Nature Friday ~ December 30, 2022

It may be the last Friday of 2022, and even though we haven’t posted much lately, we could not let this week’s Nature sights not be shared. As always, we’re joining our pals from the LLB Gang.

We hope you had a lovely Christmas celebration. Returning home, I noticed what might have been a few bargain hunters lining up early at a local WalMart probably waiting to make returns.

Birds

Once back at home, Norman did his last visits for 2022. The big guy was quite grateful that the days he visited early in the week coincided with the top end of the extremes we encountered. This graphic taken from last night’s weather showing the high and low temps. Understand this turn-around happened in a mere 24-hour period. We’re still recovering from the whiplash.

Weather

Once again I headed down south to spend the Christmas holiday weekend with my Dad and other family members. It’s always a good excuse for all the good cooks in the family to showcase their skills. From brisket to lasagne and everything in between, we had quite the feast.

Christmas Dinner

The sunrises this past week have been beyond incredible. Rising early to catch up on computer work before the others rose, I was blown away by the vibrant colors shining in the living room. Adjectives seem totally inadequate to describe them.

Sunrise Sunrise

Then yesterday Winter tapped me on the shoulder and said thanks for holding my beer and promptly dumped over 8 inches of very wet, white stuff. It was more like a Spring storm than one that is typical right now. There were lots of fallen branches around town though my street was luckily unscathed.

Snowstorm

It also took hours to plow the sidewalks. While this time of year often becomes reflective on all that’s happened throughout, the top question of my introspection continues to be: “remind me again why I bought a house on an oversized corner lot?”

Despite several hours of shoveling, it was a beautiful sight. Not sure if it was beautiful enough to warrant a repeat performance but the weather folks cautioned residents to not put the snow shovel away just yet. A fresh storm is forecasted to welcome the New Year.

Snow

While I’ve often shared how Norman isn’t a fan of cold or snow, no one can say this boy doesn’t know how to effectively deal with it…as in stay inside no matter what. Elsa may go bouncing outside in deep swirling snowflakes like a loon, Norman is more low keyed and prefers the warmth of the sofa. With blankets.

Norman

That’s it from us for 2022. We want to wish you all a safe and very Happy 2023. Stay warm, hug your loved ones and don’t forget to enjoy the amazing beauty Nature provides.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ November 11, 2022

Norman & ElsaWelcome to this week’s edition of Nature Friday which just happens to fall on Veterans Day in the US. An official public holiday celebrated in the US annually on November 11, we  honor military veterans, that is, anyone who served in the United States Armed Forces. Also known as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day in other countries, it marks the anniversary of the end of World War I when the major hostilities formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. Prior to 1954, it was known as Armistice Day in the US and still is known by that name elsewhere. The Ranch Hands and I tip our hats to all veterans today so that we may be free. Red poppies are frequently worn to commemorate today but without any blooming poppies, we’ll serve up as different kind of flora and hope you don’t mind.

As always, we’re joining those fur-kids from Adventures of the LLB Gang for this weekly blog hop where people from around Blogville share slices of Nature.

This nimble little dude pretty much describes how the weather has been again this week. Up, down and all around throughout this week. It’s enough to make you dizzy.Yo-yo
We’re now well into the season of brown with countless leaves raining down on the landscape pretty much nonstop. Bags and bags full of leaves are primed to be recycled into luscious compost at the city leaf drop. But first, my back needs to chill after all that raking, which still isn’t complete but at least people can see the sidewalk once again.

With the up and down temps, imagine my surprise at seeing some colorful roses when visiting a friend yesterday. I can’t help but wonder how they fared overnight. When we woke up this morning it was a brisk 18ºF degrees. Brrrrrrr. Norman looked at me with an expression that suggested I was out of my mind. That may well be ole chap, but the truth remains, you need to make a pit stop. An audible harrumph may have been heard as he slowly meandered out to the dog run.

I’m always drawn to vibrant hues of pink in roses and this one punched my dance card nicely.

Flowers

Coming in on the beauty pagent of beautiful roses comes this peachy orange colored one. The fact that it was nicely highlighted in the autumn sunlight also made it worthy to share.

Flowers

But of the three, I think this one is my absolute favorite. Those beautiful shades of peach, pink and yellow spoke to me, saying it was the belle of the ball. And I had to concede that fact.

Flowers

Well that’s it from us. Do you still have roses blooming in your garden? What’s your favorite color of rose?

We hope you have a wonderful weekend but ask that you stop for a few moments and think about honoring veterans in some special way. After all, they are what makes our freedom possible. Whatever name you call it, we hope you have a safe and reflective Veteran/Armistice Day.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

 

 

 

 

 

Howl-oween Monday ~ October 31, 2022

Today is ‘Howl-oween,’ a day celebrated by kids of all ages who enjoy dressing up and receiving treats from total strangers. Could it be our own pets think EVERY day should be like that for them? I know the Ranch Hands think they should get treats all the time but aren’t all that keen on the dressing up part.

Whatever your thoughts about today’s festivities may be, do you think you’ll be visited by a bunch of ghosts and goblins this evening? After tonight, our sights will focus on the next holiday-Thanksgiving, which lends itself well to today’s smile.

Halloween

Norman for one, will be pleased the season is coming to an end. He’s somewhat over all the costume changes as evidenced by his expression here.

Norman

Elsa, on the other hand, simply glares a “don’t EVEN think about it” look every time I pull out a costume or go through the hat box and am sure she’s thinking up ways to punish me whenever I cast my eye toward her. But come on Ninja, you gotta admit you look pretty fetching in your new Ranch Hand chapeau.Elsa

Despite the grumbling and/or eye rolling, both Ranch Hands and I wish you a safe and happy ‘Howl-oween.’

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ October 28, 2022

Holy cow, it’s the last Friday of October. Where in the doggone world has this month gone? Seems like it was just Labor Day, doesn’t it? Now that Howl-oween is upon us, let’s take a look at what Nature dished out this week. As usual, we are joining those cuties from Adventures of the LLB Gang for their weekly blog hop. Don’t forget to check out what others shared from their own natural world.

Nature dealt us a full deck of cards this week. Once again, some very interesting spring plants were blooming and caught our Mom off guard to the point, she did a lot of double takes while on our walks. Norman and Elsa here to share what we found over the past few days.

Elsa: I have a whiplash from Mom going back to check out a couple of plants we saw. Like this Lupine from our own garden! Mom thought it might be a good idea to start winterizing the hoses and water spigot and nearly stepped on this little guy. Naturally I just blinked at it and thought, “whatever.”

Flowers

Norman: Oh come on…we haven’t seen anything like that in over 5 months! How can you not be impressed with that beauty, I mean, just look at that purple flower in the midst of those mahogany leaves of the Plumbago, with its blue flowers.

Elsa: Pfft…well ok…I guess it’s somewhat impressive. But check out this Lobularia Maritima, also known as ‘sweet alyssum.’ Now that’s quite the specimen! For a quick minute I thought it was June again.Flowers

Norman: Right you are, sister! It’s quite something else. And to think less than 24 hours later, this:

Weather

Elsa: Again with the whiplash! 60ºF+ degrees and then in the 30º’s in less than 24 hours. When I went out to do some ‘lady business,’ I was greeted with this. I didn’t even bother chasing that stupid squirrel that constantly hangs out in the alley to filch trash from the bins on pickup day.

Snow

Norman: Those were some mighty large flakes of white stuff but I know just how to deal with conditions like that. Luckily it didn’t accumulate. But still, these brass monkey temps have arrived just too soon for me.

Norman

Elsa: I still can’t get over you needing to bogart Mom’s blanket at the slightest drop in the temperature. Heck, you are always stealing that furry blanket whenever you get the chance.

Norman: Well there’s something very comforting about that blanket. So soft, so cozy…besides, the texture looks great against my furs.

Elsa: Ha…as if you’d know anything about texture. I think you just like to hog the sofa whenever you get a chance.

Norman: Well, I do like being as close to my Mum as possible.

Elsa: {interrupting} “Close?” She can barely fit on the sofa when you stretch out!

Norman: {clearing his throat} Ahem….I’m always happy to share the space with my Mum.

Elsa: ‘Share?!” Is that were she sits on the floor and longingly looks up at a certain sofa-hog?

Norman: {clearly his throat again} Not to change the subject, but did you notice the latest scene at our favorite Howl-oween decorations on our walk yesterday? Mum counted over 20 skellies, racing toward the weekend no doubt.

Halloween

Elsa: Yeah, they’re at it again. There’s even a kidlet skellie on the back of the one to the right of the galloping dog. The guy who creates these scenes must have a huge storage shed where these skellies live in the off-season.

Norman: Oh, I do hope they stay warm while they’re out there. There was a good frost this morning and none of them are even sporting any gloves.

Elsa: Oh good lord, you moron, they’re Skellies, not people. Jeez, how could you be so dim?

Norman: I like to think of myself as extra compassionate. The world can use some extra compassion these days.

Elsa: Well, you do have a point there. Let’s hope everyone has a compassionate and fun weekend celebrating Howl-oween. Will you be ‘Lick or Treating” with your fur-iends this weekend at any events? Searching for treats might just be the ticket, me thinks. Whatever you do, we hope you stay safe and enjoy the many faces of Nature.

Norman: Right-o, Ninja, I know I plan to be chuffed to bits checking it all out. Plus, I do have a height advantage around little people. Those little treat filled hands are just level with my mouth. Here’s to enjoying a top drawer weekend surrounded by Nature.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ Labor Day 2022 Edition

Monday

The Ranch Hands and I wish you a safe and relaxing Labor Day with a minimum amount of exertion on the unofficial last day of summer. Enjoy!

Flowers

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Happy July 4th ~ 2022

July 4th

Two hundred and forty-six years ago, a scrappy bunch of folks in the New World  stomped their feet and declared independence from their British rulers and they’ve managed to remain scrappy ever since. Sadly, not all of that ‘scrapiness’ has been attractive or positive. These days we tend to delude ourselves that we managed that ‘more perfect union’ that was originally sought. Still all us Ranch hands continue to pray that we can actually achieve it for everyone.

As the U.S. celebrates its country’s independence with the culmination of a long weekend, the Ranch hands and I wish our U.S. based readers a safe and happy Fourth of July. To everyone, we hope you have a great Monday and even better week. With temps hovering in the pizza oven range all week long, we hope you manage to stay cool with a minimum of cowering in the bathroom today.

July 4th

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! 🐾

Memorial Day Monday ~ 2022

Holidays

While today is the ‘unofficial’ beginning of summer, we think of it as a day of reflection around the Ranch and plan to honor all service members, particularly those in our family who have served their country, with a special shout out to a niece’s son who graduated from high school this past week and enlisted in the Air Force just like both of his parents did. Way to go, Levi.

Memorial Day, a national holiday in the U.S., is where we officially remember and mourn all who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. Originally known as “Decoration Day” following the Civil War when both Union and Confederate soldiers honored their dead by decorating their graves with flowers, it has morphed into its current form honoring all Americans who served and paid the ultimate price of freedom.

Have a safe and reflective day.

Holidays

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! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ February 21, 2022

Today marks a national federal holiday (Presidents’ Day) in the U.S., originally implemented by Congress in 1879 to honor George Washington, the first president and ‘father’ of the country on his birthday, February 22 but subsequently switched to the third Monday in February on January 1, 1971 by the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, honoring both Washington and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays. Both Ranch Hands will tip their hats to the office of the presidency today so we may be somewhat late in responding to comments or reading your posts as Norman be visiting nurses and patients this week. As usual, I am merely the designated driver.

After a weekend filled with grooming, baths and more dog hair than I could have imagined, Norman is all fluffed and spic and span clean to mark Presidents’ Day at the same time Winter decided to reappear with a vengeance with snow and bitter cold temperatures for most of the week. Tomorrow’s HIGH is only expected to be in the single digits which makes today’s smile seem all too appropriate. Guess I’d better re-locate the extra warm gloves.

Smiles

However you mark today’s holiday, we hope you’ll stay warm and snuggly. Here’s to a super Monday. And remember there’ll be no postal deliveries and bank’s will be closed.

Live, love, bark! 🐾