Nature Friday ~ November 17, 2023

ElsaHey yo…sports fans…it’s me…Elsa. How the heck are you? Mom and I have been visiting my Grandpa in southern Colorado this week and well…life kinda took a bad turn but we think things are under control now. Whew! We weren’t able to do much in the photographic department but Mom took a few scenes of autumn on the prairie that I wanted to share.

The Mom: So little miss…what do you have this week?

Elsa: Well I wanted to show everyone what autumn looks like on the prairie. It was breezy but the wind behaves differently in southern Colorado.

The Mom: Well it does tend to ‘move things’ around like leaves, tumbleweeds, but because it’s so wide open at Dad’s house, raking is a lot different than in the city.

Elsa: You got that right! The wind messes with my Sherlock Holmes nose and I had mega problems picking up bunny scents. I did manage to find all the presents that the neighbor’s horse left on the ground.

The Mom: {interrupting} ahem…and yes, we don’t need to get into how you tried to enjoy snacking on them, either.

Elsa: Yeah, I was disappointed. When I managed to almost, so-close nosh on one, I wasn’t keen on you’re quick yank on my leash, dragging me back on the road.

The Mom: No need to tempt the gods with an upset digestive system, yanno.

Elsa: Aww, man, you are always harshing on my fun.

The Mom: Just trying to keep you save, sweetie.

Elsa:  More like being a control freak. But I digress.

The Mom: So what caught your eye on this trip?

Elsa: Well I’m gonna tell you, this wheel thing sure had me do a double take. You uprights…you throw the weirdest things in your gardens.

Wagon wheel

The Mom: Well, I thought it was kinda cool if you’re into sort of thing. Nothing like an old wagon wheel-axle to bring the West to a garden.

Elsa: Umm…weird, Mom, just weird. This ain’t the O.K. Corral, okay!

The Mom: Art is in the eye of the beholder, toots.

Elsa: {head shaking} Guess I guess we just have to agree to disagree. Anyway, we probably should move on. One thing about the prairie that I like is how wide open the vista is. As far as the eye can see, there’s stuff to check out along the horizon. I noticed you neglected to include Pikes Peak (which was off to the far right) in your photo.

Prairie horizon

The Mom: I thought I had it but clearly not. Too bad, too. There was a touch of snow on the back side that people who drive south on I-25 never get to see. But at least that ancient piñon tree stands out.

Elsa: That it does. I was disappointed we didn’t see any antelope. Talk about weird. They stand out on the plains and just blink and stare. Why won’t they come closer like the donkeys do?

The Mom: Well they’re just being cautious around potential predators.

Elsa: {beaming with pride} Huh…so I’m considered a potential predator, eh? Well, color me proud!

The Mom: Umm, that’s not necessarily a good thing.

Elsa: It is when you’re a Ninja. People respect you.

The Mom: {eyes rolling} One thing about life on the prairie is the sunrises are pretty spectacular. The orange light can wake a person up from a sound sleep.


Elsa: It was pretty bright. But very cool…it allowed me to look for bunnies first thing in the morning in the early morning light.

The Mom: Yeah, all that sniffing for bunnies in the ‘crisp’ early morning light isn’t really taking care of the business at hand, if you know what I mean.

Elsa:  Hey, a girl’s gotta explore. You said it yourself…us dogs process our world through our noses and if I go a little bit off the reservation, that’s called enrichment.

The Mom: Enrichment, eh? Guess I need to make a note to myself to be bundled up while you’re enriching yourself.

Elsa: Well duh, Mom! Sheesh, that goes without saying. Think of it like the Boy Scouts do. Be prepared.

The Mom: O-kay. Got it. {eyes rolling again}

Elsa: Hey! I see you rolling your eyes…again. That’s kinda rude, Mom.

The Mom: Umm, er…sorry.  So what else do you have?

Elsa: Clever deflection, Mom. At times, you actually think like me. Well, we always walk past this neighbor’s house when we visit my Grandpa and this was the first time I actually got to investigate the rabbit brush. I could tell lots of bunnies hide out in it. But where the heck were they when we walked by? I mean, you know I’m a good hunter and I saw bupkis. That’s no bueno, Mom.

Rabbit brush

The Mom: I’m sure you’ll see them again soon. We are headed down to see Grandpa again for Thanksgiving.

Elsa: {excitedly} Ooh, can’t wait. Maybe I’ll even see a bunny in the yucca plants. The flowers have gone to seed and I’ll bet they eat those black seeds.


The Mom: Maybe. I’ve never have seen one close by. No doubt those stiff spines tend to protect them. I’m sure the birds are more interested than the rabbits.

Elsa:  One thing about the prairie this time of year, it’s sure full of various shades of brown at first look. But when you’re ace hunter with a killer nose like me, you notice all the tawny shades. You uprights would do well to notice nuances like that. Too bad you don’t have excellent sniffers.

Prairie in autumn

The Mom: That’s true, we tend to be more visual. But there are lots of shades in the brown family on the prairie right now. This snakeweed for instance was gloriously orangey with tones of brown. It was everywhere and the spent flowers stuck to your legs and my socks like Velcro.

Elsa: Yeah, I had to ‘evacuate’ those pesky stickery things with my teeth. Next time maybe I’ll let you brush me after our walk.

The Mom: Wait…what? You’d actually let me brush you without a fight? I know you’re not all that keen on brushing.

Elsa: Well I know you at least have my best interests at heart. How about we take a “let’s wait and see” approach?

The Mom: Uh-huh…that’s what I thought. Just remember it’s for your own good.

Elsa: Yeah, you keep telling me that. Well that’s all I got this week. I know you got stuff to take care of this morning so how about we tell folks to have a good weekend and be sure to get outside and enjoy autumn…wherever they are.

The Mom: Sounds like a plan. I agree with Elsa…be sure to enjoy the weekend and enjoy the beauty of Nature in autumn, wherever you are.

Elsa: Hey, I’m supposed to have the last word. Have a ‘wagnificent’ weekend. And don’t forget to click on the link to see what everyone else shared about Nature on the website of the LLB gang. And say hi to Rosy and Sunny from me.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ November 10, 2023

Welcome to Nature Friday where we join our friends, Rosy and Sunny from LLB in Our Backyard to check out scenes from Nature around our ‘Hood. Elsa here to bring you the latest hodgepodge from the 303. So come along with me on a recent walk and check it out for yourselves. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to click on the link to see what others have shared.

This past week’s commitments kept Mom from taking very many pics but we decided to share a few recent ones before the weather changed. She’s starting noticing that folks are [finally] putting their Halloween decor back in their storage sheds and even though Thanksgiving is next up on the holiday calendar, waaay too many people have catapulted directly into Christmas. What the dog, people? Can’t we enjoy a few pumpkin pies and some tasty turkey first? I say we need to acknowledge gratitude more than ever these days and what better time than at the holiday recognizing it…Thanksgiving.

Let’s get started, okay? We walk by this house every day and have shared an image before of that rooftop creature. But on its last day being out (they were getting ready to take everything down), it was such a nice morning, Mom took another photo that was much better than the other one. Needless to say, it creeped me out. I swear that thing was watching me like a hawk and I was just grateful it didn’t fly down after me, though I was prepared to go all Ninja on him.


Creepy, right? Guess some people just like macabre. There’s so much decor in this yard though, I can’t walk passed it quick enough. It tires my eyes out just walking by. After leaving this block and heading toward the old Elitches carousel, we noticed this scene. Mom and I rolled our eyes. Umm…seriously? A Christmas tree pop-up lot…this early in November? Ugh.

Christmas tree lot

At least some things we walk past transcend seasons. Mom discovered this carved tree when she first moved into the neighborhood over twenty years ago and it always delights her though it could use another coat of weatherproof stain. It’s about 10-12 feet tall and Mom always wonders about what the tree looked like before it was recreated into this art piece. She had to chuckle at the round rocks placed at the feet of the eagle to resemble eggs.

Carved treeIt sure beats seeing this Silver Maple that didn’t fare nearly as well, with the owners cutting it all the way down. As you can see, the interior is quite hollowed out and even carving probably wouldn’t have made a difference. This is the biggest problem with Silver Maples here and the city has all but declared war on them and having homeowners remove them. Still, we can’t help but mourn the loss of any mature tree.

Dead tree

One thing we’ve noticed lately have been the brilliant sunrises. Mom was in awe of waking up to this scene on consecutive mornings.

Sunrise The orange light was stunning, if I do say so myself. Now if I can just get Mom to get some software to edit out those doggone electric and cable wires. What are you going do with moms some days?

Well, that’s about it for today. Like I said, Mom has been busy  and it didn’t help she had to spend significant time trying to coax a stubborn Wi-Fi signal back to life on a couple of days. I’ll leave with one more pic showing the latest fad we’ve seen this autumn, blue pumpkins. What’s your take on these non-traditionally colored pumpkins? I think I prefer the traditional ones.


Have yourself a swell weekend and don’t forget to go for a walk and take in some of the beauty Nature leaves for you to check out. It’ll be good for your health and you just might see something pretty unique.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ November 3, 2023

Welcome to the first Friday of November. My goodness, any idea as to how in the dog did we got to November already? As always we’re joining our friends from Adventures of the LLB GangMake sure you click on the link to see what else was shared.

The Mom: Yoo-hoo, oh Elsa…time to share pics from this week for Nature Friday.


Elsa: Nope, not coming out. I’m still recovering from the humiliation I suffered from wearing that ridiculous Halloween outfit.

The Mom: Aww come on, everyone thought you were cute.

Elsa: Cute?? Baby ducks are cute! I am a Ninja.

The Mom: Ahh sweetie, I’m sorry if you’re feeling bad about your Halloween photo. I was super proud of you for posing so nicely. You did well, Ninja.

Elsa: Of course I did well. Remember, I’m a total professional.

The Mom: And professionals don’t pout. They lift their head, put their big girl pants on and get back to doing what they are extra good at.

Elsa: Nope, I told you already…I’m not doing it.

The Mom: {begging while pulling out the extra high value treats from the cupboard} Please? For me? {crinkling the package}

Elsa: Oh man, you don’t play fair, do you? You know I can’t resist those dehydrated fish skins. They are so addictive and I absolutely love them. Ok, but you better keep ’em flowing if you expect me to share this week’s nature looks from around the ‘Hood. Got it, Kemosabe?

The Mom: Deal! So other than Halloween, what have you been up to this week?

Elsa: Well, there was that 6 inches of white stuff that hit us over the weekend. That was kind of an adventure. And then there was the cold that followed. But I gotta admit, I’ve been having a blast eating my weight in snow on our walks.

Elsa eating snow

The Mom: Yeah, you have been obsessed with chewing snow along our walks. What’s up with that?

Elsa: IMy new job-I’m on water quality control recognisance. Denver Water contacted me to check it out for dogs everywhere in the metro area.

The Mom: Uh-huh…sure. I don’t think that’s a real job.

Elsa: It is for me. I can’t let snow that’s built up next to sidewalks go un-tasted. Plus, I’m keeping hydrated-very important for us canine ninjas.

The Mom: {eyes rolling} Maybe we ought to move along. So what would you like to feature this week?

Elsa: Well, let’s go with the obvious. Like I said, it snowed about 6 inches of white stuff but then it also added about 87 inches of green stuff.

The Mom: Don’t remind me. The Silver Maple and the Catalpa trees didn’t appreciate the weather and kinda went crazy shedding leaves.

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Elsa: Thanks for raking them up from the sidewalk…you know how much I despise walking on them…although I noticed they aren’t crunchy, but they are gross and mushy. Still…no bueno in my books.

The Mom: I agree, they stick to my shoes and your paws and we both end up dragging them into the house. Definitely no bueno. Vacuuming every 12 minutes is not my idea of fun and games.

Elsa: You’ll get no argument from me on vacuuming. That noisy beast scares me.

The Mom: And then as if on cue, the wind came up and dropped another ton. I need to figure out what to do with them in the interim since it’ll be next week before the city will collect leaves for the compost project. Sigh.

Elsa: Ugh. Don’t tell me things like that. I’ll worry my pretty little head off.

The Mom: Oh no, don’t do that. It’s just that it is that time of year where leaves fall; we just have to accept this part of Mother Nature.

Elsa: {boo…hiss} I vote no.

The Mom: Sadly, it won’t make a difference on that kind of vote.

Elsa: Harumph…so much for democracy.

The Mom: {shaking her head} Oh sweetie…what else you got?

Elsa: Well I was thinking we should share pics of those funky critters we encountered. I still can’t believe why some uprights put this kind of stuff in their gardens!

The Mom: The first one really cracked me up. Everyone around here has jumped on the Colorado Buffaloes bandwagon and their notorious Coach Prime…aka Deion Sanders. Lo and behold when I walked over to the Post Office, I came across this new sculpture. It took me a second to realize it’s a buffalo! Interesting metal work, don’t you think?

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Elsa: Hmm, not sure I get it but this just goes to show art is in the eyes of the beholder. I was pleased to see you were brave enough to walk up the stairs to photograph that giraffe but glad you captured it quickly. That guard dog was none too pleased with us scoping out his giraffe. Speaking of giraffe, isn’t that the one we saw through the trees back in August? You can see that post here.

The Mom: Good memory, Ninja. Yes, it was obscured through all the brush but I decided to get closer now that most of the leaves have fallen. I really do like that piece. So unusual.

Elsa: Well as long as I don’t have to give that guard dog a piece of my mind, I guess it’s ok. Sheesh, not very hospitable was he? You should have let me teach him some manners.

The Mom: Umm, no..that’s fine. Besides, he was just protecting his giraffe. That’s his job and you wouldn’t want to deprive him of his job, now would you?

Elsa: {pondering for a moment} Yeah, you’re probably right but I was ready to go Rocky on his butt. Nobody talks to my Mom like that and gets away with it.

The Mom: Aww, aren’t you sweet? So I went back to Sloan’s Lake a couple of days ago to see how things looked after last week. All the gold and reddish colored trees have dropped their leaves but the cattails were kind of interesting. I also noticed the squirrels and birds should get nice & chonky this month with pumpkins and fruit setting on trees.

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Elsa: Mt. Evans in the distant with the snow was kinda cool. Too bad you couldn’t get a better angle from the hill. It was much prettier than this pic lets on.

The Mom: Sometimes you just gotta go with what you can get. Still, it was a pretty morning looking west from the lake instead of toward downtown.

Elsa: Well that’s it from me. So…got anything cooking for the weekend? I think we’re just gonna chill (though it will be nice around here for a few days). Whatever you do, we hope you get outside and check out what Nature’s got going on. We realize it’s that time of year where things get busy as folks gear up for the holidays, but trust me…it’d be good to look around and see the beauty out there. Have a ‘wagnificent’ weekend.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ October 20, 2023

Elsa: {softly speaking} Psst…Mom, oh Mom…time to wake up.

The Mom: 💤 Huh, wha…where am I?

Elsa: Hiya…boy you were out of it! Were you dreaming?

The Mom: Yeah, I guess I was. Weird dream, too. What time is it?

Elsa: Well it’s time to get up. We’ve got stuff to do, lady. Chop, chop.

The Mom: {yawning and stretching} Uh…just a little bit longer, ok?

Elsa: {SCREAMING} Nope, time to get up. Now! As we always do on Friday’s, we are joining our pals, Rosy and Sunny from LLB in Our Backyard. Don’t forget to click on the link to see what else has been shared.

The Mom: You’re being a little overly harsh today. I’m still tired.

Elsa: Well , you shouldn’t stay up late watching a hockey, game Mom. People are counting on me. Come on…let’s get rolling!!

The Mom: Ugh…I’m so exhausted. Yesterday was such a busy day, you know I walked over 10 miles, right? I need to recuperate.

Elsa: No can do, Chica. Time to get rolling. Sorry. I know you walked forever yesterday and losing your phone certainly didn’t help when you had to retrace your steps during the warmest part of the day. While we didn’t set a temperature record, we weren’t all that far off. What’s up with these 80+ºF  degree days? I thought this was supposed to be the time for mild autumn days.

The Mom: {sleepily} Yeah…just a couple more days, {yawning again} then just before Halloween we’ll likely get some moisture, it might even be the white kind.

Elsa: Hmm, good point, it IS that time of year where Nature likes to screw mess with Trick-or-Treaters. But let’s not focus on that…let’s see what we’ve got to share with my readers. I mean, after all, there was an eclipse last weekend for crying out loud. People wanna see the pics. I mean, while you didn’t have the special glasses with you, we did see some wild and crazy shadows. What’s the skinny on those?
EclipseThe Mom: Those were fascinating, weren’t they? Did you know those crescent-shaped shadows are the result of various rays of light passing through to the ground. Only some rays at a certain angle can make it through and those that do are little crescent shapes of the eclipse itself as the Moon passes in front of the Sun. These donut-shaped shadows are the result of the “ring of fire” peak during the eclipse. How cool is that?!

Elsa: They kinda made me dizzy. I was lucky I didn’t have a seizure since eclipses can trigger seizure activity in a lot of us epileptics.

The Mom: Yes, I’m particular grateful. I had completely forgotten about the time when we left for our morning walk. People all along our way were watching it but I made sure not to look up it since I didn’t have any safety glasses.

Elsa: Right and then a couple of hours later you needed to skedaddle over to the hospital for their annual Fall Festival. Sure glad you didn’t take me-I hate dressing up in costume.

The Mom: I know sweetie and figured it was one less stressor you needed. Yes, I popped over there for a quick appearance. The event wasn’t nearly as big as it’s been in years when I took Sam and Norman and it made me very sad recalling those past years when they ‘pawticipated’ in the annual pet therapy parade to start off the festivities. It just wasn’t the same for me. I did however see a cool pup and talked with his Dad about considering joining pet therapy, a St. Bernard ‘puppy’ whose name was Crush and who was a BIG boy at that-145 pounds! Unfortunately he was only 16 months old and therefore not quite eligible according to our age rules (dogs must be 2 years old) but he’ll make a welcome addition when he is old enough. He was adorably sweet. Just look at that smile!
St. Bernard puppy

Elsa: Hubba, bubba…he really was a handsome boy.

The Mom: Indeed he was. It was a bittersweet time for me and because the replacement fridge was being delivered later, I didn’t stay long. Now there’s a story I don’t want to ever have to live through again. All I can say is buying major appliances is not an exercise in fun. At all!

Elsa: Yeah, you seemed pretty stressed. Luckily your son, my uncle Kevin, was able to save the day and gave me lots of nice ear scritches while he helped you out with getting the water line issues resolved. He’s a real lifesaver and a favorite peep of mine.

The Mom: Yeah, I’m so very lucky he lives in town and is able to help me with maintenance things around the house. So what else would you like to share this week?

Elsa: Well, how about pics from your crazy trip to Sloan’s Lake yesterday when you left your phone at the Target store across the street? Autumn sure is starting to be quite evident in some places and yet others, it’s barely registering.

The Mom: True enough. A stroll past these three trees lined up next to one another pretty much shows the various stages of leaves changing colors in the 303. I couldn’t have ordered up anything prettier. Green, gold, orange-the colors of Autumn.

Trees changing colors

Elsa: There are a bunch of trees that are still green and their leaves will likely just fall off before they change colors. It’s been a weird year for leaves changing in the city.

The Mom: You got that right! But it’s been interesting watching them and other plants as they prepare for the next season. Just look at this seeding milkweed pod. It sparkled in the autumn sunlight.


Elsa: Whoa…it looks like some kind of cotton ball! Only it’s not that soft.

The Mom: Yeah, I was surprised it’s not nearly as soft as it looks. Still, it’s pretty cool and if those seeds germinate, there’ll be plenty of nectar for Swallowtail butterflies next Spring.

Elsa: I noticed the reflections on Sloan’s Lake were pretty cool even if you may have been exhausted from all the miles you logged retracing your steps to find your cell phone.

Sloan's Lake

The Mom: Even the skyline casted reflections on the lake.

Sloan's Lake

Elsa: It sure was a beautiful day for a walk, even if it was much longer than you had originally planned on taking. I noticed  neighborhood Skellie-central changed out their scene again. Gotta give them loads of props for their cleverness. This week’s theme is a take off of the Barbie Movie phenomena. I don’t see you making all those changes.


The Mom:  Yeah, Barbie and Ken go to the beach. You’re right, I wouldn’t have the patience to dress and arrange all those skeletons (nor the bank account to buy them or store them) but I will admit, they do make me smile whenever I walk by.

Elsa: Me too, Mom. You humans sure are weird, but funny. So what’s on tap for this weekend? Got any fun plans? Whatever you do, we hope you’ll get out there and enjoy some of the beauty Nature is sharing before she turns nasty.

The Mom: Yes, I’m going to the first of the season holiday craft fairs but we hope you make check out the changing colors and see what Nature offers. Have a great weekend.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Meet the Breed Monday ~ October 16, 2023

Today will be a two-fer. I was recently “reminded” that I’ve neglected for way too long, our “Meet The Breed” series on dog breeds but worse, there was a particular and personal oversight. To today we’ll fix that and provide our regular Monday smile.

Elsa: Yoo-hoo, oh Mom…since you turned the blog over to me, and while I don’t mean to criticize now…but you do realize you hadn’t featured poodles for the ‘Meet the Breed’ series?

The Mom: You’re absolutely right. My bad. Sorry for the omission.

Elsa: It’s about doggone time you apologized! What the dog, Mom?

The Mom: I’m truly sorry; it certainly wasn’t intentional. Let’s fix that right now, okay?

Elsa: Doggone straight you’re gonna fix that. You do realize Standards are just one of three officially recognized sizes of poodles? Sometimes called Spoos, Standards are the largest of the three, being 22-27 inches at the shoulder while Miniature Poodles are 13-15 at the shoulder and Toy Poodles are 10 inches or less at the shoulder. But in my humble opinion, Standards are one of the most handsome of all of them.

The Mom: Now, now. Let’s not get too opinionated right off the bat. Everyone thinks their dog is the best dog in the world and they’d be right. But I realize I need to make it up to you and yes, it’s true, Standards are well known for their stylish looks, superb athleticism, plus that fact that they’re eager, and intelligent.  The AKC places all poodles in the Non-Sporting Group.

Don’t hate me cuz I’m beautiful

Elsa: Carried away? You’re joking, right? I can see we’re just going to have to agree to disagree on this post.

The Mom: {Sheesh} Well on that note, we can agree. Although frequently associated as the national dog of France, Poodles actually originated in Germany.

Elsa:  Mais oui, er, make that, natürlich. The name comes from the German word “pudel” or “pudelin,” which means “to splash in the water.” In France, the breed is called “Caniche,” which is French for “duck dog.” There are however, some notable exceptions to the water aspect of our heritage.

The Mom: {eyes rolling} Yes, we’ve all noticed that you avoid water like the plague which is odd since poodles have a dense curly coat of hair (instead of fur) keeping their core warm with webbed feet, allowing them to more easily swim in water when retrieving waterfowl. That coat lead to the traditional cut in non-show dogs, which is more about function than fashion. And speaking of that hypoallergenic coat, it does require regular grooming to avoid matting since their hair doesn’t shed like dogs with fur. Regular brushing is necessary, including removal of ear hair to avoid potential ear problems.

Elsa: {Pfft} I’m fashionable enough and don’t need any foo-foo puffs of hair around the joints and upper torso to protect my joints and vital organs. My fix is more pragmatic I don’t do water.

The Mom:  Uh-huh, I think we understand that you’re a water wuss. But typically, Spoos are water loving dogs.

Elsa: Um, yeah, no. And you’re not going to convince me otherwise.

The Mom: It’s said that poodles of all sizes are very active and require a lot of exercise although I’ve noticed you seem to enjoy napping with the best of them. Poodles make excellent retrievers and often enjoy a good game of fetch, as well as jogging or long walks.

Elsa: Walks are one thing but you’re wrong again…I don’t fetch and {gasp} would never retrieve. You tossed it, you go get it. I have certain agendas that may or may not coincide with yours. Heh, heh.

The Mom: {Moving along…since this is clearly a losing battle} It is said that poodles are one of the smartest breeds and their intelligence and eagerness to please make them great service dogs which have been utilized as truffle hunters due to their keen noses and by having a ‘soft mouth,’ it makes them favorites with hunters in general. They like attention and with their good looks, can you blame them? Did you know that a team of Poodles competed in Alaska’s Iditarod race back in 1988.

Elsa: I heard that story about John Suter back in 1988 tried to compete in the race. It didn’t impress officials and the rule now specifies only northern breed dogs can compete. Some of his dogs were so cold and were dropped off at various checkpoints but we proved to the mushing world that we’re gamers by finishing the race in 38th place. Plain and simple…we’re versatile and have been used for hunting, hiking, search and rescue, service dogs or, as in my case, just being the best family companion.

The Mom: Standard Poodles generally have a kind and friendly personality, but having a job to do keeps them out of mischief. They tend to be ‘problem solvers and need mental stimulation and are eager to please, making them highly trainable. Poodles do well with kids but Standards may be a bit too energetic for tiny tykes who may get easily knocked down with their active ways. In fact, they have a long history as performers in the circus and on stage because of their trainability. Additionally poodles do well learning basic obedience training rather quickly and advanced training will keep them mentally stimulated and happy. Poodles grow hair in their ear canals, predisposing them to ear problems but plucking or clipping that hair can help to prevent ear infections.

Elsa: You know lots of famous people have owned poodles.  Elvis was particularly fond of Standards and was known to gift them to girlfriends. Richard Nixon owned a Poodles and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy owned a Standard Poodle named Gaullie. There are oodles of poodles in Hollywood with celebs like Walt Disney, Patrick Swayze, Mike Tyson, Betty White, Katharine Hepburn, and Cary Grant  among just a few who have owned poodles.

The Mom: I did not know about some those celebs and their poodles. Good research, Ninja.

Elsa: That goes without saying. My research skills are absolutely legendary, Mom.

The Mom: Now, now…no need to be cocky. We hope these factoids provide people with enough info on poodles for this episode of “Meet the Breed.” I’ve owned standards since the late 70’s and they’ve been great companions.

Elsa: Of course we’re great companions. Plus we keep you safe, don’t forget that. If I hadn’t been around, you’ve have likely been abducted by a serial killer.

The Mom: Rather than argue with you on that last comment, let’s just say I’m a big fan of Standards. One thing is certain, poodles will worm themselves into your heart and perhaps on your sofa.

Elsa on sofa

Elsa: I know that you’re not just saying that idly. I’m quite fond of you as well.

The Mom: Thanks, Ninja. And because it’s Monday, we can’t start the week without sharing a smile that I found yesterday. Seems pretty timely given that a spot of moisture a few days ago combined with some low temps have started the annual leaf drop. With my Silver Maple, I’ll likely be raking until December. Three leaves at a time. Sigh.

Monday Smile

Have a great week!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ October 13, 2023

Tra, la, la, la, la…doh, dum, de, do….Greetings, peeps, Elsa here to share this week’s Hodge-Podge Friday scenes from around the Ranch.

The Mom: Umm, sweetie…it’s “Nature Friday” not Hodge-Podge Friday. Would you like to correct that so we can get started  as we join our pals, Rosy and Sunny from LLB in Our Backyard.

Elsa: Nope, not happening. I’m calling it Hodge-Podge Friday because none of the photos you took have any real theme. I looked up hodge-podge in the online Oxford Dictionary and it specifically defines it as, and I quote, a confused mixture. So nope, it stays Hodge-Podge Friday.

The Mom: Ahem…well ex-cuussse me. Jeez, you’re pretty scrappy today. What’s got your backside all up in arms?

Elsa: Nothing special. My blog, my post. Now can we get on with it? I got things to do.

The Mom: Bwahahaha, what do you have to do today?

Elsa: I’m a dog, there’s always something to do. We are always busy, even if you don’t think so.

Sleeping Elsa

The Mom: I see…so is that what you consider as ‘so busy?’

Elsa: Erm…I’m thinking…this blogging thing is harder than it looks. Now can I get on with it?

The Mom: Fine by me. What ‘cha got?

Elsa: Well I know you went to another Dragon Boat Race last weekend, this one in Broomfield. You must really like those races. Not sure I’m on board with all that water activity but whatever floats your boat. I will give you the fact that it was a pretty autumn day. Are we through the hot temps…finally?

Broomfield park

The Mom: Well you know Colorado. I’m sure there’ll be a day or two in the 80’sºF over the next couple of weeks, but it’s probably safe to say, most likely.

Elsa: You sure know how to slice the hair in half. Is this from all the years you worked in the legal field, quibbling over terms like ‘may’ as opposed to just stating a fact?

The Mom: Ahem…I don’t quibble. But I am just trying to express the possibilities that may or may not happen.

Elsa: See, you did it again!! What the dog, Mom!

The Mom: Oops, I guess I do tend to equivocate sometimes. Sorry.

Elsa: Whatever. Just wanted you to be aware that I’m keenly aware of how you do that. So I noticed one dog at least tried to compete with the boat racers. What was up with that knucklehead?

Dog in Water

The Mom: Whaddu mean? He was just enjoying a simply swim and there weren’t any Canadian geese to race against the boats.

Elsa: Swim and enjoyment are mutually exclusive in my books.

The Mom: {eyes rolling} To each her own, right? Remember we talked about this thing called tolerance, Elsa.

Elsa: Ugh…I just want people to know how dumb it seems for dogs to actually jump in water and swim. You wouldn’t catch me doing that…not for all the bones in Denver.

The Mom: But some dogs DO enjoy it so let them have their fun.

Elsa: Sheesh…so where’s an actual picture of a race? I know this was not nearly as large an event but let me see for myself.

Dragon Boat Race

The Mom: You’re correct, it was a smaller venue but I mean…Dragon Boats! It was fun watching folks compete and it looked like they all had a good time. I especially enjoyed the entertainment from a couple of dance groups from the Asian Pacific community. Such colorful costumes on kids as young as 10 years old dancing for the small crowd.

Elsa: You think it was small because they’ve only been doing it for the past 3 years at that park? Seems a shame considering how many thousands experienced the one at Sloan’s Lake back in July.

The Mom: Could be, but I’m sure more folks will start attending. It wasn’t even close to hot which was a huge plus. The drawback was I couldn’t walk to the venue and it seemed like so far though it was only about 20 miles away. I just rarely drive that far.

Dragon Boat Race

Dragon Boat Race

Dragon Boat Race

Elsa: Ooh, I’d love to chase those twirling skirts and I’m sure that littlest girl would love to have me lay my head in her lap. Maybe next time, I’ll go.

The Mom: Umm, hate to break it to you, even though dogs are welcome to the event, they aren’t allowed on stage. So, no…that ain’t gonna happen.

Elsa: {ruckus…rats…%$&#} You just never let me have any fun!

The Mom: I’m sure if you learned to dance, they’d allow you on stage, but I don’t make the rules.

Elsa: I notice our neighbors are getting into the Halloween spirit full bore. I heard you tell the lady you’re making them Instagram stars.



The Mom: {snicker} Well I wouldn’t say Instagram stars but a lot of people sure seem to enjoy my posts and have contacted me to get the address so they can see them in person. The theme this week was ‘camping.’ I had to chuckle, though with the 2 dozen Skellies they must have, it must take an entire weekend to dress and set the props for the scene. It makes me smile whenever I go past that house.

Elsa: I saw that one dog who started barking at the big skellies, growling with raised hackles. What a rube!

The Mom: Now, now, Elsa…Halloween can be scary for some dogs. You used to bark your head off whenever Trick-er-treaters rang our doorbell in costume.

Elsa: Those were serial killers, I was only protecting the Ranch.

The Mom: {eyes rolling} Oh Elsa…you slay me sometimes.

Elsa: Glad I can be of comedic entertainment for you. Just don’t come crying to me when something bad happens. I take my security duties quite seriously. So is there anything else autumnal, this week?

The Mom: Well as a matter of fact, yes. Leaves are s-l-o-w-l-y beginning to change. A few here and there. This one was all aglow when we walked over to the library.

Changing leaves

Elsa: Pretty, yes, but the crunching leaves kind of bother my feet. The jury is still out on this whole autumn thing. But I do appreciate the cooler temps. And what the dog was this guy doing sashaying along the sidewalk this week?

The Mom: I know, right? There were 4 dogs in the nearby vicinity and he just waltzed past us. Blew me away. Usually they dash so fast I can’t get any kind of pic that close.


Elsa: Did you see my jaw drop open? I don’t know what he was thinking walking past us and the other dogs. I’m still flabbergasted.

The Mom: It was one of the more unusual encounters we’ve had. Seeing foxes always makes me smile.

Elsa: Me too. I think I could be a good friend if only they’d let me.

The Mom: Probably not, but it’s a nice thought. Well that’s it for this week. It wasn’t too bad, was it?

Elsa: Hodge-podge, Mom, definitely hodge-podge. So what’s on board for your weekend? Got anything going on? Whatever you do, we hope you get to see some of the pretty things Nature is serving up right now.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ October 6, 2023

ElsaDoh-de-do-do…”leaf your worries behind,” I always say, because it’s now October. Oh hi, Elsa here to share some 411 about leaf peeping with scenes from around the ‘Hood and our state. As always, we are joining our pals, Rosy and Sunny from LLB in Our Backyard. Don’t forget to click on the link to see what else has been shared.

So a ‘funny’ thing happened this week. We didn’t see it but heard about it on the news. The weather people were saying if you planned to catch any “gold in them thar hills,” you better get a cracking because some white stuff dusted a few mountain peaks and snow always makes leaves fall quickly, from what I’ve been told. White stuff? What the dog?! Sure, I go on and on about the brutal summer temps but I wasn’t inviting Mother Nature to take me so seriously. Eek…I take it all back, Mother Nature. Can we do a quick rewind? We’re not quite ready for that drastic of a change, though Mom said it’ll be back in the 80’s before we see white stuff. ‘Course, I reminded her we do tend to get bouts of nasty weather around Halloween just to mess with the Trick-or-treaters. Time will tell who’s a better forecaster but you can bet your life I’ll be barking it in her face if it’s me.

Snow and changing leaves
Courtesy of Denver Channel 7, Alaine Nicole
Mountain Splendor in autumn
Courtesy of Denver Channel 7 website

Although it was pretty shocking to see snow in gold leaves on aspens, these are some of the prettiest photos Mom and I have ever seen of the changing colors. I think the first one is from somewhere around Crested Butte and the second one may be near Telluride (or vice-versa). Gotta admit though, you’d be hard press to find anything prettier than that lake reflection photo.

Meanwhile up on Quanella Pass near Georgetown, a mere 56 miles west of Denver, the leaves did what was expected of them this time of year…as in wow visitors and locals alike with their exquisite beauty.

Changing leaves
Courtesy of Denver Channel 7 website ~Quanella Pass

Pretty stunning, huh? Gotta love Colorado for it’s autumn gold. While we may not have the brilliant oranges and reds  typically seen out on the East Coast, I’d put our aspens up against them any day of the week.

High country roads have been filled tourists and looky-loos so Mom and I wanted to see if there was anything around our patch to avoid the cluster of driving I-70 after the recent trip to Glenwood. Turns out there are actually some spots of color around the ‘Hood with more showing up each day.


Mom spied some red on a plant when she was scanning for weeds in a part of the yard that neither of us rarely go out to since it’s on the North side of the house. Initially she thought it might be a piece of trash that blew in on one of the windy days this week. But nope, it was an actual leaf trying to imitate some East Coast flora. Whoa…Mom thought that was a nice present from Mother Nature and I couldn’t disagree with her.

We also found some pretty maple trees just starting to change colors on one of our walks. Hmm…maybe Colorado does have a few reds and oranges but I know they’re nothing like what’s found back East.

Maple leaves in autumn

Late Wednesday, Mom had me pose for her in the Plumbago out in the garden. Regrettably I couldn’t find a plausible excuse not to, so I put on my most bored face and sat there like a lump on a log. Mom was making all kinds of weird noises to try and get some kind of reaction out of me…other than me just turning and waltzing away. Heh, heh, heh. Doggone it though, she grabbed me and put me back in a sit/stay position. Can’t pull the wool over her eyes often enough. She loves the Plumbago since it flowers those pretty blue flowers beginning in late August and turning a lovely shade of mahogany on the leaves as autumn moves forward. Those plants are filling in nicely too like a good groundcover should; in fact she’s had to pull some out of the middle of the flagstone path after they’d migrated where they didn’t belong. I think she should give them a sit/stay command so they don’t go wander off the reservation but again, she didn’t ask me.

Elsa in the Plumbago

I’m sure trees will begin changing in earnest here in the city soon. Hopefully we’ll have more to share next time before we have to start raking them up. Till then, we hope you all send strong, healing energy to Blogville favorite, Brian who’s battling a nasty infection (click on the link to send him your healing thoughts and prayers). He looks like such a nice kitty and could use the collective energy of Blogville to feeling better. I can totally relate and sympathize with him since anesthesia is a bad thing for me too because of my epilepsy. It’s probably why Mom totally freaks out at the slightest little thing.

Purrs for Brian

Well, that’s it from me this week. We hope whatever you do this weekend, you get outside and enjoy the fabulous autumn weather and see a few leaves turning colors. I’ve got my paws crossed for you.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ September 18, 2023

Gotcha Day

While I played ‘Queen for the weekend,’ and paw-tied like it’s 1999, today is Monday which means we get to start the week out with a smile.

And by smile, I don’t mean at the one above. And if you snickered at it, I WILL find you. Mom is already on notice; you can see me plotting my revenge    .


She is not getting away unscathed for having me pose in multiple photo sessions. I will get even, despite her trying to bribe me make it up to me by making the best scrambled egg breakfast on my special day while showering me with loads of attention and tasty high-value treats all weekend. And because I’m not a complete tool, here’s your Monday smile. You’re welcome.


Here’s hoping all your ‘go’s’ are pawsome the entire week.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ September 15, 2023

ElsaGood Friday morning and welcome to another edition of Nature Friday where we join our pals Rosy and Sunny from LLB in Our Backyard. Remember to click on the link to see pics from others.  We got a late start today after a lovely shower last evening. We both slept so well that we were a bit lazy this morning.

Elsa: {Yawn…stretch} Yo, Mom, thanks for letting me sleep in this morning. This walking at oh-dark-thirty is for the birds. Wait…what am I saying…even the birds aren’t out when we take our morning walk.

The Mom: That’s pretty accurate. As we’re moving faster and faster toward the official arrival of autumn (for those keeping track, it arrives in just a week), the days are not nearly as sunny at that time of the day and no doubt contributed to our sleeping in this morning.

Elsa: Probably but then again, I know you didn’t really have a plan for today’s post anyway. Is that what’s called procrastination?

The Mom: Umm, erm…well, uh…maybe. Things have been rather hectic…

Elsa: Hectic? Just admit it, Mom…you just put it off. You should have worked on our post yesterday but noooo, you had to run errands all day. Come on, just admit it.

The Mom: {stuttering} I, er, wait…I’m not going to deny I had some commitments yesterday that took up most of the day, but even when I got home, I just wasn’t up for composing anything. Can’t a blogging mom take a break?

Elsa: Sheesh, a girl just can’t get good help. If I had thumbs, you’d likely be fired but alright…I’ll give you a pass this one time, but let’s not  make a habit of it, okay?

The Mom: {clearing her throat while rolling her eyes} I’ll do my best.

Elsa: Well, so waddu got today? I don’t recall you taking a lot of photos this week?

The Mom: You’re right, I really didn’t so today’s offerings are a bit on the slim side.

Elsa: Slim?? They’re practically non-existent. For being so busy this week, you didn’t get a lot done on the photo-taking part, now did you?

The Mom: Well, it’s that time of year where things aren’t blooming all that much unless you consider the fully in-bloom  Plumbago.


Elsa: Looks like the Hummingbird moth is still hanging around.Pollinators

The Mom: You’re so right; those beautiful blue blossoms must be pretty tasty; I’ve seen some of the Painted Ladies noshing on them as well but those hummers are really particularly fascinating to watch.


Elsa: You may think they’re fascinating to watch but I can tell you for a fact, they aren’t very tasty. In fact, I can absolutely testify they are quite bitter.

The Mom: Silly girl, you’re not supposed to eat them.

Elsa: I thought it was a windup toy, not some foul tasting thing that flits around.

The Mom: {giggling} Oh Elsa…maybe next time you’ll listen and pay attention to me.

Elsa: It’s not funny. Those things are just gross. You know what they say…paybacks are a…

The Mom: {interrupting} Now, now…let’s not get all worked up. Pollinators are our friends.

Elsa: Maybe your friend, but definitely not mine. I prefer more protein in my friends. And they usually have 4 feet.

The Mom: Yeah, we need to have a chat about that. You can’t be chasing protein on the run all the time.

Elsa: Ehh, a girl has to get her nutrition where she can find it. You know what I mean?

The Mom: You don’t say. So what was the motivation for this latest infraction?

Elsa strikes again

Elsa: Umm…fiber, yeah, that’s the ticket-fiber…I needed some fiber.

The Mom: Fiber? Oh for heaven’s sake. You eat more vegetables than I do! What are you talking about?

Elsa: {Erm, stammer…} Uh, I was bored?

The Mom: Harumph! Can’t believe you ate my Av’s coaster!

Elsa: You’d have preferred it if I ate one of the other local team coasters?

The Mom: No-absolutely not!! You’re not supposed to eat any coasters. Period.

Elsa: Sheesh, calm down. So how about you share something else instead of being fixated on coasters…which I might add, have nothing to do with Mother Nature.

The Mom: {steaming now} Ahem…fine. How about this oddly shaped Pfitzer Juniper bush? Kind of looks like a hot-cross bun, doesn’t it?


Elsa: {head shaking} That was deliberate? Seems like just another example of how weird you uprights are.

The Mom: Weird…you think we’re weird? Who circles 87 times before pooping? Huh?

Elsa: {flustered} Umm, moving along. Remember that unusual cloud formation we saw yesterday morning? You drug me around an entire block to try to get a pic without power lines in it. When we first saw it, it was a perfect “X” but then by the time we came back from around the block, it had changed. Still it was kind of cool.

Clouds at sunrise

The Mom: Yeah, it struck me as pretty unusual. Just goes to show it pays to look around when you’re outside-you’ll never know what you’ll find.

Elsa: All I know, is I had to walk an entire block to satisfy your fascinating with those clouds. Next time, let’s walk an extra block to follow trash pandas or foxes or something actually cool like that.

The Mom: Extra steps never hurt anyone.

Elsa: Said the person who drags me out in the dark of night to chase clouds. Ok, I see how it goes.

The Mom: So what did you think about this leaf we came across this morning? A reminder that leaves are about to change and is just around the corner.


Elsa: True enough. I noticed the leaves were most green last week when you went up to Golden. Clear Creek Trail and Park neat sight.

Golden, Clear Creek

The Mom: Non changing leaves for sure, but the light had that golden glow about it. Haha…golden light in Golden, Colorado. You see what I did there?

Elsa: {ugh} Don’t quit your day job, Mom. You might think that was clever, but I can assure you, it’s lame.

The Mom: Jeez, so harsh! Anyway, hopefully this next week there will be more to offer. I’ll be heading up to the mountains to attend the wedding of my nephew and it’ll be a few days of celebration with the entire family.

Elsa: Celebration? What about tomorrow’s celebration. It’s my 7th Gotcha Day! That means I’m at least 9 years old, maybe older. Can I have a rager of a party? How about a keg? It isn’t everyday a puppy mill survivor and epileptic dogster gets an opportunity to have a blow out party.

The Mom: Keg? Umm, let’s just stick with a quiet day of celebrating, shall we?

Elsa: So long as there are treats. Plenty of treats. Got it?!

The Mom: Fine, treats galore and some extra special attention. We hope our readers have a great day and an even better weekend. Don’t forget to check out nature in your ‘Hood.

Elsa: Right you are, Mom. I’m all in. And I hope there are some roaming critters to help me celebrate my Gotcha Day while we’re at it. Paws crossed.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ September 8, 2023

ElsaElsa: 🎵 🎶 {humming and breaking into the song The Farmer In the Dell}…”oh, a hunting we will go, a hunting we will go…hi-ho, the derry-o, a hunting we will go…”

The Mom: {check on the Ninja} Good morning, Elsa, what in the world are you doing?

Elsa: Just singing a little ditty I heard the other day…

The Mom: You realize that you changed the actual lyrics of the song?

Elsa: Ahem…my blog, my lyrics/songs.

The Mom: {rolling her eyes} Oh dear, we haven’t even begun to write this week’s post and already you’ve starting in being a pill.

Elsa: Like I said, my blog. How many times do I have to remind you? Sheesh, I wish you’d get it, Mom.

 The Mom: Ok, ok, {throwing her arms up in defeat}…I surrender. But you need to introduce us, first.

Elsa: Oh yeah, oops, I forgot. {Clearing her throat} Welcome to another edition of Nature Friday where we join our pals Rosy and Sunny from LLB in Our Backyard. Don’t forget to click on the link to see pics from around Blogville. There, you happy now?

The Mom: Better now that you’ve told people what’s going on. If you’re going to be a writer, you need a introductory beginning, you just can’t come waltzing into a room humming and singing without setting the stage. By the way, what’s this hunting thing that you’re singing about anyway.

Elsa: {getting excited} Well I just heard a story about the tarantula migration in Southeast Colorado and I thought, let’s go hunting for those buggers!

The Mom: Umm, hate to break it to you, but you do know we don’t hunt tarantulas?

Elsa: Wait, wha…why the dog not?

The Mom: Sweetie, first of all, this migration is near La Junta, Colorado which is not that close to us. It’s even further than Grandpa’s house. Second, why in the world would you want to disrupt the males in their annual nature crawl across southeast Colorado for their mating season?

Elsa: Hmm, good point, I’m not sure I want to ride all the way down to La Junta. I mean they do have the very best cantaloupe around, but watching a bunch of horny tarantulas skitter across the highway ain’t my idea of a good time. Besides, I can get my cantaloupe fix from the grocery store. I hear there’s a pretty good crop this year and did I mention cantaloupe is my favorite special treat? Hint, hint.

The Mom: Yes, I know, I’ll pick you up another one this weekend but you can still share a photo of the hairy legged spiders, who just happen to be more terrified of us than we are of them.

Elsa: Umm, speak for yourself but okay, I will share a couple of pics. I can just hear the howling from my readers. It may be the start of the Halloween season judging by all the gear I’m seeing in stores, but as a general rule, most people are not fans of spiders in general, and even less on tarantulas.

Tarantula migration
Photo courtesy of Channel 7 website

The Mom: I know, but they are quite fascinating creatures. My daughter kept a few of them as pets when she was in junior high. Did you know that very year, a mass migration of tarantulas shows up in southeast Colorado, with most of them being male tarantulas, looking to mate with females who burrow in the prairies.

News reports are saying this weekend will be peak viewing time. I know most people are afraid of the giant arachnids, but the Colorado tourism board put together a list of viewing tips, for adventure seekers saying the Comanche National Grasslands, southeast of La Junta, Colorado is the best place for viewing. Tarantulas may be creepy looking, but they’re mostly harmless to humans. They can bite but more than often they’ll fling their hairs as a defense mechanism that can irritate your skin. Tarantulas can be fast movers, usually moving about 4-body lengths a second on average when the temperature is 62 F, but nearly 10-body lengths a second when the temperatures are 100 F, which is incredibly fast. 

Elsa: Whoa…that is pretty fast. Probably scares the bejesus out of most people.

The Mom: Uh huh, true enough. Most of them in Colorado are the Oklahoma Brown Tarantula, with their mating season happening from September through October. Tarantulas are found throughout the southwestern United States, including southern Colorado. Those found in Colorado are usually dark brown to black and can travel as far as twenty miles in search of a mature female. Tarantula mating is one of the strangers animal reproduction rituals. It is unlike anything else seen in the animal kingdom yet the males don’t live long after mating while females can live 20 years because they seldom leave the area around their burrows while the males tend to roam around.

Tarantula trek
Closeup courtesy of Visit La Junta website

While tarantulas can bite, their venom is not fatal to humans and is comparable to a bee sting. More likely, they will defend themselves by ‘shooting’ body hairs, resulting in itching.

Elsa: Ok, so that is sort of fascinating so I guess I’m glad we’re not hunting them. But I doubt any of my readers want to hear you wax on about them anymore. It’s been a less than stellar week in terms of photos due to the heat but I’m going to do my best. Let’s move on from the creepy-crawly, shall we?

The Mom: Fine by me. You’re the one who wanted to go-a-hunting.

Elsa: Let’s not get technical, ok? First I’m going to share some photos from my visit with my Grandpa last weekend. It’s always fun to spend time with him and even more fun because it was his birthday. I guess his favorite gift was that his beloved Colorado Buffaloes upset TCU on Saturday. We’ve been coming down from that high all week. Talk about college football hype though. Seems like the whole doggone town has lost their minds hopping on the Buffs bandwagon.

The Mom: Yes, it’s been a ‘little crazy’ watching otherwise normal people go ga-ga. Tomorrow’s game against long time arch-rival, Nebraska will be c-r-a-z-y and a big test for the new coach We have our paws crossed. So what was your second favorite part of our Pueblo visit?

Elsa: Well it was a veritable sniff-fest the whole weekend! I mean I found LOADS of bunnies, quail, a rattlesnake carcass and my absolute favorite, an antler. Too bad it was attached to the skull. I noticed you got pretty choked up over that.

Antelope Antler

The Mom: I was mostly concerned when you tried to bring one of the rib and leg bones  home (not shown here).

Elsa: Yeah, that was not fair, I mean, I need bones to keep my teeth clean. What better way than chewing on a real live antler?

The Mom: Roadkill is not the way to go. But at least we saw a cool sunrise and a slug of sunflowers along our morning walks.

Sunrise-Pueblo West

Elsa: It was so early when we went out, I didn’t even get a chance to say wake up good morning to the mules and donkeys that live across the road from Grandpa. I’d rather have checked them out than some dumb sunflowers.


The Mom: Stop being a brat, Elsa. Once we came home we did see a few signs than autumn is nearing. Take a look at this acorn.


Elsa: I only noticed them because the squirrels have been going up and down this oak tree in our yard like maniacs. One of these days, they are not going to get away from me!

The Mom: As long I have you on a leash, they’re pretty safe.

Elsa: You’re such a killjoy, Mom, you know that?

The Mom: It’s for your own good. You wouldn’t want to get rabies now, would you? So what else do you have from around our neighborhood?

Elsa: Well there were a couple of flowers that I spied that were kind of cool. Can we give the wood rose to Rosy, huh, can we?FlowersWood rose

The Mom: I’m sure Rosy would like that pretty pink flower. Looks like the stores are gearing up for Halloween already judging by all these tiny gourds from the market.

Tiny pumpkins

Elsa: Yeah, I noticed our neighbor has started decorating early. He even put up a ‘suggestion box.’


The Mom: Yeah, I always enjoy his yard decor. People come from miles around to see how he arranges them.

Elsa: It’s a clear sign we’re moving toward autumn when he drags out the skellies. Clearly he’s planning on upping their presence. I saw a new critter next to the suggestion box (out of view). A turtle…he was pretty cute.

The Mom: Yeah, he’s pretty clever. Should be a fun autumn. And because it’s the home opener for the local pro football team who shall remain nameless, we are sharing a cloud formation someone sent in to Channel 7. Looks a little like the horse head on their helmets.


Elsa: We send our congrats to the Detroit Lion fans who came from behind late in the last night’s opener and beat Kansas City. You weren’t expecting that, were you?

The Mom: Truthfully, I wasn’t but was happy for them. Should be in interesting football season all around. We’re going to have to get through the CU game first before I’m in pro mood.

Elsa: Ha! You’re still counting the days for hockey to start, you can’t fool me, Mom.

The Mom: True enough. But it’s going to be a busy sports weekend around the Ranch. Anything exciting plans for your weekend?

Elsa: I’m just waiting for the cool front to arrive late Sunday, early Monday. We hope you have a good weekend. But more importantly than a football win, we hope you are able to get out there and enjoy a slice of Nature.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾