strange encounters

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to tell you about all the strange encounters I’ve had lately, and maybe talk about some other things. You may remember me from such posts as “Chasing Hawks”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. Awake, and rather wistful.

Incidentally, if you were wondering, that lion skull isn’t real. The guy I live with’s late wife bought it from a place that makes resin casts of such things. The netsuke are also resin. Not everything in this house is real. That kind of creeped me out when it dawned on me.

But anyway, things have been pretty, well let’s just say different, here, for a while now. The guy I live with has started his treatment, and so there’s that.

I mean, there have been regular things, like seeing hawks on my walks. (“Hawks on my walks”, I like that.)I do sometimes get the feeling that I’m being watched, though.

I watch back.

Other things are much less normal. I came upon this, oh, I guess you would call it a thing, on my walk the other day. (The guy I live with said I walk past this thing all the time, but obviously haven’t been paying attention.) It’s over by the frontage road and sometimes we walk down the sidewalk there. Every so often we walk at night, and the guy I live with always says something when he sees lights on in the offices late at night, because he used to work late at night.

You can see how careful I was when I encountered it. 

The guy I live with said this was called a drain. I didn’t like it at all. Nevertheless, I was able to keep going.

And just a couple of days ago, right after Christmas in fact,  I saw something so alarming, so bizarre, so, well, recherché, that I wasn’t exactly sure what to make of it.

You can see how I studied it from afar, before approaching. The guy I live with always takes notice when I see something way ahead of us, because, really, my eyesight is much better than his. I took some time trying to evaluate what it was, and then the guy I live with said we should still be walking, but slowly.

I approached it with extreme caution. I think you’ll agree that this was very different indeed. It was so different that I gave it as wide a berth as possible, in order to continue ahead, yet not get anywhere near it.

The guy I live with analyzed it from all angles, with me at a safe distance, and concluded it was a device for attracting reindeer. He explained the reindeer business in detail, though he was a bit vague on certain particulars.

I think you’ll be relieved to know that those are all the strange things that I’ve encountered lately, or so far (you never know), although this, too, is definitely a bit out of the ordinary.

It all started a few weeks ago. No, wait, longer ago than that. As you know, from the constant complaints about the weather originating from you-know-who, our weather has been the same every day now for weeks. Fifties and sixties every day, but freezing almost every night. And no snow. Not exactly the kind of winter we’re used to here. We usually have at least some snow.

The guy I live with was unhappy with the progress of some of the newly-potted snowdrop bulbs in the large bulb frame (nothing was coming up), and even though it’s been cold at night, the snowdrops should have been coming up. At least showing their noses. But they weren’t. The soil was frozen.

So, a number of the pots were brought indoors. The idea here, which was explained to me even though I admit I wasn’t hugely interested, is that it was important to get these bulbs to grow, since they were planted a bit late. The soil in the pots thawed, and things began to happen.

Galanthus elwesii ‘Barnes’, flowering under the lights upstairs.

You may indeed think that snowdrops as house plants is a pretty peculiar thing. You would be quite right. However, the thermostat at our house is not set to tropical temperatures like it so often is in other peoples’ houses, and it’s quite cool here, usually. The heat is only turned up when it gets really chilly outside.

I think I’ve covered almost everything now. Oh, except to say that it snowed. Not very much at all, and it’s still very dry here. You can probably see how dry, in this picture. Maybe even a record for December (the driest on record is 0.03 inches, which about the thickness of a dime), though we still have a few days to go. 

Until next time, then.


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season’s greetings

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