Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today just to talk about birds and stuff. You may remember me from such posts as “Potting Soil”, among so many, many others.
Here I am in a characteristic pose. You can see how hectic things around here are, right now.
It didn’t snow yesterday, like they said it might, but today was kind of chilly and so not much melting took place. They say by Friday it will be in the sixties, so maybe there will be more melting this week.
The guy I live with had to wear his YakTrax on our walk this evening. I don’t want him to fall down, so I was glad he wore them.
Now for the gardening news. Well, not really gardening, but kind of sort of.
The guy I live with got some seeds of the buffalo gourd, Cucurbita foetidissima, from a friend, and read up on how to germinate the seeds. One scholarly paper said the seeds germinated best at seventy degrees (twenty-one C) in the dark, so he sowed seeds in two pots, covered the pots, put them in a propagator on top of a heating mat, covered the propagator with a dark towel, and look what happened:
The guy I live with was fairly excited. We had this plant in the back garden, but one year it just disappeared. Maybe someone ate it. (Not me.)
I guess this seedling will have to be transplanted so it can get some chlorophyll.
So that was the gardening.
Now I’m going to show some pictures of my walks. I haven’t had to wear my boots because the snow hasn’t been too cold; the morning walks have been pretty pleasant, actually.
We saw a hawk the other day. Probably a red-tailed hawk. We see them a lot; they’re pretty big.
And guess what? The owls are back. We started hearing them again about a week ago.
This one is starting to hoot. They get all puffed up and sort of lean out, and hoot.
Here’s the other one. It was farther away; the point-and-shoot doesn’t really focus at that distance. Of course I wanted to get closer, to see if I could grab it. The guy I live with said no way.
The owls and hawks are probably interested in things like voles. Rabbits, for sure, but I think voles as well. I know I like to hunt for voles. The guy I live with tells me not to hurt them, but sometimes I get carried away, and he gets upset. He says that voles and rabbits (I like to chase them, too) have enough to worry about.
You can see their tunnels here.
They sometimes make tunnels that go all the way into peoples’ back yards, if there are bird feeders there, so they can get any seeds that might have been spilled.
The winter after his wife died, voles got into the garden and destroyed a third of what was the Long Border, and so that summer he removed all the plants in the border, and started over with what we have now.
It is my job to keep voles out of our garden, which I do admirably well, but there are a lot of them living in the field. I like to look for their tunnels, usually near the creek.
The guy I live with took a picture of the garden from the upstairs bedroom window, through the screen.
That’s Mount Lindo in the distance, over the shed. It’s 7,814 feet (2,382 meters) high, and about five miles (eight km) away.
There have been some nice sunsets, too.
As we walked farther down the field, the sunset got redder.
Yesterday he took a picture of the willows at the end of our walk, where we have to turn around.
This was where the owls lived last year. We haven’t see them in these trees for a while.