the sea of brome

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here to bring you up to date on the latest goings-on around here. You may remember me from such posts as “Mistletoe And Snow”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.  (This is a phone picture, so smaller. I don’t know why it’s smaller; it’s the only one taken with the phone that is.)

Today was a pretty leisurely day for us, which was a pleasant change of pace. We worked in the garden; it was over seventy degrees today, so of course it’s supposed to snow tomorrow. And snow for the next three days.

If you’ve followed our blog for any length of time, you know that it now snows regularly here at the end of April. It never used to do that, but it does now. The guy I live with of course detests snow at this time of year (and, really, at any time of the year), but there’s nothing to be done about it, except move, which we are not going to do.

This past week was anything but leisurely, though. On Monday I went to the doctor for my checkup and shots. That was okay. Then on Tuesday the guy I live with went back to the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center. He’s been there before. Nothing to do with the prostate cancer, which may actually be gone now. (We have to wait and see, on that one.)

His doctor sent him there because of low platelets, which he has had before. The first time he went, he was also sent to a place where he got ultrasound on his innards. But anyway, this time it turned out that his platelets were fine, and so he wasn’t put on a diet of kale, much to his relief.

Then on Thursday he had his eyes examined, because he’s supposed to do that every year. He has cataracts, but 20-20 vision with his glasses on. Weird, huh.

Then on Saturday he went to the dentist to have a new crown put on. I guess this isn’t like becoming a king, though I don’t really know.

So maybe you can tell that for us, who are used to doing mostly nothing, the last several months have been pretty chaotic. The guy I live with said he hoped this was the end of it, for a while.

Anyway, as I said, today was nice.

It started to get windy, and that was nice too, because wind has been so rare here the last few years.

There are things flowering in the garden. Iris bucharica, the latest to flower and easiest to grow of all the Juno irises. This is one called ‘Top Gold’.

Tulipa butkovii is flowering, too. 

And Fritillaria pallidiflora. The guy I live with grew these bulbs from seeds, a long time ago, and now they’re spreading by seeds, too.

Here’s a not-very-good phone picture of the clove currant, Ribes aureum, which is scenting the whole garden right now. It usually flowers in March, I think. There are a lot of these currants in the garden. 

And here are a couple of pictures of the garden, too, which show how dry it is right now. There won’t be enough snow to help with that, and the cold at night also won’t do any good, either. The guy I live with constantly wonders why it can’t rain in the spring, like it used to.

My walk this evening was a pretty long one, which I enjoyed, of course. Yesterday the guy I live with noticed that the owls were back, but in a different place. This evening there was only one in the tree. Maybe the other one had to go to the store. The guy I live with is always having to go to the store, too. 

The field where we walk has become a green sea of grass; a sea of brome. The guy I live with said that smooth brome, Bromus inermis, had been seeded in the field and now its taking over everything. It’s invaded the garden to such an extent that the guy I live with has become a bit discouraged. He says this grass is exponentially worse than bindweed or practically anything else he can think of.

Sometimes people who live in places farther south come to Denver and say how green it is as they drive along the highway west of here, but it’s really because of the smooth brome, which doesn’t need a whole lot of water in the spring in order to turn green.

It really is a nightmarish grass. It can be dug out, and just comes back again. Nothing kills it. The guy I live with doesn’t spray anything in the garden, but years ago there was a time when spraying was done occasionally, and it never did anything to the grass. The smooth brome just pretended it had been killed, and then came back with a vengeance the next year.

But it’s a good place for a purebred border collie, like I’m, to hunt for voles. There wasn’t a movie of me searching for voles in the grass, like there might have been, because the guy I live with said that since it was so windy I thought there were voles moving everywhere, and would have looked like an idiot on film. We wouldn’t want that.

But we did get some pictures of the kind-of-creepy willow. 

I think someone lives here. This is a different hole from the one I showed a while ago.

It was so windy that the guy I live with suggested we move out from under the willow, because of the huge broken branch.

The guy I live with said he thought he saw a meadowlark in the willow, but changed his mind. He said he hasn’t seen or heard a meadowlark in years. That makes him sad.

We went back to the path. The guy I live with struck up a conversation, over the fence, with a neighbor he’d never met. That always means I just stand there, or try to find something to do, while he talks and talks.

Eventually I got to go home. It was a long, long walk today. I’ll leave you with a picture of me, going home as usual, but I think you can see some of my hair being blown back, which shows how windy it was. I still had a good day, sailing along in the sea of brome.

Until next time, then.


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22 Responses to the sea of brome

  1. Donna A. says:

    Tell TGYLW there are quite a few Meadowlarks in my area around Walsenburg, so they haven’t abandoned Colorado altogether.

    • paridevita says:

      I will. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a meadowlark, and I have much better hearing than You Know Who. Maybe they’re moving south.

  2. Linda says:

    Love all those bulbs. Sadly, they don’t grow here in the deep south.

  3. Meow meow Mani it was lovelee to go on a walk with you….what lovelee flowerss! LadyMew sayss Irisess are her faverite flower of all…Mee likess those kewl two-lipss! An Mistur Owl lookss maggynificent doesn’t hee?? Like hee iss watchin over you an yore ‘guy’!
    An wee had wet snow over weekend an iss chilley an no patio time….efurry day our weather iss diffyrent. All mee wantss iss to sit out inn Condo an watch birdiess….
    Wee hopin an purrayin THE Cancer has gone away fore guud so you an yore ‘guy’ can live a lovelee life together!
    An Mani yore goin home photoe iss lovelee…LadyMew sayss yore THE hansumest doggie shee has EFURR seen! 😉
    **purrsss** BellaDharma & LadyMew (who blowss a *kiss* to Mani)

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I think I agree that I’m pretty handsome. The guy I live with says that’s immodest but he did pick me out. It snowed a bit this morning. The guy I live with says thanks, too. It is very strange to be talking about cancer, but I guess now he has to go back for periodic blood tests and stuff. He’s had so much blood drawn in the last six months he’s surprised he has any left … I probably should talk about this some more, in one of my serious posts, which I do from time to time, just like Chess, the purebred border collie who lived here before me, did.

      • Mew mew mew you ARE furry hansum Mani!! An you not immodest unless you bark ’bout beein hansum to THE werld! 😉
        Wee had a bit of snow last nite but iss gone now too. Silly weather. Tell your ‘guy’ he can meow ’bout Cancer all he needs to as LadyMew iss a Cancer survivor all so. Shee had it inn 2 palcess. For over a year. Shee had surgery an ree-fused Chemo an Raddyation. Sumhow shee made it thru’. (Lucky for mee rite??)
        **purrsss** BellaDharma

  4. Nell says:

    :: Fritillaria pallidiflora. The guy I live with grew these bulbs from seeds, a long time ago, and now they’re spreading by seeds, too. ::
    Oh. My. Oh my. {Sitting down to let a wave of swooning envy pass.}. <{Actually I was already sitting down, but the swooning feeling was real.}. No, you all probably are not going to move…

    That day you're moving out into looks super nice. We had one of those, followed by a day of 30mph winds for some reason, which is not great but not as annoying as snow. After a spring of astonishingly cool and gradual unfolding, tomorrow it's going to rocket into the upper 80s, because of course it is. Watch a week of the early peony season go by in two days!

    Sorry it's so dry. Hope your snow turns out to be rain after all.

    • paridevita says:

      I think the “frits” were grown from J.L. Hudson seed over twenty years ago. You can buy bulbs, but the guy I live with said this was funner. It’s just above freezing right now, and not very pleasant, or so I hear. We purebred border collies prefer cooler weather. There used to be peonies here, but they were given away. We like peonies, of course, but the flowering time is so short. There is a tree peony, Rock’s, which hasn’t flowered in years, because it was transplanted. It was one of the guy I live with’s late wife’s favorite plants.

  5. Nell says:

    So excellent that the owls are still at hand!

    • paridevita says:

      It is. There were some kids out in the field a couple of months ago, shooting BB guns (illegal), and we feared for the owls, but they seem to be okay.

  6. Barb K says:

    I really like those Junos. I’m going to have to check the JL Hudson catalog and see what they are offering lately. I think a video of you hopping around the windy brome looking for phantom rodents would be just the thing, and then maybe after that we could have the serious post. What do you say, Mani? I am distressed to read the comment about the BB gun. I’m glad the owls are safe. Could the police be called, or are they the “boys will be boys” type?

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with had the point-and-shoot set to film, but then something happened and he got distracted, as usual. You can get Iris bucharica from almost any bulb place. And the frit, too, I think. Like from Brent and Becky’s. Maybe someone called the sheriff on the B B gunners, I don’t know. It was a while ago. I suppose it may be time to do a serious post. It’s snowing. And sticking.

  7. Deborah says:

    Glad the guy’s platelets are ok. I like the frits. Haven’t seen the likes of them before. I was tickled to see that the rock iris bulbs I planted last year are coming up. I don’t remember what color they are. Something to look forward to. Snow there. Rain, rain and more rain here. I am wondering if I should have my back yard declared a wetlands area.

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with says thanks. The first time he was sent to the Cancer Center he didn’t know why. That was before he ever went to the urologist. Turns out there’s a hematologist at the center, and it was about the platelets. The ultrasound tickled. Fritillaria pallidiflora is grown as a crop in China, for traditional medicine.

  8. Tulips! Since I can’t grow them, I forget other people can. Even the guy you live with, Mani, must be a little bit gratified at the flower display. I appreciate all seasons of your garden, and spring makes it show its loveliest. Speaking of gratitude, I think I can say we’re all happy to hear you passed your physical and are current on vacinations, important for a border collie with voles to nose out and chase. Sounds like you and your guy are freer these days, and cleared of the threat of kale. Good to hear you are both dealing with the brome. What makes you happy to run through makes another sad to look upon. All in the perspective. I agree that is one scary tree — don’t venture too close.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. My trip to the doctor wasn’t bad at all, though I did think I was going to Day Care, and that made both of us sad. The smooth brome is really awful this year, but I do like to snack on it. The tulip, by the way, is an extremely rare one. Naturally.

  9. tonytomeo says:

    Have I been missing your posts, or have you been to busy with . . . . what pure bred border collies do?

  10. ceci says:

    First, the fritallaria is lovely; I have managed to nurse along a small clump of dark purple ones, now I am thinking how nice it would be to have a nearby cluster of these pale companions. Sounds like you both have a lot of health maintenance chores out of the way for a while, always good. No ticks in all that long grass? Its tick season here and I spend too much energy worrying about them.


  11. Janna says:

    Meadowlarks are so loud and plentiful here by the Mayhoffer-Singletree Trailhead by Marshall Mesa Trailhead(south of Boulder) I can hear them while driving by the fences. Quite a musical and visual feast. Worth the drive…dog friendly… shows on now…

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