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.There 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. He 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.It 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. This 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. That’s not all. This is a sclerocactus seed germinating, using a similar process.So 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. The 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.I 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.)I 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.
Until next time, then.