some spring stuff

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 bring you a post about Spring, such as it is in these parts. You may remember me from such Spring-oriented posts as “The Terrors Of Spring” and “Retro Spring”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a, well, not incredibly characteristic maybe, but definitely delightful, pose, illuminated by a ray of sunlight.I know it looks like the flagstone is wet but it isn’t.

Today it was about seventy-two degrees F (about twenty-two Celsius). The expected low tonight will be about twenty-eight degrees (a little over minus two Celsius).

The guy I live with does not like this forecast. Not much we can do about it; the bulbs can’t be covered because there’s a high wind warning tonight, and the covers would just blow away. They can be pinned to the ground with the pins made for them, but that probably won’t help.

Yesterday we saw a pretty cute thing happen in the neighbor’s yard. These pictures were posted on Facebook but not too many people noticed them, so here they are in a more noticeable form. And in chronological order, too. The bunny was eating some bird seed which the ducks thought was theirs.

It looks like ducks can be mean.

There are lots of things in flower right now, though it’s hard to get good pictures of some of them. Cyclamen coum is in full flower, still. But this one is a little different; it’s called ‘Lake Effect’. (With a bunch of Crocus tommasinianus.)

The “lake effect’, if you didn’t know, refers to the huge piles of snow that places on the south and east shores of the Great Lakes get sometimes during the winter. So, white as snow.

Some of the so-called “steppe” corydalis are flowering. I know these are extremely difficult to grow because of what the guy I live with says when he finds another one rotted.

This is Corydalis ruksansii. It’s easier than some of the others.Corydalis glaucescens ‘Pink Beauty’. Not so easy. They need to be grown in clay soil which only gets wet in the spring, when the snow melts. Several tubers which were planted in the sand pile rotted because the winter was so warm and every time it snowed the snow melted into the sand pile. The tubers got wet and rotted. If they had been grown in clay nothing would have happened.

The other problem is when the flowering stems freeze, and that can rot the tubers. The very expensive tubers.

Woodland corydalis like Corydalis solida are a lot easier to grow, and now that there are lots of colors to choose from, very satisfying as garden plants. They haven’t begun to flower yet.

That’s pretty much all I had for today. I’ve been walking along the canal, as usual, but haven’t felt like going in. I think the water’s going to be cold for a while now. We haven’t seen any more crawdads, and haven’t seen the muskrat yet. 

Until next time, then.






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33 Responses to some spring stuff

  1. lifecameos says:

    It was mean of those ducks to gang up on that rabbit.

  2. I’m surprised your corydalis solida are not flowering yet. Her in the UK, we have had a miserable spring so far with snow in March and lots of rain. C. solida is starting to finish flowering here. Has TGYLW tried C. henrikii – I’ve found it a good ‘doer’ and ot blooms over a long period.

    • paridevita says:

      Solida doesn’t start here until about next week. The guy I live with has heard of C. henrikii, but getting unusual bulbs here is very difficult. C. angustifolia is in flower, scented of vanilla. Thousands of plants here.

  3. Nell says:

    Love the very celestial shot of you, Mani! Tightly cropped, it should be perfect for your first Greatest Hits album…

    If TGYLW needs clay to grow difficult Corydalis, I stand ready to ship him some of our bright orange “soil” if it would help. Though it’s hard to imagine any plant actually preferring it, clearly some do.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I kind of like the idea of a Greatest Hits album. You know I sing, so …. The thing about clay is that it has to be part of a dry-climate garden. Otherwise it’s just icky.

      • Nell says:

        One especially icky aspect of clay in wet weather is the way it stains the feet and fur of dogs, requiring a lot of foot baths — tedious for humans and even more tedious for most dogs (with the exception of our sweet and saintly Kozzie, who regarded it as a sort of spa treatment).

      • paridevita says:

        The guy I live with told me stories of working in new developments where there was clay, and when it was wet it stuck to his boots so much that he got higher and higher as he walked.

  4. Susan Hunter says:

    I remember spring in Apple Meadow (just a step through the woods for you) There were very few house’s then.compared to the present. In April, Spring flowed down the Front Range and into my yard. That year I saw many species of birds, many of which were Life Birds. The world went from gray to green overnight in April. Enjoy it, for it’s so brief. Love the flower photos.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. It kind of is spring here. Speaking of birds, guess what happened today, on my morning walk. The guy I live with had his camera, and there was this huge bird flying overhead, but he didn’t get the camera out in time when he realized it was an immature bald eagle. I guess you’ll just have to imagine it.

  5. Susan Hunter says:

    I apologize for the Spell Chechhd badly place apostrophe.

  6. tonytomeo says:

    Rabbits can be mean too. They chew the bark off of rhododendrons and other plants, and eat vegetable plants!

  7. Mani! a very Spring-y hello! Garden tour season has started. Those duckies would scare tourists from the garden – they *can* be mean. Everyone knows that, especially rabbits. All your photos reflect Spring has arrived in your part of the world. My heritage rose friends in Australia are going on about Autumn. So disorienting. Love the corydalis glaucescens ‘Pink Beauty,’ the blush pink and the sweet little leaves. I’ve noticed, in subtle mentions, you can be much more positive – “Thousands of plants here” – about the garden prospering than can tgylw. Good for you. No wonder celestial light finds you.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; same to you. It does seem kind of spring-like here but “not as green as it could be”. Or “gray-green”, maybe. I figure it’s because things are mostly the same for me, great and then excellently great, where the guy I live with is undergoing all these changes. Metamorphoses, even. Like he got a dental bridge, a couple of months ago, and now he says his mouth is dry. Then he got new glasses, and now he can read the fine print, which may or may not be a good thing, but he also has to get his driver’s license renewed, so I can go to Day Care (I don’t drive). Stuff like that.

  8. Well, this is interesting. Our Maltese Shredder is unconcerned with life outside his self, while Dandy Dinmont (or not) Petey Dog – having been abandoned at least a couple times – is ridden with anxiety. What a concept, “great and then excellently great.” How fortunate you are, Mani. Good on ya. You’ve found a nuturing home.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I am continually advised that my life here can be described in varying degrees of excellence, like “super excellent” or “beyond totally excellent” or “excellent times infinity and then some”. There is anxiety here, but considering the number of times that there have been profuse (and I mean ultra profuse) apologies for involving me in the anxious moments or outlook, at least it’s something that is acknowledged, which may make it less awful. And then, if I may make a plug, there are the Down Dog Snacks. The guy I live with says they are expensive, but I say they’re worth it.

  9. You look extra lovely in that ray of light. I guess I won’t try to grow those corydalis although I’ve been admiring them in your guy’s Facebook photos. I would have the wrong conditions for sure.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. The guy I live with says that most of these corydalis want the same conditions as they get here, minus the cold nights after they start to flower. The plan with the ones that rotted last winter was that they were going to go into the bulb frame, but that was never made ready in time. It turns out that just because the guy I live with has almost nothing to do it doesn’t mean that he gets things done.

  10. Barb K says:

    Ah, anxiety. Where would we be without it? Having more fun maybe? My dogs are sisters and one has not an anxious thought (or any thought at all) in her head except “where’s the food?” The other carries the weight of the world and has all kinds of neurotic thoughts. She worries about what I think and well, I’m anxious sometimes. I think we need some Down Dog snacks. Where can they be purchased? And Mani? You ARE a ray of sunlight.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. The guy I live with says that Only Natural Pet carries Down Dog, and maybe a couple of other places. They’re about nine dollars a bag. But I’m worth it, and, anyway, I don’t get them all the time. The guy I live with suffers from anxiety, and sometimes I do too, especially when it thunders, or when I hear loud noises, or when something weird happens, or when there’s scary rustling outside, or, well, you get the picture. Excellent snacks always help. (I also get Newman’s and Fruitables, if you wanted to know, though my main biscuit is Good Buddy. I like all the flavors.

      • Barb K says:

        I did want to know, and so did others around here.

      • paridevita says:

        Basically I get whatever the local health food store sells. I’ve always gotten Good Buddy biscuits as my main biscuit, though I hear in the past there have been other main biscuits. So, I also get Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream dry food, because the health food store carries that, plus a little bit of canned food on top. That means I have salmon breath, but we went through quite a few different dog-food formulas before I found one I really liked. I got High Prairie Puppy when I was little.

      • Lisa says:

        It’s okay, it’s a Border Collie thing, being anxious. My Boo is the same way. Every morning when my son opens his bedroom door Boo is anxious that it might be someone he doesn’t know, and starts barking. He was supposed to help my daughter with her anxiety, but they feed off each other’s!
        Mani, you are a delight! That’s what I tell Boo too. Border Collies are always delights!

      • paridevita says:

        Thanks; I would agree that I’m delightful, though the guy I live with said he once had a cat–I know–who insisted on being called Captain Delightful. That in itself is mildly disturbing.
        And like just now, there was this extremely worrisome activity which the guy I live with said was dry-roasting some pecans, and so the oven had to be turned on, and it made its usual noise. I don’t care anything about pecans, so the whole thing seemed pointless. And scary.
        On the other hand I almost cornered a real (or possibly imaginary) vole on my evening walk. That canceled out a lot of scary things.

  11. Barb K says:

    The girls get some kibble of reasonable quality, but they get a soft boiled egg each morning and at dinner get some pumpkin, peas, and sometimes sweet potato and carrot. Plus whatever the 18-year old cat leaves which is one advantage to having a cat, Mani.

    • paridevita says:

      I guess there could be an advantage to having a cat. The smell would put me off, though. The guy I live with says cats are quite nice and that I would really like one, but I doubt it. Most of the purebred border collies who lived here before me got stuff on their dinners. Especially pumpkin. But I just get border collie food.

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