the green horrors

Greetings and salutations everyone; yes, indeed, once again it is I, Mani the smallish purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here to bring you some very scary news. You may remember me from such terrifying posts as “Fear And Loafing”, among at least a few others.

Here I am in a characteristically quizzical pose.15080204I like to ponder the mysteries of the universe from time to time, and I often look like this when I’m doing so. I haven’t figured out very much yet.

I do know, now, that eating “gross dead stuff” is not something that the guy I live with likes to countenance, and also he says that I eat too much stuff that I find on the ground, but he should know that’s what puppies, which I’m, do. You just have to try practically everything because you never know what might be good.

But anyway, it’s been really dry here, like the whole garden has dried out for almost a month, despite the occasional sprinkle, and the guy I live with says that’s okay, but I have to stay in when he sets the sprinkler, which he doesn’t do very often, but some new plants have been planted, and so they need water, he says. Other than that, hardly anything has been going on, and though I know I can make a post out of almost nothing, it’s kind of a lot of work, especially when we devote so much time to excellent napping.

Well, one thing has happened. Or really three. All related. Last night what I and the guy I live with thought was a bird flew into the kitchen, but then the guy I live with said it was a moth, which is a little new to me. I’ve seen them fly around, but none that big. He caught it, and put it in the “bug jar”, where it barely fit. He posted a similar picture on Facebook, so if you saw that one, this one is almost the same. 15080202This is an Achemon sphinx, which feeds on the native grape vines here, and there are a lot of those. They just appear, and then grow. The vines, I mean.

He let the moth go out in the front yard, but then I started barking out on the back patio. There was something in the grape vine. Or kind of on it, really.

The guy I live with said that was called a caterpillar, and it was what the sphinx looked like before it became a moth. I wondered if there were such a thing as a dogerpillar and that I could be one of those, and later get wings, but the guy I live with said no, I wasn’t going to get any wings.

He made me come inside and I didn’t care for that very much.

Then tonight, I was out on the patio, minding my own business, and enjoying the breeze. We haven’t had very many breezes this year, and I wondered how there could be enough oxygen if the air is still day after day. He said that plants give off oxygen, which I didn’t know, but that was good because I’d been thinking I was breathing the same air day after day since it wasn’t moving at all. The stuff you learn when you’re little.

So what happened was there was this plop right in front of me, and I didn’t like that at all. The guy I live with agreed that sudden plops right in front of you can be scary, and this one definitely was. Something fell on the patio, and it was ultra-scary.15080203I really thought it needed to be attacked, because guarding the guy I live with is one of my duties, but he said the caterpillar was harmless, and was going somewhere to make a cocoon, so it could become one of those sphinx moths. He picked it up and put it out in the front yard. I still didn’t like the idea of things like that just plopping down in front of me and it was a little disturbing.

The guy I live with says I’m safe for now, and so I guess I can let you go, since things have calmed down enough that I can sleep.

"Oh, I'm brave! I'm just careful!"

“Oh, I’m brave! I’m just careful!”


Until next time, then.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to the green horrors

  1. melanie says:

    Thunder, lightening, poured rain for 3 hours yesterday afternoon. The weather lady messed up the foothills forecast.

  2. Barb K says:

    Things that plop vs things that buzz….buzzing is scarier. Do you know black flies, the “bane of the north woods”? I’m sure not since you are very young. I hope you never learn. They take a quarter inch chunk of flesh with them,when they fly off. My one remaining old guy who lived in the woods with us hops around in a panic when anything buzzes around him and he is no hopper at his age. And he’s deaf, but he still knows and remembers. Many things to learn, many, Mani.

    • paridevita says:

      Some things to learn are not so much fun, but the guy I live with says we don’t have black flies here. We have very scary slow-moving caterpillars, which, believe me, is more than enough.

  3. Deborah S. Farrell says:

    You wouldn’t like it here, Mani. I bring in monarch caterpillars and raise them to butterfly-hood on my kitchen counter (in a container). I have a chrysalis that looks like it will e-close (hatch out) tomorrow, and I just brought in a medium-sized caterpillar today. People who do this refer to caterpillars as ‘cats’ — I think dogs might find that confusing, even exceptional pure-bred border collies such as yourself.

    • paridevita says:

      The lady of the house used to raise cecropias here, as I understand it, though none have been seen here since then. It’s a good thing we don’t have those here, because I hear the caterpillars are very scary. The guy I live with says the word eclose is from the French meaning to open. He knows so much. And says so all the time. I just learned today that the downstairs bedroom is much cooler than the rest of the house, and that it’s got flies in it, so I spent some time down there, watching them, and staying cool, on this hot, dry (14 percent humidity), windy day.

  4. The Achemon sphinx moth so flabbergasted me that I took a couple days to post. We have native grapes growing We’ve already early-harvested for verjus and we’re waiting for the rest to purple up. I sure hope there’re no swollen green tube things hiding. Thanks to your warning, Mani, I go by the vine – strung across our front wall – saying, “no plopping, no plopping.” So like the French, using a word like “eclose” to mean opening, n’est pas? In your last photo, dear dog, you look so careful, so brave. You look like a dog who’s up for a lot of fun.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I am indeed extremely careful and brave. The guy I live with borrowed that from Goofy in the cartoon “Lonesome Ghosts”. The caterpillars have these horns on one end which makes them even more scary, and yes, they do feed on grapes. You may not find this interesting, because the guy I live with does, but “eclose” reminded him of the aria in Berlioz’s Damnation of Faust, “Voici les roses/ de cette nuit ecloses”…that’s how his mind works. He thinks about the way he thinks and the way other people (including me) think way too much. Like for instance, and this is super weird if you ask me, when people say something, he sees the words in his mind’s eye. Do other people? I don’t. Sorry, I’m going on more than I should, because it’s getting close to my bed time.

      • Barb K says:

        Does that slow down the conversation a bit? Centuries ago when I took typing class every time someone spoke to me I had to type the words out in my head.

      • paridevita says:

        No; they just appear. The guy I live with mostly has conversations with himself and me, and I mostly say yodeling kinds of things.

      • Hey, I earned my living as a verbatim reporter. When someone speaks I *write* every word in my head. I think there is a word for seeing words in mind’s eye, though, so maybe, Mani, your guy is not so super weird after all. The Achemon sphinx moth is still very super weird.

      • paridevita says:

        No; he’s pretty weird. It’s like synesthesia, seeing words as they are heard, but then he can also see where words are on a page. Like Henry Mitchell’s quote about dry shade is on the right-hand page slightly above the middle. Page numbers are not looked at, deliberately. The guy I live with says that poplar sphinxes are the same size but don’t have the black, or dark red on them. Then there are tomato worm moths, which are also very big. Not that I like talking about this. You may remember how the border collie who lived here before me, Chess, felt when a moth flew into our bedroom. There was also a time when a wren flew into the bedroom and was trapped between the curtains and the window. It wasn’t really trapped, but it thought it was, and fluttered a lot. Those are scary things. I have a fort upstairs, with a blanket in it, and my Bedtime Giraffe, and a night light on the wall, just in case.

  5. Mark Mazer says:

    Temple Grandin, an animal scientist in CO, has some wonderful takes on words as images in her books and lectures. Fascinating stuff.

    The most fun we ever had was when bats entered the old farmhouse in CT. Dogs and the boys were amused; elder female child, not so much.

  6. Ness says:

    I am assuming that the night light is on the bedroom wall, not on the wall of your fort – although I can imagine TGYLW installing a personal one for you. Sometimes in this life, a night light is the most comforting thing on earth. I have just learned that in an ancient woodland nearby, Fineshade Wood, glow-worms have been observed. Glow-worms must be Nature’s night lights. I would dearly love to see one, but we are not brave enough to venture into the woods at night!..Do you have glow-worms where you are, Mani?

    • paridevita says:

      No, we don’t have glow-worms here, or fireflies, though there are some in Colorado. Those would probably be scary. The night light is plugged into a wall outlet, but my fort is close to it, so it’s almost like it was in my fort. Which is very cozy, by the way; both of them are. (The main, kitchen fort is the same size as the upstairs fort.)

  7. Diana says:

    Speaking of bats….I just read that one of my favorite authors, and a Colorado resident, Connie Willis, was bitten by a bat a few weeks ago. It was in her bedroom and her cat attacked it, and somehow in the fray she was bitten. I know this is off the subject of you, Mani, and that you would never attack a bat.

    • paridevita says:

      No, I know we have them here, and the guy I live with says we even have a Bat House, possibly never rented out, and I see and hear them in the evening (I almost wrote “of an evening”), but they also have teeth, and, you know, ick. And then there’s the whole undead thing to have to worry about. It’s always something.

Comments are closed.