here, except for my “picky eating”, which the guy I live with has had to deal with, but the weather has been nice, and so have my walks, so I don’t see why he’s complaining.

There are crocuses blooming. I think I already showed Crocus hadriaticus var. lilacinus, but why not show it again?14091001aAnd Crocus kotschyanus HKEP 9317 (collectors’ numbers).14091501Colchicum ‘Violet Queen’. I think.14091505Aster novae-angliae ‘Chilly Winds’. A nice white one. We’re pretending no one has changed the name of North American asters to something horrible. This plant came from Seneca Hill Perennials, alas, no more, as they say across the Atlantic.

We don’t grow the novi-belgii types since they get covered with gross mildew. 14091503Aster oblongifolius ‘October Skies’.14091502Aster ericoides ‘Pink Cloud’. It fell over, but is covered with honeybees. 14091509And the cowpen daisy, Verbesina encelioides. An annual. Slight chocolate smell to the flowers. 14091508Well, I guess that’s it. Just wanted to show some flowers blooming here, before our internet goes out again.

I don’t care that much, to tell the truth.14091507

 

Until next time, then.

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technical difficulties

Hello everyone; once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here to tell you we are experiencing technical difficulties. Our internet connection has been kind of intermittent lately, and the guy I live with said if I start to do a post, it’ll probably go out again.

Just to let you know. Please stand by.

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change in the weather

Hello everyone; yes, once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here to bring you the latest news from our ever-changing garden. You may remember me from such posts as “Guess The Weather” and “Still More Weather” among so many, many other similar posts.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.14090907Speaking of the weather, I’m under it, again, with the same old tummy troubles. I have a live-in nurse, which makes it not so terribly bad.

Yesterday the guy I live with said that the “TV people” said we were in for a “change in the weather”. Now, if you’ve followed my posts all summer, you know that at our house it’s been thundering, dark, and rainy almost every single day since the middle of May. It’s rained here almost every day. Hasn’t amounted to much, except for a few times, but, whatever, that’s the way it’s been. We’ve hardly seen the sun all summer.

This is how the weather has changed here.14090906If you can see a difference between this picture and all the others I’ve posted that look exactly like this, let me know. Maybe what the “TV people” call a “change” is something very subtle indeed. It’s raining right now. The guy I live with said “instead of thundering, dark, and rainy, it will be rainy, dark, and thundering”. Very helpful.

The guy I live with suggested that “TV people” never go outside, because they’re stuck in the TV.

Well, so, that’s my complaint for the day. Endlessly unchanging gloomy weather, though, I must admit, in this case it does look like the garden will get some real rain, so there’s that to consider. If it would just rain, without thundering all the time, I wouldn’t mind so much.

The guy I live with went out yesterday to look at things, the way he does sometimes, and found this. He said “Huh”. (His profundity never ceases to amaze me.)14090901It’s a palafoxia. Palafoxia sphacelata, or some such thing. He sowed seed last year and totally forgot about it.

Here is Crocus hadriaticus var. lilacinus, first of the autumn crocuses.14090902Colchicum ‘Dick Trotter’ again.14090903And Colchicum ‘Zephyr’. 14090904And that’s really all I have for today. The guy I live with says he doesn’t feel like taking pictures in the rain. 14090905

 

Until next time, then.

 

 

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signs of autumn

Greetings and salutations everyone; yes, once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here to bring you the latest and most spine-tinglingly  exciting news from our garden. You may remember me from such spine-tingling posts as “Out Came The Sun” and “Invasion Of The Pods”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.14090501The reason why I haven’t posted for a while is that, for one thing, we had three beautiful sunny days in a row, and we had to enjoy them to the fullest before it started to get all thundery and stuff again, and also because I finally began the transition to the new anti-seizure medication which should help me lose a lot of weight. The guy I live with was all freaked out about this, thinking he wouldn’t be able to get the dosage right, or forget something, and I would die, and then what would he do, but we finally started, and now I take fourteen pills every day. (Until we’re done with the transition.) The guy I live with only takes six, so I’m sure he’s jealous.

Oh, and by the way, the ten sunny days, give or take a few, we’ve had since the middle of May don’t necessarily mean the end of the world as we know it. Summers here are sometimes like that. Denver does not have, as is often claimed “300 sunny days a year”; it only has around 100 or 120. Days where it’s sunny all day, I mean. What they did to come up with the 300 business is to count an hour of sun as a sunny day, which I think is cheating, because it was often sunny in the morning here (I could feel the sun on my stomach, lying in bed), and then started to thunder about eleven in the morning, so that didn’t count as a sunny day to me.

It was all overcast and gloomy yesterday, and thundered a little, and then last night it rained. About half an inch (1.25cm), so everything is all damp and rain-smelling. My morning walk was cool and pleasant.

The guy I live with says it’s beginning to feel like autumn, and I guess I have to agree. Looked what popped up in the garden, pretty much overnight.14090506Colchicums are up. This is ‘Dick Trotter’. You can see what Graham Stuart Thomas called “rain splash” on the little one. 14090507Cyclamen, of course, are big news around here. I don’t notice them much, but the guy I live with gets all excited, and likes to crawl around on his hands and knees ooohing and aaahing. The first of the Cyclamen coum foliage has unfurled.14090509The teeny tiny Cyclamen intaminatum.14090508And the first serious flush of Cyclamen hederifolium14090511It was also time to re-pot the Rhipsalis pilocarpa (aka Erythrorhipsalis pilocarpa) which hangs upstairs in my bedroom. This cactus came from Logan Street Greenhouse, where the guy I live with and my mommy used to go, when they went to various places in the Washington Park section of Denver (like to Oodles, the Asian-fusion restaurant they both loved, or to Book Buffs, a “totally cool” book store which had the most amazing selection of books), and there was one time when they went there in the rain, and the rain was pattering down on the old greenhouse roof, and the guy I live with was really taken with the cactus, so he brought it home. The greenhouse caved in after the blizzard of March 2003, and so the cactus is a memory of the greenhouse, as well as their visits, and to the other places which are also gone now. 14090505There was a lot of noise in the garden a couple of hours ago, and the guy I live with realized there was a hummingbird fight, so he stood out there trying to be invisible (he says it works better when other people are around), and took this totally unfocused (just pointed-at) picture.

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Besides all this, there really is some big news today. I mean like “hugely gigantic”, according to the guy I live with. (My mommy would just roll her eyes at times like this.)

This is the source of all the excitement.14090503This is a seedling of Iris urumiensis.

They say that growing oncocyclus iris (which this is) from seed is a very time-consuming project. Like me, the guy I live with has no sense of the passage of time, but really didn’t feel like waiting twenty years for the seed to germinate, so he used the forced germination technique, to speed things up, some.

Aril irises are so called because of the aril, or collar, on the seed. Here’s a picture of a really old (maybe ten-year-old seed). The picture could have been more in focus, but you can still see the aril. 14090504What he did was to get salt shakers and beakers, and soak the seeds in a solution of half bleach and half distilled water for about half an hour (to sterilize the seed coat) then wash that out thoroughly like he learned to do in chemistry class (in high school, he got a D+ in chemistry because he thought it was boring, and the teacher didn’t appreciate that, for a take-home test, he wrote out Avogadro’s Law in Italian), then the seeds were put into the salt shakers with distilled water, water changed every day for five days, and then the aril was removed with a dental pick (the seeds were all plumped up and soft), and then the seeds were stratified in the refrigerator with perlite. This was around Christmas, and the seeds are germinating now.
“So, see, all the time I saved?” I thought about pointing out to him that nine months in human time is like 63 months in purebred border collie time, but I decided to just let him bask in the glory of his achievement. I have other important things to attend to.14090502

 

Until next time, then.

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more little things

Greetings and salutations everyone; yes, once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here to tell you all about my day in the garden. You may remember me from such posts as “Little Red Elephants” and “Revenge Of The Rodents”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. Notice that I’m outside, for once. 14083009It was mostly a nice day today; I got to go on my walks without hearing thunder, and didn’t get struck by lightning.

The guy I live with did some gardening today, while I watched from the patio. I don’t do much gardening myself, though I do help with fertilizing, sometimes. Only one really strange thing happened, and that was when some small branches from the “thornless” honey locust were lopped off. 14083011 14083010The honey locust was here when my mommy and the guy I live with moved into the house in December, 1985. It’s never had thorns before. I think the thorns are because the guy I live with has been watching The Twilight Zone a lot.

I’m supposed to show more pictures. Here’s a picture of the main sand pile, just to show we do have flowers in the garden.(If you embiggen the picture, which was taken with the zoom lens, you might be able to see some flowers ….)14083005I know I’ve shown pictures of the Sphaeralcea ‘Desert Sunset’ many times before, but here are some more. It comes in different colors.14083014

14083013Ipomopsis (or Gilia) rubra again.14083015Agastache rupestris.14083017 14083016The first flower on Cyclamen confusum (or Cyclamen hederifolium var. confusum, or just plain hederifolium.) 14083012We had a visitor today, later in the afternoon, and the guy I live with was able to get some pictures, in varying degrees of focus. He was able to creep up on the visitor; I’m not sure why. I also don’t know how he could see it in the first place, what with his eyesight and all. 14083008

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14083003That’s really all I have for today. I’m grateful that it was a nice day, and got to lie out on the patio rug for hours. I did have to get up early this morning, about nine o’clock, so lying out on the patio made up for that. I also got brushed, which was nice. 14083001

 

Until next time, then.

 

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chance of showers

Hello everyone; yes, once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here to bring you the latest news from our garden (and the house). You may remember me from such newsworthy posts as “Sprinkles” and “A Wet Afternoon”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristically weather-related pose. If you think I look pathetically sad, that’s because few creatures can look as sad as I can. 14082803Incidentally, you may wonder about the thing to the right of my fort. That’s an old-time heavy-duty wooden yardstick, labeled “Chas. H. Dauchy Co.”; that was a paint company in Troy, New York.

But back to me and my tribulations. The weather prediction for today was a “seventy percent chance of showers”. That sounded okay, but it thundered on my morning walk and so I had to hurry home, to get all snuggled into my fort. Nothing happened for a while, and then we got some showers.

The guy I live with explained that this is an election year, and that, since words tend to lose meaning at times like this, what you saw on the movie could possibly be defined as “showers”. I stayed in my fort, but the guy I live with collected about seven gallons of rain water for the house plants.

Yes, we do have house plants. Actually, a lot of them. Here’s one blooming right now, in the house.

Huernia oculata

Huernia oculata

The sky started to clear, and then it started to get cloudy again, and there were, yes, “showers”. This is what the “showers” looked like from my fort. (I didn’t make this movie, though.)

Eventually the “showers” stopped, and the guy I live with decided it was “high time to get a good hummingbird picture”. They fly away when they hear him turn on the camera, so this was about the best he could do. The light was “weird” again because it was all drippy outside. 14082801People like me know that the most practical place to be in weather like this is to stand in front of the refrigerator, in hopes that a biscuit might come my way. One did, after a while.

They (the same people who predicted “showers” for today) say it’s supposed to “dry out” for the upcoming holiday, so I better get out my water wings, huh. The guy I live with said all the rain was good for the autumn-flowering bulbs, to come later, but all I care about is less thunder, and more biscuits.14082804

 

Until next time, then.

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weird light

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with even though I’m totally traumatized by the weather, and here to bring you the latest thundery news from our garden. You may remember me from such posts as  “Stormy Weather”, and “The Weather, Again”, among so many, many other such posts.

Here I am in a characteristic, but rare, pose. I know, “How can a pose be both characteristic and rare at the same time?” Well, it can be. “Characteristic” considering my life in general, but “rare” for this summer. I’m sitting out on the patio rug, in the sun (believe it or not), though the rug is soaking wet from yesterday’s rain. We purebred border collies are used to roughing it. This is me roughing it. 14082702Even though it looked like this at about two in the afternoon,14082701it was still a beautiful day. This is a picture of part of the garden in the sun. The yellow deal is a bag for thistle seed, for the goldfinches. I think they think it’s weird, and we haven’t seen many hanging from it. Usually there are dozens of goldfinches, so maybe the old one should be fixed, if it can be fixed. 14082703About seven in the evening the light got all weird, because a storm was coming. You know those people who talk about the same thing over and over again, and you have a conversation with them, desperately hoping that their favorite subject won’t be brought up again, but it always is, no matter how much you try to avoid it; well, that’s what this summer has been like for me. Beautiful day, but not for the whole day. Someone just had to bring up that subject again. 14082704The guy I live with took some pictures in the weird light. We could hear thunder up in the mountains, so I sensibly stayed in my fort. They say you can get hit by lightning if you hear thunder, even though this was way up in the mountains, and echoed down the slopes and canyons. My fort was the best place to be.

the trough patio, kind of overgrown with catmint. seed frame in the middle.

the trough patio, kind of overgrown with catmint. seed frame in the middle.

sedum 'Matrona'

sedum ‘Matrona’

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the north border in the “way back”

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The light got weirder.

looking toward the shed; the garden isn't as messy as it looks

looking toward the shed; the garden isn’t as messy as it looks

path in the rock garden

path in the rock garden

14082715The guy I live with said rain was coming. See the streaks? 14082716I know where to be, in case that happens. 14082717The weird light went away, of course, and then this happened. For once, it didn’t matter that things didn’t look in focus. As you can see, I have a movie for you. If this were longer, it would definitely need popcorn. White cheddar popcorn for me, please. But served in my fort. There’s plenty of room for both me and a pile of white cheddar popcorn in my fort. I even get my dinner served to me there.

Anyway, the movie. I do know this is kind of weird, in keeping with today’s theme, but it wasn’t my idea.

 

Until next time, then.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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