Greetings and salutations everyone; it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, yet again. You maybe remember me from such posts as “Last Seen Wearing” and “Another Busy Day” among so many, many others.
The weather has now officially turned excellent. Almost freezing at night, and misty, drizzly, and raining during the day. Perfect weather for border collies. We got all wet on both walks today, and I got to track in a whole bunch of stuff onto the carpet, so of course it was totally excellent. Here I am after being dried off with a towel.
The guy I live with isn’t complaining about the weather. For once, huh. He got a bunch of cyclamen from Hansen Nursery yesterday and planted and planted, and then it rained on them, which, if you were a cyclamen, you would say was excellent. I guess I have something in common with cyclamen.
Then he got some more from Edgewood Gardens after he’d spent all this time planting, so then he planted and planted and planted some more.
He says you can grow them from seed too. Even old seed, though some people say not to. What you do is sow them in a pot on top of a soil-less mix, water the pot gently, then put it in a plastic bag with the top open but turned over slightly, so that some air can get in, then put the pot in a dark place until the seed germinates, making sure the soil-less mix doesn’t dry out. Then the cyclamen can be grown on a windowsill for the next year.
Isn’t that interesting?
Now that we have a rainy season (this is what the guy I live with is saying anyway), we have mushrooms.
The guy I live with says he’s going to write a book called Mushrooms for the Rock Garden. I can hardly wait.
And now, of course, he wonders why he gave away all the rhododendrons that were the only plants most visitors would bother to look at, instead of all the grasses and weeds and stuff. And, he now says “the sudden appearance of a marked rainy season in our garden renders the purchase of plants like this moot”. I think moot is a funny word. I could have been named that instead of Chess, and then when my name was called people would think that the people calling me were cows.
“Plants like this” means the ones below.
The one in the back is the ubiquitous Ephedra equisetina, which the guy I live with really likes, though it does have a strong tendency to ubiquity, and in fact there’s still one in the front yard that he thought was dead after being chewed to pieces by voles with sinusitis, but it came back, and now that he’s planted other things there he wishes it wouldn’t, but it is, and probably always will be coming back. This one is going in the North Border in the Hopeless Section, because the plant will grow anywhere. Except, I bet, where he wants it to.
The other two, which look the same but as if an elephant sat on them, are the native ones, Ephedra torreyana, which doesn’t spread. The guy I live with had this idea of having a garden with nothing but ephedras, which I thought was a darn silly idea, but no one ever asks me about anything not having to do with walks or food. I like both. I’ve never had a biscuit on a walk, and that sounds pretty good, but the guy I live with would say I’m too busy barking, telling the whole neighborhood I’m going on my walk, and that I shouldn’t bark with my mouth full.
So anyway, there are the ephedras, epitome of dryland plants, just sitting there on the patio, in the rain. Like something from Hemingway, huh.
I’m not sure what the point of all this was, but I guess I’ll go now, and see you next time.
We have torreyana where we live, Chess, but it’s pinus, and a grand tree it is, with a park on the cliffs above the ocean devoted to its preservation. The tree has been planted all over our little island, and the ibis roosts in them and turns the pavement underneath white. Once in front of our library I saw a beautiful new red convertible with saddle tan leather seats parked under a Torrey pine. Condition was pristine when I entered the library, heavily splattered when I came out. Always wondered about the owner’s reaction.
There’s been recent writing on your barking, Chess, I’m sure barking with good reason. Both our current dogs are young-ish, lively, and in good health. Should that situation change, I’ve been contemplating the delights of living with a border collie, as you have painted such a convincing picture. Are border collies much given to barking?
Your person is certainly mad about cyclamen. Again, the photos are convincing.
The splatters we have here are purple now. Chokecherries, you understand.
Yes, I bark. I like to let everyone know I’m going on my walk. I also have barks for disparate events. Mail carrier coming to the door, utter viciousness (this is because my buddy Slipper showed me how to guard the house when my mommy was at home alone and the guy I live with was at work); people across the street, just an acknowledgement, because I watch the house for the neighbors; dog walking down the street, a friendly challenge; people walking out in the green belt, a halloo, as they used to say, and so forth.
(There is a more complex reason why I’m so aggressive at the front door, but that’s another story.)
My grampa Flurry barked once at the sheepdog trials in Estes Park when he wasn’t yet a year old and almost didn’t get a blue ribbon, Herding Certified, but he got the ribbon anyway, because he knew exactly what to do with the sheep.
Other than that, I mostly just lie around, waiting to go on my walks.
I love mushroom season! Here on the south shore of the Long Island Sound (north shore of Long Island) it’s been too dry for mushrooms yet, but when they sprout I examine them for bite marks. One day I will catch a chipmunk in the act of snacking on a mushroom but for now all I get to see is the remains of their picnics.
“There are old mushroom hunters, and there are bold mushroom hunters, but there are no old, bold mushroom hunters.”
Hey Chess I am a carbon copy of you, except I also bark furiously at any car that slows down near my house and I lie around all day waiting for food eg. breakfast (twice) morning tea, lunch which is a healthy apple and dinner and then always try to get left overs after my persons dinner but that doesn’t always work. I live for food!
Food is indeed excellent. I like everything, except one time my mommy bought me a can of venison, and put some in my bowl, and I spat it out on the kitchen floor. It was icky. My buddy Slipper liked it, though.
I don’t like as many things as I used to, but I’m especially fond of goat cheese. I grew up with goats, like my buddy Slipper did, so I know about that stuff. The guy I live with bought a piece at Whole Foods a while back and shared some, and it was really excellent.