Nature Friday ~ August 18, 2023

ElsaWelcome to this week’s edition of Nature Friday…which means we’re joining our pals Rosy and Sunny from LLB in Our Backyard. Don’t forget to click on the link to see what other slices of nature have been shared.

The Mom: {softly speaking} El….sa, oh Elsa.

Elsa: {yawning} Wha…er, who said that?!

The Mom: Good morning sweetie, didn’t want to startle you but it’s time to share nature from around the neighborhood. You ready, sweet girl?

Elsa:  {Big yawn and stretch} I guess so. You do realize that  you interrupted my wonderful snooze.

The Mom: So sorry, little one. I tried to be as gentle as possible waking you.

Elsa: It’s okay, Mom. I appreciate it-you know how I can wig out if I’m unexpectedly startled so I appreciate it.

The Mom: You’re very welcome. So what do you plan to share with us today?

Elsa: Well, I like to call it ‘hodgepodge’ slices of nature since there really wasn’t a congruent theme we could pursue. Ok with you?

The Mom: Of course, it’s your blog; you can do what you like.

Elsa: {wheels in her head are spinning around} Seriously? I get to decide?

The Mom: Sure-you can do whatever you like…

Elsa: {interrupting} Hot dang! Woo hoo…finally, some power…

The Mom:  Umm…let’s not get too carried away. You still have to operate within the perimeters of WordPress and decency…

Elsa: Wait…what? There are limitations on what I can share?

The Mom:  Well, first there is the User Agreement that WordPress will enforce and then there are technological limitations. So we don’t want to get too carried away by letting power go to our heads…

Elsa: Oh man…you’re always raining on my parade.

The Mom: Sorry, but that the way things work in life. That’s just the way it is. Now given that, are you ready to start?

Elsa: {grumbling} Fine…sheesh…you never let a girl have any fun.

The Mom: That’s not exactly true, but it’s a simple fact of life that it has its boundaries. Plus you want to be a good girl, don’t you?

Elsa: {more grumbling} Harumph…I guess so. Ok, let’s get started. Maybe if I find some interesting pics this week, I’ll feel a better.

The Mom: Probably a good idea. So what ‘cha got for us?

Elsa: Well, like I said, we’re doing a hodgepodge collection of flowers from around the ‘Hood. But first, check this out! I had no idea Groot lived in our neighborhood. I always thought the Guardian of the Galaxy star (aka Flora Colossus) lived in Marvel-land. You never mentioned he lives so close to us.

I am Groot

The Mom:  Umm, hate to break it to you, but that’s not Groot. It’s a Virginia creeper that spread all over a power pole. But it rather does look like Groot. Can’t wait to see it when autumn arrives and the leaves change color (note to self, try to remember where you saw that thing to photograph it!).

Elsa: Umm, that’s Groot, Mom-you can’t fool me. Besides, remember this is MY blog and I can write what I want. You just got through telling me that. Remember??

The Mom: {sighs} Fine, believe what you like.

Elsa: Woof! I’m kinda liking this new found power thing.

The Mom:  Oh dear, I’ve created a monster.

Elsa: Hey, no comments from the peanut gallery. Just because humans have a thumb, they let things go to their heads. Sheesh.

The Mom: Well ex-cuuuse me. What else did you see this week on our walks?

Elsa: Well, I noticed those gigantic pink Hibiscus blooms at that house around the corner-you know, the one that bugs just love to sniff?


The Mom: Indeed I do. That plant has the biggest blooms I’ve seen this year and the color is truly Barbie-inspired.

Elsa: Umm, right. Just don’t get any ideas of dressing me up, Barbie style, okay?

The Mom: Wouldn’t think of it, Toots. Everyone else may be gah-gah over the whole Barbie phenomena, but I know you’re more of a tom-girl than a Barbie girl.

Elsa: Doggone right! I am not some silly girly-girl who needs protecting, although you notice how much I’ve calmed down on our walks?

The Mom: I sure have. I’m grateful you no longer seem compelled to attack passing dogs on our walks. You’ve been a very good girl and pretty much stopped fence biting with the dog next door.

Elsa: Thanks, Mom. I guess now that I’m the solo dog who coincidentally is enjoying all this newfound power, I don’t feel as threatened. But never fear, I’ll happily defend you should the need arise, Mom.

The Mom: Thanks, sweetie. That’s very kind but there’s no reason to scare dogs we may encounter. I’m glad you recognize that. So, you have any other flowers to share?

Elsa: Ooh, ooh, I do. On the farthest end of our walks, do you remember those beautiful Hollyhocks we walked past? There was one in particular that really cranked my handle. Such a bright shade of red and sooo pretty.


The Mom: Oh yes, that one was particularly striking. Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea) are part of the mallow family and are considered a popular ornamental annual, biannual or perennial. Hollyhocks were imported into Europe from southern China. Did you know that the red varieties seem to prefer sandy soils, while the lighter colors seem to like more clay like soils. No doubt the hummingbirds love that garden.

Elsa:  Well, it seems to be Dahlia season now and we’re seeing a bunch of them blooming around the ‘Hood. Sure wish you’d plant some of those, they are very pretty even if they don’t have much fragrance. I really liked this pink one with the yellow center.


The Mom: They really are gorgeous, but I’m just not willing to dig them up at the end of the season to over winter them and then replant next Spring. I prefer less work-intensive perennials.

Elsa: Pfft…don’t know why. It’s not like your slaving away on the blog anymore. You should reconsider that plant for next year.

The Mom: Umm, not gonna happen little one, but nice try  with the guilt. There are so many others that are equally as pretty that require a lot less fussing over.

Elsa: Whatever. How about something like this one? It sure is pretty. Although most of the plant seems stripped of its leaves (likely due to the hail storms we had), the flowers sure are  pretty. Didn’t you say your plant identifier thought this was some kind of Hydrangea?


The Mom:  That’s right, sometimes called hortensia, Hydrangeas are native to Asia with the greatest diversity in China, Korea, and Japan.They can be deciduous or evergreen, although the majority of temperate species are usually deciduous. One fascinating thing about Hydrangeas is how they act as a natural indicator of the soil’s pH levels, with the flowers turning blue when the soil is acidic and pink when the soil is alkaline. I discovered the white ones (the oakleaf or smooth varieties), don’t change their flower colors. They can naturally bloom in white (sometimes fading to green), cream, or dusty pink. There are some red ones, too. Isn’t that cool? They aren’t typically planted much in Colorado since they tend to require supplemental water with rich soil, and the leaves and flower buds are poisonous to dogs and cats if eaten. Guess we won’t be planting any, just to be on the safe side.

Elsa: Well poop, I like them. They look like big snowballs and you know how I like the snow. Just when I get excited about a plant, you share facts that shoot down any planting around the Ranch. Rats!

The Mom: Sorry, Elsa. Just want to keep you safe, that’s all. Got anything else for us to enjoy?

Elsa: Well there are a couple more pics to share. The first is a small garden in front of a storefront along on our walk. This border contains Peregrina, the colorful plant mixed in with some ornamental grass and Black-eyed Susans behind a wrought iron fence. This was a tiny little garden, but it sure makes for a pretty summer border.


The Mom: You’re so right, I must have walked past that place a jillion times and just noticed these plants this week.

Elsa: Don’t you just love it when little gardens catch your eye like that? It reminds me of the Painted Lady moth I noticed this week in the dog run. I’m sure they’re out there all the time, but this one stayed in place long enough to get his picture taken. I was only bummed you didn’t try to dress him up like you do me but…oh well.


The Mom: I got lucky being able to capture this guy before he flew off.

Elsa: Well that’s about it for this week though I’m going to miss face rubs on the grass. My eye got all nasty looking and you unceremoniously rushed me off to the vet. Dr. Ken is very nice and I was a good girl. While he looked me over he thought maybe I’d developed an allergy so no more face rubs in the grass, just to be safe. Well, if it means I no longer need eye drops, I’m cool with that.


The Mom: Yeah, me too. You had some very yucky eye-snot with redness so no more rubbing your face in the grass…sorry, Ninja.

Elsa: It’s ok, thanks for always looking out for me, Mom. I’m sure I can find one something else for you to worry about {heh, heh}. But I’ll give you a break…for a little while. So what’s on the calendar for this weekend? Anything exciting?

The Mom: Nothing for us; we’re just patiently awaiting for the heat to mellow out. These past few days of high 90’sF (35+C)  really don’t lend themself to getting out and about, unless we do it at the crack of dawn.

Elsa: I’m good with lazing about in a nice air-conditioned home with abundant treats, hint, hint, Mom. What about you readers? Anything exciting going on? Let us know so we can live vicariously through you while the autumn countdown continues. Just 35 days until autumn’s official arrival in the Northern Hemisphere.

The Mom: {smiling at the mere thought of autumn} We hope you’ll stop and pay attention to all the beautiful servings that Nature dishes up for our enjoyment.

Elsa: Woof…good advice, Mom. Have a great weekend, everyone.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

66 thoughts on “Nature Friday ~ August 18, 2023

    1. Thank you. I’ve never seen anything that vigorous on powerlines. It’s so destructive on brick homes and trees, I’m surprised the utility company hasn’t removed it yet.

  1. Furabuluss hodge-podge of Flowerss Elsa! Wee like THE Hollyhock best altho THE Hibisucuss iss purrty towo. An wee are not innto Barbie eether Elsa 😉
    That Groot iss ginormuss…..
    Yikes!! Yore tempyturess are inn THE 90’ss?? Pleese stay innside as much as you can. An Elsa wee sorry you have an allergy! (So doess bellaSita Mum; stewpid Golden od getss her efurry yeer!)
    Yore Moth iss beeuteefull…..stunnin inn fact! An meowin ’bout stunnin: Elsa yore lookin stunnin yoreself!
    Wee waitin fore Autumm heer two….
    ~~~head rubss~~~BellaDharma~~~ an {{{huggiess}}} BellaSita Mum

    1. Aww, you’re too kind, BellaDharma and Mum. Thank you! Only 33 days till autumn arrives-color us very happy.

    2. Upper 90’s in fact. We may hit 100 today. The string of consecutive days of 90 and above may break late this week when the forecast is calling for mid-to upper 80’s. This morning at 5:30 am it was over 70 already so I fear today is going to be a day mostly indoors.

  2. The blooms were lovely and as usual I enjoyed looking at the photograph, .and that Hibiscus was a fair size. Oh, and that was an amazing photograph of the butterfly. What’s on this coming week, well apart from my usual household duties and my nursing duties, we are heading off to Adelaide and Flinders Medical and – with any luck, – perhaps a trip into the city for me.

    1. Thank you, John. We hope tour upcoming week goes easy on you. We’re getting ready for triple digits next week. Not looking forward to that but it puts us closer to autumn and less severe temperatures. 🤞🏻Give Annabell our best wishes for her clinic appointments.

  3. Chia: So is it a painted lady or a boy. Elsa, you called that butterfly a lady and your Mom called it a boy. Or is it a boy who is painted like a lady and goes by a different identifier? It gets so confusing. Wanna play?
    Xena: Ooo, sorry about your eye, Elsa. I rub the side of my face in the grass like that a lot to get the good stink on me. Maybe I should stop. Man, that’s sure gonna be hard to do…

    1. Good catch. Since I run the blog these days it’s a girl Painted Lady (that’s the real name of those moths).

      Yeah, I’m having a hard time not rubbing, especially when I itch. What else can us dogs do?

  4. GREAT PHOTOS!!! That Virginia Creeper is everywhere – especially here in Virginia! It nicely decorates just about everything but our favorite thing is those reds and oranges that it turns into in Fall – otherwise it’s kind of a nuisance! Love the gorgeous flowers – almost makes me wish I was still maintaining a garden. LOL

    Hugs, Pam

    1. Thanks! Virginia creeper is truly spectacular in autumn but oh so very destructive, choking the life out of trees and plants and destroying brick mortar. The first house I bought in Denver had an entire side of a two story Victorian covered in it…it took two years to get rid of it all!

  5. Love that giant, pink Hibiscus! And all the other pretty flowers too! That Virginia Creeper stuff is creepy, isn’t it?! Reminds me of the vine down here the southerners call Kudzu. To me it looks like out-of-control poison ivy. Best to stay away from that stuff!

    Our weekend plans are to just relax. It’s been a busy/not busy week here in acorn land. I’ll have to write a post about it soon. Next Monday’s gonna be busy, too; but the rest of the week is supposed to be brutal, temperature wise. Ugh! I guess I’ll be busy keeping the Z Kids busy inside.

    Oh, and Zoey and I are 100% with Elsa about the Barbie/girly-girl stuff. No thanks! Let us wrestle and play catch with Zen! He’s a lot more fun than some doll with weirdly shaped feet!!

    1. We don’t mind pink (especially when it comes to flowers) but the whole Barbie thing escapes us.

      Here’s hoping you have a lovely weekend and are able to keep those Golden cuties entertained on the hot days. 💙 Hugs and tail wags.

      1. I’m with you on the whole Barbie thing! Yes, I like pink, too, other than that.

        Part of our Monday busy has been rescheduled – just as well. I can shower in the morning instead of Sunday night now. 😁

        Hugs and tail wags back to you & Elsa!

        1. The obsession of people about Barbie is really something. I just don’t get it. Here’s hoping your week goes well for you.

    1. Can’t seem to convince Mom of that-she’s so doggone stubborn. 😉 Hope you have a terrific weekend!

  6. Dear Ms. Colorado and Mama,

    There is little chance that Elsa would do anything other than completely entertain the peeps at WP. They are very lucky they have her in their blogosphere. And thank you gals for the wonderful colors . . . it’s such a pick me up.

    PS- That’s definitely Groot

    1. Thanks for the kind words-you’re too generous.

      Elsa still thinks that’s Groot. I’m starting to come around. 🤣

      Have a splendid weekend, stay cool.

  7. Elsa, if you don’t have a thumb, you can’t have a green thumb and won’t be a good gardener.

  8. Elsa ~ you are beautiful and Mom’s floral shots are too ~ quite the decorated pole too ~

    Wishing your good health, laughter and love in your days,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  9. That telephone pole covered in green stuff, whatever it is, is really funky looking. We are surprised no one has taken it off of there. We love the giant pink flower the best, it is very pretty and very me, Madison, the Pink Girl. Happy Friday!

    1. That green stuff is a pretty aggressive Virginia Creeper vine. Mom had never seen anything like that on power/phone/cable lines before and its shape immediately reminded her of Groot. Pink flowers are so striking and look good on us girls.
      Your fur-iend,
      Elsa 🐾

    1. Thanks, Miss Titch. You’re very kind to say that. Hope you guys have a pawsome weekend.

  10. Lulu: “Looks like Groot to us! But don’t worry, Groot is a good guy.”
    Java Bean: “Ayyy, does that mean I can pee on him and he won’t mind? Or that I shouldn’t pee on him, because he’s good?”
    Lulu: “Yes.”

    1. Thanks, guys…you crack me up Bean. Because you’re such a cutie, Mom says you can probably pee wherever you like. Plus you’re too quick on the bouncing to stop. LOL Have a great weekend.

    1. Thank you, Eliza. Nothing as spectacular as your garden, but a Groot…well now that’s something unusual! Have a great weekend.

  11. Oh, we love dahlias. Petcretary has them in patio pots, and when the winter comes around, she brings them inside to the cellar, and leaves them alone till the spring, then she starts watering and feeding them, and they come back. She’s had a couple pots for over 6 years, now…and some others as well.

    1. Hmm, never thought about planting them in a pot. I might have to reconsider the anti-dahlia stance. Thanks! When I was a little kid, my grandpa used to raise dinner plate sized dahlias. They were mesmerizing. Most of the ones I see now are average sized but they are stunning, no doubting that. Have a great weekend.

  12. Groot!!???!! Yes we have several of those Groot wannabees around here, too…and when they are on trees watch out! They help to pull them down, or their limbs), in wind storms…and when petcretary deals with all their tenacious spreading vines, she got hives. Nasty things!! Though they can be pretty. They have berries too, the birds enjoy that.

    Those dinner plate hibiscus are amazing!

    1. While Virginia Creeper is pretty, especially in the autumn, it’s so damaging, choking the life out of trees and plants as well as damaging mortar on brick. We avoid it like the plague.

  13. Elsa you are so right, it totally IS GROOT!!! I love groot, especially the opening sequence of guardians 2 when he dances to Mr Blue Sky! And Elsa you have a remarkably innocent face. You aren’t fooling anyone though! Love the flowers, have a great weekend!

    1. Thank you! I told Mom but she doesn’t know anything. Wait…you don’t think I’m innocent? Gosh, whatever gave you that idea? Bwahahahaha!

  14. Elsa, you picked a lovely bunch of flowers to show! We are starting to feel a hint of fall in the air. Not much as it’s still warm but something about shorter days and cooler nights.

    1. Why thank you, Kate. The summer perennials are making their presence known. The plumbago just started blooming, always a sign it won’t be too long before autumn’s gold will start appearing.

        1. It’s my favorite ground cover. And those bright blue flowers…so pretty! Plus in a couple of weeks, those glossy deep leaves will turn a deep mahogany color. Gorgeous!

  15. I am a huge fan of the “pom-pom” type of hydrangea and miss the ones I had in my first backyard. Sigh…
    That tiny garden with the periwinkle wall is so pretty! Great spot!
    This was a lovely Friday share, Elsa and Monika.
    We have rain, rain and more rain in the forecast today and tomorrow with, hopefully, a break on Sunday. Our temperatures have cooled quite a big, though it’s still very humid. For the next week, we will be hanging out in the low to mid 70’s. Bet you wish you were here, eh?
    Have a marvellous weekend!

    1. Thank you. I’ve never seen a white one like that. It looks like floral pearls.

      Boy, I’d happily trade you for your rain. We have hot, hot and more hot. Upper 90’s then expected to reach 100ºF on Monday. Ugh.

      We wish you a lovely weekend, even if it’s a tad soggy.

      1. It’s exactly what we had. And then in the next house and this one, I have the pointier variety. They’re ok but not my favourite.

        I know you would. Ugh. Enough with this stinking hot weather! No wonder you count down the days till autumn. Now that we’ve cooled down, I’m less in a rush 😉

        Thank you, my friend!

        1. Well, your winters are a lot harsher than ours are too so I can appreciate you wanting summer to last. But yeah, I’m so over summer.

          1. There is that. And yet, most Quebecers will bitch and complain about the heat when we are in those two weeks of it… 🙄
            I’m still enjoying it over here. I absolutely love autumn and will enjoy that to the fullest. Unfortunately, it is followed by winter which I get SO OVER in no time!

            1. Winter can wear you done, for sure. Cold temps, endless days of snow shoveling, win, lack of daylight, it all adds up. It’s probably why we look upon spring as the end all/be all remedy (but even spring can be a real terror in its own special ways at times). Guess it’s just human nature to complain about the weather. .😇

              1. Ugh. I don’t even want to think of the shovelling. But you’re right. Humans do love to bitch about the weather – in all seasons!

                1. The weather, their neighbors and co-workers, everything they have to do…the list of complaints is long and tiresome. People need to be more like pets.

  16. Elsa seems to be finding her own voice as well as her power. I need to share your comment about appropriate boundaries and rules with one of two folks in rescue…no names!

    1. There are always some who feel like the rules don’t apply to them. Sigh. We have them on our rescue’s FB page although the social media monitors only give them one excused comment. If it happens again, it’s adios from the list serve. It’s too bad we have to take such a draconian remedy, but our mission is not to allow bullies or rude people to mess with that; it’s all about the dogs. Period.

  17. Thanks for taking us along with you on your walk and sharing all the beautiful blooms. Happy weekend, Elsa & mom. ❤️🐾

    1. Thanks, Miss Helen. Mom walks by that tiny garden almost every day and just now noticed how pretty it is. She loved the pop of color along with the texture of the grass. Such a lovely spot crammed into a tiny sliver of a garden. Hope you and the Thugs have a great weekend.

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