Nature Friday ~ August 25, 2023

Nature Friday

Welcome to this week’s edition of Nature Friday…where we join those cuties Rosy and Sunny from LLB in Our Backyard. Be sure to click on the link to see what else has been shared.

Today is the last Friday of August (good riddance I say though I know many of you will mourn summer coming to an end), and as Elsa and I prepared to head out for our early morning walk, we relish the quiet and peacefulness before the city wakes up and everyone hits their own running hamster wheel. I’m struck by the morning smell of dew, with an occasional whiff of freshly brewed coffee wafting through open windows as we wander in the dim dawn light. A few other early morning risers are out walking their dogs and, for the most part, everyone is on their best behavior with a minimum of warning barks. Now that I’ve set the stage, let’s see what we encountered.

Elsa: Well it’s another day, Mom. I know it’s been a tough week for you but let’s not focus on that, instead, how about we zero in on all the wonderful sights we encountered. Deal?

The Mom: Sounds like a plan to me. It was a rough week that’s left me emotionally drained but this morning’s walk reminded me why I enjoy these quiet early morning walks where I can contemplate life, and notice subtle signs nature often shares.

Elsa: Right-that’s the spirit, Mom! How about that bright cloud that followed us until the sun rose enough to remove the color? Glad you noticed it and didn’t take yet another sunrise photo. We may be morning folks but I’m sure some are over your fascination with sweeping sunrises from Sloan’s Lake.

Morning cloud

The Mom: I wouldn’t be so sure of that, Ninja. Early morning light can be simply magical that others can appreciate it.

Elsa: Ok, Ansel Adams…we may get it, but enough. So what about some of the other interesting shots around the neighborhood?

Cowboy boot planter

The Mom: As we walk around the ‘Hood, I’m always struck by what new interesting sights we’ll come across. The quiet allows my mind to see things we probably would overlook during the harshness of daily activity. When it’s quiet, things seem to beckon your eyes to see the city in a different view.

Elsa: That cowboy boot planter was an odd find, wasn’t it? But definitely interesting in the early morning light. I’d even hazard those owners should get together with the people who own that cow statute we featured recently. They’re probably more similar than different in the way they think about their gardens.

The Mom: You have a point. It’s fun to see the diversity throughout the area, from nationalities/races, the various kinds of architecture and how people landscape their gardens. We’re very lucky to be able to see how people interpret their gardens. It’s like a living museum of styles.

Elsa: I dunno about that…some of the sights we saw this week were just flat odd. That cowboy boot is the least of the weirdness. Hey, isn’t the city motto of Austin, Texas “keep Austin weird” starting to creep into our neighborhood? I mean, sure there are tons of people from Texas moving here all the time but…

The Mom: {interrupting} Hahaha, you sometimes crack me up with the way you look at things. I’ll just stay with different strokes for different folks. Besides it makes the neighborhood more vibrant.

Elsa: Vibrant? I’m beginning to wonder about you Mom. Seems like this was the week for seeing weird garden art/decor. And just like our dense neighborhood, it’s even impacting the housing crunch for birds. Did you see that avian condo this morning? Eight families can live there!


The Mom:  Affordable housing for birds means more density. I’m sure there are eight bird families who won’t mind being in such close quarters. At least it’s not some Modern McMansion like too many lately and fits into the neighborhood aesthetic pretty nicely.

Elsa: Good perspective, Mom. So I know things have been a bit of a zoo around the Ranch lately. But I’ve been very surprised to see it spill over in gardens throughout the ‘Hood. Here’s another weird garden critter we passed on our walk.


The Mom: I had to chuckle at the “Pigs Rule” sign, as if the numerous pig statuaries weren’t indicative enough.

Elsa: You uprights are just weirdos! We saw our fair share of critters this week. From too quick to photograph trash pandas (otherwise knowns as raccoons) to rabbits. I don’t think I’ve seen as many rabbits as I have this year. And then…{gasping} I even saw a freaking giraffe in the trees! What the dog?!


The Mom: That sight really blew me away. It’s not a great photo because it’s on a hill and hard to see it through all the trees and brush; we had to go back and see if we couldn’t get a better view. I suspect it’s made of metal but won’t know for sure until the leaves start dropping next month and we can it better. It’s a pretty wooded and weed filled lot but it stopped me dead in my tracks.

Elsa: As you were trying to get the best angle for that giraffe, I was focused on the bunny that ran under the car that was parked in front of that statute. I just love their fluffy white tails but they don’t seem to share the same loving feeling about me. They always hop away as quickly as their bunny feet will carry them.


The Mom: They are very abundant this year. There was even one in our yard when we got home but he didn’t hang out there for long. Hmmm…maybe he’s the one that ate the single ripe tomato.


Elsa: Let’s just hope he doesn’t filch the latest crop of  strawberries. Now let’s share the mystery plant of the week.

Flowers, Ground Cherry

The Mom: This mystery plant, as you refer to it, is Physalis Viscosa, commonly referred to as Ground Cherry. It’s a member of the nightshade family and is native to South America. Whoever moved into this property has pretty much let things go so lots of weeds have moved in and this plant is sometimes thought of as a weed. It has replaced the border of flowers where I took such pretty photos of blooming flowers in the background of you a couple of years ago. It looks a bit like tomatillos but then again, they both belong to the nightshade family. That fruit is rich in cryptoxanthin and can be consumed much like tomatoes.

Elsa: Umm, well you can, but there’s no way I’m not eating one those things. Blech…vegetables…er fruit. Nooo thank you!

The Mom: You’re so silly. Let’s end this week’s post with a bit of hope from a recent rainbow that we thought was a sign from Norman watching over us. We’re expecting a most welcomed bit of a cool down this weekend and if we’re real lucky, some rain. We hope the heat breaks soon for those  living in the central part of the country as well as folks all along the gulf coast and hope you are able to get outside to see what visual gifts Mother Nature provides in your neck of the woods.


Elsa: What she said ⬆️. Don’t forget to have a great weekend.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾


59 thoughts on “Nature Friday ~ August 25, 2023

    1. You’d have a field day here with all the bunnies this year. Don’t ever recall this many before-they pop up all over the place. But I guess that’s what bunnies do. 😉

  1. What a kewl ‘Hood youss’ live in Elsa an Miss Monika! THE Cowboy Boot iss heelareuss! THE Piggiess are two cute! An our mindss are blown heer over THE Giraffee two! Wee wuud love to have a statue like that heer, mew mew mew….
    Waht a cute Bunny….they are furry shy Elsa…don’ take it purrsonally! 😉
    An Miss Monika yore Sunrise foto was purrty pawsum as iss THE Norman Rainbow <3 <3
    Hee ISS watchin over youss' fore sure….
    ~~~~head rubss~~~~BellaDharma~~~~ an {{{huggiess}}} BellaSita Mum

    1. We can’t wait to see the giraffe once the leaves have dropped. I want to see the details on that statue. Squeals!
      Hope you’re feeling better and we hope you have a great weekend.

    1. Thanks, yes, it is kind of a sidewalk zoo around here. It always amazes me to be so close to the business center and yet have all manner of wildlife saunter by. Have a great weekend.

  2. Last weekend of Winter here in South Australia. Regardless of what it brings, I am so looking forward to spring and then summer. Probable roast, but I think that might be just a tad preferable to freezing to death. Flowers and wildlife – doing well :o)

  3. What a lovely walk we had with you and your mom, Elsa and so much to see. The Cowboy boots look like seven miles boots and made us MOL. We have early morning walks too in the garden with Granny, with only the sound of the birdies, but only when it is not raining, which it did the last few days😺 We loved the sign of Angel Norman at the end telling you that he’s always near to you💞 Double Pawkisses for a Happy weekend to the both of you🐾😽💞

    1. Many thanks, kitties. With our intense sunlight, I’m surprised those boots are in as good a shape as they are. Here in the ‘Wild West’ having a well worn pair of boots is a privilege and a honor. Because I miss Norman so deeply, I keep my eyes open for signs from him daily. Anxiously awaiting his next message. 🤞🏼

  4. Wonderful and whimsical share this week, you two! Love that giraffe!
    And ground cherries are delicious. I used to have some way back…
    Have a great weekend!

    1. Thanks! How cool you were familiar with the ground cherries. Mom had no idea but found them interesting. They just seemed like a good place for a bunny to hide. 😉 I could tell they’ve hung out in there more than once.

  5. Oh, what a beautiful bright cloud…perhaps Norman checking in on you both? Especially that rainbow! What beautiful sights!

    The quote is so true…sometimes the need to just get outdoors and see nature gives me a little peace. I used to love walks with my dogs, or rides on my horse, especially in the fresh snow! My favorite time! Well, long with Autumn and walks in the crunchy leaves!

    You have so much to see…I do like that cowboy boy planter. I would love one!

    We have bunnies here. Their momma made a home under our shed so they visit our backyard quite frequently. So cute!

    Happy trails to you both!

    1. Nature truly calms the mind in an increasingly complex and crazy world. Considering I’m a mere 3 miles from downtown, I feel blessed at all the wildlife around here. That cowboy boot planter was something else, wasn’t it? Loved the colors!

  6. Never a dull moment on a walk around your ‘hood! Always interesting things to see – the “Night Cherry” is unusual and I remember when I first saw one thinking it looks a lot like a party lantern!

    Hugs, Pam

  7. I didn’t think about it being a year since Norman left us. It’s hard.
    The giraffe does look metal. What a cool thing for someone to put there!
    And yes, rainbows are always a promise, perhaps that we will be one day with our loved ones, whether 2 or 4 legged. Love to you and Elsa

    1. Thanks. Norman has only been gone since June but it feels a lot longer.

      That giraffe really caught me off guard. Not exactly the kind of thing you expect to see before 6 AM!

        1. Yup, only June. And yet it seems so much painfully longer. Guess that’s to be expected with a larger than life pet who made such a difference to everyone he encountered.

  8. Happy Friday to both of you! <3! Your mom is right, Elsa, I will never tire of sunrises pictures over the lake!
    OH my gosh on the giraffe! That cracked me up! You guys do live in a unique neighborhood. LOL! Love it. And I see you found the house where the 3 pigs and Blossom live. 🙂
    Sorry you had a hard week, Monika, glad Elsa is there to cheer you. Love the rainbow and yes, a sign from Norman that he is watching over you two. Love and Hugs, my friend <3

    1. Well aren’t you sweet? She sometimes worry people won’t enjoy a post because it’s a repetition of a previous one she thought people might enjoy. Being a morning person, she’s convinced everyone loves sunrise, though I for one suspect otherwise judging by the grumpy folks who haven’t had their coffee let alone been fortunate enough to appreciate a sunrise.

      We like the eclecticness of the neighborhood-makes life more interesting as opposed to staid suburban homogeny. Always good to mix things up, well of course, unless that bright purple house pops up next door to you. LOL

      1. No need to worry here. I may not be a morning person but I still love sunrises, I just usually see them in photos. 😉 Except when at the beach. I will get up early for beach sun rises! 🥰

        Always good to keep things entertaining and full of surprises, which sounds like your neighborhood. Bright purple and pink. Now that would be a fun picture to take. 😆

  9. Great pix this morning! I can’t wait to see more of the giraffe! (BTW, did you see the baby spotless giraffe born at a zoo in Tennessee?) Also love the bunny and rainbow!!

    I’ve been seeing some beautiful butterflies lately – the “wooly worms” (as my late FIL used to call them) have been “blooming”! Sad that once the Z Kids get a little too close, they fly away and I don’t see them again.😢 But little by little, I’m seeing our little squirrel friends again. The Zs will chase them once or twice, but not like my squirrel stalker extraordinaire, Angel Ducky. God, how I miss watching her chase her little tormenters!

    1. That giraffe sure woke us up! And yes, I did see that spotless new baby giraffe-talk about cool. Watching a dog focus intently on squirrels can be so entertaining. The really clever ones learn to adapt their technique which always makes me smile. Not a fan of squirrels but would hate for one to be caught by a pet. I usually grip the leash tighter whenever I see one since Elsa has a high prey drive with all quick critters. I know she’d never be fast enough to get a rabbit (at least I don’t she could) but a squirrel…could be a different story. And I sure as heck don’t want Elsa to get bite by one of those rodents. Butterfly chasing might just be the ticket-it’s fun to watch their eyes track them. Same with grasshoppers. One of my past Standards was a master grasshopper catcher. Nevermind that he’s spit them out (they must taste as vile as they look) but he seemed to relish catching them. 😉

      1. I remember one weekend morning way back when Callie was still with us, she, Shadow, and Ducky caught a squirrel at base of the oak tree. They were suddenly grumbling at each other so I walked over to see what was going on. There was the squirrel laying at the base of the tree – playing “possum” – so I put all 3 dogs on the porch, and went out to scoop up the poor little guy (thinking he was dead). As I went to gently push him on to the pooper-scooper pan, the little stinker jumped up and tore off across the yard! I was so startled I dropped the paddle and pan and just stood there for a minute watching him. And then I started laughing. I let the girls out of the porch and they tore off across the yard after him, without any chance of catching him again.

  10. Elsa is wise to acknowledge the rough week and redirect all our attention to some great sightings. Love the giraffe blanketed in leaves and the cotton tail and the lovely rainbow. Hope you have a great weekend and uplifting new week. ❤️🐾

    1. Many thanks, Paulette. Time heals all wounds (along with sweet dog cuddles) so this weekend should make things a bit easier.

    1. Thanks, Eliza. I think the new residents are older and it’s a large corner lot to manage. They’re probably overwhelmed. Sometimes you just have to eat that elephant (or giraffe as the case may be) one bite at a time.

  11. We are early birds at out house…well, Mom is, so we have had to be too, up by 5 at the latest. She spends 2 hours out running and walking with us all in various combinations and gets upset when she doesn’t have time for it like on sports weekends. The peace and quiet gets the brain going to a happy place. Solutions for problems magically appear, blog posts are written and saved in the brain, bonding with us happens, it is simply the best time of the day. Our rule is no phone, so the sound is off on that thing. We have it along for safety only. That giraffe is awesome! We love finding odd things like that. Happy Friday!

    1. We couldn’t agree more with you. Mornings are like nourishment for the soul. We hope you have a splendid weekend and the heat subsides in your neck of the woods.

    1. Since we’re out early, it’s easy to capture sunrises and some days have prettier ones than others. Since your post of the gigantic wasp like creature, I’ve been looking out for ‘sleepers’ on the sidewalk so as not to step on them. Have a great nature inspired weekend.

    1. Thank you! We’re looking forward to seeing literally more of that giraffe as the leaves fall. Have a great weekend.

    1. Thanks. Yes, that giraffe could have blown me over with a feather! Can’t wait to see it sans leaves! Have a great weekend.

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