Greetings, salutations, hello, and namaste, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here to bring you some news from our garden. You may remember me from such posts as “On A Rampage” and “Leafage And Branchage”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. The guy I live with said I look sullen. Well, you would too. I have an appointment at the Bad Place on Thursday. Just to see what’s going on, I guess. 14070706I cheered up pretty quickly, though. The guy I live with told me the one about the dachshund, Chihuahua, and Great Dane who walk into a bar…..  It was a really good one. 14070707Today started out nice, sunny and hot, and people were complaining about how awfully hot it was. My walks were pretty excellent. The guy I live with says summer is supposed to be hot, and judging from the alternative to hot, I definitely agree. It cooled down in the afternoon and now there are severe thunderstorm warnings all over the place.

Well, let’s pretend that everything is okay, and show a few pictures. Here’s the gaillardia again. There was always an issue getting these plants to do well here, but when they self sow, things are fine.14070701The dwarf sunflower, Helianthus pumilus. The leaves are like sandpaper. 14070702Time now for some baby bunny pictures. The guy I live with is kind of a sap, and took these because he thought they were cute.14070703


"The apple is really good."

“The apple is really good.”


14070705The most interesting visitor came by yesterday. The guy I live with says he’s “fairly certain” this is a female Calliope hummingbird. She was really tiny. Those are pinyon needles, for comparison.hbAfter I started the post, the weather got much worse, the way it seems to do a lot here, lately, and they were saying that a huge thunderstorm featuring ping pong ball-sized hail was headed right toward us. We’re not really the sort of creatures who like anything headed toward us. I’ve never played ping pong, so I didn’t know what that meant, but judging from the guy I live with’s reaction, it must have been bad. There was the usual moving-to-California talk, of course.

Fortunately, the storm dissipated before it got to us, and so we just got a whole bunch of rain, and even more scary loud thunder, and lightning. That’s the desert willow in the foreground, there.


The best place for me to be, of course, is at home with the guy I live with, safe in my fort.14070708

Until next time, then.

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24 Responses to visitors

  1. Very funny photo of Chess enjoying the joke! Love the bunnies, and the hummingbird photo is charming. As for heat, am supposed to go to Garden Bloggers Fling in Portland this weekend and it is supposed to be in the 90s. Argh. Lots of gardens to tour, though. Looking forward to being back home with more time to read blogs instead of writing about garden tours!!!

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; Portland sounds okay to me. Have fun looking at gardens there. That sounds like a lot of fun. The guy I live with doesn’t go anywhere because he can’t take me, you know.

  2. Vivian Swift says:

    DAY-YUM! That is a lot of weather! When we get thunderstorms here on the shores of the Long Island Sound we never get non-stop donner und blitzen like THAT! The most nerve-rattling things me and my dog have to put up with here on the north shore of the Isle of Long are having to tell people that you live on Long Island and ordering a grilled swiss cheese on rye with a side of cole slaw at the Carle Place Diner on a day when the regular guy who makes the cole slaw is off duty. The stand-in guy doesn’t use enough (or any) mayo.

    Chess dear, I think The Guy You Live With should take up wildlife photography. He gets the most adorable pictures of bunnies and birdies and mouse fights and squirrels EVER. The bunny pix are, as usual, most excellent (OMG OMG OMG that white cottontail makes me want to plots), but that Calliope hummer is a beaut. Talk about having an “eye” — how does he do it? Eyeing these camouflaged and minuscule poseurs??

    And I think I know that joke. It’s the one with the punch line: “I was talking to the ventriloquist.”, right? Yeah, that one always kills.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I think the guy I live with just knows how to sneak up on things. He sits inside at the kitchen table, and then goes out and sneaks up on things. The weather here can be nerve-wracking, to say the least. If it isn’t hot, like summer ought to be, then we’re hiding in the basement. There’s a good cole slaw recipe in the NY Times cook book.

  3. Debbie Haugsten says:

    Best wishes to you and Chess for the vet visit !!!!!!!!! From Debbie and Ralph, the Golden Retriever.

  4. Yes, Chess, best to you on Thursday. I should think by this point especially you, brave and excellent Border Collie that you are, would want to know what’s going on. You might advise the guy you live with to stock up on the jokes, especially ones with good punch lines. Today our local paper announced the rainfall total of last year, measured July to July. 5.06 inches we were flooded with, half our paltry usual. Nearly cried when I listened to the video you kindly provided. Maybe I’ll keep running it and hope for sympathetic magic to happen. This weekend we’ll be venturing to, uh, Ventura County for husband’s family reunion. When I get there, I plan to ask around why all the rain meant for our place seems to snag up there. Especially after listening to the video, I want answers. Galliardia self-sows readily in our border, much to my distress. I want the related purple-y kind to win out. Goes better with old roses, donchaknow. Besides birds and moths and butterflies and bees, we seem bereft of cute fauna at our place. Petey and Shredder dogs have to carry the load themselves.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. I’m looking forward to the ride, anyway. I can do a plug for the Ruff Rider Roadie, which is an excellent harness for car riding. The guy I live with said my grandpa Flurry loved to go for rides, to the point where we couldn’t tell him not to get so overwrought, because he heard go for a ride. They had this Toyota pickup with a shell on the back, and my grandpa Flurry would stand in back, barking, and jumping around, so that the back of the pickup jiggled up and down. The guy I live with lets out a heavy sigh when he thinks of Southern California, rain or no rain. He went to Patrick Henry Elementary in Long Beach. It used to rain there, in the winter, and just rain. It seems that it never does that here, any more. It used to just rain here, too, sometimes. We get about ten inches of precipitation here a year, too, give or take. Denver gets more, as a rule. Rain shadow of Mount Evans and all that. This has been a fairly wet (and super scary) spring and summer for us, so far. I bet we got three quarters of an inch (say 1.9cm) yesterday. Funny thing; he moved two clumps of basin wildrye (Leymus cinereus) yesterday, and was sure they would croak, but with the rain they look all happy and stuff. Rain makes a big difference.

  5. Deborah S. Farrell says:

    I’m envious of the variety of hummingbirds you see there. We only have ruby-throated hummers here. This one doesn’t look as Doubtful as the other one (black-throated?) did.

    But we do have the thunderstorms like you show here in the Midwest. A colleague of my husband’s, who’d lived all his life in California, said he understood why The Weather Channel existed after experiencing a Midwest thunderstorm. He said the need for it in California seemed absurd.

    Fingers crossed & best wishes for you tomorrow, Chess.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; the guy I live with says he miscalculated and set my appointment for eleven in the morning, and I don’t get any breakfast (in case they have to do blood work), so he set the alarm for 9:30 in the morning. I’m not sure I can get up that early, but we’ll see. (He should have made the appointment earlier in the morning.) We have broad-tailed, the most common, and rufous, and black-chinned, and calliope hummingbirds here. I think the closer you are to the mountains, the more different kinds you get. And we have lots of penstemons and gilias for them. They also like the red pelargoniums. The guy I live with moved here from California when he was nine and thought thunderstorms were pretty scary then. Then, later, when he climbed telephone poles for a living, he thought they were even scarier. I don’t have to be persuaded that they’re scary.

  6. Vivian Swift says:

    Dear Chess: You have 40 paws (9 cats, 1 dog) and ten fingers (mine) crossed for you today and with all our hearts we wish that the most vexing thing to happen to you today is skipping breakfast.May everything else go your way today. Wish we could send you some brie.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. What it is, is a spindle cell sarcoma. I went to the oncologist today, to see whether or not they needed to remove it, or it could be done by the vet. The vet can do it. Apparently it isn’t the sort of thing that spreads, you know. It just gets removed, and then I carry on. (It was an issue of whether or not I needed ultrasound and all that stuff.) Fortunately it was discovered in plenty of time. Except for my weight, and my toenails, which keep growing, I’m in pretty darn good shape. (I’ve had surgery before; had to have a tooth removed.) So I got my morning walk, before we went (I left a trail of foxtail awns at the hospital), and got to ride in an air-conditioned car, and was fawned over at the Not-So-Bad Place, and got a cheeseburger on the way back home. And some French fries. Close to Brie, sort of.

      • Deborah Farrell says:

        I think that strange breeze I felt yesterday was the collective sigh of relief from all your fans, Chess.

      • paridevita says:

        Thanks. It could have been that, or just the weather from here. The doctor said….get this…that my extra body fat works in my favor as far as the ease with which the thing can be removed. I don’t even notice it anyway. I basically just go about the business of being me, while the guy I live with does all this worrying and imagining and, of course, complaining.

  7. Vivian Swift says:

    P.S. Please let us know as soon as is doggedly possible that you are ship shape back on duty, protecting the fort.

  8. Milady says:

    Yes, please. We need you back asap.

  9. christine says:

    Praying for you, puppy.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. I guess it’s not as big a deal as You Know Who thought it was.

      • christine says:

        Well, when you are worried about someone you love, it’s always a big deal. I’m glad to hear that it is treatable and I wish you a speedy recovery, filled with pampering and treats:)!

      • paridevita says:

        Thanks; I might get another cheeseburger afterwards, too, huh. The guy I live with said he doesn’t want to start a trend, but I might point out the advantages of extra body fat……

  10. Knicky Twigs says:

    Boo for: ping-pong ball hail; thunder; skin tumors. 😦

    Yea for: funny jokes; peaceful gardens; bunnies and humming birds; air conditioned cars; good vets; and most especially…cheeseburgers and fries!! 🙂

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I completely agree. It’s so dark in the house here, at twenty after ten in the morning, that the light has to be on to see the keyboard. I hear that in the summer of 1999 they hardly ever saw the sun, and my grandpa Flurry spent the whole summer hiding in the bathtub. He spent a whole weekend there, without asking to go out and tinkle. The guy I live with said my grandpa Flurry was mostly bladder. One thing, the first time the guy I live with and my mommy went to this place, with my Uncle Pooka after he tried to chew his way out of the kennel after an ACL operation, and got a piece of e-collar lodged in his duodenum or somewhere, the guy I live with dragged my mommy down the street and they went into a place called Crown Burger (on Downing Street), and after that, they used to go there all the time. Especially right before Christmas, when they’d go there at night and hold hands across the table. They did that a lot. The guy I live with mentioned Crown Burger yesterday and someone said they had closed, much to his horror, even though he doesn’t go there any more. They would say things like “I feel like a plate of chili cheese fries” and the other would say “That’s funny, you don’t look like a plate a chili cheese fries” and then they would leave us alone, and go out to get chili cheese fries, even though one of them didn’t look like chili cheese fries. It was a big plate of French fries covered with green chile and cheese. (You say chili for the “bowl of red” but green chile for green chile, you know.) Sometimes my mommy would order just the chili cheese fries, which of course were really chile cheese fries, and not a hamburger or something else, and the guy I live with thought they were going to get that in addition to hamburgers or something else, and he would whine, because she would eat them all. So, anyway, my Uncle Pooka was saved, and they learned about Crown Burger, and that seems to be the way the world works.

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