close encounters of the striped kind

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to tell you a little bit about what’s been going on in the garden, and a bit about my midnight adventures, too. You may remember me from such posts as “The Nameless Horror”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.It hasn’t been so incredibly hot, lately, and the guy I live with has actually done some work in the garden. Yes, I know. I was surprised, too.
It mostly happened in the front yard and I didn’t get to see the work, but I know it happened, because he showed me what he’d done afterward.
There’s still a bunch of dead branches to be removed, and that purple-leafed chokecherry needs to go, but it really does look nicer. Kind of a native oak woodland, you might say.Of course he scratched his arm and came back into the house bleeding profusely, but that’s to be expected now. His doctor said his skin has gotten thinner, because he’s, you know, getting on in years.
The guy I live with sometimes talks about having someone help him out in the garden. Someone maybe less relatively ancient than he is. Of course that could lead to problems, because the person working in the garden might not feel about the garden the way the guy I live with and I do.
And people tend not to listen. I mean I rarely listen to the guy I live with, because of all the babbling, but sometimes he says something that needs to be listened to, and in the garden that would be especially true.
So anyway that’s where we are now. Hours of lying around doing nothing, and then the occasional burst of energy, interrupted by a whole bunch of first aid.

Because of the not a lot of rain at all (but still some), there are plants flowering in the garden.
The Rocky Mountain beeplant (Cleome or Peritome serrulata) is one; the guy I live with said to make a note to buy extra seed to sow early this coming winter. It’s an annual.  Hummingbirds like it,too.The nodding onion, Allium cernuum, a native, is flowering all over the garden. White, and some pink flowers too.And the sphaeralcea, I guess Sphaeralcea fendleri, which flowers all summer regardless. The Japanese beetles love them, unfortunately. When the garden was redone, about ten years ago, it was supposed to be a garden full of grasses, mostly native ones, but a lot of these didn’t take.
The only one planted from nursery pots that was successful was the alkali sacaton, Sporobolus airoidesThe failure of so many grasses has been a big disappointment; the easiest way is to grow them from seed, but not all of the grasses he’s wanted have been available as seed.
The guy I live with said that watching grasses sway gently in the breeze is a very good stress reliever. Then of course he complains about the lack of breezes here, in what used to be a pretty windy climate.
You can see here the bluebunch wheatgrass, Pseudoroegneria spicata, with its straw-colored stems, after it’s flowered, and Melica ciliata (the white tufts), which isn’t a native grass.

The sempervivums never disappoint, which why there are a lot of them here. This is one called ‘Salt Peanuts’. (No, really.) The picture was taken at dusk, like the ones of the grasses, above. That’s pretty much it, except of course, for my midnight adventures.
They’ve improved considerably now that the guy I live with has a head lamp. It definitely illuminates stuff.
Well, the other night, believe it or not, he noticed this before I did, because my eyesight in the dark is way better than his, or at least he claims to have seen it first, and we both sort of wanted to go check it out, not too closely of course.
All we have is this phone picture. A pretty terrible picture which he had to resize in order that you could even see it. You can see the shadow of the phone, but also, if you look very closely, at the bottom of that white pillar, on the left, is someone striped.

That’s as close as we got, and the guy I live with said that was close enough for both of us.

I’ll leave you with a picture of me in the daytime. One of us is on the wrong side of the creek.

Until next time, then.

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45 Responses to close encounters of the striped kind

  1. barbk52 says:

    I am wondering as I look at that open back door…do you have flies in CO? My yard is very hospitable to bugs of all kinds, and I just discovered a yellow jacket nest which concerns me. I would never leave my door open. How about there? Are you tormented by flying things? Some dogs get angry and others get scared. Pardon me, but some of the recent posts give me an idea that quite a few things frighten you. Don’t be embarrassed, one of my dogs was immobilized by fear during an encounter with a small puppy.

    • paridevita says:

      We do have flies here, and in the wintertime the studio downstairs has lots of them, because the back door is always left open during the day, unless it gets really cold. So it’s open most of the winter, as well as all the other seasons.
      This is because Slipper, a purebred border collie who lived here before me, wanted to have the back door open in the winter. He would stand half in and half out, so his head was cool but his rump was toasty.
      We had a bird fly into the house just yesterday. It flew out again.
      Slipper was a huge chicken, as was his first cousin, Chess. The guy I live with says we’re a sensitive breed.
      On the other hand I can run out to the back fence in the darkness and challenge anything that needs challenging, where the guy I live with sometimes gets a case of the creeps when he’s way out there in the darkness.
      There are a lot of flying things here, especially this year, with grasshoppers, which constantly land on me on my walks. I really dislike being landed on.

  2. barbk52 says:

    Oh, yeah, I forgot my question to TGYLW! Does he grow allium from seed? Do they take years to bloom? I saved some seed from my Allium nigrum Silver Spring which may not even come true, but why not?

    • paridevita says:

      I think the answer to that is no. There are maybe a hundred species of allium here, some really easy to grow, and some not very easy at all. All purchased as bulbs.
      Some reseed a lot. Some reseed way, way too much. The guy I live with’s wife wanted Allium aflatunense and A. caeruleum, and those have reseeded like nobody’s business. Allium flavum, which the guy I live with wanted, has reseeded ten times as much.
      The really rare ones from Iran and Central Asia are a very different story.
      Silver Spring is pretty attractive. It might come true from seed. We don’t grow it, but I think maybe we should.

      • barbk52 says:

        Yes, I can send you some seed! 5 bulbs produced 10 trillion seeds which should be a warning to me. I don’t learn these lessons, though. I bought a couple of those summer flowering A.Millenium which are quite pretty but one begins to hate them while trying to root out their very tenacious seedlings from between the stepping stones. I also stupidly planted A. sphaerocephalon. Now I pull it out routinely. There’s a reason why they are cheap.

      • paridevita says:

        The guy I live with says thanks, though we don’t need a trillion seeds. Lol. Though they might also not make it here; we tried regular Allium nigrum and it didn’t like our garden for some reason.

  3. Mani – I hope you told off TGYLW being on the wrong side of the creek. Some ancient people tend to ignore the rules as they get older

  4. WHEW!!!! Mee thott mee was goin reed a horro story of Pepe or Pierre or Pee-you Skunk sprayin you Mani or yore Guy or both of you!! Yore Guy iss a Geeneuss fore gettin a head lamp! Kewl idea! That way you both are illumynated an can keep track of THE wild critterss of THE nite!
    Inn yore ferst foto are you beehind bush inn top left side?? Mee an LadyMew think you did a GRATE job hidin, mew mew mew…
    An all yore flowerss are lovelee, speshelly THE Bee Plantss!!
    ***purrss*** BellaDharma

  5. ceci says:

    We started using a headlamp on night walks because the current smaller dog is fearful of the dark; the larger dog is excited by the headlamp’s beam so we can’t use it when she is along. Fortunately the small dog is not afraid of the dark if the larger dog is along. The decision tree about what to take on a walk when gets complicated depending on which dogs are in residence. Too bad about the creek issue; we had a walk around a small lake this weekend and dogs were not allowed to swim because its used for drinking water, so both dogs were frustrated about that – a moment of unity.

    I was amazed at the cleome we saw growing along the road in Arizona, perhaps similar to what you have; here its more of a garden plant and seems less graceful.

    Thanks as always for sharing your adventures.


    • paridevita says:

      You’re welcome. The cleome is a different species from the ones grown in gardens (but never successfully, here). There’s also a yellow one, Cleome lutea, which is native here, too. Mostly on the Western Slope and places west of that, I think.
      The headlamp is a great thing because just last night the guy I live with noticed some eyes flashing in the dark, and they weren’t a rabbit’s. Striped Kitty. But we were far enough away.

  6. tonytomeo says:

    Is that a zebra?! They can be scary, like striped kitties or skunks.

  7. That iss just so wrong Mani!

  8. CATFISH! Wee both need rain now!!!

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