a wet afternoon

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here to bring you the latest damp news from our rainy garden. You may remember me from such rain-related posts as “It Raineth Every Day” and “Waking Up To Rain”, among at least a few others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose, rather damp from my morning walk. The guy I live with says I look morose.14073003He said that I could have had to forage for food outside, in the rain, like other creatures do.14073002Well, I don’t have to do that, I guess, but I am worried that I won’t get to go on my afternoon walk, because it’s been raining, and raining a lot. Without any thunder, if you can believe that. I can’t.

You know how people say something and then you get all worried about what might happen, and then hardly anything happens, and things seem okay, and you feel really stupid for doing all this imagining about bad things that never happen? It was like that. They said it might rain two inches an hour for “several hours”, which I know could mean anything, but we were imagining all sorts of things, and all it did was rain all night long, and most of today.

This was the view from my fort, this morning.14073001Gardeners who live in climates where it rains fairly regularly might wonder what the trash cans and dish pans are doing out in the garden, like we’ve become weirdos or something. Well, I certainly haven’t become one, and the guy I live with said that the house plants, some of which were carried outside and are sitting on the patio right there, really like a good drink of rain water–the real thing–from time to time, so the rain was saved and poured onto the plants that didn’t get carried outside. The guy I live with said it was too much trouble to carry the big plants outside, and anyway, if he had, it would have stopped raining the minute he brought them outside. I guess there’s a rule about that.

And, of course, we have a movie for you. I suppose only people who live in places where it doesn’t do this all that often would make movies of such things. That’s the “Ming aralia”, Polyscias fruticosa, in front, there. A house plant.

It looks like it might stop raining in time for my afternoon walk. The guy I live with said he could make me a poncho out of a plastic trash bag if necessary, but I’d look really silly, even if no one was watching me. (That’s one of those “If a tree falls in the forest” things.)

What I’m worried about now is having to go out at Tinkle Time and stepping on a night crawler. I get the willies just thinking about it.

Maybe it won’t happen, after all.14073004


Until next time, then.

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12 Responses to a wet afternoon

  1. Fisher, the Wonder Dog says:

    Time to surround the house with rain barrels, if you have gutters and downspouts, that is! It’s surprising how quickly one can collect large quantities of rain water this way. My grammy says that she read somewhere that the reason plants do so much better when watered with rainwater is because the rainwater contains (formerly) atmospheric nitrogen. I don’t really know about such things but I do know that my grammy waters our garden with a hose during a dry spell and that seems to keep them going, but when the rain does finally come….WOW! What a huge difference it makes! It almost makes it look as if we know what we’re doing around here….almost.

    • paridevita says:

      That’s totally true. Even cactus prefer rain water to hose water, and, in fact, there’s been some really interesting research done in the cactus journal (CSSA) about the effect of a sudden lowering of pH at the roots of plants (cactus) that normally grow in limestone. A fertilizer derived from ammonium rather than urea seems to be preferred. I got to go on my walk, by the way, and it’s a darn good thing that the guy I live with has a bunch of extra towels.

  2. Deborah Farrell says:

    It’s raining and thundering in Washington, PA right now. It’s everywhere!

    • paridevita says:

      Thundering is one thing it did not do all during the rain. It must be that cloud-squeezing business. I suppose we got two inches or more in the last 24 hours.

  3. You show us rain porn, Chess, yes, rain porn. The guy you live with will explain to you what that means. Okay, perhaps not rain porn in your eyes, but that gorgeous view from your fort – you warm and dry, patio lovely and *wet* – how can you sustain morose? Although “damp” and “morose” do pair together. The squirrel is definitely damp but appears more alert than morose.
    When I was in Harrod’s umpty-umpty years ago, I found the department catering to canines. What to my wondering eyes did appear but Burberry rain ponchos. How my doggies would have loved sporting them, how I wanted them! How mulish a look appeared on my husband’s face. Today around our house we use a lot of towels too. Not that I remember rain. Or even damp. Morose I’m familiar with.
    In your last photo, you wear such a cosmopolitan look, a look of worldly acceptance. I suppose fitting in the afternoon walk would bring on the mood.

    • paridevita says:

      Indeed, my mommy bought ponchos for my grandpa Flurry and my uncle Pooka. My uncle Pooka wore his with aplomb, and walked past the neighbor dogs very stiff-legged, as though to say, “Look at me in my poncho.” You see, with purebred border collies, once they get the idea of walks, that’s a contract between us and our humans that we get walks for as long as we are physically able to, no matter what the weather. (Thunder and fireworks are part of an exclusionary clause.)

      We still have the ponchos, but, uh, they don’t fit me. I got pretty wet on my afternoon walk, but that was okay. There was a lot of water in the creek, that’s for sure.

      It’s funny how many rain movies we’ve made. One year, I think it was year before last, or last year, or some time, we had less than .7 inch of precipitation between about mid-July and the end of the year. Then there was 2002, when there was about an inch of precipitation the whole year, except for September when there was four inches of rain. Every year is different.

      It’s still raining, by the way.

  4. Dear Chess, please be advised that here in Northern California it would be a thrilling event to have rain visit our gardens. I will take some of that rain right now, as I wait for water restrictions to set in. Currently I am pondering showers vs. watering plants. It’s a tough decision.

    • paridevita says:

      The rain is pretty wonderful, and a whole lot nicer than day after day of thunderstorms bringing just a few sprinkles. Here in Denver we’ve never had serious water restrictions. We’ve had restrictions, and in fact are on them right now. Basically, you have to turn off the lawn sprinklers for a while. (That’s hyperbole, of course.) Oh, and you’re not allowed to hose down driveways and sidewalks.

      Somewhere he read that in some places in California people are being warned not to let their lawns go brown, which sounds very familiar, since many places in the suburbs insist on people having a green lawn in the front yard. The guy I live with was going to take a picture of one of our neighbors’ back yard, which was left unwatered and is a “beautiful” straw-yellow color, which shows how little rain we’ve really gotten here, and maybe he’ll do that tomorrow, before the lawn turns green with all the rain. In other words, since there has been some rain here, as earlier movies showed, it takes a lot of water to keep a lawn green here during the summer.

      I do vote for showers, and maybe saving the water somehow for the garden, too.

  5. Knicky Twigs says:

    I had to laugh out loud when I saw your picture Chess! Morose indeed! The video snippets of the rain are so nice. I love the softness of it, and am missing it where I am. The story of admonishments for brown lawn in a California suburb turned out to be someone neglecting their yard rather than merely being water-wise. Sometimes it’s a fine line sometimes, I guess.

    • paridevita says:

      Oh. Here they chastise people for brown lawns, and promote conservation at the same time. The rain is gone now, and it’s sunny and dry.

      • Knicky Twigs says:

        I’ve heard reports that some people are painting their lawns green! Glad your getting some sun. In your guy that you live with’s old stomping grounds of Long Beach, the rain has finally come; soft and musical. We’ve had occasional scary thunder storms with lightning strikes off the coast (hit and killed a swimmer in Venice Beach), and threatening clouds off and on for three weeks, but no rain until now.

      • paridevita says:

        People are really weird about lawns. The guy I live with remembers lawns in Southern California, not bluegrass like they have here, though the lawn at the house in Long Beach was dichondra. There’s a buffalo grass for Southern California, UC Verde, which would probably solve lots of problems. One doesn’t associate Southern California with thunderstorms, for sure.

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