yet another busy day

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again, it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, who’s been so busy today that he can scarcely move. You may remember me from such entertaining and informative posts as “A Near Miss” and “A Partly Sad Story”, among others. The ones that are mostly about me are the best, but the guy I live with insists I talk about other things besides just me. I don’t know why, exactly. Here I am in a characteristic, and, I think you’ll agree, awfully cute pose, looking at the door to the cabinet holding all the biscuits.


A funny thing happened on our morning walk today. The water had stopped flowing in the canal. The water must have been shut off last night or early in the morning. As we walked by we could hear flopping noises, and so after we got home, the guy I live with went back to the canal, rescued a little bluegill which was floating sideways in very shallow water (that was the flopping noise) by moving it to deeper water, and then, of course, had to take some pictures.



He thought these would attract the great blue heron, but when we went on our afternoon walk the canal was flowing again.

In other news, the buffalo grass lawn in back is coming in nicely. The guy I live with was so impressed with The Dry Garden Handbook by Olivier Filippi that he wanted the author’s  new book, Alternatives au gazon, which he had to order from France. You can see the gazon here, still a gazon but definitely alternatif, with sustainable lawnmower ready for duty. (Incidentally, the guy I live with says gazon is also a word in English, having to do turf on fortifications.)


Then there was the business with the Russian hawthorn, Crataegus ambigua. He wrote about this a while back, even mentioning the fact that we border collies like the haws, though eating them is hardly an “undignified” pastime.

The guy I live with took the saw and the Japanese branch hook to it, today, and this is what it looks like now. Speaking of things French, the guy I live with says the word “prune” comes to English from French, ultimately from the Latin meaning “to make round”, which, fortunately, he was not able to do.



He wondered out loud how a person could prune a tree whose basic nature was to grow in any growable direction, even down, if there’s room in the air. I would say that the air has plenty of room for letting the tree grow how it will, but didn’t say anything like that at the time. It’s a weird thing. It had all these branches sticking out every which way, too close to the ground, so he hacked them off. The rest of it he left as it is. What exactly could you do with a thing like this?



It even has stretch marks. How many trees have stretch marks?


So that was our day. I admit I didn’t help much with the pruning. I did guard the house, though, while he was working away. I especially made sure that the couch didn’t fly away for some reason. I mean, you never know.

I say goodbye, or adieu, for now, then.


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12 Responses to yet another busy day

  1. Julie says:

    A very eventful day for you today. Tell your guy good save with the little bluegill. Good thing you two came along.
    I held down the couch at my house today. My border collies would have gladly covered for me should I have decided to go out and do some gardening myself, as was the plan…But I stayed in most of the day assembling a puzzle of flowers (oh the irony) so the boys just held down the carpet. They are excellent at it, as I’m sure you are.

    • paridevita says:

      I’m really good at holding down the carpet, and the covering on his ancient rattan couch, and the ultra soft Pottery Barn sheets he bought just for me.
      Today was a good deal less eventful, which was fine with me.

  2. Fisher, the Wonder Dog says:

    Hello, Chess–Sounds like your days are almost as busy as mine. After chasing Damien the Deer, aka The Spawn of the Devil, out of my Grammy’s flower garden early this morning, I’m getting to spend the rest of the morning watching hummingbirds at the feeder that my Dad hung on the deck railing so my Mom could enjoy watching the hummingbirds, which she says remind her of growing up in Oregon. Is it true that hummingbirds are most attracted to red flowers? (Maybe if you don’t know, you could ask the guy you live with.) I have a long nap planned for this afternoon to build up my strength should TSOTD return this evening for a snack under our apple trees, which he seems to do with disconcerting frequency. The days are indeed full just trying to keep ahead of it all! Please continue to keep us posted.

    • paridevita says:

      Hummingbirds are indeed attracted to red flowers, and as you go further south, into Mexico, the number of red flowered species increases exponentially. Most of them are adapted to flower during the North American Monsoon, when hummingbirds are flying south for the winter.
      They will also visit other flowers, especially if they’re rich in nectar.
      We don’t have deer here, but we do have a herd of elks (the guy I live with says you say “elk”, which sounds silly) which are really big and scary. See the post “of elk and apples”.

      • Fisher, the Wonder Dog says:

        Elk!?!?! Oh, my! Not sure I could muster up the courage to chase away one of those big boys, much less a herd. Does anyone in your neighborhood have a veggie garden? I would expect that to be their favorite destination……

      • paridevita says:

        Elk indeed. They go for the apples in trees hanging over fences.

  3. You’re right, Chess, such a cute pose. You look caught in the moment you’re exerting best effort at charming those biscuits out of the cupboard. Have you ever been successful?

  4. BTW, Chess, I think the Russian Hawthorne has been expertly pruned and left to look lovely. Now urge your person to get busy with lacing. Lacing is really what makes a gardener miserable, you know. Comprehending so much the French as he does, your person surely understands lacing.

  5. A method of trimming trees so the canopy admits air and light. Very pretty, and you know it when you see it. In the presence of sunlight, creates a lacy pattern on the ground.

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