yet more weirdness

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 almost nothing at all. You may remember me from such posts as “The Long Lead”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. Having a biscuit on the couch.I sometimes like to go upstairs and get on the bed, and have the guy I live with bring me a biscuit, which he does, even though he says that’s pretty spoiled.
I don’t think of myself as being spoiled, at all. I mean, look at all the things I have to do around here. I can’t make a list of them right now, but maybe I will someday.

Things have been weird. The news has definitely been weird.
And about ten days ago, on one of my walks, I got attacked by another dog, not on a leash (I wasn’t hurt), but the guy I live with got knocked down onto the ground, protecting me. He was okay, too, but he was sore for a few days.

The other thing, which was extremely weird, was that just a few days ago, the guy I live with noticed that there was a blank space at the top of the blog. He said this was a space for a header. He couldn’t remember that the blog had had a header for quite some time, but there was the blank space, which he couldn’t get rid of, so he uploaded a picture of snowdrops, which you now see, even though they aren’t flowering right now.

Which brings me to my usual theme, the endlessly dismal winter we’re having. I wouldn’t know this, except for all the complaining. I think it’s perfectly okay, except we don’t do a lot of gardening. We had one nice day in the sixties, with wind that evaporated a whole bunch of the snow, but then it got cold again, so there’s still ice on the paths.
The guy I live with told me that when he was working, he would always take a week off at this time of year because the weather was so warm, like sixties or almost seventy, for at least a week, sometimes longer, and he used to daydream about taking his wife to this restaurant he always wanted to go to. (At one time it was a place that served things called “Philly cheese steaks”, but the last time he and his wife went there, she was slightly put out because the waitress was so friendly to him. He told his wife he hadn’t even noticed. I don’t understand that.)
The restaurant is gone now, and the last few years haven’t had anything like those warm spells of the past.
So there’s almost nothing in flower now; it’s supposed to snow again, and be cold for another week.

Thanks to the pandemic, he can’t go see his friend if it’s this cold all the time, but they did meet in a park last week, to look at the geese and stuff.
They also saw this fairly huge Yucca elata.He says this was obviously planted as a large specimen. He’d like to have one in his garden, but large specimens are very expensive.
We have some smaller ones here.

And very small cactus:
Some of the cactus seedlings are doing better than others. The guy I live with said they’d probably like some fertilizer, but we’re out of it right now.
I guess the days where he would just get in the car and drive to get some fertilizer are gone, too. But hopefully not for good.

By the way, those are the same B.E.F. Grower’s pots which he’s used outdoors and in for about thirty years. You can’t get them any more.

He was going to sow some seeds outdoors, in more of those pots, but he didn’t have any labels, and looked all over the internet for some. They had to be just the right kind of labels, four inch plastic ones, which last for a very long time here. He finally found a place, and ordered a couple hundred, which should be more than enough.

My walks, aside from that one incident, have been about the same.
We still see owls. This is a male, and was hooting when we saw it. They look like big chickens when they hoot; they lean forward, with tail feathers held high, and hoot away.
There are hawks, too, but they almost always fly away when we get close to them. I must really frighten them.So that’s it for today. Hopefully things will return to normal before long.

Until next time, then.


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another new year

Greetings and salutations, everyone, and Happy New Year; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today just because I haven’t posted in a while. You may remember me from such posts as “The New Way”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. I was waiting to go on my walk, and the guy I live with was taking an awful lot of time getting ready.
Hardly anything has been happening. I know I say that a lot, but it’s true. There’s a lot of doing nothing, though I do go on my walks. (Not so much late at night, because it’s either been too chilly or there were firecrackers.)

You may notice, in the next picture, that the snow is still here. The guy I live with is very aggravated by this. It hasn’t been really cold, but it hasn’t been really warm, either. Just the same almost every day.We see the owls, or at least one owl, every evening.The owl sits on the same branch in the same tree every evening, except for one evening when it was chillier than usual, and there was a little wind. That time it was a bit higher in the tree.
Sometimes we see both of them, and sometimes they fly low over the field. It’s kind of spooky.

I guess the autumn-flowering snowdrops were an almost complete flop; only one species flowered. The others are up, but not doing much; I think because it was so dry in autumn, and then got cold too early.
There’s a lot to complain about where the weather is concerned.
But there are signs of life in the shade garden.
It’s funny that the soil has frozen in some parts of the garden, but not in the shade garden, where the sun never shines in the winter. The guy I live with has been trying to figure that out. There’s another shady spot, in the “way back”, on the north side of The Enclosure fence, but the soil is frozen there.
The guy I live with thinks that the soil in the “way back” wasn’t worked enough, like dug into, so that worms would aerate the soil. It’s kind of a mystery.
But the thing is, as he explained to me (I admit I sort of drifted off during this part), the autumn-flowering snowdrops were in the shade garden, and then they got moved into the frames; they probably would have done better in the shade garden. They’re going to be moved back there next summer.
Maybe there will be soil studies too. That should be exciting.

Well, anyway, that’s about it. Kind of a slow start to a new year.

Until next time, then.

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