Nature Friday ~ Christmas Eve Edition 2021

Nature FridayWelcome to the Christmas Eve Edition of Nature Friday where we we join our pals, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in our Backyard. The drought remains front and center in the Mile High although to be truthful, Denver has basically been in a drought for the past 20 years but is now in the ‘extreme drought’ category. Check out this graphic prepared by the U.S. Drought Monitor which shows the City and County of Denver in proverbial deep stuff. I’m guessing the Eastern Plains winter wheat crop isn’t going to be very plentiful either.


Earlier this month Denver (with it’s skiff of snow) set a new record, going 232 days since the previous snow. It’s beginning to especially take a toll on evergreens in the Mile High as they lose moisture from their needles all year long. More and more trees are showing dried/dead branches.


While the forecast is calling for a winter storm in the high country, because of Denver’s location, the Gulf Stream is expected to curve any moisture around and to the north of the city. Drat, foiled again. Sigh.

I did manage to find a couple of interesting sights along our daily walks about the neighborhood.


Have no idea what this shrub is but it caught my eye because of those interesting seed pod/flower bracts and their color. Since everything is pretty drab because of the lack of winter moisture, this stood out for me.


These berries will ensure the local bird population will at least have something to eat this winter even if it’s dry and/or shriveled.

Even this cottage with it’s ‘sweater’ of ivy looks a bit dried out. Not sure I’d call it an ugly sweater, but usually ivy looks a bit more lush.


The Ranch Hands and I send our best wishes for a very Merry Christmas. I hope wherever you’re at, you are able to enjoy a moment reflecting on the true spirit of the season and by catching some time experiencing Mother Nature. Just make sure you don’t ‘deflate’ the season’s message. πŸ˜‰


Live, love, bark! 🐾

76 thoughts on “Nature Friday ~ Christmas Eve Edition 2021

  1. Do you know that we’ve had snow every week since the last week of December? And up until then, we had none! It seems that we are in a feast-or-famine cycle.

    1. Most definitely. A good one off would be much better. And less wind to dry out the pitiful moisture we’ve received.

    1. Thanks. It would seem you are correct. I might have guessed had there been leaves on it. Most of the sumacs around are those horrid Tree of Life that spread everywhere. I really despise those buggars! 😊

  2. I think we got 1/100” of rain over two showers this past week in the north 303. We’ll take what we can get, but I wish Mother Nature was a little more generous.

  3. Hope your Christmas was merry, Monika!
    That is definitely sumac (those red pods) – in fall the colours of the leaves are wild and look like Indian – um – I mean Native or First Nations feathers…

    1. Thanks for the info. Without leaves I had no idea. The holiday was good. Lots of good food and good family company. We toasted mom for what would have been her 91st birthday. All and all a good day and dad decorated the house surprisingly festive.

  4. Looks like we need to find a rain shaman. The weather here is amazingly warm for Christmas – I’ve been out in a light windbreaker while raking leaves. It is a bit windy, though, which usually indicates a change.
    Merry Christmas, Monika, Elsa and Norman, from Amy, Lucy, Xena, Chia and Riley

    1. We’re gonna need something on the moisture front! The mountains west of me are getting some snow but nothing here in town. We’ll just have to do the best we can, hope for the best and conserve like crazy! Hope you had a happy ‘howliday.’

  5. Lulu: “We got some rain here last week and this week and our Dada’s Dada asked him if that meant the drought was over, but we’re pretty sure it isn’t.”
    Charlee: “Nope.”
    Lulu: “Here’s hoping for more rain. And of course for a Merry Christmas!”

    1. Ooh, you may just be correct! Thanks as always for your wisdom. We hope your holiday is filled with blessings, joy and peace.

    2. Many thanks for the very kind wishes. Yes, pushing aside the busy chaotic world sounds like a great idea!

  6. Mee-yow that ISS a teerybell drout situation Miss Monika!!! Wee so sorry THE treess are not doin well. Our other frendss Mani an Guy posted how dry it iss where they are in Collyrado…..wee wurried ’bout all of youss’!! Pleese Sky Cat pleese bring rain an snow to Collyrado! You due not even need to use a box or ribbon! Thanx!
    BellaSita Mum sayss ferst foto iss Sue-Mac plant…they get all fuzzy stemmed inn winter…
    Meowy Catmess to you an Elsa an Sweet Norman <3 <3 <3
    ***nose kissess*** BellaDharma an (((huggiess))) BellaSita Mum

    1. Now that you mention it, I do believe you are right on the plant! Thank you πŸ™πŸΌ

  7. Great photos of that Everbearing Siberian Quince, an unusual tree for the Denver area. Maybe you’ll get some of our rain after all. Currently we’re going on 3″ here in Max-land and more is predicted. We’ll do our best to push it in your direction. For now, though, we 3 send our fond Christmas wishes to you 3 plus all of the rest of your clan, too. We hope yours is a season bright, happy, warm and wonderful. Elsa, put down that stocking and step away…it’s not yet time.πŸ˜β€πŸ• πŸŽ„πŸ·πŸŽ…πŸŽ

    1. Thank you for the beautiful holiday wishes. And right back atcha.

      We did receive a small rain earlier today, hopefully more will follow.

    1. It appears they’re sumacs. I’d have never guessed not seeing the leaves. May you and your family have a lovely holiday. πŸŽ„πŸŽπŸŽ…πŸΌ

  8. The berries look like stag horn sumac to me. The birds will come for them later in the winter.
    I hope your weather improves over soon– drought is such a grave challenge to everyone and every living thing.
    Enjoy your holiday, Monika!

    1. Thank you, Eliza. I never think about stag horn sumacs. Only those horrid invasive Tree of Life that sprout up like mushrooms. A rain shower fell this morning, a small down payment which we’ll happily accept. And pray there’s more to come. All best wishes for a lovely Christmas. πŸŽ„πŸŽπŸŽ…πŸΌ

  9. I sure wish we could send some of the rain we’ve been getting the past week your way. It’s going to be strange going from one of the rainiest places in the USA to one of the sunniest :-).
    Wishing you and your ranch hands a very Merry Christmas!!
    Beth, Ed, Rosy, Sunny & Jakey

    1. You’ll enjoy New Mexico-land of enchantment. It’s a beautiful state (even if it’s drier than what you’re used to). The Gulf Stream will determine if we get more moisture- it’s been swerving north of us most of the time.

  10. We woke up to a “heavy” dusting of snow (which wasn’t in the forecast at all!). It’s gone now but it was magical for those few hours. Wish I could send you some! Enjoy your holiday.

    1. Thanks, Kate. First snows are always magical. Here’s hoping your holiday is merry and bright.

    1. Hope so too but with the current Gulf Stream patterns, it will likely be north of us. Still, hopefully it’ll help in the high country. Merry Christmas.

  11. Beautiful nature shots.

    β€’ β˜… Merry β˜…* 。 β€’ ˚ ˚ Λ› ˚ Λ› β€’
    β€’γ€‚β˜… Christmas β˜…γ€‚* 。
    Β° 。 Β° Λ›ΛšΛ› * _Ξ _____*。*˚
    ˚ Λ› β€’Λ›β€’Λš */______/~οΌΌγ€‚Λš ˚ Λ›
    ˚ Λ› β€’Λ›β€’ ˚| η”°η”° ο½œι–€ο½œ ˚
    * Joy to all! β™«β€’*Β¨* Peace on Earth β™ͺβ™«β€’*Β¨*

    Have a fabulous day and Christmas. Scritches to the pups, a smooch to Norman and a hug to you. β™₯

    1. Thanks for the ‘pawsome’ Christmas wishes. We hope your holiday is filled with love and joy. Hugs and tail wags.

    1. And to you and the ‘C’ crew, Debra. Hope your Christmas is beautifully quiet and reflective after a year full of rescue. πŸŽ„

    1. My plant app didn’t provide much clue but if I find out, I’ll update everyone. It was quite a visual find, that’s for sure. Hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas. Hugs and tails wags.

    1. I’ve never seen it this dry. Let’s hope the Gulf Stream dips and we’ll get a much needed drink. Happy Christmas Eve.

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