after the solstice

Hello everyone; once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here to bring you up to date on the latest news from our garden. You may remember me from such brilliant posts as “This And That” and “The Happy Elephant”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose, surveying my domain. If you were wondering how to go about surveying your domain, this is how it’s done. 122307Hardly anything has happened since the last time I posted, except that it snowed a couple of times, and the guy I live with changed the water in the salt shakers, just like he said he was going to. It was really boring watching him do that.

I really only have a bunch of pictures to show you. These are ones the guy I live with thinks are interesting, or important, or something. He talked about Shepherdia rotundifolia a while ago, and decided to show a picture of it, knowing full well that the consequences could be fatal.122301

122302The second one could probably have been more in focus, I think. Anyway, here are some more pictures.

A dwarf limber pine (Pinus flexilis) growing in a trough. An unnamed selection made by Jerry Morris. Picea pungens ‘J. James’, also from Jerry. This next one was supposed to be a weeping form of the Nootka cypress, which botanists are now calling Cupressus nootkatensis (the guy I live with says that there is more information on all the name changes this poor plant has suffered here), or maybe it wasn’t weeping, just little, but it’s over twenty years old. 122306Pinus mugo ‘Carsten’s Wintergold’. The guy I live with says he likes conifers that turn golden in winter so much he might buy a bunch more, so there will be something to look at. 122305And here’s a self-sown Mahonia repens covered with frost. This was taken last Sunday. We don’t often have frost here because of the low humidity, but it was really humid last weekend. 89 percent. 122102Mahonia aquifolium, also self-sown, with caramel-colored leaves. (They may look dead and dry, but they aren’t.)122103That’s all I have for today. The guy I live with did cut down some stuff, and thought about sowing some seed, but never got past just thinking about it.

Oh, wait. Here’s a picture of the sunset over our house, when we came back from our walk.122308He did go out to the back fence to take another picture (after I got my biscuit, of course), and this is what the sunset looked like from there.122309Until next time, then.


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12 Responses to after the solstice

  1. petabunn says:

    Chess you have the Lord of the manor pose down pat, and what a great domain you have to survey. I am wondering if the weeping form of the cypress may be weeping because of all the name changes and feels it has little relevance. I like the caramel leafed mahonia an interesting looking plant with very shiny leaves. Just got home from having my bath all ready for that darn elf suit tomorrow. My mum said once her sister has seen me in it she willl conveniently put it away and not be able to find it ever again, phew… I hope you and your guy have a lovely white christmas together, not having too many fancy treats but just enough…

    • paridevita says:

      It’s a practiced pose; I stand there, looking at stuff, while the guy I live with does things, like cut down dead stalks and wonder why something is still alive when “it should be dead”. I mean, considering how cold it was a while back. The mahonia often has reddish-purple or dark red leaves; we don’t know why this one is so chocolately looking. Often, here, they look like a truck ran over them after a little bit of cold. Not only does a bath sound icky (I’ve had a couple), but the elf suit sounds completely unacceptable. It’s only one day, I guess…..

  2. Oh, Chess, you are a superb Surveyor! Your black coat looks cape-ish and adds to the Regency lord effect. If Jane Austen had a dog, she would have you.
    Thank you for sharing photos of your domain. Apart from intrinsic value, they serve to inspire me for the greens-cutting task which awaits me tomorrow preparatory to decking this very small house so we may make merry while sharing the traditional Christmas Eve dinner of Salade Lyonnaise, the proper spelling of which is beyond me. So.
    Judging by the beautiful sunset, you will have warmth tomorrow. And am I mistaken, or were some of those photos taken from Chess viewpoint? I liked them.

    • paridevita says:

      I do, actually, have a cape. It’s the extra-wooly part behind my neck that most purebred border collies don’t have. None of the pictures was taken from my viewpoint today. (Notice, for once, my impeccable grammar.) The guy I live with was supposed to get a wreath for the front door, just to be seasonal, but he didn’t. Probably because he forgot, not because he was being a Scrooge. He could go out tomorrow, but said he wouldn’t, because he went out today. It’s okay; I know there’s a wedge of Brie in the refrigerator (though I particularly liked the Cypress Grove Lamb Chopper and Delice de Bourgogne that was here last week), and I also know there are some “all natural” cow ears just for me. (The guy I live with doesn’t want to try them.) He did consider buying a couple of Christmas trees to use their branches for winter protection of plants, but maybe that’s too late for the plants that needed protection ….. It’s supposed to snow tomorrow, then be nice (>50F) for about a week.

  3. melanie says:

    I watched that color all the way to Evergreen Parkway last evening. It was beautiful.

    • paridevita says:

      Yes; and it was really nice and warm this morning.

      • melanie says:

        soon to be not, as you said below. It’s snowing west of Evergreen at the moment.

      • paridevita says:

        Indeed. The guy I live with once got into a discussion about the claim that alpine plants experience a “gradual” lowering of temperature in their environment, in order to acclimatize. He pointed out that no one ever uses the word “gradual” to describe anything having to do with weather in Colorado. I was lying out on the patio for quite a while, until the wind got really scary and I had to go inside. It’s better now, though.

  4. Vivian Swift says:

    Oh yes, Monarch of the Manor…if ever a dog deserved to be painted by Landseer it would be a pure bred border collie. I nominate Chess.

    Happy Solstice! We had a gorgeous sun set here on the shore of the Long Island Sound and we watched it in our fleece jackets, it was so balmy (70 degrees). Usually we crouch behind the sea wall to get out of the Arctic gale but this year it we just leaned against the railing and watched the tide come in. Maybe it was going out…I didn’t look it up. The waves rolled in, one after the other, the jets landing at La Guardia rumbled unseen in the clouds, the sea gulls circled fishing boats that were silhouettes in the distance.

    Truth to tell, the champagne tastes better when there’s the real possibility of frostbite in the air.

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with says that Hemingway claimed that magnums weren’t as good as bottles of champagne because “they take longer to cool”. It was really nice and toasty here this morning (>50F), but the wind is up (understatement) and the temperature will probably drop the way a plane does when it lands at La Guardia.

  5. One of the best sunsets ever, I’d say.

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