Nature Friday ~ May 20, 2022

Welcome to Friday where we join our pals,  Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard to see what’s going on in our ‘Hood in the 303. The intrepid duo decided to sleep in today (for reasons I’ll explain later), so I’ll be bringing today’s edition.

Spring is in full swing with a riot of colors, from pinks to red, blues and lavenders, pops of bright yellows and greens but today we’re gonna look at orange. No Max, not Bronco orange…but the kind of orange from Nature’s very own slice on the color wheel. Besides it’s hockey season and we. just. can’t. do. football yet. So let’s get to it.

Walking around the neighborhood it’s easy to find lots of orange. First, fresh annual marigolds are brightening spots all over Mile High gardens. Bright and happy, they also are guardians in the veggie garden. Harmful bugs do not like their scent, so I always plant some of this hardworking annual around the tomato plants so I don’t have to spray any toxic herbicides.

Cheerful and hard working marigolds

When it comes to orange nothing says springtime quite like Oriental Poppies. Native to the Caucasus, northeastern Turkey, and northern Iran, they grow from a mound of leaves and are drought resistant. Coming in a variety of colors, bright orange seems to be the standard default. They beg passerby’s to stop and stare at the paperlike blooms and fuzzy teardrop-shaped buds.

Oriental poppy

Another type of poppy around here are Papaver nudicaule, commonly known as the Icelandic Poppy. Native to subpolar regions of Asia and North America, and the mountains of Central Asia as well as temperate China (ironically not Iceland), these charming poppies can pop up in unusual spots, like in this retaining wall which were clearly not planted. Again, flowers are crepe papery textured, bowl-shaped, supported by hairy, curved stems in the feathery blue-green foliage. First described by botanists in 1759, they are hardy in USDA Zones 3a-10b and xeric with low water needs.

Icelandic Poppies along a garden wall

No low-water garden in the Mile High is complete without Blanket Flower or Gaillardia, a member of the Asteraceae family, native to North and South America. It was named after Maître Gaillard de Charentonneau, a French 18th-century French magistrate who was an enthusiastic botanist.

Gaillardia (Blanket Flower), a perennial

Next entry on the Orange Tour are perennial Daylilies (Hemerocallis), whose name refers to its flowers, which typically last about a day. Hemerocallis are native to Asia (primarily eastern Asia, including China, Korea, and Japan), and popular everywhere because of the showy flowers and their hardy nature. There are thousands of registered cultivars. Despite their name, daylilies are not true lilies growing from bulbs. Be sure to keep your pets from ingesting as like most spring bulbs, they are harmful to pets.


Last on our walking tour, is this tiny cactus. I probably wouldn’t have noticed it save for it’s bright shock of color. Regrettably, I have no idea what kind of cactus it is but it was pretty enough to include in this edition.

Blooming Cactus

So what’d you think of the Orange Tour? Some interesting and certainly lovely blooms, right? Glad I was able to present them for your enjoyment since we’re under a winter storm watch. Yes, w-i-n-t-e-r.  A late season storm moving through the northern and central Rockies is calling for 3 to 6 inches of heavy, wet snow for the metro area with freezing temps (note to self: cover the freshly planted veggies and emerging flower seeds and disconnect the hose). It will be the first decent snow since mid-March. We hope.

I haven’t got the heart to tell Norman about the snow…preferring to let sleeping dogs lie. Ignorance is often bliss.

Rest up, big guy

So what plans do you have for the weekend. We’ll be drinking hot chocolate and nursing our wounds from the first lost in the Stanley Cup Round 2 playoffs and hope the Round 1 team shows up again instead of the guys who played last night. Whatever you do, we hope you have a fun-filled weekend enjoying the wild, diverse beauty of Mother Nature, especially from the orange pallet.

Current temp 39F°

  Light Rain – feels like 36°
High today: 42F°/38°

Friday Rain to Snow Showers

Saturday – Snow


Sunday- Scattered Showers

Nature Friday
Live, love, bark!  🐾

59 thoughts on “Nature Friday ~ May 20, 2022

  1. Lulu: “Our Dada is partial to those orange flowers. Our state flower is the California Poppy, and that’s a nice shade of orange, too. Maybe that’s why we moved here. It certainly wasn’t for the sunlight, since Dada hates sunlight!”
    Java Bean: “Is he a vampire?”
    Lulu: “That has been suggested …”

    1. Hahaha…perhaps he just has pale skin? I know mine keeps me out of the sun 🌞

    1. I can’t remember a spring storm hitting this late. A few hours after it stopped 99% it was melted and quite green. The best part of spring storms. 😊

  2. As always, enjoyed the spectacular flowers. I can do without the snow, though. Stay safe and warm this weekend.

    1. Snow moved out around noon and was 90% melted by late afternoon. I think I heard the garden slurp it was so thirsty. 😉 Have a super weekend (now if only the hockey game goes well 🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻)

  3. “Knock knock!”
    “Whose there?”
    “Orange Who?”
    “Knock knock” ”
    Whose there?”
    “Orange who?!”
    “knock knock”
    “Whose there??”
    “Orange you glad wee did not say Banana?”
    Sorry mee allwayss wanted to mee-yow that joke!
    Such beeuteefull orangge flowerss efurrywhere there! THE G flowerss that are from Aster furamillee are so purrty!
    An CATFISH to snow!!! Not now!
    ***nose bopss*** BellaDharma an {{{hugss}}} BellaSita Mum

  4. Looks like you had an Orange Crush (Shout out to the Broncos on that one, yes), of a different kind. And good for us!

    Wait, what? Snow showers? It’s going to push 100 here! Holy Wilson!

    1. I’m about as ready for the Orange Crush as I was for (at least) 4″ of snow. It’s just so bizarre-we’ve had spring snow storms for the past 3 years in early May so that’s not particularly unusual, but May 20? Now that’s unusual. Like all spring storms, it’s melting quickly and not accumulating on the sidewalks (whew) but I’m nervous this moisture will damage fully leafed out trees, not to mention this year’s peonies. Turning on the furnace after a 60º swing takes some effort to wrap your head around that fact. Stay cool this weekend!

      1. That is bizarre. I know it’s been a similar- yet not nearly as dramatic- turnabout with the weather here. We went from temps nearly tipping the century mark to chilly nights where, yes, the furnace was called back in from the bullpen.

        1. These wide weather shifts will likely become the norm with lots of extreme storms interspersed. Oh joy. Not.

  5. Well first of all the orange tour was fabulous – people don’t seem to grow poppies around here much for some reason but they are a happy flower I’ve always thought. Secondly WHAT THE HECK ABOUT WINTER WEATHER AGAIN????? Gosh. We thought cold weather would never leave here but it’s proving it has with today’s temps to be close to 100. COLD sounds so refreshing! Weather is weird everywhere though have you noticed? Global warming/colding. 🙂

    Hugs, Pam

    1. For the past 3 years there have been snow storms in early May but I don’t ever recall anything this late. It’s just crazy pants!

    2. Thank you, Pam. Normally when I see orange, I think of autumn but these flowers prove orange makes a statement in spring too. I love poppies (be they orange, pink or red). Their swaying buds in the breeze always make me smile. Temps were in the 90’s before the storm and dealing with a 60º swing is truly something! Have a great weekend.

  6. Oh, wow, that is bad to have such a storm this late. What crazy weather we are all being subjected to. Stay warm safe and cozy!
    Lovely flowers! Orange is a beautiful color, I love those Icelandic poppies.I had them here once, and they self seeded, too. But…after a couple of construction projects their domain was messed up and now I need to get me some more seeds to start over.

    I prechilled your lupine seeds, but still do not see any seedlings emerging…we’ve had plenty of rain and warmth…I did get three plants last fall, but one did not survive and so now I have two established plants.

    1. Well buggars on no emerging seeds. I would have expected a few to survive. They reseeded here so much, even after extensive culling last autumn, there are still too many. After today’s storm I suspect not many will appreciate the below freezing temps scheduled. I covered the budding peonies with tarps, so hopefully they still bloom. They’re my favorites; to not have any this year will be most sad.

      Have a great weekend!

    1. Yup, I’m looking at about 4″ that’s accumulated (and doesn’t count what fell and melted). It’s crazy, right?

  7. That orange tour lifted the spirits…we are up in the clouds, can’t see beyond the balcony and it is pouring with rain for the fourth afternoon running…and this is just the start of the rainy season! No…let sleeping Normans lie……

    1. It rained all morning, it’s now snowing big fat, wet flakes. I can only hope the tarps over the peonies spare them 🤞🏻

    1. Thank you. I never think orange for spring so this was a nice departure from my usual focus of pinks and purples. Have a pawsome weekend!

  8. I love marigolds! And all orange 😀 I can confidently say we are not going to have snow as it is close to 90 degrees. I’m kind of done with snow so that’s ok! Have a good weekend!

    1. It was close to 90 yesterday and in the 30’s today. With snow this afternoon. 😲 Oh well, springtime in the Rockies. Have a splendid weekend.

    2. Marigolds are such happy annuals (and a tad invasive at times). And they’ll give a garden a boost of color in the heat of summer when a lot of perennials are finished. Have a great weekend and give Chester a nice ear rub for me.

  9. I’m out on the back porch with the pups, but it’s just too friggin hot. Think we’ll all go back in! Hope there’s no associated damage with power lines, etc. with heavy, wet snow. Bundle up and cuddle with 2 big warm pups tonight, yep that’s what I’d do! Oh, and the orange flowers are all so lovely, can’t pick a favorite.

    1. I just looked outside and it’s now snowing fairly hard. Just incredible for this late in May. I think there will lots of snuggly naps this weekend. Hope you have a splendid weekend.

  10. French marigolds help, not others. They are not usually id’d in a nusery as French, tho, as there are many other kinds of marigolds. Good luck finding someone working there who has a clue what you are asking for.

    1. I’ve found the stinkier they are, the better for keeping insects at bay. You’re right though, big box store employees aren’t very helpful nor do those stores have a diverse inventory of unusual plants. Enjoy the weekend!

    1. We have our paws crossed it isn’t too harsh on the peonies which are just starting up. 🤞🏼 Have a great weekend.

  11. Beautiful colors, I especially like the ones juxtaposed with the purple flowers. We are still rooting for our old home team the Avs and were watching last night’s game which was crazy. Hoping for a better game 3!

    1. On the color wheel, orange is a complementary color to blues/purples. It’s a great combo in a garden.

      Last night’s game was such a disappointment. While I’m not so foolish to think St. Louis would be a pushover, it looked like the team that finished the regular season (4 out of 5 losses once they clinched the division) than the boys who played against Nashville in the first round. I think there’s been a lot of pressure put on Cale Makar in particular-he seemed tentative and unsure of himself. Hopefully tomorrow will be better 🤞🏼 Have a good weekend.

  12. I love all the orange. I get to see Norman today and that’s the very best of all.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. Scritches to the pups, a smooch to Norman and a hug to mom. ♥

    1. Orange in nature is usually associated with autumn, but these flowers show, orange is versatile. Poor Norman is not enjoying the return to winter, but he’s been enjoying playing with me and some toys.

  13. Oh my gosh on your forecast! We are expecting quite different temps! Hot and humid 90’s!!
    You will be drinking hot cocoa and we will have lemonade. 🙂
    The orange poppy and blooming cactus were my favorite pics, so beautiful!
    Oh and Norman of course, yes don’t tell him about the snow, he looks so peaceful. 💕

    1. Walking around, I hadn’t noticed before all the orange so this was nice to put together.

      Ironically, temps this week have likewise been summerlike, just not humid. Nature continues to need hormone treatment. Have a great weekend and stay cool. Norman & I will be chillin’…literally! LOL

        1. Ha…forgive me if I pass and just go for a bowl of cereal or toast instead. 😇

    1. Officials are advising homeowners to do their best keeping snow from accumulating on leaves to avoid broken branches. One local TV station even advised not parking under trees. Yikes!

        1. Thanks; we’ll be fine, it’s just a hiccup in ‘Springtime in the Rockies.’

  14. Orange is my favourite colour so this post is bang-on perfect, as far as I am concerned!
    This weekend is a long one here in Canada – Monday being a holiday with many names, depending on whether you’re a separatist or not. I don’t really care what you call it as long as I don’t have to work!
    We are supposed to be in the 80s on Saturday and Sunday, but with lots of chances of rain and thunderstorms (especially on Sunday) – I am not complaining. My pool is clear and I can very well see the blech on the bottom. Ever-so-closer to using it!
    Other than that? Nuthin’ special. And that is fine with me!
    Happy Friday to you, Monika!

    1. Orange usually means autumn for me, but these flowers said, ‘not so fast.’ Glad you liked the tour. The Ranch Hands and I will ‘work’ hard on staying cozy and dry. Have a splendid weekend and enjoy that extra day off.

      1. Yes, this is true (and one of the many reasons that autumn is my favourite). I like very much and yes, do stay dry!!
        And thank you 🙂

    1. It has been hovering around 90 much of the week. I just went outside and the temps are dropping from early this morning. 🥶

    1. Snow in May is t unusual but it’s rare this late. We were 89 yesterday!

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