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 all sorts of things. You may remember me from such posts as “In The Furnace”, among so many, many others.
Here I am in a characteristic pose.
I was watching hummingbirds fly around the garden. The garden is filled with the noise of hummingbirds whirring around. The guy I live with was almost hit in the head by a sugar-crazed hummingbird racing through the garden just today.
Things are getting close to being late-summery, if you know what I mean.
The juniper, Juniperus monosperma, has a bunch of berries now. The guy I live with has to sweep the berries off the sidewalk from time to time.
The Russian hawthorn, Crataegus ambigua, has quite a few haws on it, though not as many as in some years. The guy I live with said that some of the purebred border collies who lived here before me liked to graze on them when they fell into the garden.
And Penstemon richardsonii has started to flower again after the rain we had last week.
The guy I live with said he’s considering growing a bunch of red-flowered penstemons and maybe some agastaches in pots next year, so they can get more water, and make the hummingbirds happier.
Because, well, we just aren’t getting the rain we sometimes do as sort of the tail end of the monsoon.
The sky looks like this, and nothing happens.
Today, it looked like rain, and even smelled like rain, but only a few drops fell. I could tell that the guy I live with was hugely disappointed.
(Incidentally, if you’re wondering about those dead branches, they’re on the honey locust. A guy came into the back yard a few days ago and gave the guy I live with a quote on how much it would cost to have the tree cut down. It wasn’t all that bad, and I guess the tree will be cut down in a month or two.)
There was a lot of hemming and hawing about mowing the buffalo grass in my Private Lawn, out in back. At first he said he wasn’t going to do it, then he said he might borrow a neighbor’s lawn mower and do it, then he said he might buy a lawn mower (an Ego, battery-operated), then he said forget that, but then today he went out and mowed the lawn.
I had to stay indoors.
He mowed it with this.
Before you start laughing, this is a really good mower, Green Mountain Mower; the blades are sharp and it does it terrific job.
The guy I live with, though, is kind of ancient, and all that physical activity almost did him in. Now my Private Lawn looks like something much less overgrown, even in this overexposed picture.
It had to be watered afterward, and the guy I live with set a sprinkler that ran while we went on my evening walk.
Just before that, the guy I live with planted a bunch of colchicums he got in the mail yesterday. They went into a part of the “way back” just off to the right, in the picture above.
The corms were as big as pears, but he forgot to take pictures of them to show how big they were. They need to be watered so that roots form around the time of flowering, so that this year’s corms will be able to transfer starch to the “daughter” corms that will provide flowers for next year.
The guy I live with said that sometimes the poor corms are put in vases to flower without roots, but that doesn’t do them any good. So the corms that were planted today got watered along with my Private Lawn.
The other, almost-late-summer thing that’s been happening is various entities flying or crawling into the house.
We’re getting little katydids, and sometimes bigger ones, coming into the kitchen. They do get rescued and put back outside, where they’re happier.
I’ve already talked about how the guy I live with and his wife would hunt for katydids on late-night walks around the neighborhood, trying to find them with a flashlight after hearing their “katydid, katydidn’t” sounds. He gets sad every year at this time, seeing katydids, though he’s pretty sad most of the time.
The end of summer is pretty difficult for him, like it probably is for a lot of people.
And also, there was this weird thing.
You would be correct in assuming that this is a feather standing on end.
It’s a flicker feather that the guy I live with’s wife found, and has been on the lazy susan on the kitchen table ever since, along with the Roman snail shell you can also see, which was sent to her by a friend living in England.
The reason the feather is standing upright is that it’s attached to the web of a tiny orb weaver spider living beneath the lamp over the kitchen table.
It’s about the size of a pea.
The guy I live with said it can stay, partly because it catches stuff, and partly because one summer, a long time ago, there were fourteen of them in the kitchen here. Yes, fourteen. The guy I live with’s wife liked spiders (he feels a bit differently about them), and they were allowed to stay.
Kind of weird, I know.
Oh, I guess that’s it for today. A lot, and yet not all that much. I’ll leave you with a picture of me after I got some mats removed from around my neck. The guy I live with is pretty good about that, and taking care of me in general.
Until next time, then.