Nature Friday ~ January 22, 2021

Welcome to Friday, our favorite day of the week. It’s been another unseasonable week of pleasant weather in the Mile High which means the season of brown and drab is very much alive and well. As we typically do on Friday’s, we’re joining our friends, Rosy, Sunny, Arty and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard for another Nature Friday blog hop. Don’t forget to “hop” over to their backyard by clicking on the link and check out all the great images of nature that folks found this week.

Let’s get started, eh? As I mentioned, it’s pretty brown around here. Brown trees, brown leaves and grass, shrubs, and perennials. But that doesn’t mean nature doesn’t have beauty and interest. Take for instance, tree bark.

We walk passed a very small park in our neighborhood every day. Evergreen and deciduous trees line the outside border of this park and were featured in a post last June here after a severe wind storm. When we walk past this little park, we’re more alert for dogs off leash than any botany but a recent morning there were no dogs or peeps so we ventured in the interior a bit where some trees caught my eye. They caught the eyes of the Ranch hands too.

There are a small handful of shorter trees which I think are some sort of crab apple. They aren’t overly tall and the leaves aren’t overly flashy in the summer, but the bark…now that’s another story. Just check out the texture and shape of these babies!

Trees

This tree looks as though it’s seen a thing or two and it caught our eye.  It almost reminded me of ancient Greek olive trees. It just reminds Elsa to stay vigilant for tree rats who seem to instinctively know that she has a fierce prey drive but who are willing to tempt her anyway. How is it they seem to understand exactly how long her leash is and take advantage when taunting her?

Trees

That gnarled shape and textured bark remind me it’s good to keep your eyes open as you routinely walk through your neighborhood.

Trees

The bark reminds me of tiny shingles overlaying one another in rich and various shades of brown, grey, and tan.

Trees

All is not lost in the ‘Hood; yesterday we passed  by one front garden that is beginning to show subtle signs that spring bulbs are engaged in their annual emerging journey. Like other scenes seen from this week, there’s hope and a fresh newness in the air and in our souls (if you didn’t watch the inauguration, I would direct your attention to America’s first national youth poet laureate, Amanda Gorman. What an amazing and inspiring young woman. You can watch a video about her appearance here).

Bulbs

Notice that tiny emerging columbine on the upper right side next to the rock? I don’t know about you, but that made me grin with optimism for the days ahead.

We are still hoping for snow to fill the watershed this weekend but know that January is the driest month yet remain hopeful nonetheless. It’s been a dry winter which won’t bode well for summer time but are keeping our paws crossed.

In a rare Saturday post, I hope you’ll join us tomorrow for a look at a certain Ranch hand’s Gotcha Day celebration. Till then enjoy a beautiful Friday and a terrific weekend.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ January 18, 2021

Monday Musings

When it comes to the world of dogs and their social media, I can’t get enough, apparently the ‘posting’ aspect, right Norman? Have a smile filled week.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ January 15, 2021

Since every day of the week in the age of COVID are referred to as “Blursday,” I had to check the calendar to make sure that today is in fact Friday. Welcome back old friend! As we typically do today we join our friends, Rosy, Sunny, Arty and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard for another Nature Friday blog hop. Don’t forget to swing by their backyard and check out all the great nature scenes.

Well it may be the middle of January already, but around the Mile High that just means we’re steadfastly stuck in a season of brown drab despite a small storm that dumped some white stuff at the beginning of the week. That just means we are bit shy on anything particularly scenic to share…unless you’re really into dried leaves and grasses.

It’s been a busy week but I kept my eyes open whenever I was out to see if anything worth sharing would catch my eye. While running a couple of errands around the neighborhood, I drove by this little shopfront. This little skin care shop is very close to the intersection and because Murphy’s Law insists that I must stop for the streetlight every time I pass by here. It would seem as if the owners are kind of trying to create some of their own kind brand of spring to offset the dusty drab that has a chokehold on the local landscape. The color caught my eye from nearly a block away but I couldn’t figure out exactly what it was until I got closer to the intersection. That welcome pop of color on the ‘wisteria chains’ give the scene a bit of tongue in check whimsiness.

Nature Friday

It may not be the real deal but considering the alternative, I’ll take it. It just goes to show if you keep your eyes open, you’ll find something that’s either lovely, makes you smile or both.

Wishing there’s plenty of nature for you to take in this weekend. Got any special plans?

Live, love,  bark! 🐾

Wistful Wednesday ~ January 13, 2021

After 10 months of lockdown, my mind and gypsy heart have been dreaming a lot of traveling again. Since the US is persona non grata throughout most of the world, the only way to go on a trip is through past photos and memories.

This beautiful kitty who seemed to be somewhat annoyed at my interruption of its vigil when I visited the Kommern LVR-Freilicht Museum located near Eiffel National Park not far from the Belgium border. In the LVR-large open air museum , you can experience all your senses learning how people used to live and work in the Rhineland and watch reenactments of life as it was yesteryear by museum employees.

Germany
Freilich Museum

On the almost 100 hectares grounds, there are 69 historical buildings from the former Prussian RheinProvinz, farmsteads, complete with farm animals, wind-and-water mills, workshops, communal buildings, and many reenactments of life of a rural population heralding from as long ago as the 15th century.

Despite a beautiful day here in the 303, my gypsy heart longs to be there enjoying this wonderful place today. I can practically smell the freshly baked bread from the hearth.

Germany
Freilich Museum

Germany

Germany
Freilich Museum

Simpler times and ones that would be especially welcome today. Happy mid-week.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ January 11, 2021

Welcome to Monday. The laptop’s back up and running now and we thought this smile was a clever way to let you know we’re back. While we read everyone’s posts from last week, we left next to no comments. My hat’s off to millennials who easily manage life typing on a tiny little phone screen. Alas I’d make a lousy millennial since it became clear quickly that leaving comments from the phone was an exercise in futility and frustration. But we’re back, I’m smiling and the small storm that blew through over the weekend allowed us some ‘dashing through the snow’ time so the dogs (well at least Elsa) were happy too. Norman remains in the “Yeah, I can hold it” camp but he still manages to leave significant amounts of yellow posts nonetheless whenever we ventured out. Talk about a weather wuss.

Smiles

We hope your privacy settings are well respected this week and it turns out to be a good one. It’s ‘crisp’ this morning, (19ºF at 8:30 local time) but should hit the mid 40’s later today with low 60’s by Wednesday. Woohoo…60’s in January folks! We’ll take it. Have a great Monday and even greater week.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ January 4, 2021

We hope you had a lovely New Year’s celebration. Ours was quiet…well until around midnight when some knuckle-dragging neighbors began shooting off fireworks. For a few minutes, it was nerve-wracking for a couple of pups. Fireworks always set my jaw and make me grumble but we finally were able to get to sleep soon thereafter. Thank goodness for the BBC which broadcasts late at night on  public radio. Apart from getting world-wide news without the same cable TV newscaster droning on about that same ‘breaking news’ story that had been highlighted for the previous six hours, it provided some pleasant white noise for the dogs. Hard to believe they have next to no interest in soccer scores or how the 4-1/2 year long divorce known as BREXIT ended up.  It only took about 15 minutes before canine snores were competing with news from Britain, the rest of the world and fireworks.

Unlike my usual MO, this post was penned before Monday. Usually they’re done the morning they get published but knowing the laptop will be going in for a tune up later this week, it was actually written in advance. I even hope to get a couple in the hopper to tie us over. Perhaps this proactivity might set the stage for that age-old resolution of ‘being better organized.’ Yeah, probably not.

So let’s start out the new year with a nice big smile, shall we?

Smiles

So how was your New Year’s celebration? Here’s hoping the ‘first week’ sets the tone for a better year. Hope springs eternal.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

A 2020 Retrospective

Don’t let the title of this post freak you out…this is NOT a post about the unspeakably sad losses experienced during the past 365 days. Instead consider this my feeble attempt to get a 12+ hour head start on tomorrow’s Nature Friday with an affectionate look back at some of the wonders Mother Nature so graciously shared despite our planet’s collective poor stewardship of her. We hope you will take a moment to follow Blogville around by clicking on our friends’ and hosts link [Rosy, sister Sunny and her two brothers at LLB in Our Backyard] and hope they don’t mind our pulling the trigger early).

While it’s true we received a spot of the white stuff this week, as fast as it frosted the landscape, it quickly melted under beautiful, bright blue, sunny skies.

Mother Nature may have some prickly moments, but boy does she possess an amazing canvas when she shows it off.

Snow

While some of you may shiver at images of snow, I can’t help but wonder about all those unique and sparkly facets of crystalized ice that highlight a winter landscape.

Snow

Sure Norman, Elsa and I are fortunate to enjoy 300+ days of annual sunshine in the Mile High but we’re also gifted with some spectacular sunsets (and sunrises) on occasion. This one showed up shortly before this month’s full moon.

And now for a look back at a few of the most popular images from nature this year. This past summer provided some much needed visual comfort then as well as now.

Flowers

A 2020 retrospective on nature would be incomplete without some sunshine-y sunflowers from our garden as well as a a view of the plethora of lupine which provided a nice backdrop for the Ranch hands.

Flowers

Ranch hands As we reflect over the past year, all the while keeping a keen eye looking forward to the new one, we’ll toast to a New Year with a recent batch of aged, handmade Sazerac cleverly crafted by my son. Just look at that gorgeous amber color. If you like rye, Sazerac can be quite the tasty cognac/whiskey kind of beverage. Add a slice of lemon or orange peel and voila…a moment perfect for contemplative reflection.

Sazerac

With loads of cheers for love, laughter, with a few tasty treats for 2021, we can’t help but be optimistic after seeing these babies who I spied on yesterday morning’s walk. I’ don’t recall seeing bulbs appear quite this early but I’ll take it. Knowing, or at least hoping there is more white stuff down the road, we’ll keep ‘pawsitive’ that 2021 will be a big improvement over 2020, though it may take some patience to see it blossom.

Bulbs

The Ranch will be taking some extended time off to attend to computer maintenance issues and I’m uncertain as to how long it might take to dust off any cobwebs on the laptop. As I do not wish to yank out all my recently cut hair trying to compose posts on a tiny cell-phone screen, those of you who do have my undying admiration, we’ll be back as soon as our battery pack is refreshed, our files cleaned and scrubbed. No doubt the Ranch hands will think of loads of ways to exasperate me entertain us with new adventures…but until then…stay safe, sane and keep smiling, my friends. Have a Happy New Year!

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Wordless Wednesday ~ December 30, 2020

Snow

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ December 28, 2020

MomWelcome to the last week of the dumpster fire also known as 2020. We hope you had a blessed and Merry Christmas. Christmas this year marked an extra special occasion, marking the 90th birthday for my mom. My Mom has lived through some pretty horrific times. She survived the bombing of Frankfurt during World War II as child as well as through some pretty intense health issues over the past few years. I wrote a bit about it back in 2016 here, after Angel Sam spent a week on her bed at hospice care following an ER doctor’s prognosis giving her 48 hours to live. Long story short, she “flunked out of hospice” then. In 2017 she ended up back in hospital for 4 weeks, with a number of days in ICU. Another surgery was performed where more of her colon was removed for an obstruction but she managed to eventually bounce back once again.  These days we affectionately refer to her as a ‘semi-colon.’ So yeah, this was a very special Christmas birthday. I’m so incredibly grateful to have been able to celebrated it. Happy 90th to my spunky, special Mom who has defied the odds in numerous ways.

Like everyone else, we’re hoping 2021 provides a path toward normalcy. It won’t come overnight (especially if ‘mask holes’ continue to not wear masks and congregating in large groups) and pray the recently approved vaccines provide a way back toward the ‘good ole days.’  The world has so much healing needed to embark upon and pray that 2021 is the beginning of that process.

2020

We look forward to waving goodbye to 2020 while remaining upbeat that 2021 provides more smiles and joy for our COVID weary hearts. To 2020, we say “don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

So how was your Christmas?

Live, love, bark! 🐾

 

Wednesday Wishes ~ December 23, 2020

It’s mid-way during Christmas week and we wanted to send our best doggone wishes for a Happy Christmas. Christmas this year will look and feel different but our wish remain the same. May peace, joy and love of the season fill your heart this Christmas season and remain throughout the coming year. All the Ranch hands wanted to send their very own best ‘howliday’ wishes.

Norman hopes the glow of Christmas lights brighten your day and your heart.

Christmas

Elsa finds this an odd time of year, because it’s the only time of year in which she can sit in front of a dead tree and eat treats out of a sock (but hopefully not the sock). She also has her paws crossed for a respite from any other photo sessions. Sorry old girl, no promises.

Christmas

Angel Sam also sends his best wishes to you from across the Bridge. Miss and love you, Knucklehead.

Sam

The Ranch will be taking a few days off to relax and reflect on the season.

Christmas

From our family to yours, may the spirit of Christmas shine in your heart and light your path. We thank you for being in our world.

Live, love, bark! 🐾