some autumn color

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, who’s too distracted to be able to function properly. You may remember me from such posts as “Under The Weather” and “Trials And Tribulations”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.14101201Events of this morning have revealed that I’m pretty sick, and I’m going in for ultrasound tomorrow morning. My doctor said it could be some upper gastrointestinal inflammation, so we’ll see. You can probably guess what the guy I live with thinks is going to happen.

So I don’t want to dwell on this too much. I know I could make a whole post just about me, but I’m not feeling so hot, as maybe you can tell by my characteristic pose.

It was “desperately gloomy” and chilly yesterday, and then rained, about a quarter of an inch (1.25cm). They said it could snow, and freeze, but it didn’t do either of those things.

Instead, the morning was clear, if a bit cool. I prefer cool weather. 14101302


The guy I live with got some daffodil bulbs in the mail (yes, believe it or not, he sometimes orders bulbs from regular places), and, again, soaked them in water. He says daffodils need to form roots as quickly as possible in our climate, and that soaking them triggers rooting, whereas (I do say “whereas” sometimes) just planting the dry bulbs would make it difficult to get water to them in heavy soil, unless it rained for days. Maybe I already said this. The guy I live with repeats himself so often that I’ve picked up the habit.

He did figure out that soaking them in the bag made more sense than soaking them out of the bag.


(He forgot to change the settings on the point-and-shoot, which is why these pictures are so small. Now come real pictures.)

Various forms of Salvia greggii are still in full bloom. I think this one is ‘Cold Hardy Pink’.



And ‘Furman’s Red’. There are bunches of other forms in the garden here, for testing, because the guy I live with says that there’s no place where Salvia greggii grows in the wild where it gets really cold, and so he thinks if these are hardy, all the others must be too. That’s proved the case with ‘Wild Thing’, ‘Grenadine’, and some others.



And some autumn color. Colorado isn’t known for autumn color, except for aspen, so gardeners have to do most of the work. (This next one is a native plant, though.)

Ribes aureum

Ribes aureum

Cotoneaster acutifolius

Cotoneaster acutifolius

And the tecoma ‘Orange Jubilee’ is flowering like crazy. The pot that this is in is extremely heavy, and when it gets moved inside, the guy I live with employs “plant-moving language” which I understand is similar to “car repair language”. But much different from “dropping a fully-planted trough on his finger” language. We have a regular tecoma, T. stans, that’s got tons of buds, and also gets moved inside. My mommy grew that one from seed, from Southwestern Native Seeds, about a quarter century ago. It’s pure yellow. 14101206Incidentally, the beauty of the plants is matched by the fact that if he leaves them outside and it freezes, they grow back, just like if he forgets to water them.

Well, that’s my news. I admit that it really is more about me than the plants, but I go in early tomorrow, and my doctor has known me since I was extremely tiny, and I don’t have to be put under for the ultrasound. I can just lie there. Like I always do.


Until next time, then.

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40 Responses to some autumn color

  1. petabunn says:

    Good morning (this part of the world) Chess. I am so sorry you are feeling worse not better but after you’re ultrasound tomorrow your personal doctor can provide a better treatment for your tummy. You must stay positive, chin up and all that British stuff. You just rest and enjoy the better weather and your walks for today and tomorrow is a brand new day. Thinking of you Molly and my mum.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I feel pretty icky, but I hear I’m getting some attapulgite in a little while. It does get squirted in my mough, but it’s to help soothe my tummy, and it tastes really good.

  2. Cheryl says:

    Ah, gee, Chess. I know I shouldn’t be, but I’m worried. Sure hope you’re up and wagging your tail, soon. Keeping you in our thoughts. Ed and my purrson, Cheryl.

  3. Diane Lancaster says:

    Chess – I will sure be thinking about you tomorrow morning. After all, you are one of my favorite people in the entire world! I’m sure the doc will get you fixed up, and you’ll soon be enjoying some nice cool walks with the guy you live with.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; my buddy Slipper did ultrasound and said it was no big deal. Though in his case the outcome was not so good. Likely scenario, upper g.i. inflammation, and steroids for treatment.

  4. Chess – Hang in there mate. Sorry you have to suffer these indignities at the hands of the medical system but I feel sure you will be up and about like a 2yo in no time. Just lie back, relax, and think of these long, green, dreamy walks into late summer afternoons.
    Love the salvias. Such great late autumn value.
    Cheers, Marcus from Down Under

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; the guy I live with has probably been to my doctor’s office every week for months now. I’m lucky to have someone pay so much attention to me. He worked in telephone repair way back when and could tell stories about the way some dogs were treated, but he never has. (I guess there are people who are treated even worse, too.) I hear the salvias are great. I don’t see red, but I can see Salvias azurea, reptans, and the greggii one called ‘Black Cherry’. There’s some seed of Salvia pinguifolia which will be sown later. Another blue one, so I can see it. Not that I’ll be thrilled or anything.

  5. KathyB says:

    Sorry to hear that Chess is having problems. Having been through many dog illnesses over the years I know that it is very wrenching to watch. A good experienced vet is really invaluable in my book, which I am certain you have already. Actually, after all these years I sometimes feel that I know more about a dogs anatomy then I do my own. Hope everything goes okay.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; yes, my doctor has known me since I was very tiny, and my mommy really liked her. I got some attapulgite squirted into my mouth this afternoon, and it tasted good, and made my tummy happy. I even went on my walk this afternoon. The guy I live with planted daffodils. It took him all day to plant three dozen bulbs.

  6. Deborah S. Farrell says:

    Oh, Chess! I thought (hoped) you were just being finicky. Daisy, one of the dogs I live with, had an ultrasound a while back, and she says it’s no big deal, but she didn’t like getting her belly shaved. The things we humans put you through. And vice versa. Me, and all three of my pups, hope they find something that’s easily treated, and everything is back to normal soon.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. Actually, the guy I live with was relieved that things finally presented themselves, as doctors would say. It was kind of cool being all mysterious and inscrutable and unfeedable and stuff, but now I guess we’ll know what’s wrong.

  7. Around here, too, it would take all day to plant three dozen bulbs. That’s just how long it takes. Especially when worry sits heavy on the mind. Plus, time out for squirting attapulgite. The colors in the photos are so *autumn.* The California Native Plant sale is this weekend, and I plan on buying salvia there and a different kind of sage at the herb farm. I have a very nice corner of salvias, but nothing to compete with your display, Chess. The guy you live with made a great color choice with the tecoma. Makes me long for pumpkin pie. Every year, Chess, I have an MRI. My advice is to breathe deeply and think happy thoughts, perhaps of cheese types you favor. MRIs are mostly boring, but good because they tell what kind of medicine to give so you can bound through snow banks this winter. Happy to hear you went on your walk. Cheerio, Chess, think cheesy thoughts.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; at the plants sale, the guy I live with would buy every form of Salvia clevelandii there is. “it smells like California”. Unfortunately not hardy here. Very unfortunately. He tried ‘Pozo Blue’, too, with high hopes, but it wasn’t happy here. My mommy used to make pumpkin pie (she was in charge of that) and also sweet potato pie. Both are excellent, right out of the oven, or cold. Preferably with huge piles of whipped cream on top. My buddy Slipper and I would get a plate of turkey, stuffing, and all the other things at Thanksgiving. I guess I’m lucky that the guy I live with is observant, and could tell that there was something amiss this morning.

  8. You will both be very much on my mind tomorrow.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. We have to get up ridiculously early. 7:30 in the morning. I like to sleep in until after 9, like a normal retired person. In fact, they guy I live with has to kind of roll me out of bed, it’s so comfortable.

  9. Ness says:

    This morning we had to visit the doctor for our (free-for-old-fogies) flu vaccinations. I said to the receptionist “We’ve come to be stuck with needles” – because, of course, I’ve been thinking of you and the guy you live with all the while, dearest Chess.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I was just supposed to go in for ultrasound, but I STILL managed to get stuck with needles. I don’t know why this always happens. I got a shot of steroid. And some Pepcid for my tummy.

  10. Tracey says:

    Dear Chess,

    My diabetic Maine Coon frequently got ultrasounds because his vets worried about his liver. They are not a big deal. You are lucky to have a capable and devoted vet. Your NYC fans will be sending you good wishes.

    This this question is for your guy. We are bulb planting on Saturday at my library. Should i soak the bulbs? If so, when? Thanks.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; my liver got looked at, and pancreas, and kidneys (I didn’t know I had all those things), and there wasn’t anything bad. I know I have a stomach. The guy I live with says that soaking bulbs for about ten minutes before planting—especially if they’re daffodils—is probably a good idea. He got that from Janis Ruksans, who definitely knows about bulbs, and it makes perfect sense. What this does is make sure the bulbs get water before they go into the ground. I mean, they’re going to get water anyway, right? But soaking just makes sure that if you watered, or it rained, and the water didn’t penetrate the soil enough, that the bulbs have a head start.

  11. Alison says:

    Oh Chess! I sure hope you feel better soon, and that your master finds that his worry was for naught. That Orange Jubilee Tecoma is lovely.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. His worry is almost always for naught. Tecomas are easy to grow, and make good pot plants at our house, though the pots are super heavy. Being a purebred border collie, I’m intelligent enough to know when the pots get moved inside, that I’m off hiding somewhere, so he doesn’t make me help.

  12. Vivian says:

    All I can say to you, dear Chess, is Be well, be well, be well, be well, well, be well, be well, be well, be well, be well, be well, well, be well, be well, be well,be well, be well, be well, well, be well, be well, be well,be well, be well, be well, well, be well, be well, be well.
    Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry…thats what I’m saying to me.

    • paridevita says:

      Well, thanks, a lot, but I does seem like I’m on the mend now.
      I did hurt one of my toenails pretty badly, so my walks aren’t very long, but the medicine I’m getting right now is specifically for what I have, and then I get Pepcid a/c, and my anti-seizure meds, but now I’m taking fewer pills than the guy I live with. (He went to a compounding pharmacy where they mix up the medicine, to get my fancy pills.)
      The guy I live with was sad yesterday, after I came home, because my mommy wasn’t here to share the news with, but things are better today.

  13. Just read your comment update and am so relieved!

  14. christine says:

    Bless your sweet fuzzy face and every other part of you, dear Chess!
    My state of well being is very much dependent on my kitty’s well being, so I understand how you both feel, being so connected.
    Here’s to being and feeling well! So relieved that it is treatable, and will, hopefully, soon be a distant memory.
    Hope it helps that we are all with you in spirit, wishing you both well.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks, it does help. My doctor said I might feel like eating later tonight, or tomorrow, when the guy I live with goes to a place called a formulating pharmacy, where they’re mixing up the medicine. Eye of newt and stuff like that, I guess. This is still something that needs to be treated and watched carefully. There’s probably no need to say that since I was my mommy’s special angel, he sees her when he cuddles me, and so there’s that association, but I’ll say it anyway. The guy I live with tells me that there’s a cat in the front yard, and that there’s one (not always the same one), almost every day, sitting in the unmowed blue grama (our lawn), waiting for something to happen. I kind of object to a cat freely using my front yard, and probably up to no good, but hardly anything ever happens here, so maybe the cats are just sunning themselves.

  15. Deborah S. Farrell says:

    I had to come back to see if an update had been posted. So glad to see that they did find what was bothering you & that it does seem to be an easy fix. Pepcid sure works for Daisy, and it’s a small enough pill I can hide it in her food & she eats it without a problem. Hope to see a post in a day or two that details the return of appetite!

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; it turns out, and maybe I shouldn’t say this in print, but creatures like me do not need to eat every day. We have evolved to be able to go relatively long periods of time between eating. Like say I was out on the savanna, you know, with a can opener, I could wait until I found a Whole Foods or some place like that, and I would be okay. Humans, obviously less evolved, have to eat constantly. I know this from personal experience.

  16. vivianswift says:

    Thank you for the good news!! I was so worried for my favorite garden blogging pure bred border collie and now I can send you lots of happy Brie-conjuring thoughts.

    • paridevita says:

      As a matter of fact, the guy I live with brought me home some Brie, and I ate some. It was good. Then I ate three slices of Applegate roast beef, and that was good too. The guy I live with was pretty happy about that.

  17. Knicky Twigs says:

    Yea!…and whew!

    • paridevita says:

      The turkey was excellent. I had some today, too. There’s charcoal being started in the charcoal starter, out on the patio, and I understand that we having salmon later on.

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