equinoxious weather

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Mani the purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here to bring you the latest news from our garden. You may remember me from such posts as “Stuff And Nonsense”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. I guess you can see what happened here. And I think I could use some dark glasses. Kind of bright out. The weather was pretty scary. Lots of thunder (in March….), rain, graupel, soft hail bigger than peas, snow, and then these huge snowflakes, which the guy I live with said were really clusters of snowflakes, as wide as my paws. Which are not really big paws, but they were big snowflakes. He didn’t get any pictures of them because we were out walking and it was really wet and he worried that the camera might get soaked so he didn’t bring it.

Notice how it starts snowing harder right after the thunder. I left my pine cone out on the flagstone but it was too wet to bring in.

Some flowers didn’t get wrecked by the cold and snow. People around here always go crazy when it snows at this time of the year, talking about how wonderful all the “moisture” is (they mean water) and in fact we did get about three-quarters of an inch (1.9 cm) of water, though we didn’t really need it, and fortunately there doesn’t seem to have been a lot of damage to the plants.

This is the regular species Iris reticulata which has been in the garden for a quarter of a century.  It’s strongly scented of violets. Maybe the picture should show it purpler. The guy I live with said he’s always had trouble keeping Colchicum bulbocodium (which used to be called Bulbocodium vernum), but these seem to be doing okay. Though they are not hugely impressive; just kind of cute. These crocuses are called Crocus kosaninii ‘April View’.The guy I live with said he planted these several years ago, and thought they had died because nothing happened and he didn’t see any crocuses, but maybe the corms he planted were too small to flower and they built themselves up and are now able to flower. This happens sometimes.

Really, though, the biggest news here is that there’s water running in the canal again.I was pretty sure I saw a muskrat right by the edge of the canal, but the guy I live with said maybe not. Only one of us is the real expert in muskrat detection. I stuck my whole nose in a pretty big hole right by the edge of the canal even after the guy I live with said not to; he said the muskrat could have grabbed me by the nose and pulled me into its lair.

With all the talk of being held captive in The Lair of the Muskrat I began to think that the guy I live with was just making all of this up. The hole right next to the canal was pretty big, though.

The canal banks are pretty steep right here. The guy I live with said my shadow looked like a Rodent of Unusual Size. I didn’t get that; he said he would explain some time, but anyway we went down to the part of the canal where it curves off away from the road, and there’s this what you might call other road, less well-traveled, and the canal banks are much less steep.Of course I had to try some wading. I only went wading for about half a second. The water was really cold. I couldn’t believe how cold it was but I wanted to seem all tough and nonchalant so I stood there by the bank trying to seem pensive, like a poet lying on a riverbank, thinking up a poem about spring.

I bet not too many poets got their paws frozen thinking up spring poems by riverbanks, but maybe they weren’t as tough and resilient as I am. I’ll leave you with a pretty delightfully riparian picture of me (if you ignore how cold the water was). 

Until next time, then.





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biscuit time

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Mani the purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here today to bring you completely up to date on the latest news from our garden. You may remember me from such newsworthy posts as “The New Berm”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.Not hugely in focus, of course. I’d just had a nice drink of water and was waiting to get a couple of Fruitables. They’re really good.

So is our water. We get Denver Water Board water, which is not only inexpensive, it tastes great. The guy I live with said that it’s easy to get icky-tasting water in cities around the country, but that Denver Water water is some of the best.

There are things finally going on, here, which is a relief to me since I don’t have to hear about the endlessness of winter or how cold someone is all the time. The change to Daylight Savings Time was pretty weird, but I managed it all right.

It did look a little chilly this evening, but it wasn’t.

There are crocuses in flower. More or less everywhere.The white ones here are called ‘Snow Bunting’. You can get this variety anywhere, and it’s still one of the best. That’s the tail of a French scare cat on the right, if you were wondering. Still snowdrops, too. This is part of the main group. With scare cats. (Only one in the picture.) The snowdrops in the frame are done now. A little fence was built right next to the frame, to replace a kind of ugly wire fence. There’s a big clematis just on the other side which will cover most of the fence. The fence does look kind of tacky right now but the guy I live with said to wait for a while, and see. Some bulbs are up “way to soon”, though the forecast doesn’t call for much freezing at night, now. This is Fritillaria raddeana. We have a large collection of “frits” here. Some of the coldest weather can come in April, and so we have to be prepared to cover these things at night. By “we” I don’t actually mean me, of course. Though I could guard the frits, if necessary.

The mosses in the troughs have turned green. 

The moss pictures aren’t as in focus as they might have been. The guy I live with cultivates moss in two of the troughs, and it does quite well here. It’s a native moss of some kind; can go completely dry in the summertime.

This is left over from when the guy I live with was super seriously into rock gardening, and there were all these cool plants in the troughs, but then things changed and a lot of plants died. Except for the mosses.

And if you remember the last post where some calochortus seeds had germinated, this is what they look like now.So that’s the gardening, here.

My walks have been about the same, which of course means excellent. The geese are still here.I got to hunt for some voles, today, too. The guy I live with said it’s possible I could be imagining things, all these voles rustling around under the grass. But I looked anyway. 

The guy I live with said not to stick my nose in there but I did, because I wanted to. The only thing we found was what I was sure was a giant egg of some terrifying prehistoric creature. The guy I live with said it wasn’t. I’m fairly certain that’s all for today. If that egg hatches and it’s something scary, I’m not going to like it. But meanwhile things are okay. I thought you might like a short movie of me getting a biscuit; I do have a speaking role here. And notice how I stare at the cabinet where the biscuits are kept, to make sure I get one.

Until next time, then.


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