jam session

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 what’s been happening here. You may remember me from such posts “Licorice Lips”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.
It’s been hot again, but not so hot that I can’t lie out on the patio. Even weirdly, like this.

All the firecrackers were pretty scary, but it wasn’t as bad as most years. Then it got hot again, but totally overcast and dark; the guy I live with said there wasn’t any kind of weather as detestable as that. It was pretty creepy.
And now there are fires out west; the smoke is coming into our part of Colorado.

There aren’t a lot of plants in flower in our garden, which the guy I live with says that’s how it’s supposed to be, during the summer. Only ones that do well without watering are really welcome here. There could be more of those, but not much effort has been put into that, lately. Some plants have been grown from seeds, but most of the seedlings died, the way I hear they do. He forgot about them during the hot weather.

This is an evening picture, looking down the overgrown path on the north side of the garden.
There are ratibidas (Ratibida columnifera) all over the garden; they do very well without having to be watered.
Some of the grasses are flowering, too. This is the alkali sacaton, Sporobolus airoides.
The phone camera doesn’t do justice to the flowers.
The guy I live with said he would be content if the garden were almost nothing but grasses.

Speaking of grasses, my Private Lawn was mowed. The guy I live with said he was going to go buy a cordless lawn mower, and did a lot of research, but he hasn’t been feeling all that great lately, mostly because of the heat, and so it got put off, and then, suddenly, he realized that buying a lawn mower for this much grass was a total waste of money. He used the push mower, instead.
I suppose the lawn should be raked, and then watered, which is what you do after you mow buffalo grass.

The other thing–there have been more “other things”, but mostly not worth talking about–has to do with the oriole feeders.
The guy I live with said he’s gone through eight jars of jelly in the last month and a half. We have a lot of orioles.
He went to the store a few days ago, and got more, but when he opened the jar, it was jam. And it said “jam” right on the jar. So then he wondered if the orioles would like jam just as well as jelly.
One feeder now has jelly, one has jam, and they seem equally popular.

This is the sort of thing I have to deal with.

I guess that’s all. Pretty fascinating, huh?

Until next time, then.

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28 Responses to jam session

  1. tonytomeo says:

    Where I lived in town, neighbors told me that it was inappropriate for me to mow my own lawn, and even worse to use a push mower. Also, they were none too keen on my laying out on the pavement like that. You guys get away with a lot.

  2. Lisa says:

    Your own private lawn, that’s something! I suppose orioles like jam or jelly or even soft mashed fruit. I really have no idea, having never seen an oriole! On the other hand, I don’t like jelly.

    • paridevita says:

      It started out as Slipper’s Private Lawn; he preferred going out there for a sense of privacy, since you can’t see the lawn except in the wintertime.
      The guy I live with said he read that orioles like fruit, like oranges, apples, and even bananas.
      I think they really like the jelly better than the jam. The guy I live with likes St. Dalfour preserves, a lot. But the orioles won’t get that.

  3. Greg Aitken says:

    You might let tgylw know about the european scythe (the kind you hold one hand above the shoulder (rather than all hunched forward)). It is very quiet, works well in the dew and can be operated barefoot. The only problem is striking hidden stones. You, on the other paw, must be kept well away for obvious reasons (but you need your down time). Makes hay though, so his eye might wander towards getting a pony or such.

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with looked at scythes, at scythesupply.com, but my Private Lawn is smaller than our kitchen, and the push mower (Green Mountain mower) only takes five minutes of pushing to get my lawn mowed.
      It was really for the buffalo grass paths that the guy I live with was thinking of using a mower on, but those paths are, in total, no larger than our kitchen table.a
      So it was just the usual pure silliness.
      We don’t have dew here.

  4. Paddy Tobin says:

    We have the heat but it follows on rain and now growth is outlandishly lush. On the other hand, I am in meltdown with temperatures above 70F – yes, Irishmen melt at that temperature. I would lay on the lawn but there are too many birds there – they come to eat the food I leave out and then poop so that lawn is no longer suitable for lying about.

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with melts with humidity about fifteen percent, so I guess life is full of tradeoffs.
      He also says that his great-great-great (etc.) grandfather was forced to leave the Emerald Isle under what the family said were Unknown Circumstances. Probably with the goal of arriving, as that part of the family eventually did, in Los Angeles.
      Poured rain here just now. The guy I live with said about three feet of rain. That could be an exaggeration.

      • Paddy Tobin says:

        There were many who made the same journey!

      • paridevita says:

        True. A lot of the guy I live with’s family on his mother’s side came from Scotland and England, though (like mine did); his great-grandfather was born in Canada.
        The guy I live with never found this genealogy stuff hugely interesting, the way some people do, but it came up over the years.
        The ancestor who lived in Ireland was a gardener, too.

      • Paddy Tobin says:

        But did he have such a well-educated and intelligent dog?

  5. What a lovely private lawn Mani!! An those yellow flowerss are so purrty!!!
    An mee betss Orioless are jsut happy to have jelly an jam iss sorta jelly an it all tastess guud 😉
    Wee were wudnerin if THE wildyfiress were neer youss’. Wee hope they nevurr get close to youss’!!!
    ***purrss*** BellaDharma an {{huggiess}} LadyMew

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I like my lawn pretty well, and I can see out into the field.
      There was a smell of smoke yesterday, but the wildfire is on the other side of the Continental Divide; it’s really dry there.

  6. barbk52 says:

    The conditions are frighteningly harsh this year, aren’t they? You look as though you could do with a mister. The Border Collie originated in Britain, I believe, and perhaps is not suited to our current climate. I am not suited to it either. I am looking into dry gardening myself, but the expert watering guides for this area say I should water drought tolerant plants once a week. Huh? How is that drought tolerant? I guess natives would be better. I am sorry about the nasty smoke from our huge fire. I understand it’s expected to burn until October.

    • paridevita says:

      Part of the smoke is from the Morgan Creek fire here, which is near Steamboat Springs.
      I do occasionally get soaked with the hose when it’s hot. But today it was cooler, and just a while ago it poured rain so hard that the guy I live with went out with a long wooden pole to clear the storm drain across the street, because the street was starting to flood.
      The guy I live with says it’s hard to tell what the horticulture industry means by “drought tolerant”. He prefers plants he doesn’t have to water at all, no matter how crummy they might look in August.
      But he will recommend two books, by Oliver Filippi. I hear these are genuinely superior gardening books. One is Alternatives au gazon, which has been translated into English (I don’t know the title; maybe it’s Planting Design for Dry Gardens); the other is The Dry Gardening Handbook. Written from the standpoint of gardening in a Mediterranean climate with dry summers.
      (We have dry summers here, usually, but just now it poured rain. The humidity here is so low that the next warm day will evaporate most of the water from the rain.)

      • barbk52 says:

        Thank you! And tell him HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

      • paridevita says:

        You’re welcome. He says thanks, and that he’s only 10 in dog years. (I tried to explain that it doesn’t quite work like that, but he kept saying “Ten!”)
        The Filippi books are really great. The lawn alternatives one has lots and lots of very cool pictures.

  7. Elaine says:

    You are lucky to have so many orioles. They occasionally pass through here but never stay. It is hot and smokey here too. Best to hang out on the patio or indoors where the air is fresher and cool.

    • paridevita says:

      I agree. We are lucky. The guy I live with, though, says that it’s part of a very clever plan (he says “genius”); the feeders were set out early, so the orioles discovered the buffet quite early.
      For some reason the males aren’t nearly as skittish this year as they usually are. Maybe because there’s so much grape jelly available. There was only one day when we didn’t see them. Eventually, like next month, there will be bald-faced hornets coming to the feeders, and they wreck everything.
      It poured rain here, and hailed, too, for about fifteen minutes, so the feeders had to be emptied of water, and rejellified.

  8. Mark Mazer says:

    Natives must also attract those summertime Orioles. What be they? Garden-worthy? Around here, the Baltimore Oriole just migrates on by. BTW: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-93581-2

    • paridevita says:

      I think they eat caterpillars and stuff. (But not Japanese beetles.) And lots of jelly.
      I do know quite a few words. Some I can’t mention. I think I know things like “Get out of the garden”, and “Let’s go for a walk”, and “Don’t eat bees”, and lots of words related to food.

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