Okay, here I am again, Chess the purebred border collie, a dog of above average intelligence, here to bring you the latest happenings in the garden. You may remember me from such superior posts as “The Barrow of Fear” and “A Close Call”, among so many others, all of which are my favorites. Here I am in yet another highly characteristic pose, looking past the guy I live with, you know, like kings and queens and people like that used to, back in the old days. Not looking directly at the person doing the portrait. The essence of nobility.


I’ll make this as quick as I can, so the guy I live with doesn’t see it. He really is kind of dumb. Not only a nut, but dumb, too. Not dumb as a rock, because he can talk and do all that stuff that rocks can’t do, but still pretty dumb. He has this really good memory which makes him seem a lot smarter than he is.

Just a few minutes ago he looked at his cell phone, which was charging the battery, because it said “battery charging”, and then–no, really, this is true–he spent fifteen minutes running up and down the stairs looking for his cell phone.

He spends a lot of time looking for things that, if he only checked his pockets, he might find faster. He tried to find the food for my dinner down in the laundry room this evening, when it’s in the garage.

He still thinks this is the year 2012.

He thought the word “misled” was pronounced “myzled” until he heard it sung (in Tippett’s opera The Midsummer Marriage) and in fact he spends a lot of time being myzled about so many things.

A little gardening background might be in order here, too. A few years ago he ordered some plants from Las Pilitas Nursery and among them were plants of the grass, Muhlenbergia dubia. After a couple of weeks he decided that where he planted them wasn’t where they should be growing, so he moved them. Since that was in the summer, that’s usually the end of things, and he looked all over the place for the grasses and couldn’t find them. He calls that “transplantosis”, you know, when you move a plant too much and it dies. Really of course it’s just being dumb.

So last week, I think it was, he ordered some plants of Muhlenbergia dubia from another nursery. They wrote him and said how awfully sorry they were, but the plants were sold out, and so he pouted for what I thought was an excessively long period of time.

Just tonight, hardly any time ago at all, he was standing in front of the garden looking at things, the way he does, and he started looking at this grass, and began to wonder what it was. He even said “What on earth could this be?” (He has Hitchcock’s Manual of the Grasses of the United States right here in the kitchen, but I guess opening the book was too much trouble.)


When he realized what it was, he said “Huh”.

I was right there too, and that’s not what I said to myself.

Hoping for the best, until next time, then.

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6 Responses to indubiably

  1. Susan ITPH says:

    Hey, Chess, I don’t mean to alarm you, but you appear to have a cataract.

    • paridevita says:

      That’s the camera reflected in my totally alert eyes. I just had my physical, and the vet said I was in really good shape for someone who’s eleven, though somewhat overwei …uh, stocky.

  2. Vivian Swift says:

    I’m more worried about Chess’s ears…where did they go? But Oh My DoG, he looks amazing for an eleven-year old, especially those teefers.

    I am thankful to know that someone wrote a book called Manual of the Grasses of the United States, which I never heard of. I can’t imagine ever reading it, myself, but I’m thankful that it’s there for others and I’m thankful that my OCD expresses itself in collecting The Jam on vinyl and not in collecting grasses, which is more useful but sounds never-ending; collecting obscure punk rock records is finite but grass…that’s a huge territory. I will look up the square mileage of the USA and that’s how big the subject is. But nice stand of Muhlenbergia you got there. Turning up where you least expect it must be a feature of this particular species.

    • paridevita says:

      I was hiding my ears ….I get a lot of biscuits which I claim are good for my teeth.

      My mommy probably won in the Collecting Obscure Things department; she had every CD and DVD that the Finnish rock band CMX made.
      The guy I live with is obsessed with native grasses, western native grasses to be precise, but “turning up where you least expect it” is a result of moving plants constantly, without also moving the labels, and then assuming the plants died, and not paying attention to anything.
      Border collies are completely focused at all times and of course know nothing about OCD.

  3. acantholimon says:

    I assume that’s Muhlenbergia dubia? It looks divisible…hint hint.

    • paridevita says:

      I could say I doubt it’s dubia, but a brief consultation with Hitchcock removed all doubt. Divisible, possibly. Muhlies are pretty easy from seed, too.

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