snowdrops and stories

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to bring you up to date on the latest news from our garden, which is really not very much at all, but the guy I live with said I should do a post anyway. You may remember me from such posts as “A Bit Of Work”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. You can see that the snow has been slowly melting, or, as the guy I live with says, “It’s taking forever to go away”. This is because he remembers when snow wouldn’t be on the ground for more than a few days; the snow has been here since the end of October.

It’s been about forty-five to fifty degrees Fahrenheit every day here, freezing at night (sometimes just slightly), but no really warm days like we used to have at this time of year. The record high temperature for this day is sixty-nine degrees, which would definitely melt the snow, but the last two winter have featured just this steady temperature, with very little wind.

We’ve been doing some work out in the garden, though you probably couldn’t tell. Mostly filling bird feeders and stuff like that. And some raking. Here I am in kind of a show dog pose. I forget what I was looking at. I know the title of my post has snowdrops in it, so here are some. A few of these are very late; the guy I live with blames the one degree we had in October. Even the snowdrops growing in the frames were set back.

Okay, ready? This is a picture of Galanthus × valentinei nothosubspecies subplicatus.  No, really, that’s its name. This is a natural hybrid between Galanthus nivalis and G. plicatus subspecies byzantinus, found in, like, Thrace (Greece and Turkey).  Pretty much everyone knows Galanthus nivalis. The other species, G. plicatus, in its subspecies byzantinus, has been in flower in the guy I live with’s friend’s garden (to the north of here) for a couple of weeks now. (It’s only just up, here, because the soil was frozen.)

If you are wondering what the heck a “nothosubspecies” is, the guy I live with says that it designates a species, or in this case a subspecies, that’s the result of hybridization; in this case, in the wild.
Whew, huh? The next snowdrop is Galanthus fosteri. 

There are some other snowdrops almost in flower in the frames, but I thought it would be slightly interesting (the guy I live with said more interesting than that) to show some snowdrops out of flower, just because.
This is Galanthus peshmenii, which has been done flowering for quite some time. It’s an autumn-flowering snowdrop. You can see how long its leaves are; they come up after the snowdrop has almost finished flowering. This is Galanthus reginae-olgae ‘Cambridge’, which just finished flowering after being in flower since November (which was still late for it).
You can see that though both species have this grayish line down the middle of the leaves, this species has much shorter leaves.
DNA tests and stuff have shown that these two species are not very closely related at all.The only other interesting (not necessarily to me) snowdrop-frame-related subject is that the snowdrops near the front of the frame are still not up. I mean they’re up so we can see them, but normally some of them would have been up for a couple of months and already finished flowering. It must be because of that one-degree business.
All of the snowdrops that are not up were planted directly into the ground, instead of the gallon nursery pots that the others are planted in. You can see that most are barely up. I imagine that moving the bulbs into pots will be a spring project. I’ll watch. And, finally…there are snowdrops up in the garden. These are Galanthus elwesii ‘Theresa Stone’.It was a relief for me because I had to hear all this complaining about how cold it was, and frozen soil, and, well, whatever. There are snowdrops up in the garden now.

In other news, well, there isn’t much of any. The bed upstairs is pretty comfortable, and if I need to, I can look out the window to make sure no one is walking on my street. I do appreciate the fact that the guy I live with has been working on making this little bedroom extremely cozy. (He’s been fretting a lot about the downstairs bedroom and what to do about it.)

Just today I was lying up there, on the bed, as you can see, and the guy I live with came up there, sat on the bed with me, and said it might be nice if he read some stories to me.
See, most of the books there were his wife’s. When he looks at them, just sitting there on the shelves she built, he thinks things that I can’t even imagine. Sometimes he cries a little. He says, over the “lost magic”.  It sometimes gets to him. Losing something so infinitely precious. But then he says that’s the way of things, no matter how much he wishes it weren’t, in the same way that other humans do, and that maybe he could read something to me, and that would make things better. The books he picked out were his mom’s, though, and date from the late nineteen thirties.

The guy I live with said these would be good. I think I might like that. He said that he remembers seeing them in his grandparents’ house on Oakwood Avenue in Los Angeles, when he was a little kid. And now they’re here, in our house.
The one about the apple dumpling is about sharing, which the guy I live with says is very important, and, if you want, you can find a post about sharing on this blog, done by Chess, the purebred border collie who lived here before me.

That’s it, for today. My evening walks have been just a little chilly, at least according to the person who walks with me, but we did see the owl this evening. We go at around the same time every evening, after my dinner, and you can see by the sun on the pine needles that the days are getting longer, which is good.
I’ll leave you with a picture of me doing one of my most favorite things of all.

Until next time, then.

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26 Responses to snowdrops and stories

  1. barbk52 says:

    Uncle Wiggley, snowdrops and you Mani! Not much else is needed. Boy that book takes me back, and to a very nice place for sure. Thanks.

    • paridevita says:

      You’re welcome. There are more of those books here, too.

      • Barb K says:

        We have the entire collection of Oz books here. No Uncle Wiggily (spelling corrected) though. I’d sure like to see your books. Especially the old kid’s books. There is no greater escape, except maybe the garden on its good days.

      • paridevita says:

        The guy I live with said we could probably do that, some time.
        He said there were Oz books, and Mary Poppins books, but that his sister probably has them, since she had kids.

  2. Elisabeth says:

    And sunshine too! Sunshine, a charming story, and a good nap. Sounds perfect.

    • paridevita says:

      It pretty much is. It’s been mostly sunny here, except for the occasional gloomy day. They even say it might rain this Monday, which the guy I live with thinks is silly.

  3. You are such a lucky dog. A great day and a bedtime story. I love the owl!(-: We have great horned owls that live here. They are just about ready to pick out a tree for their new family. Usually by February 14th they are nesting. Last year we had a very strange late snow. I am hoping that doesn’t happen again.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I agree. I am pretty lucky.
      We’re not sure where the female owl is, maybe she’s sitting on eggs somewhere. It’s kind of weird to think of owl eggs…. Or she’s just sitting in a nest somewhere.

  4. Carol says:

    Loved loved Uncle Wiggley. Sent a cooy to great nephews for holiday. Wish i knew where my childhood book is. The color plates were beautiful!, So it ntil next time when then the snowdrops bloom and Mani spys a night owl…..

  5. Susan H says:

    We had Uncle Wiggly books that were my father’s when he was a boy (He was born in 1920) and I read them when I was young. My brother read them to his kids when they were young and I think he still has them at his house, unless his son has them to read to his daughter. They are timeless. We also had the board game. There was one square that you landed on that said “Isn’t that provoking! Now you must take a pink card”. The pink cards had instructions or consequences to follow. Everyone in our family still makes that remark-it’s a good one.

    • paridevita says:

      They’re pretty nice. The guy I live with’s late wife asked his mom if she could take them, and his mom said yes, so all the little books are nestled in with all the other children’s books here.
      The guy I live with said he might start saying “Isn’t that provoking”.

  6. Merrilee Barnett says:

    Like many others here we had Uncle Wiggily books, too, as a pass-along from my aunt. She was my mother’s much older sister, a teacher. So after her two children were grown she gave them to us. I and all five of my brothers loved them. My mother reading to us is one of my most cherished memories. She said it was just so she had a chance to sit down. Apple dumplings were also important in my family. That is what we had every Christmas eve for supper right before we got to open one present. I don’t know how that tradition started…maybe Uncle Wiggily?

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with said that when he was little he was always struck by Uncle Wiggily building a snow plow in his basement. Like how did he get it out of the basement? But maybe he misremembers, because the snow plow book isn’t here. Maybe something happened to it over the years.
      He does remember sitting in a chair by the bookshelf, in the old house in Los Angeles, looking at all the books, and the brightly colored illustrations.
      Especially crushing peppermint on the rocks.
      I’m not sure I remember all that much from when I was little.

  7. Mew mew mew wee have no snow dropss here Mani…all tho’ snow DID drop from THE sky! Wee had at leest a foot of snow last weekend. A bit melted which iss guud bee-cause wee had Hydrow Pole an Transformer ree-palcemint werk Wednesday an Fursday this week!
    Here iss link to post:
    Yore guy mite find this inn-terestin! LadyMew lovess techie an plummin an weerd stuff most girlss not like! 😉
    Seereuslee yore snowdropss are furry lovelee. An Mistur Owl iss doin his thing purr usual. Nayburrhood watch mee thinkss!
    An how kewl yore ‘guy’ will reed to you. Ladymew reedss sum to mee an iss sorta kewl. Mee leernss more werdss this way too!
    ***purrsss*** BellaDharma

    • paridevita says:

      It is kind of fun to watch things like that. The guy I live with sometimes worked alongside of people who worked “higher up” (electricity is higher up on the poles than phone is), and they always knew exactly what they were doing. Sometimes they turned off the electricity, sometimes not.

      • Yore so rite Mani!! Wee were enthralled bye what was goin on….even mee, a humbell cat! Yore ‘guy’ was a phone guy?? Kewl!!! With this job they had to tern Hydrow off. Wee sirvived; it was a bit chilley butt not pawfull cold. Mee was a bit hungree bye suppurr tho’! 😉

      • paridevita says:

        Yes, he worked for the phone company. His wife did too, and that’s how they met, on a blind date.
        I don’t mind being chilly, really. The back door here is open almost all day long, every day. Except when it’s super cold.

  8. ceci says:

    Uncle Wiggly! I should revisit the copies that are here somewhere; I have to admit to preferring the Mary Poppins series (NOT the movies, sadly) to Uncle Wiggly. The snow drops are exquisite; our bog-standard ones are just showing traces of white at the tips, but the buttercup-ish winter aconite is blooming through the leaf litter, always the first sign of spring coming.


    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with says we used to have winter aconites here but they died out, because of dryness.
      He also says he remembers the Mary Poppins story with Mrs. Corry and painting the sky with stars, “Were the stars gold paper or was the paper gold stars?” He remembers that from like 1957, a very long time ago indeed.

  9. Furry kewl that youre ‘ugy’ an his wife meeted at phoen companee Mani….
    Mee not handell beein chilley as well anymore. Mee an inn-door kitty girl now, mew mew mew…

    • paridevita says:

      Yes, they met through the phone co. Two people who never had much ambition in their lives, signed on with the phone company, and never regretted it. (The guy I live with has quite a few regrets, but that’s not one of them.)
      It was about sixty degrees (F) here today, but cloudy.

      By the way, I’m not sure why WordPress made us approve this comment. The guy I live with said it was because the IP address was different; whatever that means. He said it can sometimes change, not a big deal, but the blog sees that and it makes a difference.

  10. A possibility of rain sounds exciting to those of us here in a dry corner of the world. Reading your posts, dear dog, have made me appreciate snow drops and owls … and now I feel like writing a poem. A book with animals as characters seems just about perfect as a story to read to you — great choice by the guy you live with. The last photograph of you, Mani, lying on your favorite sofa, seems very much like a photograph of you in your nest. Guess you don’t have to be an egg-hatching owl to find them cozy.

    • paridevita says:

      The couch is indeed ultra cozy. Made even more so by the new couch protector which you can see sticking out from under the fleece I’m lying on. But the couch does need new cushions.
      It didn’t rain here after all. It wouldn’t, in January. We were just sitting here, the way we do, and could hear this sort of sprinkling sound outside (the back door being open, as usual). The guy I live with went out to check, and it was pinhead-sized ice pellets falling on the garden. Not freezing rain (he looked that up, since it never happens here) or sleet (ditto).
      I got left here alone while the guy I live with went to the urologist for a check-up and he said it snowed on the way over there. Not much, though.
      Basically just another chilly day, but with no sun.

  11. Dana Carlson says:

    Hi Mani!
    Stellar pics of owls as always!
    The lady I live with has never heard of Uncle Wiggly! She has some early editions of Oz and Alice, well-thumbed, from her family. She wanted to write and illustrate children’s books when she was in college, but gave that up. She had a friend who wrote and illustrated an award-winning children’s book and then said, “I never worked so hard for $10,000 in my life!” She is off to find some Uncle Wiggly.
    We have had massive masses of rain, here. Think almost flooding. The daffodils, crocuses, tulips, hyacinths and scilla think it’s spring. The bananas are growing.
    We had hail for 10 minutes a week ago! I thought it was really exciting! Everyone else went inside.
    Stay snuggly!
    Sampson the doberman

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. The guy I live with says you can get old Uncle Wiggily books from, like, AbeBooks, for not very much money at all. His sister has the old Oz books.
      He wanted to write children’s books, with his wife. The “Mister Offlesoft” stories, starring Chess, the purebred border collie who lived here before me. I’ve probably said that before.
      Now he just sits here and shivers, complaining about the cold. Well it has been cold, except for a few days, for the last couple of months. He’s not used to that, even in winter. It was below zero here last night (I think; we haven’t checked the outdoor thermometer.) It’s supposed to snow tomorrow, Friday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. I sometimes fear for his sanity. He keeps ranting about “below seasonal normals”, like last winter.
      But today I got to watch the guy run the camera through the sewer drain. That was pretty interesting, and he was nice. I’m learning a lot about plumbing.

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