moderately interesting things

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here to tell you some about moderately interesting things. You may remember me from such posts as “Going With The Flow”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. Waiting for the mail.
The mail doesn’t come every day, which is very strange. It used to come every day, but now it doesn’t.

It snowed again, yesterday. There was a mouse on the patio. (We have mice in the garden, if you didn’t know.)
On my evening walk, yesterday, I saw someone coming long before the guy I live with did. He doesn’t wear his glasses, except for driving, so he doesn’t notice much. I notice almost everything.
That’s a guy and his dog, just passing our garden. I wonder if they found it moderately interesting.

Maybe you will find this moderately interesting, too. I don’t find it super interesting, but I know the guy I live with obsesses on these things, in a healthy sort of way, I guess.
There are more buffalo gourds up.
And then there are the amsonias. No, these aren’t the amsonias that you find in what the guy I live with might call “mainstream horticulture”, these are dryland amsonias, namely, Amsonia eastwoodiana and Amsonia tomentosa. Some botanists say they’re the same species, but we’re keeping the names, just to be able to sort things out.
They come up pretty quickly from seeds, but then after that, they get tricky. There’s some phase between what you see here and getting plants suitable to plant in the garden where the seedlings get all finicky, which is why he started them now, instead of later.
Not because he can control them in their finicky stage, but if they die, he has more seeds to sow. It’s a case of trying and trying again.

The mix in which these seedlings are growing is scoria, perlite, gravel, and sand. With a tiny bit of organic matter.
They’ll be growing in much denser soil in the garden, like they have in real life.

There are some other amsonias out in the seed frames, under snow, because they need a cold treatment to germinate. They’re Amsonia fugatei, jonesii, palmeri, and peeblesii, if you wanted to know. Maybe he’s into amsonias right now; I’m not sure.
I think, though, that the possibility that the owner of Alplains, where these seeds came from, might retire, made him order a lot of stuff, including all the dryland amsonias in their catalog.

There are a bunch of other plants growing under these lights, too. Mostly bulbs. Here’s a picture of one, not really the true color because the lights color the picture. Bellevalia kurdestanica.
It’s up in the bedroom, and flowering, because when it came in the mail it was already very advanced in growth, and so couldn’t be planted out in the garden because of the cold weather.

So that’s the gardening stuff. I hope you found it at least moderately interesting.

Now for something that I personally found a lot more than just moderately interesting. Like, super interesting.  This happened this evening, on my walk.
It was just at sunset.
We were walking along, the way we do. Down the path behind all the houses, and then back again.
All of a sudden, as if out of nowhere, the guy I live with thought he saw a dog running by, but I, much more aware of things, knew right away that it wasn’t one of us. It was a coyote.
The guy I live with claimed that I “went berserk”. Hardly. I was viciously protecting him.
Then another coyote appeared, and ran along with the other one.
If you look at my magnificent tail, which, I have to say, is always worthwhile, then draw an imaginary line straight up until right before the house across the field, you can see a dark spot or blur. That’s one of the coyotes, running away from my terrifying visage and threatening posture.
I look pretty attentive, fierce, and deadly in that picture, don’t you think?
(That’s the main path, off to the left. I lost one of my boots right about where that picture was taken, and the guy I live with had to go back out and look for it. He found it. The guy I live with said I wear boots, and coyotes don’t. Chalk one up for me.)

And so, I’ll leave you to ponder all of this moderately interesting and super interesting news, with a picture of me in my most alert and dangerous mode.
There are coyotes in this picture, but you can’t see them. Only I could see them. Maybe that’s a metaphor, I don’t know.

Until next time, then.



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the filter (an interlude)

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to present a short interlude; a cautionary tale, if you will. You may remember me from such posts as “The Caterpillars”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. I was waiting, ever so patiently, to go on my evening walk.
Well, I’m not really sure what to say about any of this, so I’ll just submit it for your approval, and leave it at that.

It’s been cold here. Not anywhere near as cold as it can get here, but still cold. Snow and ice and boots and stuff. Cold like that. Below freezing. Nice during the day, though.

The guy I live with has been thinking about the furnace. Specifically, the furnace filter. You know, the one you change every so often.
The filter hadn’t been changed in a while, but the guy I live with was unable to define what “a while” meant.
I know he’s been down in the crawlspace since I came to live here, but I don’t recall any talk of filters.

As you may know, if you’ve been reading the blog for a while, there was a yellowjacket nest in the crawlspace, and so the guy I live with was, well let’s just say ultra-hesitant about going down into the crawlspace while the yellowjackets were still flying around.
But he was still thinking about the filter.

Also as everyone knows, there’s this thing called Covid going around (the guy I live with’s whole family has it now; they’re more or less okay, since everyone was vaccinated), but the guy I live with is hesitant, not ultra-hesitant but still cautious, about going out.
Especially to hardware stores, where few people wear masks for some reason.
You get furnace filters at hardware stores. (Also at the grocery store, I guess.)

So the guy I live with did some of his usual thinking, and ordered a box of filters online.
They came the other day.

And then yesterday, or the day before (I forget now), the guy I live with got his screwdriver (part of a set that’s over seventy-five years old, not that that has anything to do with the story), took that downstairs, with the box of filters, removed the tape from the crawlspace door (the tape was there in case yellowjackets tried to get into the house, which they did anyway, but apparently only to come inside and die), opened the door, turned on the light, and this is what he saw.
A brand new filter.
I’m sure there’s a lesson to be learned here, but I’m not doing any teaching.

The old filter was removed, and a new one was installed. It took hardly any time at all.
This is what the old filter looked like:
No wonder the house smelled dusty when the heat was turned on.
The filter had probably been installed when his wife was still here; she’s been gone almost thirteen years now.
I think there’s another lesson here, too.

He also looked at the yellowjacket nest, and decided not to remove it until later, when he had more energy and willpower. It was abandoned, for sure.

I’m sure the guy I live with feels good about having done all of this, and checking off something on his long list of things to worry about.

I hope you enjoyed this little interlude, though I suppose it’s not necessary for you to feel like you need to write any of this down for future reference. There’s a funny story about the light upstairs…though maybe I’ve already told that one, or perhaps Chess, the purebred border collie who lived here before me, told that story. It might be hidden in one of the over one thousand posts on this blog. You never know.

I’ll leave you with a picture of me, watching over the guy I live with, when he was lying on the bed after putting drops in his ear.

Until next time, then.

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