Nature Friday ~ October 23, 2020

Pat yourself on the back-you’ve made it to another Friday. We are joining our furry friends, Rosy, Sunny, Arty and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard. It’s the time of year where the Ranch hands call it “Hallowinter” as autumn and winter collide around Halloween to spoil little goblins’ annual candy begging trick-or-treating. Even when there’s snow, I see kids run like their lives depending on hitting every possible house in the neighborhood. It’s incomprehensible to me but probably because I’m no longer a kid who now has far more pressing matters to pursue. Since nature usually makes the young ones hardy and primed for adventure, it should be interesting to see how many actually go door to door in a state where the COVID rate has significantly increased. Let’s just hope people use extreme common sense and mask up (or better yet, forego the whole thing). I personally can’t fathom any kind of candy being worth the risk and I’m a chocoholic, but hey…what do I know?

Nature is still very upset with its human tenants with more fires springing to life around here with warm temps and high winds contributing to more fires popping up. Eleven fires continue to burn in Colorado, including the Cameron Peak fire near Glenwood Springs which I posted about 7 weeks ago. This week a new fire blew up in Grand County near the town of Granby. Known as the East Troublesome fire, it grew over 150,000 acres in a 24 hour period and now has consumed over 170,000 acres, making it the second largest fire in Colorado history. High winds and dry conditions allowed this fire to literally explode across the area. Even with a foot of snow predicted to fall over the weekend, firefighters say while it will help, it will not put the fire out. As of today, it is only 5% contained. The Cameron Peak fire outside of Fort Collins required officials to close Rocky Mountain National Park to visitors; with Trail Ridge Road (highest paved road in Colorado that crosses the continental divide) being the only road allowing evacuees to leave the park though it is not passable on west side because of downed trees. The air quality is hazardous.

This screenshot of some of the nearby active fires is a grim reminder that Nature is not a happy camper these days.


Here is a photo from Saturday of the East Troublesome fire just west of my neighborhood showing apocalyptic clouds billowing across the northwestern suburbs. High winds and dry conditions allowed it to explode out of control during the week.


A  bit closer to home, the trees are changing colors (and dropping their leaves after last night’s hard freeze) and our daily walks involve loads of crunching sounds along city sidewalks. Plumbago has changed into its annual bright mahogany shade and looks glorious in golden autumnal light even with a freezing mist falling this morning. It’s definitely time to pick all the tomatoes and bring them indoors to ripen up. As nearby fires continue to burn out of control, these colors remind me why autumn is my favorite time of year.


Whatever your weekend plans are, we hope you stay safe and cozy. Keep an eye out on Mother Nature, she’s likely to provide some beautiful (and/or scary images) this “Hallowinter.”

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

66 thoughts on “Nature Friday ~ October 23, 2020

  1. Charlee: “Fire season has been ridiculous this year. It just won’t stop!”
    Chaplin: “We’re a little surprised but not at all unhappy that there has been relatively little fire activity here in San Diego County. Remember that time we ran away from the Lilac Fire a few years ago?”
    Charlee: “Ugh, don’t remind me!”

    1. California has definitely seen it’s fair share of fires lately. Sadly the entire West is a tinderbox. 😕

  2. We aren’t celebrating halloween here, but Nextdoor says that many of our neighbor are. Ugh. I pulled all my remaining tomatoes and tomatillos Thursday after work in my coat and glove in some misty cold weather. They are cozy on my windowsills, now! Take care.

    1. Just don’t understand why anyone would let their kids go out in this panDAMNic. Buy a bag of candy plan but stay at home. I plan to harvest later today since I think tomorrow will be out of the question ❄️ Stay warm the rest of the weekend.

  3. Happy Friday on my Saturday. I didn’t get around much yesterday. Fire season is horrible for too many … especially this year. Love the red … a burning bush?

    1. It’s actually a ground cover called Plumbago. Very low maintenance, not picky about the soil it’s planted in and is a Rocky Mountain gardener’s dream plant.

      You’re so right, this year’s fire season is off the chart throughout the West. The East Troublesome fire increased to 188,000 acres overnight and with today’s gusty winds will continue unabated before snow arrives tomorrow. The fire claimed the lives of two people yesterday who refused to evacuate. So senseless.

        1. Thanks, we’ll take all the cheerful energy we can get. Another windy day before 1-2 feet of snow arrives in the high country. The high for the next two days in the city will hover somewhere around 20. If we’re lucky. Then 60’s again but dry and sunny for the next week. This yo-yo weather cycle is making things worse.

            1. Tell me about it. Yesterday it had consumed 170,000 acres, this morning it was up to 188,000 acres. Insane!!

  4. The fire situation out there is SO dreadful – not just scary but desperately SAD. Beautiful green forests gone – animals gone – homes gone and no hope in sight for an end to it all. We have been praying that things would change for the better and will continue to do so until the last flame is GONE. Stay safe………the photos are FABULOUS – love the plumbago.

    Hugs, Pam

    1. It is quite heartbreaking. The area where these gigantic fires are concentrated is bone dry and high winds have made them explode. I’ve read between 300-400 structures have been lost and two people have been confirmed dead after refusing to evacuate yesterday. So senseless, so sad. The plumbago is a single bright spot during these troubling times.

    1. Thanks. It was a true bright spot to see it turn so red this week while I watched the state explode. 🤯

    1. They really are terrifying, Helen. A blogger who follows me said she put together stuff as soon as they saw the smoke for her and her dogs. Getting livestock out gets tricky, I suspect.

      Have never made any kind of chutney but it sounds interesting. 😋

  5. We too hope the peeps will be smart and forgo the trick or treating this year. As you say, it just isn’t worth all the candy in the world to risk getting sick. The fires there are so scary and so damaging to the lives of so many people. We hope they can be controlled soon and that you and your family stay safe.


    1. Getting sick or making someone sick…either way count me out.

      We’ve got our 🤞🏻 crossed the snow makes a big difference in the fires. Have a good weekend!

  6. I hope the snows at least help get the fires under control a little bit. They can spread so quickly. The Plumbago is beautiful! I don’t do Halloween, but have seem some really cute, innovative candy dispensing “machines.” It could be uniquely fun.

    1. We’re hoping the snow helps on the fires too. As well as maybe keeping trick or treaters home where they’d be safer than running about at night. 😈

  7. Sad to see those fires, something we in California have also had to deal with. The borer beetle areas must go up in a flash. Ain’t 2020 just wonderful? As to Halloween we’re closing the shutters and turning off the lights. Seems just too much like a disease vector for me to consider. Shoots I wouldn’t trick and treat if they were giving out beer. Well, wait a minute…maybe…what kind of beer? 😁🍺

    1. LOL…good beer treats and you might entice me too. Otherwise…bah humbug!

      Yeah, our states are quite the pair. Let’s hope for a miracle for the next fire season. That and a lot of rain/snow in the meantime.

  8. Try the crustless tomato pie recipe I posted. We’ve eaten the last of the tomatoes in it! I keep going back and forth between wonderin if there will be trick or treaters and vowing to not buy any candy and shut off the lights.

    1. Ooh, that sounds like the perfect meal for tonight. Yeah, I just don’t have the inclination for dealing with trick or treaters this year. I’m in the bah humbug category. 😈

  9. Beautiful nature shots today! We have been following the Colorado wildfires, and out thoughts are with those human and animal who are being effected!

    Enjoy your weekend!

    1. Thanks, we need all the help we can get (just like California which we are monitoring as well). Hope things get better for all of us. Have a great weekend.

    1. Thanks, John. You stay safe as well. We are all at the mercy of Mother Nature it appears.

    1. It truly is, Marc. I’m completely gobsmacked by it. Stay well, sane and keep smiling.

        1. Thanks; we should be ok, but others are not so lucky. Who knew there’d be advantages to living in the heart of the city?

  10. That Plumbago is plumb gorgeous!
    And that East Troublesome Fire is more than troublesome… Though my friend is safe, I can’t help but wonder if she’ll have a home to return to when all is said and done. Scary business!

    1. It is beyond terrifying just how close it came to Granby. Sending pawsitive thoughts for your friend and hope she and her home are safe.

      1. It is crazy how huge these fires are. She and her dogs are safe in Denver – that’s the important thing. And thank you. I’ll join yours with mine.

  11. I don’t hear the pres commenting on our state’s disaster or need. Or the overall cause of it, climate change making it dryer and hotter here. It’s a problem for the whole country when any state has a disaster. crikey.

  12. Oh the fires. I am so used to seeing that here in California during the summer months.

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

    1. Fire season is lasting way too long anymore. Nature is trying to tell us something. And we’re not listening. Happy weekend.

    1. It’s one of my absolute favorite ground covers! Bet it really highlights your pond beautifully.

      1. It’s the only thing blooming there so yes it does. In the background our maple is starting to turn but the tree closes to the pond is a locust and it has already lost all its leaves.

        1. The golds from the honey locust trees are a nice contrast to the plumbago reds. It makes the garden simply light up.

  13. So sorry that the fires are still raging! Those clouds do look scary! BE SAFE! Beautiful picture of the Fall leaves! We can always find the beauty, if we look for it! 🙂

    1. They sure have. It’s a troubling sign for the future when fire season runs nearly all year now.

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