hot, then not

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Mani the purebred border collie, your popular host, here to bring you the latest news from our garden, and some other stuff. You may remember me from such heat-oriented posts as “Mostly Roasting Again”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. You might have to look a bit.It’s mostly been roasting hot, and, if you didn’t know, we purebred border collies do not appreciate hot weather. So I lie in the garden, of an evening, to cool off. (I always wanted to say “of an evening”, and now I have.)

The last of the eremurus, Eremurus olgae, is in flower. You can barely see it in the lower left of the picture above.

Here it is from another angle.You may have noticed that I was lying in what you might call a haze of blue onions. Here I am again, posing behind them. These are Allium caeruleumThe “Oregon sunshine”, Eriophyllum lanatum, is really flowering well this year. I guess it does this dependably every year. The lily, Lilium martagon, is much less dependable in the garden here, but this year it’s doing pretty well, out in the “way back”, under the shade of the maples (Acer grandidentatum). Speaking of the “way back”, the ugly wire fence along the border, on the right, is gone now. (There’s a little bit of fencing but that’s where some grass seed was sowed.)The soil in this border is really good soil, in the sense that it’s easy to dig in, “creek bottom loam”, but when a plant is watered, the water just disappears. Lots of stuff has been dug into the border in the last thirty years but the soil is still dry. The border is about a foot higher than the field behind the chain-link fence. Maybe that makes a difference.

Milkweeds have begun flowering along the canal road. You can see a bee there; the guy I live with says sometimes bees get trapped in the flowers. Kind of creepy if you ask me. I don’t like creepy things. As I said, it’s been really hot, but then it cools off, and then either gets hot again or stays cool. The weather is what they call “upslope”, meaning it comes from the east, more or less, moves up the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains, which we’re next to, and we usually get rain out of that, but in the last few days it’s just been hot and then not. Sometimes there’s thunder. I like it when it cools off, but not if there’s thunder along with the cooling off.

The guy I live with went to the doctor because he was worried about some dark spots on his skin, and feared the worst, but the doctor said they were just age spots. He was pretty embarrassed for fretting so much but he said it was best to have things like that checked out. He was afraid he was turning into a hypochondriac. (I had to look that one up.) His grandfather was a hypochondriac, too….and a medical doctor as well. “What a combination”, he said.

So …anyway…..he bought himself a present. His birthday is next month, so that was another good reason. Or so he said. The present was kind of expensive. (Pretty sure this is right side up.)

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, he says, you’ll know how much he likes Japanese gardening tools, and pretty much anything Japanese, since it reminds him of his happy childhood in southern California. And besides, these pruners are really sharp. The thing that holds the handles together, which probably has a name, is more practical for him to use than the similar thing (he would probably say “handle holder deal”), in a different location from the other pruners he has, and he’s been having some trouble with the joint in his right thumb. (He has age spots, so the rest is easy to figure out.)

He also got some camellia oil because the pruners are carbon steel so they might rust. Of course in our climate that isn’t all that likely.

I guess there’s going to be a whole lot of pruning going on here, now. There already was a lot of pruning, but I mean even more pruning.

The guy I live with said that I came very close to being named Prune. Prune the purebred border collie. I mean, really. I think that’s a little different from pruning, but I’m not entirely sure.

The only other thing I have has nothing at all to do with gardening.

The guy I live with has been making pappadums. He’s into Indian food again, cooking, and the kitchen has been filled with all these different smells.

You don’t really “make” pappadums; you buy like raw ones in a package. This package was opened, obviously. They come in different flavors. Or I should say with different things in them, like maybe cumin seed, or chilies, or things like that. These are plain. 

I suppose you can “make” these in another way, but, here, they’ve always been heated on the grill. I watched these being “made”. It was pretty interesting.

You plop one on the grill. It starts to bubble almost immediately.The minute the whole pappadum has bubbled it’s done. You have to watch them really closely because they’ll burn in just seconds. And then they’re done. They get totally crispy and crunchy a few seconds later. I’ve never tried them, but the guy I live with says they’re excellent with mint or tamarind chutney.

Okay, that really is all for today. I hope you enjoyed this somewhat wide-ranging post. I’ll leave you with a picture of me in roasting hot mode. Not as hot as a pappadum on the grill, but close. 

Until next time, then.

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36 Responses to hot, then not

  1. We get a pest here in the UK called lily beetle. They are bright red and lay their eggs on lilies and their grubs eat the leaves and cover themselves with their own poo as protection. Martagon lilies are their favourite but it doesn’t look like you have them in your garden.

    • paridevita says:

      I know they have them “back east” but I think we don’t have them here. Getting Japanese Beetles, when we never had them before, is bad enough. The guy I live with said not to say this is the first time a martagon has flowered here. Apparently they’re difficult to establish. Dozens and dozens of lilies have been grown in the garden here but only L. candidum does well, though this year it didn’t flower.

  2. Renee says:

    Tricky Mani, hiding in the first photo… I can see how the garden is a wonderful place to cool off in the evening though. And those lillies! Thanks for sharing!

    • paridevita says:

      Sure. The guy I live with says not to say this is the first year he’s ever gotten Lilium martagon to do anything. It looks like it’s going to be a good year for some thing and a bad year for others.

  3. Lisa says:

    Lucky man you live with! My Oregon Sunshine didn’t make it through winter, and I live in Oregon! I like it a lot, especially the opening flowers close up. And the fact it’s furry!
    I kinda like “Prune” for a nickname, not as a formal name of course. My not-purebred Border Collie is Boo, but I often call him Boobs, which he hates!
    We have a tri-color Border Collie in the neighborhood, not a pretty as you. He’s rather fat, even though he “chases” cars along his chain link fence line in his front yard.

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with said he tried Oregon sunshine on and off for years but finally found a place where they’re happy. Clay, heavily mulched with gravel. Took a while for the plants to settle in. He also said there was a Boo across the street; a girl German short-haired pointer. Boo was super naughty. The guy I live with took care of the pointers one time, when Chess was here; he would go feed them and make sure they were happy while their owners were on vacation. And then put them to bed at night. But Boo wouldn’t go to bed. He took a picture of her not going to bed, and showed her owners how naughty Boo had been, when they came back. They said she was always naughty like that.

  4. Nell says:

    Yum! I hope you have a chance to try a little bit of pappadum (plain), Mani. The guy you live with has made me hungry — and envious, with those handsome pruners. Wish him happy upcoming birthday for me. And compliment him on the very impressive haze of blue alliums.

    • paridevita says:

      He says thanks. The pruners came from Hida Tool. I thought ninety-three dollars was a lot but he said he’d always wanted a pair and that he spends a lot more money on me. It’s also true that he hasn’t gone to nurseries and spent a zillion dollars on plants this year. The alliums were planted years ago by his late wife and they reseeded all over the garden, so he tried to corral them into one place.

  5. tonytomeo says:

    Prune would have been a cool name. The prune blossom is the city flower of Campbell because of all the prune orchards that were once there. You would not know it now of course.

    • paridevita says:

      No, I bet not. The guy I live with said he remembered when there were orange groves in Orange County. And when Disneyland first opened. (He’s really old, if you didn’t know.)

      • tonytomeo says:

        Goodness! That certainly is no longer young. Privet and Bill were much older though, even though they were only about 15 years old.

      • paridevita says:

        Lol, huh. The guy I live with remembers all kinds of stuff that would surprise people who live in Los Angeles now. Like that there were wide-open spaces between L.A. and Long Beach.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Well, I am not as old, but even I can remember a bit of space. One of my colleagues who is ten years younger than I am can remember the last remnants of orange orchards in Placentia, (which is a town that really should change its name). Long Beach is still a very nice place, and might even be cleaned up from what it was in the 1990s. I always liked it, so it is hard for me to notice. The Mexican fan palms downtown are more mature. Sadly, now that my uncle is deceased, I may never go back.

      • paridevita says:

        The guy I live with said he remembers the Signal Hill oil fire. The one in 1958. The sky was dark. The elementary school he went to, Patrick Henry, looks the same. He was pretty happy going there. When he moved here, things were different, with a lot less happiness. So that’s why I get to hear about this all the time.

      • tonytomeo says:

        That was a long time ago. Many people in that region have never heard of that fire. My colleague’s father was in grammar school at that time, up north closer to the center of Los Angles. Sadly, there are not many native people left who remember how the region was just a few decades ago. When I went to Long Beach last year with my Pa, I was surprised at how he knew his way around. He had not been there in decades, and had not lived there since about 1962, when he finished his senior year in high school in Huntington Beach. He regrets relocating there with his Pa and not graduating with his own people back in Sunnyvale, which is his hometown. The funny thing that I noticed while there for his uncles funeral was that, despite all the bad memories, he seemed to only remember the good memories. I do not get it. I would like to be able to do that.
        Goodness! There is a lot I do not get. I am sure you can understand that.

      • paridevita says:

        There are a lot of things I do not understand. The guy I live with says most of them are not worth trying to understand. He has what people call a “photographic memory”, though it does not work like that. He can remember long strings of numbers and never has to write anything down, though there is an issue with “short term memory” these days. People say this must be wonderful, until he tells them he sees his wife dying of a heart attack in his arms over and over again, every minute of every day. If you Google “4639 Beverly Blvd Los Angeles Ca” you will see the Schaefer Ambulance Co. building. The guy I live with’s grandparents’ house was directly behind that building, which has changed, and so he has this double association, you might say, of the comforting sound of sirens, from lying in bed at his grandparents’ house, and the terrifying sound of sirens, when they came here early one morning. The Dover, which is next to the ambulance place, looks exactly the same as it did in the 1950s, and evokes very pleasant memories. You may wonder at all of this. The guy I live with said that after being all happy and stuff in Los Angeles, he was moved to Denver in 1961, and the first thing he noticed was that the kids in school had to run on these mats, duck down at the end, and kind of flip themselves over. He was sure he would break his neck. It was all downhill from there. I mention all of this because some things came up here, recently, which caused him to do a lot of muttering to himself. Though of course I think he’s talking to me, so he has to apologize constantly.

      • tonytomeo says:

        That is right near Western Avenue.
        Anyway, that is probably why it is so frustrating when people say they ‘understand’. First of all, it is doubtful that anyone really understands completely, although it is nice to say so. Very few can understand what it is to not be able to stop remembering every detail of something so unpleasant to remember. You know, I can understand to a point. I can remember what it is like to be with someone in such a situation That is the extent of it. I can not understand that specific situation. I can not understand what it is like to not stop remembering. However, I can totally understand why it is insulting and trivializing when people say that they do understand. You see, that annoys me, and I have it relatively easy. I can stop remembering. It would really make me angry if it were any worse. Anyway, there is no point in going on about how I don’t understand; although, if it were me, I think I would prefer that to trivializing pleasantries. You have a lot of work. Rhody thinks that I work very hard for him, but as you know, people take quite a bit of maintenance. Rhody works very hard for me. I suspect that you have a very demanding career as well.

      • paridevita says:

        Yes, the guy I live with is very high maintenance in that respect, though so am I. He went to the store and when he came back it started to hail. Some pretty big stuff. Nothing was really damaged. But I had to hide in my fort. The guy I live with’s “mind palace” has a very high storage capacity. Someone once said a memory like this is passed down from the maternal grandfather; the one who lived in Los Angeles. Often an ability to remember, let’s say, hundreds and hundreds of botanical names makes the guy I live with seem smarter than he is.

      • tonytomeo says:

        My memory is quite weird as well. I can remember things that I never experienced. That takes some explaining. It does not make me seem smart, but a few centuries ago, might have gotten me burned at the stake as a witch.

      • paridevita says:

        The guy I live with says that’s quite common. One thing that happens to him, but not very often, is that he will suddenly remember a certain feeling of a certain thing that happened many years ago. It’s pretty startling. But then he can’t recapture that feeling a minute or so later. Of course I only remember some things. He said that his memory is like when world chess champion Alekhine, in the 1930s, was giving a simultaneous blindfold exhibition. playing against a couple dozen people, was asked if he saw each chessboard in his mind, and he said no, what he saw was the chess piece move when he came to that board. It’s not like there’s an image of something, in other words. Weird, huh?

      • tonytomeo says:

        So he only saw his logical reaction to what he saw without remembering the details? Is that what you mean?

      • paridevita says:

        I guess it was not a mental image of a chess board, with the pieces in their current position, but just seeing a pawn move, say. Very weird, huh.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Well, yes, and you would thin think that it leaves serious potential for mistakes.

      • paridevita says:

        But it didn’t. The guy I live with can retain in his memory tens of thousands of botanical names, as well as who knows what else. But he often forgets why he went out to the shed, and just stands there.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Are you familiar with ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’? I do not suppose you would be, since it is on television, and border collies have better things to do than watch television. Anyway, there is an unseen species who lives within the ‘wormhole’ that is used to get between two quadrants of the galaxy really fast. (Okay, the context would take too long to explain.) These ‘wormhole aliens’ are confused by how and why humans, as well as other specie, retain their memories, particularly bad memories. They lack a concept of linear time, presumably because they have more than one temporal dimension. They can not understand why humans in particular bother to retain unpleasant memories. An extra temporal dimension might make things easier in regard to making memory work ‘for’ us like it should. It is unfortunate that it is not an option.

      • paridevita says:

        The guy I live with and his wife watched Deep Space Nine for a few years. Then they didn’t. He forgets why….

  6. Barb K says:

    I guess TGYLW gets spots because he doesn’t have a luxuriant hair coat to protect him when he’s out in the sun. I think just generally speaking that dogs might have a better design, but we humans grow better flowers. At least, your human does.

    • paridevita says:

      I’ve never tried to grow anything. The guy I live with wears so much sunscreen he has to go inside when the wind blows, otherwise leaves and stuff would stick to him. Lol, huh. But still, he gets spots and things.

      • Barb K says:

        In regard to your conversation above: I got a book about anxiety from the library. It says anxiety comes from two places in the brain, the amygdala and the cortex. To shorten and simplify, the amygdala brings the panic attacks and the cortex allows us to not only relive the bad stuff over and over again, but also to invent new bad things that will probably never happen. Maybe they won’t. I haven’t gotten to the part where there are exercises to overcome these tendencies, but I expect no miracles. Speaking of worry, do you have a tornado warning today? Lovely.

      • paridevita says:

        Yes, there is a tornado watch. And a tornado warning near Limon, over a hundred miles to the east. I think the guy I live with has an excessively-developed cortex. We purebred border collies can be worriers, too, and just as easily startled, but he is something else. Of course part of this can be the very bad thing that happened here, years ago, but also because he likes to be with me when there are bad storms and I’m frightened. It was the same when Slipper and Chess were here.

  7. Guess I’m here to lighten the tone, because my main comment is I like the guy you live with’s photo of flowers against the wood fence. We have a simpler kind of milkweed here. Yours looks complicated. Ten years ago, there was a garden history conference in L.A.’s Little Tokoyo. At lunch break my friend found an ancient hardware store and bought a whole bunch of garden tools she’s cherished ever since. Camellia oil, huh. I find that in the face care aisle of our local (mostly organic) food store. I certainly will give a bottle to my friend with the tool collection. Is it shade or smelly blue onions which cause you to lie way back? Although I do not think it is so much you are way back, Mani, as the guy with his camera is way front.

    • paridevita says:

      I just like lying out in the garden. Especially when something scary is happening in the kitchen. The “way back” by the way, is behind that hedge of lilacs. (Which the guy I live with wishes were a hedge of roses-of-Sharon, Hibiscus syriacus.) Last night he couldn’t find me anywhere and it turned out I was lying out in the “way back”, in the Employees Only section, in fact. There might have been something like coffee-grinding going on in the kitchen. The milkweed is Asclepias speciosa. There used to be milkweeds here but now only along the canal. The guy I live with has tried growing about a dozen other species but none have survived. Some are very difficult. It turns out that the martagon lilies were unharmed by the hail. They’re under trees. Dozens of bulbs have been planted here but finally these “took”.

      • Coffee-grinding can indeed be scary. Petey Dog barks and howls at blender stick and food processor noise and so is usually put in the book room. Given your choices, Mani, perhaps we’ll put him in the side yard, The Ramble. Triple-pane window should keep sound in, I suppose, as well as out. Best hippie-vibe wishes with the anxiety. We suffer from the Hemingway variety here; you know, two a.m. lamenting and obsession.

      • paridevita says:

        Thanks; well, my anxiety is due to the weather, which, here, is variable. Right now it’s nice, with clouds scudding across the moon. Pictures were taken, of course. The guy I live with said he was simultaneously disappointed and relieved when it became evident that I was afraid of thunder. Disappointed, for obvious reasons; relieved, because of the “continuity”. All of the purebred border collies who have lived here were afraid of thunder. (The guy I live with says this is an odd response for a breed designed to live outdoors and sleep in lean-tos out in the middle of nowhere, in sheep-herding country.) There used to be what was called “the bean dance”. Picture, if you will, one purebred border collie, Flurry, who did dogligigs (I do them too; whirling in circles like a ballet dancer), and one, Pooka, who didn’t, but carried a Cressite ring in his mouth. The sliding glass door would be closed, with both purebred border collies waiting for it to be opened. Flurry would kind of crank back like getting ready to leap. One person would have a hand on the door, the other, on the coffee grinder. Grinding would start, door pulled open instantly, both purebred border collies would race outside, one doing dogligigs, the other chomping on a ring and barking. It was said to be a spectacle.

  8. A dogligigs, ring-chomping scene out of P.G. Wodehouse.

    • paridevita says:

      Yes, it could be. Plus the guy I live with walking all over the garden at night looking for me, with a flashlight, when I’m lying in the Employees Only section. (Which is, by the way, 125 feet away from this laptop.)

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