Nature Friday ~ October 30, 2020

Pueblo West

Despite a nice dump of white stuff and very cold temps early this week along the Front Ranch, we’ve rebounded with more autumn like temps (60’s for the most part). This can only mean one thing-it’s Nature Friday where we join our friends and weekly co-hosts Rosy, Sunny and her two brothers from LLB in Our Backyard. Because Halloween is this weekend, Norman and Elsa want to share info about pumpkins since nature wasn’t all that generous with scenic images from around our hood (that pretty snow image above is from my mom’s patio in Pueblo West since I neglected to take a photo; as you can see, she received much more snow than we did).

Norman: Thanks, mum. Blimey, it sure was a wild week weather-wise and started out way too cold for this Sheep-Boy after that snow storm. This is the place I go to when it’s that nasty and cold.


Elsa: You do tend to like that spot, don’t you? But I thought we were supposed to bark about pumpkins?

Norman: Erm…egad, you’re spot on dear sister. I was just recalling how comfy that spot was and…

Elsa: {interrupting} Can it sheep-boy. You’re losing the plot here so let’s get to it, ‘kay?

Norman: . Right-o. So…let’s have a chin-wag about the ubiquitous pumpkin. This orange fleshy gourd (not to be confused with any political candidate) is an iconic symbol this time of year. The word pumpkin was originally from the Greek word pepon, meaning “large melon,” or something round and large. The French adapted the word to “pompon,” and while us Brits referred to it as “pumpion.” Guess you can see how American colonists came to just call it “pumpkin.”

Elsa: Oh jeez….will you stop your yammering and get on with it? Why not let peeps know that the term pumpkin itself has no agreed upon botanical or scientific meaning, but instead it’s frequently interchangeably known as “squash” or “winter squash.” In North America and the UK, the pumpkin commonly refers to only certain round orange varieties of winter squash, predominantly derived from Cucurbita pepo. As a warm-weather crop, the seeds are generally planted in July and are generally quite hardy. The plants produce both male and female flowers and are fertilized usually by bees.

Norman: Ahem…no need to be cheeky now, Elsa. Pumpkins are one of the oldest domesticated plants, having been cultivated as early as 7,500 to 5,000 BC. Pumpkin pie is a Thanksgiving staple for both Canadian and US feasts though pumpkins used in pie fillings are different from varieties used to carve Jack-o-Lanterns for Halloween. The top pumpkin-producing state in the US is Illinois (where 95% of the US. crop intended for processing is grown) with Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and California rounding out the top-five producers.


Elsa: Alas, canned pumpkin is in short supply these days. And no, it’s not the new toilet paper of the panDAMNic. Seems that the planting season was rain delayed so harvesting will occur later than normalโ€”which means it’s taking longer for this year’s canned pumpkin to make it onto store shelves. You can roast your own but mom says it’s a pain to roast and deseed.

Norman: Nutritionally speaking, pumpkins are very versatile with most parts being edible. Canned pumpkin (not the pie filling which should never be fed to pets due to the included spices) is often recommended by vets as a dietary supplement for dogs and cats with digestive ailments (i.e. constipation, diarrhea, or hairballs) because its high fiber content aids digestion. Did you know raw pumpkin is fed to poultry, as a supplement to their regular feed during the winter to help maintain egg production, which tends to drop off during cold months? Pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein, magnesium, copper and zinc for peeps and are a delicious and low calorie snack.

Elsa: We’ve been noticing lots of pumpkin decorations around the neighborhood. I’m guessing this one isn’t quite the digestive aid that you’re talking about but maybe it’ll keep the neighborhood hoodlum squirrels from trying to eat this one.


Both Ranch Hands in unison: Whatever you do, we hope you stay safe, have fun and enjoy being in Nature. We are hoping for a nice quiet evening with no door bell ringing from little goblins. With the recent spike in COVID cases here, we think it’s probably not very safe for trick-or-treating even with proper masks even if they’re covered in pumpkins.


Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! ๐Ÿพ

73 thoughts on “Nature Friday ~ October 30, 2020

        1. Made a quick trip to grocery store today. Quite surprised to see empty shelves again like there were in March & April. Not quite as bad, but alarming nonetheless. Looks like weโ€™re back to toilet paper and sanitizing wipe hoarders again. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

          1. It’s same difference emergency status is what I’m guessing. Peeps want proof . . and the only kind of proof they seem to be getting happens to be eighty proof.

            Ugh . . I’m surprised we haven’t seen a return to bomb shelters.

    1. A nice storm and now unseasonably warm temps to melt it. We’ll be in the mid 70’s for next several days. Perfect weather to go traipsing around in crunchy leaves.

  1. We had snow today, too, in the form of squalls…off & on all day…accompanied by strong winds which made it so much colder feeling.Brrr!

    Petcretary loves to roast a pie pumpkin and then use is in recipes that need pumpkin puree. Even better than canned and worth the extra work…most of the time, BOL!
    Nobody did Trick or Treating around here…

    1. Awk…snow is one thing but wind is a whole ‘nutter condition that is not good. Plus it’s way too early in the season for windy winter conditions. Hope you guys warm up soon. Let’s hear it for roasted pumpkins!

  2. While it may be a pain to roast and seed, you will not see me buying no cans! We fight over the roasted seeds – they taste like popcorn! and cooked pumpkin gets bagged or jarred and frozen for future soups, pasta sauces, treats for Zeke, waffles… Okay, I’ll shut up now.
    As for trick-or-treaters… I’m a mean old lady who turns off her lights. No need to encourage the little heathens, I say!
    Happy Halloween!

    1. ๐Ÿคฃ Iโ€™m with you on the trick-or-treaters. The canned pumpkin is for the dogs-itโ€™s more economical. I like the real stuff. ๐Ÿ˜Š

  3. Holy CowKittiness, that snow is to much for this kitty…we’re so not ready for Winter…Aargh….Granny loves pumpkins especially when their fried. Now sleep on Norman and Elza๐Ÿ‘ปExtra Spooky Pawkisses for a Happy Halloween to all of you๐Ÿ‘ป๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ˜ฝ๐Ÿ’ž

  4. Indeed, when we are done with our pumpkins as decorations for the year, they get cut open and given to the chickens. They love them! The seeds are a natural de-wormer for them too.

    1. Thatโ€™s very cool. I think I read something about the natural de-worming properties before. Brilliant!

  5. Big yuk to the opening pic. Bring on a dose of November warmth to melt it all away. But Norman looks so comfy and relaxed. Love the brightness of the season you shared. Great collection of orange. Bring on the candy corn! Happy Halloween.

    1. Candy corn is so addictive (I always thought it was the crack cocaine of candy)…no one can eat just one piece. Have a safe and happy ‘Howliween!’ ๐ŸŽƒ

  6. We have been feeding our dogs canned pumpkin for years. We did notice the short supply and wonder what was up. Great to hear why. Thanks, Monika, Norman, and Elsa.

    1. When it comes to digestive issues, pumpkin is like a miracle. Couple that with its high fiber count and you realize how a simple plant like that is so positive and healthful. ๐ŸŽƒ

    2. It’s a great supplement to add to dog food. Elsa gets a little twice a day with her anti-seizure meds embedded in the serving.

        1. Glad it helps. I know it worked wonders whenever Sam had an upset tummy. Good stuff Maynard! ๐Ÿ˜„

  7. We learned a lot about pumpkins from you two, and now we know why Mom keeps putting a dollop of it in our dinner bowl:) But we do still wonder why we hear Dad sometimes call Mom “punkin”:)

    Woos – Lightning, Misty, and Timber

  8. Heresy corner….I don’t care for pumpkin in any way, shape or form.
    Our village in France had a pumpkin growing competition years ago to try to make Hallowe’en a bit less commecial. On the day of the show, men could be seen groaning and risking hernias under the weight of the wheelbarrows in which they were transporting their pumpkins to the salle de fetes.Leo, who had studied the veg classes at English village shows and treated his specially bought prize pumpkin seed appropriately, needed the trailer behind the car to transport his, and a bevy of helpers with a carpet to get it into the exhibition site.
    Next year there was a total pumpkin fair…food, carved monstrosities, and, of course, a biggest pumpkin competition where the invitation for entries read – in translation – beat the foreign pumpkin!

    1. Wait…what?? Someone who actually doesn’t like pumpkin?! I’ve never heard of such a person before. ๐Ÿ˜†

  9. Stormin’ Norman, you look like a dog who would enjoy the cold weather, but we guess not. It doesn’t much bother Lucy until it gets into the single digits, which rarely happens here. Did you know that pumpkin is good for either end of the evacuation spectrum?
    But alas, it contains loads of lectins which are gut bombs, so we – the peeps – have had to (reluctantly) give it up.

    1. You’d think he would like the snow better. My other two sheepdogs LOVED the snow and Elsa bounced like a jackrabbit in it.

      Everyone at the Ranch are big fans of all the wonderful aspects of pumpkin. Sorry you can’t do them. Would yams (sweet potatoes) work as a suitable substitute instead?

        1. They’re so good for you too. Elsa even snagged a raw one from my pantry one time. I’ve been using sweet potatoes as a substitute until the canned pumpkin gets back in stock.

  10. Wow!! Thanks for all the pumpkin info!! When I lived in NJ, I used to make all my pumpkin goods from Hubbard squashes(which look nothing like your typical orange pumpkin)!

    1. No doubt snow will start falling soon enough ๐Ÿ˜‰ Pumpkins are pretty cool gourds. ๐ŸŽƒ Happy Halloween.

    1. Snowstorms this time of year are considered lovely, it’s those ones in January, February and March where people are less enthusiastic. LOL

      Isn’t that candy corn fabric fabulous? I knew I had to some some last year-good thing because it doesn’t seem to be available now.

  11. I love the conversations between Elsa and Norman – those two always make me smile!! – something I need desperately right now. I am beyond tired of this election season, beyond tired of the outright disrespect of the people by those who are supposed to be representing us. So, with that said, I will end with this: stay safe and stay healthy; and give the pups ear and belly rubs for me and paw kisses from Ducky.

    1. I know exactly what you mean. It’s been the election from hell. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ We hope you stay safe, sane and keep smiling. Ear rubs for cutie pie, Ducky and digital hugs to you. Norman and Elsa send tender nose nudges.

    1. Thanks, when I saw that fabric last year I knew I had to get some (it was supposed to be for bandanas). Little did I know I’d be utilizing it for making COVID masks. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

  12. The snow is beautiful. It’s in the 70s here and it’s nice. The nights are chilly though.

    I love Norman. You can tell him.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. Scritches to pups. โ™ฅ

    1. It’s going to be another beautiful day here-60’s today with several days in the 70’s next week. Norman says thank you. He loves attention-be it in person or digitally. ๐Ÿ˜

  13. Thank you, Elsa and Norman, for that pumpkin information. It was new to me how long it has been cultivated, 7500 years BC! Only a few people here have Halloween, mostly shopkeepers try to fit it in our life, we have All Saints Day, remembering people, family and friends, who are not anymore with us. Cemeteries are full of candles, no ghosts or candies. I’m talking too much again.
    Have a great Halloween and a quiet doorbell.

    1. You never can talk too much here. We love it. I’ve never really understood Halloween, it’s a pagan holiday so surprising for the celebration by a Christian country.

  14. Happy Friday! Pre-pumpkin-ween I’m calling it. No Halloween happening around here but we will be having a nice fire in the fireplace and a scary movie on the TV……and a happy cat enjoying no doorbell ringing (haha). Love the snowy photo – I’m sure it’s not as fun to see when you’re IN it, and I know we’ll be getting ours sooner rather than later but so far we’re still watching leaves fall here.

    Hugs, Pam and Teddy too

    1. The first storm is always the prettiest and that storm was highly unusual for my parents. It almost NEVER snows there. Enjoy that fireplace, movie and sweet Teddy.

  15. that mask is so cute… So is NOrman… does Elsa not want her picture taken these days? I harbored dreams of she and Milo becoming close friends. That snow was something, but almost melted here because we saw the sky for the first time in months… the sun is shining not thru thick ash but blue skies at the moment. Melt away snow

    1. Our snow was pretty much gone by yesterday and the 71 degrees. Elsa tends to avoid camera sessions though I sometimes manage to get a candid now and then. But as you know, it’s so hard to photograph black dogs; their facial details too often disappear. ๐Ÿ˜• Happy Halloween.๐ŸŽƒ

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