Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to talk about the endless gloom of May. You may remember me from such posts as “The Terrors Of Spring”, among so many, many others.
Here I am in a characteristic pose.It’s been ultra gloomy here for some time now, and the forecast calls for yet more gloom, with some rain, I guess, and (I hope not) scary thunderstorms.
The guy I live with won’t tell me if my whole summer is going to be one day of terror after another, because he said it’s hard to tell, and, anyway, there’s no sense in getting me all depressed.
The rain has turned everything green; everything that’s not dead, anyway.
There are a lot of dead plants in the garden. Mostly woody plants; the “desert bamboo” (Fontanesia fortunei; it’s not a bamboo but related to privet) looks about half-dead. It’s been here for thirty years, but apparently this past winter was too much for it. The lilac ‘Annabel’, which would be done flowering by now, is mostly dead, too; it’s been in the garden for a very long time.
And some of the bulbs aren’t going to flower this year.
To add insult to injury, they sprayed more herbicide in the field. All along the creek. We could smell it all over our part of the neighborhood.
Maybe you can see the dying plants along the canal bank, here.
The guy I live with won’t let me go on the sprayed side of the canal road.
What I’m standing on here is really a levee. The levee did break once, like the Memphis Minnie song, when there was a big flood, and the water rushed over the levee and cut a huge gash. It sounds pretty scary. So many things are.
I can walk along the coyote path behind all the houses; they didn’t spray there. I saw a hawk a couple of days ago.
I forgot to show the picture of the time I saw a coyote, about three weeks ago, so I’m including it here, even though you can really see the difference in how much the grass (smooth brome) has grown since then.
The coyote is on the canal road, just below the last tree on the right. You probably can’t see it, but I could. If you embiggen the picture, you can probably see the coyote.
You know what else? There are “zillions” of mice in the garden. I can be lying in my kitchen fort, just looking out, the way I do, and all of a sudden a mouse will race across the flagstone, maybe getting a drink from the bird bath, then hiding under the birch tree.
Because there are so many mice, there are also a lot of snakes. I like hunting for snakes, even though the guy I live with says not to. He said if we ever have a tour again I would have to caution visitors that there are snakes everywhere. Snakes and mice.
Just the other evening, a mouse walked into the kitchen. The guy I live with shooed it out, but it probably didn’t actually go out. There’s a live trap in the kitchen, baited with peanut butter.
The instructions on the trap say to release the mouse at least two miles away. The guy I live with releases them on the patio.
Despite what the guy I live with describes as the worst winter he’s ever seen here, there are a lot of things in flower, and I’m going to show you some of them.
I didn’t know there were such things as tuberous geraniums, but there are. They’re mostly from places like Iran. This is Geranium transversale subsp. linearilobum. (A big name for a little plant.)Speaking of things from Iran, this is Allium elburzense (we think):Then there’s the tiny allium from western North America, Allium brandegei:
This is Ornithogalum nutans, which Graham Stuart Thomas called “a study in oyster-gray and soft green”. The guy I live with likes this plant a lot, but it doesn’t seem to be all that happy here.
And Amsonia jonesii, flowering in the front yard. The clump is one-third the size it used to be, but it was run over by the backhoe when the sewer drain was replaced.
A box was delivered the other day. It had hens and chicks in it. I wondered if we really needed more hens and chicks, but the guy I live with said we did. They need almost no care at all, which is why there are a lot of them here.
I know I show hens and chicks pictures a lot, but the guy I live with said to show them again.
That’s pretty much it. I suspect that we’ll just be sitting here all next week, while it rains and thunders and stays gloomy for days on end. But at least we have bedtime, and more Q.I.
We watch that show over and over and over again. The guy I live with says there isn’t much of anything else on that isn’t gross, or dumb, and we learn stuff. I could probably be a panelist on that show; there aren’t any squirrels to distract me.
Until next time, then.