Nature Friday ~ December 3, 2021

Nature FridayWelcome 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 nature moment is a bit of a travelogue from last week’s Thanksgiving festivities from my trip with my Dad and brother to see family in the Lone Star state. It was so special seeing everyone after losing mom earlier in the year. One moment however did dampen the holiday when we ‘encountered‘ a deer at dusk in rural Texas. Other than the deer, the only other casualty was Dad’s car but we were thankfully, unscathed (other than frazzled nerves). Getting there was quite the adventure with miles and miles of wide open spaces that were particularly stunning for this here city-slicker.

With miles of driving, taking hours and hours to reach our destination just outside Austin, our route took us through the northern part of New Mexico’s quiet plains. Vistas with plateaus in the distance and flat-to-rolling plains along the highway showed a “Dances With Wolves” landscape. Wide open and unblemished save for the occasional fence post. It made me wonder what was being corralled for no antelope, deer or cattle were spotted as we drove through.

NM

Apart from wide open spaces, miles and miles of cotton fields were encountered once we reached the Panhandle. It was beyond anything I’d ever seen before. Fields of white fluff as far as the eye could see.

Cotton fields
Image courtesy of Flicker, Northwest Texas

Getting to Texas is a long, challenging drive. My first shift behind the wheel was 5 hours long and yet there was still so much farther to go. After my brother hit the deer and made a turn in the wrong direction, we ended up spending the night in Abilene. We arrived at my sister’s the next day.

Pecan

Reaching my sister’s took us through pecan country. These beautiful trees can be seen from roadsides as well as directly in my sister’s neighborhood. The pecan tree, like the fruit of other members of the hickory genus, is not truly a nut, it’s technically a drupe meaning fruit with a single stone/pit,  surrounded by a husk produced from the exocarp tissue of the flower (the internal structure of the fruit, i.e. its ovaries). The  nut develops from that structure and contains the seed. My sister said they are a ‘messy tree,’ having spent days and days raking up leaves and hulls before we arrived. I was captivated by the large, wide canopy on these trees.

Pecan

In addition to pecans, live oaks (which don’t lose their leaves) were abundant. This one was full of  acorns and filled my head with visions of clever craft projects.

Oak tree

The landscape was not all drab, with this colorful beauty gracing the pool area. “Duranta repens” (a part of the verbena family native from Mexico to South America and the Caribbean) is a flowering ornamental shrub. It’s apparently considered an invasive weed in some areas of Australia but is very striking.

Flowers

Despite warm temps (warm by Colorado standards), Thanksgiving Day was deemed ‘chilly’ in that it only reached the upper 50’s for our traditional family game of football following the tasty meal. There was a brisk wind which, coupled with humidity, made it seem cooler than the numbers might suggest. It struck me how relative perspective played out with each of our interpretations of ‘chilly.’

My canine buddy during the visit was sweet little Miley who decided I was a good auntie and kept me from missing Norman and Elsa too much. A pocket full of tasty treats and belly rubs go a long way.

Miley

Our return trip was uneventful and we powered through 13 1/2 hours of driving in one felled swoop. A long drive buoyed by great memories of a family who enjoys celebrating holidays with one another no matter what the cost. Hopefully we can make another trip down there without time restrictions and really enjoy some of the amazing slices of nature along the way.

Now that we’re in December and many of us are preparing for the next holiday, we hope you’ll be able to sandwich in some time during these hectic days enjoying a quiet moment of pleasure experiencing nature at its best. Have a great weekend!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Wordless Wednesday ~ December 1, 2021

Sunset

Live, love, bark!  🐾

Monday Musings ~ November 29, 2021

Happy Monday, peeps. Hopefully our U.S. readers have recovered from any food comas and everyone else had  ‘furbulous’ adventures over the weekend. We’re back from our travels and are ready to resume our regular routine. [Free translation = insanity since the end of the year seems to be well-packed with loads of activities and commitments].

Norman is clean as a whistle and ready for new adventures at hospital. He’s prepared to bring lots of smiles to nurses and patients. Over the weekend on our walk, he couldn’t help but wonder why a few people didn’t stop to receive his special kind of therapy.

Monday

Here’s wishing your last Monday this month is a good one and as you enter December, you are set to enjoy this wondrous time of year. For our Jewish friends, we send you our very best Chanukah wishes. Whichever holiday season you celebrate, make it great.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ November 22, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving week! We want to take this opportunity to wish you a wonderful holiday and to let you all know how grateful we are that you continue to stop by our little acre on the ‘Net. Your caring support over the years underscores just how truly amazing this community is.

We hope your Thursday forecast is filled with abundant  blessings. May your day be spent in the company of those most dear to you. In the words of the Roman statesman, Cicero, “A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.”

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is more than just about festivities; it gives us time to reflect on lessons we’ve learned and how we can share more joy. At this time of year, as we look back at all the memories, people and their good pets who have come into our lives, we want you to know how much we appreciate you all. Happy Thanksgiving Day to you and your loved ones. And because it’s Monday, we offer the following little holiday poem.

We hope your stuffing is tasty, your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious, while the desserts take the prize.
And may your Thanksgiving dinner stay off your thighs. 🦃

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ November 19, 2021

Nature FridayWelcome to the Nature Friday blog hop where we join our pals, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard. Don’t forget to click on the link to  see what others have shared.

Well it finally happened, the leaves have been wrested away from trees that have been hanging on  (yeah, I’m talking about you, Mr. Passive Aggressive Catalpa). Bags, bags and more bags have been raked up and carted off to the city’s composting station at Sloans Lake…so now what? It’s November and although temps are still pretty mild, with no leaves on trees to check out, let’s just say the month of November can be pretty dull and boring. Could that be why there’ve been some pretty colorful sunsets?

After Wednesday’s post showing off the Oregon coastline at sunset, you probably think I’m a bit obsessed with sunsets. And you’d probably be right (though truth be told I enjoy a beautiful sunrise every bit as much). The sunsets have been pretty amazing lately (despite the fact that my urban sunsets unfortunately include power lines with no rugged coastline). This one started early on and it only got better.

Sunset

This week I’ve been charmed with Nick Offerman’s latest book, “Where the Deer and the Antelope Play (wherein he waxes on philosophically about Mother Nature) and on one evening, I looked up to see why the living room was so brightly lit up by orange light. Getting up from my comfy reading spot and disturbing a couple of furry snugglers, I went outside to see a brilliant sunset highlighting stately evergreen trees across the street.

Sunset

It was as if a wildfire was burning close by (which sadly there is-the Kruger Rock wildfire near Estes Park, where a fire fighting tanker plane crashed, killing the pilot). It’s so hard to comprehend that we’re still in the midst of wildfire season. In November!

The evening skies have been exceptionally vivid lately. I guess if you’re November, you’ll do just about anything to make yourself look good now that autumn leaves are history.

With this being the last weekend before the Thanksgiving Day holiday, do you have any special plans? Whatever you decide to do, we hope your sunsets are spectacular and that you’re able to enjoy some time outdoors appreciating Mother Nature’s evening light show.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nearly Wordless Wednesday ~ November 17, 2021

Sunset

I never tire of seeing sunsets on the Oregon coastline.

Live, love, bark!  🐾

Monday Musings ~ November 15, 2021

Squirrels

Came across this chap on my walk who refused to move for fear of losing his prized meal. Maybe squirrel Thanksgiving is this week? Anyway, he kept giving  me the stink eye the whole time I positioned myself around the tree limbs to try to capture his pic. He must have thought it was rude to stare while he was noshing.

Here’s hoping your week is stink-eyed free with tasty treats galore. Are you ready for Thanksgiving?

Live, love, bark!🐾

Nature Friday ~ November 12, 2021

Nature Friday

Welcome to the  Friday edition for this week’s  Nature Friday blog hop as we join our pals, Rosy, Sunny, Arty and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard. Click on the link to  see what others are sharing.

It would appear that Mother Nature is fighting with herself. One faction (pending winter) has dropped temperatures and  foisted a few nights of light frosts while amping up windy conditions during the day. It’s been very blustery most of this week forcing residents to rake leaves repeatedly. One of the few remaining Halloween decorations even seemed to be complaining of its aching back.

Leaves

On the other hand, the summer faction of Nature has been hanging on for dear life. And it seems to be doing a pretty doggone good job at it.

We’ve been monitoring landscapes around our neighborhood and have been pretty amazed at the number of flowers still in bloom. For instance…when was the last time you saw tender morning glories blooming in the middle of November?

Flowers

Yesterday Norman discovered a fairly robust California poppy growing out of a retaining wall.

Flowers

Just a few houses away from the California poppy, a very vigorous lavender plant bloomed amongst fallen leaves. In November! I can safely state I have. never. seen. lavender. blooming in November. The scent was every bit as intoxicating as it would be in June.

Flowers

As we meandered around our daily route, we encountered a rose in the midst of dry conditions with a fallen leaf hung up in the fence. It seemed like the perfect juxtaposition for Nature’s ongoing battle while it figure out which way it’s going.

Flowers

Potted plants continue to provide color like it’s July and even my potted cherry tomato is still setting fruit and making  dailey contributions for nightly tasty salads.

Flowers

What in the world is going on with Mother Nature?! We sure have no idea but will lounge about enjoy watching sunflowers bloom and the solar fountain do its thing this weekend while it lasts. Our weekend forecast calls for sunny conditions with temps in the upper 60’sF. Perfect weather for leaf raking.

Norman & Elsa Fountain

Is Nature slugging it out in your ‘Hood and will you do anything special to enjoy it this weekend?

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Veterans/Remembrance Day ~ 2021

Veterans DayToday the U.S., Canada and Europe mark the anniversary of the end of World War I where major hostilities formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, and the Armistice with Germany went into effect. Historically speaking, this holiday was signed into law in the U.S. by President Dwight Eisenhower on May 26, 1954 honoring all veterans who served in the Armed Forces. Europe celebrates today as Remembrance Day or Armistice Day.  When major U.S. veteran organizations urged renaming the day to “Veterans Day,” Congress amended the bill on June 1, 1954, replacing “Armistice” with “Veterans,” and has been known as Veterans Day ever since. (BTW the attributive case as opposed to the possessive is the officially correct spelling “because it is not a day that ‘belongs’ to veterans, but rather a day to honor all veterans). For Grammarians, using the apostrophe is however grammatically appropriate.

Today we honor and celebrate the service of all U.S. military veterans, while May’s Memorial Day honors those who died while in military service.

Norman

And because she’s a little pill and absolutely refused to participate in a joint photo session with Norman, the Ninja posed separately. #ohthatdog!

Elsa

Nevertheless, both Ranch hands and I tip our hats to all veterans who have served their country.

Live, love, bark!🐾

 

Wish I Was There Wednesday ~ November 10, 2021

Germany

Live, love bark! 🐾