strange encounters

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to tell you about all the strange encounters I’ve had lately, and maybe talk about some other things. You may remember me from such posts as “Chasing Hawks”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. Awake, and rather wistful.

Incidentally, if you were wondering, that lion skull isn’t real. The guy I live with’s late wife bought it from a place that makes resin casts of such things. The netsuke are also resin. Not everything in this house is real. That kind of creeped me out when it dawned on me.

But anyway, things have been pretty, well let’s just say different, here, for a while now. The guy I live with has started his treatment, and so there’s that.

I mean, there have been regular things, like seeing hawks on my walks. (“Hawks on my walks”, I like that.)I do sometimes get the feeling that I’m being watched, though.

I watch back.

Other things are much less normal. I came upon this, oh, I guess you would call it a thing, on my walk the other day. (The guy I live with said I walk past this thing all the time, but obviously haven’t been paying attention.) It’s over by the frontage road and sometimes we walk down the sidewalk there. Every so often we walk at night, and the guy I live with always says something when he sees lights on in the offices late at night, because he used to work late at night.

You can see how careful I was when I encountered it. 

The guy I live with said this was called a drain. I didn’t like it at all. Nevertheless, I was able to keep going.

And just a couple of days ago, right after Christmas in fact,  I saw something so alarming, so bizarre, so, well, recherché, that I wasn’t exactly sure what to make of it.

You can see how I studied it from afar, before approaching. The guy I live with always takes notice when I see something way ahead of us, because, really, my eyesight is much better than his. I took some time trying to evaluate what it was, and then the guy I live with said we should still be walking, but slowly.

I approached it with extreme caution. I think you’ll agree that this was very different indeed. It was so different that I gave it as wide a berth as possible, in order to continue ahead, yet not get anywhere near it.

The guy I live with analyzed it from all angles, with me at a safe distance, and concluded it was a device for attracting reindeer. He explained the reindeer business in detail, though he was a bit vague on certain particulars.

I think you’ll be relieved to know that those are all the strange things that I’ve encountered lately, or so far (you never know), although this, too, is definitely a bit out of the ordinary.

It all started a few weeks ago. No, wait, longer ago than that. As you know, from the constant complaints about the weather originating from you-know-who, our weather has been the same every day now for weeks. Fifties and sixties every day, but freezing almost every night. And no snow. Not exactly the kind of winter we’re used to here. We usually have at least some snow.

The guy I live with was unhappy with the progress of some of the newly-potted snowdrop bulbs in the large bulb frame (nothing was coming up), and even though it’s been cold at night, the snowdrops should have been coming up. At least showing their noses. But they weren’t. The soil was frozen.

So, a number of the pots were brought indoors. The idea here, which was explained to me even though I admit I wasn’t hugely interested, is that it was important to get these bulbs to grow, since they were planted a bit late. The soil in the pots thawed, and things began to happen.

Galanthus elwesii ‘Barnes’, flowering under the lights upstairs.

You may indeed think that snowdrops as house plants is a pretty peculiar thing. You would be quite right. However, the thermostat at our house is not set to tropical temperatures like it so often is in other peoples’ houses, and it’s quite cool here, usually. The heat is only turned up when it gets really chilly outside.

I think I’ve covered almost everything now. Oh, except to say that it snowed. Not very much at all, and it’s still very dry here. You can probably see how dry, in this picture. Maybe even a record for December (the driest on record is 0.03 inches, which about the thickness of a dime), though we still have a few days to go. 

Until next time, then.


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14 Responses to strange encounters

  1. Michele Bailey says:

    So dry there! Wow! The snowdrops are a Winter Blessing and ….Mani is an amazing conductor! As Usual!
    Happy New Year My Friend!

  2. ceci says:

    The reindeer lure indicates that you live in a neighborhood with other creative beings….. My dog companions are very interested in drains and storm sewers too….I believe that some of them are used as dens by coyotes and foxes. Risky business here in the land of rain and high water tables!

    Hope the treatments for TGYLW are going smoothly.


    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I thought it was pretty scary, but then, so many things are. We are definitely not in a land of rain. It’s supposed to get down to one, on New Year’s Eve.

  3. Lisa says:

    I don’t blame you for being cautious of that drain. I’ve avoided walking on them since I was a little girl. Nothing bad ever happened, but I was always afraid I’d fall through. Oh… maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned that. But, it’s good for a pure bred Border collie to stay off them, their feet are usually quite tiny and might slip through. Oh… I shouldn’t have added that either.
    Well, Mani, just look, and don’t touch drains!
    It’s good to have you along on walks, to be alert to all the unusual things. My not-pure-bred Border collie, Boo, doesn’t take walks. Life scares him too much.

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with says that life can be scary. And also weird. But he explained that this drain thing was in the strip of grass along the frontage road; the grass is heavily watered in the summer, and so the water has to drain away somewhere. I wondered about the idea of heavily-watering a strip of grass that’s just there, but I guess it’s just a thing people do around here.

  4. I pay attention to décor, Mani, so I am impressed – as I’m sure design bloggers would be, the ones I read – at the wonderful use of patterns, including the lion skull, in your opening pose. I also like the hawk’s chosen spot amidst the tree branch pattern. As for the formidable brain, as you have better eyesight than the guy you live with, you have a better nose for smell. I imagine the drain was emitting a ferocious smell that had not been there before to attract your attention. In addition to using a smart phone – you being a smart cookie, of course – you show yourself conversant with le français; “recherché,” indeed. You certainly do belong in the kind of neighborhood that arranges for reindeer entertainment. Tell the guy you live with his bringing in the snowdrops was a rescue and freshens, I’m sure, your atmosphere with their beauty. Do they also freshen with scent? That would be excellent, as excellent as dog lounging on patterned coverings and pillows.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; the guy I live with says that some snowdrops do have a scent, and that Graham Stuart Thomas remarked that one—we forget which—will “perfume an entire room”. Like if you picked it and put it in a vase, which is something that rarely happens here. Rarely as in never. There wasn’t anything wet in the drain so it was more like a hollow, empty smell. The drain goes off to the northwest where it empties into what the guy I live with says it called a “swale”, though it’s more of a depression, and then it goes into the creek (same creek as behind my house), and then into Bear Creek, then into the South Platte River, then into the Platte (both the North and South Platte Rivers have their source in Colorado), then the Missouri River, then the Mississippi River, and then into the Gulf of Mexico. Cool, huh? The blue lamp on the table there in the first picture, featuring me, is, according to the guy I live with, very old, like the rattan furniture. But still very functional.

  5. Nell says:

    Elegant and cheering as the ‘Barnes’ snowdrops are, my favorite pics are the pair of the owl watching down and you watching back. Have a happy new year, and may you get a satisfyingly protective blanket of snow before it goes down to one degree again. (The dry bare single-degree conditions we had last year at this time for more than a week were not kind to evergreen plants. But we bounced back, and so will you and TGYLW and the garden. There’ll probably be even more grumbling, but you’re getting used to that; I bet some of those responsibilities of being four involve shrugging off grumpiness and still more snuggling. You’ll make 2019 a better year for sure!)

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; same to you. I am getting quite used to sleeping on the bed now, and am not sure why it wasn’t suggested earlier. It’s really excellent, and a high point for both of us. They say it’s supposed to snow a bit over New Year’s, but probably not much. We don’t have as much snow as people seem to think, though it can snow a lot here, measured in number of times. The guy I live with would rather have rain, but that will never happen. He sometimes tells me stories about the time he and his wife, who had never been back east, went to New York City in January of 1999 and it rained. I’m going to tell the guy I live with that we should do a post about that next month. He said it was hard to believe that was twenty years ago.

  6. tonytomeo says:

    What would reindeer want with that? It really does look suspicious. I wrote about a ‘plush toy’ rabbit named Pierre Francoise who went into a fruited peach tree to keep squirrels from taking the ripe peaches, but that made sense.
    That drain looks a bit odd too. Do you know who Pennywise is?

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