Nature Friday ~ April 28, 2023

Ranch HandsWelcome to Friday, mates. Norman here, joined with my Ninja sister, Elsa ready to share a spot of Nature from this week. As always, we’re joining Rosy and Sunny from the LLB life. Be sure to click on the link to see what others have shared.

Elsa: We gonna get this show on the road or what?

Elsa & Norman

Norman: Patience little one. I need to set this up first. You know that we had to go see my Grandpa, right?

Elsa: Yes, I know that.

Norman: Well our readers, didn’t so I’m ‘setting the stage’ as to what went down. Ok? Can I proceed now?

Elsa: Fine then. Knock your socks off, dude.

Norman: Well apart from hitting the road, it was quite the week. I think we ‘enjoyed‘ all 4 seasons. The place where my Grandpa lives broke a 133 year old record for most rainfall in a 24 hour period. And at our house, there has been lots of wind. Again. Which means crunchy leaves showed up and needed to be raked. One day even had rain mixed with snow. But it’s official though, spring has sprung. Just check out these tulips.


Elsa: That’s pretty spring-like. I know you and Mom like the pink ones but we haven’t seen too many of those. Red seems to be the number 1 color of tulips we see on our walks, like this one.


Norman: Mum was afraid the snow that fell last weekend might damage some of the flowering trees but this crabapple seems nonetheless harmed. They sure are pretty when they’re exploding with buds. And the bees sure seem to love them at this stage.

Flowering trees

Elsa: I thought that one evening before the rain began was almost eerie, much like at Halloween but much better than all those leaves that Mom had to rake up. I mean, who ever heard of raking leaves in April? Mom regretted not having her big camera with her when she saw the clouds around the moon but at least was able to capture the mood.


Norman: We managed to see all kinds of clouds on our trip and some of the more eerie ones were when we drove past the federal SuperMax prison located just outside Florence, Colorado. Did you know this is the most secure prison in the U.S. prison system and houses some high profile inmates? It was a foreboding scene with those clouds hanging over the prison where such notorious prisoners reside such as “Shoe Bomber” Richard Reid, Terry Nichols of Oklahoma Bombing fame, Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, and Thomas Silverstein, the former Aryan Brotherhood leader and convicted murderer who has been in solitary confinement longer than any other U.S. prisoner (since 1983). Silverstein was one of the reasons the ADX SuperMax was designed following his uncontrollable activities committed at other prisons.


Elsa: Yikes, those are some bad hombres for sure {shudder}. I’m glad we didn’t stop there for lunch!

Norman: No, we managed to dodge the bullet there but Mum did find a window display she thought was creepy in a funny sort of way in the town of Florence.


Elsa: Oh sure, pick on us poodles.

Norman: Well on the bright side, they were displayed eating some tasty looking food.

Elsa: You’re always thinking about food, you big oaf!

Norman: {indignantly sniffing) I’m not even going to respond to that unfair accusation.

Elsa: Unfair? You clean out my bowl after every meal. I’m surprised the stainless steel is still in tact.

Norman: Ahem…getting back to nature, sister, Mum saw her first blooming Bearded Iris yesterday. It’s quite early for them to be blooming. Apparently its southeastern exposure mimics more Summer-like conditions. See, I told you all we had all 4 seasons in one week!

Bearded iris

Elsa: That’s just nuts…blooming Irises in April. What is this world coming to?

Norman: Can’t answer that but hope that’s not an indication of an extra hot Summer ahead. I can barely tolerate it as it is. I may need to get a haircut sooner than I had planned.

Elsa: Tell me about it, I’m a black dog, do you have any idea how hot sunny conditions feel on my back? No siree, pal…not looking forward to a hot Summer OR a bath and groom, come to think of it. Definitely count me out.

Norman: Now, now, don’t get your knickers in a bunch. Mum will be gentle and make it as easy as possible. Just don’t make it harder for her, okay.

Elsa: Ha, me make things hard? Surely you jest.

Norman: {snickering under his breath} Right-that’s me, Mr. Jester. No doubt I have you confused with a different Ninja. Anywho…the weekend is upon us and I hope it means we all get a chance to get outside and enjoy some of the lovelier elements of Mother Nature. Do you have anything special or exciting planned for the last weekend in April?

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ April 21, 2023

Ranch HandsBlimey, is it Friday already? Norman here with my little sister Elsa and we’re ready to share some Nature views from around our neighborhood. As always, we’re joining Rosy and Sunny from the LLB life. Make sure you click on the link to see what other slices of nature have been shared.

Norman: {shivering} Brr, it’s chilly out there this morning. Good thing I’m in Mum’s studio. I’m just not built for 29ºF (-1.7ºC).

Elsa: Oh jeez, you big wuss. It’s not so bad, think of it as ‘bracing.’

Norman: Bracing? Umm, I can’t get past the bone chilling part. Anyway, let’s get started, shall we? Nature has been having a party at our house. Or specifically, a pool party. Birds have been showing up every evening around 5:00 POM and carousing in the bird bath. Mostly in the past they’ve dropped by for “Happy Hour” but I guess the water was just too inviting and they started to dive in but first, a quick slurp.


Elsa: Mom seems fascinated by them as she watched for a long time. She said she was rewarded with their Mark Spitz imitations. {eyes rolling} I mean, come on…what’s so exciting about watching them dive in after drinking a Mai Tai? That’s what a lot of drunks do when there’s a nearby pool. Wait a minute, just because you called it “Happy Hour,” I distinctly didn’t see any little umbrellas. What a cheap dive bar!

Norman: Well aren’t you just precious? There were no Mai Tai’s, Ninja.

Elsa: Well, I know I wouldn’t hang out at that bar…swimming pool notwithstanding.

Norman: What are you talking about? You don’t go near water any more than I do and you have webbed feet!

Elsa: There’s a reason I don’t. I just don’t want to make you feel badly. Yeah, yeah, that’s the ticket…I’m trying to bolster your ego.

Norman: Okay, now you’re just being cheeky.

Elsa: {giggling hysterically} Umm, {stifled snicker} no I’m not. {bursts out in wild dog laughter}. Ok, maybe just a little.

Norman: Ahem…moving right along. Mum says ‘spring has sprung’ when the Eastern Redbuds start blooming. Check out this lovely little specimen. She’s not sure how well it’s going to do long term. It faces south and with the heat those rocks and brick will generate…who knows what its long-term health will be. It sure is colorful though. Mom didn’t recall it before, likely because they’re only stunning when blooming but once they’ve leafed out, they’re mostly nondescript as far as trees go.

Redbud tree in bloom

Elsa: In the past couple of days, flowering trees are popping out all over. It’s fun to watch the bees buzz from flower to flower. Mom had to drag coax me to move along our walk but I think I was hypnotized by their noise and watching the bees flit from one bloom to another. Boy, they sure are busy little guys, aren’t they?

Flowering trees

Norman: I’m drooling thinking of the sweet apples that will be forming soon on this tree. I hope Mum lets me carry a fallen apple home from one of our walks.

Flowering trees

Elsa: You…carry anything on a walk? Bwahahahaha! Don’t make me laugh.

Norman: {clearing his throat} That’s not very sporting of you. I’ll have you know I carry toys in my mouth all the time.

Elsa: I know you well enough brother that you’d carry an apple for maybe and I’m being generous here, probably only for 3 or 4 steps. At most.

Norman: {indignantly sniffing} I’m rather offended by your criticism.

Elsa: It’s not a criticism…merely an observation, dude. Let’s not give people the wrong idea-you’re not a fetch-n-carry kind of dog. But I promise you the next time Mom offers me a slice of apple, I’ll give it to you before I gum it into mush and then spit it out. I don’t know how you can eat those things. Give me a meaty piece of jerky any day over fruit and vegetables if you want to give me a snack!

Norman: Variety is the spice of life, little one. And you know what they say…”an apple a day…”

Elsa: I know, blah, blah, blah. Barf.

Norman: Heavens, sounds like one of those bees you were mesmerized by flew under your bonnet!

Elsa: Ha, ha, my brother trying to be funny. Hey, don’t quit your day job, Bucko.

Norman: Well, I think we should get back to the nature portion of this post. Mum was delighted the chilly night temperatures hadn’t seemed to bother the Magnolia tree down the block from us. It was covered with lovely soft yellow blooms. Talk about a beautiful sight.


Elsa: Well I know for a fact you tend to keep your nose more focused on the ground, like this Peony bush that is already forming buds. Can’t wait to see what color the flowers are. They always smell so divine.


Norman: I can assure you nothing gets past my sniffer. I’ll check it once it starts filling the air with some perfume.

Elsa: {eyes rolling again} You know you’re the reason why our walks take forever. Mom has to pull you along from Point A to Point B because you’re sniffing so much. Are you sure you’re not part Bloodhound?

Norman: {with dignified straightening of his collar} For the record I. am. 100%. Old. English. Sheepdog.

Elsa: If you say so. But some days, I have serious doubts.

Norman: This is not the place to discuss one’s ancestry, dear sister. We’re here to share slices of Nature from around our neighborhood. And with that pronouncement, let me share one last picture from across the street. Their Phlox are blooming so prettily but I found one with a special ‘flower’ in the center of it. Mum said what a shame and we’ll probably have an infestation of the yellow flowers but I think it’s quite lovely.


Elsa: Meh…I’m mostly indifferent. I know you really get into this whole botanical thing. I prefer to keep my eyes focused on the neighborhood squirrels.

Norman: Remember little one that “Happiness held is the seed, happiness shared is the flower. ~ John Harrigan. And with that we hope you have a smashing weekend. Don’t forget to get out there and check out Nature…right now she’s sharing loads of flowers. Cheerio, mates.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ April 17, 2023

Quick…call 911! We blinked and the weekend flew by. What’s up with that?! Not to be wishing life away, but doesn’t Friday sure seems like a very long way off?


We hope your weekend was full of joyful fun and this week treats you kindly.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ April 14, 2023

Elsa & NormanWelcome to Friday, mates. Norman here along with my sister Elsa ready to share a few slices of  Nature around us. As always, we’re joining Rosy and Sunny from the LLB life. Don’t forget to click on the link to see what others have shared.

Elsa: Come onnnnnn, dude….ROAD TRIP.

Norman: Patience little one. Let me set the scene before you go sharing pics, okay?

Elsa: Jeez, you’re so prickly about procedure. Just get on with it, will you?

Norman: Ahem…as I was about to say before your interjection, we took a trip to visit with Mum’s Dad. Her sister from Maryland also came to visit so we had a nice family visit for Easter. Needless to say, we received lots of ear rubs and “Atta boy’s.”

Elsa: And “Atta girl’s.” Don’t forget I get lots of attention too, dog breath!

Norman: Yes, yes, of course, there were lots of “good dog” accolades all around. Now may I continue without further interruption?

Elsa: Sheesh, you’re kinda grumpy today. But do go on, brother dear.

Norman: {eyes rolling} As I was saying, we drove down to Southern Colorado but not before Mum got together with her friend from the new sheepdog rescue to discuss some fundraising business. They had a long conference call with someone who knows fundraising techniques that could be helpful to the rescue and hope to make more progress on fundraising future efforts. After their call, they decided to take a rejuvenating break and walk around the small lake across the street. It’s like a little oasis in the city. They took a quick walk around it on what was a beautiful day and the view of snow-capped mountains on the horizon was just what Mum needed to clear her head.

Snow capped mountain

Elsa: That is a gorgeous sight. But what Mom encountered around the lake…well I can’t stop giggling. I mean, look at this pups whose owner may be a ‘tad’ paranoid about wildlife encounters. She was even carrying a wedge golf club with her.

Dog with coyote vest

Norman: I’ll leave it to you to decide which would be more scary, seeing this or the golf club on a walk. Even though I’m a big dog and could likely frighten off any potential coyote, I don’t think Mum would walk us in an area where a pup might be snatched to begin with, and would likely just walk us on the sidewalk near houses. But that’s just me.

Elsa: {giggling hysterically} Oh my dog…I can’t catch my breath I’m laughing so hard. I guess there’s truth to the adage “it takes all kinds.”

Norman: Now, now, sister, no aspersions, okay? Not everyone is as…hmm…how shall I put this…brave as you are.

Elsa: Doggone straight, bucko. And don’t you forget it!

Norman: Moving right along. When you look around the lake (which by the way, is very low these days-much as it pains me to say this…we need moisture in the worst way), you can see lots of dried, crunchy vegetation that probably is wildlife’s  habitat. Mum saw a few birds along with other signs of wildlife traipsing through the area, providing water and cover to all the wildlife. Mum herself has seen a coyote on the other side of the park once when she drove by.


Elsa: By the time we arrived in Southern Colorado and got settled in, we marveled at the quiet plains and beautiful sunset which is so different from our city life.


Norman: It sure is a wonderful place to visit and not just for all the attention we receive. Just look at that sunset.

Elsa: You’re so right, brother. The sunsets ARE beautiful. No wonder it’s called “Colorful Colorado.” And the sunrises are very similar…ahem…when you actually get your butt out of bed and check them out when we go say good morning to the neighbors across the road.

Horses and donkeys

Norman: Hey, don’t look at me as the cause of us not getting out there to see the colorful sunrise which you can still see a glimpse off in the distance. Mum said it was a bit crisp for my old bones when it was brightly appearing.

Elsa: Those four-legged creatures sure were interested in you and they seemed pretty friendly.

Norman: I visit them every time I’m there, so yes, we’re old friends. I noticed you play bowed, wagged your tail and started bouncing around like you wanted to play with them. They do better when we’re not making sudden moves.

Elsa: Sorry, I couldn’t help it…I was so jazzed to see dogs even bigger than you!

Norman: Umm, dear sister, those weren’t dogs-they’re horses and donkeys, for the record.

Elsa: Whatever, I just wanted to play with them. Mom was afraid I’d start my play bark and at 6:30 in the morning, we thought people sleeping in might not appreciate my enthusiasm.

Norman: I don’t think people care for barking dogs at livestock any time of day. Just saying.

Elsa: Sometimes people can be such killjoys. But at least it was a good trip and I’m excited we will get to go back again in a couple of weeks.

Norman: Yes, we will be going back and will scope out more signs of Mother Nature when we do. Once we drove back home after a few days, Mum noticed signs of spring in our neighborhood.


Elsa: Those flowering Phlox sure were a shock of color but I’m partial to this little fairy house scene with a fabulous smelling Hyacinth. Oh man, was it ever fragrant, even if it didn’t have any horses or donkeys.


Norman: I don’t think the neighbors would be all that keen on the barnyard scents in the city but you’re right, Hyacinths are quite fragrant and that gorgeous royal purple color is just spot on beautiful. Well sister, that’s about it for this week. We hope our readers will get out and enjoy Nature of all kinds this weekend.

Elsa: You’re right, dude. Time for us to hit the road again. Next time though I get to choose the playlist. While the 70’s and 80’s music was ok, but I was hoping for more hip hop if I have to lay next to you in the back seat.

Norman: Best to cool your jets, Ninja. It’ll be next week when we’re on the road again. Until then, you’ll have to simmer down and enjoy urban Nature in the meantime. Cheerio and let’s hope we get some measurable rain later today and not just a cool front.

Elsa: {voice trailing as she bounces into the other end of the house} Pip, pip you ginormous bag of fur. I’ll race you to the toy box!

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ April 10, 2023

Norman & ElsaGood morning, peeps and welcome to Monday.  Did you know today is National Hug Your Dog Day?

Elsa: As if we need a reason around the Ranch.

Norman: Spot on, ninja. Do you know the history behind this wonderful day? Apparently it was the brainchild of Ami Moore,, a professional dog trainer and behavior expert, and created for dog owners to appreciate all the joy their dogs bring them and to shower them with love.

Elsa: Well, I for one didn’t need someone to create a special day to be appreciated but will enjoy the extra attention that no doubt will be showered on both us following an attention showering over the Easter weekend.

Norman: You’re so right, little one. Our Mum showers us with attention all the time. Let’s give her and all uprights a special day for attention. Course, you know not all dogs appreciate hugs but there are other ways you can give them the special attention they so deserve.

Elsa: Good point, fur face. You could take them on a nice walk and let them sniff to their heart’s content. Or…how about a special doggie date? With extra wonderful treats?

Norman: Treats?? Ooh yes, count me in!

Elsa:  Now, now, big guy, don’t get carried away. Just because treats are involved, it’s not good to overdo it.

Norman: {sad face} You’re probably right, sister. Today’s the day where you can celebrate some key moments in dog history. (1) Scientists believe dogs have been domesticated for about 15,000 years. (2) In the 1700’s, Dalmatian dogs were used to assist firefighters. (3) One of the most beloved dogs in America galloped into human’s hearts when Eric Knight published “Lassie” in 1940. (4) In 1954 the Humane Society was founded. Today it’s believed they save approximately 1.6 million dog lives each year.

Elsa: You probably know about this little factoid. In 1973 federal law allowed “emotional support and guidance dogs” to bypass the “no pet” restrictions in public housing.

Norman: Us dogs make life easier for humans in so many ways. It’s good to know that humans are focused on our well-being. In 2017 Thundershirts were created to hug dogs who struggle with when they get stressed during thunderstorms and similar situations.

Elsa: We like it when humans do those kinds of nice things for us. Hey, how about we can get Mom to tune into a special dog-themed movie tonight while she’s hugging us.

Norman: Oooh, count me in. However you celebrate today, we hope you get your fair share of hugs and/or attention and have a super Monday.

Elsa: And don’t forget to smile today but especially don’t forget to hug your dog.


Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ April 7, 2023

EasterHappy Good Friday peeps, pups and kitties. Welcome to this week’s edition of Nature Friday where we’re joining the cool kiddos over at Adventures of the LLB Gang. Hiya, it’s me, Elsa along with my doltish brother, Norman, sharing a few pics from our Easter ‘Hood. So put your Easter bonnet (or ears)  on and let’s check out what’s new this week. And don’t forget to click on the link to see what others have shared.

Elsa: It was another week for the books. Sunny but chilly with windy conditions and {gasp} a speck of the white stuff for Holy Week though Mom assured me we should be warming up over the next several days.

Norman: You have to agree little sis, Mother Nature is nothing if not cruel diverse with what she dishes out. Oi…my poor aching bones. On the bright side, it looks like Spring is doing its level best to wake up and well…spring forth. Even a couple of bulbs surprised Mum by making a colorful appearance. Take for instance this daffodil. Mum squealed with delight when she saw it peeking up in the blue grape hyacinths and dried leaves.


Elsa: More like shocked. She told me she didn’t plant that guy over there. This is either the work of a ‘helpful’ squirrel, which we all know isn’t likely because, I mean…a “helpful squirrel” come on, that’s just fantasy, am I right? It’s probably more likely to have been an escapee…that’s what Mom calls bulbs who migrate from their original planting spot.

Norman: I even had to go over and check it out, it was so bright in that area where dried leaves prevail.

Elsa: {interrupting} More likely you probably went to water it.

Norman: {Ahem} As I was saying, there was another bright spot in our garden, some deep purple hyacinths although they decided to appear on the first day it snowed. Mum was scratching her head about where it came from too. She didn’t remember planting it there but said it’s always possible. As you said, it’s not likely she got any help from the resident critters and we both know we didn’t get our paws dirty in the soil. Now that the snow has melted, it seems nothing worse for the wear. Hardy little buggers, aren’t they?


Elsa: Well they are native to eastern Mediterranean near Turkey so I guess that makes sense. I’m no botanist but I think a fair number of our spring bulbs originated in that region. Hmmm, and here I always thought they came from Holland.

Norman: Oh dear sweet Elsa…aren’t you precious, little one?  Another bulb that originated in Persia is the tulip. Mum’s have just broken ground but we found this one on a walk. From a distance it looked like a bright piece of rubbish but as we got closer, Mum was thrilled it wasn’t something she needed to put into a bin.


Elsa: They sure seem hardy. I know you wouldn’t want to have snow on your head.

Norman: Right you are on that, Ninja! Brrrr. The day it snowed Mum walked over to the Post Office and saw how the snow had swirled on dried leaves and branches and seed heads. It’s much prettier seeing it on screen than being actually there. {shivers}.

Spring Snow

Elsa: Ah come on…it wasn’t that bad? I mean if the Easter Bunny can handle it, surely you can. I swear I think these folks have one of those inflatable things for every holiday. This one is new this year.


Norman: It’s kind of noisy whenever we walk past; they’re nothing like real bunnies who tend to be very quiet and freeze in their tracks until we get too close for their comfort.

Elsa: Wait, I missed a live bunny? Where was I?

Norman: I think you were checking out a taunting squirrel.

Elsa:  Oh yeah, I hate it when they think they can get away with mocking me on our walks. Why I’ll show ’em…

Norman: Umm, sister, no need to get yourself all frothed up. We just need to learn to co-exist.

Elsa: Co-exist…ha! Not a chance.

Norman: {sigh} In your case, that’s probably highly unlikely. I just enjoy seeing them and as long as they don’t bother us, I say live and let live. I’m more about keeping ‘herds’ together rather than treed.

Elsa: Dream on, dog breath. Not as long as I’m around…I’m going to make sure those stupid tree rats don’t sully our garden or on our walks either.

Norman: Oh Elsa…keep your knickers on. Besides, during this special week, we must practice peace and love. All the major religions are celebrating this week. Passover began on Wednesday, Ramadan has been going on since March 20 and ends April 20, and Easter will be celebrated this Sunday. It’s a trifecta of holy days in religion, so peace should be front and center. There was even a blooming Pasque Flower on one of Mom’s walks. Just in time for the holidays. Known as Pulsatilla hirsutissima, Pulsatilla ludoviciana, Pulsatilla patens, Anemone patens) they have an undisputed appearance but a somewhat disputed name. It has been known as Pulsatilla hirsutissima, Pulsatilla ludoviciana, Pulsatilla patens, Anemone patens, etc.  “Pulsatilla” from the Latin for “pulsing”, “moving about”, plus the diminutive, “illa”: thus “a bit of quivering” (from the wind). Pasque Flower or Easter Flower is from the Hebrew “Pasach” i.e. “Passover” [the last supper was the celebration of Pasach] and so this plant is associated with Easter since they generally flower around the Easter/Passover season when winter snow begins to melt. The name most likely arrived through variations of French, “passefleur” and “passflower” both similar to the French word for Easter, “Pasques” which has its roots in the Hebrew word “Pasach” so it’s kind of easy to see how the common name morphed into “Pasque Flower.”

Pasque Flower

Elsa: Since you put it like that, ok, just this once. Besides, I hope that whatever holiday you celebrate, you celebrate Nature in some fashion as well. Have a safe and happy holiday. Mom told me we’re headed south to see our Grandpa and Mom’s other sister who is coming to town. Aren’t you excited? I get to sit up close next to you in the car! Woohoo-road trip!

Norman: Yes, I’m {almost} breathless with anticipation. Happy Easter, Chag Sameach, and Ramadan Kareem everyone.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ April 3, 2023

Welcome to the first Monday of April. The high winds over the past few days reminded me of the things that can go wrong in a modern world. The weather was too nasty to try to go for a good walk, so I decided to check out what’s on TV after a lull in the hurricane force winds  and after chasing trash bins down the alley a few times. Upon settling down with a cozy warm beverage and a couple of furry lap blankets, I discovered the router lost all memory of me and the dogs. No Netflix, no cable. Does anyone know what makes technology decide to not play ball? During March Madness! What the…? And yet I’m supposed to trust AI? Ummm, likely not at this point.

After 87 attempts to get the bloody router to play nice and recognize the hardware and the password, I realized I missed one of the best college basketball games ever. Way to go LSU Lady Tigers-congratulations on your win.

But things could have been worse, I suppose. At least I wasn’t swearing at a stranger (only CenturyLink).


Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ March 31, 2023

Happy Fri-Yay, uprights and welcome to the last day of March. Elsa and Norman here to share some scenes from daily walks this week. As always, we’re joining the fur-pups at Adventures of the LLB Gang.

Elsa: It was one of ‘those’ weeks where we had lots going on. Me chasing squirrels away from the trash bins, Mom and Norman hanging out with folks at hospital and miles and miles of combing the neighborhood for photo ops.

Norman: You’re so right, little sister, it WAS a busy week. I was completely swarmed at hospital and visited with lots of people. This is my new friend, Katharine, isn’t she beautiful? She wanted so much to take me home with her and Mum was almost afraid she might have to wrestle me away from her but we promised to visit her whenever we go back. And I even met a newborn baby going home with his parents though Mum didn’t capture that moment. She said something about patient privacy. Not sure about that but did enjoy my time with Katharine. Babies smell so different from grownups; Mum says they don’t always smell good but I like that little boy and gave him a very soft kiss on his nose. Don’t tell anyone, I’m not supposed to do that but I just couldn’t resist.

Pet Therapy

Elsa: Umm, brother….not to be a stickler about things but you do realize that pic has nothing to do with nature, right?

Norman: Of course I do, but you originally brought up the fact that I made new friends when I visited Lutheran. I’m just showing folks some of what I do.

Elsa: Whatever. Come on, let’s share some photos of nature, shall we?

Norman: {harumpf} Okay, happy to share. Mum went to her happy place-Sloan’s Lake as couple of days ago. She really enjoys checking out all the birds at the lake and was surprised all the ice has melted since it is still below freezing at night. The day was filled with swirly clouds and shimmering water.

Sloan's Lake

Elsa: The clouds changed from puffy to swirly the whole day and provided nice views. It’s been windy most of the week and Mom says today is another red flag day with high winds forecasted today. You think the wind will bother all of our sinuses again?

Norman: No doubt. There has been some sneezing in all of us. It was interesting walking around the lake where every place Mum stopped to take a photo, had a different look in the sky. At times, it was barely cloudy, then the wind would pick up and then all sorts of different clouds would provide amazing beauty. Nature sure is ever changing, isn’t it?

Elsa: You can say that again. Makes me wonder how all those Canadian Geese and other birds deal with the wind. There sure were a lot of them at the lake but sadly no new goslings. Hopefully soon. They’re pretty cute as babies then they grow up to be aggressive toward us dogs.


Norman: No floofy babies, but loads of big geese, that’s for sure. And Mum was rather surprised they let her get as close as she did at times. Maybe they’re becoming more used to all the people who take advantage of the path around the lake.

Canadian Geese

Elsa: Close indeed…but they were not very happy about it judging by all the squawking they did whenever she tried to move in closer. I heard more than a few them yawp “yeah, we’re outta here.”

Norman: They are impressive birds for sure, especially when they take off. Mum also followed a couple of the Double-Crested Cormorants who hang out at Sloan’s Lake as well. She followed one guy from one side of the lake to the other and giggled as he ‘snorkeled’ his way across the lake.

Cormorant bird

Elsa: I thought he was a weirdo. He’d float along and then suddenly dive into the water and come up about 15-20 feet away. What’s with that whole submarining thing anyway? Why not just paddle their feet like the geese do?


Norman: Well I’m no bird expert but suspect they’re fishing for crayfish when they dive like that. Did you know that these Double-Crested Cormorants are the only Cormorant species to nest in the Western interior? There are a large flock of them nesting over in Denver’s City Park on Duck Island but it always makes Mum happy when they hang out at Sloan’s Lake. Maybe the fishing is better here and they’re trying to move into our neighborhood along with everyone else.

Sloan's Lake

Elsa: I’m guessing there are enough of the really tall trees they like to nest in. But did you notice how the water was so rippled as you move toward the south side of the park? You can always tell when the wind starts whipping up by the way the waves move across the lake.

Norman:  Mum took these all images between 4 and 5 PM and was mesmerized by the sun moving in and out of the clouds which made for beautiful sparkling reflections on the water.


Elsa: Well brother, looks like another pawsome walk around the lake this week. We always enjoy those ‘heart of the city’  adventures. There’s always something interesting to check out even though there are so many people around. Mom swears she’s going to go to a lake outside the neighborhood where there aren’t as many people so she doesn’t get run over by a bicycler or stroller.

Norman: We’ll see if she finds time to go outside the city limits. It’ll mean a car ride and that should prove interesting with both of us in her car. She says I take up a lot of real estate in the back seat.

Elsa: Hahaha, yeah, I think that’s a nice way of saying you ‘got a big butt’ dude. You know we both like riding in the car. So brother, got any big plans for the weekend or are you still rejuvenating after those busy hospital visits? The weather should be pleasant (the wind should move out by tonight) so maybe we’ll get to check out some new sights. I’ve got my paws crossed. Whatever you do, we hope you take in some of nature’s finer views and have a great time.

Norman: Right-o, little one. Oh, before we go, we want to thank everyone who left such nice comments about our blog-aversary this week. It really touched Mum’s heart. You guys are the best.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ March 27, 2023

Nine years ago yesterday this blog was born. In dog years that makes this space over 60 years old! Considering I knew nothing about blogging, let alone anything about WordPress,  the mere acknowledgment of the date seems beyond wild to me. It would be another week before the first post was published but I still remember the hyperventilating before I hit the publish button for the first time and the dozens of draft versions for subsequent posts that continues to date. Who knew absurd silliness needed so much massaging? I never expected anyone beyond maybe a couple of family members who would ever bother to check it out found myself blown away by the number of folks who began to follow us. Some 1415 posts later and I continue to be humbled by everyone who drops by, reads our silliness and leaves thoughtful, kind and inspiring comments. Let me just say, this is one extraordinary and amazing community of incredible people for which I thank my lucky stars for each and everyday for all of you. We don’t know where the blog will go in the future, but I recently renewed the blog for at least another two years and hope you’ll continue to follow along to see where our adventures take us. We love having you come along our walks and pray we continue to earn your support as we move ahead. From the bottom of my heart, thank you so very much for sticking with us.

And because it’s a Monday, it’s time for a smile to start out the week. This morning we woke up to another snow storm and it won’t be very warm today when Norman and I head out to Lutheran to brighten the day for staff and patients at Lutheran, but I do know there will be some treats for him though not any ‘leftovers’ like today’s smile.

Monday Musings

Thank you again for your ongoing support and I sincerely hope today brings you plenty of treats and smiles.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ March 24, 2023

Nature FridayWhew…we made it…it’s Friday and that means my oaf of a brother and I join those cute pups from Adventures of the LLB Gang. This week we’re going to take a gander at nature from our ‘Hood and also to bring attention to this weekend when people all over the world will mark Epilepsy Awareness Day which falls on Sunday, March 26. Mom will be tied up helping her son move into his new home over the weekend so she decided we should make today’s post a “twofer” and hope you don’t mind. Even though the topics are not related, both are very near and dear to our hearts, so let’s get to it, shall we?

Elsa: Well brother, What have you got for me? Notice I’m being nice by letting you go first?

Norman: Umm, I did notice that but I can’t help but wonder “what’s the catch?”

Elsa: No catch, Big Guy, I just thought I’d do you a solid and let you go first. That way you can’t say I never do anything nice for you.

Norman: Hmm, o-kay {spoken tentatively}. Well, as you know Spring arrived officially in the Northern Hemisphere and although it remained a titch on the chilly side, Mum found some colorful slices of spring that gives us hope. Considering that things are mostly drab and dry here, these little pops of spring color were most welcome. Just check out this sprite bouquet of yellow crocus. I could spot these lovelies from half a block away.


Elsa: N-i-c-e. And I’m proud of you for not trying to pee on them.

Norman: {embarrassed and blushing} Umm {changing the subject deftly} we saw our first dwarf daffodils in bloom. Mum says these beauties are easy to grow; are deer resistant and naturalize easily. They’re perfect to include in rock gardens, look terrific under shrubs, and mix nicely with other small bulbs such as Crocus, Scilla and Grape Hyacinths. At only about 4 to 6 inches tall (10-15 cm.), they are perfect for planting in pots or even for forcing them for a spot of Nature indoors during Winter months.

Spring bulbs

Elsa: They sure are cheerful looking but I think I smelled that a cat had checked them out before us. No, I’m certain a cat had walked around those guys.

Norman: You always think a cat or a squirrel has walked through gardens like this.

Elsa: And I’m never wrong about that, am I?

Norman: No comment. You know I spotted a few blooms from a forsythia bush amongst some dead leaves and branches on one of our walks.ForsythiaElsa: You’ve gotten pretty good finding yellow plants lately. Did Mom trim your bangs or what?

Norman: {ignoring the snark} It’s hard not to see those yellow blooms. But I know for a fact that Mum really enjoys seeing blooms that are blue or purple. She’s been watching the blue grape hyacinths in the ground cover for days now. She even thought about cutting some for a teeny tiny bouquet.

Grape Hyacinths

Elsa: What’s that plant begin those Grape Hyacinths? It sure looks robust.

Norman: Mum thinks it’s a volunteer Allium. Once it starts to bloom she’ll know for sure. It smells oniony to me {head shaking in disapproval} so I avoid it.

Elsa: Oh you big baby. Just because Allium is part of a botanical family that includes species of cultivated onion, garlic, scallion, shallot, leek, and chives isn’t a reason to be afraid. Like all spring bulbs, it’s toxic for us canines but Mom keeps us from getting anywhere near it. Maybe Mom should plant some of those next to her peonies to keep you from ‘watering’ them.

Norman: Hey, I’m just trying to help. Besides, Allium smells bad, in my opinion. Even the squirrels avoid them and they’ll eat anything.  But I do have to admit they are rather beautiful when they bloom looking like giant dandelions.

Elsa: I’ve started noticing that different Spring bulbs looks really nice planted together. Crocus really stands out when planted near Scilla, or what some people call, ‘Squill.’ Mom really loves them and gets very excited whenever she sees them in our neighborhood.

Spring bulbs

Norman: They’re barely tall enough to peep over dead leaves but always provide a lovely pop of bright color. Scilla are easy to miss because they’re so small.

Elsa: Like you’d ever notice them with your gigantic paws stomping through the garden!

Norman: Be nice, sister. It’s not nice to make fun of someone’s size. I could report you to the neighborhood security system company-I’m sure they’d teach you some manners.


Elsa: Bring it on Bucko. I’m not afraid of those ‘security’ guards.

Norman: You should be…they are quite fierce-even more so than the Canadian Geese from Sloan’s Lake and what a ruckus they make. Besides, it’s better to be respectful of all wildlife, wherever they live.

Elsa: Pfft. They’re just lucky Mom doesn’t let me off leash.

Norman: {eye rolling} You talk a good game but I suspect when push comes to shove…

Elsa: {interrupting} Dream on, dude. Just because you’re a coward, don’t extrapolate your shortcoming on me.

Norman: ‘Extrapolate?’ Where did you come up with that word?

Elsa: I’ll have you know I’m quite the avid reader. And I’m very inquisitive about the world. Which segues perfectly to the second part of our post, Epilepsy Awareness Day. Why just recently I was reading up on epilepsy which happens to fall on this Sunday. Have you read up on it, dog breath?


Norman: As a matter of fact, I absolutely have. We’re big fans of Olivia from Knotty Toys for Good Dogs as well as the Five SibesWhat’s Wrong With Gibson” book. I know it’s helped Mum when you have a seizure and she’s always glad to let people know there’s lots of info out there to help them by providing guidance and resources for people/pets who suffer from seizures.


Elsa: Thanks, I appreciate you reading up on the condition that vexes me sometimes. You’re a good dog, Stormin’ Norman and I am grateful for you even when I don’t show it; I love ya, bruh.

Norman: Thanks, sister. I hope others check it out-it might help them better understand this condition.

Elsa:  Well that’s it for us this week. Hope you enjoyed seeing glimpses of Spring and are able to check out nature in your hood. We also hope you will check out the links regarding epilepsy. And don’t forget to wear Purple this Sunday.


Live, love, bark! 🐾