out came the sun

Hello everyone. Once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here to entertain and inform. You may remember me from such posts as “Watering–The Movie” (which starred me) and “This And That”, among others.

It’s been really, really dark and humid here (for us), and two evenings ago it poured rain for almost twenty minutes. It rained almost an inch (2.5 centimeters….see what I know?), and everything looked happy after that, except for me, because it had to thunder for two hours, too.

The sun came out today and the guy I live with didn’t know what to do. He took a nap, which he says is the refuge of the idle.

Tonight it started to rain again, and I started to worry that it might thunder. My ears are way back.


And then it did thunder.


It rained a little too.

Well, that’s our weather. The guy I live with got this idea that he needed some hens and chicks, and at first I was afraid that I was going to have to do some herding, but it turned out that he meant plants in the genus Sempervivum. Whew, huh. He went to Timberline Gardens to see if they had any.



I guess they did. He said he might become a fanatic about them. I thought he was already a fanatic. It’s true that both squirrels and rabbits find them highly edible, which the guy I live with thinks is highly annoying, but what can you do. And, if you want to know the truth, what he’s really a fanatic about is grasses. That’s right, grasses. Of all things, right?

The orioles have left, and we only see one or two hummingbirds now. On the other hand, the crickets have been really noisy, and this has been a good year for katydids. They make the guy I live with really sad, because he and my mommy would go for walks in the evening at this time of year and try to find katydids singing in the trees. Not singing, actually, but clicking. He’d hunt for them with a flashlight, but since katydids here are green, they’re really hard to find. A few have flown into the kitchen at night, and he caught them and put them back outside.

One year my mommy caught one and put it in, well, for want of a better term, a katydid jar, because she said they don’t live very long after cold weather sets in, and the katydid sat in its jar on the kitchen table, singing its heart out at night, and then one day it died.

The guy I live with, who is tired of metaphors, made what he calls a Bug Movie, though it’s really just crickets and katydids. It could have just been an audio file, but no, he had to make a movie of it. (The clicking is from the katydids.)

So ….. well, here’s an excuse to keep talking. The guy I live with went out to take some pictures of flowers, none of which, he said, came out the way he wanted them to, so he got the other lens, and none of those came out the way he wanted them to, and so he got the Power Shot, and went out into the back, and this is what he saw. Same as before, but he never gets tired of seeing the owl. It’s been sitting on a pole almost every evening; the same owl, with the funny right eye.



Pretty impressive, huh? Without going into too much detail, we know the owl is a very successful hunter, even with the funny eye.

I’ll say goodbye, then.

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18 Responses to out came the sun

  1. Kim Bone says:

    Owl is amazing. You’re so LUCKY!

  2. Diane Lancaster says:

    Thanks, Chess. Reading your posts makes me downright happy. G’nite.

    • paridevita says:

      Why thank you. I’m staying up for a while because the guy I live with is reading about osmosis. Not about plants, or food, or anything like that, but about osmosis.
      I’ll test him on it tomorrow.

  3. Sorry, Chess, about the thunder. That’s a portrait of a dog who really doesn’t like to listen to the rumble and crack, the LOUD. If the guy you live with has times for naps, surely he has time to snuggle a border collie (purebred) through the awful noise. Tell him that’s what I do with Petey, the Dandy Dinmont. Although, thinking on it, I’m not convinced the hugging helps. Except for me, it helps me.
    One impressive owl. Perhaps the hunter is successful *because* of the different eyes.
    Thank you for sharing the cricket chirps. Ours have disappeared. My friend on the other end of the island can’t keep them out of her kitchen. I was surprised to hear this because I thought if they’ve vanished from our place, they vanished everywhere. That’s some kind of reasoning of which the philosophic person you live with probably knows the name.
    Now goodbye from here.

    • paridevita says:

      Cuddles are nice. No thunder is even better. The guy I live with claims this weather is “unusual”. He uses that word way too much for my taste.
      The crickets are also louder than in previous years, and, yes, he says this is unusual. The katydid clicks are typical, though.
      The owl. I’m supposed to say, You know the scene in the movies “Jason and the Argonauts” where the bronze statue of Talos suddenly turns its head to look at the Argonauts, well, that’s what the owl is like. Move to another section of the yard where you can see the owl, and it turns its head just like that, and looks right at you. It’s kind of scary.

  4. Karen says:

    You poor thing Chess, storms are horrid, I know, because I look like that when Ben our border Collie goes wild, running around barking for hours on end.

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with got me some “Happy Traveler” pills, which I haven’t taken yet, because he says thunder season should end pretty season (I wouldn’t bet on it), and Rescue Remedy seems to work too. We had a couple days without it, a while back, so there is hope ….

      • Karen says:

        We have been thinking along those lines, but not sure if they will help. Thunder season starts in early summer for us and sometimes throughout the year. Summer is bad, I guess anythings worth a try.

      • paridevita says:

        The guy I live with wanted to move to Salem, Oregon when he retired. My mommy didn’t. Having spent a few nights in a nice Manhattan apartment back in January of 1999, when she and the guy I live with were doing talks (slide shows, etc.), she got this idea that retiring to an apartment in Manhattan would be the most practical thing, and the border collies could go for walks in Central Park.
        The guy I live with said that Oregon was cheaper, in the same sense that a bottle of jug wine was cheaper than a case of Chateau Latour 1961, and so they didn’t do anything.
        The reason I mention this is that western Oregon has hardly any thunder. He says it’ll stop here, eventually.

  5. Fisher, the Wonder Dog says:

    Hello, my fellow monochromatic canine. Aaah, yes, those wonderful Bug Noises! They do have the power to evoke strong memories for many folk. Makes for a very bittersweet time of year. Some years back, my family had occasion to camp in northern Vermont–it was the third week in August and the nights were stone silent. There felt to be something profoundly wrong with that–an Earth-off-its-axis sort of thing. The opposite, of course, is the confounded cricket chirping away behind the refrigerator at all hours, the sound amplified by the metal of the appliance and the plaster of the walls. A sound so very sublime when outdoors turns into annoyance when brought inside. There’s a lesson in that, I suppose. Last night it was cold enough for me to move back onto my cushie bed–I prefer to sleep on the cold floor when it is hot and muggy–and for all the humans around here to pull out extra blankets. Guess this means the night bugs will soon be shutting down. Yes, bittersweet, indeed.

    The owl, such a grand and noble fellow, appears to be up to the job of protecting any hens and chicks which the guy you live with may decide to plant. You are very fortunate to have his watchful protection, no metaphor implied. Well, maybe a little.

    • paridevita says:

      The funny thing is that, well besides the fact that the crickets have been chirping longer than usual (they started earlier this year), the sound of crickets and katydids at night seems like the essence of summer, but it really signals the end of summer.
      The guy I live with says that the end of summer is very melancholy. Oh, that reminds me, my mommy wanted to call our estate here “Melon Collie Manor”, but it didn’t catch on.
      It’s that passage of time thing. The guy I live with is continually startled by the fact that this is the fifth summer without my mommy, when it seems like just yesterday that she left us. He says there’s a Zen saying, “An inch of time is worth an ounce of jade”.
      So anyway when we hear crickets it usually means that summer is coming to an end. Here in Denver, autumn can be a continuation of summer; it’s very dry, and sunny (except maybe not this year), and can be really lovely. One time the guy I live with wanted to do a sort of photo essay of autumn gardens in the city of Denver itself, with my mommy taking the pictures, but that never happened. Sometimes on a warm day in late September, seeing all the sunflowers and other things still in bloom, it can be beautiful, though at the same time with a hint of sadness.
      See how I ramble? We border collies are supposed to be highly focused, but retirement has had an effect on me.
      Time for a nap.

      • Fisher, the Wonder Dog says:

        The gods toy with us by making the days feel so long and yet the years fly by so quickly.

        (How long has the owl watched over your garden?)

      • paridevita says:

        I don’t know how long the owl has been a visitor. There are pictures on the blog from last year. “The uninvited guest” shows a picture of the owl sitting on the pole looking at a hawk in the apple tree. (There’s also a post called “Uninvited Guests” because I don’t pay enough attention to things.)

      • Fisher, the Wonder Dog says:

        Perhaps you should consider re-naming your blog “The Melon Collie Gardener”?

      • paridevita says:

        Oh, I think that might be too much trouble. ..

  6. pamit says:

    That really is an outstanding photo of the GHO. Look at the orange on him!! Apparently eye injuries are not that uncommon in these owls…the wayward branch occasionally causing such an accident despite their great flying skills.

    When I lived down in the flatlands of Denver, there was a summertime night insect sound I could never identify. It was a graduated series of “tick” sounds, declining in intensity and space. Not staccato, greatly separated: TICK…..Tick…tick..tic

    It was a subtle, marvelous night sound. Any ideas, oh connoiseur of katydids?

    • paridevita says:

      I think the clicking is from katydids. I Googled “Colorado katydid” and there’s a PDF which says there are 18 species of katydids and relatives in Colorado.

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