the first snow

Greetings everyone; yes, once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here to entertain you, and, if at all possible, dazzle you with my brilliance. You may remember me from such outstanding posts as “Stinker’s Revenge” and “Memory And Desire”, among others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose, looking very serious indeed. You may notice that this pose is almost identical to yesterday’s pose, and in fact it is, because I am almost identical to the way I was yesterday.


If you think about it, it’s a good thing I’m almost identical to the way I was yesterday, because if I weren’t (see, I know subjunctive with contrary-to-fact), no one would recognize me.

It’s a good thing I’m doing the posts here, too. Otherwise we might have to wade through a bunch of heavy-duty German poetry about autumn, and a lot of sighing, since this next Tuesday will be my mommy’s birthday, the fifth one without her, and he’s really sad and stuff. She would have been 56. How time flies.

I fulfill the role of excellent companion, and so that’s why I get to do the posts, you know, so they won’t be so dreadfully gloomy and all at this time of year, and sometimes he lets me have a little bit of Brie, if there’s any sleeping in the refrigerator. Like Gromit, I also do like a bit of Wensleydale, but that’s hard to come by these days, except the kind with weird things in it like blueberries. Stilton is good too. So is Manchego. I think I’m not really supposed to have any of this stuff, so don’t tell.

The guy I live with also fixed the weather for me so it’s more to my liking. It’s almost perfect, in fact, and we have a movie to show you just how perfect. (The background noise is traffic on US Highway 285 up the hill from us.)

We got really cold and wet on our morning walk. The snow is all gone now, but at bedtime the window will be open and I’ll be under the covers with my nose sticking out. This, if you didn’t know, is what we do. My buddy Slipper liked to stand in the back doorway, rear end toasty, nose freezing.

The guy I live with tried to take pictures today but he said his camera isn’t snow proof. He did manage a picture of Colchicum speciosum ‘Innocence’ though.


The cage has a little oak in it, Quercus undulata, and if the little oaks aren’t caged, then squirrels dig them up, looking for the acorn which they can they can smell. The guy I live with gets really mad at the squirrels when that happens. When the little oaks get dug up, I mean; not when the squirrels catch a whiff of acorn.

Here’s another picture of Crocus kotschyanus ‘Reliant’, but it was taken yesterday, when there was sun.



Well, that’s been our day so far. I don’t think much of any gardening will happen now, since it’s night time.

I’ll say good night now, and close with an excellent picture of me on the couch.



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12 Responses to the first snow

  1. Ah, Chess, almost as fetching as yourself are those gorgeous couch cushions. I want them. I am perplexed by your proximity to anything knitted. My dogs are not permitted that pleasure lest their toenails snag and unravel the material. Evidently, you are allowed to cozy in.

    You are companion to quite the photographer, Chess. The man knows how to use backlighting. He knows crocus too, and has an eye for color.

    Thank you for sharing the video. Snow. Tomorrow’s forecast for our patch of the SoCal coast is 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. It’ll be in the 70s in a few days; the snow just had to come and wreck the garden, or so the guy I live with claims. He doesn’t like snow or cold weather, but he’s here just the same.
      About the couch. The cushions date from the 70s, as you can tell by the design, and the foam rubber is so brittle that when I tear apart the couch, that is, rearrange everything, which I do several times a day, there are pieces of foam rubber all over the place. The cushions are about two inches thick now. The guy I live with says he’s going to buy new cushions. Eventually.
      The couch is rattan and was purchased about 1937, with the two chairs you see from time to time (like yesterday) by the guy I live with’s grandparents, maybe when they were stationed in the Philippines. His grandfather was an Army doctor and maybe it was when they were on Corregidor. They left before the war, though his grandfather went back, during the war, the invasion at Lingayen Gulf. He never talked about it much. He knew MacArthur personally.
      His grandparents lived in Los Angeles after the war, and the house was filled with things from Asia, and now those things give the give I live with a warm fuzzy feeling inside. He has their pair of Fu dogs, which aren’t matched and are probably worth a dollar for the pair, but they remind him of the old house in Los Angeles and he likes them.
      My mommy didn’t share the enthusiasm for the couch, and kept saying they needed a new one, but the guy I live with pointed out how much all the border collies loved the couch. My grampa Flurry really loved the couch and you could hear him get on it at night, because the couch is so creaky, and the guy I live with reminded my mommy how cozy and homey that creaking sound was; a contented dog getting up on the creaky couch to sleep, and snore, so she eventually relented, and the couch is still here.
      I’d glad. As maybe you can tell.

  2. Really cute couch pic.
    I am so sad that someone so loved died so young.
    Also a really good couch story in the comments.

    • paridevita says:

      It is sad, and the guy I live with still has a hard time with it, which is why I do the blog. I was her “special angel”, and so I still try to be one. I mostly only live in the present, though I know we went on walks yesterday and haven’t been on one today, and am beginning to wonder.
      Who doesn’t love a good couch story? If we got a new one, it would be higher, and harder for me to get up on as I grew older, and less delightfully creaky.
      The bed upstairs is just two mattresses on the floor, which is definitely roughing it, but my grandpa Flurry could get on it when he was almost 17.

  3. Fisher, the Wonder Dog says:

    We have oaks sprouting up all over our garden–acorns buried by squirrels and long forgotten. We don’t have any autumn blooming crocus but the ones that come up around here in the Spring all get chomped up by the squirrels–is it the saffron that they savor? They also enjoy magnolia blossoms. And that is just one of the many reasons why my job of making the squirrels feel unwelcome in our garden is so very important. Although now it appears that the squirrels have been chased out by a family of very brazen skunks, against which my canine powers of persuasion are completely ineffective. And our local owl, who seemed to be doing a pretty effective job of controlling the skunk population, is nowhere to be seen. Grampy is thinking about setting some traps–clearly battle lines are being drawn and we are preparing for a siege.

    Please plan something special next Tuesday for the guy you live with to help lift his sadness.

    • paridevita says:

      I think only the autumn flowering species have saffron; the main one, Crocus sativus, is grown commercially for saffron, and we should have some flowers later this year. There are other species that yield saffron too. The guy I live with makes a biryani, tandoori chicken biryani, with the crocus, and never offers me any. He says it’s “too hot”. My grandpa Flurry used to lick hot sauce off plates, even El Yucateco.
      Squirrels just dig up crocus to eat, and because they’re jerks.
      I don’t know where owls go at this time of year. Maybe they’re in Acapulco on vacation, getting ready for a long winter hooting in the cold. They come back, and we can hear the pair of them hooting on cold winter nights. It’s kind of scary.

      Somehow, trapping a skunk sounds like the sort of thing that could end badly. Or smellily. There was this time, when I got sprayed, the time I was turned orange by tomato juice in fact, when the guy I live with went to work the next day, and apparently did not have to tell anyone in the very large building in which he worked what had happened the night before. (Not the turning me orange part, either.)

      We’ll get through the day like we get through every day, I guess. With me going on walks, unless he’s already forgotten that we go on them, which seems to be the case right now ….

      • Fisher, the Wonder Dog says:

        Trapping skunks requires a certain finesse, part of which involves using a trap that is large enough for them to crawl into but too small to allow them to lift their tails, which they must be able to do in order to release their oh-so-very-special aroma. It also involves throwing a large, dark towel over the trap in a most stealthful and adroit ninja-like manner. Grampy has very excellent skills in this regard, having only once experienced the unpleasantness and indignity of the skunkish blast, and that was because Grampy was being a tad too cocky. Live and learn, I say.

        Please consider doing more than just getting through the day. Perhaps a day trip together to a place of special import?

      • paridevita says:

        I think what the guy I live with plans to do is rake up honey locust pods, and listen to his, uh, iPod at the same time.
        They say skunks make excellent pets. I can see why, seeing as how they’re colored.

  4. Marcia Blum says:

    The first snow was wonderful! And now my garden is put to sleep for the winter. Luckily my bulb order came last week and they were tucked in.

  5. Adele says:

    Your posts almost always bring teary eyes and lots of smiles. Such a good boy…..

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