on the phone

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here to bring you the latest news about me, and about our garden. You may remember me from such posts as “The Bleak Season”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.We were looking for the muskrat, just as the sun was setting. We’ve seen the muskrat, or maybe muskrats, almost every time we walk by here, and just as the guy I live with gets out his camera, we hear this “floomp” sound, which is kind of the sound a muskrat makes when it dives under the water.

The water in the canal is getting pretty low now. I suppose it will be shut off any day now.

We’ve seen a lot of hawks lately. There was one in the tree a couple of days ago.One just today. Maybe the same one.I scared one. I can be deadly and terrifying, as you know. 

That blue that you see in the background of those pictures is the sky. We’ve hardly seen it at all for months, now, and so I thought I would mention it.

There was even a bit of a sunset the other night. November is the month for spectacular sunsets here, but only if you can see the sky.For the last couple of days it’s been cold and gray, though the sun did come out some, today. It was also freezing today. Right at or a little above freezing, I mean. I didn’t mind it, but the guy I live with had to put on a coat when he went outside. He’s a lot less tough than I am.

Not much else has been happening around here. The guy I live with brought home an old  walking-stick, probably made in the Philippines, from his mom’s house which he had never seen before. It’s not in focus, but you can get the idea.He’s been on the phone a lot lately. I mean a lot. Sometimes for hours. He used to spend all day long talking on the phone trying to fix phones, actually fixing them, and talking some more on the phone, so this is something he’s used to. But he’s on the phone a lot.

He got a smart phone because he said it was time to. Some of the pictures here were taken with it. Like this one, when there was sky in the background.

And like this picture of Cyclamen mirabile ‘Tile Barn Nicholas’. 

Speaking of cyclamen, a shipment of them came the other day. These pictures were taken after the cyclamen were repotted and watered.

They’re going into the upstairs bedroom because it’s really too late to plant them out in the garden here, even though all the tubers had very nice roots. The roots won’t have time to grow into the soil before it gets cold here, which it does, and so the cyclamen will be perfectly content upstairs. They’ll be planted out in the garden next year.

Then, with the new phone, he took some pictures of things he felt like taking pictures of. Partly old things, partly things that were old, but new to the house.

One of the water buffalo bookends. It’s pretty dusty. It’s been here for ages. 

And the ashtray. Also very dusty. Like all the other stuff, it was his grandfather’s.

One of his grandfather’s watercolors. There was a set of these at his mom’s house, and now they’re here.

The little picture his wife framed and attached to the kitchen door, going into the garage.

I know I talked about books being rearranged in the living room a while back, and since the guy I live with has this new phone–I mean his old phone could take pictures, too, but you needed a magnifying glass to see them–he took some pictures of the bookshelves in the living room just to prove there had been some rearranging. Instead of just talk of rearranging. Though some books from upstairs were put in these bookshelves, this wall, below, has looked the same way for the last fifteen years or so. The guy I live with didn’t have anything to do with the way this wall in the living room looks. So those are some of the phone pictures. Mostly the guy I live with has been talking on the phone, as I said, but sometimes he takes pictures with the phone. He also looks at stuff on his phone, like everyone else does, and now he feels like everyone else. At least in that way. He said he could blend in if he were at a bus station or airport or any place where you had to wait for something, and you were expected to look at your phone, like everyone else.

I’ll leave you with what I’m pretty sure is the best phone picture of all. Me after a day at Day Care. 

Until next time, then.










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some light, some dark

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here to bring you up to date on the latest news from our garden. You may remember me from such posts as “The Hair Cut”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.The shed isn’t really leaning like the picture suggests; I think it’s from what’s called “barrel distortion” from the camera lens.

I was going to suggest this picture as my characteristic pose, with my characteristic nose. I look worried, but I wasn’t. Here’s another nose picture, because I figured you would want one. Possibly a bit too avant-garde for some, I know.

It was a partly-gloomy day today. In fact our side of the city was especially gloomy, owing to a big mountain wave-type cloud.Out east, the sky was blue. This is looking northeast. It was kind of on and off all day long. Sometimes gloomy, sometimes sunny.You can see the Snowdrop Frame there, covered with plastic. Not exactly a charming effect in the garden, but the guy I live with doesn’t hugely care. The little fence is temporary, by the way.


The path does look better with the new gravel spread on it. And maybe it will be less muddy in winter. This is assuming that it ever rains or snows again. Right now it doesn’t seem like it will.A couple of plants are still flowering. This is Sphaeralcea munroanaThe guy I live with said that was nice, but he was a lot more interested in other things. Not only are there snowdrops up, one is flowering.

Galanthus reginae-olgae.

There are some other early-flowering snowdrops poking their noses out of the ground, too.So now there is all this talk about snowdrops. I have to listen to it; you’re lucky that you don’t. I didn’t realize there were feathers in this picture until just now. I prefer not to say why there are feathers all over the place.

Some people don’t believe that the gardening year here starts in late September, but it really does. We tend not to do much of anything during the summer, and the hail can be very disheartening. It didn’t used to be this way, no matter what people claim, but now it’s gotten so bad that the guy I live with said he thought it was pointless to risk having a garden full of flowers in June, July, and August, only to have it obliterated by hail. So the guy I live with mostly just putters in the garden during that season, and complains about the lack of sun.

Once the autumn crocuses start to flower (they’d really like a lot more rain than they get here; the guy I live with waters when I’m at Day Care), things perk up around here.

The cyclamen have nice flowers, but you mostly grow them for the leaves, which stay attractive all winter. Very cold temperatures and lack of snow cover will spoil some of the leaves, but the cyclamen here are growing in places where if it snows, there will be some snow cover if the temperature drops a lot. Like in shade.

These are Cyclamen hederifolium. You can see some coiled seed heads, too.  I forgot to show pictures of the leaves in another part of the garden, but I can leave (sorry) that for another post. There are also some nice Cyclamen confusum and C. mirabile.

The guy I live with spent some time taking books out of the bookcases in the living room, the other day, and replacing them with books he liked. It was very traumatic for him to do this; most of the books were his wife’s; too big for the bookcases, lying on their sides, and so those are going to be donated to the local library. I might show a picture of the way the bookcases look now in another post.

That’s pretty much all I have for today. I’ll leave you with an atmospheric picture of me sleeping cozily in the upstairs bedroom, with a candle, and my internet radio. 

Until next time, then.




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