Greetings and salutations everyone; once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here to entertain and inform you while the guy I live with reads up on cyclamen. You may remember me from such outstanding posts as “The Day In Pictures” and “May Day”, among so many others.
Here I am looking serious. I’m hoping the guy I live with will notice that I’m standing right next to the refrigerator and that my biscuits are in the cabinet just to the left, or to my right, and that I could really use another one, and that we always go on a walk in the morning, and so far nothing is happening. Of all the purebred border collies that have lived with the guy I live with, I’m the only one who can win a staring contest with him. He always blinks first.
Well, the equinox came and went without any major trauma. I was sure there was going to be one, but there wasn’t. See, one of the reasons why I do the posts now is that the guy I live with tends to get rather sad at this time of year (his wedding anniversary is this Wednesday, and then my mommy’s birthday is on the eighth of next month), and he heaves so many sighs that it takes someone a lot more focused to be able to do things like this blog.
The cyclamen, which are one of his many obsessions, are emerging now, and I know I showed some pictures of them a while back. Here’s Cyclamen hederifolium.
Years and years ago he started a correspondence with a friend in New York, and they talked about hellebores and cyclamen and all sorts of things. When email became common they talked almost every day, so the correspondence lasted for twenty years, and yet they never met each other in person. She sent him some cyclamen which started him on yet another gardening obsession and now they’re all over the garden. Well, not all over it, but all over the parts they’re all over. (How’s that for a syllogism?) Anyway, when my mommy died so suddenly, his pen pal was the third person he called, and shortly after that, she herself went into the hospital, and died the following January. So he looks at the cyclamen now and sheds a tear for his lost friend, and for the wonderful gift of cyclamen, and the love of them, that she gave him. He says that’s probably the best thing about gardening, the way you can remember friends, with plants.
There are other things going on in the garden. Here’s a colchicum, ‘Dick Trotter’, slightly battered by rain. Yes, it rained here last night. It was sprinkling at Tinkle Time, which is about 10:30 at night, and we got almost half an inch (1.25cm) total. There’s snow on the high peaks to the west now. It smelled really good this morning. The guy I live with says it reminded him of the time he went to Madison, Wisconsin, to give a slide talk, all by himself (which made him lonely), and he had to take two different flights (which made him nervous), but when he got there it was cool and damp and misty, like it almost never is here. He was fairly sure that one of the planes would crash, and my mommy would be left all alone, but that didn’t happen. The guy I live with does not like to fly, if I didn’t mention that. My mommy loved it; he was the worrier, worrying about this stupid thing, worrying about that stupid thing. I guess there’s a moral here. I only worry about being hit by lightning and seeing my skeleton, and not getting my dinner, and not being able to go on my walks. Oh, the colchicum.
And then, the new leaves of Lilium candidum, even though the guy I live with was sure they had all died this summer, because last winter they were covered in a thick layer of bird seed from the feeder hanging right above them, and then they didn’t do much this past June (really, because it was so cold, not because of the bird seed), but look at them now. He says you plant the bulbs at this time of year or slightly earlier, and not very deeply at all, so the bulbs can send up these leaves that stay green over the winter.
He wrote about these last year, in “A Clod Of Soil”, and took more pictures of them here, and still doesn’t have the hybrid that’s the color of Queen Isabella’s really old underwear. The guy I live with thinks it would be funny to have lilies the color of old underwear. “What color are those?” “Old underwear, I think they call it.” In fact, though he mentioned it a while back, one time my buddy Slipper, when he was just a puppy, carried a pair of underwear out for a whole bunch of garden visitors to look at, I guess thinking just in case they’d never seen any before. It wasn’t his underwear, of course. He ran out and flung the underwear onto the rock garden. I wasn’t there to see it. Maybe Slipper thought that’s what you did when people came to see the rock garden, flung underwear onto it.
I guess I’m running out of things to say. I can tell that the sun is getting lower in the sky, because I use that to tell when it’s time for dinner, and so before I got I’ll show a picture of the path my buddy Slipper made, which of course I still use, which leads back to the “employees only” section of the yard. All the new green grass is a horrible weed, cheat grass, Bromus tectorum, also called …..ready?…..chess. Isn’t that funny? A grass named after me. (There’s a board game named after me, too.)
Looking even further into the corner. The corner is way, way back there, and I’m the only one who goes into that part of the yard. All that grass is new after the rain we got a couple of weeks ago.
Anyway, that’s how things are just at the moment. The guy I live with is getting more cyclamen this week, very excited about it, and he’s seriously hoping he can control the weather for a few weeks, maybe make it rain just a little more, before it snows.
I’ll sign off now.