Nature Friday ~ July 5, 2019

Although we missed the past couple of weeks, we’re back today joining our fur-iends, Rosy and her brothers from the LLB Gang for this week’s edition Nature Friday. Mother Nature opened up a can of whoop-ass on the Mile High yesterday with multiple thunderstorm cells storming through with hail but not before two of nature’s most beautiful urban trees bloomed. These two trees are stalwart sentinels around the city: the Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa) and the Little-Leaf Linden (Tilia cordata).

The Catalpa is a large ornamental shade tree that produces dense clusters of white flowers and long seed pods. While I lament the long pods after they drop throughout the garden like pick-up sticks, the flowers are incredibly beautiful and very fragrant. After yesterday’s intense weather, many of the flowers were shed and rather look like popcorn on the ground. The heart-shaped leaves are huge, ranging from 6-8″wide and 6-10″ long. Growing up to 70 ft. tall, this long-lived tree (50-150 years) provides a wide spread 20-40′ and thrive in Denver’s dry climate, requiring little water once established.

Catalpa tree

The flowers resemble orchids. Here’s a closeup of the flowers and leaves.


The Little-Leaf Linden is a medium-large shade tree with a symmetrical shape that is easy to maintain and requires little or no pruning. In North America, Lindens may be known as ‘basswood.’ In early summer clusters of highly fragrant yellow flowers fill the air with a divine perfume that attracts bees. Following blooming, dangling flat clusters of nutlets replace the flowers. Lindens are another long-lived tree and also produce heart-shaped asymmetrical leaves with pointed tips and serrated edges, though they are significantly smaller than Catalpas.  They provide great shade in the intense Colorado sun.


Here’s a close-up of the flowers, nutlets and leaves. I wish there was some way to share that incredible fragrance. I often stand below these trees and inhale deeply for several moments. Elsa thinks I’m looking for squirrels and goes on alert but I’m just reveling in that divine scent.


We hope you and yours survived the Fourth (it sounded like a complete war zone for hours in my neighborhood-the worse ever in the 17+ years I’ve lived here) and I hope there are no more terror filled nights again. I ‘may have confronted a few neighbors and called the police‘ and with lack of sleep for the second night in a row, am in no mood for any more encounters. Before last night I was known as the nice lady with the two standard poodles who always carries dog treats in her pockets but now probably have a less flattering moniker after last night’s insanity. People seem to think they are entitled to disregard municipal ordinances because they are ‘being patriotic.’ If you want to be patriotic, how ’bout you vote and not think the rules don’t apply to you (maybe this is that ‘scrappy’ thing I referred to yesterday). Respecting veterans fragility, along with victims of active/mass shooting scenarios not to mention terrified pets seems like a better way, but what do I know. I’m just that {&#@%-ing} lady who tried to comfort her terrified, shaking, panting dog who never hurt a flea and wondered why his world turned into an absolute living hell for several hours.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

85 thoughts on “Nature Friday ~ July 5, 2019

  1. We have flowering trees here, but none get quite that big. Those are spectacular! Sorry about all the noise on the 4th. It wasn’t too bad here…but our locals also thought target shooting would be fun, and that’s what Luke hates the most. But they moved on to fireworks afterwards. With fans on and windows mostly closed (it’s finally warm enough to have windows open at night, and then we have to close them so we can sleep!!), it wasn’t too bad. It may have bothered me more than Luke – he and the Dad are both better sleepers than I am. There were more on subsequent nights, but those were much further off in the distance thankfully.

    1. The level of inconsideration by people anymore is amazing. And not in a good way. 😬In a busy crazy world, peace and quiet is even more important. Here’s to quiet nights of peaceful sleeping.

  2. That is one beautiful tree – not at all like the Native Trees (Eucalyptus) that some people rave about. I really dislike them – messy unattractive things and nothing grows around them. They are not suited to an urban environment, yet because they are “Native” councils insist on planting them everywhere. Fireworks only happen here twice a year, once for the Show and once for Australia Day. Individual fireworks are not permitted in Australia. The Show fireworks are ten minutes or so once a year and there is plenty of public notices beforehand – and the Showground is away from houses. Likewise with Australia Day, the fireworks are held at the end of the day and generally down at the foreshore away from houses.

    1. Australia is far more sensible about fireworks and guns by prohibiting their sale than the US is. 😊

  3. You know, this year was especially bad for the boomers! Not the fireworks, but the m-80’s and the m-1000’s (yes that’s right, they now are setting off 1000’s!!!) sigh. Luckily, i don’t mind much, butts it really was getting Ma annoyed cause she was thinkin’ it was going to go on all night (like usual), butts they we kind enough 😉 to stop at about 11pm! That was a relief! I hopes you guys don’t have anymore booming nights! If you wants, I can drive the margarita truck overs! BOL
    Ruby ♥

    1. It’s the worst I’ve ever seen. Next year maybe we should hibernate. Or visit your margarita truck. 🤣

  4. I have mixed feelings about fireworks. They certainly cause The Poodle to tremble but our neighborhood puts on a colorful display for all to come together to enjoy and celebrate…it is quite spectacular. It’s only for one day a year and 45 minutes, if that. That said, when I lived in Alabama folks (and yes, some were truly rednecks!) would be lighting fireworks for weeks up until the fourth and for days afterwards. It was, of course, exceedingly annoying and caused lots of Poodle anxiety. :-(. Love the Catalpa tree!! Enjoy your weekend.

    1. It way before and way after here. Professional displays are ok (I and the dogs can avoid them) but when they’re being done by neighbors in the alley, that’s a different story. July 4th was a good 4 hours of loud boomers. 👿
      Have a great weekend yourself and give the poodle extra ear rubs from me.

  5. That catalpa tree is HUGE! Wowzer…
    And yummy smelling trees are always welcome.
    As for fireworks. No. Enough already. Patriotism, my ass… they have absolutely nothing to do with it at all.

    1. They are incredibly tall (and that one isn’t fully grown yet!). I totally agree on the whole patriotism thing. Find me a person shooting off professional grade fireworks in their back yard and I’ll find you a keg of beer there too. I wanted so much to say, “You wanna be patriotic? Go vote douchebag!” Grr.

      1. Wow!
        Oh for sure you’ll find beer. And lots of it. These supposed patriots rarely see found at the voting booths …

  6. That tree and its flowers are just gorgeous. Wish we could smell them through the screen.

    We had lots and lots of non-official fireworks going off until well after midnight. AND we live in a city where they advertised all day about fireworks being illegal. They said to call the regular number, not 911, to report any violators. We don’t think they did anything other than issue warnings.

    Woos – Lightning, Misty, and Timber

    1. It’s ridiculous. Until today things were tinder dry; a fire could have easily started. 😖

  7. Succinctly put. Fireworks are bad, but many even worse things are done in the name of patriotism. (Thank you Mr.Trump). Glad you all survived. Oh, and I just love that first tree – wow!

    1. Glad you enjoyed seeing the sentinels of the garden. Yes, partisanship is definitely taking its toll. At some point people need to stand up and say: enough is enough.

  8. Beautiful! Love the Catalpa blossoms! So pretty! Glad you survived the 4th and hopefully your neighbor’s shot them all off last night so there is no residual “celebrations” tonight.

    1. We’ll see; I have the police department on speed. We’re not going to suffer another sleepless night!

    1. I used to hate it but then saw what came from all the work and I was totally on board. Still don’t like the weeding part, but the results are truly worth it!

  9. We have a little leaf linden in our yard and just love it’s scent. It is currently in bloom and, as you said, smells divine. I’m always fascinated by the variety of insects that go to the flowers. Sometimes when you stand under the tree when it’s in bloom it just buzzes so loud.

    I’m sorry to hear you have such crappy neighbors. We have a few that set off some fireworks but they aren’t too bad. We are lucky that finally after a couple decades of having dogs that hated those noises neither Millie or Walter pays any of that noise any attention. If there is a loud boom they might bark but mostly ignore them. I say don’t worry about what the neighbors think. There was a house that caught fire in our city from a stray firework and now a family is without everything they owned.


    1. On days when I don’t have time to stand and inhale deeply, I love listening to the buzzing. Amazing.

      Not at all worried about the schmuck neighbors shooting off fireworks (they were visiting someone) and had no problem calling the police. Just wish they could have done something. This was the worst year ever in nearly 20 years of living in this neighborhood and professional grade boomers were going off all around. We’ve been in a tinder dry period with high temps (prior to last night’s storm); it’s a wonder the foxtails weren’t ignited. 😬

    1. Ooh, love Crepe Myrtles. I always look forward to this time of year for the heavenly scented Catalpa and Lindens.

  10. Exactly what you said about the fireworks…now, I need to find the %$&* idiots that kept us up until 2 in the morning with their boomers!

    On a nicer note…love those flowering trees!

    1. If you find them, give ’em a resounding thumping from us, too! Glad you liked the trees. With last night’s ‘festivities’ I had to really try hard to blunt aggravation from the clueless.

  11. OMG you sounded like ME last night!!!!! Some assholes were setting off PROFESSIONAL LEVEL fireworks BETWEEN APARTMENT BUILDINGS AND TREES on the driveway across from us. It was directly outside our window!! It was illuminating our courtyard as if bombs were going off. I called the Police (I had called earlier in the day too and they told me to call back when it was going on)…….they said they would send someone over……..guess what? I don’t think they ever did. Their words were “it is private property and they can do what they want” how is an apartment/condo complex private property????? I was beside myself angry. I am speaking to the property manager next week because if this is permitted next year I am withholding my July association fee at that time! BTW those trees you posted are gorgeous! I was worried about a rabbit mom and her babies last night and squirrels that live in the trees behind us with these morons creating World War III. Private users should be banned from using fireworks unless they are in an isolated field where they can BLOW THEMSELVES UP!!! xoxo

    1. They were doing the same in the alley behind my house. I totally picture the two of us in an anti-fireworks posse hunting those jerks down all the while praying for Darwin’s selection theory to kick in. With far too many veterans and survivors from mass shootings suffering from PTSD, you’d think noiseless fireworks would gain more traction. Or effective municipal enforcement. 😬

  12. Yes! (fists in the air) It was lunacy around here. Milo couldn’t go pee for being terrified. Then we went to two parties, one of which had a group of people ranting in favor of the current administration. We couldn’t sleep because while they were shooting off their mouths and illegal fireworks, we fretted that our beloved country is taking a nasty turn. I wonder that founding fathers were unable to rest in their graves. I have friends who have PTSD from protecting our country, who also shake and react to this alledged patriotism display of ignoring rules. My rant over, I’ll return you to your reading.
    Well done Monika. Poor sam…

    1. I’d have left skid marks from that party. I’ve never seen (or heard) it so bad. I fear we are devolving in front of our eyes. With the metro’s first hand experience with some of the most horrific mass shootings, I cannot image how survivors manage to deal with fireworks. Unbelievable. Have a love (and quiet) weekend. Ear rubs to sweet Milo.

  13. Thankfully, the fireworks – and other loud noises – don’t bother Ducky that much. She barked at the first 4 or 5 of them last night and then settled down for a few naps after her dinner and post-dinner nature release. We watched some news, a few episodes of MASH, and then Casablanca. By then it was pretty quiet.

    Poor Elsa and Sam. Glad Elsa didn’t seizure, but it still must have been awful for you as well as the pups. I remember how poor Callie used to crawl into my lap or try to hide between my legs. I’d finally calm her down with gentle massages and some lavender water (sprayed onto my hands).

    1. I tried every remedy/strategy I know on Sam to no avail. He never used to be bothered before, but has progressively gotten worse the past couple of years. He’s never climbed in my lap, drooling, panting, shaking. Classic terror.
      P.S. Glad Ducky weathered it well.

  14. Firstly, lovely captures!

    As for the fireworks, if you were to travel about fifteen miles south of me, they combine fireworks with shooting their firearms into the air. Because when you combine fireworks with copious amounts of alcohol AND firearms . . what could possibly go wrong?

    I’m with you, glad that’s over.

    1. It’s gotten waay out of control. And yeah…gun fire…what could possibly go wrong. Jeez, what the hell is wrong with people. All that celebration is no way to honor the service of veterans who are trying to forget (or at least minimize) past gun fire. WTH?!

        1. The whole thing has me really wound up and I’m flummoxed at resolving with this amped up escalation.

          1. I wouldn’t worry about the neighbors. I have exactly two I get along with. There is a new neighbor I cannot stand because he’s not an animal person (translated, it means he’s not to be trusted). He doesn’t like that I feed ducks, to which I say too %$*&ing bad.

            1. Bravo! I find anyone who shoots off fireworks like last night’s boomers cannot convince me they are an animal lover. They are just a knuckle-dragging beef jerky noshing clown fueled by ignorance with probably more than a fair amount of alcohol. I need to find a place where peace of mind, consideration, and a clue, are the norm, not the exception.

                    1. I’m contemplating the other ‘side of the wall.’

                    2. If I thought it existed, I’d put the house up for sale today.

                    3. That phenomena sounds like having too much money…alas, nothing I’ll ever experience.

                    4. Here’s hoping whatever you do, it involves a nice brew with a delicious snack.

                    5. Funny, they didn’t teach me that in mom school. Wonder if it’s a generational thing? 😅

  15. We are looking for a tree but I need one that doesn’t drop stuff that the dogs will eat. Fireworks are the bane of my existance. I’ve been know to go to the source and explain that I have a very delecate child and the fireworks are causing extremen pain. That usually. does it. (I am of course referring to my fur child)

    1. Last night was the worst I’ve ever witnessed. I told the offenders it was illegal. Twice. Even called the cops to file a complaint. I thought Elsa might have a seizure but she handled it well, all things considered. Sam on the other hand was so terrified. Even a heavy thunderstorm didn’t deter these clowns. With many of us having an active shooter experience, even the mental health plea didn’t deter these jerks. They just wondered why I “didn’t want to celebrate our great country.” As a naturalized citizen, I take my citizenship enormously seriously and was offended by the comment. When he apologized, I said I don’t want your apology, I just want peace and quiet. Grrrrrrrrr

      As for trees, I have never seen the dogs even try to eat the flowers or pods. The leaves for the Catalpa are a pain to rake in autumn; have you considered a Locust tree?

        1. I have two and absolutely love them. Luckily mine do not have the pods like the ones I grew up with. Leaves tend to blow away, another bonus. []

  16. Beautiful flowers and trees.

    I’m sorry you were bombarded with such awful fireworks. We didn’t have it all that bad here. Better than last year.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. Scritches to the pups. ♥

    1. Expensive and, in Denver, illegal. Yet peeps think they should liquor up and shoot them off. I was afraid Elsa might have a seizure. Luckily she didn’t but the noise was truly off the charts.

    1. Glad your ‘howliday’ was good. I think I’ll need to find a new refuge for next year. Don’t need two terrified 60 lb. dogs in my lap until the wee hours.

  17. that is so beautiful!!! thanks for sharing something what reminds us of a giant snowball… it feels good to watch it while we still have a heat wave…

    1. The most perfectly smelling snowball. Ever! Hope the temps go down; I’ve been seeing some incredibly high temps. Happy weekend.

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