Nature Friday ~ September 23, 2022

Welcome to the first edition of Autumn 2022 where we’re joining those cute hosts from Adventures of the LLB Gang. Don’t forget to click on the link to see what others around Blogville posted for this blog hop.

Yesterday was the official arrival of Autumn, our favorite season and it’s already started to show up in small slices around the 303. A couple of days of some very welcome rain this week probably helped the process though small spots of leaves starting to turn have been noticed for the past several days.

Taking another trip down to Sloan’s Lake, let’s see what Nature served up for us this week, shall we?

As I entered the park, the honey locusts trees practically shouted with spots of yellow brilliance. They are one of the first trees to show signs of the changing seasons and their honey gold leaves appearing in a few spots called out to me.

Changing leaves

Autumn is the season of transition from summer to winter in the Northern Hemisphere and marks shorter days, cooler temperatures and a change in leaf color as deciduous trees begin their annual leaf shedding.

Trees

Like pots of paint from an artist’s pallet, spots of color show up each day while wildlife prepares for the upcoming season of change as well. Squirrels seem to gather more (i.e. they seemingly become more brazen about their garden raids). This little guy was determined to photobomb my golden moment by barking his self-righteous displeasure at me as I walked around the tree attempting to find the best angle.

Squirrels weren’t the only critters spotted in the park. Different kinds of birds cruised by searching for whatever they nosh upon.

Birds

Some just rested in the morning hours, waiting for their opportunity to rifle through trash bins once the morning visits went about their days. These guys refused to yield their space even as I moved closer. Clearly they didn’t view me as any threat.

Gulls

These ducks demonstrated the adage, ‘any ole port in a storm’ will suffice as I walked near the shoreline, although they kept one eye always open and focused on whether I made any sudden moves toward them.

Ducks

Nature is marvelous as it transitions into another season. Crab apple trees produce hips for the local critters to stock up on. The supply chain seems fairly robust around the lake.

Trees

Sharing the bounty of the summer, trees also produces some interesting seed pods. No clue as to what this tree is, but found the seed pods fascinating as well as colorful. It was like seeing fireworks, without the noise.

Trees

Colorado is well known for its quaking aspen’s brilliant gold shimmering in a blue sky but there are some elements of red and orange to be found that dominate the season in the Midwest and eastern states. This holly along the sidewalk hellstrip beaconed me to inspect it more closely. The shock of color provides us uprights with a beautiful scene while producing fruit for birds and other critters.

Holly leaves

This tree just can’t seem to commit to one color, with a few yellow and orange leaves as well as a canopy of red ones.

Changing leaves

This milkweed caught my eye providing quite a curious show with it’s cottony seed pods. Those seeds should provide new plants for butterfly meals next summer.

Milkweed

While Autumn officially arrived this week, the Ranch Hands and I expect to enjoy some Indian Summer weather this weekend and hope for a visit to checkout the changing aspens in the high elevations. What plans do you have for the first weekend of Autumn? Whatever you do, we hope there’s some exploring the gorgeous pallet that Nature shares this time of year.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Norman Wins An Award ~ 2022

Happy first day of Autumn, everyone!

For the second Thursday in a row, we’re sharing a post to welcome our favorite season as well as sharing highlights from a couple of events the Ranch in-house pet therapist participated in recently.

First, the Annual Pet Therapy Awards program was held last Friday (following a 2 year COVID hiatus) and then Norman joined a few other pet therapists at a nearby event, “Bark In The Park” in Arvada on Saturday. Participation in events like this to help showcase our program and demonstrate how volunteers and their pets make a positive impact in our community.

This year’s awards get together was a delightful surprise since I didn’t think we’d qualify for any recognition. Norman has only been a member of the hospital’s pet therapy program since last June yet our hero managed to qualify by having more than 20 visits during the year. Even though our program has diminished in size, it is still full of spirited and loving pet therapists and their owners. Here are a few pics from the event.

Norman
I’d like to thank my Mum, my agent, my Ninja sister, Lutheran, all my fur-pals in the program… [cue the “get off the stage now” exit music]
Before the presentation, the early birds were rapt with attention and enthusiasm with fellow teammate Janet’s seemingly endless supply of treats which she cheerfully doled out to the piglets good dogs. I think I need to bring a replacement bag of treats to her for all the ones the biggest piglet ate.

Here’s the majority of the dogs in attendance. There were a couple who are part of the program but who did not attend. It can be somewhat overwhelming and some excellent therapy dogs prefer quieter event rather than a conference room filled with lots of high energy, amped up pooches.

Pet Therapy

It’s always hilarious trying to get everyone to stay in place long enough to get a group photo. One notable missing pup, Norman’s Corgi pal Zoe, had her photo taken separately with her mom, Amy who was this year’s organizer for the event. Isn’t she just too adorable? Just look at that cute face!Corgi

Corgi
Zoe’s award ceremony bogarted by a certain sheepdog who was making sure the name was spelled correctly

For some reason, Norman seem to make it his mission to photobomb several of the presentations. Truthfully, there are enough outtake pics, that would merit their own separate post  {#oh that dog}.

Norman made sure the award was suitable for sweet Riley, an enthusiastic and sweet Golden Retriever. For the life of me, I could not keep this big oaf from getting his big fat head in nearly all the frames. I’ve never been so embarrassed by this ox-maybe Elsa has it right when she rants about his bigger than life presence around the Ranch.

Riley

At Saturday’s “Bark In The Park” event, our pet therapy program set up a booth to educate the public about our pet therapy program and to potentially recruit new members to join our team. It was a good event which also benefited the Arvada public dog park. Proceeds from the event will be used to spruce up the park and perform much needed maintenance work over the last two weeks of September so dogs and their suburban owners can continue to enjoy the large wide open space.

As you can see, personable Norman who doesn’t know a stranger, made friends with the folks in the booth next to Lutheran’s. PetWell Clinic is opening a new location for affordable and convenient walk-in vet care in the Sloan’s Lake area in November. Vet tech, Christina graciously appeared with Norman and we chatted about their expansion. We are excited about visiting them once the space opens.

Bark in the Park

All in all it was a super filled weekend but one that was super fulfilling for me and Norman. This boy is such a sport when it comes to events like these. He definitely deserved a few rejuvenating naps following both events.

Norman

Have a great autumn!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Wish I Were There ~ September 21, 2022

Germany
Aachen, Germany

After dreaming of being back in Aachen, I’m smiling because it’s Happy Earth, Wind & Fire Day. Do you Remember the 21st day of September? Groove on, peeps.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ September 19, 2022

When I asked Norman if he realized he was leaving dog hair on the sofa, he blithely replied, “well isn’t that why it’s called fur-niture?”

Wishing you a pawsome Monday.

Because of all the hubbub getting ready for the pet therapy award ceremony last Friday and Norman’s subsequent ‘pawticipation’ at a hospital-sponsored event called Bark in the Park, we completely forgot that Friday was the Ninja’s 6th Gotcha Day (you can read her story here). I know, bad dog mommy. Soooo sorry Elsa, I hope all the one-on-one time spent over the weekend and the extra fish skin treats helped make up for my bad. Love you to the moon and back, Ninja❣️

Gotcha Day
I am not amused.

Hope you don’t forget anything important this week. Everyone at the Ranch sends you their best wishes for a totally ‘wagnificent’ Monday.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ September 16, 2022

Well, well, well…looky here…we managed to reach Friday without hurting anyone or anything so now it’s time to join our pals over at Adventures of the LLB Gang for their weekly blog hop where folks share some slices of nature. Make sure you check out the link of all those who participate.

Hopefully (and without jinxing myself), dare I say it feels like we’re in what’s known as Indian Summer around these parts. With just a mere 6 days until the official arrival of autumn, the temps have moderated and to those of you who think I complain focus too much on the extreme high and low ends of the thermometer, am happy to provide a Goldilocks approach this week and say things have been just right. Warm days and cool nights. And not having to run the AC all day long makes for good sinus health. A real win-win.

A recent walk to Sloan’s Lake rewarded me with a few interesting pics. The morning threatened to shower, but only managed to provide some great clouds and reflections over the lake. This is a slightly different view that I normally share-near the park bathrooms and maintenance building and where the Dragon Boat races bivouac. The ducks take advantage of this spot frequently.

Sloan's Lake

One thing I noticed as I meandered around the lake is one area in particular is closed off so the grass can be restored. Notice the winged “Gen Z’ers” that once again demonstrate the rules don’t seem to apply to them just liked their human counterparts.

Sloan's Lake

One thing we’ve noticed walking around gardens of the ‘Hood are the ripening squash and pumpkins. Just in time for that favorite season of many consumers, ‘pumpkin spice’ fill-in-the-blank.

Pumpkin

Pollinators are quite busy doing their thing in anticipation of the end of the summer season. This is a community garden I often walk past and it’s chock-full of fresh produce.

Bees in the garden

Sunflowers are blooming and spreading happiness before the first frost. I’m particularly mesmerized by these bronze varieties along the ubiquitous tiny strip between street and sidewalk. The perfect autumnal colors, wouldn’t you say?

Flowers

Outdoor decor is reflecting the upcoming season as well. Porches are beginning to display buckets of pumpkins and gourds as well as another autumn favorite, that member of the aster family known as Chrysanthemums.

Pumpkins

Flowers

It’s going to be another lovely weekend and Norman and I will be doing some pet therapy events and hopefully all three of us will get a chance to see some more of the fabulous offerings of Indian Summer. Anything special scheduled for your weekend? Whatever you do, we hope you are able to get out and enjoy this special time of year where the light is magic and golden.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Thankful Thursday ~ September 15, 2022

Surprise, it’s me…and yes, I realize it’s Thursday and not my usual Wednesday post but the world seemed to conspire against me yesterday while I was trying to install a new computer and it ended up taking 7 hours getting it remotely configured. By the time I managed to smooth out the numerous wrinkles migrating the old data onto the new hardware, it seemed silly to post anything late in the afternoon…so voilà…it magically transformed into a Thankful Thursday post instead of a “Wordless Wednesday, ” i.e. “Wish I Were There”  post. But trust me, I’m ever so grateful I didn’t fling the doggone thing out the window before figuring out how to get anything posted again. And I’m exceedingly grateful no people or pets were harmed in the agonizing process and I still have a head full of hair (thought there was a short period of time where I thought I might need to wear a wig for a while). At any rate, here’s hoping you enjoy no matter what day it is.

Italy
High Tide, Venice

Live, love, bark!  🐾

Monday Musings ~ September 12, 2022

Ahhh, the power of suggestion. Hopefully our suggestion’ to make it a great Monday, will be just as effective.

Monday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ September 9, 2022

Nature FridayWelcome to this week’s edition of Nature Friday where we join our pals over at Adventures of the LLB Gang for their weekly blog post. Make sure you check out the link for other posts.

We were absent for last week’s blog hop as we went to celebrate my Dad’s 92nd birthday for a few days so this week’s offerings are a bit ‘catch-as-catch-can’ with no real theme. But sometimes that works out ok as Nature often can be a benevolent mistress when sharing beautiful sights. We weren’t able to do a lot of looking around this week, between the broiling temperatures and catching up after several days away, but managed to capture a few pics from our trip that just might do nicely.

Birthday
92 never looked so good

Different from most trips down to Dad’s house in southern Colorado was the addition of a certain Ninja coming along. She loves my Dad so I thought I’d see how’d she do in the ‘wild’ if you will. New situations for Elsa are always tricky and I’ll admit she was definitely a bit out of her routine element but she handled things far better than I had hoped. Dad’s property isn’t fenced and there are loads of critters weaving across the two acres (ground squirrels, rabbits, quail and heaven only knows) but she stayed close to me, cautiously sniffing the trees, bushes and ground. Norman of course, was his usual self but having two clever dogs to keep an eye on kept me on my toes. I’ve learned to never leave anything to chance when dogs are involved.

Let’s start with meeting the neighbors. Norman loves saying good morning to the donkeys across the road and they seem very keen on him so I wondered how Elsa might do.

Elsa & the donkeys
‘What the bloody heck?’

She has that “what the &#@% are those things” look to her in this pic, which cracked me up. The guys, however are pros around the dogs and didn’t blink an eye no doubt wondering what the fuss-up was all about as Elsa lost her mind and barked her fool head off. Oh that dog.

Rather than wake up the entire area, after brief introductions, we moseyed along our on walk.

Norman
Norman meets a horse

The next morning following a most delightful evening rainstorm, the morning skies seemed to shout “Are ya happy now?”

Sunrise

It was exquisitely beautiful. But it got better. As we started out on our morning walk, the sky kept getting redder and redder with that great cloud cover. After we climbed the first hill, I turned around and this is what I saw.

Norman & Elsa

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more intense and spectacular sunrise anywhere. It was just breathtaking.

We all had a great visit, celebrating, eating, laughing, and Zooming with out-of-state relatives. It was one terrific visit for one terrific human. Once we got back to Denver, we noticed a new neighbor moved in around the corner from the Ranch so naturally we had to check them out. The dogs weren’t sure what to make of the new feathery dudes, and the ducks sure aren’t keen on them getting too close, but they quack at us every day when we walk by.  They usually are swimming in one of the two small pools as their owners sip a cuppa and watch over them. They wave, I wave and Elsa barks her fool head off. She may never be a member on the Welcome Wagon, but fortunately the duck owners seem friendly. I’ll stop when the dogs aren’t with me to welcome them personally.

Neighborhood Ducks

It’s bounty time now in the veggie garden. I came home to the potted tomato plants kicking into high gear. The cherry tomatoes have been a regular, heavy producer but it’s outperformed itself this year in the hot temps.  They are like little red candies-so sweet, so tasty. The ‘Early Girl’ is just now beginning to ripen. All the fruit seems fairly misshapen as well as smaller than I anticipated so I think this year’s experimental planting likely won’t be repeated next year, no doubt to the chagrin of the neighborhood hoodlums…aka squirrels. Anytime I can irritate that local population, I’m a happy gardener.

Tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes
Tomatoes
‘Early Girl’ tomatoes

Well, that’s it for us. With a break in the heat bubble this weekend, we’re hoping to be able to get out and find more of the amazing sights Nature routinely bequeaths us. A news report this morning indicated the Western US should experience a La Niña winter (colder/wetter while warmer/drier in the Southeast), with Colorado being pretty much the dividing line between the two so we’ll see what this means in the weeks ahead. I’ll be grateful to turn the AC off. Hope you are able to enjoy some of Nature’s finest. Have a ‘wagnificent’ weekend.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Wordy Wednesday ~ September 7, 2022

Let’s cool things down, at least visually. To all those baking in record high temps, this is for you.

Alaska
Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, Alaska

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ Labor Day 2022 Edition

Monday

The Ranch Hands and I wish you a safe and relaxing Labor Day with a minimum amount of exertion on the unofficial last day of summer. Enjoy!

Flowers

Live, love, bark! 🐾