Hello everyone; once again it is I, Chess the long-suffering purebred border collie, here to bring you the latest news from our garden, and also to do a bit of complaining about the weather. You may remember me from such posts as “Gloomy Weather” and “Weather And Other Complaints”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristically weather-related pose.14072402Not very much gardening has been going on lately, because the guy I live with says it’s “too dark and humid” to do much of anything, and I would agree. We’re both very good at doing nothing, if you didn’t know.

It thundered a lot today, again, and I had to have my dinner in my fort, which, really, wasn’t all that bad.

We do have some wildlife pictures, however. This new creature appeared on the screen door. They get brown when they get older.14072401The guy I live with has been trying to get pictures of the orioles, of which there are a lot in the back yard, but he says they’re very skittish, so he has to use the zoom on the point-and-shoot, and then blow it up, sort of.

These are females.





14072403Maybe some time he’ll get better pictures. They eat a lot of jelly.

Speaking of which, the guy I live with was all up in arms early this morning, because a squirrel was stealing all the grape jelly out of the other feeder, so he had to move it. He says he almost got hold of the squirrel’s tail. I don’t know what would happen if he did. He would probably have to wash his hands, though, before touching me or my food.

Squirrels really aren’t good for much of anything, and I certainly believe they don’t belong in containers.14072405What else? Oh, hey, I know. I have another movie for you tonight. It isn’t all just darkness and gloom here for day after day; sometimes it does rain, along with everything else.

(By the way, he tested this movie, like he does all of them, and said it skipped a little, but maybe it won’t do that for you. He replayed it, and it was okay.)

I guess that’s all I have. No flower pictures today, because the guy I live built a ramp for me to get up the stairs at bedtime. I haven’t tested it yet, but we think it will work. I’ll let you know.

Until next time, then.


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16 Responses to vexations

  1. Chess, you look all wise and benign in your fort contemplation. And you do look like the weather is giving you grief. Appreciate your rising above circumstances and giving us a most excellent post today. Keep posting the rain videos, please. I made popcorn for viewing this time. Yellow birds are engaging, especially the expression on the oriole lifted in flight. And there are too flowers included. I should know the name of the cream-colored sweeties flowing from the pot where the squirrel lounges, but I don’t. I do recognize the plant both inside and outside the pot because I grow it too. Rather, it volunteers itself. I surely would love to know what would happen if the guy you live with caught hold of a squirrel’s tail, especially Earl’s. I believe the findings would be most instructive.
    The new ramp will, of course, provide easier access to bedtime; will it also provide exercise for the hind legs?
    Paul Schaffer and the NBC Orchestra did an extended version of “Mac Arthur Park” the other night on the David Letterman show. We copied for viewing after Sunday’s finale of the Tour de France. (Only so much television a gardener can take.) So a last question: What happens to jelly left out in the rain?

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I don’t like thunder at all, or overcast skies, for that matter. I don’t like hot weather, either. I get quite a bit of hind-leg exercise on my walks. The guy I live with thinks he’s the only person around who has orioles, because everybody he talks to about them says they don’t have them. The male is bright orange. Bullock’s orioles, you know. He was dive-bombed by a hummingbird later this afternoon, but I think the one that did that was a black-chinned, and the one in the tree is almost certainly a broad-tailed. Tried to get a picture of the dive-bomber, but they fly too fast. The flowers are calibrachoas. They use to be in the genus Petunia. The guy I live with has never heard “MacArthur Park”, believe it or not, but he used to hear about it when he was a kid in Long Beach, as you might expect. His grandfather knew the person for whom the park was named. Bit of trivia. Oh, he listened to “MacArthur Park” on YouTube and doesn’t remember ever hearing it before. Now “Cherry Hill Park”, he definitely remembers. Some gardeners watch TV. He watches The Big Bang Theory, Elementary, and one or two other things (the news, never), but mostly just DVDs, to have them on as company. Jelly left out in the rain doesn’t do much, because it rarely rains for long here, and the jelly disappears quickly anyway.

  2. Watched the video again, and your garden, Chess, is so lovely in the rain. I hope there exists some covering so you can sit outside and appreciate the beauty. The scents must be amazing! The sound certainly is.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; as I said, it didn’t rain for very long. But it did rain. Sometimes we can smell the ponderosa up in the mountains. There was this one time, when we had visitors, and one of them said that the garden reminded them of a cross between Rancho Santa Ana and Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. The guy I live with really liked hearing that.

      • Your visitor got it right.

      • paridevita says:

        Well, it was nice to hear, for sure. The guy I live with has considered, over the years, printing a list of rules, like Miss Manners for Garden Visit, on what not to say. Like the person who went around the garden and then, in the front yard, said, “You’ve done something with the back yard; what are you going to do in the front yard?” It’s thundering here, again.

  3. Deborah S. Farrell says:

    OK, now I really envious — I always admire the plants, but the Orioles?! I’d love to see them in my yard (we have Baltimore/Northern orioles). My first grade teacher, Mrs. Stohler, took the entire class to her house (2 whole blocks away!) to see an oriole nest in a tree in her front yard. Here it is over 50 years later, and I remember that. And the fact that she brought her tv in to school so we could watch the blastoff (or was it splashdown?) of one of the first Mercury space shots.

    The squirrels sprawl in one of my planters, too — nothing in it except a weed & dirt, so I don’t mind.

    We’ve actually had some sun and moderate temps yesterday and today. Wish I could send you some (minus a big chunk of Midwest humidity).

    And I’ll never had that recipe again! (Baby boomer status revoked for not knowing this song!)

    • paridevita says:

      Yeah, the orioles. Bullock’s orioles. The guy I live with thinks he’s the only one who has them, since when he says he has them, other people say they don’t. Orioles don’t like having their pictures taken. The guy I live with starts to lose his mind at twenty percent humidity …..

  4. Deborah S. Farrell says:

    I don’t know if it’s my eye-hand coordination, or the fact that I spilled coffee on my keyboard, but I am embarrassed by all my typos. 28% humidity here right now, which feels like heaven to me. I also meant to say that I read on a Snapple bottle cap once that praying mantises are the only insect that can turn its head. And I found my first Monarch caterpillar today, which makes me almost as happy as I would be if I had orioles in my yard (it might help if I put the jelly feeder out).

    • paridevita says:

      We can correct typos by editing the comment, but that’s too much trouble, and anyway, typos wouldn’t have a name if they weren’t part of type and typing. There used to be mature mantises clinging to the brick near the front door, and at night their eyes turn black, and when people and border collies would walk in and out of the front door, all these black eyes would turn to watch them. Creepy and cool at the same time. It’s 20 percent humidity here; feels sticky. Thundering. Dark. Everything is relative, or so I hear.

      • Ness says:

        Chess, we can only dream of 20% humidity. It was 81% here at 7 o’clock this morning.
        That would really give the guy you live with something to complain about.

      • paridevita says:

        Not for long, though. He would make the headlines….. “Ex-Colorado man blames humidity for rampage.” Personally, I like it. It makes my coat feel good, and gives me an excuse to do nothing but lie in my fort all day long.

  5. Tell the guy you live with he is not alone. I have Bullock’s orioles galore. I made a small jelly feeder I fill twice a day, and they have come back now for the third year with the fledglings learning to eat grape jelly. They also use the hummingbird feeder when the jelly runs out. They made a nest in one of my trees, and there was another nest in a tree across the street.

    • paridevita says:

      They like orange halves, too. The guy I live with has a bunch of oranges now, for the orioles. He might eat one or two, too. Eventually, white-faced hornets start feeding on the jelly, and the orioles have a hard time getting jelly, because the hornets are large. The one thing not done around here is filling up the bottom of the feeder with sugar water. Bees get in there and drown, and that’s not so great.

  6. The orioles, finches and sparrows all feed on the jelly but no hornets so far. My feeder is a simple plastic cup stuck on a native plum thorn and thus no place for sugar water. It is small enough so the birds don’t get covered with jelly when they feed. Sometimes the squirrel visits but not too often.

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