not quite like me

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Mani the somewhat little, though at the same time fairly substantially large, purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here to bring you the most up-to-date news from our garden. You maybe remember me from such posts as “Another New Toy”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. The usual biscuit-on-the-head ploy. 16030400I know the blog has gone postless for a while, but that’s apparently because the guy I live with is suffering from spring fever, which I guess is a fairly harmless disease, but makes him all obsessed and interested in things, instead of his usual way of doing, well, next to nothing.

Here are some pictures to prove it. The guy I live with says the snowdrops are “late”, which I guess maybe they might be, not having been paying attention last year, but whatever he says, right?

Galanthus 'Gerard Parker'

Galanthus ‘Gerard Parker’

Remember when the guy I live with bought a hundred snowdrops? This one, with the green tips, was part of that batch. He said they don’t come with green tips unless you pay a lot extra.

snowdropAnd there are lots of cyclamen.

Cyclamen coum

Cyclamen coum

And crocuses. There are lots of different crocuses in the garden here, I understand.

Crocus sieberi var. atticus 'Bowles' White'

Crocus sieberi var. atticus ‘Bowles’ White’

Crocus ancyrensis 'Golden Bunch'

Crocus ancyrensis ‘Golden Bunch’

If you ask me, though, there are a lot more interesting things than that. Like, the other day, I was headed out the door on my morning walk, when all of a sudden here comes Norm, trotting down the street.

I wanted to meet Norm and made the guy I live with (who kept saying “No”, which sounds and awful lot like “Go”) walk very fast. He’s kind of ancient, you know, and so doesn’t walk as fast as I’d like, even when I tried to walk sort of sideways to drag him along behind me so I could go faster. The guy I live with forgets that I get excellent report cards at Day Care and actually know what humans call “commands”, though they’re really just suggestions, and he never uses any of them, so I just forge straight ahead.

We followed Norm down the path, but then he headed south, along the creek path, which the guy I live with said that really, he, and his pal Celeste, had made over the years, from their den far to the south of here, but suddenly Norm turned around and headed back north, so I tugged and tugged, and made the guy I live with follow me, since he was holding the leash, so he had to go with me. The guy I live with said that Norm was afraid of him, not me, and that Norm was actually slightly bigger than me. I knew, of course, than Norm was afraid of me, being tough and fierce and stuff like that, and didn’t think that “Hemingway with a trowel” was all that scary. Eventually Norm took the part of the canal road that we don’t go on, because it’s surfaced with chunks of concrete, and no fun to walk on, and so we stopped, and Norm did too.coyote

The guy I live with explained that Norm was not quite like me, even though he seemed a lot like me, he was really different. He didn’t have to walk around with a leash on, that’s for sure.

The guy I live with said that Norm didn’t get his breakfast and dinner served to him in a clean bowl, with biscuits for “afters”, and didn’t get to sleep in a clean bed on a winter afternoon, or watch “the roadshow”, which didn’t seem quite right to me. But I guess, since he said it, it must be true.

Well, that really is it for today. I’ll leave you with a picture of me being all horticultural and everything.16030401

Until next time, then.

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15 Responses to not quite like me

  1. Barb K says:

    Norm is kind of impressive. My dogs look like him, except, sadly, not as smart. They have not a drop of Border Collie which would have added a great deal of intelligence as you know. My snowdrops just finished blooming but without expensive green tips. From 5 feet you can’t tell anyway and I like them. Looks like your weather is good? Ours has been so our Magnolia soulangeana is just opening a million flowers but we may have frost coming. Every year we don’t know if we will have pink glory or spectacularly ugly brown ruin. People ask “Is your tree dead?”. Have there been any big disappointments in your life so far, Mani?

    • paridevita says:

      Yes, our weather has been mostly excellent, though today there was some complaining about the lack of sun. Magnolias full of browned flowers are a common sight around here. The guy I live with says you have to be “all philosophical about it”, which of course means more complaining. There has been some disappointment that a few bulbs have not returned from last year. Time to be all philosophical about it. And lots of damage by bunnies. They even ate an agave in the front yard. Other than that, and that I didn’t actually get to meet Norm, things have been pretty good here. I’d like more snow, though. The guy I live with disagrees, and says rain would be better.

  2. Marcia Blum says:

    Norm looks a little scrawny. He must not be eating enough bunnies. Lord knows there is an over abundance of them in my neighborhood by Harvard Gulch.

  3. vivianswift says:

    Mani, I had a very similar experience with ferocious beasts the other day when I was out walking here on Long Island, when I was almost ambushed by a rogue orange tabby cat who wanted to rub against my ankles and be my friend. He then flopped on the road in front of me and rolled over to show me his tum, which I guess he wanted me to pet (and which I did because orange tabbies are irresistible cute, even wild dangerous stranger-tabbies), and then I continued walking to Whole Foods where I bought some artisan bread. So, now that I think of it, my mano-a-mano nature encounter wasn’t like yours with Norm at all, which I guess is the difference between living on Long Island and living out in the wild west.

    • paridevita says:

      Well, the guy I live with says he could walk to a Whole Foods, I mean if he really had to. It’s on the same street as Day Care, but in the other direction, and just a little farther away, so about six minutes’ drive from here. In fact, sometimes the guy I live with stops at Whole Foods before picking me up from Day Care. I also know that there was an orange tabby cat who lived in this house, many years ago. And, also, the guy I live with said he might make some artisan bread, but discovered there was no yeast in the refrigerator.

    • Mark Mazer says:

      It won’t be long before coyotes are spotted in Nassau County on Long Island: I believe one was recently hit on the Cross Island Parkway in Queens.

  4. Damiana says:

    Darling Mani, Norm and Celeste’s cousins–let’s call them Bob and Selene– live across the freeway and up the hill from us, and they visit our neighborhood on Tuesday night — Wednesday mornings being trash pick up day. We have has some close encounters, but, for the most part, they just trot up the street busy doing whatever a four-legged urban couple of their ilk do. Of course, if any of us were Border Collies, it would be a much more interesting story.
    Do not tell TGYLW, but the photo of the lovely cyclamen solved a small but troubling mystery. One of my first-grade students gave me a pot of flowers for Valentine’s Day. I couldn’t think what they were. Cyclamen. (Slaps forehead!) Of course! Cyclamen! Not clivia, kalanchoe, or the other “c” plant I thought of. Thank you, Mani. The snowdrops? Just beautiful!

    • paridevita says:

      You’re welcome for the identification. No charge, even. The guy I live with sometimes forgets the names of plants, which troubles him, since he doesn’t forget anything, ever. (I hear this is not as wonderful as some people might think it is.)
      Norm and Celeste made the path down the creek. The guy I live with, and especially the purebred border collie who was here before me, Chess, improved on it a lot, and so now it’s a recognizable path. I’ve never seen anyone else go down it, but little kids sometimes, playing along the creek.
      We haven’t heard the coyotes much this year. There was this one time, at night, recently, but it didn’t last very long. You can tell they’ve been out there, though, in the way you can tell.

  5. Woosh, Norm is quite the coyote. He looks quite capable of something beyond velocirapting. I adore your horticultural poses, and I like to see you remain, you know *untouched*. We often refer to Shredder, a self-involved, thus dimwitted Maltese, as coyote bait. He would serve as appetizer for Norm, and Petey, a very slightly larger, soulful Dandy Dinmount, would constitute the entrée. Good thing you’re so tough and fierce, Mani.
    The green-tipped snowdrop, in my estimation, is well worth any exorbitant amount demanded. Such a delicate petal beauty. The guy you live with must be very pleased. Does he go about with chest puffed out in pride? The garden stuff I read is dense with prose, perhaps with a drawing to illustrate, and rarely shares a photo. Thank you for showing ‘Bowles’ White,’ the storied crocus. I’ve always wondered what it looked like. I could use ‘Golden Bunch’ in my own garden, looking very handsome amidst the flowering borage.
    If your walk is on a consistent schedule, I wonder if Norm is out there to catch a glimpse of you. Stay excellent, Mani, to walk the path another day.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. I haven’t seen Norm on my walks in a couple of days now. The guy I live with isn’t worried about him jumping the fence to try and chomp me because the fence is like eight feet high and almost invisible, and he says they won’t jump over things they can’t totally see. There is a place where the rabbit fencing, which is wired to the chain link fence, for height, got all rusted, and an “overweight raccoon” broke it, trying to climb over. Speaking of raccoons, there was a Raccoon Fight out in the field last night; that was pretty exciting. The guy I live with says that the snowdrop called ‘E.A. Bowles’ sold for like a zillion dollars on eBay. But the crocus called ‘Bowles’ White’, which is different from the crocus called ‘E.A. Bowles’, is available fairly reasonably, but you have to know where to look for it. He says that one time he ordered it from England, and it flowered and stuff, but then disappeared, which he blames on rodents. This new group is protected by a cage. ‘Golden Bunch’ you can get anywhere. Oh, and at least my afternoon walk is at a consistent time. My morning walk depends on the guy I live with’s awakeness.

  6. Marcia Blum says:

    One of Norm’s distant cousins tried to move in under our front deck a couple of years ago. We think she was a she. Anyway, she had no interest in jumping over the back fence to meet Maggie, so I agree with your guy, you are pretty safe. By the way, you will love this, when I spoke to the division of wildlife, they suggested talk radio blaring out front would offend our guest and she would move on. I was thinking that if I had to listen to that, I would move on, too.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I like to think that I’m safe, and that I keep the guy I live with safe, with my “extremely loud barking”, which sounds regular volume to me. I’m not familiar with talk radio. The guy I live with described it as “a bunch of screaming that gets on your nerves after about ten seconds”, so I think we’ll skip that one.

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