more sawing and drilling

Hello everyone; once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here to pretend like something interesting happened in the garden today, even though nothing really did. You may remember me from such posts as “Bunnies On The Grass, Alas” (where I showed I’d read Gertrude Stein), and “Life With A Nut”, where I talked about the guy I live with.

Here I am in a completely uncharacteristic pose. I think I look like a complete doofus.

102606I’d just walked down the path (this is me doing that)

102605to see what the guy I live with was taking pictures of, after a whole day of him sawing and drilling, and he took pictures of me when I got close, and saved the one where I look like a doofus. He’ll have to make up for that, big time, in future posts.

You can see the birch, our native one, Betula occidentalis (the guy I live with says that’s what Flora of North America calls it, instead of B. fontinalis), in the upper left of the picture. It turns a nice yellow at this time of year, but the yellow doesn’t last very long. Early in the morning the leaves fall down, silently; it’s kind of spooky.

(The reason the green star thing is leaning is “because it’s leaning”, according to the guy I live with. It’s kind of like living with Mister Science, isn’t it?)


102604Here’s the birch looking from where I was standing when I got my doofus picture taken, almost at dusk. It’s a big shrub, not a tree.

102607Here’s the native currant, Ribes aureum, in autumn color. The birds get all the fruit, otherwise, so says the guy I live with, we could have currants for currant bread. My mommy really liked the currant bread the guy I live with used to bake, from James Beard’s Beard on Bread. You soak the currants in cognac, which I don’t like.

102603As I say, the guy I live with spent most of the day sawing and drilling. He left me alone for a while to go get some compost and Yum Yum Mix for “the new rock garden”, and dug that in before he started sawing and drilling, and so now the pile looks like a bunch of mine tailings.

102608It was because the sand smelled weird, he said, like diesel fuel or something. It might just have picked up the smell from being wet, but the guy I live with says the compost plus the Yum Yum Mix will clean it all up in a couple of months. “Microbes”, he said. The ratio of sand and gravel to compost is about 20:1, if you were wondering. So it’s technically still a mineral soil, which I know will come as a huge relief to everyone.

I guess that’s really all. It was a pretty nice day even though the guy I live with was working around the northeast corner of the house, out in front, so I don’t go there, but I tried to stay as close as possible anyway. We might show pictures of the new arbor when it’s done, and then again, we might not. “It’s just an arbor”, he said, which is funny, because it’s made of trees, but isn’t a tree. (You know, arbor.) Nothing will grow up it, it’ll just be there, kind of like we are, usually. Just there.

Until next time, then.

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8 Responses to more sawing and drilling

  1. Lucie K says:

    Thank you again, Chess, for your enlightening commentary. I was especially struck by your use of the word doofus, which inspired me to look it up in the dictionary and later, the thesaurus (great Saturday night entertainment, really!) I had always thought of that word as being spelled ‘dufus’; your post set me straight…

  2. A wonderful season in your garden, dear Chess. Especially admire the photo with the two chairs and the birch. The birch, to my eyes, is not so much yellow as it is golden. And golden leaves falling silently in the early morning are not so much spooky as poetic. So there. Finally, banish the thought you look “doofus.” No. You look the exact picture of a purebred border collie who has been lost in his own thoughts coming across a camera-wielding figure from another reality.
    James Beard is a popular figure in our house — we’re having his most baroque go at a meatloaf recipe tomorrow: ground lamb, beef, pork, cheddar cheese and brandy. Plus herbs, all of which grow among the roses in our garden. When following a Beard recipe, tell the person you live with – if you want to keep him around – slack back on the butter and salt. Oh, and to give you some cheese and biscuits.

    • paridevita says:

      Well, thanks, but I still think I look silly. Ears way back and all that. I look more like me in the picture of me walking down the path.
      Golden birch. It really is more golden than yellow, but I didn’t want to seem too poetical after being portrayed as a doofus. Or something, I don’t know.
      The guy I live with got The New James Beard but mostly prefers Beard on Bread. It was my mommy’s book, and he’s baked his way through it for many years. The Moravian coffee cake is popular with the neighbors. (He gives away the stuff he bakes.) The pistachio bread is good too. The saffron bread was a favorite with my mommy, and since we have saffron crocus in the garden here, he made lots of saffron bread.
      Funny, funny story about the cinnamon bread in that book. The guy I live with baked two loaves years ago, and the loaves were sitting on the kitchen counter, wrapped in paper, and my mommy opened one, and my grandpa Flurry grabbed the loaf, and he and my mommy had a tug-of-loaf, which my grandpa Flurry technically won, wince the loaf was covered in spit and had teeth marks in it.
      There was only one loaf left, after that.

  3. petabunn says:

    I think you look, not so much a doofus, but like you are sick of hearing sawing and drilling and have a headache and would like it to stop. But you are so cute, your usual self, standing at the end of the path. So you do have some autumn colours in your garden but I was too distracted and now just want to try all those different breads your guy makes…

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with says that The Complete Book of Breads by Bernard Clayton is wonderful, has lots of recipes and instructions for making a sponge, like a biga or poolish, and starters, or levains. Hops starters, potato starters, salt-rising bread, you name it. The neighbors really like the orange bread from that book, as well as the pain d’epices, around Christmas-time.
      Beard in Bread is really good too, though there aren’t as many recipes. Everything he’s made from that, though, has been good.
      Another great resource is, especially if you like making biscotti. The guy I live with turns into a biscotti factory during the holidays.
      The sawing and drilling is kind of noisy.

  4. Gorgeous golden tree and blue chairs photo.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. (This is me, not the dog. Yes, I know…..) I was going to add one of Cindy’s pictures of the birch when it does this strange thing when backlit by the sun, but discovered I’d already done that. plus you get a quote from Peattie.
      It’s really a riparian plant but has been here, through thick and thin, since about 1988. Grows along Bear Creek just to the north of here. It loses branches to drought from time to time, but the dead branches attract downy woodpeckers in winter. The branches do get removed, but usually only after the woodpeckers have had their go at them.

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