the new way

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 up to date on the latest news from our garden. You may remember me from such posts as “A Chilly Interlude”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.I know this is a bit subtle. We purebred border collies can be awfully subtle at times. Even unassuming. On the other hand, I am right in the center of the picture.

Anyway. A couple of things.  One was the sunset last night. (But wait until you see this evening’s.)And the other, I think on the same walk, took the form of an unexpected encounter. The guy I live with had a hard time keeping me calm. So that was those two things. We also saw a coyote but the pictures are of it hiding behind a bunch of underbrush and impossible to see.

The guy I live with is irked with the weather. He’s always irked about it, one way or the other, but lately, extra-irked. It was fifty-eight degrees here today. (About fourteen Celsius.) And it’s supposed to be that warm next Thursday and Friday. But tomorrow night the low is supposed to be five. At least there isn’t a prediction of baseball-sized hail. That’s why he likes winter here, “awful though it may be”, better than summer.

It’s warm but the soil is frozen a little way down and so not much is happening. A few crocus (Crocus laevigatus) were dug up today, planted in a plastic pot, and set in the Snowdrop Frame because the guy I live with said they were getting mashed where they were, but he did plant them on my Personal Hill. I think you can see where they were dug up.I guess next year everything is going to be hugely mulched to keep the soil from freezing. Just with leaves and stuff. My Personal Hill is going to be planted with thymes. The soil doesn’t freeze here very often but it has this winter, and there’s been a lot of complaining. There’s always complaining, of course, but I mean a lot, this time.

It even rained here. For maybe ten minutes. The guy I live with said we can still say it doesn’t rain here in the wintertime, and if people get confused we can say, “It rains as much in Denver in the wintertime as it snows in Malibu in the wintertime.” He said no one talks about buying a snow shovel after they move to Malibu. (I mean if he knew someone who had moved there.) So we can say it doesn’t rain here in the wintertime.

But the soil is frozen. At least in most places in the garden. It’s isn’t on the north side of the house, because there are a bunch of leaves on the soil, which is good because other things are happening there.

The guy I live with said these might all be ”Theresa Stone’ which is an especially early one, every year, even if it gets cold later. Or maybe we should say it flowers reliably just after the first of the year. He sometimes spells the name “Teresa” because that’s how his second girlfriend, in second grade, spelled her name. She kissed him on the playground of Patrick Henry Elementary in Long Beach, California, and so he remembers that. She wore glasses and lived on Hackett Avenue. He walked her home one time, but maybe she moved away after that. (“Not because of it”, the guy I live with said.) The image of walking home with Teresa is still vivid and has an aura of loss about it. But he did move away, to a place where they had snow in the winter instead of rain.

I do digress, don’t I?

The “way back” got most of the raked-up leaves and yet there isn’t much of anything planted there. Geranium macrorrhizum, a bunch of “heirloom” daffodils, and a few other things. So a couple of days ago we started going a new way on our walks. It was really only new to me.

We crossed the frontage road by the highway, since the landscape maintenance crew had left all the ice-melting stuff on the sidewalk and the guy I live with didn’t want me walking on it for hundreds of feet, and there wasn’t any on the sidewalk on the other side, and so we went down that sidewalk and then turned right, which is to the east, before we got to the highway, and walked down this little road. The guy I live with said that Flurry and Pooka used to walk down here, and then turn around at the end, and walk home.

This is looking west, of course. I say “of course” because that’s Mount Morrison, with Red Rocks. So we’ve gone down the little road and turned around. 

The guy I live with said that when they used to walk here, and that would have been back in the last century, there would almost always be large hawks on top of the utility poles. There was one there on our walk but it got scared away. Probably by me. Then we made a movie of my evening walk. It’s kind of long, and windy, but we walk at a brisk pace, and it’s available in High Definition if you click on that. I like walking fast sometimes. I had to look at a piece of black plastic on my way up to the canal road, otherwise it’s just us walking.  Except when we stop and point the camera at the sunset, and it takes a little time to adjust to the light, well, I hope you’ll agree that it’s a pretty impressive effect.


Until next time, then.







Posted in Uncategorized | 16 Comments

sixty-eight degrees

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 up to date on the latest news from our garden. You may remember me from such posts as “Before It Snows”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.You may gather from the title of today’s post that it was extremely warm today. There are still small patches of snow from when it snowed three weeks ago, believe it or not, but the weather has been pretty delightful lately.

And if you know anything about Denver’s weather, you’ll know that tomorrow night it’s supposed to snow. The guy I live with explained that when it gets really warm, like today, it’s a sure sign that it will snow the next day. I personally think this is very weird.

The forecast also called for rain tomorrow. It never rains in Denver in the wintertime, but I guess there can always be a first time.

It’s been super dry here lately, but then, it’s always dry here in the winter, even if it snows. The snow evaporates in the sun, except in the places here and there where the sun doesn’t shine on them. Maybe you can see how dry it is.

I realize that the next picture has a certain deficiency compared to the ones above, but the guy I live with thought this was a fairly good picture of the “way back”, which, as you may know, is a garden behind the hedge of lilacs you can see in the last picture. The one section of fence on the right is horribly leaning, and we’re not sure how to fix that. There’s probably a way.

You can also see that the bird bath still has not been fixed. The guy I live with said he hasn’t worked out how to fix the bath itself, since it broke into several pieces.All this warm weather brought some visitors to the garden. The guy I live with said there were “zillions” of female red-wing blackbirds in the birch tree. I think he exaggerated just a little.

Red-wing blackbirds are birds of spring, and it was odd to see them here at this time of year. It does happen sometimes.

Then there was a raven on our walk this morning.The guy I live with said that there were always ravens here, but that you didn’t see them a lot. Crows, on the other hand, are fairly new. You never used to see them, and now you see them all the time. Like blue jays, I guess.

The paperwhites are still flowering. The guy I live with said he thought this picture was interesting because you can see them in the mirror on the wall, too.There are some new ones flowering, called ‘Inbal’, and he said those were extremely fragrant. Otherwise they look kind of a lot like the regular ones, which are called ‘Ziva’.

There’s an amaryllis about to open, too, as you can see.

In other news, a couple of evenings ago I saw this on the stairs. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.This is called an effelant, if you didn’t know. The guy I live with said his friend got it for Christmas, and that it was for me. I wasn’t sure about it at first, but now I really like my new effelant, almost as much as my Lamb Chop.

Sometimes the guy I live with leaves me here at home, even though he doesn’t want to, but I have all my toys to keep me company. The radio is on, too. He worries a lot about me when he leaves. I usually just take a nap, which he knows, but he still worries.

He said he knew when he brought me home for the first time that he was in for a good deal of worry, but it was what he wanted, instead of just being at home all by himself. His retirement has been nothing but endless worry, which irks him because he thought retirement would be all serene and stuff. It’s been anything but that. Having someone (that would be me) to worry over helps him, he said.

Anyway, I guess bringing me home for the first time was a good trade because I worry, too, like when I was on my morning walk the other day and I heard loud noises, and he said they were from the trash truck emptying the dumpsters in the apartment complex to the north of us, and even showed me the trash trucks, and also leaned against me to show that everything was really okay.

And I worry about him. Just the other day this came in the mail.This came from The Temple Nursery, as I found out after what I thought was an excessive amount of fretting and talking about how we would have to survive on lettuce for the rest of the year.

I started to worry about the lettuce, which I’ve never had. It didn’t sound very good. The guy I live with said that Flurry, the first purebred border collie who lived here, liked lettuce and so it would be okay. I remembered that he told me Flurry also liked hot sauce, so I began to wonder.

He said everything would be just fine, and not to worry. 

Until next time, then.

Posted in Uncategorized | 14 Comments