life with a nut

Greetings and salutations everyone. It is I, Chess the purebred border collie. You may remember me from stellar posts like “Stinker’s Revenge” and “Baby Blue Jays”. Here I am in a characteristic pose.


My mommy, whose dog I was until she died, called me her “happy little goofball”, because I’m happy all the time, or almost all the time. Not when it thunders. Which it has only once so far today.

Today has been really cool and cloudy, so I made a point of staying inside and sleeping, most of the day, because clouds are scary too. And there was this other thing ….

Okay, I’ve said before that the guy I live with is kind of a nut. He allows things like this to go on. That’s his plant of Cytisus purpureus being snacked on.


The guy I live with says they taste like chicken. Not the cytisus, I mean. My mommy used to make leek and rabbit pie, until she and the guy I live with started going on walks, and seeing little baby bunnies, and she no longer had the heart to cook them, even though they weren’t the same ones as the ones in the front yard. When they snuck into the back yard (they don’t live here) the guy I live with said to them that they taste like chicken, bwa ha ha, and they just looked at him, because they didn’t know what a chicken was, and they knew he wasn’t going to do anything to them.

Anyway, today the guy I live with wanted to get some pictures of the orioles that are all over the garden. He says the males are really skittish, and so—-get this—he was going to pretend to be a plant in order not to be noticed and to get a picture.

I have this idea that it’s not so difficult for him to pretend to be a plant, but I didn’t want to see any of this. You have to draw the line somewhere, right? He managed to get some oriole pictures even though they are skittish and he was pretending to be a plant.

These are first year males, or so he says, eating grape jelly in the feeder.



He tried really hard to get a picture of an older male, but this was the best he could do. Or, I should say, this is what he said was the best he could do. They’re really orange.



Well, that’s the bird part. Now, to plants. Or, to be precise, a plant. Gilia aggregata. Or Ipomopsis aggregata.

A little background first. The guy I live with says these gilias, and there are quite a few that are similar, some with orange or pink or white flowers (which strikes me as odd since this is a hummingbird-pollinated plant) are like the “essence of the West”, and that he wanted drifts of them all throughout the garden, but only got this one. I think it’s possible that someone ate all the other seeds since the guy I live with seems to be incapable of enforcing any sort of law against intruders, and that this fall he’ll just have to sow ten times as much seed.

He says they’re easy from seed, but taprooted plants, which don’t transplant very well from pots into this garden, so he’ll have to figure out some happy medium between broadcast sowing and having everything eaten.

The guy I live with says Intermountain Flora says that “regardless of its possible theoretical merits, the so-called biological species concept as applied in this group does not lead to a taxonomic treatment that can be used effectively” (volume four, p. 108) and so they retain the name Gilia for that purpose. He’s not going to call them Ipomopsis any more, partly because he thinks that’s a funny sounding name, and partly because if the flora is correct, then it’s illogical to apply a name derived from a species botanical concept to a taxonomic treatment.

Isn’t that interesting.


Okay, there you are. The daily life of the nut I get to live with. It isn’t all that bad, really.

It’s thundering now, and raining a little, so I have to go. Until next time.

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4 Responses to life with a nut

  1. The guy you live with sounds very intelligent.

  2. Vivian Swift says:

    Face it, Chess: you live with bunnies. You and those brown Leporidae are roomies sans chambres, but have no fear, pose very little competition in the cuteness department. (But that bunny eating his salad on the hoof is adorable.)

    Chess’s mom sounds like she was a talented, spirited lady who found inspiration and beauty in the least likely places. I’m not talking about flowers and birds, I’m talking about the monster insects who, to each other, are as irresistible as border collies who blog. And that’s pretty amazingly irresistible.

    • paridevita says:

      Bunnies can be very scary. One ran into me in the dark at Tinkle Time, and I couldn’t tinkle, it was so scary.

      There are eleven of my mommy’s watercolors at the Hunt Institute, and the Denver Museum of Science and Industry just got a bunch of her moths, butterflies, and bugs. 853 of them, to be precise.

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