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! 🐾

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! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ September 9, 2022

Nature FridayWelcome to this week’s edition of Nature Friday where we join our pals over at Adventures of the LLB Gang for their weekly blog post. Make sure you check out the link for other posts.

We were absent for last week’s blog hop as we went to celebrate my Dad’s 92nd birthday for a few days so this week’s offerings are a bit ‘catch-as-catch-can’ with no real theme. But sometimes that works out ok as Nature often can be a benevolent mistress when sharing beautiful sights. We weren’t able to do a lot of looking around this week, between the broiling temperatures and catching up after several days away, but managed to capture a few pics from our trip that just might do nicely.

Birthday
92 never looked so good

Different from most trips down to Dad’s house in southern Colorado was the addition of a certain Ninja coming along. She loves my Dad so I thought I’d see how’d she do in the ‘wild’ if you will. New situations for Elsa are always tricky and I’ll admit she was definitely a bit out of her routine element but she handled things far better than I had hoped. Dad’s property isn’t fenced and there are loads of critters weaving across the two acres (ground squirrels, rabbits, quail and heaven only knows) but she stayed close to me, cautiously sniffing the trees, bushes and ground. Norman of course, was his usual self but having two clever dogs to keep an eye on kept me on my toes. I’ve learned to never leave anything to chance when dogs are involved.

Let’s start with meeting the neighbors. Norman loves saying good morning to the donkeys across the road and they seem very keen on him so I wondered how Elsa might do.

Elsa & the donkeys
‘What the bloody heck?’

She has that “what the &#@% are those things” look to her in this pic, which cracked me up. The guys, however are pros around the dogs and didn’t blink an eye no doubt wondering what the fuss-up was all about as Elsa lost her mind and barked her fool head off. Oh that dog.

Rather than wake up the entire area, after brief introductions, we moseyed along our on walk.

Norman
Norman meets a horse

The next morning following a most delightful evening rainstorm, the morning skies seemed to shout “Are ya happy now?”

Sunrise

It was exquisitely beautiful. But it got better. As we started out on our morning walk, the sky kept getting redder and redder with that great cloud cover. After we climbed the first hill, I turned around and this is what I saw.

Norman & Elsa

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more intense and spectacular sunrise anywhere. It was just breathtaking.

We all had a great visit, celebrating, eating, laughing, and Zooming with out-of-state relatives. It was one terrific visit for one terrific human. Once we got back to Denver, we noticed a new neighbor moved in around the corner from the Ranch so naturally we had to check them out. The dogs weren’t sure what to make of the new feathery dudes, and the ducks sure aren’t keen on them getting too close, but they quack at us every day when we walk by.  They usually are swimming in one of the two small pools as their owners sip a cuppa and watch over them. They wave, I wave and Elsa barks her fool head off. She may never be a member on the Welcome Wagon, but fortunately the duck owners seem friendly. I’ll stop when the dogs aren’t with me to welcome them personally.

Neighborhood Ducks

It’s bounty time now in the veggie garden. I came home to the potted tomato plants kicking into high gear. The cherry tomatoes have been a regular, heavy producer but it’s outperformed itself this year in the hot temps.  They are like little red candies-so sweet, so tasty. The ‘Early Girl’ is just now beginning to ripen. All the fruit seems fairly misshapen as well as smaller than I anticipated so I think this year’s experimental planting likely won’t be repeated next year, no doubt to the chagrin of the neighborhood hoodlums…aka squirrels. Anytime I can irritate that local population, I’m a happy gardener.

Tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes
Tomatoes
‘Early Girl’ tomatoes

Well, that’s it for us. With a break in the heat bubble this weekend, we’re hoping to be able to get out and find more of the amazing sights Nature routinely bequeaths us. A news report this morning indicated the Western US should experience a La Niña winter (colder/wetter while warmer/drier in the Southeast), with Colorado being pretty much the dividing line between the two so we’ll see what this means in the weeks ahead. I’ll be grateful to turn the AC off. Hope you are able to enjoy some of Nature’s finest. Have a ‘wagnificent’ weekend.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ August 19, 2022

Hard to believe we’re more than half way through August already which means we’re just a little over a month (34 days if precision is your jam) until autumn arrives. Count us in the happy column.

Elsa
Elsa here, your award winning correspondent, and I’m joining the LLB Gang for this week’s look at what nature dished out this week. Don’t forget to check out their Nature blog hop.

We started the week out with…ahem…steady yourselves…a nice little shower! I know, who’d have thunk it, right? Mom was expecting our usual 16 drops when she took me for a second walk all by myself. I was so excited spending one on one time with her, that is until about halfway to the post office when those 16 drops multiplied by a jillion. It wasn’t a heavy rain but it did drench us fairly well. We figured it’s be only a couple of minutes but ended up lasting for over an hour. Hurrah. They haven’t been too horribly bad and I’m hoping the 90º+F days are pretty much over. We’re beginning to see very, very subtle signs that autumn is coming. Then again it could be that some trees are so stressed, they’re just giving up for the season-they just can’t take it anymore.

At any rate, this week I decided to share some pretty gladiolus from around our ‘Hood. Mom has never planted them (she says her partial shade garden wouldn’t be a good place for planting them and she’s kind of OCD when it comes to any plant that flops over). Oh well, at least she has neighbors who have sunny yards and apparently don’t mind having to support them. Let’s check out this year’s crop of Glads, shall we?

Flowers

This ruffled, purple one is my favorite although I have to say they all were quite pretty.

Flowers

Mom was hoping she’d find a bee noshing down the throats of these flowers but she didn’t see any. Doggone it, I love following them buzz around and luckily don’t think they’re ‘sky raisins’ which makes Mom very happy.

Flowers

Mom also liked this pink one. She just kept saying out loud, “Oh my gosh, that’s just so gorgeous.” As you can imagine, I just shook my head. We had things to do and places to see. What’s wrong with our huMoms is a question I ask myself all the time.

Flowers

Ok, I’ll give her a pass. This time. It is kinda pretty.

Moving along on our tour…we walk past this house all the time but hadn’t noticed the front garden with the bike and wagon before until Mom was out photographing gladiolus. It may be a new feature this year. The border garden is quite lovely and we both were a bit surprised no one has stolen the bike which unfortunately seems to be a favorite of urban hoodlums these days. It seems that if you don’t have something nailed down, you can probably figure someone will filch it. Recently someone reported their baby stroller was stolen from their front porch and someone else reported someone swiped a potted plant. It’s getting ridiculous. How come people aren’t walking around the neighborhood to check out the beautiful flowers instead of causing larcenous mischief?

Flowers

Well that’s it for the ‘Glad’ show. I do have a critter pic to share though. A raccoon mom and her two babies have been combing the block early in the mornings while we’re out doing our thing. The babies are quite afraid of me and Norman but the mama seems poised to go all Oprah on us. She stands her ground till we get a little closer and then they either climb a tree or most often zip down into the storm sewer. That reminds me, anybody know what is so doggone interesting about those storm sewers anyway? I’ve seen foxes go down them too. The mysteries of life are just so confounding to us doggos.

Critters

So…you got anything exciting going on this weekend? I’m trying to get Mom to do something different, but we’ll see. She’s been so busy lately and then there’s the fact she’ll be doing hospital visits next week so we’ll both likely be getting bathed and groomed. Ugh…Mom…you know that wasn’t what I had in mind, right?

Have a cool weekend, both in what you do as well as temperature wise.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ July 29, 2022

Lavender FestivalIt’s Friday and that means it’s time to join our pals Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard for this week’s Nature Friday. Today is the last Friday in July and we’re pretty chuffed about it since it puts us that much closer to the arrival of autumn…which is just 55 days away for anyone keeping track.

Hello fellow nature lovers, Norman here to wrap up Part 2 of the Lavender Festival that Mum attended recently. The Ninja agreed to let me finish up this week’s nature walk. {Whispering softly} Elsa’s in the other room so hopefully we’ll avoid any peanut gallery comments while I wrap this up.

Elsa (voice coming from Mom’s studio): Not so fast, dog breath. My uber sensitive, world renowned hearing is primed for anything stupid you may say, so just know I’m only a micro decibel away from stepping in if need be.

Norman: [Sigh…muttering under his breath…”and to think I was “this close” to pulling it off without being badgered”]. Replying: “Fine…snoopervise all you like but I think you’ll agree I’ve got this well in hand and am well prepared to share Mum’s photos.”

Elsa: Time will tell you, bloviating bag of fur. Just remember…I’m. Watching Listening.

Norman: {Panting with just a tinge of stress} Moving along now, let’s check out a few of the critters Mum encountered while touring the farm at Denver Botanical Gardens, Chatfield location. Click on this link for more info about the Hildebrand historic farm and surrounding trails and plant refuge at Chatfield. Last week, I shared the pic of the ‘Elvis Duck’ (otherwise known as a Crested Duck who was graciously identified by our friend Ingrid from Meezer’s Mews and Terrieristrical Woofs). This week I have a few more ani-pals to share. Mum saw a few goats and chickens along with Elvis. There were a couple who seemed rather plump, like This one who was content to lay in the hay trough while catching some sunshine as loads of young uprights squealed with delight at its antics. You may recall it was pretty hot that day so none of the animals were expending a lot of energy moving around. Looks like had she managed to lose her ear tag.

Critters
Mum thinks these goats are Anglo-Nubian variety 

Critters

Norman: Oh my…I daresay this gal is NOT plump…she’s pregnant. Carrying around another goat inside you on a hot sunny day, has to rank fairly high on the ‘miserable aspects of summer’ list.

Elsa [heckling from the studio]:  She’s almost as fat as you, Bucko!

Norman [continuing]: Ahem…as I was saying before being rudely interrupted…Elsa [now yelling]: You want interrupted, pal?!  I’ll show you interrupted. Hrumpf! Sheesh, you try to give a guy a break to get into media and what does he do…takes your awesome mentorship for granted.

Norman: [ignoring the background grumbling from the studio] As I was about to say, one of the reasons Mum likes to go to the Chatfield location is she always learns something new. There was a demonstration table set up with various plants used to dye fabric. Makes you eye naturally dyed fabric knowing that some remarkable plant created that gorgeous shade of blue, yellow or orange somewhat differently, doesn’t it? All of these jars of dried flowers contained flowers that were used to dye the pieces of silk on which they were displayed. Mum wished she would have seen the entire presentation.

Indigo

Marigold

Cosmos

Madder Root

Dyer's Coreopsis

While wandering about the grounds, Mum came across this pretty specimen that seemed deliberately planted. At first she thought it was some sort of yarrow (which is also used as a natural fabric dye), but later discovered it was in fact, Wild Carrot plant. It’s still pretty and I’d definitely check it out closely for its scent, given a chance.
FlowersElsa [from Mom’s studio]: Of course you would…you NEVER miss a chance to sniff or water ANY plants. You’re probably the main reason why they don’t let us good dogs accompany their parents to the botanical gardens.

Norman: For the record dear sister, service animals ARE allowed at the botanical gardens.

Elsa [from the studio]: Oh sure, insert facts here while I’m trying to make a point.

Norman:  [Getting back on task…] Often referred to as Queen Anne’s Lace or Bird’s Nest plants, Wild Carrot is edible but best avoided since it closely resembles hemlock and you definitely wouldn’t want to risk confusing the two. Besides, it’s considered an invasive weed in many areas.

Norman: Here’s a colorful chicken Mum found in the Elvis’ enclosure. The image doesn’t do it justice-just look at that colorful chest plumage.

Chicken

Norman: One of the best things Mum saw non-lavender related, was she realized that the Stickworks exhibit is still standing. For more photos and background info about it back when the exhibit opened, check here. Her only regret was not being able to check it out more thoroughly because there were too many people and it was too hot to wait until it cleared. It’s held up rather nicely in the three years since it first opened to the public.

Stickworks

Norman: Well that’s it for me and the Lavender Festival. I’m fairly certain next year, Mum will avoid the festival and go see the lavender and other plants days before to avoid the crush of crowds. Have any plans for the weekend? I’m just planning on recuperating after seeing gobs of people this week at Lutheran. My goodness, had no idea I was so popular!. One staff person was so excited to see me, she gave me a small stuffed teddy for all my pet therapy work.

Norman

Elsa: Yeah, I saw the pics of you carrying it around. Do you realize how stupid you looked?

Norman: I’ll have you know I was most dignified. But how wonderful was it that she gave me a new toy (although it’s not like I don’t have enough toys in the overflowing basket but it meant the world to me all the same).

Norman

Elsa: You are so gullible-she probably was trying to bribe you to get you to leave early.

Norman: Not likely, sister…I’ll have you know I have a big fan club and enjoy spending time with them all.

Elsa: Whatever gets you through the day. I was able to nap in complete bliss without the presence of a certain hairy beast.

Norman: I hope you enjoyed this year’s lavender festival and are able to get outside this weekend and enjoy Mother Nature.

Elsa: Speak for yourself, dude. I plan on chill-axin on the sofa…unless the new raccoons who moved in the ‘Hood show up. Then all bets are off. Ditto, if any bunnies are around.

Norman [rolling eyes]: Whatever you do, do it safely, stay hydrated and enjoy Mother Nature. Hope to see you again soon.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ July 22, 2022

Nature FridayWhew, we made it to Friday before melting. This week we’re once again joining Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard for Nature Friday. Greetings, peeps, Norman at the helm today. The Ninja turned over today’s post to me so I’ll try to do my best to provide an interesting walk about Nature, Denver style. We sure managed to see a bunch of nature this morning on our post dawn walk. From death defying jumps by squirrels from telephone poles to rooftops, a couple of chubby raccoons who scurried into a drain, and a noisy cat fight in the middle of the street, we saw it all (Mum just couldn’t photograph any of it because she couldn’t balance our leashes, and safely hang on to a certain nameless Ninja who was losing her mind at the sights all the while trying to pull her phone out of her  pocket in time. Perhaps another day, eh?

[From nearby room] Elsa: You better not screw this up you big tank!

Norman: Ahem…I thought you said I could do this by myself.

[From nearby room] Elsa: I’ll still be snoopervising from the other room, dog breath.

Norman: Can I start uninterrupted now?

[From nearby room] Elsa: Knock yourself out, just don’t screw it up. I’m watching and have razor sharp hearing.

Norman:  Sigh. Let’s start, shall we? Mum went to the annual Lavender Festival last weekend, and I may need to split this up over a couple of weeks. There were so many photos, I just couldn’t decide just what to share.

Flowers

[continuing] Norman: It was a bloody hot day so Mum didn’t stay in the sunny spots too much but you can see past  lavender photos from the last festival here along with a video about the Chatfield location. This was the first time since 2019 the festival was held after a COVID hiatus.

She did spend a lot of time at the butterfly house. She’s fascinated by these guys flitting around from flower to flower. Can you blame her?Flowers

Butterflies

Mum was somewhat surprised by the large number of people attending so early (and most were maskless) so she and her friend (my Auntie Cheryl) tried to avoid the crowds as much as possible. And did I mention it was HOT and sunny? A sheepdog like me isn’t a fan of all the heat but when you add intense sun at a mile high, it’s a wonder she managed to stay as long as she did. I’m sure I’d have dug a hole in the shade and laid there till time to go.

[From nearby room] Elsa:  Pfft…as if they’d let you in.

[continuing] Norman:  As I was saying…here are more photos of some of the many butterflies.

Butterflies

Butterflies

[continuing] Norman: Gosh, aren’t they something? I guess I understand now why Mum is so fascinated by them.

[continuing] Norman: After wandering about the butterfly house, Mum and Auntie Cheryl wandered the grounds at Chatfield. The Coleus was particularly impressive. Just look at those brilliant neon colors!

Flowers Flowers

[continuing] Norman: Mum said she might even plant some in pots in the garden next year. They sure are colorful.

[continuing] Norman: Mum toured the historic farm at the Chatfield botanical gardens (it’s a part of the Denver Botanical Garden facilities located near Chatfield Dam in the southern suburbs). She saw goats, ducks, and chickens at the farm. Here’s the weirdest animal she encountered. Look at the bouffant-what in the bloody blue blazes is THAT?

Ducks

[continuing] Norman: Poofy-headed Elvis the Duck was a bit of slob when it came to drink but then again he wasn’t very happy being the subject of finger-pointing by all the visitors crowding around him so Mum and Auntie Cheryl moved along to see other aspects of the farm which I’ll share next week.

[From nearby room] Elsa:  What makes you think I’ll let you do the honors next week?

[continuing] Norman:  Hmm, well one of us will share the other photos next time. That’s it for this week. We hope you enjoyed this butterfly edition of the Lavender Festival. Stay cool if you can and if possible get out to see some nature this weekend. We’re planning to mostly hide out in the comfort of the air conditioned house. Good lord, will the heat ever go away? Just 62 days until autumn arrives.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ July 8, 2022

Ranch HandsWelcome to another Nature Friday post where I, Elsa, the world class and award winning Ninja correspondent will share the latest from our urban nature-scape. As always, we’re joining our pals, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard for their weekly Nature Friday blog hop. Make sure to click on their link to see other posts from Blogville.

Mom insisted ‘suggested’ I share reporting duties with the big guy this week. Personally, I think he whined to Mom about not getting enough attention after the publication of the latest edition of Colorado Canine magazine where he was sorta a star. The Dude thinks he’s some sort of super model and wants even more attention, so I guess I’ll throw him a bone just to get him to shut up. Anyway, I can always use a slave intern to expand my media empire.

Norman: Bone? Intern? Did I miss something? You know perfectly well that Mum doesn’t like us collecting bones on our constitutionals. And furthermore, I. Am. Not. An. Intern. I am the refined, archetypical Old English Sheepdog. Read…dignified and, after my two-page spread in the heretofore mentioned  magazine, am rather famous these days. And I’m patiently awaiting the official unveiling in an upcoming post. Hint, hint, Mum.

Elsa: Forget the magazine spread, fur-ball. We’ve got this Nature Friday gig-besides, no one cares about your magazine spread. Hmm…[thinking out loud]…this gives me a great idea about how to distract get rid of His Fur-ness through food.

Norman: I beg your pardon…contrary to popular belief I probably notice more around the neighborhood than you do, truth be told. As I recall, you were the one who totally missed seeing a bunny on two of our most recent walks, little sister.

Elsa: Wait…there was a bunny I missed? Egad!

Norman: Umm, can we just get started with this week’s offerings? If memory serves me correctly, I think you wanted to share all things pink this week.

Elsa: Yeah, yeah, hold on to your fur, Bucko. Sheesh, can’t believe I missed an opportunity to drag Mom see a bunny. Ok, let’s get this show on the road. I don’t need to spend more time with you than is absolutely necessary. I’m still cheesed I have to share my award winning column with you.

Norman: Wait…there’s cheese involved? No one told me about all these snacks for co-hosting with you.

Elsa: Oh for love of all that’s holy. Let’s move on, okay?

Norman: Right-o. I’m rather fond of this pretty pink lily. Just look at this beauty against that beautiful sky.

Flowers

Elsa: Yeah, yeah, pretty in pink lily. But check out this tricolor European Birch from the neighbor’s house. I mean pink freakin’ leaves…on a tree!

Tree

Norman: Well done, Ninja. It is one of the more unusual trees in the neighborhood.

Elsa: Of course it is, fool. Do I know how to pick out unusual offerings or what? They don’t call me award winning for nothing.

Norman: As I recall, no one has said you were award winning. It’s just something you came up with so you could develop a ‘brand’ as I recall.

Elsa: You say po-ta-to, I say po-tah-to.

Norman: Moving along…nothing says summer quite like these old-fashioned roses. And with their delicate scent, they are the perfect rose to share for our hostess, Miss Rosy.

Flowers

Elsa: I’m sure she thinks you’re just trying to put the ‘Rico Suave’ moves on her and is not the slightest bit impressed.

Norman: Be that as it may, I’m quite chuffed by seeing them on our walks.

Elsa: You would. You’re so easily entertained. Look at these two kinds of Echinacea I found. One is the traditional variety being sullied by those nasty Japanese Beetles that are beginning to overrun gardens throughout the Mile High City. The other one is a double. Isn’t it something?

Flowers

Flowers

Norman: Well…Bob’s your uncle on both those choices, sister!

Elsa: Wha…oh good grief. Stop speaking the Queen’s English you fool and just stick to being my intern…which means shouldn’t you be rustling up some tasty treats about now?

Norman: I thought I made it perfectly clear, I am not your fetch boy. Staying on point however, I did find a couple of pink blooms that our readers might enjoy. First is a pale pink Hollyhock, and the second is the gloriously shocking Poppy Mallow. I know for a fact that mum loves those cerise blooms.

Flowers

Flowers
Poppy mallow after a quick shower

Elsa: Ok, I’ll give you that those are distinctive but then so was the ‘doorman’ that scared the bejesus out of Mom when we came home from our morning walk. I’m not sure who jumped the highest, you, me or Mom. I do know she screamed like a little pig though.

Critters

Norman:  Blimey…that was the most unwelcome and disgusting early morning pest. I didn’t even try to eat it.

Elsa: Yeah, not my kind of protein either. I was kind of surprised that Mom didn’t drop the leashes and go running away like a crazy person. But it managed to freak us all out, didn’t it?

Norman: {shudder} I can’t…just can’t, say any more about that hideous creature.

Elsa: Well, come to think of it, I think we’ve actually heard enough from you anyway. Well, that’s it for another week. The heat dome is settling on top of us for the next few days. I have noticed that you tend to hang out near the AC vent or spread out in front of a fan in Mom’s studio. Actually dude…I don’t blame you one bit but just hope you’ll move over a tad so I can catch some of the breeze as well. Those triple digits are gonna suck.

Norman

Elsa: This is Elsa the Ninja reporting from the Ranch. Please join us again next time for another look around the urban landscape and see what Nature dishes up. Maybe next time I won’t have my style cramped by a certain brother.

Norman: I heard that. Please have a safe weekend and drink lots of water. And, if you are able to get out there to see if Nature has any less extreme offerings, have a lovely weekend. For the record, I’ll just be ‘faffing around’ myself.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ July 1, 2022

July 4Welcome to the first Friday of July…my goodness…how is it possible 2022 is halfway over? One minute we were taking down holiday decorations and now we’re hoping to safely get through another holiday-July 4th. {Head shaking} Hi, it’s Elsa, your intrepid award-winning correspondent ready to share a fresh batch of nature scenes from our recent walkabouts. As always we’re joining our pals, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard for their weekly Nature Friday blog hop. Be sure to click on the link to see other posts including scenes of nature from around Blogville.

Rainbow

You may have heard there was a bit of a ‘celestial happening’ recently with mom’s favorite team winning the most prestigious sports award, the Stanley Cup. It’s been a week of celebration culminating with a ‘few’ people gathering for a parade and rally yesterday. The local paper estimated some 500,000 people attended and while there was LOTS and I do mean LOTS of alcohol, everyone was well behaved and enjoyed the team’s first Cup win in 21 years. The skies were moody, but not even thunder, lightning, or a little rain shower, could not dampen spirits of the Colorado Avalanche faithful.

Hockey
Stanley Cup rally, Civic Center Park

Anyway, let’s get to checking out some nature scenes of another type from around the Ranch, shall we? Mom found some rather unusual blooms on our daily walks. Take this Mediterranean Sea Holly (Eryngium bourgatii) plant. It likes sunny and dry well-drained soil. The flowers feel like balsa wood and it’s drought and rabbit resistant. Sure hope she doesn’t plant any in my yard since I’m all about wanting to attract bunnies. Besides, anything to keep the stupid squirrels away is fine with me. Isn’t that blue color unusual?

Flowers

We also discovered some unusual Calla lilies. A striking hot pink one and a black one. I was ready to keep on walking but Mom had to examine them for several minutes. “Come on, Mom…” Ugh, parents!

Flowers

Flowers

One of mom’s friends has this Clematis next to her front door and she took this pic because it was so gorgeous. I can tell you her Clematis is not at all this pretty-I keep telling her to stop being so stingy with the H2O but she mumbles something about when I start paying the water bill, so I put my paws in my ears. Funny how that gets her to pipe down. But what a welcoming sight for her friend’s visitors.

Flowers

Here’s another lily we pass by every day. Norman and I are mostly unphased by it but probably because we’re too busy hoping to see ‘Fred,’ the Akita who lives there. Fred always likes it when we walk by because it allows me to bark like as maniac at him. I like to think it’s little our joint effort to get mom to cough up treats in her pockets to calm us down. She’s so gullible but it seems to work every time.

Flowers

We usually don’t see red lilies like that so it’s nice to see such bright color. This lily marks the halfway mark on our walk, which seems to appease Norman. I could go a lot farther than that lummox but whatever cranks your handle, right? Mom says after a hot week and Norman’s visits to the hospital he deserves a relaxed, easy going walk. I’ll get even with him, I’ve already hidden all his favorite toys in the studio and plan to block the doorway so he won’t try to come in and play with them. I’m like that, yeah I am. {snicker}

The sunflowers are starting to bloom now and they’re fun to see all the different kinds and colors. Sunflowers are a natural squirrel attractor so naturally, I’m all over them. Doggone varmints-they can’t just be content with stealing my strawberries, they have to harvest the sunflower seeds as well. Let me tell you, I’m keeping my eyes open for them. Nobody steals my strawberries without me having something to say about it even if the sunflowers looks like a bullseye.

Flowers

I guess I’d be a poor correspondent if I didn’t mention the July 4th holiday weekend.  We’re not fans of fireworks so we’ll just be holed up away from the noisemakers. Please be considerate of us pets who are afraid of fireworks, as well as some peeps who are equally traumatized.

Until next time when I share moments of nature with brother Norman, stay safe and as cool as possible in this dog-awful heat but make sure you get out and experience some of nature’s beauty early in the day. Only 82 days until autumn arrives. {wink, wink}

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ June 24, 2022

Welcome to this week’s edition of Nature Friday. Award-winning international correspondent, Elsa here joining our fur-pals, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard with their weekly Nature Friday blog hop. Don’t forget to click on their link to see other posts about nature from around Blogville.

Norman: Ahem…when did you become an award-winning international correspondent? May I remind you that you were born in Northern Colorado?

Elsa: Geography is subjective, brother…besides I needed to beef up my ‘brand’ by creating a compelling presence for these Friday posts.

Norman: Does Mum know what you’re doing?

Elsa: You better not rat me out, hairball or I’ll make your life miserable.

Norman: Trust me, I won’t be the one to tell Mum her blog has been taken over by a fraud someone who’s ‘creating a brand.’

Elsa:  Whatever. Didn’t anyone ever tell you it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission? Besides, you’re ruining my byline with all this chatter. Let’s get on to showing off this week’s images my pawsome reporting skills.

Norman: Go right ahead but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Elsa: Thank goodness, maybe now that dolt will let me get on with doing my job. Sheesh…so this week…let’s take a look at some images mom took recently when she went up to the foothills in Morrison, Colorado to meet with family and friends. They met up at a place called The Fort.

What is The Fort, you ask? It’s a full scale adobe replica of the 19th century fur trading fort, Bent’s Fort. Created by Sam’l P. Arnold and his wife, “Bay” (Elizabeth), local amateur historians who wanted to create an authentic adobe home for their children to grow up in the country outside Denver. Purchasing the Morrison property in 1961, they began building the adobe structure consisting of 80,000 adobe blocks for the main building. When construction costs exceeded the budget, Sam’l and Bay had their builders redesign the lower level into a business location while the upper level served as the family’s living quarters. The furniture, gates, doors and chairs were hand carved by Taos artists in the same style as they were in 1833; their restaurant opened for business in February 1963. Today’s menu is inspired by the same recipes that pioneers ate along the Santa Fe Trail of the 1800’s. While the food is terrific,  the scenery is what we’re going to showcase today.

Foothills

As you prepare to enter The Fort, one of the first things you’ll notice are the surrounding rolling hills and scenic vistas. Then you’re greeted  by quite a sight. Yikes, is that a SNAKE? Mom, what are you doing hanging out with snakes?

The Fort

Mom: Well, Miss award-winning, international correspondent, isn’t that part of your job of due diligence/research for this story?

Elsa: Heh, heh…ummm, I’m going with that’s some fancy kind of kinky artwork on the surrounding red rocks. We’ll leave it at that. Moving right along…

Door handles
Doorway to The Fort’s restaurant

Let’s continue, shall we? The courtyard boasts signage about The Fort’s history.

Sign

After reading the sign, you are blown away by the adobe construction and full sized teepee inside in the courtyard.

Courtyard

Teepee

The bear carving is a replica of the adopted Canadian black bear cub the Arnold’s daughter played with as a child. ‘Sissy the Bear’ lived with the family for 19 years.

The Fort

The Fort is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Fort

An outdoor patio has a few water features that add to the ambience of the area.Water feature

As you prepare to order a meal, you can look out toward Denver and imagine what Native Americans and pioneers alike encountered with the landscape while enjoying a lovely evening.

The Fort

Well, that’s it for this week. Join us again next time when we look at all the remarkable sights Nature is kind enough to provide us. We hope you are able to enjoy Nature the weekend. Stay cool if at all possible, and drink lots of water, okay. This is Elsa, award-winning international correspondent signing out  but before I go, don’t forget it’s “Take Your Dog to Work” today. I hope this means I’ll get lots of treats in the studio. You did bring home a buffalo bone or two, right mom? Have a great weekend, everyone.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾