there and back again

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 news from our smoky garden, and some other stuff as well. You may remember me from such posts as “The Night Rain”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. This is mostly what we do, if you didn’t know. It’s a busy life, with a lot of responsibilities.

It’s gotten cooler, finally, so the fan you see in the picture above has been retired, at least for a while. Maybe until next year.
We still have the fan in the bedroom window, though last night it wasn’t on, because of all the smoke coming in the bedroom.
Last night, on our walk, there was ash falling. It was almost like snow. Not as bad as on the west coast, though.

The night before, on our walk, we had to turn around, because of a striped encounter.This is a pretty spooky part of our walk, anyway; the land on the right falls away to the creek (the same creek as the one behind our house), with trees and a whole lot of underbrush, and sometimes loud rustling noises there, so turning around was okay, and it made the walk longer.

There are more things in flower now than there were. I’m supposed to post a picture of the white colchicums (Colchicum speciosum ‘Album’) because they’re been in flower longer than any other colchicums here.There are some salvias flowering in the side yard (Salvia greggii). I think there’s a vegetable garden on the other side of the fence and sometimes water from the sprinkler comes through the fence, which helps the flowering. Otherwise they just sit there doing nothing, like the one near the watering can. They don’t die, but they don’t flower.
Rain from the Mexican monsoon triggers the flowering, which coincides with hummingbirds migrating to the south. The hummingbirds selected red-flowered plants, so that’s mostly what there are, though in the horticulture trade you can find white, pale yellow, pink, and purple.

There are cyclamen, too. This is Cyclamen coum, which doesn’t flower at this time of year. It makes leaves now, that overwinter. And the cow pen daisies, Verbesina encelioides, are flowering, but they would like a little more water than they get here.
You can also see someone trying not to be seen.The bare area on the left is where the backhoe came through, when the sewer drain was replaced.
Nothing really got done there this year. I guess that’s obvious.
The guy I live with said that he was going to order seeds of native annuals and grasses to sow there, though it’s not always easy to get plants from sowing seeds directly into the ground, because there are mice and birds that like the seeds, too. But it’s worth a try, he said.
There were supposed to be hundreds of California poppies in the front yard but either not many germinated or it was just too dry for them.

And Sternbergia lutea. This isn’t always easy to get to flower here, because it likes to be rained on, too, in order to start flowering. Maybe the snow helped, though the guy I live been has been watering, some, as well.Oh, and the other thing. The title of my post. The guy I live with and his wife loved both The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, like most normal people, and he used to read it to her, doing the characters in different voices, but this isn’t about that.
This is about going to the store.
Now, last year, say, he would have just gone to the store. But this year, things are different. He kept saying he was going to the store, and then put it off for another day. He doesn’t usually put things off, but he said he couldn’t think of anything to have to dinner. That was a pretty big deal because he likes to cook. A lot. Though cooking for one is not always easy.

Yesterday he went to the store. It was just a regular trip, like always, but it was only the second time he had been to the store since March. Naturally, he didn’t get “enough food” and is now talking about going again, but the moral of this is, I mean if there even is one, is that he made a really big deal out of something ordinary.
He said we’re not living in ordinary times.

The guy I live with made some Korean pickles, with the cucumbers, onion, and jalapenos he got at the store.
He usually gets these at H Mart, which is a pretty long way away from here, but he thought he’d try making these himself, to have something to do. And of course eat.

Well, so, anyway, that’s what’s been happening here. Not much of anything, but a little excitement here and there. Like this:I’ll leave you with a picture of me walking near a very familiar garden.

Until next time, then.

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22 Responses to there and back again

  1. Mee-yow you had a Bunny come to vissit! That iss xcitin!! An a Ginormuss Owl>>>mee scared fo them. Butt mee likess lookin at fotoss of them…from afar!
    All yore flowerss are furry purrty an THE Cyclamen lookss lovelee too!Considerin THE lack of rain an THE smoke an ash youss’ have had wee think yore garden did furry well.
    Wee sure hope those forest fires will compleeetly burn out ASAP!
    Oh an Mani you look furry hansum inn yore fotoss…..
    An yore rite ’bout our Hu’manss an them goin out. LadyMew sayss it iss a ‘hole purrduction’ to get ready an put on knee bracess an Arthritis Rub an put charcoal filter inn mask an get sannytizer along with keyss an wallet an bag to carry itemss inn…..shee sayss shee iss worn out beefore shee ven leevess THE apartmint!! Plus our Province iss seein ALOT more casess. An wee have more here too…it feelss like Covid iss creepin closer efurry day…
    Bee well Mani an Guy….
    **purrss** BellaDharma an *wavess* LadyMew

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. The guy I live with did make a big deal out of not much of anything.
      The bunny actually lives in our front yard. We let it stay, considering the terrors that await bunnies elsewhere in the neighborhood.

      • Mew mew mew mee heerss you Mani!! LadyMew has Anxiety issue an this Covid makess her even more anxious! Wee have 738 mew (new) casess inn our Province today an LadyMew iss purrty freeked out.
        An you an yore Guy are so kind to let Hippy Hop Bunny live inn yore yard…pawsum!!!!

      • paridevita says:

        Well it would be impossible to keep bunnies out of the front yard, and anyway, the guy I live with says they’re cute, even though they can do huge amounts of damage.
        Anxiety is the guy I live with’s middle name. He mostly just lives with it.

      • Mew mew mew THE bunniess sound lovelee…mee knowss they can eat flowerss an grassess an stuff butt they are so cute iss Okay!
        As for anxious….oh yeah LadyMew iss Miss Anxiety when shee getss nervuss. Mee has to stay away from her when shee iss gettin reddy or shee panickss….(shee iss sorta weerd). Once shee comess home shee brushess mee an snuggellss mee an it iss like shee was nevurr anxious?!?

      • paridevita says:

        It kind of comes and goes, here.
        The bunny is the same one every time, I think. I’ve tried to go for it once or twice, when I go out the front door for my walk, but the guy I live with says to focus on my walk, instead.

      • Mew mew mew chasin Bunniess ISS fun butt Hu’manss do not like us ‘mingellin’ with THE wildlife’ so to meow (speek). LadyMew chabburrss ’bout us all livin inn peece an harmony 😉
        As fore Aniety same with LadyMew. THE silliest thing will set it off yet shee can face BIG thingss as cool as a cucumburr….shee iss fascinatin!!!

      • paridevita says:

        That’s kind of like the guy I live with. The big stuff doesn’t always bother him, but like today, it was windy, and there was so much perfume in the air that it made him sick.
        We mostly live in harmony with the bunnies, squirrels, mice, and so and that run around the garden, though the guy I live with gets angry at the squirrels for trying to break into the bird feeders.

      • Mew mew mew Squirrelss are silly THE werld over! Same here!! So LadyMew putss out peenutss fore them under THE Condo that is on blockss. Fluffy an Mummy are allmost well trained now….
        Wee are so sorry THE purrfume got to yore Guy…LadyMew understandss!!
        Wee had Pawlice here again….LadyMew was inn teerss again. No shee not inn troubell; it iss a frend of ourss….
        Then THE Pawlice came back a 2nd time an LadyMew closed THE drapess so shee not see what efurr happened. Iss all wayss sumthin’!
        ***purrss*** BellaDharma

      • paridevita says:

        Squirrels are kind of annoying here. They did up expensive bulbs.
        The perfume is unbelievably strong; it came into our bedroom at ten til midnight, two nights in a row. The guy I live with had to turn the window fan around, so it blew the stinky air out of the house.

  2. Mark Mazer says:

    Soy sauce and rice vinegar in those pickles? Next time, daikon? There is a large field of daikon just down the road planted a few weeks ago and we ran out of seed during these crazy days so will look for those that “fall off the truck” during harvest time. Do you know of Maangchi?

    • paridevita says:

      And sugar. The guy I live with has Maanchi’s cookbook, but it’s easier to drive to H Mart to get stuff.
      The only thing with the pickles is that the guy I live with’s friend is sensitive to hot food, and last time he accidentally gave her a pickled jalapeno…
      They’re still friends, though.

  3. barbk52 says:

    Is there still a big fire near you? There must be, ash doesn’t travel that far. Such a terrible summer! But Cyclamen! My favorite! I ordered 1, just one, from Edelweiss. I think we all deserve plants this year. Well, maybe we don’t deserve them, most of us, but I’ve been behaving well and I’m sure you have too. That late night walk looks decidedly creepy. Especially with the orange sky. The moon tonight will be spectacular! I can’t see the horizon from here, can you see it on your evening walk? I understand Mars will be right next to the moon also. I love looking at the sky, until I get dizzy.

    • paridevita says:

      We can’t really see the horizon, but close to it, looking east. We’ve seen Mars and Jupiter and Saturn for a while now.
      The nighttime walk can be a bit creepy, especially when there are loud rustling noises near us. Sometimes I want to investigate, but the guy I live with says we shouldn’t.
      Edelweiss is good, so is Hansen, for what you might call regular cyclamen. Edgewood Gardens for fancier, more expensive ones.
      There are two wildfires here, the Cameron Peak fire, which is really big (125K acres), west of Fort Collins, has been burning for weeks, and the Williams Fork fire, a little to the northwest of us, west of Berthoud Pass.
      The sun is red right now. Again.

      • barbk52 says:

        Oh, the snowdrops at Edgewood are so expensive! But the cyclamen are quite reasonable. Maybe just two or three…..

      • paridevita says:

        Snowdrops, species and named varieties, are expensive. Cyclamen, much less so.
        It’s getting to be too late to plant cyclamen here, but the guy I live with says this year is, well, you know, this year, so maybe it won’t freeze for a while. Freezing heaves the newly-planted tubers out of the ground, and rodents get them. (Once they’ve rooted, rodents aren’t interested.)

  4. tonytomeo says:

    Ash has been . . . weird. We have not gotten any more ash in a while. The fires must be very close to where you are.

    • paridevita says:

      There’s one about sixty miles to the west of us. It was nice this morning but the smoke suddenly moved in and we can’t see the foothills, which are about four miles away.
      The guy I live with said I should have a mask when I go out…

  5. Lisa says:

    The cyclamen is beautiful, even without flowers. I can count the number of times I’ve shopped since March on one hand, with fingers left over. I have an adult son living with me, so he does it. When our smoke was so bad the air was hazardous I ordered delivery, and tipped a lot since I was asking someone else to go out in hazardous air! I had five perennials bought on sale shipped today! Better get their spaces prepared.

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with has been out I think nine times. Three times to the doctor, three times to see his masked friend, one time to bring her house plants in when she was away in Europe (and then to the store), once to the Asian market and then the store, and then the store the other day.
      Not counting the couple of times he just got in the car and drove it around.
      It’s been so frightfully dry here that planting anything except bulbs has seemed pointless. The guy I live with has only made two small orders for bulbs this year; I think just because.

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