Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to bring you yet another didactic post, as well as some news relating to our modern lifestyle. You may remember me from such posts as “Selling Insurance”, among so many, many others.
It wasn’t very cold out when my picture was taken, but the snow isn’t really melting as fast as the guy I live with would like. You should hear the complaining. He says that snow is like having a house guest who constantly talks about the same thing and outstays their welcome.
“Quite unlike rain”, he said, gazing out the window, wistfully. I like snow, but the guy I live with has issues with me trying to “fly” when we go on walks in the snow.
“Mind the leash”, he says. He’s old, and what with the hormone therapy, his bones are becoming brittle, and if he falls down, he might break something, and just lie there, while I’m racing around tugging on the end of the leash. I suppose that if that happened, I could drag him back home, though he’s pretty heavy.
Since it snowed, things here have pretty much come to a standstill in the garden, and the guy I live with talks about how boring all of this is. Sometimes he just sits there, rocking back and forth a little. Or stares at the floor.
The guy I live with said those were marks made by the fiendish hands of Snow Demons trying to get to the surface. They kind of looked like they were made by bird wings, to me, but he said no, Snow Demons. We obviously have widely divergent opinions about snow.
It turns out that what you do when it snows, when you’re not outside, is to do stuff inside, and when the boredom gets to be too much, you decide to do a thing that you meant to do a while ago but never got around to doing, even though you didn’t really want to do it , but it needed to be done, and then when you started in on it, you discovered things you didn’t want to discover, and had to work out a way to fix them, without using too much colorful language.
The guy I live with re-caulked the bathtub. I watched. It was extremely boring to watch. When he got to one end of the bathtub, right down at the bottom outside corner, he discovered that water from the tub had gotten under the tiles on the floor, and the tiles just came up, so that had to be redone, which made the whole job even more disagreeable.
Once the tub had been re-caulked, plastic had to be taped around the tub so he could take a shower. Like me, the guy I live with is obsessed with cleanliness, and likes to bathe every day. This is what the tub looked like after the plastic was taped around the faucet end. I’m sure you’ll be impressed. It’s kind of like an episode of “The Red Green Show”. You can see that the grout around the tiles needs to be cleaned, too.
Meanwhile, when the day came for me to go to Day Care and play with my friends, the guy I live with went out with his friend, and they went to a bookstore, where he found this book, which he’s going to give as a present. He looked through it and said the writing was really good like others from the same author. And that if you like things like this, English gardening, Sissinghurst, roses, a sort of romantic, wistful approach to gardening, then you might like, even love, this book.
So here I am talking about gardening again. Of course I can’t talk about fog, or mist, or drizzle, or rain, at this time of year, when the garden here is covered with snow, hard crusty cold white stuff which the guy I live with is the horticultural equivalent of having to stare at a spot on the wall for three straight days and then write a paper about it and deliver it to an audience of people who think staring at spots on the wall is the most exciting thing ever, but I can talk about snowdrops.
Yes, snowdrops again. There are none flowering in the garden, because of the snow, but there are some flowering upstairs, in what is technically the master bedroom but has never been used as such. It’s just the guy I live with’s room, and has been since he moved into the house with his wife, who had rooms downstairs.
Since I’m under constant pressure to talk about snowdrops, because the guy I live with would rather be gardening than just sitting here wondering when the snow and cold was going to go away, which leads him to wondering why he lives in a place where such awful things happen, which brings him back to snowdrops, I thought I would talk about the main way to distinguish them, which is vernation. Vernation is the way the leaves are arranged when they emerge.
There are three ways to distinguish snowdrops. Then after that, there are what you might call subcategories to distinguish them, but these are the main ways.
The first type of vernation is called applanate. You can see how the outer leaves are parallel. The second type is called supervolute. One leaf clasped within the other.The third type is called explicative. The outer edges of the leaves are rolled backwards. The species that has this is Galanthus plicatus, which the guy I live with says should really have been described as “G. explicatus”. Plicatus in Latin means “folded”. So there you have it. I hope you were able to stay awake during this lecture.
Until next time, then.