Nearly Wordless Wednesday ~ June 24, 2020

Wordless Wednesday

Morning walks are always interesting around the Ranch.

Live, love, bark!  🐾

Monday Musings ~ June 22, 2020

Monday

We hope you enjoyed your weekend but can’t help but wonder if Mondays are really necessary?

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ June 19, 2020

It’s Friday, June 19th (known as Juneteenth in the US or Emancipation Day) and the Ranch hands are here to share scenes from our garden with our hosts and friends, Rosy & her brothers for this week’s edition of Nature Friday. Be sure to click on the link to see what’s been going on elsewhere in Blogville.

Norman: Hello mates, since we’re the sniffers around the Ranch, we only thought it fair to share some of what we sniffed out.

Elsa: Ahem…not so fast dog breath…I searched out some of these things too. You probably pee on more things than you actually sniff.

Norman: I say dear sister, that’s rather rude unkind of you. I beg your pardon, I must protest by saying I do my fair share of sniffing. Remember it was me that found those sunflowers that are popping up all over.

Elsa: After which you promptly ‘watered’ them.

Norman: There, there now…let’s not go there. First off, in the purple category, mum’s clematis is in bloom. And what a beauty it is!

Flowers

Elsa: Yes, it is rather nice but hope those are real water droplets!

Norman: Oh course, it is. I. know. the. rule: “no ‘watering’ of flowers in the garden.”

Elsa: Yeah, but you do tend to break that rule. I thought I heard mom say just yesterday to not pee on the peonies.

Norman: Huh, erm…what? I don’t recall her saying any such thing! And frankly I’m a bit cheesed off that you think I’d deliberately break the rules.

Elsa: Whatever dude. I sniffed out some Hemerocallis, known as Stella D’Oro lilies. These babies re-bloom…did you know that?

Flowers

Norman: My goodness, I rather think those are quite smashing! They’re not far from a tree which grows in our garden that I’d never seen before. Mum says it’s a Catalpa tree and they grow quite large. With their large heart shaped leaves, they’ve begun to bloom now. These trees grow quite tall reaching 40-60 ft. (12-18 metres) and grow relatively quickly. The flowers appear in broad panicles in early summer while ‘fruit’ appears in late summer or autumn. Known as siliques these pod-like beans grow to approximately 20–50 centimetres (8–20 in) long and are full of small flat seeds. These trees provide good shelter from rain and wind, making them an attractive habitat for many species of birds. They do not present many threats of falling limbs (despite having soft wood), but the dark-brown ‘fruit’ husks that drop in late summer tend to be a bit of a nuisance.

Flowers
Catalpa flowers
Trees
Leaves and pods

Elsa: I notice you check it out every day when we head out for our walks.

Norman: I’m just reading the canine bulletin board. Please note I myself, have never watered it.

Elsa: Yet. Why don’t you show everyone the sunflowers that are popping up all over the garden.

Norman: Right…this one just popped up a couple of days ago. I guess they like the sunny, hot weather we’ve been having. Rather cheery flowers, wouldn’t you say?

Flowers

Elsa: I suppose so. You’re the flower sniffer, I just sniff for grass spots to do face rubs/rolls in.

Norman: Ah yes, sister, you do tend to find strange spots in which to roll. Not sure what that’s all about. Care to share?

Elsa: Nah, if I have to explain you wouldn’t understand it.

Norman: If you say so. Anyway, we’ve enjoyed sharing all the blooming lovelies from the garden this week and I am personally chuffed to bits to say I no longer have to wear a cone of any kind! Life is pretty good though mum says for me not to get too excited…I still am on activity restrictions for another week or so. Still, it feels good to get out and walk about sniffing for flowers without that bloody cone. I ‘pawsitively’ feel groovy these days, especially in my new tie-dyed scarf mum made for me.

Norman

Elsa: You do look pretty spiffy if I say so myself, big guy. And thanks for helping out with the nature flower parade. We hope everyone has a safe and happy Juneteenth weekend celebration. Cheers!

Norman: Cheerio, mates!

Elsa: Ugh, this guy is so thick. It’s live, love, bark! 🐾 you British dolt!

Wordless Wednesday ~ June 17, 2020

Butterfly
Swallowtail

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Meet the Breed ~ June 2020

NormanWell, well, well…would you lookee here. It’s time for another Meet the Breed Monday. Norman here. What breed shall we take a gander at this month? How about the ubiquitous and beloved Golden Retriever? More than a few of our readers are Golden owners but this month’s background was supplied by our friend, Michael over at Golden Kali. Michael has three “Golden Girls” and entertains us with wonderful posts so you might want to click the link to visit his lovely blog. So let’s get started and learn about this wonderful breed.

Golden Girls
Golden Girls

Developed by the first Lord Tweedmouth (aka Dudley Marjoribanks) during the years 1840 through 1890, the aristocrat sought a dog suited to the rainy climate and rugged terrain of the area, so he crossed his “Yellow Retriever” with the now extinct Tweed Water Spaniel. Irish Setter and Bloodhound were also added to the mix during the 50 year period. Thus the Golden Retriever we now know arrived as an enduring gift to the dog kingdom from a hunt-happy aristocrat.

The Golden, as affectionately known everywhere, was first shown at a British dog show in 1908.  The breed began arriving in America, by way of Canada, around the same time. Sport hunters liked the breed’s utility while show breeders loved their beauty and are impressed by their sweet, sensible temperament. Males generally weigh between 65-75 lbs. while females are somewhat smaller at 55-65 lbs.

Golden
Kali

There are three main types of Golden Retrievers.

  • The British type (like Kali) has a broader head and muscular chest with a usually lighter coat referred to as cream or blond with heavier ‘feathers.’  Their eyes are round and dark.
  • The American type (like Kloe and Koda) are less muscular with a red or golden coat and moderate feathers. They are very agile, have a powerful and well coordinated gate with brown but slanted eyes.
  • Canadian Goldens have a thinner coat than their American counterpart and may be mistaken for a Golden Lab.
Kloe
Kloe

Goldens are very versatile. While often known as bird dogs, they make excellent family members. Goldens are frequently used as service dogs for the disabled, search and rescue dogs and are even tempered, intelligent, and very affectionate. They love to play and will retrieve balls as long and as often as someone will throw it for them.

Koda
“Baby” Koda

We got ourselves another ‘foodie’ with this breed. The only thing Goldens love more than playing and romping is food. Being food motivated, Goldens are quite eager to please their owners thereby making them easily trainable and highly adaptive to most home environments.

Goldens do need lots of exercise, especially puppies and younger dogs.  A good 30 to 40 minute walk each day in addition to playtime and training will make for a content dog who is then less likely to get themselves into mischief.

Goldens are gentle with children, puppies and get along with just about everyone they meet. Goldens are not typically considered guard dogs but will bark to alert owners of trouble, or perceived trouble. They are more likely to show a burglar where the family jewels are hidden than to attack.

The Golden Retriever’s life expectancy is typically 11 to 12 years and sadly, more than 60% of the breed succumb to cancer. Hip dysplasia is another common medical problems Goldens face.

Golden retrievers shed and require regular brushing. Like all dogs shedding dogs, regular grooming helps minimize floating hair and mats.

Goldens are one of the more popular breeds in the U.S. Did you know that two Goldens occupied the White House-Gerald Ford’s dog, Liberty and Victory whose human was Ronald Reagan. More recently, Elizabeth Warren’s Golden “Bailey,” was a frequent visitor to her campaign events, and was caught on camera swiping a burrito from a staffer’s hand. Like I said, these dogs are definitely ‘foodies.’ While “Daniel,” the 2020 Westminster Dog Show audience favorite did not win Best in Show, he did win the Sporting Group. Goldens continue to be popular crowd pleasers and are regularly featured pets in commercials and movies.

Well there you have it. Many thanks to Michael for sharing background info on these great family dogs. Do you have any experience with these ‘golden’ beauties? Check back next month for another breed. If you’d like your good dog’s breed highlighted, please shoot us an email.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ June 12, 2020

It’s been a wild week at the Ranch beginning with hurricane force winds over last weekend and a busy schedule but that doesn’t mean we can’t showcase the good, the bad and the ugly that Mother Nature offered. As is customary, we’re joining our friends Rosy & her brothers for this week’s edition of Nature Friday. Let’s see what Nature dished out but don’t forget to check out what Blogville offered elsewhere by clicking on the link.

The wind storm that blew through was devastating around the town. Nearby parks were particularly hammered with several trees downed. It’s heartbreaking seeing fully mature trees ripped up out of the ground or large branches snapped off effectively destroying a tree. I was surprised the silver maple in my front garden wasn’t impacted. Not so far away, it looked like a war zone. Workers removed the broken branch a couple of days ago to assess the damage to the house and front porch. The force that snapped that branch off must have been unbelievably strong.

Trees

Evergreen trees with their shallow root balls are particularly vulnerable when high winds hit. My heart was heavy seeing so much carnage laying across the grass and Elsa and I stood there for a long time taking it all in.

Trees

These images make you wonder why nature choses one tree but left two others  nearby unscathed.

Trees

But all was not lost this week despite the damage around the ‘hood. While the peonies and irises finished blooming, new flowers appeared. Mock Orange shrub is in bloom now and its heavenly scent with its beautiful blossoms are impressive.

Flowers

Deep purple Salvia is blooming, adding bright color to the landscape.

Flowers

And the ever cheerful Achillea ‘Moonshine’ (yarrow) is beginning to brighten up the garden space replacing spent lupine and poppy blooms. Unlike some invasive yarrows, ‘Moonshine’ doesn’t spread everywhere.

Flowers

And like the Beverly Hills Cop theme song, the heat is on with 90’s in the long range Denver forecast. With some easing of pandemic restrictions, a day trip to higher altitudes with the Ranch hands may be called for but in any event, after this crazy week, whatever we do, chillaxing will be at the top of the weekend agenda as ‘somebody‘ will be counting down the hours until certain headgear comes off while staying cool. Paws crossed your weekend is great.

Norman

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ June 8, 2020

Monday

No prob-llama. Hope yours is terrific with no drama!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ June 5, 2020

We somehow managed to make it to Friday which means we’re joining our hosts, Rosy and her brothers in checking out what Mother Nature is sharing around Blogville. Don’t forget to click on the highlighted link to see other posts.

To say this has been a helluva week is an understatement. I feel like I’ve been pulled through a knot whole yet rather than highlighting the ugly, let’s focus on the beauty that we’ve seen. So sit back and prepare yourself for a long visual string of some of my favorite flowers around the Ranch garden as well as from around my neighborhood.

After 15 nanoseconds of spring, the Mile High City fast forwarded directly to blistering summer heat despite the calendar saying there’s [technically] three more weeks of spring. Lupines, irises and peonies are front and center. You’ve probably guessed by now that I have a love affair with poppies that are also front and center all over city landscapes. My favorite shade of poppies are the salmon pink colored ones. Just look at these gorgeous blooms from a nearby neighbor’s garden. Every year I say I’m going to plant one of these and every year I can never seem to find one. Sadly this year, diverse and interesting plants are in even shorter supply at big box stores and many of the small greenhouses I’ve shopped at in the past aren’t open or their supplies are severely limited.

Flowers

Bearded irises are also have been making their appearance known. I dug this guy up from my previous yard. It’s nearly 20 years ago and is always a showy beaut. It starts out ‘black’ and fades to this dark purple as the bloom opens. It’s my absolute favorite of the iris collection around the Ranch.

Flowers

After what looked liked a less than stellar year for the lupines, they’ve been giving Mother Nature the middle pedal. “You won’t squelch us,” they seem to shout.

Flowers

A wide drift of Cerastium tomentosum, more commonly known as snow-in-summer, makes me and bees very happy when it blooms. Starting out small, it grows each year and fills in the space it’s given and then some. It’s beginning to cover the flagstone walkway as it blooms and will need corraling after blooming.

Flowers

Peonies are the showy guys in my garden. Magnificently scented, they are in their blooming glory. It’s probably my favorite garden flower and I only wish they lasted longer. A couple of peony bushes were hard hit by last month’s freeze and it seems like blooms will be less this year but no less lovely. You can almost smell their heavenly scent.

Flowers

Flowers

A tour around my garden is never complete without a look at a simple but always reliable annual shot of color. I abandoned planting annuals years ago but Snapdragons continue to volunteer freely with a bit of encouragement from me (i.e. water) and it’s always interesting to see how the colors change and morph each year with some help from pollinators no doubt. Originally these guys were a solid shade of light pink without the yellow spots on their ‘throats.’ Talk about hybridizing.

Flowers

Along our regular daily walks is a professionally xeriscaped front yard that changes with the seasons to always look beautiful. Normally cactus doesn’t pique my interest but look at these amazing colors. This garden always has color and texture guaranteeing a long stop to check everything out.

Flowers Flowers

Along with these cactus and other xeriscape plants, were are a few bright rose bushes proving once again that xeriscape doesn’t necessarily only mean cactus and rocks to look beautiful.

Flowers

We hope your weekend is safe and you’re able to take in the beauty that’s out there. Stay safe, stay sane and keep smiling.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

In ‘Purrsuit’ of Flavours ~ June 2020

It’s time for another edition of “In Purrsuit of Flavours” where Blogville shares its favorite recipes. This month, the category is salad. Please join our hosts The Canadian Cats and Da Phenny and check out just what’s cooking around Blogville.

Purrsuit of Flavours

Like a lot of peeps, I prefer eating lighter when temperature rise and lately it’s been hot, hot, hot around the Ranch. Last thing I want to do is to cook over a hot stove. When something is tasty, quick and easy to fix, well count me happy. Here’s my take on Italian pasta salad.

Ingredients

  • 1 package of tri-color rotini pasta (or whatever kind of pasta you have on hand)
  • 1/2 to a whole cucumber, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes cut in half
  • Thinly sliced strips of red and green pepper (I didn’t have green and used yellow)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Sliced black olives, drained
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • Garbanzo beans (can be optional-I used about a third to a half a can)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup Italian salad dressing (or to taste-I tend to use less dressing, only coating the ingredients-there’s no need for salad to swim in dressing unless you like it that way)
  • If you’re a meat-eater, feel free to add Genoa salami or pepperoni

Recipes

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to directions. When done, drain and rinse with cold water so the noodles can cool.
  • Combine veggies (and meat is that’s your jam), then add dressing over top and mix together.
  • Can be eaten right away or refrigerated for a few hours before serving.
This recipe is highly adaptable-so feel free to substitute your preferences (i.e. artichokes, etc.) or whatever you may have on hand. Served with bread topped with melted Parmesan with a nice red and it makes for the perfect summer meal. Salud the salad!
Recipes
Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ June 1, 2020

S’up, peeps? Happy first day of June. Hope your weekend was extra swell. As you can see, Stormin’ Norman is feeling far more perky this week than last. The giant-sized donut collar arrived yesterday, and not a day too soon. I’m sure I heard the house give a collective sigh of relief. I know the back of my knees did. Norman actually gave a long extended butt wiggle when the dreaded cone came off. It’s good to see him happier and able to navigate without harming himself or his surroundings.

Norman

Here’s to having a ‘pawsome’ Monday. Stay cool…June seems to want to follow in May’s footsteps with toasty temps so rather than finding us poolside, we’ll be hanging out in the blissfully air-conditioned indoors. Besides we don’t have a pool.

Live, love, bark!  🐾