a hint of winter

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 news from our garden. You may remember me from such posts as “A Day Without Antlers” and “After The Solstice”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. One of my nicknames, if you didn’t know, is Captain Cuddles, and here I am looking the part. The guy I live with was going to write a series of children’s books featuring Captain Cuddles, played by me, of course, and my mommy was going to illustrate them. 14121402They had the same idea with my Uncle Pooka, and the “Mister Offlesoft” series of books, that also never came into being. Some of the working titles were Mister Offlesoft at the Seashore, Mister Offlesoft Takes a Holiday, Mister Offlesoft Solves a Mystery. If you didn’t know that the guy I live with was a complete sap, you probably do now.

Look what happened in our back yard this morning.14121403


14121404It was the same in the front yard, both side yards, and the “way back”, too.

If you look closely at the first picture you’ll notice that the Arizona cypress is missing. It was a few feet to the left of the trough there. (The trough has limestone from the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming, and is for Aquilegia jonesii, in case you were wondering.) Then if you look at the next picture you can sort of barely see the cypress’s branches, at the extreme right, so it was moved. Cypresses have shallow roots, I guess.

But the big deal was the snow. The guy I live with, who is still doing this14121405said the snow would be good for the seed pots, for insulation and so they don’t dry out, but the snow turned out to be really wet, which is weird. At this time of year it’s usually dry and fluffy, but it was wet. I slipped and fell on the driveway and the guy I live with was worried, but when he helped me up I wagged my tail to show that everything was okay. Border collies are much tougher than humans, I think.

But anyway the snow was wet, and it smelled really good outside.

Hardly anything else happened today. The guy I live with, who, as you may know by now, is totally obsessed with iris seeds, and has been fiddling with them every day. The batch of really old seed he got turned out not to be viable, which was disappointing, and then he decided not to keep the other seed in filter paper any more, because there was too much mold, which you usually don’t see in such a dry climate, so he went back to perlite, and transferred all the seeds.14121406There was some whining about how hard it was to see the emerging radicle against the background of the white perlite, and of course it doesn’t look like underwear now, but you can’t have everything.

I have lots of funny underwear stories to tell some day. I think I already told the one of my buddy Slipper racing out into the garden with a pair of underwear when the garden was on tour and he was a little puppy, but maybe not the time the guy I live with’s pants started giving him trouble while he was giving a talk on plants, and were slowly sliding down, but I don’t think I can tell that story just right. I’m pretty sure his pants stayed on, though he was never asked to do talks at that particular place again.

See how I get distracted?

You can see that there’s a little water in the plastic bags, so things should be okay. That’s what he says, though I can tell you he spends a lot of time down in the laundry room, where the little irises are, saying happy things. I don’t think he sings to them, though. Yet.

This came in the mail yesterday, and now he’s fretting over what to do about it.14121407I had to give him one of those looks that meant he needed to remember there was a budget for biscuits and my pills, so maybe he’ll be able to control himself just a little. He already sent two orders for seed, and there are only (“only”) about 150 B.E.F. Grower’s Pots (“best pots ever made”) left, and so he needs to think about that, too. Unless of course he decides to order plain old pots. But biscuits are very important.

There was a sunset a couple of nights ago that I forgot to post a picture of, so here it is now. It sort of goes with the silene pictured on the catalog. sunsetI’ve talked kind of a lot tonight. It’s probably about time for me to let you go. Here’s an excellent close-up of me, in case you needed one. 14121401


Until next time, then.


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14 Responses to a hint of winter

  1. Gorgeous sunset shot, Chess, how happy you must be to witness such glory over just the right mountains for sun’s disappearance. The green shed in the back of your snowy garden looks like it could serve as substitute for cave stable in wintry Bethlehem, lo, many centuries ago. I do find the spiritual in the garden views you’ve shared with us tonight. And, yes, you do look totally Captain Cuddles, and I wish I could reach through the screen and conduct suitable action. And, yes-er, I believe with your posts and the guy you live with’s photographs there is material enough to furnish “Captain Cuddles’ Singular and Splendid Adventures,” a book showcasing a border collie of surpassing charm, wit and mischievousness, able to throw a regal pose at instant notice.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; the guy I live with says I do this on purpose, to look more adorable and therefore get more biscuits. He would note, though, that my constant demand for biscuits is a good sign. Back when I was really sick (the first time) I wouldn’t eat anything, even the biscuits. Now all I think about is food.

  2. BTW, Chess, no need to share further details of the time the guy you live with’s pants started giving him trouble while he was giving a talk on plants, and were slowly sliding down. I think you’ve supplied enough particulars for my imagination to work with. Thank you for enhancing the Season’s merriment.

  3. Diana says:

    That’s a very showy silene. I need to go to the post office to get my new Alplains catalog.

  4. Sharon says:

    Yup, more plain old pots are in the future here too. Meyers ITML 4″ square ones. I am hoping to see the Alplains catalogue delivered in my mail box in the next few days too, even though I didn’t place an order last year. Have already gone through the online catalogue. My list is a long one this year thanks to this blog and the GYLW.

    • paridevita says:

      It doesn’t look like there’s much difference between the printed catalog and the online. Growing things from seed is fun (except for manzanitas; those are a trial). Orders have already been sent to the Czech Republic, too.

  5. vivianswift says:

    I would read a Mister Offlesoft book! But the one in which he Takes a Holiday…wouldn’t that be a wordless story?

    NOW I know what your seed close-ups remind me of: the ant farm I had when I was 10. I loved that ant farm. Now, of corse, I wouldn’t dream of keeping ants in captivity, but at 10 years old I thought it was the most amazing thing I’d ever seen. Those seeds give me the same Gulliverian experience.

    I am happy to know that your priorities are back to normal life, Chess. Food, Love, Sleep, in that order. Sounds like all is right in your world.

    • paridevita says:

      It probably should be “Goes on Holiday”, like to the Italian Riviera, say. Like the English do, on PBS anyway. The guy I live with had an art farm, too. I do seem to be back to normal. I know this sounds platitudinous, but the guy I live with takes each day one at a time. Each hour, really. I don’t get enough biscuits, though.

  6. vivianswift says:

    P.S. What font are you using for your blog? It has a very handsome “G”, verily it is the Pure Bred Border Collie of the Serifs.

    • paridevita says:

      I think it’s Times New Roman. Of course the ideal font would be the very elegant one used in The New Yorker, but that might be a bit pretentious.

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