a little excitement

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to tell you about some fairly exciting things that have happened to me lately. You may remember me from such posts as “Not Quite Like Me”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.  A sunset pose. There are not very many trees with red autumn foliage around here, but the bigtooth maple, Acer grandidentatum (native in Utah, Colorado, Nevada, all the way down into New Mexico, Texas, and Coahuila in Mexico) is certainly one. 
There are some oaks, like Gambel’s, and larger ones in parks and gardens, and that ash that gets red autumn color, too (which you’ll see later, in someone else’s yard), but that’s about it. 
There are some sugar maples (Acer saccharum) up in Boulder, too. 

The autumn crocuses are in flower, though the flowers are being shredded by birds almost immediately. This often happens to the spring crocuses, but this has been a weird year, to say the least, and maybe the birds are desperate to find bugs hiding in the flowers. 
The saffron crocus, Crocus sativus, opened today, and some of the saffron is already gone. Maybe grasshoppers ate it.
There are a lot of others flowering, and here’s one, the white form of Crocus speciosus.
The guy I live with did a little bit of watering in order to help get these going. 
One plant that doesn’t need any watering, because its roots are very deep, is rabbitbrush. This is the big one growing right against the back fence here, complete with bee visitors.
Okay, that’s the gardening part of my post. Except to say that it went below freezing in places around here last night, though not in our garden. I guess if we were growing tomatoes by the back fence, instead of the rabbitbrush, they would be gone now, because the cold air sort of slides down the creek bed from the foothills, and then, because the canal acts as a sort of dam, the cold air pools just to the south of the canal. We can feel the much cooler air, on our walks, in the summer time, and definitely in the winter time. 

A couple of days ago the guy I live with was standing in the “way back” garden, thinking about things (probably not thinking very hard), and he noticed something.
I mean besides the piece that broke from the birdbath. (That’s one of the maples on the right, by the way.)
It’s a little hard to see. Not if you were me, but I mean if you were you. My eyesight is totally superior. It’s in the lilac bush, to the left.

The guy I live with said “Hmm”, and then went about doing whatever he was doing. This is not exactly the sort of thing that’s desirable in a garden. But we never noticed anyone flying out of it in the last few years. 
I’m not partial to wasps, hornets (even if they aren’t true hornets), yellowjackets, bees, or anything that stings. 

So the other thing, and this was even more exciting, was what I noticed on my morning walk yesterday. The point-and-shoot camera doesn’t do much sharp detail when it’s zoomed, and this was about 750 feet away.
Talk about needing to be brushed. 
The coyote wanted to come up to where we were, because they  go across the canal and hunt on the other side, or sometimes I think even go through the tunnel that goes under the highway, but yesterday, my fierce and deadly countenance kept the coyote at bay. 

The coyote decided to rest in the shade, until we moved on. 
I of course wanted to run after it, but the guy I live with said he wasn’t up to running, and, anyway, that was something that I don’t get to do. He said that we stay a respectful distance from coyotes. 
That was pretty disappointing. I’m reasonably sure that I’m the most vicious and frightening creature on the planet. The guy I live with said something like “Not even close”, which was a little insulting. 
He said that we purebred border collies are the biggest chickens on the planet, not velociraptors like I was sure I was when I was little. 

And then today, the same thing happened. This might have been a puppy. It’s weird to think that there are coyote puppies.  There was an adult, too, but we didn’t get a picture.To me this was a whole lot more interesting than all the gardening stuff. 

So that’s pretty much it. I do have a picture of what the sky is like, looking to the north, with all the smoke from what’s now the largest fire in Colorado history.
Pretty scary. 

I guess it’s not going to rain any time soon. So the snow you saw here last month was the only precipitation we’ve had since the last week in July.

Until next time, then. 


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smoke and wind

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to talk about this and that. You may remember me from such posts as “Another New Toy”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.Nothing much has happened for days, until today, when things started happening. You know how like you get into a routine, which may be boring, or fascinating, or something in between that, but you get comfortable with it, well, that’s how things have been, but today all of that changed, because of the weather. 
Instead of describing it, I’ll show it to you:
The first thing this morning, there was very strong perfume (probably what some people call “home fragrance”, though the guy I live with calls it something else entirely) in the back yard, and I worried that he was going to lose consciousness because he was coughing and choking so much from it, but then it got windy. It didn’t blow all the perfume away, though. The guy I live with said the perfume was stronger than wind, if not something extraterrestrial, but eventually it got super windy. Scary, even. The wind was gusting as high as about fifty miles per hour (80 kph). And it was windy for most of the day.
That was pretty different. Mostly it’s been dead calm here day after day. 

You can see that leaves were blown everywhere.There was one slight interruption to our daily routine, when the guy I live with went to the arboretum with his friend. They hadn’t seen each other for quite some time. 
He took some pictures that turned out to be huge files, so I didn’t upload them, but also these phone pictures. 
This is Monardella macrantha ‘Marian Sampson’. 
There’s one in the garden here, but it really needs too much water to fit in with everything else. 

And then Vernonia larseniae, which the guy I live with has tried to get going here a number of times without success.
The guy I live with said he was advanced enough that he can enjoy plants in other gardens rather than being desperately jealous. I’m not sure that’s entirely true. 
He and his friend went to the store after that, then they came back here and I got to say Hi to her; I hadn’t seen her in months but I remembered her just the same. 

We all went out into the back yard to look at the hideously butchered trees next door, which we’ll have to look at for a long time, “Unless they fall over”, the guy I live with said. A landscape company did this. Imagine twenty-foot tall sticks, with a few leaves at the top. 

He explained that gardeners can be ultra-sensitive to ugly “landscaping”, particularly if it’s right next door, and especially to atrocious tree pruning, since it’s extremely visible. 

There are cyclamen in flower here. This is Cyclamen ciliciumThere are some crocuses flowering here, too, but the birds are tearing the flowers to shreds within hours after the flowers open, so there aren’t many pictures. The guy I live with says it’s so dry here that creatures who don’t live in the house, like the two of us do, have to fend for themselves when it comes to food. 
I’m glad I don’t have to do that. I know I’m very lucky. 

So anyway, that’s what’s been happening. Not really very much at all, except for the wind today. 
I’ll leave you with a picture of me being very contented and cozy; the way things should be  for everyone.

Until next time, then. 

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