“there will be mud”

Hello everyone; yes, once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here to tell you all about my day, and show a little bit of the garden, too. You may remember me from such posts as “More Excitement” and “The Expired Chicken”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a rather uncharacteristic pose. 14040702The reason I look so incredibly sad is that today I was dragged off to The Bad Place, where I was stuck with needles, and poked and prodded. I know the doctor really well, though; she’s been my doctor since I was really little. I got my toenails clipped, and I seem to be fine, except for a certain weight problem, which may be attributed to the medication I’m on, and not to excessive amounts of Brie. There isn’t even any in the refrigerator.

So that was that.

It rained last night, just a little, and this morning it was all cool and spring-like, with low clouds hiding the mountains just to the west of us. The guy I live with said “there will be mud” on our morning walk, and sure enough, we tracked a bunch of it onto the carpet when we came back. I tracked in much less than someone else did, though.

I did get to go to The Bad Place with muddy paws, and that made it more excellent than usual. It probably wasn’t as excellent as the time my Uncle Pooka rolled in fresh raccoon poop right before he went to The Bad Place, and got to stink it up quite a bit, but it was still pretty good.

Anyway, so it was chilly and damp this morning. When we came home, the guy I live with gave me a biscuit, and looked out the kitchen window, where he saw this.14040701The guy I live with says he thinks this is a sharp-shinned hawk. My mommy was really into birds and would have known right away. I don’t want to say what it’s standing on.

I have some garden pictures, too. The guy I live with says this is a hepatica; he thinks the one called ‘Lithuanian Blue’. He really likes hepaticas and other spring-blooming things like this, but only has a small area of the garden for them. There were other hepaticas here, but they got trampled when the fence was put up.

When he was a kid he thought the word hepatica was cool. It means liver, which I like quite a bit. When my mommy cooked a turkey for the holidays, the guy I live with would fry the liver and other stuff in butter, and I and my buddy Slipper would get that on our dinners. I can’t have onions, but liver and bacon sounds really good right now.  With Delmonico potatoes, maybe. It would make up for this morning, a lot.

Oh, the picture. 14040703There are some hellebores, too. They’re almost a month late, but the guy I live with says whatever. Some of these came from nurseries, some from his pen-pal in New York whom I talked about a while back, some from Archibald seed, but most have just sown themselves.14040704

14040705I guess that’s it. I know this post was mostly about me, and that’s as it should be, if you ask me. It’s supposed to warm up now and there won’t be much potential for getting all muddy. Oh well.14040706


Until next time, then.


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10 Responses to “there will be mud”

  1. petabunn says:

    As long as you did your bit today Chess and enjoyed it, there will be more mud later. So pleased you’re now over your check for another year and those toenails have been executed by a professional. Too bad about the medication and weight gain but you now have 12 months to enjoy the brie and other little occasional pleasures of treats, as long as you keep up the walks. Nice floral pics too, I love the hellebores and that colour is sensational. No comment about the hawk. Snug in your fort at last…

    • paridevita says:

      Yes, though I do have to go back in, in two weeks, for a blood test, because I’m starting on an arthritis medication, owing to my creakiness. I’ll just pretend that “two weeks from now” is the equivalent to “a year from now”, which in a way it is, since neither of us have any sense of time. The idea is that if I become less creaky, moving around will be easier and I might lose some weight that way. (My buddy Slipper had really bad arthritis, and figured out that he could climb the stairs more easily by going up backwards. It was funny to see, though.) Hellebores are nice. They’re in part of the garden where I can’t nibble on the leaves, as though I would do such a thing. The plants seem very happy here, but it took a long time for that to happen. It wasn’t a bunny that the hawk was standing on, by the way. Hawks are scary, but this one wasn’t big enough for that.

      • petabunn says:

        I’ll tell you a short story Chess, even though I’m not known for my short stories more like long stories.
        Anyway before my time my aunty had a German shepherd called Inga and Inga seemed to develop arthritis when she was about 6. It was not very good. Anyway my mum had been taking her daughter’s dog to a special animal naturopath for treatment for the dog’s bone cancer. So off went Inga to see the same lady. This is where my diet of raw pureed vegetables and fresh meat and other stuff comes into it. That is the diet that was given to both my mums dog and Inga. And Inga never showed any sign of arthritis again until she was very old. She lived til she was 15. So I have this diet and never get sick and even though I am overweight I never have to go to the vet for anything, hope it stays that way. I know it is way too late to change your diet but it really should be what all dogs eat instead of that kibble and canned stuff. And Chess you can still have all that other lovely stuff like Brie, probably more of it because your not eating rubbishy processed food.
        I’m just getting down now off my mum’s soapbox.

      • paridevita says:

        My food isn’t processed, though. More like artisanal. The company, I&Love&You, also offers raw food, which the guy I live with could get, but then he has to do some work. I have to go to the vet because I walk in places where I can pick up all kinds of things from wild animals, including clostridium, which the guy I live with is an expert on. I won’t say how he can tell what’s going on.

  2. Deborah S. Farrell says:

    My guess is Cooper’s hawk (but I always guess Cooper’s hawk — unless I guess eagle). Both sharp-shinned & Cooper’s are bird-eaters.

    Sorry you had to go to The Bad Place, Chess; but I’m glad things seemed to go ok. I have to take 2 of the 3 dogs I live with to that place tomorrow. And I went to the human equivalent a week ago. I do not like getting stuck with needles, either.

    I love the blue hepatica. Some of the blue flower seeds (borage & flax) I planted are sprouting.

    • paridevita says:

      Dove, I think, was the victim. There are European collared doves here, which is probably what it was, but the guy I live with is especially fond of mourning doves, and the sound they make, which he heard even in Los Angeles as a little kid. As long as the guy I live with does not start talking about “going on a diet”, things will be okay, but the doctor thought it was because of the phenobarbital. The hepatica is very nice; I can see it through the garden gate. He found one of the Japanese types, multiple petals and all that, for sale for 465 pounds sterling, which is $772.55US. For one. I think this one cost about five dollars, which is more like it.

    • Susan ITPH says:

      I think it was a Cooper’s Hawk, too. The head looks a little too big to be a sharp-shinned. The easiest way to tell is by the tail feathers. Squared-tip=Sharp-Shinned. Rounded=Cooper’s.

      I wish I had money for Hepaticas.

      • paridevita says:

        Cooper’s it is, then. The hepatica probably came from the now-gone Seneca Hill Perennials. It wasn’t expensive. Unlike the fancy Japanese ones. The guy I live with says he wouldn’t mind having enough money that spending $1500 on one snowdrop bulb would mean nothing, except that he had a very expensive snowdrop in his garden that nobody could find even if they looked, because, well, because snowdrops kind of all look alike. It could be that hepatica seed is short-lived, and it could also be that the Ephemeral Seed List is still part of the North American Rock Garden Society’s seed list. The way that used to work is that people who had short-lived seed published a list, and you asked for the seed. Or something like that.

  3. Your post reminds me, Chess, that I should cut the hellebore blossoms and bring them into the house to be admired. Hellebore grows only in hidden spots here, and the plants have been in flower for some time. My hellebores do not produce flowers as lovely as the ones in your pics today, so perhaps I shall go on an online hellebore seed hunt. And hepatica, such a lovely flower for springtime, I shall look that up too. You are a valuable dog, Chess, for widening my world.
    The morose expression you show us today suggests you are a dog who has truly suffered, Chess, and I would work that for all you can get. Maybe liver and bacon this time, extra special brie in two weeks. I do hope the arthritis medicine works for you. I felt extra creaky in yoga class tonight, so I know creakiness is not nearly as much fun as muddy paws.

    • paridevita says:

      Truly suffered, indeed. I was an angel at The Bad Place, like I always am, unlike my buddy Slipper who had seizures and was basically the ultimate drama king. (My Uncle Pooka would sit on a chair in the waiting room and look out the window and refuse to turn around to see where he was.) The guy I live with says hellebores are a pain in the posterior to grow from seed. Cold, warm, cold, warm (or is it warm, cold, warm, cold?) and then they germinate. Which is funny because if you look in the bottom left and bottom right of the second hellebore picture, those are hellebore seedlings. Pine Knot Farms sells plants, and the guy I live with was happy with what they sent. Since I have to go back to The Bad Place in two weeks, to have blood drawn (if the guy I live with took me on a trip to collect seed of Hepatica transsilvanica in the wild I would be really leery about the blood-drawing business), I expect a fairly large piece of Fromager d’affinois, my favorite kind.

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