Monday Musings ~ October 3, 2022

Is it really Monday…again? Mom said I could do today’s post. Elsa here. I’ve been using this Field Guide for my early morning walks which ‘pawfectly’ shows the Wild Kingdom of critters in my world. Norman only seems vaguely interested in the grumpy or bouncy squirrels. I on the other hand, am all in on every squirrel category. It’s what us Ninjas do.

Squirrels

We hope you have a terrific week and manage to avoid any of the ‘danger squirrels’ on your hunts. I’d also avoid the spicy ones too. Blech. Besides, it’s likely better for your digestion any way.

Hunting

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ September 30, 2022

Well, will you lookie here…it’s Friday and that means we’re joining our ‘fur-iends’ from Adventures of the LLB Gang for this week’s edition of Nature Friday. Don’t forget to click on the link to see what others shared.

Autumn is unfolding each and every day with a new scene in the 303 and we managed to find all sorts of signs of it this week on our walkabouts. This week’s offering is somewhat of a catch-as-catch can, with some unusual sightings from around the ‘Hood. First off, as Norman and I arrived at the hospital we came across something unlike anything I’d ever seen before. Like most hospital parking lots, there are a few trees placed around the parking lot. One of the trees along the far perimeter has been on a downward spiral for at least the past year. This past spring it appeared this poor wretched tree looked like it had finally given up the ghost. I always feel badly whenever I see that a tree that has died but I wasn’t prepared for what I saw. Well I’m not sure what it’ll mean in the grand scheme of life but this scrappy little tree started blooming like it was April. Weirdest thing I’ve ever seen. I had to go back after passing it to get a closer look to see if those were actually blooms among the skant few leaves. Sorry about the blur, I was so blown away, I didn’t get the camera to focus as well as I should have.

Tree

When we’re out walking the neighborhood, I like to keep my eyes open for interesting things and that sure seems to fit the bill but it wasn’t the only unusual thing we saw this week. Wisteria is ever so lovely in the spring, but in late summer it can produce bean-like pods. I’d never noticed them in past years, but it sure caught my eye this week. Kinda weird, huh? Given that Halloween is just a month away, it kind of reminded me of a scene from the Bodysnatchers.

Flowers

Last weekend was the end of the season for most of the Farmers Markets in the metro area. A friend and I went to the one in Old Towne Arvada and apart from the typical booths with handmade craft items as well as fresh produce, various flowers caught my attention while we walked around and took in a picture perfect day. Just check out this pretty strawflower and coleus.

Flowers

With autumn’s arrival, a few mushrooms have begun to pop up. When I saw them on this slight grassy incline, they remind me of an air filter on a car. More weird things around the ‘Hood.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms

Changing leaves is a sure sign of autumn and the Virginia creeper always delivers. The reds are always eye catching.

Flowers

Lastly are a couple a pollinators we saw in the yard. The dogs paid no attention but I kept following the Hummingbird Hawk moth through the Plumbago. They tend to be fairly elusive buggers…big but very flighty.

Pollinators

And finally, as I was working in the garden tidying up a few areas, I came across the fattest bumblebee I’ve seen in a long time. This guy had been apparently working very hard as he was carrying large bags of pollen on his body though you can’t see them from this vantage point.

Pollinators

One of the true signs that autumn has arrived is when a neighbor’s begins his annual display of ‘skellies.’ Every morning when we walk past this house, the guy has arranged them differently. I laugh out loud every morning. The guys on the roof especially crack me up.

Halloween

So all and all, it was an interesting first full week of Autumn. How was yours? Find any interesting things? We hope you have a fantastic weekend. We’re sending loads of thoughts and prayers to all those affected by monster hurricane Ian and pray for all those in this path.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ September 26, 2022

Hard to believe it’s Monday again, where do the weekends go?  After being freshly fluffed and buffed, having taken a good nap after his bath, Dogtor Norman is ready to make his rounds at Lutheran over the next couple of days.

It may be Monday but that doesn’t mean the week shouldn’t start out with a smile. Here’s hoping your week has more than enough antidepressants.

Monday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ September 23, 2022

Welcome to the first edition of Autumn 2022 where we’re joining those cute hosts from Adventures of the LLB Gang. Don’t forget to click on the link to see what others around Blogville posted for this blog hop.

Yesterday was the official arrival of Autumn, our favorite season and it’s already started to show up in small slices around the 303. A couple of days of some very welcome rain this week probably helped the process though small spots of leaves starting to turn have been noticed for the past several days.

Taking another trip down to Sloan’s Lake, let’s see what Nature served up for us this week, shall we?

As I entered the park, the honey locusts trees practically shouted with spots of yellow brilliance. They are one of the first trees to show signs of the changing seasons and their honey gold leaves appearing in a few spots called out to me.

Changing leaves

Autumn is the season of transition from summer to winter in the Northern Hemisphere and marks shorter days, cooler temperatures and a change in leaf color as deciduous trees begin their annual leaf shedding.

Trees

Like pots of paint from an artist’s pallet, spots of color show up each day while wildlife prepares for the upcoming season of change as well. Squirrels seem to gather more (i.e. they seemingly become more brazen about their garden raids). This little guy was determined to photobomb my golden moment by barking his self-righteous displeasure at me as I walked around the tree attempting to find the best angle.

Squirrels weren’t the only critters spotted in the park. Different kinds of birds cruised by searching for whatever they nosh upon.

Birds

Some just rested in the morning hours, waiting for their opportunity to rifle through trash bins once the morning visits went about their days. These guys refused to yield their space even as I moved closer. Clearly they didn’t view me as any threat.

Gulls

These ducks demonstrated the adage, ‘any ole port in a storm’ will suffice as I walked near the shoreline, although they kept one eye always open and focused on whether I made any sudden moves toward them.

Ducks

Nature is marvelous as it transitions into another season. Crab apple trees produce hips for the local critters to stock up on. The supply chain seems fairly robust around the lake.

Trees

Sharing the bounty of the summer, trees also produces some interesting seed pods. No clue as to what this tree is, but found the seed pods fascinating as well as colorful. It was like seeing fireworks, without the noise.

Trees

Colorado is well known for its quaking aspen’s brilliant gold shimmering in a blue sky but there are some elements of red and orange to be found that dominate the season in the Midwest and eastern states. This holly along the sidewalk hellstrip beaconed me to inspect it more closely. The shock of color provides us uprights with a beautiful scene while producing fruit for birds and other critters.

Holly leaves

This tree just can’t seem to commit to one color, with a few yellow and orange leaves as well as a canopy of red ones.

Changing leaves

This milkweed caught my eye providing quite a curious show with it’s cottony seed pods. Those seeds should provide new plants for butterfly meals next summer.

Milkweed

While Autumn officially arrived this week, the Ranch Hands and I expect to enjoy some Indian Summer weather this weekend and hope for a visit to checkout the changing aspens in the high elevations. What plans do you have for the first weekend of Autumn? Whatever you do, we hope there’s some exploring the gorgeous pallet that Nature shares this time of year.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Norman Wins An Award ~ 2022

Happy first day of Autumn, everyone!

For the second Thursday in a row, we’re sharing a post to welcome our favorite season as well as sharing highlights from a couple of events the Ranch in-house pet therapist participated in recently.

First, the Annual Pet Therapy Awards program was held last Friday (following a 2 year COVID hiatus) and then Norman joined a few other pet therapists at a nearby event, “Bark In The Park” in Arvada on Saturday. Participation in events like this to help showcase our program and demonstrate how volunteers and their pets make a positive impact in our community.

This year’s awards get together was a delightful surprise since I didn’t think we’d qualify for any recognition. Norman has only been a member of the hospital’s pet therapy program since last June yet our hero managed to qualify by having more than 20 visits during the year. Even though our program has diminished in size, it is still full of spirited and loving pet therapists and their owners. Here are a few pics from the event.

Norman
I’d like to thank my Mum, my agent, my Ninja sister, Lutheran, all my fur-pals in the program… [cue the “get off the stage now” exit music]
Before the presentation, the early birds were rapt with attention and enthusiasm with fellow teammate Janet’s seemingly endless supply of treats which she cheerfully doled out to the piglets good dogs. I think I need to bring a replacement bag of treats to her for all the ones the biggest piglet ate.

Here’s the majority of the dogs in attendance. There were a couple who are part of the program but who did not attend. It can be somewhat overwhelming and some excellent therapy dogs prefer quieter event rather than a conference room filled with lots of high energy, amped up pooches.

Pet Therapy

It’s always hilarious trying to get everyone to stay in place long enough to get a group photo. One notable missing pup, Norman’s Corgi pal Zoe, had her photo taken separately with her mom, Amy who was this year’s organizer for the event. Isn’t she just too adorable? Just look at that cute face!Corgi

Corgi
Zoe’s award ceremony bogarted by a certain sheepdog who was making sure the name was spelled correctly

For some reason, Norman seem to make it his mission to photobomb several of the presentations. Truthfully, there are enough outtake pics, that would merit their own separate post  {#oh that dog}.

Norman made sure the award was suitable for sweet Riley, an enthusiastic and sweet Golden Retriever. For the life of me, I could not keep this big oaf from getting his big fat head in nearly all the frames. I’ve never been so embarrassed by this ox-maybe Elsa has it right when she rants about his bigger than life presence around the Ranch.

Riley

At Saturday’s “Bark In The Park” event, our pet therapy program set up a booth to educate the public about our pet therapy program and to potentially recruit new members to join our team. It was a good event which also benefited the Arvada public dog park. Proceeds from the event will be used to spruce up the park and perform much needed maintenance work over the last two weeks of September so dogs and their suburban owners can continue to enjoy the large wide open space.

As you can see, personable Norman who doesn’t know a stranger, made friends with the folks in the booth next to Lutheran’s. PetWell Clinic is opening a new location for affordable and convenient walk-in vet care in the Sloan’s Lake area in November. Vet tech, Christina graciously appeared with Norman and we chatted about their expansion. We are excited about visiting them once the space opens.

Bark in the Park

All in all it was a super filled weekend but one that was super fulfilling for me and Norman. This boy is such a sport when it comes to events like these. He definitely deserved a few rejuvenating naps following both events.

Norman

Have a great autumn!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Wish I Were There ~ September 21, 2022

Germany
Aachen, Germany

After dreaming of being back in Aachen, I’m smiling because it’s Happy Earth, Wind & Fire Day. Do you Remember the 21st day of September? Groove on, peeps.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ September 19, 2022

When I asked Norman if he realized he was leaving dog hair on the sofa, he blithely replied, “well isn’t that why it’s called fur-niture?”

Wishing you a pawsome Monday.

Because of all the hubbub getting ready for the pet therapy award ceremony last Friday and Norman’s subsequent ‘pawticipation’ at a hospital-sponsored event called Bark in the Park, we completely forgot that Friday was the Ninja’s 6th Gotcha Day (you can read her story here). I know, bad dog mommy. Soooo sorry Elsa, I hope all the one-on-one time spent over the weekend and the extra fish skin treats helped make up for my bad. Love you to the moon and back, Ninja❣️

Gotcha Day
I am not amused.

Hope you don’t forget anything important this week. Everyone at the Ranch sends you their best wishes for a totally ‘wagnificent’ Monday.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ September 16, 2022

Well, well, well…looky here…we managed to reach Friday without hurting anyone or anything so now it’s time to join our pals over at Adventures of the LLB Gang for their weekly blog hop where folks share some slices of nature. Make sure you check out the link of all those who participate.

Hopefully (and without jinxing myself), dare I say it feels like we’re in what’s known as Indian Summer around these parts. With just a mere 6 days until the official arrival of autumn, the temps have moderated and to those of you who think I complain focus too much on the extreme high and low ends of the thermometer, am happy to provide a Goldilocks approach this week and say things have been just right. Warm days and cool nights. And not having to run the AC all day long makes for good sinus health. A real win-win.

A recent walk to Sloan’s Lake rewarded me with a few interesting pics. The morning threatened to shower, but only managed to provide some great clouds and reflections over the lake. This is a slightly different view that I normally share-near the park bathrooms and maintenance building and where the Dragon Boat races bivouac. The ducks take advantage of this spot frequently.

Sloan's Lake

One thing I noticed as I meandered around the lake is one area in particular is closed off so the grass can be restored. Notice the winged “Gen Z’ers” that once again demonstrate the rules don’t seem to apply to them just liked their human counterparts.

Sloan's Lake

One thing we’ve noticed walking around gardens of the ‘Hood are the ripening squash and pumpkins. Just in time for that favorite season of many consumers, ‘pumpkin spice’ fill-in-the-blank.

Pumpkin

Pollinators are quite busy doing their thing in anticipation of the end of the summer season. This is a community garden I often walk past and it’s chock-full of fresh produce.

Bees in the garden

Sunflowers are blooming and spreading happiness before the first frost. I’m particularly mesmerized by these bronze varieties along the ubiquitous tiny strip between street and sidewalk. The perfect autumnal colors, wouldn’t you say?

Flowers

Outdoor decor is reflecting the upcoming season as well. Porches are beginning to display buckets of pumpkins and gourds as well as another autumn favorite, that member of the aster family known as Chrysanthemums.

Pumpkins

Flowers

It’s going to be another lovely weekend and Norman and I will be doing some pet therapy events and hopefully all three of us will get a chance to see some more of the fabulous offerings of Indian Summer. Anything special scheduled for your weekend? Whatever you do, we hope you are able to get out and enjoy this special time of year where the light is magic and golden.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Thankful Thursday ~ September 15, 2022

Surprise, it’s me…and yes, I realize it’s Thursday and not my usual Wednesday post but the world seemed to conspire against me yesterday while I was trying to install a new computer and it ended up taking 7 hours getting it remotely configured. By the time I managed to smooth out the numerous wrinkles migrating the old data onto the new hardware, it seemed silly to post anything late in the afternoon…so voilà…it magically transformed into a Thankful Thursday post instead of a “Wordless Wednesday, ” i.e. “Wish I Were There”  post. But trust me, I’m ever so grateful I didn’t fling the doggone thing out the window before figuring out how to get anything posted again. And I’m exceedingly grateful no people or pets were harmed in the agonizing process and I still have a head full of hair (thought there was a short period of time where I thought I might need to wear a wig for a while). At any rate, here’s hoping you enjoy no matter what day it is.

Italy
High Tide, Venice

Live, love, bark!  🐾

Monday Musings ~ September 12, 2022

Ahhh, the power of suggestion. Hopefully our suggestion’ to make it a great Monday, will be just as effective.

Monday

Live, love, bark! 🐾