below freezing

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 garden stuff, before it freezes tonight, which they say it’s going to. You may remember me from such posts as “The Engine Rabbit”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. A little sad and pensive, don’t you think?
This time of year can be fairly sad, because of the approaching holidays, but also because tonight it’s supposed to go below freezing, and that will mark a big change for the garden here, even if it warms up next week.
It’s predicted to snow this weekend, and get a bit colder, which the guy I live with would be against except that it’s been so frightfully dry here, and there are all these huge fires raging in the mountains. This will be the second time we’ve had precipitation since the last week in July. Rain would be nicer, but rain here after August has become very rare.

Today the guy I live with left me alone to go to the store. He met his friend at the Asian market, one they hadn’t been to before, and they went shopping together.
Then they parted ways, and he went to the regular store by himself. “So now I have food for three days”, he said, when he got back. (I guess that’s a going-to-the-grocery-store joke.)
But at least he has food, and so do I, though mine comes from Chewy.

Speaking of food, there are saffron crocuses flowering in the garden. This is Crocus sativus, the cultivated saffron crocus. (The guy I live with plucked all the saffron threads and gave them to his neighbor across the street.)This is Crocus cartwrightianus ‘Marcel’, which also has saffron, but not of the same quality.
No one really knows where the cultivated saffron crocus came from; it’s sterile and so sets no seeds, but most botanists and people who study the origins of food think it came from Crocus cartwrightianus.

There are some other crocuses in flower too. I might say were in flower, but if it warms up next week, there will surely be more of them.

Crocus goulimyi

And the first of the Crocus niveus appeared the other day. 

The leaves on the bigtooth maple, Acer grandidentatum, have all turned color now and will probably be gone by next week. Some years they get really red. This year, not so much.
There are some salvias in flower, too. Salvia darcyi will be gone after it freezes. The guy I live with says that’s kind of a regrettable feature of some of the autumn-flowering plants, that they can’t take freezing.
Salvia greggii may or may not keep going, depending on whatever it depends on.Both these plants really need too much water to be good garden plants here, but the guy I live with still grows them, and waters them from time to time.

As he does with the snowdrops. The first of the Galanthus reginae-olgae are flowering in the snowdrop frame. The guy I live with said these looked a little sickly.
You can see the form called ‘Cambridge’ in the pot in the background.I know neither of these pictures is in focus. (You can also tell that I know correct grammar, too. We purebred border collies can be terrible snobs, sometimes.)
The snowdrops in the frames are almost all grown in pots plunged into the soil; that makes it easier for them to be dug up, divided, and shared, if necessary.

What else? Not much; the guy I live with cleaned out the “Wardian case” that sits on the patio table. His wife put the things in there and he’s tried to keep it like she had it, but some things, like feathers she found, disintegrated.
A few years ago he found some snake bones and put them in the case, like she would have done. Most of those are gone, too.Some people were grossed out when they heard about the snake bones, but the guy I live with just totally ignored them. He said that when you lived with a person you loved, for so long, and they suddenly died, doing something like this seems completely right, even though other people might not understand.

At least it’s nice and clean and organized, now.

And I have a picture of the ducks in the canal.
We also think there’s a muskrat again. A couple of times, late at night, we’ve seen ripples from the bank, just about where the picture was taken, out into the water, just like a muskrat would make. We haven’t seen it but we’re pretty sure it’s there.

This is also the time of year when we get nice sunsets. The view to the north was nothing but smoke, but the view to the south was nice.  I think that’s pretty much it, for now. It’s sort of misting, which is pleasant, since we don’t get much mist.
And that makes being comfy and toasty inside all the more cozy.

Until next time, then.

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