Nature Friday ~ June 18, 2021

Nature Friday

Once again TDIF (thank dog it’s Friday). Welcome to this week’s edition of Nature Friday. We’re joining that pawsome quartet of ‘anipals,’ Rosy, Sunny, Arty and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard to check out what’s shaking around Blogville. Be sure to click on the link to check out what others are sharing.

With this week’s triple digits being the new norm, we’ve kind of avoided getting out and seeing Nature much. Our walks happen  mostly at oh-dark-thirty to minimize the pizza-oven temperatures. Mother Nature doesn’t seem to mind our absence, pitching a hissy fit with her hot flashes. Too bad there’s not a hormone that could be administered to give the ole gal (as well as us) a break.

The garden peonies began to bloom late last week. Who doesn’t love that heavenly scent in a bouquet (just be careful who hitches a ride indoors-I’ve had a couple of insects catching a ride only to be unceremoniously removed upon detection)?


The Dead Nettle has made its presence known in the shade garden. Did you know there are about 50 Lamium species in the mint family and they can create a beautiful tapestry beneath small trees or among plants who are willing to share the space. A note of warning, some Lamium can be somewhat invasive in fertile, moist soils. But their attractive foliage provides lovely textural interest even when flowers are not blooming. Lamium generally has finely-textured foliage and combines well with plants with large leaves like hostas. They also pair well with hydrangeas, hellebores, ferns and are perfect in dry shade gardens. Another plus for Lamium is they are deer resistant.


The Catalpa trees are in full bloom despite the heat too. These large leafed, tall trees provide dense shade which has been most welcome this week. When the flowers drop, the sidewalk looks as though someone spilled a box of popcorn which always brings a smile. Even during inhospitable weather conditions, Nature shows she apparently has a whimsical side with a dash of humor on top. The deep-throated blossoms provide a quenching beverage for bees and other pollinators.


Needless to say the solar fountain has been very active this week. One of the neighborhood black birds visits this fountain narly every day for either a quick bath or a quenching drink. A couple of days ago he was caught admiring the climbing rose blooming. Sadly I couldn’t get my cell phone camera out quick enough to document before he took off for the roof, screeching his displeasure over his shoulder. Norman snuck out with me and looked at him like, “What’s your problem, mate?”


Speaking of Norman, today will be his first day visiting patients at the hospital. He wasn’t very pleased about the bath he got in preparation but hope making new friends will more than enough make up for it. Keep your fingers crossed he does well and makes nurses smile today and tomorrow.

We hope you get an opportunity to check out some of Nature’s bounty this weekend. Whether you’re relaxing poolside or enjoying a cool beverage on the patio, we hope you make it a great time outdoors.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

61 thoughts on “Nature Friday ~ June 18, 2021

    1. Thanks. Getting used to hospital slippery floors is gonna take some getting used to. 😊

    2. Thank you. We’ve got a way to go but we’re pretty pleased with his work.

  1. Beautiful garden! I envy green thumbs! But I am proud to say my newly planted roses bushes are surviving my brown thumb! I love peonies, my Mom always grew them. Happy back-to-work Norman!

    1. Why thank you! Congrats with your rose bushes. If it weren’t for that white climber id have little to no success on the rose front.

  2. Beautiful flowers……I love peonies! I bet Norman does a fabulous job cheering patients up at the hospital – can’t wait to hear how it goes…….Happy Weekend!

    Hugs, Pam (and Teddy too)

    1. Thanks. Yes, peonies are the absolute prettiest in the garden. Just wish they’d last longer. Norman will provide a full report soon…safe to say he’s pretty ‘chuffed’ about going to hospital.

        1. Not yet. He was completely overrun by people wanting to pet him. It was a bit overwhelming for both him and me. I’ve missed my hospital friends and they were so graciously kind and welcoming. Hopefully soon.

  3. Beautiful flowers as usual. Enjoyed them, and no insects!
    Good Luck to Norman, I am sure he will do great, and bet he smells really good now too! 🙂

    1. Thank you. Norman’s very soft and fluffy too…everyone kept commenting on how soft his coat is.

    1. Good luck to us all. Tis heat will no doubt make it’s way toward your part of the country any time now. At least we don’t have humidity. But living in a pizza oven ‘ain’t no fun.’ Have a great weekend. Do I really have to root for the Clippers? Ugh. Although that Terrance Mann kid is something else. Just wish he didn’t play for LA with George. 👿

      1. Here Hear!

        We have the humidity and boy is it humming. Went for a run this morning and the air was already starting to clap back at me. Glad I got it in.

        Yes, we do love our pizza but the oven? Not so much.

        What? Rooting for the Clippers? I’m going with the Suns because I’d like to see Paul get to a finals. Hope he can play soon. As for the East, yes, I crush on KD. Badly. So the Nets winning it all would not upset me. I realize they make it damn near impossible to like them. I almost feel like they’re the bad boys in high school I can’t get enough of. I’m ashamed of myself!

  4. The peonies are just so beautiful. They scream PRETTY and DELICATE!!! The ones around here (not in our yard) didn’t last long this year, although they sure were lovely while they bloomed.

    Woos – Lightning, Misty, and Timber

    1. Pretty, delicate and they smell divinely! Too bad they don’t last long enough.

  5. We had a very large catalpa in our front yard when we lived in Utah. They are fun trees and very hardy. Good luck, Sir Norman, on your first day of what will be a magnificent career. You follow in the pawsteps of a great Spoo.

    1. They’re great shade trees, just wish they didn’t have those bean pods.

      Norman did really well on his maiden visit. We’re going back tomorrow for round two. 🤞🏻

  6. What an unusual tree that is, and I never heard of a solar fountain before, either. I feel certain that Norman will/did do well at his first therapy visit. Hoping you will publish the details soon.

    1. Thanks, Amy. He did great on his first run. We’ll return tomorrow for another practice run.

      That solar fountain has been a fun thing, and quite inexpensive. I love watching it and the birds that visit it.

    1. It is but will go quickly in these temps.

      Norman did great; we go back tomorrow for more fun and smiles.

  7. Our catalpa tree is blooming vigorously too…despite the drought conditions we are in. The walnut trees however are dropping lots of their leafy fronds from their branches.

    We have a solar fountain, too, for the bird bath, but we need to find a new place to put the whole set up, because all the debris from the nearby walnut tree keeps being blown into it.

    Hooray for Norman getting to ‘go to work’!

    1. Don’t you just love the catalpa tree? They’re so beautiful and boy can the put out the shade!

      Norman did really great for the first time. Everyone loved him.

  8. Beautiful flowers. Wow.

    Oh how great that Norman is going to work today after that bath he hated. I want to hear all about it. Got my fingers and toes crossed that he’ll be great. I know I’d love a visit from him.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. Scritches all around and a smooch to Norman. ♥

    1. Thanks Sandee. We just got home and Norman did really well for his first time. He brought a lot of smiles to people.

    1. Thank you, Jean. Peonies are my favorite flower especially the pink ones which have an especially wonderful scent to them.

      Norman did very well for a first go and is now resting after all his work.

  9. Beautiful photos, Monika. I learn so much from you – which is great as I think about and eventually plan my xeriscape garden 🙂

    It will go smashingly well for Norman, I’ve no doubt!

    Happy Friday!

    1. So glad to be able to provide useful info. As we discussed before, I’m a big proponent of xeriscape landscaping and wish more folks would implement the principles. Even if you receive adequate rain, xeriscape gardening principles can work quite well for all gardens.

      1. Oh, I have been wanting to do this for a very long time. I don’t believe in the ridiculous amount of water people use for their green lawns. Plus, my lawn is pathetic. I have huge trees so the shade doesn’t help. Planting low water, low light plants will be all the prettier, I say .

        1. Prettier and loads more environmentally friendly on top of it! That whole “water, fertilize, mow” merry go round seems dumb to me. 😇

          1. I agree! And no. I am so not into the water, fertilize, mow thing… and am tired of hounding my kids to do it 😉

  10. Woo hoo, Norman! You’re gonna be awesome!
    I took my second dog, Tegan in for her training this week. I asked for two days, because I wasn’t sure if she would be calm enough the first day to learn anything. But she did fabulous, and the second day, she drug me across the parking lot to get to the hospital faster.

    1. Yay, Amy and Tegan!! That’s pawsome news. We’re going back again tomorrow too. Norman did quite well making folks happy. He’s not used to the stairs or the elevator but I hope with more exposure he’ll be great at helping patients and staff. It was good practice for me too. 😊

  11. Such beeuteefull flowerss there Miss Monika!
    Pleese meow to Sweet Norman mee knowss hee will due guud an mee <3 lovess<3 him alot!
    Reegardss to Elsa two!
    An wee sorry yore bakin inn *heet*!! EEEKKK!!!
    **purrss** BellaDharma an <3 LadyMew

    1. Thanks BellaDharma. He did really great and it felt great bringing smiles back to folks again.

    1. Thanks! I love purple in the garden and with the greens it’s super striking.

    1. The black birds around here must be very modest. They squawk whenever I come out the door. The nerve of people or pets interrupting them! 🤣

    1. He managed to draw crowds wherever he went and seemed happy at all the attention. Now to work on the stairs and elevator. 🤞🏻🤞🏻

        1. He was somewhat befuddled by the stairs and the elevator but so was Sam. He’ll figure it out. 😉

            1. It always make me chuckle how their legs tend to splay outward in the elevator and they look around wide eyed and wonder ‘what kind of sorcery is this, huMom?’

  12. good luck norman…hope you bring comfort (you will) solar fountain… hmmm. We shut down our lovely fountain as we got even more mosquitoes. I thought there might be few of those but we ended up in a golf community and they overwater all that lawn, ewwww…. unnatural. Anyway if we could put the fountain further from the porch and maybe if we could use dunks? but is that bad for birds?

    1. Thanks. He did great for the first time out. Very proud of this boy.

      Fountains can be tricky with mosquitoes. So long as the water is moving I don’t have any trouble with them.

    1. Thanks, Helen. Norman brought loads of good cheer to all he met. He sure drew quite a crowd wherever he went. Have a great weekend!

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