Check Your Chip Monday ~ August 15, 2022

MicrochipWelcome to National Check The Chip Day — a day created as a reminder for pet parents to check their pet’s microchips, to make sure they contain the most up to date information with the provider. With last month’s July 4th celebrations where more pets are lost than any day of the year, microchips are especially important for keeping your pets safe. Pets are far more likely to be reunited with their pet parents when they are chipped. Personally I think National Chip Day should be July 5th, but that’s just me. Visit this website to find out how to check your microchip status.

Microchip your pet

The Ranch Hands say there’s no need to be scared, just make sure your pet is microchipped for their safety and your piece of mind. Have a great week.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ August 12, 2022

Happy Fri-Yay, peeps. Welcome to this week’s addition of Nature Friday where we join the pups from Adventures of the LLB Gang for their weekly blog hop.

We try to share nature’s beauty here every Friday but there’s nothing that says we can’t share nature’s cute aspects, right? Well, this week get ready for some serious cute. Long story short, a former neighbor and friend who made a stop at a nearby farm for fresh eggs (Amanda is a professor of geography and environmental sciences) and ended by buying the farm which sat in a conservation easement within the city limits of Wheat Ridge (a nearby Denver suburb) in 2010 which continues the legacy of former owner Louise Turner, whose family was not interested in continuing to farm. Amanda Weaver took over the egg and dairy business and uses the 13 acre farm to provide community resources and educational opportunities for the community as well as her students (you can read more about Amanda and her journey to being a farmer here). Recently she mentioned in her newsletter that the farm had new baby goats and after a series of postponements, I went to the farm yesterday to see the now almost teenaged goats.

Amanda raises LaMancha dairy goats, the only breed developed in the U.S. LaMancha are noted for high milk production, relatively high butterfat content and their people loving personalities. They also are known for their distinctive  ‘gopher ears’ which are minuscule compared to other goat breeds. Gopher ears are practically nonexistent with very little or no cartilage.

LaMancha goat mama
Don’t make fun of my gopher ears that are barely see

The above pic is the surrogate mama for one of the babies (whose own mama passed away suddenly shortly following the birth of a pair of twins). Alas, one of the babies did not survive so this little cutie pie took a double loss in life but she’s making up for it with her cuteness factor running clear off the charts.

Baby goat

She’s a mix from her LaMancha mama and a Nigerian Dwarf buck. She seemed to inherit her daddy’s ears and her mama’s love of people.

While my friend was feeding the two mama’s, this little miss jumped up in my lap! I learned however that whenever you exit your seat, it is likely to be immediately occupied by another goat who will quickly jump up in your place.

Baby goat
I swear she practically purred in my lap

Gah…that face! I was completely smitten. Here’s is the other mama goat keeping an eye on me while the little one contentedly sat in my lap being petted.

Mama Goat

Her baby liked to prance around me but wasn’t interested in getting into my lap. She did however seem to enjoy delivering very soft nibbles on my hand and watchband and gave me a raspberry when I invited her over for an ear scratch.

Baby goat
Pffft-catch me if you can

These goats are so expressive and you definitely understand why they are so popular among animal lovers everywhere. LaManchas are a lot like dogs, wagging their tails to show their excitement. They reminded me of Sam’s Swiffer tail action.

Baby goat
Feed me, Seymour!

It was way too much fun watching the kids run and prance around. Just watching their energy level wore me out and they seem to resemble wind up toys going full throttle when wound up and then a brief respite while they recharged their batteries.

Baby goats

Whenever needed, that little buzz saw would slow down by rubbing the fence-almost taunting me. I had to laugh at that behavior-Elsa does the same thing every morning against my bed. I’m convinced she does it to get me up and adam.

Baby goat

While both kids are eating grain, they were both vigorous nursers. The surrogate mama will now only allow the nursing of the tiny kid when she’s in the feeding stall. The little one’s nursing made me wince.

Baby goat eating

It was the kind of morning that made me smile inside and out despite the upper 90º temps. Both kids have new homes awaiting them once they are fully weaned over the next couple of weeks and have no doubt my friend will miss these precious sweeties but she knows they’ll provide much happiness (and milk) for their new owner.

Amanda and baby goat
Not sure who’s cuter
Baby goat
This is my happy face with a goat in my lap

I hope you enjoyed seeing the cuter side of Mother Nature, especially since temperature wise, she hasn’t been cute or adorable much this summer. She did provide quite the gully washer of a storm last weekend (several motorists had to be rescued-see story and video here). Pretty wild but since then, nature turned up the broiler and will do so for the next few more days, then maybe (if we’re real lucky) a slight cool-down to the mid-to-upper 80’s next week. We’re down to 41 days until autumn’s official arrival. At this point Indian Summer will likely be a welcomed relief. While the days will remain warm, the nighttime temps will cool down. We hope.

Here’s wishing you and yours a great weekend and hope any plans you have may include some time scoping out the beautiful as well as the cute side of Mother Nature.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

One Word Wednesday ~ August 10, 2022

Sunrise
Sunrise

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ August 8, 2022

Today is International Cat Day where cats of all stripes are celebrated every August 8. Created in 2002 by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, it is a day to raise awareness for cats and learn about ways to help and protect them.

Angus the cat

So in honor of International Cat Day, the Ranch Hands thought it appropriate that I share a pic of my neph-mew, Angus, one of the most interesting cats I’ve ever known. He is one fascinating and handsome Maine Coon kitty.

Here’s your smile in honor of International Cat Day. Make it a great week.

Smiles

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ August 5, 2022

Dragon Boat FestivalWelcome to the first Friday of August. Hi-ya, Elsa here. My inbox has been flooded with requests to be this week’s  correspondent for the post.

Norman: You have an inbox?

Elsa:  Quiet, you big oaf, I was referring to my mystical inbox where I ‘feel‘ all the energy from my avid readers jonesing on my top notch, award winning reporting skills and there you go trying to harsh my mellow!

Norman: I don’t mean to harsh anything, dear sister. I’m just wondering about the veracity of your opening salvo, that’s all. But I see it’s business as usual so I’ll let you get on with it.

Elsa: FINALLY…sheesh, I let you do a couple of posts and right away you go and develop journalistic ethics. What’s this world coming to? Don’t answer that! Anywho…I’m going to do this week’s walk about nature as we join Rosy, and the gang from LLB in Our Backyard for their blog hop. Today we’re gonna check out the Colorado Dragon Races that Mom recently attended.

Norman: I heard Mum talk about it. When she said it was at Sloan’s Lake I wanted to go and see what it was all about, but with that whole water thing and the fact that it was hotter than bloody blue blazes, well I passed.

Elsa: Pfft…you passed because you’re a big baby. I mean, come on, people, food, Canadian Geese…that’s a dream outing in my books.

Norman: Perhaps, but there’s still that water thing that puts me off. Besides, you remember how we’d already taken our morning constitution at the crack of dawn and frankly, it seemed like it was going to be too far to go and it would have meant walking uphill in the heat on the way home. No thanks.

Elsa: Don’t talk about heat to me…remember I’m the one who  wears a black fur coat. With our altitude, sunny bright days are murder on me. Apart from potentially messing with my biorhythms and inducing seizures in the extreme temps…well…for me anyway, it’s just not worth chasing seeing those geese in conditions like that.

Norman: Right-o, Ninja. So…care to start this week’s post or do you plan to wax on about other unrelated trivia.

Elsa: Don’t push it, dude. I’m getting to it. Good gravy, you have a couple of guest posts under your belt and right away you’re acting like some sort of rigid taskmaster editor. Lighten up, pal.

Elsa: [continuing on] So…as I was saying…Mom went down first thing as soon as the event opened; she’s a wuss when it comes to those hot temps too. Plus she was able to avoid the crowds which she figured would be large after a two year hiatus due to COVID. She did manage to capture a few interesting photos.

Elsa: [Moving on] Let’s kind of take a look around before getting to the race, ok? As you know, Mom is always wary around those Canadian Geese; I have no idea why, Canadians are well known for their friendly disposition. But she found a couple of ‘spectators’ down by the water’s edge that she felt comfortable being around. I dunno…those beaks seem a bit sketchy to me but whatever. I think they were rooting for Mom’s favorite Dragon Boat, #4 which had a number of disabled participants which she thought was very cool. They didn’t win their heat but they had good game and were an enthusiastic bunch.

Ducks

Norman: That is outstanding, I say! I mean the part about the disabled contestants being participants. Not the water.

Dragon Boat Festival

Dragon Boat Festival

 

Elsa: I figured you would probably be afraid of those ducks just like you are of the Canadian Geese, not to mention being so close to the water’s edge.

Norman: [interrupting] I beg your pardon. For the record, I. AM. NOT. AFRAID. OF. GEESE. Canadian or otherwise. Some of my best friends are Canadian.

Elsa: [snickering] Yeah, right. We all know otherwise but by all means, make yourself feel better.

Norman: [sounding miffed] You keep making it sound like I’m some sort of coward but we both know how I always come to your defense especially whenever we meet that insane fence barking dog down the street.

Elsa: Oh yeah, I do recall you ripping Mom’s shoulder out to defend me. Ok, well, I’ve got a post to finish, so let’s move on, okay. Mom has attended the Dragon Boat Festival before but you can see her last post here  for more details.

Elsa: [continuing] There was lots of entertainment celebrating Asian Pacific Islander culture. She stopped by to check out the first dance performers. It was beautiful and they performed flawlessly.

Dragon Boat Festival

Elsa: There was the main pavillon area with all manner of food booths and tchotchkes for sale. There was even a row of food trucks and an ATM machine at an entrance. Looks like the organizers thought of everything to make it easy to spend money enjoy just about anything.

Dragon Boat Festival

Elsa: There always seems to be quite a diverse batch of attendees. Mom is always on the lookout for the most unusual, or most handsome attendees. She even found one dandy of a Dane for me {swoon}. Talk about handsome!

Dragon Boat Festival

Dragon Boat Festival

Norman: That was one big fella and he had the best manners but I’d rush to your defense if he acted up around you.

Elsa: Yeah, right. You know perfectly well, I can hold my own around anyone. I was more than ready to take on the raccoons we encountered just before returning from this morning’s walk. As I recall you were kind of “meh…no big deal.”

Norman: I didn’t see any upside of engaging with them and besides, I really couldn’t understand what the mama raccoon was chittering about after she shooed her two babies down the storm sewer.

Raccoon

Elsa: [giggling hysterically] Your denials are laughable. I was more than ready to take her on. ‘Mama o mama’ style.

Norman:  [eyes rolling] Which is exactly why Mum moved us along to avoid a confrontation. Afterall, neither of us need expose ourselves to a potential case of rabies. [shudder]

Elsa: Good point. Well it made for an interesting conclusion to the end of our morning walk. I hope you got a flavor of the Dragon Boat Festival and enjoyed seeing something a little unusual from our ‘Hood.

Dragon Boat Festival

Elsa: Got any big plans for this first weekend of August? The countdown towards autumn’s arrival seems to be moving along-48 days by my count. And not a day too soon. These relentlessly hot days have overstayed their welcome this summer, don’t you think?

Norman: Amen, Ninja. We both hope you have a splendid weekend and find something interesting to see in Mother Nature’s realm. Stay cool.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Wordless Wednesday ~ August 3, 2022

Signs

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Mile High Monday Musings

ColoradoHappy 146th birthday to the State of Colorado. On this date in history, Colorado became the 38th state after previously being a territory from 1861. Designed by architect Elijah E. Myers, construction on the state capitol began in the 1890’s and opened to the public in November 1894 in a style reminiscent of the US capitol building using Colorado white granite and topped with a gold-coated dome. The dome is covered in copper panels and gilded with gold leaf from a Colorado mine and was added in 1908 to commemorate Colorado’s Gold Rush. A fresh application of 65 ounces of .999 pure Colorado mined gold was reapplied a few years ago. Sparkling in the Rocky Mountain sun, the dome now commemorates modern day settlers arriving for a different kind of rush…the flourishing marijuana industry and a robust state economy as thousands move to the state every year. According to the 2020 census, there are now over 5.685 million people in Colorado.

Historical Information

Capitol

The interior of the capitol has what is believed to be the entire known supply of Colorado Rose Onyx, a rare rose marble mined from a quarry near Beulah, in southern Colorado. White Yule Marble from quarries near Marble, Colorado, was also used throughout the building for the floors.

Located in a downtown park designated as a national historic landmark, the capitol is situated slightly higher than the rest of downtown Denver. At 180 feet (55 m) tall, the entrance hall is open to the top of the dome, about the height of an 18-story building. Referred to as the Mile High City, the official elevation for Denver was marked on the outside West steps, where the 15th step is engraved with the words “One Mile Above Sea Level” at 5,280 feet (1,609m). A subsequent measurement taken in 1969 by Colorado State University students marked the 18th step as being the mile high marker. A more recent and accurate measurement taken in 2003, now identifies the 13th step as being at the one mile (1.6km) high mark.IMG_1142

Happy Birthday, Colorado. For an old broad, you’re looking good.

And now for today’s smile which isn’t nearly as funny when you’re in the middle of the queue.

Smiles

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ July 29, 2022

Lavender FestivalIt’s Friday and that means it’s time to join our pals Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard for this week’s Nature Friday. Today is the last Friday in July and we’re pretty chuffed about it since it puts us that much closer to the arrival of autumn…which is just 55 days away for anyone keeping track.

Hello fellow nature lovers, Norman here to wrap up Part 2 of the Lavender Festival that Mum attended recently. The Ninja agreed to let me finish up this week’s nature walk. {Whispering softly} Elsa’s in the other room so hopefully we’ll avoid any peanut gallery comments while I wrap this up.

Elsa (voice coming from Mom’s studio): Not so fast, dog breath. My uber sensitive, world renowned hearing is primed for anything stupid you may say, so just know I’m only a micro decibel away from stepping in if need be.

Norman: [Sigh…muttering under his breath…”and to think I was “this close” to pulling it off without being badgered”]. Replying: “Fine…snoopervise all you like but I think you’ll agree I’ve got this well in hand and am well prepared to share Mum’s photos.”

Elsa: Time will tell you, bloviating bag of fur. Just remember…I’m. Watching Listening.

Norman: {Panting with just a tinge of stress} Moving along now, let’s check out a few of the critters Mum encountered while touring the farm at Denver Botanical Gardens, Chatfield location. Click on this link for more info about the Hildebrand historic farm and surrounding trails and plant refuge at Chatfield. Last week, I shared the pic of the ‘Elvis Duck’ (otherwise known as a Crested Duck who was graciously identified by our friend Ingrid from Meezer’s Mews and Terrieristrical Woofs). This week I have a few more ani-pals to share. Mum saw a few goats and chickens along with Elvis. There were a couple who seemed rather plump, like This one who was content to lay in the hay trough while catching some sunshine as loads of young uprights squealed with delight at its antics. You may recall it was pretty hot that day so none of the animals were expending a lot of energy moving around. Looks like had she managed to lose her ear tag.

Critters
Mum thinks these goats are Anglo-Nubian variety 

Critters

Norman: Oh my…I daresay this gal is NOT plump…she’s pregnant. Carrying around another goat inside you on a hot sunny day, has to rank fairly high on the ‘miserable aspects of summer’ list.

Elsa [heckling from the studio]:  She’s almost as fat as you, Bucko!

Norman [continuing]: Ahem…as I was saying before being rudely interrupted…Elsa [now yelling]: You want interrupted, pal?!  I’ll show you interrupted. Hrumpf! Sheesh, you try to give a guy a break to get into media and what does he do…takes your awesome mentorship for granted.

Norman: [ignoring the background grumbling from the studio] As I was about to say, one of the reasons Mum likes to go to the Chatfield location is she always learns something new. There was a demonstration table set up with various plants used to dye fabric. Makes you eye naturally dyed fabric knowing that some remarkable plant created that gorgeous shade of blue, yellow or orange somewhat differently, doesn’t it? All of these jars of dried flowers contained flowers that were used to dye the pieces of silk on which they were displayed. Mum wished she would have seen the entire presentation.

Indigo

Marigold

Cosmos

Madder Root

Dyer's Coreopsis

While wandering about the grounds, Mum came across this pretty specimen that seemed deliberately planted. At first she thought it was some sort of yarrow (which is also used as a natural fabric dye), but later discovered it was in fact, Wild Carrot plant. It’s still pretty and I’d definitely check it out closely for its scent, given a chance.
FlowersElsa [from Mom’s studio]: Of course you would…you NEVER miss a chance to sniff or water ANY plants. You’re probably the main reason why they don’t let us good dogs accompany their parents to the botanical gardens.

Norman: For the record dear sister, service animals ARE allowed at the botanical gardens.

Elsa [from the studio]: Oh sure, insert facts here while I’m trying to make a point.

Norman:  [Getting back on task…] Often referred to as Queen Anne’s Lace or Bird’s Nest plants, Wild Carrot is edible but best avoided since it closely resembles hemlock and you definitely wouldn’t want to risk confusing the two. Besides, it’s considered an invasive weed in many areas.

Norman: Here’s a colorful chicken Mum found in the Elvis’ enclosure. The image doesn’t do it justice-just look at that colorful chest plumage.

Chicken

Norman: One of the best things Mum saw non-lavender related, was she realized that the Stickworks exhibit is still standing. For more photos and background info about it back when the exhibit opened, check here. Her only regret was not being able to check it out more thoroughly because there were too many people and it was too hot to wait until it cleared. It’s held up rather nicely in the three years since it first opened to the public.

Stickworks

Norman: Well that’s it for me and the Lavender Festival. I’m fairly certain next year, Mum will avoid the festival and go see the lavender and other plants days before to avoid the crush of crowds. Have any plans for the weekend? I’m just planning on recuperating after seeing gobs of people this week at Lutheran. My goodness, had no idea I was so popular!. One staff person was so excited to see me, she gave me a small stuffed teddy for all my pet therapy work.

Norman

Elsa: Yeah, I saw the pics of you carrying it around. Do you realize how stupid you looked?

Norman: I’ll have you know I was most dignified. But how wonderful was it that she gave me a new toy (although it’s not like I don’t have enough toys in the overflowing basket but it meant the world to me all the same).

Norman

Elsa: You are so gullible-she probably was trying to bribe you to get you to leave early.

Norman: Not likely, sister…I’ll have you know I have a big fan club and enjoy spending time with them all.

Elsa: Whatever gets you through the day. I was able to nap in complete bliss without the presence of a certain hairy beast.

Norman: I hope you enjoyed this year’s lavender festival and are able to get outside this weekend and enjoy Mother Nature.

Elsa: Speak for yourself, dude. I plan on chill-axin on the sofa…unless the new raccoons who moved in the ‘Hood show up. Then all bets are off. Ditto, if any bunnies are around.

Norman [rolling eyes]: Whatever you do, do it safely, stay hydrated and enjoy Mother Nature. Hope to see you again soon.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ July 25, 2022

Monday Musings

Norman will be visiting patients and staff this week at Lutheran and we’re hoping to be part of this kind of  ‘temporary exchange program.’  Can’t help but wonder how many laps he’ll cheer up this week. Here’s wishing you a wonderful Monday and a totally ‘pawsome’ week.

Live, love, bark! 🐾