the arboretum again

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 all of the latest news. You may remember me from such posts as “The Missing Grass’, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a serious pose. The guy I live with said to say characteristic, but I was feeling serious and not so characteristic. I’m not exactly sure why I was feeling serious, but I was. 

I brought the pine cone into the house, if you didn’t know. They don’t just appear here. Maybe they do, sometimes.

Anyway, the guy I live with says it’s that time of year again. Severe weather is forecast for tomorrow. He said he would stay home with me, so that part is good. We can be inside, watching TV (“Grace and Frankie”, over and over again), and hoping for the best. It can be pretty scary.

There were bad storms today, but “out east”, I guess in places like where Pooka, a purebred border collie who lived here in the last century, was born. Out on the plains.

The sun came out after all the clouds moved eastward. There are flowers, too. I know, hard to believe, right? This is Gladiolus atroviolaceus. (Not a phone picture.)

The wolfberry, Lycium pallidum, is flowering. This was taken with the phone, like all the other pictures except for the gladiolus and the hens and chicks picture below this one. The guy I live with hasn’t figured out how to get the best focus.

Now that the anniversary has passed, things are more or less back to normal, though with some fretting about the weather, as is usual this time of year.

The guy I live with suddenly realized that he’s the age his grandfather was when the guy I live with was a kid in Los Angeles, which was a very happy time for him. (See the post “Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.”) He told me he always thought this was an excellent age to be, and now he has someone to share his life with, so things are pretty good all around.

He and his friend went to the Chatfield Arboretum the other day, because she wanted to look at the big willow sculpture (called “One Fell Swoop”), and he wanted to go with her. (And also because, in a not totally indirect way, a visit there four years ago caused him to be open to the possibility of meeting someone. I can tell more of the story later.) The arboretum isn’t very far away from here. It’s on the site of an old farm, with lots of farm buildings, farm implements, and gardens.

I guess Chess, the purebred border collie who lived here before me, posted a lot of pictures of the arboretum (see his post, “At The Arboretum”…I’m not sure whose title is cleverer), but the guy I live with said that more pictures couldn’t hurt.

This is Penstemon eatonii

They have vegetable gardens, too. There’s a hawk, lunching on a rabbit, in this picture. Just at the far end of the roll of weed barrier, there.

The place is pretty big, several acres, but eventually they found the willow sculpture, and also met someone they knew, who took one of the pictures. Pretty sure you’ll be able to guess which one. 

Pretty nice picture, huh?

The guy I live with likes to wear that baggy old flannel shirt, even when it gets hot. He says you can’t get ultra-soft flannel like that any more, but he hasn’t done much flannel research.

Back to the garden, now. The guy I live with has been weeding. Not furiously weeding, but weeding. There are a lot of weeds. More than he’s ever seen. Lots of smooth brome everywhere. I helped, of course. This is me, helping, in the “way back”. There are a lot of dead branches this year, which is what the bag is for. The smooth brome and other weeds just get piled up in bare spaces in the back garden (the “way back”). I can tell by the language used that the guy I live with does not care for smooth brome. But after the big weeding session it looks a lot less unkempt back there.

Well, what else? The ducks. There are ducks in the canal. The guy I live with said they’re all bachelors. There are some married ducks around, though, and so I guess we’ll be seeing ducklings pretty soon.

That’s pretty much it, for today. There may have been some other things, but, if so, I’ve forgotten what they were. 


Until next time, then.


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29 Responses to the arboretum again

  1. tonytomeo says:

    Why is that pretty young lady with the guy you live with? It looks a bit suspicious. Does she live in that big beaver lodge?
    Are you far from Louisville? There is a historic museum there with my name on it. I probably asked about that before. I ask everyone in that region.
    Your gladiolus are rad. Someone in Washington sent me my first perennial Gladiolus papilio last year. Their flowers are very pale pink, but I really dig them, especially since they were a gift from someone who does not even know me.

    • paridevita says:

      Yes, you have mentioned Louisville before; it’s about twenty miles north of here. Almost due north, but not as high. The guy I live with is a notoriously nice person and so is his friend. (I like her a lot. She wasn’t so much into my Velociraptor Phase as I was, but that’s in the past now.) So that’s why. It’s raining here, a little, so I have to go in.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Well, it is nice of you to share her with the guy you live with. Rhody does not like to share his people so much.

      • paridevita says:

        I am actually quite sociable. We may have some garden tours this year. I’ll be the one who shows people around.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Sometimes, I think it would be nice if Rhody knew how to drive, so that he could drive me where I need to go. However, I sometimes wonder where me might end up if he knew how to drive. When the dogs at the farm show guests around at the Open House, they try to get them to go to the pond to throw sticks.

      • paridevita says:

        I think having a pond would be excellent. I’m not so interested in sticks.

      • tonytomeo says:

        I do not find them to be at all interesting either, but they really dig them, and bring them for me to throw for them. Do you suppose they think that they just keep bringing me the sticks because they think that I enjoy throwing them?

      • paridevita says:

        It is entirely possible. The guy I live with said that Slipper, a purebred border collie who lived here before me, used to bring huge sticks into the house and toss them around the living room. Nothing got broken, which was kind of hard to believe.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Privet was a little terrier who was not at all interested in sticks, and just watched as other dogs chased them as if they were just stupid dogs . . . like some of them were. However, he sometimes took sticks and toys from other dogs. I had to get them from him go give the back.

      • paridevita says:

        I like sitting on the couch, with my toys. Or barking at and chasing squirrels.

      • tonytomeo says:

        I tried chasing squirrels because Privet seemed to enjoy it so much, but I did not find it to be much fun. Neither was rolling around in a sunny spot on the driveway.

      • paridevita says:

        The guy I live with says I am the only purebred border collie who has lived here who has had an interest in rodents. Except for Flurry, the first one, who liked to dispatch them.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Dispatch them? Did he take them to the train depot?

  2. Nell Lancaster says:

    You are pretty serious-looking here, I have to agree. Just as you were pretty silly (but happy-looking) in the last post. Both looks emphasize your beautiful eyes. Hope tomorrow’s storms aren’t very severe; it’ll be a comfort for you and TGYLW to have each other nearby.

    Chatfield Farm looks like a very calming environment, despite all the visual references to, and evidence of, sustained hard work. And that unexpected vignette of nature red in tooth and claw… A labyrinth is a brilliant way to feature the many low, rock-gardeny plants that like your climate, with their periodic bursts of all-over flowering. Many rock gardens don’t succeed in evoking a natural environment; this one doesn’t try to. The result is easier access for maintenance, and appeal to a wider range of visitors — the ones who want to keep moving along the path as well as the ones who want to stop and study each plant.

    To be honest, these willow sculptures/installations that are appearing in quite a few public gardens creep me out. But they’re probably more inviting in person, and definitely aesthetically improved by people having a good time near them.

    Happy weeding! I miss the help I used to get. Dizzy’s was just like yours; Kozzie was a more earnest watchdog, who liked to have my back, literally: he’d situate himself about ten feet behind me and keep a 360-degree lookout.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. I just started this look a while ago. First they said 40 percent chance, then toned it down, but now we, and all of northeastern Colorado, are under a severe thunderstorm watch. The weather is coming from the southwest. The guy I live with said that the willow sculpture kind of reminded him of a Knott’s Berry Farm thing. In the 1950s, maybe not now. He didn’t go inside, though.

  3. Nell Lancaster says:

    Very taken with the Gladiolus atroviolaceus. Did TGYLW know it might be the biblical Rose of Sharon? ( Seeing as it’s native to Greece, Turkey, Iran, and the Middle East, my assumption would be that it’s not a multi-year plant there. But corms can be remarkable survivors, so…?

    • paridevita says:

      I suppose it’s possible; it’s a very common plant throughout that region. The guy I live with says that lots of plants native to that region, especially Turkey and Iran, do very well here. In fact, the climate of eastern Turkey and northwestern Iran is very similar to the one here. (Some places in eastern Turkey are even colder in winter than here.) The gladiolus has been in the garden for a few years. One corm disappeared, but there are seedlings, I think.

  4. Yes, tell more of the meet-up story! With more cute photographs, of course. Inform the guy you live with natural fabrics grow softer with continued wear and cleaning — he should go out right now and buy new flannels and pure cottons to start wearing and washing. Flannel has a tendency after time to thin and tear, and then you’d be treated to the sight of the guy in rags. Just no. I have seen willow structures several times. I can tell you they don’t belong in Kew Gardens. However, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is just the place, much like Chatfield Farm. If your guy figures out focus with a cell phone camera, please ask him to pass along the secret. I do like the photos in this post — the saturated color of Gladiolus atroviolaceus! Of course, the most beguiling part of the garden remains one personable retired velociraptor.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. The guy I live with said that being a velociraptor was something I would grow out of. Like Day Care. He has a number of cotton long-sleeved shirts. he likes to relate the comment he saw online for one of the seersucker shirts he bought, that no matter how much the purchaser tried to iron it, it still came out wrinkled. Lols all around. The flannel shirt, though, is Bainbridge flannel from Eddie Bauer, which he probably got as a gift, and then his wife wore it all the time. It was in the upstairs closet along with a bunch of other clothes and he tried it on and it fit, more or less. Very tattered around the bottom seam, though. The shirt is like thirty or more years old. Well he tried the “pro” setting and sometimes the phone focuses, and sometimes it doesn’t. Maybe there’s an online tutorial…for both his cell phones. I suppose I could tell more of the meet-up, when I’m in a more serious mood.

  5. Mew mew mew what a furabuluss bloggie post Mani!! You DO look seereuss inn yore ferst photoe….an hansum of course!
    LadyMew lovess pine coness…..shee has sum inn our wee garden to ree-mind her of THE 30 foot high Pine tree shee used to have here. Sumtimess shee bringss inn a pine Needell or two on her shoe an shee goess all softie an wistfull….
    Yore flower photoess are lovelee….THE purpell flower iss stunnin….
    Our wee garden iss sorta wild butt no weedss ’cause LadyMew pcheckss efurry day an pullss them out! Xcept last few dayss as shee has Flu an cranky!
    An you tooked a GRATE photoe of ‘yore Guy’ an his purrty frend!
    THe place they went to looks so inn-terstin….inn 3rd an 4th photoess iss that a labbyrinth?? It iss furry kewl….
    An our wether has bin furry weerd too Mani. Dayss of cloudss an windy an drizzell. An so much fog at nite….like WhiteChapel inn 1800’ss as LadyMew sayss!
    Hurrah fore THE duckiess! Do you sorta try to chase them??? Mee knowss mee wuud, mew mew mew….
    Wishin you an ‘yore Guy’ a lovelee wind an rain free week!
    ***purrsss*** BellaDharma

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. I’ve never seen fog. The willow thing is a sort of series of caves and tunnels, that you can walk through. Possibly scary. Talk about scary; a terrific thunderstorm passed over us this afternoon. The guy I live with was doing his “No hail” chant. I don’t have any interest in the ducks; they’re scary too. Lots of things are scary, I think.

      • Mee-yow nevurr seen fog Mani??? It iss sorta white an fuzzy an driftss along like a spooky ghostie….it makess THE air sorta damp. An it muffellss sounds…it iss furry unnervin mee can tell you! EEKKK you had a Funderstorm?? Now they scare mee! LadyMew has a ‘no hail’ chant shee doess here!
        Duckiess are cute iss Geese an Swanss that are scary as they are furry purrtective of their young….
        An yore rite there are many scarey thingss butt you have yore ‘guy’ an mee has LadyMew to purrtect us! 😉

      • paridevita says:

        No; we don’t have fog here. There is sometimes fog in the mountains, and in places like the Black Forest (south of Denver), but not here. There were several thunderstorms yesterday; one after another. It was pretty scary. I have two forts to protect me, but I might try to talk the guy I live with into getting me a downstairs fort, too, because the downstairs is cooler.

      • Mee-yow wow wee must have gotten yore quote-a of fog then! Seereusslee it was so thick mee cuud not see across THE road. LadyMew said THE fog was like ‘White Chapell inn THE 1800’ss’….mee not sure what shee meened butt I suspect shee meened there was a lot of fog!
        Mee sorry THE funderstormss scared you Mani…a down staress fort sounds like a pawsum idea….
        **purrsss** BellaDharma

      • paridevita says:

        Thanks. The storms were pretty scary. The guy I live with told me about fog from the time when he was little, and lived near the ocean. And then about fog in the Sherlock Holmes stories.

      • Meow meow Mani mee meowed to LadyMew ’bout Sherlock Holmess an shee red mee one of THE storiess with fog inn it!! Mee was purrty scared! Mee even had a nite mare an woke upss meowin…LadyMew stroked mee an sang to mee an meowed ‘No more Sherlock Holmess for you littell girl!!’
        Mee hopess yore weather iss calm now an sunny….ourss iss an it iss lovelee Mani….

      • paridevita says:

        I hear they can be scary. The guy I live with really likes Sherlock Holmes and it turns out that his friend does, too. It started out nice here but now it’s scary. So many things are scary. Thunder off to the southeast, which means it’s past us, but I could hear it on my walk just now and had to go home.

        Sent from Mail for Windows 10

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