hot, dry, and crispy

Greetings and salutations, everyone; once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here to bring you the latest news from our garden. You may remember me from such posts as “The Dog Days” and “Life With A Nut”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose, roastingly hot.14070404The reason I say “roastingly hot” is because it’s been that way. The guy I live with claims to like it, and to tell the truth, I really do enjoy going on walks when it’s so hot my paws start to cook, but I can’t say why that is. I just like it, that’s all.

You can see how dry and crispy it was yesterday. That’s me there, if you didn’t know. Sporobolus airoides flowering on the left. 14070303You can see that little light spot on my side, which is a sore, and it hasn’t healed, and the guy I live with says I have to go in for surgery next week, to have it fixed. He isn’t telling me much more than that, but I can feel that he’s not totally freaked out, so that’s good. I don’t want to go, but I know I have to. I’ve been to the hospital before, and they were nice to me there.

You can see how crispy the garden is here, too. The little burlap things are to shade new plants. We can have dirt paths here, by the way. 14070302It got all dark and thundery today, and rained for a minute or so, and the guy I live with took more pictures. This is the path to the “way back” on the south side; my mommy’s little garden is on the right.14070401Her little garden. You can see how badly the fence needs fixing. This little garden gets watered once a week or so. 14070402And the buffalo grass lawn in the “way back”, again, with Tanacetum niveum. The lawn is looking better every day, or so I’m told. I know we just showed a picture of this, but now we’re showing another one. That’s how we are around here. 14070403Speaking of lawns, the guy I live with decided it was high time to mow the one in front, so he did. This is it, mowed. Yes, that’s our front lawn. Blue grama. Like in case people came by and demanded there be a lawn in the front yard, we could point to this and say “Look, a lawn”. 14070409The desert willow, Chilopsis linearis, from the Chisos Mountains, has just started to bloom.14070408Here’s “something you don’t see every day”, though of course we do. Ignore the dead stalk of Fritillaria persica, won’t you? A pink flowered Salvia dumetorum, I guess, and the naturally-occurring intergrade between Yucca rupicola and Y. pallida. (You can see the twisted leaves.)14070407Later on, it got all dark and thundery, and rained for a few minutes. It’ll be nice and cool for sleeping.

The guy I live with “took advantage” of the darkness and took a bunch more pictures, almost none of which came out the way he wanted. The front garden, again. He put a new “trick-or-treater fence” in, but this will be replaced with a slightly longer one, made of the same material, heavy-gauge steel. This is one of those old-timey garden fences, of the kind he thinks he can’t get any more. The new one won’t lean so much, or so he says. 14070410The oaks in the front yard. Some of them, anyway.14070411A corner of the front yard no one ever goes in. Basically on the other side of where the picture above was taken, back in the right. Well, okay, someone had to go here to take this picture, but I never go here. That’s Penstemon eatonii, blooming red. 14070412Oh, I almost forgot. The plants. The guy I live with is all excited about getting these plants. They’re “buffalo gourds”, Cucurbita foetidissima. He says you see them by roadsides all throughout the Southwest. These’re going in the “way back”. 14070405I guess that’s it. The guy I live with has native cucurbits to plant (but not to eat, for sure), and I have a fort to lie in. 14070301

Until next time, then.



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14 Responses to hot, dry, and crispy

  1. Fisher, the Wonder Dog says:

    We’re all very sorry to hear about your sore that won’t heal. Hoping they will fix you up better than new, ’cause who wants to be new anyway? My grammy says she would only want to be young again if she could go back knowing what she knows now, but then she’d probably end up getting herself arrested so I think we’re all better off just leaving well enough alone.

    We’re all hunkered down here tonight—listening to the wind and rain from the tail end of a hurricane, which is scary enough, if you ask me. The business end has gone elsewheres and that’s just fine with us. Don’t want to think about the mess that will great us in the morrow. Post-storm clean-up is never uplifting, but they are promising a break in the heat and humidity so all things considered it could be worse.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. The vet thinks that the guy I live with noticed this in time, what with him going over me with a fine-toothed comb, literally, the way my mommy did. I don’t want to do this but the guy I live with does say that there are so few things we have to do now that we don’t want to do, except for being without my mommy, which is a huge deal but not exactly the point, that every once in a while if we do things we don’t want to, then we appreciate the days of doing nothing that much more. Something like that. Hurricanes, tail end or not, don’t sound like the sort of thing that purebred border collies should be in. Or even somewhat close to. The guy I live with says Nairobi doesn’t have any weather.

      • Fisher, the Wonder Dog says:

        We can all moan and groan about this, that and the other thing but in the end it all boils down to the fact that the only thing we really have any chance of controlling or changing, for that matter, is our attitude. Irrational fears, on the other hand, are an entirely different matter. For instance, last night was a very stormy one, but the morning has dawned clear and cool. The road crews are out in full force, clearing the streets to get them ready for the afternoon parade and evening fireworks. We have plans to close the windows and watch a movie with the sound turned to a higher than usual level. My human charges do this for my benefit. I think they still feel guilty about the first 4th of July that I spent with them and they were unawares of my, shall we say….insecurities regarding fireworks. My mommy and daddy went outside to watch the neighbor’s display and left me with my grampy, who I was still not too sure about at the time. (He has since turned out to be one of my favorite humans) Fortunately, I found a door to a closet open and that is where I spent the night. It was very traumatizing, but everyone understands each other much better now and thankfully those scary days are in the way past. But still I don’t ever let my guard down, since you never really know….

        We all send you our sincerest best wishes for a rapid recovery and return to health and happiness!

      • paridevita says:

        I learned that thunder and firecrackers were scary from my buddy Slipper. I don’t know how he figured this out. Maybe he learned from my grandpa Flurry, who was 15 when Slipper showed up. By the time I showed up, my grandpa Flurry paid no attention to anything. The people he lived with thought he had become deaf, but really he could hear just fine. He just stopped listening. It’s best not to let one’s guard down too much, especially at this time of year. We used to have the boom box on so loud downstairs that it was rattle and buzz, and that still didn’t help. The guy I live with says he isn’t hugely worried about me, just the logistics of doing things. Thanks.

  2. Deborah S. Farrell says:

    Chess, I’m so sorry that you have to go to the Bad Place again. We thought Daisy was all better after we switched to a lower protein dog food. She really liked it & would lick her bowl like she couldn’t get enough of it, something she never did before. But then she got sick again yesterday, so Monday she’s going to the Bad Place (the place of needle pokes and too many smells) to have an ultrasound. I hope they can figure out what’s making her sick. And I hope your surgery goes well. You’re such a trooper!

    We have 3 very nervous dogs right now — there are fireworks going off all around us. We stepped outside for a minute to watch, and I could taste the gunpowder/sulfur in the air. At least it is moist & green this year, so I don’t worry about everything catching on fire.

    I have Sporobolus heterolepis all around my mailbox out front. I pulled a few weeds out there today, and I could smell the seedheads, a lightly sweet smell. I read that some people can smell it, and some can’t. It made me real happy to discover that I’m one who can. Does your Sporobolus have a nice smell? (at least they are tall enough people wouldn’t have to get down on their hands and knees to smell it) And oh, my! That desert willow is really something — something I’ve never seen before.

    • paridevita says:

      I’m not having a good time either. Loud explosions and stuff like that. All against the law here, but apparently no one cares about that. They just like the opportunity to be obnoxious. It rained here a little, so maybe the garden won’t burst into flames. One of our neighbors started a fire in our back yard one year. I’m actually going to a hospital, not the regular Bad Place. They referred me there. I’ve been there before, twice. Once just as a passenger in the car. (The Bad Place really isn’t that; I’m well cared for, I know. I’d just rather not go, you know?) Don’t know if Sporobolus airoides smells. Or has a smell, I mean. We’ll smell it tomorrow. We have heterolepis here too, but it’s “new at the zoo”, and is slow to take off. The desert willow is related to catalpa. The guy I live posted about this before, and also quoted Donald Culross Peattie, here We might talk about the other one, the really big desert willow, this weekend. Not that we haven’t before, but just because we talk about something once, doesn’t mean we can’t talk about it again. I mean if it’s something nice. You know how there are people who always talk about the same thing over and over again, never noticing other peoples’ eyes glazing over, well, it’s not that, it’s that there are some things that are fun to talk about a lot, and the desert willow is one of them. The post, The Red One, gives an idea of Peattie’s writing, and you can do a search on the blog for a few more samples of it.

  3. Knicky Twigs says:

    It’s important to talk about fun and interesting things more than once. For those joining the conversation anew, it’s brand new, and for those who have heard it before, it’s a chance to pick up something missed. Plus, it’s a different conversation really, no matter if it’s on the same topic. It’s never *exactly* the same…

    • paridevita says:

      Some people do say exactly the same things over and over again, though. We’re not like that. Though the guy I live with wonders why I act like I’ll never get to go on my walk again, like he’s forgotten, and yet he never has. Sometimes we even go on a third one, later in the evening. He says I’m the one who forgets. The guy I live with is interested in things that no one else seems to be interested in, except my mommy was, and so sometimes he just talks about something he already has, in order to avoid boring me. It doesn’t always work.

  4. Vivian Swift says:

    Dear sweet Chess. Is it all because of the foxtail that you have to bring in the surgeons? Jeeze Louise, that grass is dangerous! And the city gummint’s public landscaping policy actually promotes this deadly weed???? Do they not know of the danger it poses to purebred border collies and other living things?? But, as The Guy You Live With points out, there is no yang without the yin. My heart goes with you into the OR. I hope they stock brie in the recovery room.

    I LOVE the thundery-day photo of the lawn. I think that is my favorite part of your garden, which I now “know” in light and dark. Neat.

    I checked out The Red One post b/c I wanted to know why the Desert Willow is so interesting. I read the Donald Peattie excerpt. I was unprepared. But I got the hang of it, once I got to “utilize” . I persevered through “silken wings” and the “blazing summer days that know no shade” and the “lunar and jagged ranges”…. but when I got to “hot Antares blazes in the Scorpion” is when I knew that Peattie was quite, quite the stylist. Did he by any chance also write for Milady’s Boudoir? Aunt Dahlia would have loved him. Why settle for “November” when you can scribe “hot Antares blazes in the Scorpion”, especially if you’re getting paid by the word.

    It is I, dear Chess, acolythus of the Sea-Goat, invoking the spirit of the noble lupus of the granite screes of Caledonia to keep you well and watch over all your peregrinations in the Arapaho crepuscule.

  5. Wishing you a speedy recovery from your surgery Chess, and tell the guy you live with that the planting bed in front of the house is looking good!

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. The cactus garden does look “okay” according to the guy I live with. The cactus and agaves are growing in pure gravel, which he says helps. All the rain water goes to the roots that way.

  6. Tracey says:

    Just got in from feeding my brother’s cats, mourning doves, cardinals, raccoons, possums, and other assorted wildlife.

    That is an amazing willow but I am most taken by the Budweiser chicken and the blue pots. It seems like a great place to read a book and drink ice tea.

    Chess, it sounds as though you have competent medical help and lots of people who love you. Good luck with the operation and be sure to exploit all medical staff and the guy for treats.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. Um, it’s a Corona chicken….. Adds some class, don’t you think? I mean aside from having a purebred border collie grace the garden, of course. There is a bench off to the left in the picture, in front of the fire pit which is visible, but basically abandoned. The sumac is coming up everywhere now.

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