Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Mani the I guess completely normal-sized and soaking-wet purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here to bring you some very damp news about me and our garden. You may remember me from such equally damp posts as “Another Rain Movie”, among at least a few others.
Here I am in a characteristically weather-related pose. There isn’t much to do today, though I’ll have some helpful tips a bit later on, to show you what else to do, beside mope, that is.It’s raining. It was just misting, then drizzling, but now it’s raining, the way it does in spring here, so I’m told. It could also, you know, snow, but I’m not allowed to talk about that.
This is me a little later, though, wondering what the guy I live with was doing outside in the mist, drizzle, and rain.The guy I live with is all put out about the front yard, which he says looks “totally awful”, after all the shrubs and trees were smashed by the snow, and then all the weeds came up. This is what it looks like from the definitely-not-clean upstairs bedroom window. You can see the branches of the oak, just to the right of the Arizona cypress at the left of the picture; half of the oak was broken to pieces by the snow a couple of weeks ago, and then twice before that. The oak has been here for twenty-five years, and the guy I live with was ultra-sad when he saw all the damage. It won’t grow back very quickly.
The sticks sort of in the middle there are another oak, which is smaller. Off to the right of that, in a “bunny-proof cage”, is yet another oak. The front lawn is between these two smaller oaks. where the flagstone is. These are scrub oaks, Quercus undulata, by the way. There are oaks all over the garden.
Well, so much for the front yard. He’s been working in it, some, though obviously nothing can be done today. The sort of things that you do today are, according to him, heat up chili on the stove, mope, listen to music, mope some more, talk to his friend on the phone (mope a lot less), and then go on very, very wet walks. Here’s one of the rock gardens, taken earlier this morning, in the mist. I talked about how red everything looks, a while back, and you can see this now.Looking a different way, toward the shed.The plastic thing in the back is a “portable greenhouse” for one of the irises that was in flower, and which he pollinated, hopefully to get seed. The area right in front may look all gravelly and bare, but it isn’t. There are small seedlings growing there. Speaking of irises, maybe you remember that a bunch of seedlings went to Denver Botanic Gardens, and more are going, later, but there are two downstairs that someone said may be the only two examples of this species in North America. They came from seed collected in Lebanon years ago (the seed stays viable for a very long time), and the guy I live with is going to give them to an expert grower so that maybe more seed can be produced. (They’re Iris sofarana var. kasruwana, if you wanted to know, and to look this up.) The plants are getting too big for the nanodome they’re in, downstairs, but they’ll go to their new home shortly.
I almost forgot to show you the movie that was made a couple of days ago. It started to rain here (May is a rainy month), and then not rain.
It thundered, which I’ve discovered I don’t like, and the guy I live with said it was “only pea-sized” hail, which we don’t worry about, “but still ….” Still what, I never found out.
I said I was going to show you what to do on a chilly, wet afternoon, and so I’m going to right now. This is what you do. (Without letting anyone dry you off from your morning walk, of course.) I guess that’s it, for this very damp and drizzly day. The sun is supposed to come out, eventually, I hear.
Until next time, then.
Wow, very exciting about your irises! And the garden looks terrific (as do you, Mani)!
Thanks; it started drizzling again, so there’s plenty of mud to bring into the house, and that’s really important, if you didn’t know. A sign of an excellent day. The back yard does look pretty good, but the front yard, well, I don’t go in there, so I guess I don’t care about it so much.
Iris sofarana var. kasruwana, I Googled the iris and found name tables and distribution maps and, yes, Mani, this very blog page (you’re famous!) Nary a pretty picture. The guy you live with must hand on these seedlings immediately, give instructions that they should strive, and then *take bloom photos* and share right here on this very blog page. So sorry for the demolished oak, but some of it seems still to be there. Seems smallish for a 25-year old oak, and the front-yard oaks seem closely planted. The forest effect? Not such a bad front yard, and a splendid back yard. The guy must believe in natural dry garden growth, on the evidence of the other-way rock garden view, and refrains from branch lacing. Works with the yard, and I bet you will have a lot of fun come sunny summer. Meanwhile, you take lovable photos, every one. Is that a new red collar? And about half-an-inch from one eye, is that a scar or a line of dark hair? My, you’re a handsome dog, even while mopey and wondery and nappy. Just be glad you *have* a rainy season and enjoy these days for what they offer.
Now I bet you’ll say, “uh huh.”
Uh huh. Thanks. The guy I live with says to “take a gander” here. http://www.treknature.com/gallery/Middle_East/Lebanon/photo208773.htm And if you Google images of Laqlouq, Lebanon, the first thing you’ll see is the last thing you might expect. The scrubs oaks don’t get very big, except if they get regular water. Some of them have teeny tiny acorns, but the squirrels get all of those, of course. Oh, the black mark. We both think it’s a new fashionable black streak, because there’s no sign of an injury. (I get checked all the time, for this and that.) The collar belonged to Slipper, a purebred border collie who lived here before me, and will have been gone six years come next Monday. He was Chess’s buddy. My collar got too tight, and so the guy I live with washed this collar, and put it on me, though he’s looking for a new one. It has to be red.
“Thrive,” not “strive.” Although that’ll work.
We got that…. Strive would be good too.
Beautiful iris. Lovely color and great sunlight photo. Thanks.
Squirrels live in Lebanon? I knew about the cedars, but not scrub oak.
I bet there are squirrels in Lebanon. The scrub oaks are from Colorado, New Mexico, and northern Arizona. Definitely squirrels there.