Nature Friday ~ December 31, 2021

It’s Friday which means we’re are joining the Nature Friday blog hop with our friends, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard.

WildfiresWeather and climate change continue to dominate nature  along the Front Range. Unless you live in a cave, you’ve no doubt heard about the catastrophic Marshall and Middle Fork fires which hit the northern metro suburbs yesterday afternoon. Hurricane force winds of over 100 mph are believed to have knocked down power lines sparking dry grasslands which moved quickly between Denver and Boulder. The entire towns of Superior and Louisville were evacuated yesterday which remains in effect today. Nearly 600 homes, the Element Hotel and a shopping center were destroyed. Six people were reported to have suffered injuries but it is unknown if there have been any fatalities. Winds were so strong yesterday, there was little firefighters could do but evacuate homes and businesses in the fire’s path as quickly as possible. Major traffic jams occurred when some cars four-wheeled over bike paths and through parking lots to escape the wildfire’s path. A state of emergency is in effect.

Photo courtesy of AP 

Wildfires are becoming a year long phenomena throughout the Western U.S. but this latest fire is highly unusual in that it occurred in an urban area and not in any wilderness area.

The fire has consumed over 1,600 acres as of last night. Officials hope they can get a handle on the fire with less severe winds, cooler temperatures and several inches of snow scheduled to arrive later today. This map from the New York Times shows the affected area. Colorado Highways 93, 128, 170 and parts of US 36 are closed to traffic.


Photo courtesy of AP

The aerial image below gives you an idea of the scope of the fire area.


As if 2021 hadn’t been exhausting enough with record-breaking COVID cases despite vaccines, we now face a year round fire season. Don’t know about you, but I for one am SO. OVER. 2021.

However you celebrate the New Year, we pray you’ll do it safely. Best wishes from everyone at the Ranch who will probably spend most of the weekend huddled together on the sofa under a thick pile of blankets as single-digit highs arrive tomorrow. Yo Mother Nature…could you please lighten up?

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

63 thoughts on “Nature Friday ~ December 31, 2021

    1. You’re so right, Cupcake! A fresh new slate is needed to get rid of the foul aftertaste of 2021.

    1. Thank you, Binky. The dogs and I are safe and continue to pray for the victims of the fire.

  1. So sorry to hear about your fierce fires over there, Monika, especially at a time of year when you would normally be spared this destruction. Thinking of you all, something we Australians are well equipped to do with our history of horrific bush fires.
    Best wishes,

    1. The area is still feeling the effects of that unbelievable fire and ache for everyone who’s trying to rebuild.

  2. We definitely live in a cave here, mostly by choice. I can’t watch the news any more. It makes my head hurt. I pray for all those folks who lost so very much. What an awful way to end an awful year. I’m thankful that you and yours are all safe.

    I’m hoping that 2022 will be a much better year for all of us. I’m hoping that all the grinches out there experience a Whoville-like epiphany and realize that – as Eleanor Roosevelt would say – each of us does better when all of us do better.

  3. Lulu: “We were watching the news about the fires from here and thinking how it looks like California with the high winds and the flames.”
    Charlee: “Not the sort of thing you expect to see in December.”
    Chaplin: “We’re with you in hoping that things start to change in 2022. It can’t keep going on like this. Can it?”
    Lulu: “Still, we want to wish a Happy New Year to all of you from all of us!”

  4. The blind and the deaf treatment has held sway for so long, and now we’re seeing the effects of doing nothing, or not enough. Let’s hope for better fortunes and more compassionate understanding in the new year.

    1. Amen, Marc! As I look out of my studio window and watch snow (finally) accumulating, I can’t help but wonder if 2022 will be the year changes get made. Our future depends on it.

      1. It really does! Yanno, the thing about all those people who are on the wrong side of history? It doesn’t make a damn bit of difference if the hardships affect us all.

  5. My husband’s kids live in Denver so we’ve been checking in with them. They are 12 miles from the fires but it affected some friends. My step-daughter is housing a family displaced by the fire. All so sad and seems out of character for the area and time of the year. I don’t think 2021 could have been worse but then again 2022 has just started.

    1. Hope your family stays safe. Bless your step-daughter for being available for a displaced family. A lot of people are doing the same thing; the community is stepping up to help out in numerous ways.

      Yes, let’s hope 2022 takes a different path from 2021. A continuation of that trainwreck would not be good.

  6. When we saw on the news about this horrible fire we thought of you and so many other friends – it’s frightening because fire can be so very out of control. The weather has changed so very much in the past few years and I’m sure there’s more to come. So very scary. Let’s hope the new year is more calm, more healthy, less worrisome for each and every person in the world. A new year – hopefully a new chance for PEACE.

    Love, Pam and Teddy

    1. The speed at which this one took off was mind-blowing. Firefighters could only evacuate people, not actually fight the fire. Hoping 2022 takes a 180 from 2021. All the best to you and yours.

    1. Yes, now comes the aftermath and getting things under control. It’s an absolute miracle no one perished in the fire.

  7. Thoughts and prayers are with you. I am glad you are safe, but as a fellow westerner living in the shadow of fire, one is never really safe. This year we are lucky and are getting a lot of rain, and some snow this winter.

    1. Today it’s (finally) snowing. I hope it helps the firefighters but know it’s still going to be rough putting this one out. Tomorrow it’ll be bitter cold which will be a whole ‘nother pain. What a horrible end to a horrible year. Let’s just hope 2022 is better. 🤞🏻

  8. The pictures remind me perfectly of the Paradise fire in CA a couple of years ago–cars and fire engines going thru fire tunnels to get out of town. There are 2 roads out of Paradise, but one is barely usable. I think the population is in the 15,000 range. The town should never have been allowed to get that big without an easy way out. Some of the people who died never made it out of their driveway.

  9. Since I lived in Colorado for years I follow somewhat the news there. I still know a few folks who live there but not in the area of the fire. Still, I thought of you today when I read about the fire. I “know” you only through your blog but worried mightily for your safety. I am glad you and your Poodle loves are safe and am immensely sad for others who have lost everything. What an awful way to end an awful year,. I too am more than done with this 2021. Despite a host of problems in my own life last year this time, I felt more hope for everything. I cannot say I feel the same going into 2022. Still, I am ever grateful for my senior Poodle love who currently shivers in my lap because fireworks have started early….a loving husband and living less than 20 minutes from touching toes to sand and ocean. May 2022 fill you and yours with love, laughter and splendid adventures, great and small.

    1. Thanks Cristina. I doubt about it, 2021 was one helluva year for a lot of people.

      We are all good and a way from the fires but to see that it happened in a suburban area was quite alarming. I can’t help but be heartsick for those who lost everything yesterday and today. Hugs to you and your poodle love with best wishes for a safe, heathy and peaceful 2022.

  10. The updated figures today are even sadder: maybe 1000 home and 6,000 acres. The smoke was awful where we live, 12 miles to the east of Superior. The panic was palpable.

    1. What a horrible way to end a horrible year. I watched a video of people freaking out trying to evacuate the Costco store. Yikes! May 2022 be better for us all.

  11. OK, so I live in a cave. guess I’d better put on the news…Thanks for enlightening me, I only wish it was good news, not this, as does everyone else. You and the pups stay safe and warm and maybe find some good munchies to ring in 2022.

    1. No worries, a lot of people had no idea but it’s been the news story of the week here. The actual best coverage was on the BBC I listen to at night. Have a safe and healthy 2022 that’s loaded with peace and many blessings.

    1. The community is rallying around but yes, very bad timing. It’s going to be bitter cold start out 2022. I feel so badly that many pets probably didn’t make it out safely and then just for giggles we’ll add a rise in COVID cases to the mix and having separate shelters for those folks. It’s all so horrible.

  12. So sad and scary about the fires! Praying that they will end, stay safe! 2022 has to be better, right?? Happy New Year, wishing you all the best!! Single digits BRRRR!! Let Elsa and Norm keep you warm as you all cuddle together.

    1. It is scary since they’re happening in the suburbs! We’re hoping everyone has a safe and healthy 2022 with loads of peace and blessings.

  13. It is pretty shocking to see the weather extremes of the past year. Mother Nature has been warning us to lighten up for years, but now she is getting a bit more demanding. I’m afraid it is we humans that need to lighten up, God help us!

    1. I think a majority of people support doing difficult things, it seems to be politicians who are dragging their feet.

      1. Yes, sadly, they seem to just follow the wishes of their major donors rather than their constituents. Folly, as the costs of delaying grows greater by the day.

        1. So true. I just don’t understand how these clowns get away with it. If so many people are on board with making changes how come they keep re-electing the same idiots.

  14. I’m so sorry for all that is going on right now. So frightening, and what a terrible way to end the year. Our thoughts are with you, and we,too, are hoping for a better 2022.

  15. We’re glad to hear your family is safe from the fires. After seeing the news, we had been worried that you might be in its path. Our paws are crossed for all the families affected by this tragedy.

  16. it’s not even tempting to think that one more day will change things… I guess it changes us if we think of it as a fresh start. Unfortunately so many of us are so tired of just coping that we can call it 2021 or 2022 and it won’t much matter except on checks… I’m so glad so far you’re safe at the ranch. We hope the neighborhood idiots who like to shoot off fireworks won’t do it this weekend… I appreciated your gathering of photos and info for us… maybe someone will now believe in climate change link to extreme weather… maybe…

    1. Thank you for the kind words. It’s really touched the region and we continue to keep those affected in our thoughts and prayers.

  17. Are youss all safe Miss Monika???? Wee saw mewss on Tee V last nite an wished wee had a fone numburr to call you today!! Wee are purrayin fore you an Sweet Norman an Elsa to bee safe.
    What a horroabad way fore 2021 to end inn yore State!!
    Wee purrayin!!!
    ***nose rubss*** BellaDharma an {{{huggiess}}} BellaSita Mum

    1. We’re fine but the fact that this struck a suburban area definitely gives one pause. Thanks for your prayers-it seems we’re gonna need them. Here’s hoping you have a safe New Year.

        1. There’s about 6” at my house. Don’t know how much fell on the fires but think it’s helped there. Seemed weird to shovel this morning. Don’t mind the snow at all but it’s doggone bitter cold out there (8F)! 🥶

  18. California has been burning for years. When they quit doing forest management because of the expense it didn’t take long for the fires to begin.

    I pray that everyone remains safe.

    Have a fabulous day, weekend and a very Happy New Year. Scritches to the pups, a smooch to Norman and a hug to you. ♥

    1. To make matters worse, climate change is also extending the fire season which is no bueno when forest management isn’t kept up.

      Thanks Sandee. Wishing you and yours a safe and Happy New Year.

  19. I hadn’t heard about those horrible fies yet. I keep my fingers crossed that the firefighters can get a handle on them and that you’ll get the much needed precipitation.
    Take care, and all the best for 2022,

    1. Those horrific winds yesterday really blew this thing up. We hope firefighters can get a handle on it. What a way to start a new year from a community shelter until your neighborhood opens back up. Happy New Year.

  20. Hard to like such a post. What a horrible thing to cap off the second year of shite.
    I hope you stay safe and sound and send you lots of love and hope this fire can be contained and doused completely. Man. I’m with you. I am so done with this year.
    Sending you and the ranch hands a special dose of love and good health and happiness for 2022.

    1. Many thanks for the special dose of love, good health and happiness. We’re sending a like amount back your way. Hugs and tail wags.

Feel free to bark your thoughts...but no growling please.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.