Did You Know Wednesday ~ January 19, 2022

While visiting my dad again this week, I couldn’t help but take notice what is often referred to as the Wolf Moon last night. What is a Wolf Moon, you ask? It’s the first moon of January but officially arrived on Monday, Jan. 17, at 6:48 p.m. EST (1148 GMT). Like other full moons, it can be seen for about 3 days. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, its origin comes from Native Americans who often heard wolves howling during cold winter nights  this time of year. The Wolf Moon is also known as the Ice Moon, the Moon after Yule, the Old Moon and the Thaipusam Festival Moon, among other names.

Although I didn’t bring my DSLR for this trip, I thought I’d see if the new cell phone might be able to reasonably capture it. It’s not a great image, but shooting anything in low light conditions without a tripod can be tricky but for a small, convenient device generally held in one’s pocket, it’s not too terribly bad.

Moon

As the first full moon of 2022, it shines brightly in the evening hours. A full moon can impact some dogs who suffer from epilepsy so I always try to be a bit aware of this time every month for Elsa’s sake, in case it triggers a seizure in her.  According to Space.com, a full moon occurs when the moon is exactly on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun and occurs roughly once a month. The timing is determined by where the moon is relative to the Earth rather than where it appears in the sky, which is slightly different depending on where you’re located, according to the website.

Since the full moon is on the opposite side from the sun, folks in the Northern Hemisphere will see it relatively high in the sky (since the moon is in roughly the same position the sun would be during the daytime during summer months). In the Southern Hemisphere, the opposite would be true.

The Wolf Moon may not be the only interesting sight seen in the night sky these days. Jupiter as well as Saturn may also be visible, with Saturn appearing to the lower right above Jupiter at two degrees above the horizon and setting shortly thereafter. With the city’s light pollution, I’d likely need a telescope in order to see them, if at all.

If you missed this month’s full moon, the next one will appear on Wednesday, Feb. 16 and will appear full for about three days, from about midnight Tuesday morning to about midnight Thursday night.

Were you able to catch the 2022 Wolf Moon?

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ January 17, 2022

Welcome to Monday but today is not just any Monday.  Today we honor two giants of humanity, Martin Luther King (MLK) and Betty White. Around the country, parades are being held with an emphasis on the participants honoring the civil rights leader through a day of national service. Since 1994, the day of service is being coordinated nationally by AmeriCorps, a federal agency which provides grants to organizations coordinating service activities on MLK Day. The only other national day of service in the U.S. officially designated by the government, is September 11th’s National Day of Service (9/11 Day).

MLK

Today would have been Betty White’s 100th birthday. Fans of the “Golden Girls” star who passed away recently, have created a virtual event asking for donations of $5 be made to animal rescues or shelters in her name. White was a big animal lover and well known for her efforts of saving endangered species. She helped fix conditions at the Los Angeles Zoo.

In addition to her efforts at the LA Zoo, White was also a big supporter of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. The zoo’s entrance to the “Heart of Africa Exhibit” was named Betty White Way in 2014 in her honor.

Betty White

We typically use Monday’s for sharing a smile, but today we also support of the efforts of both of these legendary Americans. Everyone at the Ranch supports the essence of MLK Day as well as the remarkable work of Betty White and hope you’ll participate in a meaningful way to honor both of these special people. May your Monday be the beginning of a good week filled with smiles and positive actions, just go easy on the mice, okay?

Smiles

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ January 14, 2022

Welcome to this week’s edition of Nature Friday where we join our pals Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard. This week’s gander at Nature is a hodgepodge of pics from our recent visit to my Dad’s home in southern Colorado.

Pikes Peak

No view is more emblematic of the region than Pikes Peak, this view being inspiration for a song. Katherine Lee Bates, a young English professor from Wellesley College, was so taken by the wide open vistas on her trip to Colorado Springs, she wrote a poem based on her travels in the late 1890’s. Samuel A. Ward, an organist and choir director for Grace Church, Newark, New Jersey, was equally inspired by the poem and composed a tune for an old hymn (“O Mother Dear, Jerusalem,” retitling the work “Materna”). Ward’s music combined with Bates’ poem were first published together in 1910 as the song we now know as “America the Beautiful.”

The view from the area surrounding my Dad’s house always makes me stop to take in those “…beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain” landscapes but I can’t help but noticing just how extremely dry everything looks. Even Pikes Peak only had a tiny dusting of snow. While a storm is forecast to arrive later, not much accumulation is expected. It may however build into a monster for other regions east of us. Sigh.

Norman
Where are the bunnies?

Even while walking along our regular route, the tawny colored grass was as crunchy and dry as I’ve seen it. Norman kept scanning the landscape for bunnies but there were none to be seen.

Still there was colors other than brown to be found at sunrise when Nature pulls back the curtains on the unfolding day with this gorgeous view from the front door.

Sunrise
When the day greets you with that scene, surely all is not lost.

Do you have any big plans for the weekend? Here in Denver, the National Western Stock Show is slated to open today. With the rise in COVID cases, the annual parade of longhorns strolling down Seventeenth Street was cancelled and I won’t be attending the show, but it may be interesting to watch local news coverage from the show. Mutton Bustin’ is one of the more popular events during the rodeo performances and always seems to be a visitor favorite. Nothing like watching a 5-7 year old weighing less than 55 pounds trying to hang on to a wily mutton, bound and determined to rid itself of the hanger-on. While entertaining to many, it seems rather barbaric to me.

National Western Stock Show
Photo courtesy of National Western Stock Show

Whatever you do, we hope you remain safe and enjoy Nature’s symphony of beautiful ‘music’ much like Katherine Lee Bates did.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nearly Wordless Wednesday ~ January 12, 2022

Floating toward Friday.

Jellyfish

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ January 10, 2022

Happy Monday from the Ranch Hands. We’re a bit behind schedule today after encountering major technical difficulties and an early morning vet trip but still wanted to start out the week with a smile so let’s get on with it, okay?

Smiles

Everyone at the Ranch hopes you had a ‘pawsome’ weekend and that all of this week’s best “connections” bring you great joy with loads of smiles. Make it a great week!

Live, love, bark!  🐾

Nature Friday ~ January 7, 2022

Welcome to the first Friday of 2022. We’ve hooked up with our mates, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard for this latest edition of Nature Friday. Norman here to share a couple of photos with you from what I’ve been seeing in Nature this week while visiting my Grandpa in Southern Colorado.

Winter early mornings and early evenings are colorful and with open landscapes at Grandpa’s. Just look at this morning’s early morning sunrise. The colors were so intense on a chilly morning.

Sunrise

There’s something about the wide open spaces here that really provides some amazing sunsets as well. The evening we arrived, the sky was a study in blues and oranges. Mum had to pull over to savor the quiet beauty.

Sunset

It was bitter cold yesterday but today should be a perfect day for walking about the countryside. Yesterday’s walk was all about staying warm after a skiff of snow fell with single digits. Mum says I’ve adapted nicely to being a good house dog since I really prefer spending time lounging about and always within ear-scratching distance from my Grandpa. I wasn’t even interested in sniffing out bunny or other critter trails too much on the walk-I just wanted to get back and see Grandpa.

With 2022 being almost a week old, it’s been fun experiencing new adventures at Grandpa’s house. What’s your first week of the year been like? Have you been able to check out what Nature’s been serving up? We sure hope you’ve made time to see what’s going on outside. Got any plans for the first weekend? Whatever you do, we hope you’re safe, cozy and are enjoying these winter days.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

 

One Word Wednesday ~ January 5, 2022

Juxtaposition.

Flowers

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ January 3, 2022

Welcome to 2022 where we’re starting with a fresh new and hopeful slate. We hope you had a safe and happy New Year. Now comes that time of year when people often make resolutions to address any bad habits we may have slipped into or seek to enhance what we’ve been doing, especially some of those slip ups which often occur during the holiday season. If anyone needs some help, Elsa has offered to step in and do what she can with your list.

Smiles

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Or do you just take note of areas where you want/need to improve such as with eating habits/diets, getting more exercise, go ‘dry-January,’ and stuff like that?

Live, love, bark!  🐾

Nature Friday ~ December 31, 2021

It’s Friday which means we’re are joining the Nature Friday blog hop with our friends, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard.

WildfiresWeather and climate change continue to dominate nature  along the Front Range. Unless you live in a cave, you’ve no doubt heard about the catastrophic Marshall and Middle Fork fires which hit the northern metro suburbs yesterday afternoon. Hurricane force winds of over 100 mph are believed to have knocked down power lines sparking dry grasslands which moved quickly between Denver and Boulder. The entire towns of Superior and Louisville were evacuated yesterday which remains in effect today. Nearly 600 homes, the Element Hotel and a shopping center were destroyed. Six people were reported to have suffered injuries but it is unknown if there have been any fatalities. Winds were so strong yesterday, there was little firefighters could do but evacuate homes and businesses in the fire’s path as quickly as possible. Major traffic jams occurred when some cars four-wheeled over bike paths and through parking lots to escape the wildfire’s path. A state of emergency is in effect.

Wildfire
Photo courtesy of AP 

Wildfires are becoming a year long phenomena throughout the Western U.S. but this latest fire is highly unusual in that it occurred in an urban area and not in any wilderness area.

The fire has consumed over 1,600 acres as of last night. Officials hope they can get a handle on the fire with less severe winds, cooler temperatures and several inches of snow scheduled to arrive later today. This map from the New York Times shows the affected area. Colorado Highways 93, 128, 170 and parts of US 36 are closed to traffic.

Wildfire

Wildfire
Photo courtesy of AP

The aerial image below gives you an idea of the scope of the fire area.

Wildfires

As if 2021 hadn’t been exhausting enough with record-breaking COVID cases despite vaccines, we now face a year round fire season. Don’t know about you, but I for one am SO. OVER. 2021.

However you celebrate the New Year, we pray you’ll do it safely. Best wishes from everyone at the Ranch who will probably spend most of the weekend huddled together on the sofa under a thick pile of blankets as single-digit highs arrive tomorrow. Yo Mother Nature…could you please lighten up?

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Thankful Thursday ~ December 30, 2021

Normally I don’t post in the Thankful Thursday blog hop but simply couldn’t NOT participate this week. If COVID and current events have taught me anything, it’s to embrace gratitude wholeheartedly and don’t procrastinate letting people know how much you care.

Earlier this week while I was reflecting about the Christmas holiday, the mailman delivered a small package. What’s this I wondered, since I knew I hadn’t ordered anything? Thinking it was simply some end of the year appeal for a donation from a group I’d supported before, I figured it was some mailing labels or greeting cards. To my surprise, it turned out to be far more.

Card

Back when I began blogging, many bloggers I followed were influencers with various companies promoting their products. I had hoped to join those ranks but by the time I had any measurable number of followers, many of those companies changed their policies and stopped working with bloggers. Chewy was one of them. I was disappointed but then again, hadn’t really lost anything and just continued to do what I’d been doing-posting about the resident Knucklehead and his hospital adventures.

People seemed to enjoy the posts, the blog grew and readers fell in love with Sam whose legendary knuckle-headed adventures seemed to touch hearts on our little acre of the Internet. When Norman joined this merry band, his adorable face and sweet nature seemed to appeal to readers as well (for which I’m also grateful). Oh sure, there was a story or two about the Ninja, but Elsa’s presence here has been fairly minuscule. Her puppy mill background doesn’t exactly lend itself to sharing heartfelt stories beyond the numerous episodes of her inexplicably chewing up eyeglasses (I think she’s up to 6 or 7 pairs of reading glasses now) and assorted ‘stuffie’ assassinations. I adore this complicated girl but she’s not exactly the kind of dog people understand or favor. Coupled with her ongoing battle with epilepsy, her “still waters run deep” personality is tough to share in a post. Then this arrived.

Card

The inside massage took my breath away and my emotions got the better of me. Around Thanksgiving I placed an autoship order for food and pet supplies. I received an email indicating an earlier-than-expected delivery date and couldn’t have been more thrilled, given supply chain issues these days. Now understand, I place orders about every 3 weeks for food for the Ranch’s ‘livestock.’ I live in an older, very well known neighborhood and rarely have problems with deliveries. Delivery companies know the area well. Amazon, FedEx and UPS trucks are plentiful, delivering packages all day long and yet for some reason, UPS managed to bungle delivering this one. After two emails indicating they had ‘tried’ to deliver said order (which they had not), the following Wednesday UPS sent a notice that “because delivery had not been made, they were returning the box to sender.” What the bloody heck?!?! We were down to the bottom of the food bag so I called Chewy’s explaining the online exchanges I had with UPS (all efforts to reach a live UPS representative were fruitless) and the kind, patient and very pleasant service rep at Chewy assured me a new order would be sent out with priority status. I was extremely grateful and assured both Ranch Hands no one would go hungry. The order arrived a day and half later and all was good at the Ranch. I softly said a prayer of thanks; the dogs had full bellies and all was well in Ranchland so my focus, like most people’s turned toward getting ready for the upcoming Christmas holiday. In other words, I moved on. Supply chain issues has become the new buzzword these days with delays being routinely expected especially during the holidays.

Elsa

This 6″ x 6″ canvas was lovingly packed with the sweet card and brought tears to my eyes. I. Was. Simply. Stunned. The image from Elsa’s profile was a favorite of mine. As a black dog, she’s hard to capture photographically without looking like a dark blob. As she’s too reluctant to pose, when she does (or when I get lucky like here), it seemed like the obvious choice to use it as a profile pic but I never expected anything like this treasured gift.

Elsa

Meaningful words of gratitude seem so inadequate. All I can offer is a heartfelt “THANK YOU” from the bottom of my heart. This little piece of art means so much and I’ll cherish this sweet gesture forever. Say what you will about large, unfeeling corporations, but this kind gesture shows not all companies treat their customers so cavalierly. Let me just say I think, Chewy is ‘picture perfect.’

Live, love, bark!  🐾