the bodark

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to tell you some possibly interesting stuff. You may remember me from such interesting posts as “It Almost Rained”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.
That’s our fancy Austrian (or Australian) gear-driven sprinkler. The one I disassembled when I was little. It still works, but hasn’t been quite the same ever since.

The guy I live with said that autumn is “sort of” here. It’s really dry, so it doesn’t seem all that autumnal.
Except for the maple leaves turning. This is Acer grandidentatum.

The water in the canal is super clear; I suppose it will be shut off any time now. That’s kind of sad, because we like to see the water.
There was more excitement yesterday when someone came to take pictures of the place where the telephone cable was cut. Now it’s easy to get back there.

I was left alone for a while today, because the guy I live with went to see his friend, and they went out to lunch at their favorite ramen place. I’ve never had ramen.
This is the entrance (and also, obviously, the exit):
The guy I live with says this is very cool. They usually come from the street you can see there.
He said it was the kind of place you might run down if you were a spy and someone was chasing you. There’s an alley on the side where he was standing.

Then they went to a little nursery that I’ve shown pictures of before, because the guy I live with wanted to get a Rocky Ford cantaloupe, which he did, and also a whole bunch of mild Hatch chiles, which he also did.

He also bought three of these things:
These are the fruit of the Osage-orange, Maclura pomifera. They’re about the size of baseballs. I guess the Osage people used the very hard wood for bows, and so the French called the wood bois d’arc, which turned into “bodark”, the way words do.

Apparently people put these in the corners of their rooms to keep spiders from living there. The guy I live with isn’t against most spiders, but he says I do try to eat them, so maybe these bodark things will help. He’s kind of doubtful, but the fruit is pretty interesting. And not really edible.

So then he came home, finally, and there was a box of cyclamen on the driveway.
This is a bit late to be planting them, here, but the guy I live with is going to do it anyway.

After the cyclamen were put in the dishpan and watered, we had a visitor.
Not the greatest picture, but maybe you can see that it’s a hawk.

One of the guy I live with’s favorite plants is flowering now: Solidago ‘Wichita Mountains’ (he thinks it’s Solidago speciosa).
In the daytime, you can smell and hear this plant before you see it; it’s covered with bees and all sorts of other things. It has a very nice scent, too.
The Wichita Mountains are southwest of Oklahoma City and a very long drive from here.

Let’s see, what else? Oh. I’m supposed to say that we don’t always get emails telling us of comments on my posts; this is some weird thing that irks the guy I live with because he says technology is supposed to work. Sometimes it doesn’t, though.

It looked like rain on my evening walk.
About ten tiny drops fell, as we walked.

Anyway, that was my day. Me staying at home, listening to music on the internet radio the guy I live with bought especially for me, while he went out to lunch with his friend. I know how important that is, so I didn’t complain.

I guess we’re going to plant cyclamen tomorrow.

Until next time, then.

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the hole in the ground

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to bring you up to date on all the excitement around here. You may remember me from such posts as “Nature Is Icky”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.
Maybe you can see that I got my pantaloons trimmed. The guy I live with got a trimmer, like the one he uses to cut his hair, except this one is for dogs, which I’m, and while it was scary at first, he was able to remove a bunch of large mats, so I feel more comfortable.

It’s that time of year again, featuring things both good and bad.
The other day, on my morning walk, the guy I live with suddenly realized that tomorrow would have been his fortieth wedding anniversary. He started to cry, but I made everything all better in my way, which is something I do.
And then (the good part) there are the cyclamen. These are mostly Cyclamen coum, but there are some C. cilicium mixed in, too, and they’re flowering, along with C. mirabile, though there are no pictures of those.
The leaves really are the thing, though some of the pictures turned out not to be as in focus as the guy I live with thought they were.
There are a lot of cyclamen in the garden here, which I think rather cleverly brings me to my next topic, though you’ll have to read a bit more to find out why.

A few days ago there was someone at our front door. I of course started barking in my most deadly and vicious guard dog way, but the person turned out to be a telephone repair person, and so not only did the guy I live with let him into my back yard, he started talking to him, because he used to do that very job.
What had happened was when the boring was done, the borer had cut through the buried telephone cable.

The guy I live with, if you didn’t know (and probably don’t), is a “catastrophizer”, and though he was something of one anyway, when his wife died without warning in his arms, it got worse. Much worse. He envisioned having to have the part of the garden, where the cyclamen are, dug up, and everything ruined, but, after hours of trying to locate the problem (which the guy I live with knew was often not all that easy), not only was the fault located, but he learned that what he thought was a cable running through his yard on the south side wasn’t one, but a pipe carrying just a single wire.
He also let me out, from time to time, to greet the guys doing the work. It was a little disappointing that they didn’t find me all that terrifying.

The next day, a pretty big hole was dug in the southwest corner of our yard.
(The guy I live with put those boards over the hole, because it hasn’t been filled in yet.)

So, there’s a gigantic (well, fairly gigantic) hole in our yard.
This is, if you didn’t know, the Employees Only section of our yard, and, being sort of an employee, in the rabbit-chasing and guard-dog kind of way, I get to go back there, even in the dark of night, but the guy I live with rarely does. (It’s 125 feet from the patio.)

If you remember, the guy I live with cleared out the area on the northwest corner of our yard, where the electrical transformer is, but it turned out that no one needed to go there, for the electrical part anyway, but the telephone repair people did, so that made all that work worthwhile, and, additonally, now there’s a path cleared through the Employees Only section.
A bunch of broken branches and stuff like that. At the left are leaves of the Kentucky Coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus), which has been going downhill, this century, and so the guy I live with said he might saw it down, or at least prune the daylights out of it, since it’s nowhere near as “drought tolerant” as horticulture claims it is.

A lot of branches of New Mexican locust (Robinia neomexicana) and Siberian pea shrub (Caragana arborescens) had to be removed, or just plain broken, and I suppose most gardeners would totally freak out about this, but the guy I live with said that he’d always entertained the idea of having like a small woodland or shrubbery (not like in Monty Python), where there would be these shrubs, of course, and under them, a whole bunch of (you guessed it) cyclamen.
I could almost see the wheels turning in his mind. Imaginary wheels, turned by guinea pigs of course.
And now the guy I live with has yet another project. He’s going to clear out that whole area, leaving some of the New Mexican locusts of course, and order a bunch of cyclamen to plant there.

Well, whew. That’s our news for now. I’ll let you go, with a fancy portrait of me, doing something I do very well, after a long and strenuous day.

Until next time, then.

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