the nuts be brown

Greetings and salutations everyone; yes, once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here both to inform you and delight you. You may remember me from such posts as “The Rainy Season” and “Dogs”, among others.

Here I am walking down the path through what the guy I live with says is a lawn. He promised to replace the pea gravel with wood mulch but when he did that, it all washed down the path when it rained. I’m still waiting for him to figure out what to do about this. That’s a garden bag in the back; it’s not like an ornament or anything. I’m the real ornament, of course.


I’m supposed to show a picture of Crocus speciosus, so I will. He keeps insisting that there are supposed to be “hundreds” of these in the garden. Here’s one, anyway.


Aside from setting another fence post and planting some bulbs (he asked me how it was possible to fit the name Allium pseudoserawschanicum onto a four-inch plastic label, and I didn’t know), the main activity today was raking up pods. I just watched, of course. If you look closely, you can see a bunch of pods still on the ground.


After the pods were all raked up, more fell, and he looked at them and said, well, he said what you would expect a person to say when he just raked up all these pods and then more fell.

“The leaves be green
The nuts be brown
They hang so high
They will not come down.”

That’s not what he said though.  That’s a really old song that was set to music by William Byrd. (Nothing to do with the rock group.) There are still pods hanging in the tree. I think they’re making him slightly crazy. The pods don’t compost, and the beans, the ones the squirrels don’t eat, make little trees all over the garden. The guy I live with does not want little trees all over the garden. He says there are too many pods. Too many pods. Pods everywhere. Too many little trees. He read that there was a high wind warning for tonight, and said “Oh really?” I could almost hear his mind working. “High wind warning …..pods ……pods……”



Of course what will happen is that all the leaves will blow away, and the pods will still hang there, until the squirrels drop them all over the garden. Then he’ll have to rake them up. But even with the pods raked up, he says, “the beans remain”. So there will be more little trees.

This time, he did not lie on the park bench and look up into the tree when the squirrels were up there. I guess he learned something, for once.

The trouble with the little trees is that the guy I live with often doesn’t notice them until they’re really big. I know this sounds improbable, but there was a seedling ash tree in the garden which he did not notice until it was twenty feet tall. I can’t explain this. The tree is still there, too. I can’t explain that, either.

Well ….that’s the news from the garden today. Not much going on, that doesn’t have something to do with pods, that is.

Oh. Here’s a picture of me in my absolutely favorite pose.


Okay, so this was mostly about nothing. Two pictures of me, that was pretty good anyway.

And some bats my mommy bought. They can’t fly away because they’re made of iron. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now that really is all. I don’t know what we’re doing tomorrow. Maybe something to do with pods.

Until next time, then.

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8 Responses to the nuts be brown

  1. Chess, dear, if the pod tree makes your person so miserable, why, pray tell, is it still in place? Lots of terrific trees out there as replacement.
    Your food dish looks as if placed on an altar cloth. You must like the notion.
    Crocus speciosus, orange against the blue, a Spanish combination. Hundreds would indeed be a sight.
    My dogs are not fond of walking on gravel, but they do it because gravel is all that is available. How do you feel about gravel as a border collie, purebred, walking medium?

    • paridevita says:

      I don’t know why the tree is still there. It’s really big. The guy I live with says it was the only live thing in the back yard when they moved here. It’s a mystery, like so many things around here. He says a jacaranda would be nice. (He sometimes forgets where he lives.)
      Gravel is icky, but what can you do? The guy I live with thought about crusher fines, which would be great because I could track them into the house. That, or wood mulch again, with logs placed at right angles every so often so the mulch doesn’t wash away.
      The food dishes were set on cardboard boxes, which my mommy taped up, and put old towels on them, so our dishes would be higher, because she said that was less hard on us. She was right. The box that was my buddy Slipper’s, and the dish, are both still there.
      (Lots of things in the house are still here, even though no one uses them.)

  2. Those bats are really cool.

    • paridevita says:

      Yeah. I wanted to paint them with Rustoleum, of course, but she said no. There are six, arranged artistically of course. I just went out and counted them, because I wasn’t sure. I can see Cindy looking up at me (she was 5’2″) and saying “I think I need a couple more bats”, and then we went over to Birdsall to get them. The bats must have been a one-off type thing. Everyone likes them.
      I’ve hit my head on them once or twice, of course.

  3. Vivian Swift says:

    Grass, nice long meadow-type grass, is my favorite garden thing. We grow it on the shores of the Long Island Sound in poofs as an ornamental feature and I love it, especially now in the Fall when it gets feathery things on top. The guy I live with wants to put some shrubs along the side of the house where we put a new driveway in but I want more poofs of grasses. I think I have to spend some time with a horticultural reference book because now I’m feeling dopey calling them poofs of grasses.

    I know an airedale who gets his diner served on a bench-type thing to raise his bowl too. It really does help. But he doesn’t get the five-star treatment (altar cloth) because he’s just an airedale, not a pure bred border collie, and he’s somewhere near the bottom on the DoG smartness scale. Stylistic flourishes, in other words, would be lost on him. But not on a pure bred border collie.

    • paridevita says:

      You should have seen the first pair when they got ponchos from Drs. Foster and Smith. Pooka, especially, would stiffly walk by the neighbor dogs, head held high, as if to say, “poncho”.
      Most of the ornamental grasses are warm-season grasses which you plant in the spring, because that’s when they make root growth. I think you’re talking about miscanthus, or maiden grass, of which there are a zillion cultivars. (I grow none. They need too much water here.)
      Try this blog for some ideas. Really great stuff.

  4. Fisher, the Wonder Dog says:

    It has been said that in gardening, as in much of life, you have to take the good with the bad–in the case of the locust perhaps wonderful, welcome shade during the heat of summer which the guy you live with then pays for by having to rake up the pods. I have been told that we had a big old locust back on the “north forty”, which came down in a storm back in ’92. My grampy cut the trunk into “pancakes” which then served as garden path pavers for many years. There are a number of young locusts that are now growing in the same area, but no one really ever goes down there to check on things, since it’s mostly poison ivy, porcelain berry, wild grapes, brambles and other nasty characters. And obviously, no one has to bother themselves with the annoyance of fallen pods, so I guess it’s easy for me to talk about the glory of a mature shade tree. Closer to the homestead, we have some very old privets that an ancestor pruned into small trees. The flowers have a sickly, sweet smell but then the berries attract gaggles of robins in the spring, which is always joyous. Of course, then the berries get pooped out all over the gardens and my grammy has privet seedings to yank out all over the place, which makes her say words that would embarrass a sailor. I’m sorry I brought it up.

    • paridevita says:

      Most gardeners know those words. The guy I live with has a colorful vocabulary, which he acquired when he worked outside, or, more likely, driving around in Denver.
      There are pods all over the garden after a windy night …..

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