slithering in the bindweed

Hello 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 the latest and greatest news from our garden, no matter how scary. You may remember me from such posts as “Slush Fun” and “The Expired Chicken”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic after-walk pose.14080110Both walks today were excellent, though the guy I live with says my toenails “could do with a good trimming”. I don’t like the sound of that. If I’d had to have had the surgery, they would have been trimmed then, but I didn’t, and they weren’t.

Here I am on my afternoon walk, heading home. The green is mostly from weeds. 14080111The guy I live with potted up (or, as they say in the UK, “potted on”) some plants for the plant sale to be held by the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society next month, so he had something to do today.

He also got some bulbs in the mail, and before planting them, took some pictures. He said that with erythroniums it helps to know which side is down, or up, depending on how you look at it. I suppose this is because he planted some upside-down last fall, and had to dig them up and replant them. These are shown right side up, he says.

Erythronium tuolumnense

Erythronium tuolumnense


Eyrthronium citrinum

Eyrthronium citrinum

They call these “dog tooth violets”, which is pretty dumb, since they aren’t violets, though I do see a vague resemblance with the tooth business. Anyway, these got planted right side up this time. Whew, huh.

And I have some pictures of plants, too. I think I’ve already showed pictures of some of these, but why not show more, I say. Here’s the colony of Ipomopsis rubra. Not totally in focus, but still a colony.

14080103There was a little tiny Calliope hummingbird out in the garden, but it didn’t get its picture taken, because the guy I live with didn’t have his camera at the time, and then when he went to get it, the hummingbird was gone. Typical.

Here’s Sphaeralcea ‘Desert Sunset’ in one of its many color forms. There are oodles of sphaeralceas around the garden, front and back. 14080102And Penstemon richardsonii. The guy I live with told me he saw this growing out of cliff faces when he and my mommy visited the Columbia River Gorge. 14080101Agastache ‘Coronado Red’. 14080100

Okay, that’s all of the plant pictures. Now, judging by the title of my post, you might suspect that I have something really scary to talk about, and indeed I do. The guy I live with would point out that I was safe in my fort while all of this happened, but that doesn’t make it any less scary, if you ask me.

If you’ve been following my posts for a while, you may have noticed that we have what some people might think is an overabundance of rodents. Not any more. I don’t really want to say why, but today, while the guy I live with was out trying to take flower pictures, this creature slithered into view.14080108He knew what this was right away. I mean besides it being a snake. It’s a western yellow-bellied racer. Coluber constrictor is its scientific name.

It was not small.14080109Talk about getting a case of the creeps. I might not be able to go outside ever again. The guy I live with used to tell me stories about a much larger one that lived in the garden when my Grandpa Flurry and my Uncle Pooka were here, and nothing bad ever happened to them. That doesn’t make me feel any better.

I think I’ll stay in my fort as much as possible, and just wait for winter.14080107


Until next time, then.


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10 Responses to slithering in the bindweed

  1. Fisher, the Wonder Dog says:

    We are all also waiting for winter!

    • paridevita says:

      The sun has been out, sort of, today, and it hasn’t been what I would call a hot summer at all, but it has been, according to the guy I live with, “the most mind-numbingly depressing” summer he’s ever experienced. Dark and sunless. I would have to agree, what with the constant thunder, but I (knock on wood) think that maybe that’s come to an end now, and maybe we’ll have a real summer after all. Winter, though, is my favorite season.

      • Fisher, the Wonder Dog says:

        On this, and so many other points, we are in total agreement. Winter brings ultimate joy!

      • paridevita says:

        The guy I live with used to like winter, when my mommy was here, of course, but now he’s kind of a stick-in-the-mud. I get to go on my walks no matter how freezing cold it is, but he usually starts some weird project like painting, or he listens to music and ignores me, so I have to entertain myself.

  2. Susan ITPH says:

    Now I really wish I could go to an RMC plant sale. The Wasatch chapter is still smallish and doesn’t have a sale. 😦

    • paridevita says:

      Sometimes there’s really cool stuff at the sale. People know to get out of the way when they see the guy I live with coming with his gigantic cardboard boxes and the acquisitive gleam in the eyes of one who has practiced long and hard at plant-grabbing. Some veterans of chapter plant sales know to suspect something is fishy when he declares a plant he’s looking at to be a “horrible weed that no one should plant”.

  3. Knicky Twigs says:

    Chess, you are looking as cute as ever. I wouldn’t worry too much about the slithering beast. I don’t think they prey on canine. Great pics! But I think I’m going to miss the mouse fights and mouse lips in the water dish. They were pretty cute too.

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