a pattern emerges

Greetings, salutations, and a sigh of relief, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie. You may remember me from such posts as “Before Dawn” and “Fixing Things”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic, but slightly traumatized, pose. I just came back from the doctor’s office.14072201You know how something looks bad, and after a while you start thinking that maybe it might not be so bad, and you say to yourself that you’re just saying that, to make yourself feel better and stuff? Well, my doctor looked at the sore on my side, after not having seen it for a while, and saw how much better it looked, and decided I didn’t need the surgery after all. Apparently the risk of anesthetizing an aging and overweight border collie, no matter how purebred, was greater than trying to operate on me, when things didn’t look as bad as they had at first.

So you can see how being overweight can have its excellent qualities. A pattern is emerging here.

The guy I live with says it really isn’t like that. I do have to go on a special diet and all that, but I’m home, and that’s what matters. I have another pill to take that tastes awful, but the guy I live with has pills that taste awful, so we’re even.

All of the imagining that the guy I live with did was completely wasted. He spends way too much time imagining what the future will be like, when it doesn’t even exist at all.

A couple of garden pictures might be appropriate here, since this is, after all, a gardening blog. I like to make it sound like it’s all about me (which it really is; just don’t tell him), but there is a garden out there.

Two pictures of the alkali sacaton, Sporobolus airoides, taken from the patio. Yes, this is part of my lawn. He forgot to move the hose, so it’s there too.14072202

14072203I have these big grasses in my lawn. Some people might think this is rather untidy. Life can be like that, too, so maybe this is another one of those metaphor things. Who knows?

 

Until next time, then.

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a slow day

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here to bring you the latest and greatest news from our garden. You may remember me from such posts as “‘There Will Be Mud'”, and “Nest-Building Time”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. I am aware that the postcard, which was from Malaysia, has slipped off its magnet on the refrigerator. Things like that happen here. (It got fixed later.)14072008Hardly anything has been going on. It’s been thundering, of course, except for one day, and so I decided I needed to be fed by hand, which the guy I live with does. I even get a napkin. It’s too scary to put your face into a dog food bowl when it’s thundering.

The guy I live with says more things would happen if I got up earlier than 9:45 in the morning, but I see no reason to do that. I understand I have to get up early on Tuesday, and go somewhere, so I might not post tomorrow, but then the guy I live with said after that I can sleep in until noon if I want to.

The sphaeralceas have started to bloom here. They’re related to hollyhocks and stuff, but have fairly small flowers. They grow without any watering, here, and the guy I live with really likes them, which is why they’re all over the place. This picture could have been more in focus, I think. 14072006And the perennial pea, Lathyrus latifolius. The guy I live with has tried to grow ‘White Pearl’, a favorite of Gertrude Jekyll’s, but it’s never made it.14072005I wasn’t going to show this allium because the guy I live with can’t remember its name, and for a person with a “photographic memory” that’s pretty sad, but he says, in his defense, that he is entering his declining years, and so that’s what we get.14072004Some garden pictures to make the post more interesting. Or longer.

The main rock garden. Only part of it, really. The part that looks empty in the lower left actually isn’t; the plants there are just little. 14072003The “lawn”. The yellow thing at the top of the picture is a sock thistle feeder, because the fancy one blew down and got bent, and the guy I live with has to put on his “Leonardo Cap” to try to figure out how to fix it.

What he calls a lawn is a bunch of native grasses and stuff, with a strip of buffalo grass for my convenience. 14072002The back lawn. This is entirely for my personal use. The buffalo grass is filling in nicely, in the lower right. The patches haven’t filled in yet completely, as you can see; they were seeded later. Mount Lindo in the distance. Kind of one of those “zen view” things, where you get a brief glimpse of the far-off mountain. (It isn’t really that far away; less than five miles. It’s 7,814 feet high.)

The guy I live with says this is an intensely melancholy view, but only when we have a sunset, which we haven’t had since early May, I think. I also think he’s a melancholy person by nature, and has become especially so in the last five years. I, on the other hand, am a delight.

There’s the perennial pea on the left. 14072001Oh, and this. I almost forgot. The guy I live with got another thirsty mouse picture. He changes the water all the time, because I occasionally drink out of the bird bath too, and I wouldn’t want it to taste like mouse lips.14072007

 

I guess that’s all for today.

14072009

 

Until next time, then.

 

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hardly anything at all

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here to bring you the latest news from our garden, which is mostly about the weather. You may remember me from such posts as “Tiny Little Flowers” and “Turned Up Missing”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. 14071501Our tiny little world didn’t come to an end today like the guy I live with said it might, what with all the predictions and everything, though he says we could still have thunderstorms tonight. Since I take goofballs and sleep on soft Pottery Barn sheets with the fan blowing cool air over my nose, I don’t pay so much attention to night-time storms as I used to. The weather people say that night-time storms in Denver are “rare”, which the guy I live with says means “happen all the time”.

Anyway, he was preparing for the End, partly by finishing up the cactus seedling transplant work, and partly by walking around by behaving like someone who’s preparing for the End. Fortunately there wasn’t a “supercell” storm or tornado intent on wiping us out. “Not yet, anyway”, he said optimistically.

Something almost as bad happened yesterday. The guy I live with was upstairs for some reason, and he heard this funny noise that sounded like an underground utility locator. He knows about such things. He looked out the window, and there was a guy below the Arizona cypress, locating. There was yellow location paint sprayed on the ground.

The guy I live with, since he used to do work like that, walked out into the front yard and asked the guy why locations were being marked in his front yard, which also happens to be a garden.

“Have to replace the gas line”, said the guy doing the locating.

The guy I live with told the locator that the gas line needed to be replaced next door, and showed him where the gas company had drilled holes in the driveway next door, probing for a gas leak. It was even marked and stuff; the guy I live with had talked to the gas people, because he has a tendency to chat with utility workers, having been one himself, long before I was born.

So, if we’d been on vacation, say in Seattle to get some sun, we would have come back and the front yard would have been dug up, by a backhoe. Whew, huh.

“The moral of this story”, the guy I live with said, “is never to leave the house.” Or at least be aware of one or two things going on, I might say.

Other than that, not much happened, except for one thing.  Our garden is almost entirely dependent on the weather, and the guy I live with says in a year or so this will be to the point where almost nothing is ever watered.  I have a movie about it for you, which you might enjoy, especially if you happen to live in a place where this doesn’t often happen (really, like here, but not this year), and then I’ll sign off. I’m still waiting for my vet to call to see what’s going to happen, but I’m being very patient and calm, as usual.

Until next time, then.

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questions you never asked

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 today to answer just a few of the many questions you never asked. You may remember me from such enlightening posts as “Eliminating The Impossible” and “Words Of Wisdom”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. This won’t be a really long post, if you were worried. I hope you’ll find it both informative and entertaining. 14071302The first question you may have, and one I certainly kept asking until I found the answer, is “Why are there all these pine cone pieces all over the place?” I keep stepping on them, and it’s kind of annoying.

pine cone pieces

pine cone pieces

The answer to this one can be found by looking up into the pine tree. I kept looking down, but the guy I live with showed me how to find the answer.14071304Let’s see. Oh, here’s another one. “Are the cactus that the guy you live with is transplanting really as small as he says, or is he just being a whiner, as usual?”14071306How about this one? “What’s the guy you live with reading that’s gardening-related, if anything?”

He’s reading this, which he says is “utterly delightful”. He didn’t even know the book existed, and for someone who thought he had all of this author’s books, that was pretty amazing. 14071303“Do you have a favorite garden seat?”

I do. My mommy bought this old park bench, or bus-station bench, and she used to put towels on it so I could sit on it with her. Sometimes my buddy Slipper would try to hog the bench, which made it really crowded. I don’t sit on it any more, but it’s still there, and sometimes the guy I live with sits on it, and thinks. 14071308Here’s one I bet you never thought of. “How many trowels does the guy you live with own?”14071309Isn’t this interesting? Okay, here’s one I actually did wonder about, and maybe you have too. “Do mice ever get thirsty?”14071301I guess I’ve come to the end of my post. I can’t think of anything else, and I can tell you for sure that the guy I live with can’t, either.14071307

 

Until next time, then.

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just a movie

Hello everyone; once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, here to bring you a short movie, and not much of anything else. You may remember me from such film-oriented posts such as “The Mouse Movies” and “Watering–The Movie” (which starred yours truly), among so many, many others.

Here I am in a weather-related characteristic pose. Safe in my fort. IMG_0920_edited-1I just have a movie for you tonight, weather-related, since the guy I live with claims to be a gardener and is obsessed by the weather, you know, and complains all the time, and, well, et cetera.

This was taken from the uncharacteristic perspective of inside the shed. The guy I live with and my mommy built the shed from scratch; he knew how to do stuff like that (“just not do it well”) and my mommy, being an ultra-perfectionist, got into the construction of the shed so much she added shelves, and tool holders, and decorations, some of which you can see here, as well as the heart with the carved initials, and then started in on a Construction Frenzy which resulted in the arbors being built, the benches, the fire pit, the trough patio, and so on.

Anyway, here it is. As you can tell, it rained today.

That’s all I have, really. I’ve spent most of the day in my fort, because of the weather. I like my fort a lot.

Until next time, then.

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“gardening can be boring”

Hello everyone; once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, in generally excellent condition, and filling in for the guy I live with, partly so you don’t have to hear all the complaining that goes on here. You may remember me from such related posts as “Life With A Nut”, and “Life With A Nut, Part Two”.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.14071105The guy I live with has been complaining about the weather again. I admit it hasn’t been to my liking either.14071101

14071107

14071106These pictures weren’t just taken today, but over the last couple of days. He says that the sameness of it is extremely tiresome. I’d have to agree, considering that there’s been an awful lot of thunder.

Today, however—and this won’t be a really long post–the guy I live with told me that gardening can be boring. I never thought he would say such a thing, until today. What he decided to do was do something he’d been putting off for quite some time: transplanting cactus seedlings.14071102Maybe you can tell that they’re not doing as well as they could be, and the guy I live with said this was because he made a mistake in the soil-less mix he used, which was part “play sand” and part some kind of icky compost. The roots weren’t growing at all.

They went into pots like this. 14071103The perlite was a mistake, and he took care of that. This is pure “paving sand”, which as you can see is comprised of different sized particles, so the cactus will be growing in a more oxygenated medium.

As maybe you can tell, the seedlings are not very big, and in fact quite a number of them were the size of a grain of rice, or even smaller. He used a bamboo skewer to move them, and plant them in the sand. Imagine planting all these grains of rice, and making sure they’re right side up.

Then imagine there are over three hundred of them. The guy I live with was kind of grouchy today.

That’s really all there is for today. He transplanted seedlings, got really irritated, and transplanted some more. He said it was boring.

I just lay in my fort, doing nothing in particular. The guy I live with said this picture was funny. He isn’t always right, you know. 14071104

 

Until next time, then.

 

 

 

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visitors

Greetings, salutations, hello, and namaste, 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 some news from our garden. You may remember me from such posts as “On A Rampage” and “Leafage And Branchage”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. The guy I live with said I look sullen. Well, you would too. I have an appointment at the Bad Place on Thursday. Just to see what’s going on, I guess. 14070706I cheered up pretty quickly, though. The guy I live with told me the one about the dachshund, Chihuahua, and Great Dane who walk into a bar…..  It was a really good one. 14070707Today started out nice, sunny and hot, and people were complaining about how awfully hot it was. My walks were pretty excellent. The guy I live with says summer is supposed to be hot, and judging from the alternative to hot, I definitely agree. It cooled down in the afternoon and now there are severe thunderstorm warnings all over the place.

Well, let’s pretend that everything is okay, and show a few pictures. Here’s the gaillardia again. There was always an issue getting these plants to do well here, but when they self sow, things are fine.14070701The dwarf sunflower, Helianthus pumilus. The leaves are like sandpaper. 14070702Time now for some baby bunny pictures. The guy I live with is kind of a sap, and took these because he thought they were cute.14070703

 

"The apple is really good."

“The apple is really good.”

 

14070705The most interesting visitor came by yesterday. The guy I live with says he’s “fairly certain” this is a female Calliope hummingbird. She was really tiny. Those are pinyon needles, for comparison.hbAfter I started the post, the weather got much worse, the way it seems to do a lot here, lately, and they were saying that a huge thunderstorm featuring ping pong ball-sized hail was headed right toward us. We’re not really the sort of creatures who like anything headed toward us. I’ve never played ping pong, so I didn’t know what that meant, but judging from the guy I live with’s reaction, it must have been bad. There was the usual moving-to-California talk, of course.

Fortunately, the storm dissipated before it got to us, and so we just got a whole bunch of rain, and even more scary loud thunder, and lightning. That’s the desert willow in the foreground, there.

 

The best place for me to be, of course, is at home with the guy I live with, safe in my fort.14070708

Until next time, then.

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