Monday Musings ~

Monday

Cuz we’re just not quite ready for it.

Norman

The Ranch’s presence this week may be somewhat spotty and limited. A project in the studio has gone badly (no thanks to IKEA) and may restrict the ability to be online. I was lucky to find the laptop in the chaos.

Chaos
And that’s only the part that was ‘spiffed’ up

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ April 1, 2022

Happy Fri-Yay and thanks for joining us and our friends Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard for this week’s Nature Friday blog hop. It may be April Fool’s Day on the calendar, but nature isn’t fooling around as she continues to deliver some lovely surprises associated with early Spring.

It was another week of a bit of everything where the weather is concerned. But nature seems to be at least trying to nudge  flowers from their winter beds. After a few days of cloudy days, chilly temps and a little bit of rain, the Ranch Hands and I woke up to glorious clear blue-bird skies. When it’s sunny and clear, all seems right.

Blue skies

While you can see buds on the tree (upper left hand corner) in front of this architectural wonder near downtown, other trees and shrubs are moving full steam ahead. I came across a small holly bush that was beginning to bloom.

Flowers

And then there are some trees that are hanging on to last year’s bounty left for the birds. Some people don’t find those scenes as interesting as I do but I love that texture.

Trees

I think this ‘dude’ is firmly grounded in the perplexed category as he resides next to that tree at a nearby elementary school community garden. It was abuzz with activity this week as garden plots were being cleaned up getting ready for early vegetable plantings.

Statute

Daffodils, hyacinths and tulips flash their pretty at a nearby neighbor’s garden that receives plenty of sunshine with great southern exposure. With my large trees, things are still mostly brown in my garden but I can admire others who are lucky to have great sun exposure.

Flowers

Glory of the Snow or scilla (Scilla luciliae) popped up along one of my walks and it was truly beautiful. I don’t see a lot of  these plants but intend to look for some bulbs this autumn when I add to my spring bulbs. Heralding from western Turkey, they are one of the earliest (and in my mind, prettiest) flowering bulbs.

Flowers

After another busy week, I found myself strolling around in the baby blue grape hyacinths to chill and reflect as I watched the bees happily noshing on the blue buffet. This spot always makes me stop and ponder the beauty of the surrounding plants. These bulbs continue to naturalize throughout the garden, much to my amusement. It’s like nature is moving the furniture around and who am I to argue with her design skills? I’ll save that argument for the lupine that’s beginning to emerge (in the foreground). I removed buckets of them last autumn as its naturalization throughout the garden has gotten far more than a ‘bit carried away.’ I’m hoping to encourage it to live politely rather than invasively, but so far it hasn’t seemed to respond to my criticism of “You’re not freaking dandelions, so stop popping up in every little nook and cranny and give the other plants a break!’

Flowers

Some of the reseeding annuals from last autumn are beginning to emerge (or are being planted) around the ‘Hood for some early seasonal color. I found some pansies amidst dried leaves and grass yesterday afternoon. Their cheerful faces provided a nod from me because, who doesn’t love those sweet little faces and color in the dried, brown vestiges from last year?

Flowers

Well, that’s about it from the Ranch for this week. We hope you’re seeing signs that spring has indeed sprung, despite the cycle of one nice day with the next day a visit from mean Uncle Winter. Makes you want to yell “STOP THAT NOW!” But around here we know snow is always a possibility over the next month, so we’ll just try to coexist with it. Have you got any plans for fun this weekend? Me, I’m just going to celebrate my baby sister’s birthday today (albeit from afar until she arrives for a visit later this month). Happy birthday, Kathy. Hope your day is as lovely as a spring day (sans snow). Love you.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ March 28, 2022

For some bizarre reason, Elsa decided to prepare today’s post. Jealousy is apparently a strong motivator and she grumbled that Norman hogs all the limelight with his therapy work. Considering baths and grooming were a big part of last week’s activities, she did however tell me “Don’t even think about it.”

SmilesHave a smile filled Monday.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

 

Purple Day ~ 2022

Purple Day

This weekend we are honored to join Fur Angel Gibson from the FiveSibes blog and fellow epi-warrior, Olivia at Knotty Toys for Good Dogs for the 2022 edition acknowledging Purple Day for Epilepsy (with apologies for being a day late of the actual date, March 26-I got my dates mixed up).

Elsa
The Ninja rocking her purple bandana

You may recall, the Ranch’s resident Ninja (aka Elsa) was diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy a couple of weeks following her adoption. You can read part of her story here.

We are so grateful for all the info Gibson and Olivia have shared on their respective blogs about epilepsy and remain appreciative for their leadership in sharing information and resources. Please visit the Purple Day website for additional information about epilepsy. Elsa is living proof dogs who have been diagnosed with this condition can live relatively normal and productive lives.

Epilepsy
Elsa ‘reading’ the”What’s Wrong with Gibson” book

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Praying for Peace in Ukraine ~ March 26, 2022

Peace“There never was a good war or a bad peace.”
-Benjamin Franklin

Peace

This weekend, like so many others around Blogville, we join the “Blog for Peace” blog hop hosted by Mimi Lenox from BlogBlast4Peace. Every day we wince and shed tears for the people and pets of Ukraine as they defend themselves from the Russian invasion. The images coming out of Ukraine have been absolutely heartbreaking, especially when you see families walking to train stations, dragging a piece of luggage while carrying their pets, as they flee the bombing of their hometowns.

Blog for Peace
Send your peace globe and a link to your post to Mimi Lenox at blog4peace@yahoo.com or tag Mimi Lenox on Facebook

We hope you will do your part and promote peace by helping the Ukrainians any way you are able.

Peace

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ March 25, 2022

Happy Friday! Thanks for joining us and our friends Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard for this week’s Nature Friday blog hop. It’s been a super hectic week with Nature throwing just about everything at us together with lots of commitments and appointments. When Norman went to hospital earlier this week, there was a little bit of snow with chilly temps. We were nearly blown away by gusty winds over the past couple of days but managed to find some elements of spring now that it has officially arrived. Even though they were small changes, they were still most welcome.

Flowers

Small specks of green caught my eye on yesterday’s walk and to say I was surprised to see this lilac bush beginning to leaf out, would be a big understatement.

Even a nearby Yew tree showed signs of renewal, with fresh new sprigs of green along with its beautifully textured bark.

Flowers

Don’t get me wrong, there’s still plenty of drab to be seen as this clump of crocuses with that shock of color sprouting in some ornamental grass and fallen leaves shows, but it was just the right pop of color to encourage me to be on the lookout for more like it.

Flowers

And then it happened…a full on blast of spring I’ve been looking for to prove spring is coming, was discovered. I spotted the first blooming tulip over at my neighbor’s house. Seeing it proves that spring is indeed moving forward. Of course, that other season (who shall not be named), will no doubt make a few cameo appearances (goodness knows we can use it) but there’s nothing like spring’s hopeful signs of renewal and rebirth to brighten one’s spirits. We plan to enjoy it, especially since temps will likely reach 80ºF this weekend.

Flowers

What are your plans for the weekend? Anything fun on tap? We plan to relax and rejuvenate after a busy week but will keep our eyes open for more signs of spring. Whatever you do, we hope you will enjoy a similar encounter.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ March 21, 2022

Smiles

And just like today’s smile, Norman is heading to hospital to reduce stress in nurses and patients. We hope you get some time in the ‘Lab’ this week.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ March 18, 2022

Welcome to this week’s edition of 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 their link to see what others are sharing.

While the Spring Equinox is scheduled to arrive on Sunday, it continues to tease the Ranch Hands as it takes one step forward and then retreats briefly. Tuesday and Wednesday were warm and inspired me to cleanup various flower beds before another storm was forecast to arrive. While raking up winter debris, I took note of a few unexpected early arrivals.

Flowers

These hyacinths are beginning to wake up from their winter snooze and should be ready to bloom in a couple of weeks or so now that Mile High sun has nudged them.

Garden poppies are beginning to wipe the sleep from their eyes as they started greening up. Seeing green not related to St. Patrick’s Day was so exciting, I nearly did an Irish jig. The  key word being “nearly.” I don’t think I’ve actually ‘jigged’ for decades but in my mind I was pirouetting with joy as if I were young and limber again. The ground was moist and loamy with that invigorating scent of a world of microorganisms. There’s nothing like the smell of freshly tilled ground: earthy and fragrant, full of life from decayed material.

Flowers

Raking up leaves accumulated over the winter, I interrupted several bees hoping to nosh peacefully amidst the freshly bloomed baby-blue, grape hyacinths (their purple cousins continue to sleep in for a bit). When these little charmers appear, I know spring is, indeed on its way. These cuties continue to naturalize throughout the garden as I discovered  some in unexpected spots between the flagstones. The spring cleanup will continue for some time to remove marauding plants to better sites.

Flowers

A lovely day spent getting my hands in the dirt, I waited for the forecasted spring storm to arrive. True to the ‘Springtime in the Rockies’ adage and all which that means to Front Range gardeners, yesterday’s landscape turned into a beautiful sea of heavy, wet spring snow.

Snow

I had previously scheduled my tax returns to be prepared yesterday and decided to walk over rather than drive. It was surprisingly as quiet as it was beautiful. I say ‘beautiful’ because like 99% of all spring storms in the Mile High, it will be mostly melted by late today, a nice drink of welcome moisture for the landscape.

Snow

As I took in the scene, I couldn’t help but notice some ground cover tumbling over the rock wall surrounding the grounds of the assisted living home across the street from my appointment.

Snow

Walking along two of the sides of this oversized city block,  beauty along the fenceline emerged like lace.

Snow

The weekend promises more spring-like temperatures which will beckon more garden work but commitments for the ongoing Canine Colorado magazine fundraiser has higher priority, taking me south to the Colorado Springs area to help another supermodel with his day before the camera, after which I’ll continue southbound and drop in to see my dad. As Norman will be heading to hospital on Monday for visits, it will be a busy weekend getting him ready for his shifts following the photoshoot. Just don’t mention the bath/groom to him-wouldn’t want to wreck spring’s arrival on his tender psyche with his aversion to getting wet.

What plans are on your dance card for this weekend when Spring arrives? Whatever you do, we hope you are able to get out there and immerse your soul in Nature’s gifts.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Top ‘O the Morning To Ye

The  Leprechaun Ranch Hand sends his best Irish wishes to you. ☘️ Erin go bragh! ☘️

Norman

Meanwhile the Celtic Sluagh…aka The Ninja, seems to be [once again] preparing to hunt down my soul. If there’s anything to that adage, ‘luck of the Irish,’  now would be a good time for it. Then again, she could just as easily be channeling the Celtic goddess of evil magic, “Carman” who, as a destructive witch, roamed around with her three evil sons: Dub (“darkness” in Irish), Dother (“evil”) and Dain (“violence”), destroying anything or anyone in their path.

It was thought that Carman was responsible for cursing Ireland’s crops until the Tuatha De Danann (peoples of the goddess Danu) used their magic to fight and defeat her.

Elsa, St. Patrick's Day
I am NOT amused, nor am I Irish

May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you wherever you go. Happy St. Patrick’s Day from everyone at the Ranch. Slainte!

Live, love, bark! 🐾