Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to tell you about an even more incredible thing. You may remember me from such incredible posts as “Strange Encounters”, among so many, many others.
Here I am in a characteristic pose. Checking the garden for bees, of which there are a lot.This is me again, if you couldn’t tell, checking for more bees.
The guy I live with says that “checking for bees” is pretty silly, because there are a lot of flying things in the garden. But I do think they need to be checked for, anyway. You never know what you might find.
I was the one who found the vole tunnels, after all.
I have to do most of the work around here. I don’t dig holes for plants, or deadhead things, but I do go on my patrols, and make sure that squirrels know their place.
The guy I live with hasn’t had much motivation this year, for a variety of reasons, like still being a little weak from the therapy two years ago, being dehydrated a lot, the awful smell from next door, and the constant heat. (Today it was only 88 degrees F–31.1C–so a little cooler.)
And the smoke. It was pretty smoky today.
Anyway, since this is sort of a gardening blog, I thought it would be a good idea to show some more pictures. These weren’t taken with the phone, but with the point-and-shoot, so they might look different.
I’m not sure that you can see in this picture how smoky it was today.But maybe you can in this one.
We can’t even see the foothills.
The sphaeralceas, which is what that big thing is in the picture above, have been flowering all summer, no matter how dry it’s been. Japanese beetles are eating some of the flowers. (This picture isn’t hugely in focus.)
There are a couple of new sedums in the garden, and this is one of them.
I know there’s a bunch of dead stuff there. There’s a bunch of dead stuff everywhere. Getting rid of that isn’t my job.
This is what that aster I showed you last time really looks like, color-wise.
This is an artemisia from Kazakhstan. The guy I live with doesn’t know what species, but it’s remained green and healthy despite never being watered. It flowered earlier this year. The leaves smell pretty nice.
This is Eriogonum corymbosum, a shrub.
And what I think is a totally weird picture showing plants in the “rain garden” (a pile of gravel intended to catch any rain that might fall, which has turned out to be a joke) illuminated by the setting sun.
Ephedra equisetina and E. monosperma, stalks of Allium pskemense, and so forth.
So now to the incredible thing.
You know how we walk down the coyote path in the evening, and see owls at the end of the path, well, yesterday evening, I think, there was an owl across the field, sitting on one of the many beat-up chainlink fences in this neighborhood. (Ours is, too. The guy I live with says it’s because of overweight raccoons climbing the fences, but I’m not so sure.)
He took a picture of the owl, but it showed too much junk in the back yard behind the fence, and so he deleted the picture.
He saw one of his neighbors who lives near the end of the path, and pointed out the owl to him.
His neighbor said that that very morning there were six owls in the trees in his back yard.
Six owls. Pretty incredible indeed.
The guy I live with said that would have made a great picture. Unfortunately he isn’t what they call a “morning person”, and neither am I. We like staying up late, when it’s nice and cool. Maybe we’ll see them all together this autumn.
We saw just one owl last evening. Didn’t see any this evening.
Of course I thought I could get it.
I’ll leave you with a picture of me thinking I could have gotten the owl.
Until next time, then.
ummm . . . what would you have done if you had gotten the owl?
I don’t know. The guy I live with says the owl would have gotten me, instead.
Yes, and you do NOT want that. They are scarier than a moth.
That sounds pretty scary.
Yes, but not as scary as a clown!
I’ve never seen a clown.
Pass comment to himself, when you have a moment from your very onerous duties with bees, voles and owls, the I have read about that Eriogonum corymbosum and am amused and puzzled that it has the common name of buckwheat. Now, to me, wheat is a cereal crop, the source of flour for our various breads and other things, and this plant doesn’t look at all like wheat. I see a variety does grow in the Mojabe desert so I imagine it is perfectly suited to your present dry and hot conditions. By the way, there is talk that owls wish to take over the world which will include full responsibility for garden bees and voles!!!
Well, eriogonums are in the buckwheat family, Polygonaceae, and are called “wild buckwheats”. There are some cushion types here, but the woody ones do the best in very dry conditions. Not easy to get established, though. This one is from western Colorado, or Utah, or northern Arizona.
I like to hunt for voles, but the guy I live with discourages it, except in the garden.
The common name, buckwheat, doesn’t cross the Atlantic! I suppose it would have no context here.
I don’t know why they call it that, except that actual buckwheat, like for blinis, is a member of that family. Knotweed, I guess, is another name.
The guy I live with says there’s another genus of interest to us, Atraphaxis, from Central Asia. Kind of like large eriogonums.
Once they grow and you enjoy them!
The snowdrops at his friend’s house will flower earlier than the ones here, which I think is kind of annoying for him (lol), as is the fact that the Cyclamen coum her gave her flower weeks earlier than the ones here.
The guy I live with often remarks on how advanced he is, now that he no longer gets jealous of plants in other peoples’ gardens. Mostly.
Cyclamen repandum and C. hederifolium are putting on a show here with a few others, in very small number, giving a sprinkle of flower in another bed. Yes, with age one puts jealousy aside – and the mind is more peaceful as a result.
Repandum is done here. Hederifolium is barely starting, because it’s been so dry.
The guy I live with is mildly jealous of the large yuccas some people have in their gardens; some were available at nurseries here, before my time, but they were expensive and heavy.
Oh, and by the way, the reason why I get to be the narrator instead of the guy I live with is because of something called “ego suppression”. When he had a therapist and told her about this, she approved. And less jealousy is one result.
LOL Yes, there is a certain feeling of talking through a translator about the arrangement but it’s fine!
Started out as a gardening blog, but there are more than enough of those here. (There was a blog before that, all gardening, but it was deleted when his wife died.)
Then it became a gardening blog with translations of Rilke, George, and Trakl and lots of his wife’s pictures. From what I hear, it got to be too much, emotionally.
Then Chess, the purebred border collie who lived here before me, became the narrator, at which point, naturally, the tone changed and more people started reading the blog, because we purebred border collies can be fascinating. And I can make fun of the guy I live with.
Life brings changes, sometimes quite dramatic as we get on in years and it takes time, and a lot of effort, to deal with them/live with them. Those who haven’t had these experienced haven’t yet experienced life to the full. We all, well all of this advanced age, have gone through such experiences.
That’s true. There are quite a few posts about grief and loss on the blog, since the guy I live with wanted to make this a safe space for people in similar situations.
Lately almost all we can think of is how hot it’s been. Roasting every day.
I’m coming back to you on your comment re snowdrops, which I sort of missed when you wrote it. You have a nice selection. I see the posts on the Facebook page for Snowdrops in American Gardens. There is a sense, I feel, among American gardeners that they are missing out terribly on the newer selections of snowdrops which they hear of in the U.K. and I believe they are simply falling for the retail hype which pervades the world of snowdrops. The best snowdrops, in my opinion, are those whose which grow well for you and the latest and the greatest are promoted simply to make money! It’s a business! I grow a lot of snowdrops but don’t chase after the newest varieties as so very, very few of them are in anyway genuinely new. Varieties which make a good impact in the garden are far more to my taste – a good sweep of snowdrops will always please me more than a pinch in a pot!
You may be right. The guy I live with and his wife went to Oregon in 2000, before my time, and he was given a bunch of bulbs of ‘Theresa Stone’ from the garden in which these were discovered. You can see what they’ve done since then (they’re in the “header”), though there are also some regular elwesii, plicatus, gracilis, etc. mixed in.
‘Theresa’ is also escaping into the front yard.
There are also a bunch of species growing in pots plunged into soil in the bulb frames. These are being increased for sharing with the botanic gardens.
And the snowdrops which are shared/received as gifts are the most precious of all.
I forget what this was about, but the snowdrops that went to his friend’s house were ‘Remember Remember’, ‘Brigadier Mathias’, ‘Imperati’, ‘Dragonfly’, Galanthus nivalis ‘Greenish’, ‘Myddleton Giant’, and some others.
There were going to be more autumn-flowering species like reginae-olgae and peshmenii, but the guy I live with didn’t get around to digging any up.
It was 35C here today, which may explain why so little has been done.
I failed to get round to the digging and posting of a number of snowdrops this year also but, as a friend used say, if people had all they wanted this year they would have nothing to look forward to next year. It will happen when it happens.
I think that’s the modus operandi here. (We purebred border collies use such words every day.) The guy I live with says he can always dig bulbs next year.
There are some that won’t be shared, like the “steppe corydalis”, which can be very frustrating to grow.
6 owls? That is incredible!
Six of them. Hard to believe, but I guess they’re the offspring of the ones we saw last year.
Mee-yow wow wee CAN see THE smoke inn yore fotoss’ Mani & Guy!!! **sighss** Wee were hopin firess were all out an no more smoke an high tempyturess fore youss’….a kitty girl can hope!
All THE flowerss look lovelee. Wee can see THE purrty shade or purrple THE Asterss are…so purrty!!
An Mistur Hooty lookss sort scared of you Mani!! HUURAH…keep Mistur Hooty inn HIS place two rite???
***purrss*** BellaDharma an ((hugss)) BellaSita
The guy I live with says the owl isn’t afraid of me at all. Kind of disappointing.
It’s supposed to get to 87F today, and smoky, then the next few days will be in the mid-90s.
I’m ready for some cooler and less smoky weather.
Those BIG Owlss used to scare mee! That iss one reeson mee iss glad to have an innside home…no sp00ky Owlss to scare mee!
UCKY heet an still more smoke…what a bummer Mani! Iss sorta cloudy an a bit sunny an kewl butt hue-mid. Wee hope THE weather brakess soon for you an Guy!
35C today, with smoke. Something like 8 percent humidity.
We saw a couple of owls on my evening walk, today.