the h word

Hello everyone; yes, once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here to bring you the latest and most exciting news from our garden. You may remember me from such posts as “Il Giardino Di Leonardo” and “As Above, So Below”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.14052005You might notice that there’s some dirt on the dhurri rug, which the guy I live with just washed two days ago, but there’s a perfectly good reason for that, which I’ll get to in a bit.

First off, if you remember the pictures of Oenothera caespitosa, and other flowers, there have been an awful lot of hawk moths in the garden at night, because of those flowers, and the moths have also been flying into the house, which is pretty scary, if you ask me.

The guy I live with tried to take a picture of one on Fendlera rupicola last night. It might be there in the picture, somewhere. 14051901There were a couple of moths visiting Amsonia jonesii, and you can see at least one of the moths here. 14052002This is it. The white-lined sphinx, Hyles lineata. People say that’s what comes from tomato worms, but tomato worms make a much bigger moth, Manduca sexta or M. quinquemaculata14052003Well, so, anyway, the forecast for today was severe thunderstorms, and so the guy I live with took a bunch of pictures of the garden, as if to say farewell to it, but he didn’t like any of the pictures. He liked what happened next a whole lot less. I hid.

Now, the guy I live with is supposed to be resigned to stuff, but I heard him yelling at the weather. Nothing happened when he did. Eventually it stopped.

The street flooded, and the guy I live with and the neighbor kid worked to clear the storm drain, standing in ice water while they worked, and at the same time a couple of trash bags filled with grass clippings floated down the street. “Very classy”, the guy I live with said.

Anyway, here’s a short movie. (Gardeners strongly cautioned.)

It didn’t wreck everything, which has happened here, like on the first of June 1991, when I wasn’t around, but my grandpa Flurry told me stories about it. Whatever. This Friday will be the fourth anniversary of me losing my buddy Slipper, and Saturday will be the fifth anniversary of me losing my mommy, so, compared to those things, hail messing up the garden doesn’t seem like much. We try to be extremely philosophical here.

After it was all over, I felt I had to go out and take a look. Things were pretty damp. I guess it will be a cool night for sleeping, anyway.14052004


Until next time, then.


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12 Responses to the h word

  1. Susan ITPH says:

    Now I really want a fendler bush. But where to put the thing. Perhaps the only reasonable thing to do is to go out and collect some fendlerella seed and grow that instead.

    • paridevita says:

      Oooh, I know someone who would really like seed of fendlerella. There are, let’s see, six or seven fendleras here, but some are F. wrightii, which isn’t all that different. The pink buds are so beautiful. There’s one on the other side of the driveway growing up into a curl-leaf mountain-mahogany and it has cascades of white flowers right now. Well, fewer flowers after the hail.

  2. Linda Meyer says:

    So glad you did not have much hail damage. For some reason Stapleton has been very lucky since I moved here – no hail yet in my yard, and I am happy about that

    • paridevita says:

      Two more days of this predicted, which is fun. We rarely have thunderstorms pass directly over this neighborhood, and it’s time for that feature to kick in now, and have everything go past us. The guy I live with says he’d like it to be 90 degrees with no rain for the rest of spring and all of summer.

  3. Deborah S. Farrell says:

    They were saying hail in the Denver area on the Weather Channel yesterday, and I wondered about you, Chess, and the garden there. We had a freak hail squall May 10 — the likes of which I had only seen on the Weather Channel (not experienced first hand). It pummeled my plants, especially the blue flowered Corydalis, but they seem to be coming back. The baby bluebirds survived the hailstorm & are now at the peeping stage, where they peep for food all day long. It’s a sweet sound to hear while I’m working in the yard. And yesterday I noticed that fruit is forming on the American plum tree for the first time since I planted it 6 or 7 years ago. Very exciting.

    I am sorry you have two such sad anniversaries occurring back-to-back. November is like that for me. I could do without that month.

    • paridevita says:

      Sad anniversaries. The guy I live with says that the hailstorm of 1991 came from the southeast, a place weather never comes from here. It obliterated the garden, totaled the roof and the truck parked in the driveway. The garden recovered, though a lot of plants were lost, but the guy I live with never really did. Then a month or so after my mommy died we had a storm at 11 p.m. with the rain and hail blowing horizontally, and he took me and my buddy Slipper down into the closet by the crawl space. That was scary, so late at night. Things like this used to be rare.

  4. Deborah Farrell says:

    I just heard that my brother is stuck in the Denver airport — trying to get to Indianapolis for the 500. It’s been hailing in Indy but not here, yet. I hope we only get rain.

    We were glad our cars were in the garage during the freak hail squall. It was freak because it was very localized, just in our area. I half expected the to announce that the epicenter was right over ‘Bill & Deb’ s house.’

    • paridevita says:

      Hailed here again, just like yesterday. There’s more damage than was previously thought, but, like, whatever. See how philosophical we can be? It takes a lot of effort to be philosophical, though, and the guy I live with says he could use some Xanax.

  5. Can’t we all. Use some Xanax, I mean. Gets one through hail and thunderstorms and sad anniversaries. We here are so sorry for your losses.
    We here experience rain and hail as exciting events as the first is needed and usually the second, occurring on the coast, lasts seconds and is of the ineffectual type. Now, Santa Ana heat and wind will really fry a garden and a tsunami may someday wipe us out.
    Fendlera rupicola is so pretty. I adore the pale pink of the buds. The moth is … interesting. Takes a good mug shot.
    Thank you, Chess, for including the rain video. We take rain any way we can get it. Does it not store up for you so the plants can draw on the underground puddle during summer?
    You are such a happy dog, Chess, as reflected in the first photo, and with such a knowing expression, too. The second photo, taken in such delicate light, in such a beauty spot, with a pure-bred Border Collie of rare intelligence walking away from the viewer into the light, into the greater garden, well, the second photo is moving.

    • paridevita says:

      “Rare intelligence”; I guess I have to agree completely. Thanks. It hailed again here today, same size, and the guy I live with kind of lost it. He does that sometimes. We’re still under a tornado watch, but so close to the foothills that really bad weather, and rain, usually hops right over us. He wasn’t in the mood to think about that today. I had two excellent walks despite all of this. And, he also fixed the washing machine. “You really need a washing machine at this time of year”, he said, which I suppose referred to the towels used to dry me off after my walks and stuff. For once, the repair process did not involve any “repair language”, which in itself was a miracle. My mommy loved sphinx moths of all kinds. Well, look here if you haven’t already seen this. (that was the time a moth flew into my bedroom and I nearly collapsed.)

  6. Fisher, the Wonder Dog says:

    HAIL?!?!!? AUGH!!!! So very, very, very NOT COOL! Hoping the Zen can kick in for you without the aid of Xanax and fermented beverages. My grammy says that the hurricane of ’92 messed up her gardening psyche for good. I have seen enough to know that weather events of an extreme nature are never good news for one who attempts to tend a garden.

    • paridevita says:

      We agree, very not cool. Marble sized hail two days in a row, which is unusual, but everything seems to be unusual these days. No xanax or fermented beverages here, though the guy I live with says “both sound excellent”. We understand, perfectly, the ability of “weather events” to mess up a gardener’s psyche; the guy I live with says his psyche was damaged, gardening-wise, by the hailstorm of 1991 (about 20 minutes of golfball-sized hail, which came from a direction…southeast…that the weather never comes from, except that one day), and he kept talking about moving ever since, but then he wouldn’t have gotten me, to light up his life, etc., so things kind of worked out anyway, in the weird way that they sometimes do.

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