the trout are out

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 happenings around here. You may remember me from such posts as “Damp And Delighted”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.
I was hoping the guy I live with would come out into the garden and do some work, but he said there wasn’t much to do, since everything was so wet.
That’s right, wet.
When we woke up last Friday morning it was raining. It rained all day until it changed to snow in the late afternoon, though it kind of went back and forth all day.
Yesterday it looked like this:
It didn’t freeze or anything, but things were kind of bent over. This is Allium jesdianum ‘Per Wendelbo’, if you’re interested.
(Per Wendelbo was a Norwegian botanist who was an authority on plants from places like Iran.)

Things were a mess here, as you can see from these pictures.
Those are cottonwood branches. There are downed branches everywhere, in our garden too, and yesterday the guy I live with did a bunch of sawing. We didn’t have that much damage, though the tree branches are a real nuisance to clean up.

Most of the snow was melted by yesterday afternoon.
They said it would freeze last night, but it didn’t, here.
We got about two inches (five centimeters) of water from this storm, so the garden is completely soaked, and the guy I live with is very relieved, especially after all the fire warnings in the last six weeks.

Yesterday the water in the canal stopped flowing. That happens sometimes. But today it was flowing again, and guess what we saw? (I know, my title gives it all away.)
A really big trout. It seems early in the year to be seeing trout in the canal, but, like the guy I live with says, things are weird.

So that’s my update for today.
I’ll leave you with a highly atmospheric picture of me, up in our bedroom, thinking about things by candlelight.

Until next time, then.

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the old man and the sea kale

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to talk about the subject of my pretty hysterical title. You may remember me from such similarly-hysterical posts as “The Sun Was Out”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.
I’m checking on the progress of the buffalo grass, as you can see. It needs more rain. The grasses behind me are Sporobolus airoides. Yes, right in the middle of the lawn. That’s what we call “advanced horticulture” around here.
The solar lamp doesn’t work, if you wanted to know. The panels on top deteriorated years ago.

It rained today. Here’s proof.
Practically a downpour, as you can see.

The guy I live with said that our windy and dry weather is caused by something called “La NiƱa” and that our summer will probably be pretty dry, which isn’t all that unusual. The wind is, but we haven’t had much lately.

The native shrubs in the garden are doing just as well as they always do, because they’re adapted to the vagaries of our climate, and all the bulbs certainly are, but there are always some plants which do well no matter what.their native habitat is. You always hear about plants that only grow in a certain habitat and so obviously they need those conditions in the garden in order to survive, but that’s almost never true, with obvious exceptions. If it were true, nobody could grow anything except plants native within a few miles of their garden.

The guy I live with posted a picture of Mahonia fremontii on Facebook; this is a slightly different picture; you can see how happy it is. This is a plant native to deserty places and pinyon-juniper woodland in the American southwest, and yet Reginald Farrer mentioned growing in it his book My Rock Garden (I think), in Gloucestershire, as alien a climate for this plant as growing bananas at the South Pole. (I’m quoting the guy I live with, here.)

I know, from the constant talking that goes on around here (it’s like background noise, or Muzak), that the guy I live with really isn’t interested in growing a lot of plants that other gardeners grow (except for super-rare bulbs, which are an entirely different story), but for some reason he bought a plant of the sea kale, Crambe maritima, and planted it right in the middle of what used to be called “the great lawn” here, and it’s doing very well.
This is a plant native to what the English weirdly call “shingle”, which we would call something like pea gravel or a bit larger, on beaches in Europe, and you can see it in pictures of the late Derek Jarman’s garden in Dungeness here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/angusf/sets/656542/

The sea kale is a long way from home, growing here.
The guy I live with says that people say the leaves are edible, just like they say regular kale is edible. He has a different opinion.

Well, anyway, this is one of my mostly plant-related posts. I don’t have much else to report. Oh, except that the weather forecast says that this coming Friday night will feature temperatures at or below freezing. On the twenty-first day of May. The guy I live with said that was pretty funny. We’re used to this sort of thing.

The orioles are back, but there are no pictures of them, because they’re so skittish. They make a lot of racket, demanding grape jelly all day long. They get it, too.
And I haven’t seen the muskrat since the first time we saw it. I’ll leave you with a picture of me on the way to search for the muskrat.

Until next time, then.

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