the empire of light

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to tell you about what’s been going on lately. You may remember me from such posts as “Late At Night”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.
It’s still really dry here. We get rain, but just in the form of sprinkles from time to time.
This isn’t normal for us, but the guy I live with said he would just water the garden, some.

Still, there are things in flower.
This is Sternbergia lutea. Bulbs of this have been here for about thirty years, but they don’t always flower. He divided some and planted them in another part of the garden, and they’re flowering. The older clumps aren’t.
He said that if it rained, there might be more flowers. He can be very profound.
There are some crocuses, too. This is Crocus puringii:
One flower appeared away from the main group, and it’s not open today because it’s too chilly. (It’s 46 degrees F, or 8 C.)
If you remember that one area of the “way back” I showed pictures of a while ago, in “Exciting Times”, the guy I live with dug out all the grass the other day. He wasn’t used to working that much, and it tired him out. The soil was dry as a bone, though. I know how dry that is because there are bones in the field; the kind of bones people buy for dogs, though I don’t care for such things. Why they’re out in the field is a mystery.

This is what it looks like now, if you were walking out in the field and looked into the garden.
This is a picture taken when it was darker, looking toward the house, when we were on my evening walk. You can see the Sedum ‘Matrona’ and the red leaves of Acer grandidentatum.
This was taken on another walk, later in the evening.Β  The guy I live with said it reminded him of “The Empire of Light”, a famous painting by Magritte.
That’s the light on our patio.

We often walk at night, now.
He took this picture one night when it had rained a little. Kind of scary if you ask me.
The guy I live with has a headlamp that he wears on his hat; it’s sometimes necessary because there are lots of fallen apples and crabapples in the field.
I can see better than he can, and usually guide him away from things he might trip over. He said that back in the last century there would have been raccoons all over those apples, but we haven’t seen any raccoons since I was little. Maybe they know I’m around, and avoid my deadly demeanor.

The nighttime walks are nice. Besides raccoons, I haven’t seen any striped kitties or owls in quite a while.

This is me, if you weren’t sure, walking toward the same spot, on a different evening. That line of bushes is where the creek is.

And here I am again, in the dark, at the end of the path. This is where we turn around and go home.
I think home is a good place to be.

Until next time, then.

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26 Responses to the empire of light

  1. barbk52 says:

    Why is the picture scary? Is that little glowing dot Venus? I like Magritte and Escher too. And walks in the gloaming.
    I wonder where all the animals are. Perhaps they find your climate inhospitable.
    Do you really guide TGYLW away from hazards? One of the girls stopped dead in front of me and I went over like a toppling tree. They both seemed unconcerned.

    • paridevita says:

      I don’t know why it’s scary to me; it just is. The guy I live with said that might be Venus.
      He also says the fact that it’s been so dry has maybe kept everyone away, though there are rabbits, and voles, and mice. It was kind of misting on my evening walk.
      The guy I live with does say I tend to stop right in front of him, but he also said previous purebred border collies did that, too, so he’s mostly careful, and the longer leash helps a lot.
      But like I can see way into the darkness, where he can’t, and so if something is coming toward us, I let him know. He sometimes doesn’t like the way I stare and stare at something far off, especially at this time of year.

  2. Paddy Tobin says:

    It’s a wonderful advantage to have access to such wonderful walking areas so close to home. I had good success with Sternbergia lutea this year with over 60 flowers from a potful grown in the glasshouse. I think our summers are too wet and not hot enough for them to do well outdoors though I am going to split those in the pot and put a few out to see how they do – something I have threatened for some years. Enjoy the weekend!

    • paridevita says:

      It is nice to have places to walk that aren’t on the street.
      The guy I live with says that the last time the main clumps of sternbergia had a lot of flowers was October of 2000. A hot summer followed by rain seems to do the trick.
      There have been other species of sternbergia here but they didn’t last, for some reason. The guy I live with said that the midwinter-flowering S. candida bulbs may have been stolen from our front yard, decades ago. Or eaten by rodents.

      • Paddy Tobin says:

        This reflects my treatment of S. lutea in the glasshouse – all summer dry and in the hottest spot and then generous watering in early September followed by flowers within a month.

      • paridevita says:

        That does seem to be the trick. We can supply the hot summers, but not the rain. The guy I live with has been watering.

  3. tonytomeo says:

    Rhody says that it is silly that human people can not see in the dark as well as canine people can. I remind him that if human people did everything as efficiently as canine people did, we would not be so reliant on them. It would be nice if he would drive the car for me. I think that he can, but chooses not to.

  4. Wee think THE shiny lite inn nite sky iss Venus….wee see it heer Mani an wee think of youss’ there! Wee are so far apart an yet wee can see THE smae sky!!
    Furry kewl rite?
    Mee gonna admit mee not sure where you are inn 1st foto…sorta inn THE back to THE left??? Mew mew mew….
    No Kittiess? No Owlss? No other Poochiess? It sure iss quiet there!
    Yore backyard lookss so lovelee….Autumm iss there…..
    Wee love Autumm…..
    **purrss** BellaDharma an {{hugss}} BellaSita Mum

    • paridevita says:

      It probably is Venus. It’s along way away.
      You can see me really well if you click on the picture, and then enlarge it. That’s me right there.
      It’s kind of unsettling that we haven’t seen any owls, but the guy I live with said that it’s just as well that I haven’t come across any striped kitties. I’ve only been sprayed once, so far.

      • Mee-yow yeah Mani striped Kittiess are so stinky!!!
        Did mee meow to you wee had a BIG raccoon on patio last week?? BellaSita was ettin up to check fore poison discss efurry few hourss an shee sirprized THE Raccoon…hee knocked over water bowl. BellaSita calmly went for water jug an put mew water inn ….That raccoon was BIGGER than MEE!
        Maybee THE Owls went South.??? Well MORE South?
        And wee biggyfied foto an see you now!!! πŸ˜‰

      • paridevita says:

        They are stinky.
        The guy I live with said there used to be raccoons here all the time, and I saw some, on the shed roof, when I was little, but they haven’t come back.
        We haven’t heard or seen any coyotes, or owls, in quite a while, and not too many hawks, either.
        The guy I live with says that everything changes, but the changes we’re seeing are kind of unsettling.

  5. Elaine says:

    Lovely seeing new blooms this late in the year. They may be small but when everything is looking hot and tired they are welcome. Interesting that there isn’t anyone to clean up the apples. Here when everything is ripe and falls to the ground, and the natural landscape is torched, every creature within a hundred miles seems to show up here. Can be a bit of battle to get our share.

    • paridevita says:

      It’s kind of strange that no one has come for the apples and crabapples, but it’s been so dry here (though not as dry as last year) that maybe everyone is up in the foothills, where there’s been more rain. The foothills are only about five miles away, maybe even less than that, so not much of a walk to get there.
      The guy I live with says things are weird, and they have been for quite some time. He wouldn’t mind some snow, because it would take time to soak into the ground.

      • Elaine says:

        It’s super dry here too but expecting some rain tonight. Would need days of it though to be able to penetrate the concrete-like soil. We had a midnight visitor last night after the fallen apples. Porcupines have done a huge amount of damage to our trees this year so this one was discouraged by a good soaking with the hose before he decided to bid a hasty retreat.

      • paridevita says:

        I’ve never seen a porcupine, though I know we have them here, up in the foothills and mountains.
        There are clouds building up over the mountains right now, but it’s not going to rain. A slight chance tomorrow, but probably not likely.
        I don’t mind this, but I know the guy I live with isn’t very happy about it.

  6. Home is definitely the place to be. When I check to see what’s happening here and there, I realize how my idea of “rain” is absolutely personal to my garden. I don’t think we’ve had much rain and yet that’s not true compared to you. I always have a small flashlight in the car because I don’t find neighborhood street lights bright enough for me β€” let alone walking on country ground at night. The guy you live with is lucky to have your help.

    • paridevita says:

      It’s really dry here. If you saw the picture of the hole dug in our yard you can see how dry the soil is. That part of the yard is never watered, though.
      The guy I live with said the last decent rain we had was in August. It’s not unusual for us to get nothing from now until the end of the year, but that’s a big change from, say, twenty years ago, when we could have autumns with mist, drizzle, rain, and snow. He doesn’t like these new dry autumns, but there’s not much to be done about it.
      His headlamp came from Amazon, made by Slonik, and cost about twenty-five dollars. It has a regular setting and a high setting, and a rechargeable battery, with a USB port.

  7. Mee-yow Mani an Guy THE NOT seein wildlife an Hawkss an Owlss ISS furry dissturbin inndeed.
    Maybee THE Creeturess an Birdiess had to move on to find propurr foodabullss source?
    Wee have Wild Bunniess here butt they stay inn backyeard mostlee.
    Raccoon has been comin ’round alot. BellaSita nevurr new till shee went on pawtrol fore poison discss πŸ˜‰
    Since wee are feedin ONLY on patio; thingss are quiet as they shuud bee πŸ˜‰

    • paridevita says:

      It’s pretty weird. We do have a lot of birds coming to the feeders, but not much of anything else, besides bunnies and mice.
      Of course it could be that we just don’t notice them. I notice a lot more things that the guy I live with does, too.

  8. Mew mew mew Mani….. BellaSita meowed wee nevurr saw Rhoady Toady inn August. An wee have not seen Joel THE Mole eether!
    An wee have been missin THE Song Sparrows…..butt they showed up today fore snax. Now wee know they are safe! Wee not alloud to have Feederss here…so wee can only ‘ground feed’ 😦

    • paridevita says:

      We have sparrows here, but no toads or moles. (The guy I live with said he was glad we didn’t have moles.)
      Still really dry here. I can tell by all the heavy sighing.

  9. Sparrows are so so cute aren’t they Mani??? Wee love their song singin!
    Moless are cute inn a blind blinky sorta way. An Rhoady wuud come vissit an then reetern to THE River across street from us.
    Wee had rain overnite…..mee try to send it to youss’ there!

    • paridevita says:

      Sparrows are cute. We don’t have moles here, but I’m pretty sure we have voles, and the guy I live with yelled at me for going into the garden to look for them, today.
      He sprinkled some blood meal around the tunnel entrance I found. Kind of gross, but it scares them away.
      No rain here, that’s for sure.

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