ice isn’t nice

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 to bring you the latest news from our extra-icy garden. You may remember me from such posts as “Mostly Iceless”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. This was taken a couple of days ago after I played in the mud all day. This is the second time there’s been a lot of mud. Mud is excellent, if you didn’t know. And the carpet is muddier than the last time I showed a picture of it, even though it was cleaned afterwards.poseThere isn’t any mud today. Something happened last night and the whole garden is covered with a thin film of ice. “Ice isn’t nice”, he said. The guy I live with said that sort of thing happens “back east”, but not here, and yet I could tell that wasn’t completely true because there was ice here. 17020203He almost fell in the street this morning while I was pulling him along, on my walk. He said it wasn’t my fault. Then on the canal road there was an unleashed dog that came up kind of close to me, with its hackles up. The guy I live with picked me up in his arms, so I would be safe, and then said stuff to the other dog.

The morning walk wasn’t so great, but at least I got to go on it.

Then a little later the bird feeders had to be filled, and I decided to be a super-velociraptor, and got yelled at for trying to knock down the guy I live with, which I wasn’t really doing, but he said with all the evasive action he had to do, I might have.

This is me after being lectured for being a velociraptor on an icy day.17020204It wasn’t really all that interesting a lecture, and I wasn’t really totally in trouble. I have discovered that if I look like this during one of these lectures, the lecture isn’t as long as it might be otherwise.

Speaking of lectures, the guy I live with has decided to do some again, and so he and his friend are going to Oregon (he pointed to where it was) later this year to talk about various kinds of seed germination. Maybe people in the audience can learn from my expression so that his talk is shorter than most.

Seeds are being nicked, and pictures are being taken. This technique, he said, is one a lot of people know, but it’s part of the talk, to illustrate something or other.

He nicked seed of Caesalpinia repens a couple of nights ago. He uses the watchmaker’s loupe, which has been here for quite a while, and his Opinel knife. See the green there? That’s what you nick down to. dsc_1889This is what happened a couple of days later. The seeds are in a wet coffee filter. Just like the seeds of Caesalpinia gilliesii I showed a while ago. 17020207That’s not all. This is a sclerocactus seed germinating, using a similar process.dsc_1842So that’s been going on.

It’s supposed to warm up again, in the next few days, and the guy I live with said that the ice-covered snowdrops on the north side of the house might get to flower. This is the first winter in a long time (“forever”, I guess) that there haven’t been any snowdrops in flower in January. 17020206The guy I live with says this isn’t a great sign and that the world as we know it might be coming to an end. He decided to build another bulb frame, this time just for early flowering snowdrops, which these aren’t (these are ‘Theresa Stone’…maybe; the label was crushed when the fence next to them was built), because the weather hasn’t been doing what it should, and, oh, you know, things like that.

The new bulb frame, which will be smaller than the first one but look a lot like it, is going here.17020205I understand that this is pretty much the exact opposite of the kind of garden pictures you see on blogs and in books. It doesn’t even look much like a part of anyone’s garden, does it? Well, it’s part of ours, along the north border, where not much grows because of the lilacs and New Mexican privets, and the neighbor’s tree. The soil, as a result, is very dry. This was the first part of the garden to be dug, about thirty years ago, and it’s never been satisfactory.

“At least, now, there will be something in that space”, is what he said, after I gave him one of those wondering looks. And it doesn’t cost a whole lot to build the frames. The only thing so far is that he left the can of paint he was going to use out in the garage; the paint froze and was wrecked. He said that gave him an excuse to go to the paint store, which he likes doing.

My evening walk was a lot less eventful because the guy I live with wore his regular shoes but put the YakTrax on them. His friend gave him those. (His feet aren’t that small; the YakTrax stretch.)17020202I guess Chess, the purebred border collie who lived here before me, talked about this wrought-iron furniture and why it looks the way it does. Maybe I should recap; it’s old. It was originally painted white, then green, and then black. It’s become like this over the years, and the guy I live with’s late wife liked it this way; she said it gave the furniture a certain quality, and so that’s why it hasn’t be repainted. It’s not much fun to paint, and the guy I live with says if you have a perfectly rational reason why you don’t do something, then, definitely, you don’t do anything.

It’s probably time for me to let you go now, on this icy day.17020201

Until next time, then.

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19 Responses to ice isn’t nice

  1. Karen Cox says:

    Mani you are the sweetest thing! I’m glad the guy you live with picked you up so you were safe!

  2. Barb K says:

    Eeew. Ice. Say, is TGYLW going to Portland? He can sympathize with them. I understand they are having the worst winter in the country. Actually I hope he’s coming to my part of Oregon, the south, but I doubt it. Hardly anyone comes here. But I would love to hear him speak about seed starting, something I need to know more about. My eyes wouldn’t glaze over or anything, Mani.

    • paridevita says:

      Yes, Portland, later this year. The guy I live with wanted to retire there, say to Salem or some place like that; house prices were about the same as here, but the move was vetoed. The guy I live with wanted to do a post about moving, and why he’s still here, and, actually, there was one, but it was deleted. Maybe some other time. The seed starting stuff will be mostly about the kind of thing you see here. And some other stuff.

      • Barb K says:

        The kind of stuff I see here is what I’m interested in. The post on moving would be interesting. It’s all interesting! Every time I move someplace I think someplace else might have been better. But there is no cure for that. Or unleashed dogs, apparently.

      • paridevita says:

        There is no cure for either. If the guy I live with had moved, he would never have gotten me. That’s something to think about. I might have been sent to a farm, to work.

  3. Bruno Baudino says:

    Hi Mani, but the photo of the sowflowers (bucaneve in italian) is done now? Many many greetings

  4. Bruno Baudino says:

    Sorry, i wanted to write and mean snowdrops and not sowflowers (:-), however you have evenly understood

  5. Portland!! Be sure to let us know when. Me, specifically, that is.

    I have a table just like that. Well, a lot of people do.

    • paridevita says:

      Well, we don’t talk about it too much around here, though I know I get to stay at the vet’s, which is the same place as Day Care, and I like that. They like me. The table and chairs are about fifty years old. I guess there are a lot of really old things around here. Starting with the guy I live with, of course.

  6. Re previous posts: Going to have to google divers and diverse. The downstairs room looks wonderful. Interesting and poignant about the old seeds.

  7. Pamit says:

    Unleashed dogs are indeed the bane of the universe! My Chloe, a standard poodle, was bitten on her back by such and to this day has a paler circle of fur there. A constant reminder of The Gal She Lives With’s failure to protect! But she forgave her – that’s what standard poodles do.

  8. Buried the lede, Mani, the guy you live with breaking out and all, with his friend, to Oregon. If he gets cold feet (almost a pun with your posts recently), he can send in lieu his collection of seed-nicking photos. You are very lucky the guy is willing and able to pick you up, thus protecting you from unleashed dogs. I bet the picking up has to be done instantly. My husband took our dogs to get two inoculations today because we too are going on a trip and they will have to visit Dog Spa overnight and their vaccinations must be up to date. Those are unbleached coffee filters; right? The photo of you being lectured, you look exactly like a dog assessing exactly how peeved the lecturer was, knowing yourself to be such an excellent dog and all. The photo looks snapped away from the actual scene of the crime, so evidently survival was not still an issue. You got yelled at, you got picked up for protection: these things balance out, Mani. And there’s always the snowdrops finally popping up.

  9. Lee Recca says:

    So glad to see you are using the Yak Trax! Would you call that table verdigris? ~ friend.

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