The dog, at least, had an excellent time. He thought going for his walk at 7 a.m. this morning was just perfect, even though it was about 17 outside, and snowing lightly. Although we saw no one, his excitement mounted as we walked down the path along the creek, because there were quite visible tracks of the creature he most wants to meet, Coyote.

I had the vague sensation that we were being stared at by pairs of eyes as we walked past the willows, but nothing happened.

I read somewhere that when you start to freeze to death you’re enveloped in a sense of bliss and overall well-being. The wind made it too cold to feel anything even resembling bliss, and by the time we made it back to the entrance of the open space I was fairly sure my face had frozen. Chess had ice between his paw pads, the one thing that makes a dog want to go home, but it wasn’t more than a minute’s walk back to the warmth of a house with the heat turned on full blast.





agave parryi, and a very unhappy-looking agave palmeri, upper right


cylindropuntia imbricata and friends

I also read somewhere (most of my reading is done “somewhere”) that at this time of year the population of Canada geese in Denver exceeds the human population. You can tell when winter has arrived; the sky is full of honking. Border collies are said to be superior choices for chasing geese off golf courses; no geese have ever landed in the back yard here, and Chess–the dog who almost let a rabbit walk into the kitchen just the other day–probably wouldn’t care at all.

As a failed vegetarian it pains me to say that I ate one, once. I was given a goose that had been blasted out of the sky on a hunting trip that was supposed to be for other game. I felt I had to do something with it so I cooked it in a Chinese-style broth with soy sauce, rice wine, and star anise. My wife refused to eat it; she was right, I could have cooked a basketball in the same broth and had the same results.

The occasional shotgun pellet between my teeth reminded me of how the goose met its end. There’s a difference between edible and worth eating.

These geese don’t know this story, but are flying away from me anyway; maybe toward the Soda Lakes near Morrison, or the reservoir, the water of which I’ve never seen, just the other side of the highway.


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6 Responses to brr

  1. Love the pictures of your garden in winter: trying to think if I’ve ever seen it this time of year? The Bouteloua looks like ‘Blond Ambition’–or is it just a robust regular form? Snow on agaves is so–cool! And you have captured the goose flights: which I always find inspiring–and you have me thinking about total numbers of the critters: there are some pretty massive gaggles out there–but millions? I’ve never tried goose–but my German friends swear by it for Christmas. I am more apt to sample venison or rabbit if they devour my garden this spring like they did the last!

    • paridevita says:

      Just regular blue grama. Native and Hachita all mixed together. Plus galleta, alkali sacaton, etc.
      I read somewhere the outnumbering of people by geese, so it must be true, huh. There’s a big park on Garrison just south of Alameda, soccer fields etc., where there must have been at least 2 million geese just by quick count, the other day. Geese as far as the eye could see.
      I know people who swear by lutefisk for Christmas too, ya sure ya betcha; thanks anyway but no.
      Rabbit tastes like chicken; you drink a very hoppy beer with it. Of course.
      (Did no one notice my suggestion of hops being the perfect companion plant to rabbitbrush? Oh well.)



  2. Loree says:

    The other day I went looking for a nice photo of an agave covered in snow, found an okay one to use but yours is much better.

  3. Pam says:

    Even colder this morning; maybe you and Chess will skip the walk. Burlap looks good in the snow.

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