Nature Friday ~ July 16, 2021

Nature Friday

Happy Fri-Yay. Welcome to this week’s edition of Nature Friday where we join our pals, Rosy, Sunny, Arty and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard. Make sure to check out what others have shared by clicking on the highlighted link.

We’ve had a full week with lots of happenings starting out with Norman visiting hospital staff and patients while bringing loads of smiles to folks wherever his bear-like shuffle took him. He had a couple of junior volunteers (high school student interns) shadow him as well. While he may may have problems feeling comfortable when riding elevators, he definitely knows how to bring smiles to people once he’s on solid ground.

Norman

But enough of how busy Norman and his chauffeur were…this post is about what Nature was up to and she has been very busy. The Mile High City is in the height of summer and she happily shared some real beauty from one end of the 80202 to the other. As we inch toward the weekend, temps are rising again but blooms around the ‘Hood don’t seem to mind too much.

This week’s “best of show” is the perennial Campanula, commonly known as Bellflower. I just love the delicate veining on the blooms. But don’t be deceived, this flower is quite hardy.

Flowers

We found this gorgeous beauty along this morning’s walk and it practically begged to be photographed. Campanula is a group of over 300 annual, biennial and perennial plants that appear from small to large size, in multiple colors. Typically found in shades of lavender, purple or blue, the open cup-shaped flowers also are found in shades of pink and white. These plants can spread over seasons with the shorter varieties making excellent ground cover although most bellflowers begin blooming in July and will keep flowering until the first frost. Bellflowers are cold-hardy and can be useful specimens in areas with hard winters. They usually prefer full sun for best flower production, and enjoy well-drained soil that receives moderate moisture. Once established, bellflowers can tolerate periods of drought. Bellflowers have been around since the Middle Miocene period as evidenced by fossil seeds being found in the West Carpathian Mountains of Poland in extracted, borehole samples of fresh water deposits.

Bellflowers weren’t the only beauties encountered in the urban landscape this week. Rudbeckia, (commonly known as Black-eyed Susan) continues to provide cheerful blooms during our daily walks.

Another fun flower we encountered this morning is a wildflower often naturalizes unlikely places…Ratibida columnifera, sometimes known as upright prairie coneflower, or “Mexican Hat.” There weren’t any at my previous home until a lone one showed up one day in gravel border next to the driveway and it multiplied to a large number of plants over the years. These cuties are members of the Aster family.

With long leafless stalks that bear flower heads of three to seven ‘sombrero-shaped’ flower heads that grow from 1-1/2 ft. to 3 ft. tall under the right conditions. The flowers range from dark red and yellow, to all red or all yellow. The brown disk protrudes 1/2 to 2 in. above drooping petals with leaves on the lower portion of the stem being feathery and deeply cleft. Seeds form from the brown disk and can naturalize in unexpected spots. A fun-looking wildflower to encounter when out and about, wouldn’t you say?

Flowers

Whatever you do this weekend, I hope you are able to get out and find some of the beauty Nature is gifting us this time of year. For those of you who have been broiling in the summer heat, console yourself with the fact that there are ‘only’ 68 days left before the official arrival of autumn. But who’s counting, right? Stay safe, cool and enjoy your weekend.
Live, love, bark!  🐾

33 thoughts on “Nature Friday ~ July 16, 2021

  1. Those purples and golds and reds are so plush!

    As for Norman, I get it. Elevators are not a favorite of mine either and I choose the stairs when I can. So glad the handsome boy was able to spread the love this week. Good job Norman!

    1. Thanks, Marco. He’ll get there, Sam reacted the same way. It took us a few goes on the stairs too but he’s maneuvering them much better.

      I’m a sucker for purple flowers. But bright yellow makes for such cheerfulness-and are always welcome when I’m out and about walking through the ‘hood. Have a lovely weekend.

  2. We used to have a basset mix for weekly therapy visits, but alas his lady got ill and had to stop…I miss that cute fella, and he brought so much joy to our residents.
    Sometimes visitors bring their own pet in to see the peeps they love, and some are not shy about giving little visits to other peeps as well…I love that!
    Glad that Norman brought many smiles for the peeps he saw.

    Thanks for the heads up on all your pretty blooms. Those Mexican Hats are amazing! II need to see if I can get any of those here. In the same vein, I was nursing a seedling all last year and earlier this year, through the drought conditions…I thought it was a volunteer purple coneflower, but it turns out, it is a weed…with similar leaves…so I was made a fool of! OH well…

    1. How wonderful you had a Bassett pup visiting. No doubt he made everyone feel better.

      Weeds can be pretty sneaky like that. Something similar happened to me a couple years ago. That’s some kind of cruelty by a darn weed!

      If you have a hot dry spot, Mexican Hat should grow there. See https://www.organic-heirloom-seed.com for details and instructions.

  3. It must be wonderful to get back to regular hospital visits with Norman. Thanks to both of you for all you do. Also thanks for sharing these gorgeous flowers today!

  4. The flowers are most beautiful, but seeing Norman is the best part of this post. You know how partial I am and he’d sure make me smile if I could love on him.

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

    1. Thanks Sandee. He’s a real love of a dog and I couldn’t be happier he brings such joy to everyone he meets.

    1. Along with a few dog hairs. LOL small price to pay for some pawsome therapy, right? 🥰

  5. WOW……..gorgeous colors – makes for a beautiful walk doesn’t it! I’m sure Norman brought a LOT of smiles to a LOT of people just when they needed it most!

    Hugs, Pam

    1. Thanks, it was a good week for seeing lots of pretty flowers. Norman really stepped up letting lots of people pet and hug him. He’s so patient, far more so than I am. Guess I should be more like my dog! 😁

    1. Well phooey, sorry we missed you! Hope you enjoyed your time in the Mile High.

  6. Shout out to Norman and sending him the whatsit to no longer be uncomfortable in elevators (tell him lotsa two-legses aren’t fans, either.

    As for your lovely selection… I used to have Rudbeckia in my backyard – those babies do like to spread out, don’t they?

    How great are those Ratibida? Mexican hats, indeed!

    Happy Friday to you and yours!

    1. Happy Friday to you as well. Despite not being a big fan of heat, humidity or intense summer sun, today’s presentations really made me stop and savor the beauty Nature is sharing this time of year. That said…bring on autumn!! Puleez. 🤣

        1. A nice breeze is especially welcomed during summer days. As are large shade trees! 😆

    1. It’s such a garden beauty. If you have a somewhat wet micro climate in the garden, they might do well, especially once they’ve established themselves.

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