una furtiva lagrima

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today, well, to make another post. You may remember me from such posts as “Seed Time”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.
This was on my morning walk, just today. You can see how many dogs have been out in the field.

There are some places with no snow at all.
It’s supposed to snow tomorrow, and then maybe next week, when it’s going to be even colder than it is now. I hear quite a bit of complaining about how cold it is, because we rarely have winters like this, with steady cold, as you can see if you look at posts made in January in past years.

We heard hooting on my evening walk yesterday, but the guy I live with couldn’t find out where it was coming from. Some place about a block east of here.

Today we had Opera Day. Yes, again. I got to listen to Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore (the elixir of love), though I could tell it was making the guy I live with both happy and melancholy at the same time (because his wife loved the Metropolitan Opera quiz on the radio, on Saturdays).
He went downstairs into his wife’s studio and took a picture of the view out the window, which makes him very sad. He’s posted pictures of this view many times.
Not only did his retirement not go in any way that was imaginable to him, but about six months after he retired he lost all sense of what day it was, and it’s been like that ever since. He has to look at the calendar on the wall here, or at his phone, or the laptop, to figure out what day it is, because a word like “Monday” no longer has the meaning, or “flavor”, that it did when he was working.

Which is why, suddenly today, he realized that he’d forgotten to stratify the calochortus seeds he got some months ago. It turned out there weren’t as many as he thought, so this didn’t take very long at all. The seeds need at least a couple of months in the refrigerator.
I have some pictures of actual calochortus growing in the garden here.
There are some seedpots of calochortus that were sown last year; the seeds germinated after spending time in the refrigerator, and then they were put in pots. There were leaves, and then they disappeared for the summer.
Hopefully just for the summer, and not forever.

The guy I live with said he was going to be very irked if the calochortus didn’t start appearing soon.
You can see that there are a few pots of them, upstairs.
If nothing happens in a few months, I’m pretty sure there will be more than a furtive tear shed. He went to a lot of work, with these.
(Those pieces of wood are to make it easier to slide the flats out.)

And that’s all I have for today. I’ll leave you with a picture of me trudging home on my evening walk.

Until next time, then.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to una furtiva lagrima

  1. tonytomeo says:

    The guy you live with is very fortunate to live with a canine person like you. Canine people are so much more qualified for your sort of work than average human people are. Of course, as you know, there are a few exceptional human people as well.

  2. Paddy Tobin says:

    The days in retirement have a way of simply gliding one into the other without any feature/stand-out day of the week. Shopping day becomes the anchor day and all revolves around that rather than the Monday to Friday work week we had been so used to living for so long. I prefer retirement!

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with’s retirement is definitely not what he hoped it would be, but one advantage is that he’s at home with me almost every day, unless he goes to the store or to see his friend.
      I would rather be gardening, but it’s snowing today, again.

      • Paddy Tobin says:

        Retirement came to me before my planned and anticipated time, several years earlier, so it took some time to adjust to this new way of life – “The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry!” It took some years and I have come to accept it but not without regular regrets, which have lessened with passing years.

      • paridevita says:

        The main regret that the guy I live with has is that when he came home from work, his wife was there to greet him.
        But not working has its benefits. Like when people say “weekend” and he gets to say he doesn’t have those.

  3. As a fellow reetiree, I understand what your Dad experienced. After spending decades going 60 mph, it was hard to reduce speed. The first year was quite the adjustment, although I feel like I don’t handle multiple crisis situations nearly as well. My juggling days produce more fumbles than when I worked. Hoping the guy you live with has success with the calochortus-they are quite beautiful in bloom.

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with had a nine-month meltdown after he retired from the phone company, where he worked every single day. It was so disorienting, not having to go to work.
      Sometimes he meets people who complain about working, and yearn for retirement, and so he tells them his “retirement story”, working toward retirement, then two years less one week after he retired, his wife died of a heart attack in his arms, with no warning at all, and that very often makes the people stop wishing their lives away for an imagined “future”.
      Calochortus are pretty easy to grow here, but the one thing that gardening books don’t tell you (besides the fact that almost all the books were written in places not suited to growing calochortus) is that bunnies like to eat the leaves right down to the ground. The bulbs need leaves to survive.
      I’m pretty good at keeping bunnies out of the back yard (and I’ve caught a few, which the guy I live with doesn’t like me to do), but every so often one still sneaks in.
      I hear there was an explosion in the neighborhood bunny population, about 1990, and that’s why we have owls, too.

  4. Mee-yow the Calochortus flowerss are beeuteefull Mani an Guy!!
    Mani was doess THE werd ‘stratify’ meen??? Even BellaSita did not know what it meened!
    BellaSita DOESS know what yore post title meens: A furtive tear….which you meowed inn yore post Mani!!!
    An look at yore snow! Wee inn midst of snowstorm here….it iss wunderfull to watch THE snow fallin an so quiet outside….
    ***nose bopss*** BellaDharma an (((huggiess))) BellaSita Mum

    • paridevita says:

      Stratification means to put seeds between layers of something like damp sand or vermiculite. The seeds are kept moist in the refrigerator at 4C (not the freezer) for a period of time; a month, two months, three months, or sometimes even longer.
      Lots of seeds have germination inhibitors to prevent them from germinating in mid-winter.
      At some point the cold activates an enyzme which starts to degrade the germination inhibitor (usually abscisic acid), and once that happens, the seeds will start to germinate.
      The trick is knowing exactly when that happens, and it’s not always easy to know. Sometimes the seeds will start to germinate in the refrigerator. If the guy I live with sees that, then the seeds get potted up and put on the baker’s rack in the upstairs bedroom, under lights.
      Some people say stratification is sowing seeds outdoors in pots, but that’s not really right. That should be called vernalization.
      The thing is, say a species needs 60 days at 4C, and moist, to germinate. 1,440 hours. Seeds sown outdoors here right now are not going to get that many hours of 4C between now and spring, so stratifying is more efficient.
      But some seeds don’t need all those hours; they just respond to alternate cycles of cold and warm, which breaks down the inhibitor, and the seeds germinate when it warms up in April or May, here.

  5. Mee-yow what a process Mani an Guy!!!
    Yore simplee amazin Mistur Guy. BellaSita wuud not have that level of payshuntss! 😉
    Stratify away…..pawss crossed THE seedss grow!!!

    • paridevita says:

      It doesn’t take much work, just a lot of waiting. The guy I live with is pretty patient. He’s still waiting for the county to approve a fence permit he filed in April of 2014. (They probably lost the application.)

  6. Mary A Raskin says:

    Hello, there is a book you might enjoy, My Wild Garden by Meir Shalev. He has been growing cyclamen for many years.

  7. 2014??? Wee think Guy’ss applycation is AWOL an MIA….nevurr to bee seen again….sorry Guy an Mani…..

  8. Iss a guud thing Guy iss not xtendin fence…..
    Wee have same issue here with Housin. Wee were promsied MEW Patio doorss an screen last yeer…oh yeah it was ‘happenin’……
    Next thing wee know it is Deecemburr an they are reepavin our driveway/parkin lot??? What THE Cat?
    Now they say maybee this Summer fore MEW doorss…. **sighss**

  9. Paul says:

    Hi Robert

    I love your work! I too am in a high and dry location, and practicing permaculture.

    I have long been deeply impressed by the fact you have gotten honey mesquite to grow where you are.

    Years ago I looked up your climate and found that mine (in Taos, NM) was similar, so I’ve tried growing the prosopis several times without success. They grow fine during the summer but never make it through winter, even with protection.

    Did you have an easy time establishing yours and do you have any tips for increasing the odds of success?

    Thanks for any wisdom you can provide.


    • paridevita says:

      They’re taprooted, so that’s most of the problem; getting the taproot down.
      But the guy I live with says the one here grows by nothing more than pure luck.

      • Paul says:

        That’s both very funny and disappointing to hear 😀

        I guess I’ll just keep plugging away until I get a lucky break!

        Thank you for your fast response!

      • paridevita says:

        You’re welcome.
        The guy I live with thought about growing some from seeds. They’re easy.

Comments are closed.