our winter, thus far

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Mani the somewhat small, though not totally tiny, 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 Velociraptor’s Day”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. The lighting is kind of weird, as you can see.16012501The guy I live with, who has been complaining about the ice for weeks on end (I admit I’ve slipped on it too, but only slightly, since I’m super-coordinated), says this has been a very boring winter, though the people on TV say we’re in for, and I quote, a “big warm-up”.

Mostly he’s been been sitting around, moping, and complaining about the ice. “The ice!”, he says. It’s true that the paths are thick with ice, and places on my walk are pretty, if not extremely, icy. So he hasn’t been doing much of anything.

You may wonder to what stage I have progressed since I got “Most Improved” at Day Care week before last, and, while I admit this may seem immodest, I did pretty well last week, too.16012508It’s burdensome being excellent, but the guy I live with says I can wear that burden lightly.

I play with him, some, too.16012502And sometimes put my ears back to pretend I’m a completely different dog. ( I was moving really fast here.)16012503Other than that, hardly anything is happening. The guy I live with got some seeds in the mail, and at first he thought he’d gotten a bag of oats.

Dasylirion wheeleri seed.

Dasylirion wheeleri seed.

And there are seedlings to look at. These are stomatiums. You know, “squishies”. 16012506

Some agave seedlings.

Agave toumeyana var. bella.

Agave toumeyana var. bella.

Oh, and there’s one kind of peculiar thing going on here. The guy I live with was going to make some more troughs, but instead of fooling around with cement, perlite, and peat moss, he decided to make boxes instead of troughs. This is the first one.troughI know, right? Boxes. The garden might look ridiculous with a bunch of boxes in it, but the guy I live with is determined to start a trend. He says the trough isn’t finished yet. I thought that what with people hearing there were boxes strewn all over the garden, let alone that they have to take out Velociraptor Insurance before visiting, we might have a very quiet summer here.

Oh, if you’re wondering what the wooden plank, or whatever, going across the patio is, it’s a thing that covers the electrical cord for the bird bath heater.  There’s usually a lot of sawing and nailing and things like that during the winter. Construction stuff, you might say. And of lot of just sitting around. This sometimes involves thinking, but not often.

I guess, now that you’ve been brought up to date, I should let you go.16012504

Until next time, then.

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18 Responses to our winter, thus far

  1. Patricia C says:

    I realize it’s a lot for a pup to keep track of, but I so love your posts. It’s good to be up-to-date on your garden happenings. Cheers.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. I guess I would post more if anything actually happened here, but it’s been a long winter, for one of us, anyway. (I know, winter is only a month old, but we usually don’t have ice lying around for weeks, according to the Weather Expert here.)

  2. Barb K says:

    Burdensome being excellent, Mani? Well I’m sorry to say, I wouldn’t know. I hope to be just excellent enough to sprout Cyclamen balearicum and repandum and Paeonia obovata because that’s the seed I just planted. An adventure for me. Is that Dasylirion as poky as the pictures on Google make it seem? Do you play in a big room at day care Mani? Is there an area for “business”? Will there ever be a picture of you and your friends?

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks, no, it’s not so burdensome. The guy I live with says if the cyclamen seed isn’t fresh, it can be germinated by being left in the dark for a while. A couple of weeks. And yes, the dasylirion is ultra-poky. Day Care is, like, being in what the guy I live with says is a “kennel”, indoors, that is, where we can still play with each other, but when the weather is nice, it’s outdoors, with grass and stuff. On days when it’s both good and bad weather, we go back and forth. The guy I live with says there probably won’t be any pictures, because my playmates might get jealous. I mean, Star Student and all, you know?

      • Barb K says:

        Thanks, I’ll put them in the dark right now. Got them from Plant World in England, no idea how fresh. Have you seen this? Probably but if not it’s super pictures of nice ice. http://www.boredpanda.com/natural-winter-snow-ice-art/

      • paridevita says:

        The guy I live with looked at the bored panda thing, and said “Wow”. We don’t have such things here. No ice storms, not much frost (too dry), none of that. Cyclamen seeds in the dark, with a plastic bag, folded at the top but left open, so moist but not soaking, checked for mold every so often, and something “should” happen within a couple of weeks. The guy I live with says that he can see cyclamen here, now. Funny, I thought I ate them all……

  3. Susan ITPH says:

    Boxes? Are you sure those aren’t beefy trough forms?

    • paridevita says:

      Nope, those are troughs. The guy I live with said that he’s tired of breathing cement, and having to mix the hypertufa, and then washing out the wheelbarrow afterwards. It’s a trend; just watch.

  4. Renee says:

    Dear Mani, thank you for your update – I’m sorry your first winter hasn’t been more exciting! Perhaps you could convince yprhe guy you live with to go on longer walks or even a road trip? I’d love to see more pictures of your walk! Your area is so different than mine.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; well, the walks are so icy, in places, that the guy I live with is hesitant about taking the point-and-shoot along with him. Things are so alarmingly slippery. He says he’s not used to horribly slippery and slide-y type winters, and doesn’t know what to do about it, except complain, which he’s very good at, though I should say that when he slips on the ice it’s pretty scary, since I know he’s not nearly as coordinated and leapingly limber as I am. Parts of my regular walk have been unwalked-on for quite a while because of the sheerness and slipperiness of the ice. We were walking over to this parking lot where we could both walk without fear of slipping and sliding, but I decided that all the cars zipping by were completely scary, and so we stopped going there, and now we go a different way, which is sort of the way we used to go, but a bit less icy. The reason for all the ice is all the walking on it that’s been done, either by me, in the back yard, or by people, walking here and there. And also because it’s been freezing every night, which the guy I live with says is “totally weird”. We both slipped on the ice this evening but neither of us fell down, thank goodness.

      • I live at the beach, granted, but aren’t ice cleats a thing?

      • paridevita says:

        Well, uh, the guy I live with says “maybe”, but they would be something he would have to buy, you know, and then wear, “looking like an idiot”, and so, well, you know. And then there’s the “warm up”, which is supposed to happen, and may actually, and so, well you never know, you know? I mean, he would rather complain than spend money on something that might keep him from slipping on the ice, because, well….you know.

  5. Betty says:

    Dear Mani, SS (star student):
    All of the four-legged buddies, including mine, are pretty bored with winter. We don’t have ice now, we have rain, ugh, rain, days of it! Walks are really shortened, ugh. I don’t know if slipping or getting wet, just soaked is worse. Bottom line a lot of time is spent looking out the window or watching TV while I read. Winters do have long boring times, hang in there, Mani, Spring is coming!
    Also, and this is sort of a secret Mani, the Border Collies are always the Star Students at day care or Obedience Classes. It’s just the way things go.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I did know that purebred border collies were the stars of anything having to do with obedience, and maybe someone should tell that to the guy I live with, who says I never listen to him at all. It’s supposed to be nice here for a while; I can hardly wait.

  6. carol says:

    I Love garden boxes. Cant wait to see what they develop in to

  7. Well, Mani, I read your latest post in the desert of palms and springs. Cold at night, but absolutely no ice. Lots of teensy dogs, all being obedient, the kind of doggies seniors tag around with. That’s how you can tell your guy is still junior because he tags along with you, most improved star student, and your alternative identity of velociraptor supreme. Construction is something best left to juniors too. You’re well advised to stay out of any activity involving saws. Back home at the beach now, forecast is for a weekend of heavy rain, high winds and surging surf. Perfect time to put my potted native plants into the ground. Do keep us up on both the box and seed evolution.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I do like the idea of being supreme at something, especially velociraptor. The guy I live with could use some serious chomping, since he’s all mopey about “the awful winter” we’ve been having….ice still on the ground and more snow (lots more snow) predicted for early next week….but I think it will eventually come to an end and the weather will be reasonable again. He says he’s not used to winters where the snow stays longer than two or three days and it’s like having houseguests who won’t leave. The kind who talk incessantly about the same thing. Like he doesn’t talk about the ice constantly. The average precipitation for December, January, and February is, or used to be, half an inch for each month. Hardly any snow. The big snow comes in March, April, and, of course, May. But that’s changed since the winter of 06-07, I hear. (About every minute.) At least most of the ice has melted where I go on my walks. He blames the ice on the garden paths on “hot puppy paws” and is going to spend the day tomorrow chipping away at all the ice. Wearing goggles, I might add. I am forced to stay inside when there’s sawing, though the last bit was done in the garage.

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