at the arboretum

Greetings and salutations 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, or, in this case, from somewhere else. You may remember me from such posts as “Guarding The Fort” and “Time To Get Serious”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. (Yes, I know my toenails need to be clipped, but don’t tell anyone else, okay?)14081627I was left alone again today. Not for very long, really, but I didn’t get to go, which was a disappointment, but the guy I live with said that where he went was to a place where no pets were allowed.

I don’t consider myself to be a “pet”; I’m the guy I live with’s best buddy, a pal, if you will, but he said that other people don’t make that distinction, so I had to stay home.

He went to the Chatfield Arboretum. It’s part of Denver Botanic Gardens. It’s pretty much right down the street from us.

First, there was the obligatory stop to take a picture of the outcrop of Niobrara Shale on the way there. The white stuff is the shale. 14081602Looking the other way (south).14081603Looking across the road (southeast). The arboretum is down in the valley there, and off to the east. 14081604The arboretum is on the site of an old farm, built in the 1860s, and Deer Creek runs through it.

There’s a garden of what you might call midwestern prairie plants. We don’t grow any of these. It’s mostly in a “swale” (I didn’t know what that was until it was explained to me).14081605 14081608 14081607 14081606

14081609 14081615 14081614 14081613 14081612 14081611 14081610Here’s the farm house.14081616



14081623He wandered around some, but he said he was perspiring so much he thought he might lose his mind. I don’t know how he could tell, if he did. It’s been really humid here, for us.

tree form of Hippophae rhamnoides

tree form of Hippophae rhamnoides

bark of the black locust, Robinia pseudoacacia

bark of the black locust, Robinia pseudoacacia





14081624I know what lives in here, because I grew up with them when I was really super extra little.14081625The guy I live with says he’s always wanted one of these.14081626Well, that’s where he went. Then he came back, and everything was okay. I knew it would be. It hasn’t thundered yet, and it’s pretty hot, so I think I’ll just hang out in my fort.14081628


Until next time, then.


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6 Responses to at the arboretum

  1. Kim Bone says:

    Oh, my brother just strolled me around there a couple of weeks ago…Your beautiful pictures brought back how fun that was…Kim

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; it was really humid there, and eventually the photographer started to wilt. The chicken pictures (pictures of the chickens) didn’t turn out so well. I bet the place is beautiful in the fall.

  2. Boy oh boy, Chess, did your post revive memories of a happy time spent tramping the Shaw Nature Reserve. Like Chatfield, it is part of a more urban botanic garden, the one in St. Louis. Story goes pollution was killing plants in thecity garden so overseers bought a place out in the country where treasures would be transferred. Then the economy went bad, companies went under or went away. St. Louis air is not exactly pure these days, but the garden flourishes. The farmstead about 35 miles out is a reserve with an old farmhouse and outbuildings — and even a rose garden like back in the day. Chatfield and the Shaw are look-alikes, and I know your guy was as pleased as we were that the reserve exists — looks like he had a fine day for his visit. If he had gotten closer to the goat or the goat closer to him, I believe he would have discovered he really didn’t want one of the creatures after all. My family had a goat as I was growing up, and I hold it against them still. Geese were no fun either.
    You are so *lolling,* Chess, in your last photo.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; well, my buddy Slipper “reeked of goat poop” when he came to his new home, and reeked for quite a while. We were both raised with (not by) goats, though in different places, but by the same person. Actually, though, you know, I’ve never thought that to be a bad thing, more of a refinement, you might say. One time my Uncle Pooka rolled in fresh raccoon poop right before he had to have a checkup at the bad place, and he was very proud of the way he smelled. (Reportedly, he was the only one who felt that way.) If things had been different, which they never are, the guy I live with and my mommy would have gone, with her taking the pictures, and with him trying to get her to take pictures of plants rather than goats, chickens, ducks, and miniature horses. They had those there. Miniature horses. The guy I live with has probably told the story of the first time my mommy saw them at Timberline Gardens, and how he could see hearts floating up into the air like in a cartoon, and he had to go over and say, gently but firmly, that they weren’t getting a miniature horse. I know how to loll, don’t I?

  3. Forgot to add: Wonderful photographs of the reserve. Great tree bark. Evocative shots of the house and garden surround — I grew up on a place just like that. *sniff* Bostonia now an ugly suburb. Happy Chatfield exists intact and entire.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I’m always interested in bark. Ha ha, huh. The guy I live with said he wanted to be evocative, but the humidity almost killed him. One icky thing is all the development on both sides, north of south, which makes vistas rather unattractive. Ranch style houses being a thing of the past, you see. We live in a development (built in 1971) so we don’t want to sound too hypocritical.

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