Nature Friday ~ July 29, 2022

Lavender FestivalIt’s Friday and that means it’s time to join our pals Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard for this week’s Nature Friday. Today is the last Friday in July and we’re pretty chuffed about it since it puts us that much closer to the arrival of autumn…which is just 55 days away for anyone keeping track.

Hello fellow nature lovers, Norman here to wrap up Part 2 of the Lavender Festival that Mum attended recently. The Ninja agreed to let me finish up this week’s nature walk. {Whispering softly} Elsa’s in the other room so hopefully we’ll avoid any peanut gallery comments while I wrap this up.

Elsa (voice coming from Mom’s studio): Not so fast, dog breath. My uber sensitive, world renowned hearing is primed for anything stupid you may say, so just know I’m only a micro decibel away from stepping in if need be.

Norman: [Sigh…muttering under his breath…”and to think I was “this close” to pulling it off without being badgered”]. Replying: “Fine…snoopervise all you like but I think you’ll agree I’ve got this well in hand and am well prepared to share Mum’s photos.”

Elsa: Time will tell you, bloviating bag of fur. Just remember…I’m. Watching Listening.

Norman: {Panting with just a tinge of stress} Moving along now, let’s check out a few of the critters Mum encountered while touring the farm at Denver Botanical Gardens, Chatfield location. Click on this link for more info about the Hildebrand historic farm and surrounding trails and plant refuge at Chatfield. Last week, I shared the pic of the ‘Elvis Duck’ (otherwise known as a Crested Duck who was graciously identified by our friend Ingrid from Meezer’s Mews and Terrieristrical Woofs). This week I have a few more ani-pals to share. Mum saw a few goats and chickens along with Elvis. There were a couple who seemed rather plump, like This one who was content to lay in the hay trough while catching some sunshine as loads of young uprights squealed with delight at its antics. You may recall it was pretty hot that day so none of the animals were expending a lot of energy moving around. Looks like had she managed to lose her ear tag.

Mum thinks these goats are Anglo-Nubian variety 


Norman: Oh my…I daresay this gal is NOT plump…she’s pregnant. Carrying around another goat inside you on a hot sunny day, has to rank fairly high on the ‘miserable aspects of summer’ list.

Elsa [heckling from the studio]:  She’s almost as fat as you, Bucko!

Norman [continuing]: Ahem…as I was saying before being rudely interrupted…Elsa [now yelling]: You want interrupted, pal?!  I’ll show you interrupted. Hrumpf! Sheesh, you try to give a guy a break to get into media and what does he do…takes your awesome mentorship for granted.

Norman: [ignoring the background grumbling from the studio] As I was about to say, one of the reasons Mum likes to go to the Chatfield location is she always learns something new. There was a demonstration table set up with various plants used to dye fabric. Makes you eye naturally dyed fabric knowing that some remarkable plant created that gorgeous shade of blue, yellow or orange somewhat differently, doesn’t it? All of these jars of dried flowers contained flowers that were used to dye the pieces of silk on which they were displayed. Mum wished she would have seen the entire presentation.




Madder Root

Dyer's Coreopsis

While wandering about the grounds, Mum came across this pretty specimen that seemed deliberately planted. At first she thought it was some sort of yarrow (which is also used as a natural fabric dye), but later discovered it was in fact, Wild Carrot plant. It’s still pretty and I’d definitely check it out closely for its scent, given a chance.
FlowersElsa [from Mom’s studio]: Of course you would…you NEVER miss a chance to sniff or water ANY plants. You’re probably the main reason why they don’t let us good dogs accompany their parents to the botanical gardens.

Norman: For the record dear sister, service animals ARE allowed at the botanical gardens.

Elsa [from the studio]: Oh sure, insert facts here while I’m trying to make a point.

Norman:  [Getting back on task…] Often referred to as Queen Anne’s Lace or Bird’s Nest plants, Wild Carrot is edible but best avoided since it closely resembles hemlock and you definitely wouldn’t want to risk confusing the two. Besides, it’s considered an invasive weed in many areas.

Norman: Here’s a colorful chicken Mum found in the Elvis’ enclosure. The image doesn’t do it justice-just look at that colorful chest plumage.


Norman: One of the best things Mum saw non-lavender related, was she realized that the Stickworks exhibit is still standing. For more photos and background info about it back when the exhibit opened, check here. Her only regret was not being able to check it out more thoroughly because there were too many people and it was too hot to wait until it cleared. It’s held up rather nicely in the three years since it first opened to the public.


Norman: Well that’s it for me and the Lavender Festival. I’m fairly certain next year, Mum will avoid the festival and go see the lavender and other plants days before to avoid the crush of crowds. Have any plans for the weekend? I’m just planning on recuperating after seeing gobs of people this week at Lutheran. My goodness, had no idea I was so popular!. One staff person was so excited to see me, she gave me a small stuffed teddy for all my pet therapy work.


Elsa: Yeah, I saw the pics of you carrying it around. Do you realize how stupid you looked?

Norman: I’ll have you know I was most dignified. But how wonderful was it that she gave me a new toy (although it’s not like I don’t have enough toys in the overflowing basket but it meant the world to me all the same).


Elsa: You are so gullible-she probably was trying to bribe you to get you to leave early.

Norman: Not likely, sister…I’ll have you know I have a big fan club and enjoy spending time with them all.

Elsa: Whatever gets you through the day. I was able to nap in complete bliss without the presence of a certain hairy beast.

Norman: I hope you enjoyed this year’s lavender festival and are able to get outside this weekend and enjoy Mother Nature.

Elsa: Speak for yourself, dude. I plan on chill-axin on the sofa…unless the new raccoons who moved in the ‘Hood show up. Then all bets are off. Ditto, if any bunnies are around.

Norman [rolling eyes]: Whatever you do, do it safely, stay hydrated and enjoy Mother Nature. Hope to see you again soon.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

45 thoughts on “Nature Friday ~ July 29, 2022

  1. Oh, Elsa, you and Little Binky had a lot in common. While reading I saw her face, she was acting like that to her Grandpaw a lot…MOL…Loved to see the pictures of Norman with the stuffie. How cute💗Pawkisses from Heaven to all of you and Thank You again for bringing so much comfort on Little Binky’s passing. It helps a lot to know she had so many friends and that you were one of them💗🐾😽✨

    1. Thank you for your kind words. Sweet precious Binky may be gone, but she will never be forgotten. She will always be loved by so many, not the least of all of us at the “Ranch.” Sending hugs and tail wags to your garden.

  2. Lulu: “Will work for stuffies!”
    Java Bean: “Stuffies are so fun! I love to squeak them!”
    Lulu: “I never really figured out how to do that.”
    Java Bean: “You just grab them and squeeze.”
    Lulu: “I’m sure it’s more complicated than that, otherwise I would be able to do it.”
    Java Bean: “Ummm, all right.”
    Charlee: “How did you figure out how to work them so fast, Bean, coming in from the street like you did?”
    Java Bean: “Well when you’re on the street you learn that once you get something in your mouth you better squeeze it tight or somebody might take it away.”

    1. Aww, thank you. I think so, but I’m not the least bit neutral when it comes to his cuteness.

      Don’t you just LOVE the Stickworks installations? They are so fascinating.

  3. Norman kept his cool and delivered a superb guided tour. Elsa has a future in standup if she wants it. And as for the stickworks, they always leave me gaga.

    1. We’re lucky we don’t have the humidity like other venues. Hopefully they’ll survive for a long time.

      Norman is one calm, cool customer. Elsa is…well…Elsa. 🤣 Have a super weekend!

    1. If only, the lavender gets fully harvested now-it wouldn’t make it to kinder gentler weather.

      Have a great weekend and try to stay cool like us. 😊

  4. I forget to drink… thanks for the reminder. What a full exciting day you had. I’ve been interested in eco dying but dying fabric requires more chemicals and strength than I have at the moment

    1. But so worth it…those color combos can be amazing. Hydrating is important, so don’t forget. Along with having a good weekend. 😉

    1. He really was proud of it. Took forever to get him to drop it but what a sweet memory of a day full of smiles.

        1. It’s as though he’s holding his toys with one paw and keeping it protected. He cracks me up.

  5. I love your conversations and I love Elsa’s heckling. You made me laugh more than once.

    Have a woof woof day and weekend, Scritches all around, a smooch to Norman and a big hug to mom. ♥

    1. Thank you, Sandee. The two of them really do act like that together. Have a super weekend-stay cool as you can.

  6. Thanks Norman, always enjoy your nature walks! The wild carrot plant is pretty cool. Don’t listen to Elsa, I love seeing you with the teddy bear. Teddy bears are special and you deserved it. 🙂 Happy wekeend to you all! Chill-laxing sounds good to me!

    1. In this summer heat, chillaxing is about the only thing we can muster. Elsa finally came up with something clever.

    1. Thank you, it’s a real summer highlight here but jeez Louise, was it HOT and very SUNNY! With the altitude being a Mile High, it’s very intense.

    1. It looked like any day now. At least we hope. Mum remembered being pregnant one summer and said, NEVER again!

        1. I was a beat red blimp swollen from head to toe. Most miserable time of my life!

  7. Lucy: Phthhh on Elsa today. She’s acting like Chia. You have the patience of a saint, just like me, Norman.

    Riley: Your new toy is great, and you are great and we all love you, Norman. I do remember, though, that Elsa is quite pretty, even if she is a pain in the a.. er, behind.

    the Mom: I remember growing up that we had plants like that Queen Anne’s Lace growing wild at the back of our back yard. But they didn’t have any color except white. I always thought they were just weeds. I do remember that stick house and think it’s amazing that it’s still standing! And Norman, please tell your Mom she did a fantastic job grooming you, you look fantastic (as always).

    1. Little sisters can be a challenge, especially for us stoic types. They mean well, but…sometimes it’s hard for them to express it appropriately.

      As always, thanks for your kind comments. Mum is lucky I’m so tolerant of her fumbling, er I mean grooming techniques. She too means well but sheesh, what’s with those doggone baths?!

  8. You do an awesome job, Norman, despite the peanut gallery that is Elsa. Thanks for sharing these wonderful pics and commentary!

    1. You’re very kind (and a favorite of my mum’s). Thank you. Yeah, everyone should have a sister like mine. 😈

      1. Awww shucks. Thanks for telling me, Norman. Your Mum is one of my favourites, too. Sisters, love and hate em… both!

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