a windy day

Hello everyone; it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here to tell you all about my day in the garden. You may remember me from such innovative and revelatory posts as “Last Seen Wearing” and “Disgrace Of The Week”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. The reason I look kind of suspicious here is because I was. I was afraid the flash on the camera might go off. It didn’t, though. The guy I live with told me later that he set the camera to “flash off”, which he could have told me beforehand, but he didn’t. 011001It was really windy today. To answer the question you might raise, “How windy was it?” I would say that it was only about fifty miles per hour (80 kph) at the windiest, which isn’t really windy for here, but it was still windy.

The guy I live with did stuff today. It was an effort, but he managed. For one thing, he tried out his new lens. He got it used, so it sounds weird to say “new lens”, but I’m going to anyway. It’s a zoom, he said. Here are some pictures he took with it.

One thing you can really see here is our classy aluminum screen door. The guy I live with says these are rare on stately homes built at the time ours was, so he’s keeping it. It was all bashed in like that when he and my mommy moved to this house a little over 27 years ago. The windows are of course equally classy.011002If you click on the picture to enlarge it you can see how crummy the hesperaloes (Hesperaloe campanulata) in the center there are looking, but the guy I live with says not to worry. I guess I won’t, then.

Here’s the side yard, with lots of hellebores. There used to be trees on the left, but they all died, except for the “stupid ash tree” that sowed itself there, at the end. There are little oaks there, now, in the cages. 011003A view of the south side of the garden; the rock garden and stuff. 011004In the picture below, we’re looking north-northwest. The thistle feeder is being blown by the wind. The other one, with the squirrel baffle, is heavy and doesn’t move so much. The baffle sits right on top of the feeder tube, so squirrels can’t get to the seed. The condos in the background weren’t there when my mommy and the guy I live with moved into the house. He says they help buffer the cold north wind. I don’t believe that, really. 011005The trough patio. Troughs, dishes with cacti in them, and seed frames. Yucca nana in the trough on the left. The post is for a wisteria, ‘Aunt Dee’, and it’s still alive. He says when he hears ‘Aunt Dee’ he hears the voice of Barney Fife, but he’s kind of peculiar in that way. My mommy built this patio but never finished it, and so the guy I live with looked at it and decided it was finished. On the other side of the split rail fence is the Employees Only section. 011006Standing in the “way back”, the area the guy I live with calls “the lower portion of the estate”, looking eastward along the north side of the garden. New sand pile on the left. 011007Walking through the arbor and then looking to the southeast.011008Below, we’re looking west, from the garden gate on the south side. (The one you see in the picture before this last one.)011009That last one is cropped slightly on the right for a weird reason; he tried to, oh, well, who cares? That’s me in the picture there, checking out things.

So …..it was really windy, and the guy I live with was pretty happy with this new, used lens. The word lens comes from the Latin word meaning lentil. There was one red lentil dish, Indian, with a chaunk of dried red peppers and cumin seeds, that was one of my mommy’s favorites. He had to fry the peppers, which you do until they’re black, outside, otherwise everyone around would start coughing. He has a butane-fired burner which he got at the Asian market. He’s out of butane at the moment, though.

Oh, so, anyway, it was really windy, and after these pictures were taken, the guy I live with remembered he had a whole bunch of burlap, when just a couple of days before that he thought he had none, until he discovered a bunch, and so, since it was windy, he thought it high time to wrap the conifers that needed wrapping.

Well, now, my grandpa Flurry, who was 16 when I came to live here, told me that any time the guy I live with, who was the same guy my grandpa Flurry lived with, started in on a lecture, you were supposed to stand there looking ultra serious, with your ears back, and pretend to be paying attention. The more serious and attentive you looked, the shorter the lecture would be.

The conifers needed wrapping, he said, because the tips of the leaves were drying out, and the burlap might help prevent some of that. The reason the tips were drying out was because there weren’t enough roots to fully hydrate the plants prior to the onset of dormancy, these being fairly new to the garden and grown in containers, and nothing could be done now, except wrap them, and hope that everything would be okay. So he wrapped them.

This kind of gives me the creeps, but I’ll pretend I don’t see these.011011Not the most attractive work here. Even the guy I live with admits it, but says profound things like “utility is beauty”, which might be true. He’ll have to go out and wrap more twine around this thing tomorrow. 011012This one below is really creepy. It’s an Arizona cypress (Cupressus arizonica). You can also see that the poles in the Pole Garden which he thought were so straight aren’t really. It takes the cypresses a few years before their root system is large enough to fully hydrate the above-ground parts of the plant.

The guy I live with has been reading about language and said that split infinitives are actually grammatically correct, and always have been, as is the stranded preposition I’m going to end this sentence with. Somebody just decided these things were wrong, but they weren’t. I thought that was interesting. It doesn’t make me feel so bad about my writing style. But anyway this is creepy. 011013Well, that was my day. I had two good walks, which made up for having to hear all this other stuff.011014


Until next time, then.

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14 Responses to a windy day

  1. petabunn says:

    Wow, what a busy day you had today between your walks. I always enjoy seeing all the different aspects of your garden, it looks a really big garden and I do love the snow on everything. Those plants are creepy looking.

    • paridevita says:

      It’s fairly big. The wrapped conifers are pretty creepy looking indeed. They kind of remind me of the Boogie Man in Nightmare Before Christmas. We have the weirdest forecast for tomorrow. “Areas of blowing snow before 11am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 56.” That’s 13.3C. But with blowing snow. It’s not going to snow, the snow on the ground will be blowing. It still sounds weird.

  2. Chess, those first two big wrapped conifers look like a matron from a Marx Brothers film being kidnapped. Not at all creepy, but funny. I should be eating popcorn as I look.
    Love the views of the garden. All aspects of your estate look beguiling enrobed in snow. And it does look like an estate compared to my paltry garden bit.
    Lovely view of yourself, too, Chess, all coated out for winter with blowing snow beamed down upon by sun.

    • paridevita says:

      Yeah, Margaret Dumont hauled off by Harpo. My mommy was a big fan of the Marx Brothers. It’s 125 feet (38.1m) from the patio to the back fence on the south side, and 95 feet (29m) on the north side. Most of the paths were started by border collies, and improved on by the guy I live with. The only one that’s disappeared was a secret path made by my buddy Slipper where he could be out in the way back, which is where he liked to be when nature called, and then he could suddenly appear in the regular part of the back yard as if by magic.

  3. Janet in Virginia says:

    The photos are inspiring and much more interesting than my backyard looks right now. Chess, you look relaxed in the last photo which is nice because sometimes you look apprehensive. I enjoy reading about conifers, so a whole post on that subject would be pretty awesome.

  4. Tracey says:

    You have a HUGE yard. It seems as thought it would take a long time to explore it. The wrapped trees remind me of the Family of Blood episodes in the fourth season on Doctor Who with David Tennant, so I also find them creepy.

    I don’t think Slipper had a secret path – I think he could teleport. However, after I reviewing your puppy pictures, I don’t think he was as cute as you, Chess.

    We currently have a sidewalk shed in front of my building and I tell people who complain that it blocks the wind and cuts down the shoveling. No one seems to believe me, either.

    • paridevita says:

      I would agree, though my buddy Slipper was pretty cute. He didn’t come to our house as young as I did, though. He was a few weeks older. My mommy watched Doctor Who from the start. Her favorite Doctor was Tom Baker, though she also liked Sylvester McCoy. The guy I live with liked the first Romana, a lot.

  5. Susan Hunter says:

    The screen door is just like the one we had on our house in Apple Meadow, north of Golden, in the 1980’s. Beware: they are evil. One day we had a 100 mph wind and the little slider that held it open failed and the door crushed my index finger. To ease the pain I had to drink a lot of Scotch while holding my finger under cold running water. Then I was too messed up to drive down to Golden to the clinic.
    Gardening up on that open bajada was very challenging but the birding was great.

    • paridevita says:

      Our classy screen door doesn’t even have the slider. The guy I live with said he was going to replace it, with “a proper entrance door”, that is, one which the butler could open with ease to admit our many guests, but now he doesn’t care. He says his priorities have changed. The only trouble is, he doesn’t know into what.

  6. I felt really bad when I took a flash photo of a nice spaniel at a local art gallery and she piddled on the floor in terror. I meant to have the flash turned off. Now I am really careful with that around dogs. (She was beloved and did not get in any kind of trouble and she did forgive me by the next time she saw me.)

  7. Also, Ditto on Tom Baker and Romana.

    • paridevita says:

      We don’t watch very much TV here. The TV is on, a lot, but not watched, just as a companion with people talking. The guy I live with says I’m too busy snoring to pay much attention to TV. We don’t have cable, either. Just one fifteen inch TV in the kitchen. Well, and one downstairs that doesn’t work, but that probably doesn’t count. But he definitely remembers the first Romana.

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