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 garden. You may remember me from such posts as “A Bit Of Work”, among so many, many others.
Here I am in a characteristic pose.I like to stand in the door like that; half in, and half out. The guy I live with said that Slipper, a purebred border collie who lived here before me, liked to do this too. It’s nice to feel icy wind on my face while my hindquarters are ultra toasty, but the guy I live with said it was too cold for me to do that and to come back inside.
The other day we had snowdrops in flower in the shade garden. And kind of a nice sunset.Then it snowed. The guy I live with said everyone around here was complaining because there hadn’t been much snow this winter. He hates snow and thinks people who complain about not having snow are just odd.
Every so often someone comes to the door, even though I try to viciously and loudly dissuade them from doing so (the guy I live with said split infinitives are okay), and what these people who come to the door do is try to talk the guy I live with into buying something. He never does. He hates it when people try to talk him into something; he says that’s been the story of his life, people trying to talk him into things (he’s never tried to talk anyone into liking classical music), and one thing they try to talk him into is liking snow. It never works.
Well, I like snow, and I don’t need to try to talk him into liking it. I know he likes me and so we go for walks in the snow, even when it’s really cold.
Today it was sixteen degrees, which is about minus nine Celsius, and eighty-eight percent humidity. The humidity made it feel very cold, but I liked it anyway.
If you think that looks cold, it’s because it is. Those are pinyons, Pinus edulis, on drip (which is weird because they don’t need to be watered at all here). Last autumn the cones were full of nuts. The guy I live with talked about taking them home and roasting them, but he said collecting them was a sticky business, and he didn’t have a bag to carry pine nuts in.
What I wanted to do, though, was do some exploring in the area behind where the guy I live with was standing when he took that picture. Like if he turned around, we could go into this area I’ve always wanted to check out.
It was fun to explore the wilderness but the guy I live with had a hard time following me because he’s the wrong height for wilderness exploration. I know I’ve seen Norm, the coyote, exploring in there too, in the summertime, while I was walking up by the hill.
The only other thing that’s been happening here is a lot of moaning and groaning about the seed mix the guy I live with has been using. For some reason, maybe he wasn’t paying attention when he did it, the mix is full of some kind of compost which has way too many wood chips in it. “What is it with wood chips?” he asked, and of course I had no answer.
The wood chips get all moldy and eventually they get this blue fungus. One time, about twenty-five years ago, the guy I live with got some “soil conditioner” and dug it into the soil, and even now when he digs into the soil in places where the conditioner was added there is all this fungus in the soil. Maybe it’s okay but it looks weird.
So anyway he tried to screen out the largest of the wood chips but it still left smaller wood chips. Now there’s talk of making a mix out of vermiculite, perlite, coarse sand, and not much else. Apparently that’s been done before and it was the most successful mix that has been made. “A whole lot better than mixes made with peat moss or wood chips.”
Another choice would be “decent garden soil”, that is, just the dirt, with perlite and some other things mixed in. The soil in the field would be perfect, but he might get into trouble digging there and taking the soil.
It will be interesting to see what happens. This is something the guy I live with totally obsesses about. I don’t find it all that fascinating but I do have to hear about it.
Until next time, then.