Hello everyone; yes, once again it is I, Chess the amazing purebred border collie, here to bring you the latest news from our garden. You may remember me from such memorable posts as “After The Solstice” and “The Awful Smell”, among so many, many others.
Here I am in a remarkably noble pose.Impressive, no? I thought it was.
This morning, the guy I live with could not figure out why the kitchen clock was an hour behind his cell phone clock, and the laptop clock. (Laptop clock, laptop clock. I like that.) He thought and thought. “What are the chances that the power went off exactly one hour ago?” (That was him thinking.)
It finally dawned on him, the way things do in the morning, and he set the kitchen clock to the right time.
Then he went downstairs to turn on the lights over the cactus seedlings, and saw this. He knew I didn’t do it, because I don’t do things like this.He was steamed, unlike the carpet. (I’m pretty funny this evening, huh?) That carpet, unlike the one you see me on all the time, is the one that was here when my mommy and the guy I live with moved into the house.
Anyway, to back up a bit, yesterday afternoon the guy I live with said that there was “definite chewing” going on in the kitchen. I was asleep so didn’t notice. He pulled out the refrigerator, with a lot of effort, smashing his fingers in the process and waking me up. There were the remains of a cracker behind the refrigerator. (Don’t look at me.) He vacuumed all that up, pushed the refrigerator back into place (he didn’t know until then that it rolled), and put the two fancy “mouseproof” blocker things on either side of the refrigerator.
I should mention that, as this is being typed, a mouse ran into the kitchen from outside. The back door is open, because it was a gorgeous day.
So, he figured that one mouse would be caught in the Tin Cat last night, but actually there were two. “The mystery deepens,” he said. It does.
Okay, now for some gardening stuff. It was a beautiful day today, so much so that the guy I live with didn’t even have to wear a jacket or the grubby old sweatshirt he wears. Just a t-shirt. (And pants of course.) He moved a bunch of agaves, which probably accounts for why they never get very large. He cut down some stuff, and took pictures.
This is Crocus ancyrensis ‘Golden Bunch’ again. Those are cactus and the leaves of Yucca rupicola. The reticulate irises are blooming and he’s very excited. (They’re called that because of the covering they have on their bulbs, or something.) This morning he saw the purple and it made him really happy. I was already happy so that made two of us.
This is Iris reticulata ‘Lovely Liza’. Iris hyrcana. Remember me telling about the land of wolves and all that? Iris kopetdaghensis. So now he’s all “I have irises blooming” and stuff. Which is fine with me.
When he gets the mouse problem figured out, then I’ll have a story to tell. Meanwhile, I’ll go back to doing what I do best.
Until next time, then.
Dear Chess, I believe your guy you live with is on a lifelong course of contra mousies. He keeps doing stuff and they keep doing stuff, then it’s another day, repeat. You must be marvelously entertained. I know I was with the refrigerator episode. Then there were the photos of the splendidly colored iris. At the moment, photos of cacti make me sad. We lost the top half of three to gusting winds which accompanied the rain last weekend. They are the straight-up kind, whatever those are called. They’re not my cacti. Now we have three half-size cacti with ugly jagged gashes at the top. Ugliness makes me sad. What makes me happy is any kind of Chess portrait. I swear, dear dog, in the last photo you look like a pup again.
It was nice not to have to post a picture of me with hound dog lips, though I must say I think they’re very endearing. My mommy liked them. She said I was a “funny little dog”. The mice’re driving him crazy, but only because he wants to prove he’s smarter than a mouse, and I don’t think that attempt will have a happy outcome. The mice do go away in the summer time. The guy I live with is uncertain (I know, hard to believe) as to what to do with damaged columnar cacti. The jagged edges probably shouldn’t be left that way, and they’ll heal, but there’s probably a right way to fix this. The people at the Huntington should know, also at Lotusland. (He read an article by Merrit Dunlap, who gave his collection to Lotusland), about growing these cacti from seed, and some of the damage they encountered in various ways, in the Cactus and Succulent Journal years ago. The guy I live with had relatives who lived in Fullerton; they had a peacock ranch back in the 1950s. He went there once and many, many, many years later tried to convince my mommy that having peacocks would be a good idea; something for us purebred border collies to herd. She didn’t go for it. My mind wanders, sorry.) There are sort of columnar cacti here, chollas, which get some damage from heavy snow in spring, but they just regrow. Sometimes they fall over and that’s usually that. They regrow from the fallen trunks, though.
Exceptionally stunning photos of you today Chess, just so handsome and, as you said, noble in the first one. Did you have a time change for daylight saving or the like and your guy forgot? So nice to see spring flowering specimens now bringing colour to your garden, vibrant colour, I look forward to many more as I go to the despair of winter before I know it. Well that’s what my mum is saying, it doesn’t bother me. I have avoided the m word today and I think your guy should also. He should just pretend there is nothing there and focus on the black and white only, leaving biscuits and brie treats around the kitchen.
The guy I live with totally forgot about daylight savings time. The despair of winter. You know his last book, High and Dry, which is now out of print, has the word “despair” in the index. It’s also the only gardening book with the same name as a Radiohead song. He didn’t realize it at the time. (The guy I live with doesn’t listen to Radiohead any more. He wishes he could, but he can’t.) The garage is full of Ms running here and there, and then there and here.
What a profile. Positively Olivier-worthy. (If I remember, he always said his best side was his profile.) Chess, you are one handsome critter.
Thank you for pictures of sunshine and irises. You could be color-blind here on the shores of the dingy, snowy, exhausted Long Island Sound and not miss a thing.
Thank you. I quite agree. I know that’s immodest. It was a nice day here, but gloomy too, all cloudy and stuff.
I have visions of a post titled “and it all came tumbling down” wherein you describe the house falling down because the mice gnawed away every corner. eek.
Loved seeing the flowers blooming, especially the wolfishly blue iris. Also loved the prone portrait. I can almost hear the happy dog sigh of contentment. Aaaaaaah!
But that ultra-high pitched squealing sound you hear is all the way from southern Indiana — me, squealing with delight because today I noticed the tulips I planted in January (white with blue centers: too lazy to look up the italicized scientific name) are pushing up. And it’s supposed 70 tomorrow. But then, of course, Wed. we’ll have a wintry mix of precipitation.
It was 70F here today. And supposed to snow tomorrow, but that’s good, because it melts, instead of just evaporating like it does in the winter. (Not that it needs to melt during the winter.) The difference between here and places east of the 100th meridian is that, generally, spring comes earlier here, but it snows until the end of May here too. Sometimes not a light snowfall, either. The guy I live with said the hole in the corner was kind of like a cartoon hole. Tom and Jerry maybe.
I just ordered a copy of High and Dry!
It’s out of print, but I guess there are copies available. The illustrator was a terrible procrastinator, otherwise there could have been twice as many watercolors. There was a discussion about that. The book wasn’t in print for very long, but, whatever, huh.