it raineth every day


Greetings everyone; once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here to entertain you and inform you on this exceptionally soggy day. You may remember me from such posts as “Trials And Tribulations” (the one with the cute pictures of my Uncle Pooka as a puppy) and “Making A List…” (the one where he dressed me up in holiday clothes), among many others.

Here I am in a characteristically serious pose. My mommy used to make fun of the way my muzzle was shaped, not pointy like a regular border collie, which is probably why I was her favorite; besides, I was three-quarters (or two-thirds, I forget) the size of my buddy Slipper. This can be like my official portrait. Until the next one, anyway.


As you can tell from the first picture, it’s been dark and rainy all day. The guy I live with says tomorrow might be the last day of constant rain.



The way back; the lighter grass is the blue grama and buffalo grass he sowed earlier this year. The poles are where the owls sit.


One very strange thing has happened. The guy I live with says it’s so strange, it’s strange. Aquilegia chaplinei has started to flower again, and all the flowers are extremely small. Like, the smallest flowers ever on a columbine. The guy I live with says “they shrunk with all the rain”. Ha ha. Oh, that’s funny, huh.

Here they are, with my not very big foot for comparison. That’s that little violet, below it, that self sows every where and yet the guy I live with says he’s never seen any flowers on it.


He doesn’t really know why the flowers are so small. The plant, by the way, has been here for over ten years. It’s a mystery. Well, what isn’t?

That’s all for this evening. We do have a movie which you might enjoy, even though I’m not in it. It was filmed from the second story window, through the screen, which, the guy I live with says, “accounts for its filmy look”. Ha ha again. You can’t actually see the rain, so I wonder why he made this movie, though you can certainly hear it.

See you later, then.



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18 Responses to it raineth every day

  1. Fisher, the Wonder Dog says:

    Some years back, we had a hurricane blow through here in mid-August. It was a dry hurricane, in that there was no rain with it. Trees and shrubs got covered with wind driven salt spray. Two weeks after the blow, leaves of same trees and shrubs started turning brown and we had an early fall. It was pretty depressing going into September with brown, shriveled foliage on the trees. A few months later, we had a warm spell and the lilacs and forsythia bloomed in November. That hurricane just kept on giving. It took a few years for things to get straightened out in the plant world. I wonder if by blooming now your columbine is showing symptoms of similar seasonal confusion, since don’t your rains usually come at a different time of year?

    • paridevita says:

      The columbine bloomed in May, I think, normally. There was a hailstorm down the street in 2009, three blocks away, and the lilacs bloomed in September that year. (That was the western limit of the hailstorm.)
      Let’s see how I can put this. …Our rains come whenever a herd of elephants comes into the front yard to trumpet out a series of madrigals.
      Most of the precipitation here falls as snow. It’s usable to the plants in March, April, and May. The rest of the water given to the garden is via irrigation. It does occasionally rain in the summer, but hardly dependably.
      My goal, part of the Great Upheaval, is to find plants which will flourish under these conditions without the irrigation. Not an easy task. But moderately fun.

  2. Whoo, that rain is *busy.*
    Your portrait is the most dignified photo I’ve seen of you yet, Chess. I suspect you are so endearing *because* of your muzzle shape. And, my, don’t you have a fetching white paw.
    Your person must be out surveying the wet garden pretty closely to have spotted the Aquilegia chaplinei. I notice your measuring paw is unsullied by the wet, or dirt or leaves — you must be one fastidious dog. I hope you received extra treats for your service as a comparison. In fact, I hope it was a hot treat. Kitchens should be places of warmth and comfort during storms, particularly prolonged periods of dark and rain, sometimes with thunder.. Dogs should have a comfy spot for withdrawal.

    • paridevita says:

      My comfy spot is the bed. I mean besides my fort, the couch, and the bottom of the stairs, where all the dogs have slept.
      I am extremely clean, and even fuzzy.
      My bed is two old mattresses piled on the floor. Almost a futon. Then there’s a comforter, and then the extremely soft Pottery Barn sheets, which, as I’ve said before, the guy I live with says aren’t nearly the most expensive ones P.B. sells, so, really this is roughing it. The guy I live with gets five percent of the bed, so it works out okay for me.
      The reason he noticed the columbine is that he was looking for signs of cyclamen in the garden. He took a bunch of pictures of them, but thought better of it, and took the columbine picture instead. I got in the way, or so he says.

  3. Karen says:

    All this rain must be good for the garden, and it is looking pretty good. Still, too much rain is just too much.

    • paridevita says:

      Enough rain here to make things happy.
      About one fifth the rain other areas have received, and been flooded as a result.
      One reason for the floods is upstream rainfall, in the mountains and foothills, so towns and cities on the big rivers, St. Vrain and Cache la Poudre and Big Thompson, are flooding because of that. They say now that the South Platte, into which all these rivers drain, may see record high levels downstream, like at the Colorado-Nebraska border.

      • Karen says:

        Just saw the flooding on the news tonight, it’s pretty bad, hope it doesn’t get any worse and the rain stops for you over there.

      • paridevita says:

        Looks like the rain stopped, thanks. The sun is out. I think the flooding up north is still bad and haven’t heard from some friends I’ve called.
        Though ….some people just don’t answer the phone, which drives me crazy.

  4. Vivian Swift says:

    Why hasn’t Pat Robertson explained the Boulder floods yet?? Why is it raining on all those Promise Keepers??

    So of course I looked up “Making a List”. HOW CUTE IS THAT PUPPY?! I mean both the baby DoG and the handsome fella in the red kerchief. And of course you get flickers in our back yard … it’s a magical place. I saw one flicker, once, in my back yard and I stopped breathing, it was such a weird and beautiful sight. On Long Island their tail feathers are bright yellow, not orange. I have some flicker feathers and I treasure them.

    I love the two-tone grass. Very bossa nova.

    • paridevita says:

      “Bossa nova” was a term of approbation in Southern California in the 1960s. Often shortened to “boss”. I don’t know why I bring this up.
      One excellent reason why there are flickers here is because of the considerable financial investment in suet. Flickers also eat ants, which isn’t so great, since ants are a sine qua non for cyclamen seed dispersal. Myrmecochory and all that. Also for snowdrop, crocus, and corydalis seed.
      Here’s a movie, which may also be accessed simply by doing a search on a visitor.

  5. Knicky Twigs says:

    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain

  6. petabunn says:

    Hi Chess, that is a truly serious pose today, what are you thinking about? Your garden looks lovely and green now but it will be nice to see the sun there again and you in the garden. Also there are some really good books about xeriscape plants and gardens around since you, like me, normally receive very little rain. Keep up those cute poses!

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