the nightmare spring

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to complain about the weather. You may remember me from such spring-related posts as “Sunless Spring”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.
I’m getting ready for a day of gardening, if you couldn’t tell.

The weather here has been, in the words of the guy I live with, “nightmarish”, with wind almost every day. Not just breezes, but wind. The forecast this week calls for wind, wind, wind, wind, wind, and more wind.
If you look at my previous posts done in May, you’ll notice the word “rain” over and over again, but not this year.

Despite all this, the guy I live with went with his friend to the plant sale at the botanic gardens. He wasn’t going to buy much, since he’s been pretty discouraged lately, but he is a gardener, so he couldn’t help himself.
Nolinas, hesperaloes, dasylirions, yuccas, and a couple of plants of hardy rosemary.

I have some pictures of plants flowering in the garden here, but I should say beforehand that some of these aren’t quite in focus. The guy I live with blames the wind, of course.
When the wind isn’t blowing, the whole garden is scented with the strong smell of cloves from Ribes aureum.
Mahonia (or Berberis if you insist) fremontii is in bud.
And in the shade garden, there’s Anemone nemorosa ‘Vestal’. He got this from a friend about thirty years ago.
There are a couple other forms of this anemone in the shade garden, too.

The other day we had a visitor, who wanted to look at the purple-leaved Prunus andersonii, because people might want to take cuttings of this to introduce it into the trade.
I guess it has some Prunus × cistena (purple-leaved sand cherry) genes in it.

So that was fun. I got to show our visitor all around the garden.

And something else. Another one of those objects of mystery. We were just walking along the canal road by the old sluice.
I think I mentioned in an earlier post that there used to be an iron wheel that fit into the threads on top of the gate, but apparently someone swiped it. There used to be a farmhouse some distance to the north of the sluice.
(There’s another sluice a little bit to the west of this one, too.)

We came upon the object, or objects, of mystery.
We pondered this for a while, and then went to see if there were any trout in the canal. There weren’t any; maybe it’s too early to see them.
You can see that the water slows a bit at this bend; this is usually where we see trout. And not little trout, either.

That’s how our spring is going, thus far. (I’ve always wanted to say “thus far”.)  Lots of wind, no rain, and no trout.

Until next time, then.



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new car smell

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

Here I am in a characteristic pose.
I know it looks like I’m not doing anything, but we’ve been working a lot in the garden, lately. Mostly digging up those onions I talked about earlier.

There isn’t a whole lot in flower right now, though we did get five millimeters of rain last night and early this morning. It was pretty nice. And they say we might get a little more, day after tomorrow.
The guy I live with posted a picture of the “flock” of Fritillaria pallidiflora on Facebook, so here are some slightly different pictures.
And the Fritillaria imperialis are flowering, too. They got knocked about by the wind.
I know it looks like they’re growing in gravel, but that’s just the north side of the “sand pile”, which also has gravel in it. The fritillarias are growing in plain dirt, under the New Mexican privets (Forestiera neomexicana). They’ve been here for years, but never set any seeds, unlike the Fritillaria pallidiflora, most of which are seedlings.

The wild plums (Prunus americana) are flowering along the canal. They have a very nice fragrance. The plums make good jam, according to the guy I live with.
And the cottonwoods are flowering, too.
Though you wouldn’t want these trees in your garden. Look what the roots do.
We had a visitor in the garden for a couple of days, as well. Everything got quiet when the visitor appeared. This is a Cooper’s hawk.
So that’s the flowers and birds part of the post.

The guy I live with ordered a book for his friend, to read to her grandchildren. He said it looks pretty good.
It’s about a grumpy badger. Not the kind of badgers we have here, though. European badgers.

Today, I went to the doctor’s office, for my annual checkup. I got stuck with needles and everything, but it was okay.
All the purebred border collies who have lived here have gone to the same doctor’s office. It does sometimes make the guy I live with sad to think of that.
The doctor said I had lost the six pounds I gained year before last. The guy I live with said that was excellent. It must be my new canned food, which I like a lot, though it’s kind of hard for him to find.
And also chasing the squirrel away from the suet feeder. That takes a lot of energy.
The doctor said I looked “fabulous”. I know it would be immodest of me to agree, but, well, you know..

It was my first ride in our new car. I get why people talk about “new car smell”; it was nice, in a different way. I rode in the back, wearing my Ruff Rider Roadie. (It attaches to the back headrest with a carabiner.)
The guy I live with hadn’t figured out how to turn the heat on, in the car, because up until today it hadn’t been necessary, but I liked the ride anyway.

It was pretty chilly today, and I guess it will be tomorrow, and the next day.

My evening walk was certainly chilly, but pleasant at the same time.
I think you can see that the canal looks way less grassy now. Maybe the canal people cleaned it up a bit. The water is also higher.
And the water looks a lot calmer than it did last Friday, which was another really windy day.
You can see the ripples in the water, blown by the wind.
By the way, though last Friday was another “fire weather” day, it was a lot less scary than the Friday before that. But it drove both of us slightly crazy. The wind blew all day long, at about forty miles an hour.

It’s funny how that seems fast, being out in the garden, but riding in the car at the same speed it doesn’t seem fast at all.

Anyway, you can see that things are starting to turn green here, at least a little.
Lots of people and dogs walk on this path. That line of dried grasses is the creek. I sometimes like to hunt for voles along the creek, even though the guy I live with says not to.
Just this evening, when we were walking along the canal, I leaped toward the edge of the canal bank, to try to get a vole, and then jumped in the water, to see if I could see the vole. The guy I live with said not to do that, and now I see why. The water was really cold. It comes from Mount Evans, which is a pretty high mountain (14,271 feet, or 4,350 meters), and not all that far away from us.
(Guanella Pass, which is on the west side of Mount Evans, is just an hour’s drive from our driveway, and a lot of that is on the winding, and occasionally scary, Guanella Pass Road. I’ve been up there, as you may know.)

Well, that’s it for today. I’ll leave you with a picture of me looking fabulous. It’s not all that difficult for me to do, really.

Until next time, then.

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