Nature Friday ~ July 3, 2020

Welcome to Friday where we join our hosts and friends, Rosy & her brothers for this week’s edition of Nature Friday. For uprights in the U.S. we’re entering a long, July 4th holiday weekend. Due to COVID cases spiking throughout much of the country, it may be a very different kind of Fourth than usual (though we have our paws crossed it means less fireworks which both dogs detest but we’re not holding our breath). Anyway, let’s check out Nature’s finery around the city.

Nature FridayDespite temps in the 90’s again all week long and for the foreseeable forecast, you’d think I’d plan running errands a little bit better by doing them early in the day, but you’d probably be wrong. Yesterday afternoon I needed to get something out in the mail missing the early mail drop so I had to walk over to the nearby Post Office. As I got closer, I kept hearing a strange bird making a ruckus but couldn’t figure out from where it was coming but lo and behold, I stumbled upon this fella bathing in a puddle of runoff water. Wha….wait, what the heck is that?!


I couldn’t believe my eyes! Seeing red-tailed hawks (which is what I think this guy is) in the city isn’t a frequent occurrence, at least not in my neighborhood. I stopped to watch him bathe and sip some water. Slowly I moved a closer being  careful as to not startle him. That noisy bird I heard must have been part of his security detail and was on the overhead powerline I soon discovered.


Cropping this photo pixelated it but I think you can see a fairly decent profile. Isn’t he something special? Last week the dogs and I were treated to raccoons and rabbits and now this week, a hawk. Pretty amazing considering the ‘Ranch’ is just a couple of miles from downtown Denver’s central business district.

On the way back from the Post Office I came across this garden beauty, Kniphofia, often called Torch Lily or Red Hot Poker. That last moniker seems to describe the weather…hot! And since it is frequently windy, it’s very dry. Fifty-six percent of the state is under severe drought conditions, while 68% of Colorado is experiencing at least moderate drought. With the majority of the snowmelt gone, it’s clear that it will be a rough summer. We can only hope monsoons will arrive later this month to help in the short term.


The Ranch Hands and I hope you will be able to enjoy some nature this weekend and enjoy a happy and safe ‘howliday.’



Live, love, bark! 🐾

71 thoughts on “Nature Friday ~ July 3, 2020

  1. I work most Fourth of July nights, but this was the first time I ever had to drive through a war zone like what went on last night. Fireworks were being shot off everywhere, and there was still a layer of smoke lingering around the parking lot lights at 3 AM. People are not going to be denied their right to fireworks on the Fourth, and canceling the public display wound up being a very poor decision since it turned the whole area into Desert Storm…

    That said, the cats handled the idiot who was shooting them off from my street (and who I had to drive around while in the act) pretty well…

    1. Glad the cats managed to get through ‘Beirut’ intact. It was insane here too. All those ‘free-dumb loving patriots’ were not to be denied this year. It was the worst I’ve ever witnessed in the 18+ years I’ve lived in the neighborhood. Take a pandemic, social unrest and the clueless who profess it’s their gawd-given right to blow up professional grade fireworks (and start at least a couple of fires that I’m aware of), you’ve got a perfect storm. There were lots of NextDoor messages this morning from those people with limp apologies to veterans with PTSD saying, ‘boy was it nice to see all those fireworks.’ Why not just say “sorry, not sorry” and leave it at that. 🤬

  2. Miss Monika you saw a Hawk!! A reel live Hawk!! So kewl…LadyMew said hee/shee iss eether an immature Red-Tail or Sharp-Shinned Hawk….
    Wee think THE creeeturess an birdss KNOW you are wudnerfull an come to see you…..
    Norman an Elsa you both look so pawtriotick inn yore hatss an glassess! May THE 4th bee with all of youss’!
    **purrss** BellaDharma

    1. I think he was just needing a drink. It appears he’s a Cooper’s Hawk from what a couple of reliable sources say. Whatever he is, he was quite handsome. 🦅 Have a great weekend.

      1. Mee-yow Miss Monika yore rite…LadyMew looked up ;bout Hawk’ss an reealized this iss a Coopurrs’ Hawk!! Hee reelly IS a hansm fellow!
        Wee had a quiet weekend; too hot to do anything…..
        **purrss** BellaDharma

        1. Good to know, and thanks for looking it up for us. He sure is a handsome chap and I hope I can see him again.

  3. What an awesome sighting of that hawk, and the flowers look very appropriate for the 4th! We were in a moderate drought here too, but then finally got several days of rain. We hope you do too.
    Have a Happy (and hopefully quiet) 4th!

    1. If only (on the rain). It’d help with the drought as well as put out the incessantly loud fireworks. Hope you have a weekend filled with peace and quiet.

  4. HAPPY 4th!! The “poker” is gorgeous! And what a shot of the hawk! WOW!

    We had idiots shooting off fireworks in the ball field across the street at ONE O’CLOCK this morning. Thankfully they didn’t upset Ducky, but they sure p’d us off. It was dark at nine o’clock, but no they had to wait until most people were trying to go to sleep or already asleep. Talk about rude.

    Oh well, it’s going to be hot and humid around here today, so it’ll be a good day to stay inside and do some “training” with Ducky, watch a movie or two, and maybe listen to some music or read a book.

    Hope you and the pups have a great holiday weekend! Love those pix of Norman and Elsa in their patriotic garb!! Except for Kissy (my small mini poodle), none of my dogs have ever liked playing dress-up for holiday photos. The most they’ve ever tolerated were bandannas. Although I think – if he had survived the heartworm treatments – Radar would have let me have some fun. And maybe would have convinced Ducky it wasn’t so bad. He was such a good dog. I miss him as much as I miss his older sisters.

    1. Your revelers must have Denver cousins, they were shooting off fireworks last night until late and then the partying started. Ugh. I HATE July 4th. Every year it’s the same. With a neighborhood with as many dogs as there are here, you’d think people would realize how distressing it is for them.

      Norman is pretty good with my putting hats & glasses on him, Elsa, not so much. I just got lucky with that shot and she held the glasses on for about a nano-second.

      Hope you have a good weekend. I don’t feel very celebratory this year and just hope to ‘get through it.’ Hugs to you and ear rubs to sweet Ducky.

  5. That was some pretty unique nature for a trip to the Post Office. And those are some pretty unique holiday outfits on the boys today! Woot. Party time!

    Love and licks,

    1. Umm, we’ll keep the paw-tying on the down low, Cupcake. We like the peace and quiet. ☮️

  6. Cool photos of the hawk! We have gray hawks around here for the most part…….what a treat to see a red-tailed. Hope you have a QUIET day and night although chances are – like here – there will be some who love all that noise…..not us…..we don’t do fireworks – if we see them they’re on TV!

    Hugs, Teddy

    1. Sadly it wasn’t that quiet last night and suspect it will be worse tonight. Count us as non-fans as well.

    1. We are ready for it to be over with-the noise is way too scary for us all.

  7. OMD, that hawk is pawsome! We have lots of them here, I just wish they would hunt the rats instead of the smaller burdies 🙁
    I hopes you guys have a most calm, and safe 4th! We are dry here too, and know what one stray ‘safe’ firework can do! I hopes everyone is being safe, and responsible abouts them!
    Ruby ♥

  8. Wow! What a lucky capture! See? That’s why you had to go out and get all well-done… if you had gone earlier then you would have missed this… Win-Win for us and you.
    And the kids are looking fabulous in their Howliday Get-up!
    Hope the fireworks are kept to a minimum… like, none!
    We had nothing for our Canada Day so hopefully you guys won’t either.

    1. Yeah but this country loves its noisy fireworks. Last year I confronted some neighbors in the alley behind my house since they were shooting off illegal fireworks and they yelled why was I so unpatriotic. There’s no winning against that mentality.

        1. You absolutely nailed that. 🙄 But what is a person supposed to do with folks who think like that?

  9. What a festive pair Elsa and Norman are!!

    How cool to be able to get that close to the Hawk!!

  10. Look at Norman rocking the red white and blue! Love it.

    And it’s rather toasty here today. Highs in the upper 90s which means the only thing I am doing outside is a beer run a little bit later,

    As for that red tailed hawk? Seeing one up close like that is special.

    1. The super smart people who inexplicably read my drivel think it’s more likely a Cooper’s Hawk. Imma gonna defer to them. 🍻

      Norman knows how to make his mum laugh out loud, and if I say so myself, does seem to be able to rock red, white and blue.

  11. Here’s another vote for your discovery being a Coopers Hawk. But, whatever, any hawk is a good spot in an urban environment. Have a great holiday.

    1. Yeah the more I look at it, the more I’m inclined to agree. Have a pawsome howliday.

  12. We are actually thinking there will be more than the usual home fireworks going off since most of the professional ones have been cancelled. We are hoping for it to be quiet and safe for everyone.

    Nice catch with that hawk!!! He must have been enjoying his bath.

    Woos – Lightning, Misty, and Timber

    1. I’m afraid you’re probably right. I keep saying a good rain shower would be a big help but considering how dry it’s been here doubt that’ll happen. I’ve been hearing some police e departments are planning not to respond to complaints given the anti-police demonstrations of late. ☹️

  13. Hey, Monika!
    Great shots of the hawk! I’m going to quibble with your identification, though. Given that you live in Denver, with lots of trees around, it is less likely to be a red-tailed. Instead, the skinny legs and distinct striping on it’s tail suggests it’s a woodland hawk — an accipiter — either a sharp-shinned or a Coopers’ hawk (without seeing the tail it is almost impossible to tell them apart). The barring on the chest says that it is an immature accipiter, whichever it is.

    Love the pups’ patriotic duds! My girls will never sit still long enough for me to get a picture.

    1. A birder in the ‘hood pointed out this guy before and thought it was a young red-tail, but I’ll defer to your expertise, Amy. Whatever it was, it was absolutely beautiful and did seem to be young.

    1. Thanks, John. He was really stunning to watch for several minutes and I was quite lucky to have crossed his path him especially on such a hot day. Have a safe and happy ‘howliday.’

  14. Great shot of him walking through the puddle! We saw a lot of them when we used to walk the Ralston Creek Trail. Also have a fair amount here in San Diego. A few weeks ago one got a neighborhood mourning dove in our yard and my husband cleaned up the remants, bless him.

    1. They are amazing hunters. Living in the NW Denver near Highlands Square you don’t expect to see hawks so it was an awestruck moment for me.

    1. Red hot pokers are a nice spot of color. Most of the currently blooming summer perennials are yellow so it’s very welcome. Hawks aren’t a usual visitor in city neighborhoods-there aren’t many pigeons around though I note they have nested on skyscrapers downtown with a large buffet of the flying rats. 😉

  15. oh there will be fireworks. Illegal or otherwise, around here. They started about a month ago, let’s make noise! My neighbors aren’t disturbed enough!

    1. No doubt; there have been some late night boomers but continue to hope. 🤞🏼

  16. The hawk is awesome and the flowers are beautiful, but your two babies are hands down the cutest of all. All dressed up for the 4th.

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

    1. I got lucky getting Elsa to allow a photo with props. She’s not nearly as cooperative as Norman. Have a safe ‘howliday.’

  17. You were lucky with that picture of the Red-Tailed Hawk. We have one here, nesting in a tree on our neighbour’s property, and I hear it crying a lot, and sometimes, but very rarely, get a glimpse of it in flight. But I have never had the opportunity to get a halfway decent picture.
    Have a great weekend, and Happy 4th of July,

    1. I wish I would have had the big camera, those images were taken with just my cell phone from about 10-15 feet away. I was surprised he let me get that close.

    1. That hawk did flutter around in the puddle and shook it off before the foot bath but still it was great seeing him. Have a pawsome weekend.

  18. How cool that the red tailed hawk paid you a visit as it had some fun in the water. 🙂 Maybe it is lost!
    Nice flowers and it is supposed to be a very “HOT poker” weekend here!
    Elsa and Norman look fabulous for the holiday! Hope fireworks stay away from you all. We heard some last night already and our Yorkie does NOT like them! Doesn’t seem to bother our Sheltie, she just kept snoring away!
    Happy weekend to you!!

    1. Thanks! It was very serendipitous to see that hawk.

      No doubt people will be shooting fireworks this weekend despite their being illegal in the city. It terrifies many pets and must be equally terrifying for veterans and those who suffer from PTSD.

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