a near miss

Hello yet again; it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, who doesn’t do much these days. You may remember me from such outstanding posts as “A Partly Sad Story” and “Weeding Day’, among others which weren’t enough about me to make them memorable. This post will be mostly about me. Here I am in a characteristic pose, hiding in my fort.


Today started out nicely, with a good breakfast and walk, and then the guy I live with thought a nap would be a good idea, and it turned out it was. After lunch time the sky got really dark and it started to thunder, so I got scared. Thunderstorms don’t usually pass right over our little neighborhood, they go by it on the north or south, which is perfectly fine with me. I always have to hear about what my life might be like, herding sheep, living in a lean-to out in the middle of nowhere and having to sleep on straw instead of my nice Pottery Barn sheets, with a fan making my side hairs flutter and cool air blowing up my nose, and it has no effect on me at all. Thunderstorms are just plain scary.

This afternoon, though, lightning hit so close even the guy I live with jumped. It struck near the house (it sounded like a gun shot almost, right on the patio), and after it stopped raining, he went out and looked for signs of a lightning strike. He knows about these things. He did say that if I got hit by lightning that my skeleton would be visible for a second or two, and that might be cool.

As I’ve said before, I get to talk about me so long as I show flowers or something gardeny, so here are some flowers. The guy I live with has posted pictures of this before, more than once, but he says that there’s no harm in showing it again. This is Physoplexis comosa, growing in a trough. The guy I live with says this one sowed itself.

There were more physoplexises in this trough but one time my buddy Slipper, who could be extremely naughty, stood on the trough to look over the fence, and accidentally wiped out the original plant. This story has probably been told before, but not as well. The guy I live with says the plural of this plant is physoplexes, but I like the other way better.


It has these funny little dealibobs on the end which the guy I live with says are for picking up radio transmissions from other planets. I’m not sure he’s telling me the truth.


So that was my day. We made it through the day like we make it through every day, with lots of napping, and plenty of cuddling during the scary parts. I didn’t get to see my skeleton.

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4 Responses to a near miss

  1. Loree says:

    Beautiful flowers! Using what looks like pine needles for scale I’d say they’re about 3″ across, am I close?

    • paridevita says:

      I just went out with my flower-measurer (which non-gardeners would call a ruler), and they’re a little over two inches across.
      Farrer said that the plants were “caviar to slugs”, but I rarely see slugs here. The plants need a little more water than is practical here, but I try to remember to water them fairly often.

  2. pamit says:

    That is cool. Had to look it up and the common name (Devil’s Claw) is also a stunner!

    • paridevita says:

      From the Alps. Pretty easy from seed, though the plant is protected in the wild, it’s in cultivation. The seed is like dust. Prefers limestone, but here, in the trough, it’s growing in grus, decomposed granite which a geologist friend says is neutral pH because of the high feldspar content. Whatever …

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