Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Mani the purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here today to talk about our garden again. You may remember me from such posts as “Our Winter, Thus Far”, among so many, many others.
Here I am in a characteristic pose.I know I just posted yesterday, but the guy I live with has been getting very antsy about winter, which he claims will never end, and so he thought another post might be in order. He suggested the title. He said using the word “diverse” when “divers” is meant makes him slightly crazy. That’s the sort of thing he thinks about.
You can see there’s still snow in the back yard. This drives the guy I live with right up the wall. So that’s another thing that gets to him. He says it’s unnatural and that the snow “should” be gone. And when it doesn’t go away and then snows again, he gets even antsier. (I’ve had ants crawl on me so I know what that’s like.) The sun was out for a while, and then it got all gray and dismal. This is the garden all gray and dismal.
This is me licking the snow. I’m not supposed to be standing in the rock garden. But it has the best-tasting snow. He took some pictures of plants, too, even though he said the light was awful.
A dwarf Cercocarpus ledifolius. The guy I live with said to say it really is a dwarf, and not a small regular-sized one. Not hugely photogenic, I think. Yucca rupicola is behind it. So then he went into the front yard to see if there was anything interesting there. This oak also isn’t very photogenic, but it gives a good idea of what the oaks here look like in winter. Its acorns are the size of a pea. That’s a wavy-leaf oak, Quercus undulata. It’s not very tall. There is a taller one behind. Here’s the taller one. Its acorns are much bigger. The big Arizona cypress, Cupressus arizonica. It has cones at the top. This Mahonia (or Berberis) aquifolium was self-sown. There’s a old plant up the street so that may have been where it came from. Some leaves stay green, some turn chocolate brown in the winter. The guy I live with did notice the creature in the last picture, if you were wondering. It wasn’t very cold today, and so the guy I live with did some raking. I like it when he works out in the garden, which he doesn’t do much of during the winter. The path by the shed is extremely icy. His friend gave him some YakTrax which he can wear on his shoes so he doesn’t slip on the ice, but there wasn’t much work to do in the garden besides raking, and none that involved walking on ice.
There was a lot of mud in the garden today, too, and I got to run around in it.Which was fun for me, but the guy I live with shampooed the living room carpet last week, and, well….It was fun, though.
The guy I live with spent some time downstairs, in the studio, to admire his work, and he brought this thing back to the kitchen. It’s a sieve for separating chaff from very fine seed. Custom-made, too. The square of duct tape is where it was torn and repaired. He thought this had been thrown away. You can see the care with which this was made.There are other sieves here, in the shed, made of steel. But this one is special. It will be put to good use again, I’m sure.
After all of this, there was still an evening walk that needed to be gone on. The guy I live with says that’s not the way to say it, but it sounds good to me. There was a walk that needed to be gone on. Pretty desperately needed, in fact. And so we went on it. Coyotes sometimes sneak down the creek bed at night, but mostly they use the paths. There’s a path on the right side of the creek, which I’ve shown before, the one that Chess used to go on, before I came here, but the other one goes behind the houses on the east side of the creek, including ours.We walked behind our house so you could see the squirrel-feeder wheel thing. The corn is mostly eaten now, as you can tell. There’s more corn in the garage. About this time of the evening, ducks begin to fly from the west to the southeast. There are some larger lakes there, I guess.You can see them here, too. You might have to squint. The guy I live with says that this is a melancholy view. He says he’ll explain that to me later. He also said not to tell readers to squint, when they can just click on an image and enlarge it, which they already know. This seems like a good place to stop, for now. A last picture of me, heading toward the setting sun.
Until next time, then.
Mon cher Mani, il ne faut pas être triste car l’hiver va bientôt passer et le printemps sera là!
C’est vrai. “And Winter slumbering in the open air,/Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring!” (Coleridge.) 0C ce matin.
I love your posts so much. I always read them. Tell the man you live with to keep up the good work.
Thanks. It’s freezing right now, with graupel falling. A lot of complaining. “Where is our warm-up in January?”
You would like my garden right now with a good amount of mud and leaves making a slimy flat area that I bet you could slide on — or at least roll around on. My winter garden in Wisconsin does not look as good as the one your guy tends in Denver.
Thanks. Right now it’s 32F, with graupel falling (looks like perlite on the ground), all the mud is frozen. The carpet was cleaned last night so I guess that’s okay.
The garden all gray and dismal looks beautiful to me. You continue to give me words to look up – YakTrax? – graupel?? -. Please thank TGYLW for the Coleridge quotation. We could all use something to look forward to at the moment.
Thanks. Today was even more dismal, according to You Know Who, but later on his friend came over. I really like her. We all went on the evening walk together. Graupel really is like perlite falling from the sky. This is generally a nice, warm time of the year (truly), but not this year. The YakTrax are great for walking on ice. They don’t make them for purebred border collies, I guess.
Cleaning carpet is good for the wear-off of antsyness, tell that to the guy you live with. Also pass along that we know he made you put in the bit about “diverse” so some of us wouldn’t look for photos of Greg Louganis. My doggies know all about desperate need. We just came back from Cays Dog Park where they ran around like wild things and we watched the wild waves. Oh, lordy, I hope California cypress doesn’t hugeify like the Arizona type. We grow on our corner, and there’s too little land to handle that tree. Illustration of your two paths puts me in mind of Robert Frost, who also knew “snowy,” and the squirrel-feeder thingy reminds me there’s corn waiting to be popped and butter to be melted with garlic and parmesan to be grated. The sieve indeed is a thing of beauty, something which might have come from the studio of a luthier in off-hours. Whoever made it should have gone on to make lutes. Thank you for the words from Coleridge — we found that down at the Cays today. The characteristic pose is now my home screen, and the gorgeousity of your portrait is stopping folks in their tracks.
Thanks. The cypresses grow quite quickly here, but are susceptible to wet, heavy snow, in spring. Well, they grow quickly for other people. Not so much here. The sieve was made by the guy I live with’s late wife. It was tucked away in the stuff downstairs, and may come in handy some time. I don’t know what you mean about the corn. The guy I live with said something about it. He said that Slipper, one of the purebred border collies who lived here before me, freaked out whenever any of the kitchen appliances were run, but that there was, still is, this thing called an “air popper”, and when it was working, Slipper would put his elbows on the kitchen counter (he was pretty big) and watch the corn go round and round, because he knew exactly and totally precisely what was happening. Then, the Christmas after his wife died, he decided to paint the living room (using close to the same colors, of course), and the first thing to be painted was the living room ceiling, which was one of those “p*pc*rn” ceilings, and the guy I live with couldn’t say what kind of ceiling it was, because Slipper knew the word, and got all ready to watch the “air popper” do its work.
Sampson, here, the doberman.
I noticed that your guy let you into the rock garden long enough to lick the snow and take pictures! I’m very envious. I like to chase squirrels through the rock garden and then I bark at them while they regard me from the fence. I know that my people hate the squirrels. I’ve heard the lady I live with complaining about all the bulbs they eat. $45 Holland Bulb buffet, I think is what I heard her say. They won’t let me stay up there, though. They mention primroses.
Yes, the guy I live with has all of these really silly issues about me racing through the various planted areas, chasing squirrels. He claims that none of the other purebred border collies who live here did anything like that. The reason for that, though, is I grew up by myself, without being trained by the other dogs. That’s my excuse, anyway.