smoke and wind

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to talk about this and that. You may remember me from such posts as “Another New Toy”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.Nothing much has happened for days, until today, when things started happening. You know how like you get into a routine, which may be boring, or fascinating, or something in between that, but you get comfortable with it, well, that’s how things have been, but today all of that changed, because of the weather. 
Instead of describing it, I’ll show it to you:
The first thing this morning, there was very strong perfume (probably what some people call “home fragrance”, though the guy I live with calls it something else entirely) in the back yard, and I worried that he was going to lose consciousness because he was coughing and choking so much from it, but then it got windy. It didn’t blow all the perfume away, though. The guy I live with said the perfume was stronger than wind, if not something extraterrestrial, but eventually it got super windy. Scary, even. The wind was gusting as high as about fifty miles per hour (80 kph). And it was windy for most of the day.
That was pretty different. Mostly it’s been dead calm here day after day. 

You can see that leaves were blown everywhere.There was one slight interruption to our daily routine, when the guy I live with went to the arboretum with his friend. They hadn’t seen each other for quite some time. 
He took some pictures that turned out to be huge files, so I didn’t upload them, but also these phone pictures. 
This is Monardella macrantha ‘Marian Sampson’. 
There’s one in the garden here, but it really needs too much water to fit in with everything else. 

And then Vernonia larseniae, which the guy I live with has tried to get going here a number of times without success.
The guy I live with said he was advanced enough that he can enjoy plants in other gardens rather than being desperately jealous. I’m not sure that’s entirely true. 
He and his friend went to the store after that, then they came back here and I got to say Hi to her; I hadn’t seen her in months but I remembered her just the same. 

We all went out into the back yard to look at the hideously butchered trees next door, which we’ll have to look at for a long time, “Unless they fall over”, the guy I live with said. A landscape company did this. Imagine twenty-foot tall sticks, with a few leaves at the top. 

He explained that gardeners can be ultra-sensitive to ugly “landscaping”, particularly if it’s right next door, and especially to atrocious tree pruning, since it’s extremely visible. 

There are cyclamen in flower here. This is Cyclamen ciliciumThere are some crocuses flowering here, too, but the birds are tearing the flowers to shreds within hours after the flowers open, so there aren’t many pictures. The guy I live with says it’s so dry here that creatures who don’t live in the house, like the two of us do, have to fend for themselves when it comes to food. 
I’m glad I don’t have to do that. I know I’m very lucky. 

So anyway, that’s what’s been happening. Not really very much at all, except for the wind today. 
I’ll leave you with a picture of me being very contented and cozy; the way things should be  for everyone.

Until next time, then. 

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38 Responses to smoke and wind

  1. tonytomeo says:

    What was the home fragrance? It sounds weird, although fragrance does not make any noise. Those are cool plants at the arboretum, but the cyclamen in your garden is better. I happen to like cyclamen, but am unfamiliar with the plants at the arboretum.

    • paridevita says:

      Well, the monardella is native to places like Santiago Peak and Mount San Jacinto, in southern California.
      The vernonia is native to Sanderson, Texas.
      Not exactly your frigidest places, and yet they’re hardy here.
      The home fragrance stuff is some very strong perfume that somehow escapes houses and settles around our house. We almost never smell cooking from other houses, say, but we smell this, everywhere.
      And it’s one reason why not much work has been done in the garden.

      • Mark Mazer says:

        Activated charcoal face masks?

      • paridevita says:

        People have said fans, but the guy I live with is probably going to talk to the county again.
        He’s been trying to be patient and nice, but it hasn’t worked out all that well.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Mount San Jacinto is a fascinating place! I have not been there since the late 1980s. Of course, I did not recognize the most interesting of the flora.

      • paridevita says:

        The guy I live with says it’s funny that plants from there are hardy here, but they are. Of course they almost certainly have access to underground water in the wild, and so need constant watering here, or drip irrigation.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Access to underground water? Most do not reach underground water right away. The valley below Mount San Jacinto has a weirdly high water table, and the native desert fan palm digs it.

      • paridevita says:

        Yes. According to Calflora, Monardella macrantha flowers in the summer. In order for it to do that, the roots would have to have access to a supply of water underground, since it isn’t going to be raining there in, say, July.

      • tonytomeo says:

        So they are sort of like a riparian species from a region that does not seem to be riparian. To me, that is how the areas around the springs near Palm Springs looks. I know they are riparian, and that the water table is very high, but it looks so dry and desert like. Species from Mount San Jacinto may be from the same sorts of ecosystems. (Just because they live on Mount San Jacinto does not mean that they necessarily live on top of it.) The geology there is so weird. It is one of those few places in California that I really want to go back to.

      • paridevita says:

        No, not riparian; they would grow in crevices or places where the roots could reach water. Lots of alpine plants are like that too.

  2. phyllis says:

    Oh Mani, You do indeed look content and cozy!

  3. AAAWWWW you look SO-O cozy comfy inn yore last foto Mani!! Yore rite wee shuud ALL feel so-o guud!
    Happy Columbus Day to you an yore Guy! Iss Catnadian Thanxgiving Day today. Wee stayin home. LadyMew was apposta to go to THE Farm where ‘angel’ Unkell Siddhartha iss buried butt THE Mistur up there said “NO Vissiturss ’cause t’shee’ cuud have Covid!”
    LadyMew iss furry upset. Shee not sick an shee just wanted to go to Unkell’ss grave; not go innto house or anythin….Aunty iss upset ’bout this too. 😦
    So mee stayin close to LadyMew so shee not so sad.
    “Bout that wind it soundss purrty wild! You know since Autumm arrived here wee have had rain allmost EFURRY day with alot of wind… strange weather…rite???
    Yore flowerss are lovelee! An may mee ask who iss THE littel kitty inn yore yard??
    Mee met Pierre La Pew Furiday nite. (Mee WAS INNSIDE!) LadyMew was up late meowin on THE fone an this black an white dude came up to patio door. LadyMew dropped THE fone (that was funny!) Guess what wee found out??? Skunkss EAT Peenutss!!! Who mew?? They do not east just Grubbiess!
    Wishin you both a wunderfull scentless less windy week!
    **purrss** BellaDharma

    • paridevita says:

      It’s too bad she can’t visit the grave. We live in strange times, don’t we?
      The black kitty is a “French scare cat”. The guy I live with’s wife got them, a long time ago, maybe from Smith and Hawken. They’re supposed to scare away birds and squirrels.
      I do a better job, of course.
      The guy I live with got a little watermelon, but it wasn’t all that good, so he cut it up and put it out in the front yard, for various creatures to find. Maybe a striped kitty will find a slice of watermelon, tonight.

  4. barbk52 says:

    Wow! Now when we get wind like that I start packing. Did it stir up the fires nearby and make the smoke worse? There is stuff all over the internet about the chemicals people use to “scent” their houses and laundry. Many complaints. And other horrifying stuff about the butchering of trees. There is a dogwood I see on our walks that the homeowner insists be kept as a 4’x4′ cube. You can look inside it and see the mangled trunk. Sigh. Well, Mani, we can rest our weary eyes upon you.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. I am pretty photogenic, am I not? Especially since today, the guy I live with carefully cut out two large mats behind my ears. He’s pretty good at that, if I hold still.
      The Cameron Peak Fire, which is up by Fort Collins, is about half contained now. All the wind and super dryness hasn’t helped.
      The Williams Fork Fire is more or less directly west of us, forty miles away, and up a mile, and about one-quarter contained.
      The perfume is horrible; the guy I live with can barely breathe, at times. This has been an ongoing thing, but especially bad the last two years.
      I guess it’s not right to take pictures of peoples’ back yards, but the guy I live with said maybe there could be a garden picture with the hideousness in the background.
      He’s already experienced at keeping the house on the other side, which is painted “barn color”, out of his pictures.

  5. Susan Hunter says:

    I too have one neighbor who seems to hate his tree and hews it down to a naked trunk every year. When the leaves emerge the poor plant looks like a kid’s drawing of a “lollipop” tree. The neighbors in the back also are addicted to the stinky perfume, which clings to my cat’s fur. Mixed with smoke from the wildfires, it’s impossible to leave the windows or doors open. I may have to move soon, even though I would be abandoning my garden. Fall colors are beginning to wind down here, except for the Rio Grande Cottonwoods, which are turning gold.

    • paridevita says:

      This tree thing is just so gross. When his friend came over, she went out and looked at it, and said “Gross”.
      Even the trees in the open space were hacked to pieces. (Sounds like an awful Halloween movie, with trees.)
      The smell has been an on and off thing, which the guy I live with avoided talking about on the blog for years, but last year and this it became an everyday thing, laundry and perfume all day long, up until midnight, coming into the house when the guy I live with was having hot flashes last summer, so he couldn’t run the fan.
      But now with staying at home and not being able to work in the garden, much, which I like too, it’s become a real issue.
      The guy I live with talks about moving, but, you know, he is a guy, and so mostly talk. We both like the house, which is pretty cozy, and the yard.
      It might freeze on Wednesday. The guy I live with is dubious. It’d definitely not going to rain.

  6. Mee agreess Mani ’bout LadyMew not beein abell to vissit Unkell Sidhartha’ss grave….plus Aunty Mary-Ellen had to have Shiloh man cat put to sleep last Wednesday an hee iss buried bee-side Unkell….iss all furry sad. Mew mew mew that iss not even a REEL cat??? LadyMew needss an eye xam doessn’t shee Mani?
    MMMM watermelon…wunder who will eat it there?? Pierre Stinky Tushie (Skunk) comess bye efurry nite searchin fore peenutss! So much fore eatin grubss 😉

    • paridevita says:

      It is very sad.
      The French scare cats have green marbles for eyes. The cats are metal and are getting kind of rusty, these days.
      Some of the watermelon is gone; I think it was the bunny.

      • Furry sad inndeed Mani. Aunty came inn an brott turkey an fixinss as yesturday was Thanxgivin….
        As fore French scarey cat LadyMew wondered how THE kitty had such LAZER eyess….mew mew mew….
        Lucky bunny!!! Guess what? LadyMew found 2 bags of THE speshell bird seedss our birdss an Chewy Two Chipmunk REELLY like! HURRAH!!!!

      • paridevita says:

        Happy belated Thanksgiving. Ours is next month. We probably won’t do anything.
        The guy I live with spends kind of lot of money on bird seed.

      • Thanx Mani! Aunty Mary-Ellen DID bring turkey dinner fore us yesterday an it was so tastey!
        Mee hopess maybee you an yore Guy will have a bit of a Thanxgivin next month….
        MOL @ bird seed; same here Mani, same here….

      • paridevita says:

        You’re welcome. We might have turkey next month. The guy I live with would rather stay home with me than go anywhere. The turkey would be cooked outside on the grill; only takes a couple of hours.

  7. Thea says:

    So sorry, Mani, the guy you live with is so bedeviled by neighbors. The worst that happens here happened this morning: a phone call saying dear little Pearce on the trampoline had somehow flung an orange ball into our (walled) backyard, would we please go out and throw it back over. We like their Family o’ Fun and didn’t mind at all. Leaves blowing around: We call that mulch. Congratulate yourself on being so compliant while the guy cut out your ear mats. You have a stoic temperament, we’re sure, Mani. Last Saturday new dog Sachi spent near three hours in the groomer’s drive-up truck getting shaved down to the nub because mats all over beyond household help. Came from the shelter that way and nightly grooming was of no avail. We are told both he and dear Petey stood quite patiently for treatment. We are trying to believe this. Trying quite hard, actually. Your outdoors is in its pretty season; your indoors is in its cozy season. You, Mani, show quite well against red, also against the garden. Fie on the smoke, fie, fie. Hope it has vanished by now.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. I got a new collar, also red, because the guy I live with said all the purebred border collies who’ve lived here had red collars. I was wearing Slipper’s old collar and it was getting frayed and a bit odoriferous. So I have a nice new one.
      The guy I live with also spent some time talking to his friend about my grooming, and the mats, and how I might go back to the groomers, and what a “potty path” was. But I might not go for a while.
      It was pretty windy today, but we didn’t smell smoke, though the fires here are still burning. The Cameron Peak Fire is now the largest in Colorado history. Everything is bone-dry here, with lots of wind. (The only precipitation we’ve had since the end of July is the snow last month.)

      • Mark Mazer says:

        We may have mentioned it before, but a “Furminator” used once a week or so on long haired dogs goes a long way towards preventing mats and then it only takes a quick swipe with a comb every couple of days to maintain. Bonus, less shed hair to vacuum up, no hot spots. We haven’t had to use a mat splitter in years and years.

      • paridevita says:

        I’ll tell the guy I live with, but he might not do anything. I’m okay with the wire brushes, I think.

      • Mark Mazer says:

        FWIW: A “Furminator” strips the undercoat and dead and loose hair. Wire brushes just don’t do that job.

  8. MMM that soundss purrty tastey Mani!!! Turkey on THE grill….
    LadyMew feelss like yore guy doess: shee prefurrss to stay home with mee too! 😉

  9. Yore so rite Mani! Our Pee C just broked last nite…it is weerd. Left side iss comin apart. LadyMew can still type but it iss not lookin guud. So Aunty Sheila iss takin LadyMew an “Lady Davinia” laptop to STAPLESS. Wee bee offline fore a while….pleese stay safe an keep yore Guy safe too!
    **purrss** BellaDharma

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