Nature Friday ~ May 19, 2023

Ranch HandsWelcome to Friday, mates. Norman here, with my Ninja sister, Elsa and we’re ready to share some slices of Nature from around our neighborhood that we saw this week. As always, we’re joining Rosy and Sunny from the LLB life. Be sure to click on the link to see what others have shared.

Elsa: {excitedly} Yo, dude…what was your favorite piece of nature this week?

Norman: Easy there, little one, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, okay?

Elsa: But…but

Norman: {interrupting} No need to get excited yet-there’s loads to share, despite a continued cycle of cloudy days and intermittent showers. The weather is mild and our walks have seen how gardens around the Ranch are enjoying the moisture.

Elsa: The coolish days are great to walk in. My black fur coat gets too warm for me to go any length of time. I keep trying to pull Mom into the shade.

Norman: Tell me about it. Mum has been threatening to shave my fur coat down to less than a inch long. She could probably make a sweater out of me with all my hair.

Elsa: I hear that brother. She took the clippers to me this week but being a black dog in the Mile High sun still is too much.

Norman: Right-o. So let’s start sharing some of the smashing late spring foliage, shall we? First up, we came across this unusual Bearded Iris yesterday. Normally Mum is drawn to the deep purple/blue specimens but this one caught her eye. Rather different, isn’t it?

Bearded Iris

Elsa: It’s like someone splattered red wine all over the edges. But you’re right, it is pretty unusual. While I was trying to find some shade, I managed to spot this bright Delosperma (commonly known as Ice Plant). They’re beginning to start taking off around the ‘Hood. This one warms me up just looking at those bright hot colors

Ice Plant

Norman: Too bad the sparkle doesn’t come through the camera. Those beauties have such a sheen to them in the right light. But no matter, they still are lovely, and can provide anyone a run for their money in the beauty department. How do you think they stack up against this Veronica longifolia, often called garden speedwell from our own front garden?


Elsa: Oooh, pretty bluish flowers. Our garden is always late in blooming because of the large shade trees so seeing these now is great. With all the rain showers, things seem to be very happy.

Norman: Indeed. Last autumn, Mum pulled out most of the Lupine from the garden. She said it had gotten a little out of hand but I know she was secretly excited to see some of them when they appeared this week. Here’s one she left in and she’s excited to see which color it is…purple, red or pink. Gardening is a lot of waiting to see what will happen but she says that’s the fun part. She thinks (or perhaps, hopes) this is one of the dark purple Lupine but it is likely the paler lavender color.


Elsa: I noticed she enjoys taking pictures of the leaves after a shower. She ooh’s and aww’s when water droplets form in the centers. She says Mother Nature is the best artist.


Norman: I’ve noticed she sure loves purple flowers. Did she startle you when she squealed out loud at this blooming Giant Allium?


Elsa: Nothing surprises me about Mom’s enthusiasm. She continues to embarrass me in public. I mean what do you imagine the neighbors think when they see her scramble over to a plant and take dozens of photos from every possible angle? And those squeals…sheesh why can’t she be a quiet gardener and admirer of blooming flowers? {head shaking}

Norman: Now, now, little one. She’s just enthusiastic and that’s a good thing although I could do without her dragging me hurriedly over to something to sniff and photograph. Like this bi-colored lilac, Syringa Vulgaris ‘Sensation.’ My goodness, can she move fast for an old upright, or what?


Elsa: You got that right. But I will give her the benefit of the doubt on this one. It truly is beautiful and boy does it have the most heavenly scent. Much more fragrant than the ones we pass a few blocks away.

Norman:  When she sees plants like this, it’s often quite funny how she turns into an excited little kid. It’s one of the things I love most about her. Mum is just a big kid when it comes to some garden plants.

Elsa: {thinking out loud} Hmm, it always makes me wonder if I should protect her or start to play with her.

Norman: Best to just let her enjoy from afar. I can attest that your version of play is rather rough and I’m sure she wants to keep her ankles intact.

Elsa: Oh man, you never let me have any fun, do you? Ok, I’ll just gnaw play with one of your stuffies instead. When she gets excited, it gets me excited and you know what that means?

Norman: Sadly I do. So what else did we find on our walk yesterday? I vaguely recall a bright Gerbera Daisy was on your side as we walked homeward.

Gerbera Daisy

Elsa: Yeah for a quick minute I thought it might be an artificial flower because it was so bright, but realized when we got up close, it was real. It was very cheerful but I noticed it was a little damaged, likely from one of overly bombastic thunderstorms this week.

Norman: Yes, those thunderstorms even startled me. I thought perhaps I was back in Kansas. Did you know you can’t have thunder without lightning?

Elsa: Yeah, I think I read something about thunder and lightning going hand in hand. Yesterday’s were just a bit out of my comfort zone. I swear that one where even you practically jumped out of your skin must have been across the street!

Norman: It sure was quite the boomer. It’s bad enough getting wet in the rain but to be out in a shower when there’s lightning and thunder…well just count me out. Because the speed of light travels faster than the speed of sound, you’ll see lightning first, followed by a delay before you hear the thunder, depending on how close it is. That one boom even made the house vibrate. Guess that old adage of “when thunder roars, go indoors” is good advice. Mum said you can estimate how close lightning is by counting how many seconds it takes to hear the boom? According to meteorologists, it’s approximately five seconds for the sound to travel one mile. If you hear thunder immediately after you see lightning, then the lightning is way too close and you need to get inside. Luckily we missed being out when that storm began but that clap of thunder even startled me.

Elsa: I’m just glad there wasn’t any hail. Man, I hate that stuff-it makes me very anxious and stressed out and that’s never good for an epileptic dog.

Norman: Good thing Mum knows how to keep us calm during these Spring storms.

Elsa: And with that ‘weather report’ let’s share one last pic of pretty purple blue flowers. Mom has a bunch of these hardy geraniums, known as Cranesbill. They do well in semi-shady conditions and make her happy due to their color. They are quite hardy.

Crane's Bill

Norman: Despite living on the Front Range plains, adding these to the garden will give it a woodland vibe. They’re easy to grow, tolerate drought conditions although that hasn’t been a problem yet and they make a lovely groundcover too. They provide tasty nectar for pollinators.

Elsa: Well brother, that wraps it up for this week. I heard you don’t have any fundraising plans for a change. You still tuckered out from last week’s event at the Kendra Scott event? I noticed you schmooze up the ladies big time. One of these days I’d like to be the center of attention at one of those events.

Norman: Oh dear sister, I don’t think you’d be mistaken for an Old English Sheepdog. But maybe Mum will let you be the center of attention closer to home.

Kendra Scott

Elsa: You promise?

Norman: Of course, I’ll even give up some of my Mum time so she can spend it giving you special attention. It’ll be nice to quietly nap hang out this weekend but we hope everyone will still try to get outdoors and enjoy being in the midst of  beautiful Nature scenes. From both Elsa and I, we hope you have a jolly good weekend!

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

34 thoughts on “Nature Friday ~ May 19, 2023

    1. Thanks, Sue. I do love those unusually colored bearded irises and this is their time on the calendar to shine.

  1. Lulu: “I like all the flowers! The report of thunder and lightning, not so much.”
    Java Bean: “Ayyy, don’t look at the weather report, then. It says a 40% chance of thunderstorms here today.”
    Lulu: “If anyone needs me I’ll be under Dada’s desk …”

    1. Yeah we’re not keen on the thunderstorms here either. Is there enough room for another 150 lbs. of dog under that desk?

  2. You never fail at bringing us beatuiful flowers each week! Now if you could only find a way where we can smell the sweet fragrance of them as well. 🙂
    How sweet of Norman to give up some Mom time to Elsa. What a kind brother he is. 🙂 I think its smart of Elsa to stick to playing with her stuffies and not take you on a wild ride. LOL! Though Norm does say you are quite spry and can move fast. Happy Sunday! Hope you are relaxing and enjoying the day!

  3. We should try some ice plants here…we do have the right conditions, I think…well at least in a few spots!
    Cransebill, too.It grows throughout our yard, maybe we could have it put in more garden like settings, so it could actually bloom. Ours is a pretty bright pink.

    Beautiful blooms, all of them!

    1. Many thanks. One thing I’ve learned about Cranesbill, is it can be invasive. I’m pretty stingy with water so that keeps mine fairly in control. I’ve got some of the pink ones as well…they love spreading wherever they can. 😇

  4. What BEAUTIFUL flowers……we were gifted with an Allium but it looks so lonely on its’ own Mom is going to go to the nursery and get it some “friends” ! Amazing flowers – they get so huge. The Ice Plant is amazing – what brilliant color. We always love seeing your garden updates!!!!! Sending you all Spring-time hugs.

    Love, Teddy

    1. Thank you! All plants need companions. Good luck finding a few for your Allium. I love that variety of Ice Plant-it’s so colorful and stunning. Have a pawsome weekend!

  5. I feel for you both. Summer must not be pleasant if you don’t have the necessary shade. Those flowers, though! Wow! I’m having trouble deciding which ones are my favourites!
    Have a splendid weekend!

    1. Let’s just say when you’re a mile high in elevation, unfiltered sunshine can be pretty intense. The rain we’ve recently been gifted has sure turned things into an amazing springtime show. Here’s hoping your weekend is full of fun with some time for Nature.

      1. The beauty to make up for the hardship!
        We have a grey day today, rain on its way but sun for tomorrow. It’s a long weekend for most but I made a switch at work so I’ll get next Friday off instead (either way is a 3-day weekend and I care not when!)
        This is the weekend Montrealers plant their gardens – as it is considered safe from here on end (Considering we had below freezing two nights ago, it still feels iffy!)

        1. It’s been eerily and simultaneously cloudy and smoky from the Alberta fires. I’m so sad for those folks having to deal with such destruction.

          Don’t blame you for being cautious about planting. Convention suggests we wait until Mother’s Day but the past 5 years had snow Mother’s Day week so I don’t plant tender annuals until Memorial Day. This year that’ll have to wait as I’ll be traveling to my granddaughter’s wedding in Hawaii with no time for planting that week. Hopefully there will be enough volunteer seedlings as I suspect the garden centers will be fairly picked over before I get back.

          1. It is awful what they are going through and has affected us way over here! That sunrise from yesterday and the few days before sunset I took are not natural.

            Oh what a bummer… you HAVE to go to Hawai’i… I hope you will be able to get some good stuff on your return!

            1. I know, it’s a rough life, right? 😉 My thoughts and prayers are with the folks in Alberta.

  6. Beautiful blooms. We ended up with a frost 2 nights ago so no more blooms here.

    1. Oh no, sorry to hear that. Perhaps that will hasten summer in your region.

    1. Thank you! There’s nothing that compares to rainwater for great color and lushness.

  7. I look forward to the Friday at the Mile High Ranch and enjoy looking at all the wonderful blooms that you and mom find around the area. Sadly, we are not big on flowers here. I had a Desert Rose Bush, which I had to partly destroy. It got invaded by a wild fern which was slowly strangling it. I had to cut the bush almost back to the roots to clear the fern, but there are little green leaves, so it is going to come back. However, I can’t clean the place up and attend to it until we return from Adelaide. Oh and my Mulberry tree has fruit on it – still small but it’s a start…

    1. You’re always so kind in your comments. Thank you. We tend to garden by a Darwinian truism: “only the strongest survive.” I learned the hard way to stop fighting nature and just try to work with her. Will e thinking of you as you motor to Adelaide and send gentle thoughts your way. 💙

  8. I relate to your hairy situations, kiddoes. I just shaved off my hair and now I have a dome, just in time for the warmer temps. It’ll serve me well in my running.

    Those ice plants are fantastic!

    Here’s to the weekend! Have a great one.

    1. At least in dogs it’s important not to go too short, the hair acts as a barrier for the intense sunshine and insulates them from ‘too much.’ But poor Elsa with her black coat, it really heats her up-a definitely no-no with epileptic pooches. One afternoon with a clipper and she’s better. Now to convince her a bath is a good thing.

      Ice Plants are pretty stunning, especially on a sunny day. That orangey version just sparkles in sunlight.

      Cheers to a swell weekend. 🍺

    1. Isn’t that Lilac just fabulous? Lilacs always remind me of my great grandma who I adored. She always smelled like the bushes and would hug us kids tight enough to catch whiffs of it. The rain has brightened the gardens up nicely after a few months of no moisture. No matter how much you supplement water, even a small rain shower turns things into lushness. Have a lovely weekend, Helen.

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

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