Category Archives: Mother Nature

Gambling on Nature

Hello sports fans, it’s moi, Elsa. Mom said if behaved myself and didn’t get too rowdy, I could join the fun with our friends, Rosy and her brothers from LLB in Our Backyard for this week’s edition of the Nature Friday Blog Hop.

Paw prints

Art paw prints by Elsa and Mother Nature

Well all I can say about Nature this week is…what the dog?! We experienced it all this week-warm/cold/wet/dry/grey/sunny…and that’s unlikely to change any time soon. Wednesday there was a slushy snow/freezing rain that fell on top of the 4″ of snow that fell earlier. By Thursday probably 80% of it had melted except for northern exposures. Then there are humans who try to influence nature by changing time, which happens this weekend. Yup, the dreaded Daylight Savings Time switch arrives early on Sunday in the US. On the surface, it seems like a good idea…dinner arrives an hour early…color us dogs happy!  But then there’ll be an hour less of sleep which will make for crabbish sleepy huMoms and one hour less of any potential Spring. Messing with time seems like hoping a Vegas casino croupier will be your friend when he smiles and says, “Go ahead, roll the dice, hit me, or place your bets,” but we know how that often ends up where spring is concerned. When you play Blackjack-Spring edition, shouldn’t you actually win once in a while? 

More than likely, nature will deal these guys instead of the Spring we’d like.

Deal the cards

When we went out for our walk, we saw more signs that Spring might be in the air but I’m not holding my dog breath. When we got home, mom looked at the calendar that saw that the dreaded time gyp arrives and then groaned. We all know mom groans are never a good sound.

Tulip bulbs

The reticulated irises and crocuses mom shared managed to survive the snow fairly well. Talk about hardy little devils. They must be Ninjas in the bulb world.Irises

More than likely I’ll end up being up to my elbows in white stuff soon since March is our snowiest month of the year. But it’s not all bad, snow is fun mom, trust me.

Elsa in snow

Here’s my happy face that doesn’t want to walk on a cleared sidewalk and stay dry

So what’s your bet? Aces or jokers? Either way, don’t forget to ‘spring’ forward. Whichever way the cards are dealt, we hope there’s a full house or three of a kind for weekend fun, even if it will be an hour short.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

 

Monday Musings ~ February 18, 2019

Let’s start the week out with a smile but not the kind of smile Mother Nature is giving us today. After seeing the first batch of crocuses blooming on Friday, she apparently took a left turn, put a down payment back on winter and dropped a couple of inches of white stuff. She isn’t funny at all. She’s cold and sadistic. The temperature is only 10º F.

Sprinkler smile

Have a great week and don’t forget to smile.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ February 8, 2019

Nature Friday

Welcome to another edition of Nature Friday at the Ranch hosted by our California friends, Rosy and her brothers over at LLB in Our Backyard. We hope you’ll swing by their backyard and check out theirs and others tip of the cap to Mother Nature.

You can say things have been unseasonable around the Ranch lately. Normally our coldest weather comes in January when the Stock Show is in town. This year however the weather for the most part was quite balmy. A number of days even had peeps wearing shorts with their puffy jackets (yeah, I don’t get that either-wearing shorts with a ski jacket is very common around here). January and February typically have little in the way of snow and yet we’ve had two snow storms in consecutive weeks with 10 and 6 inches respectively. I don’t mind the snow, but the below zero temps following this latest storm seems beyond what is normal for this time of year. Yesterday it was -5 F and just barely over 0 this morning, so let’s go for a little orchid action to warm things up.

It’s been some time ago but I found this beauty hanging out forlornly at the grocery market so naturally I felt compelled to ‘rescue’ it. It was the only blue one and I knew it would be a lovely addition around the Ranch. Isn’t that blue color simply exquisite? I don’t know how they get the color, but it’s beautiful and made me feel like I was back in Hawaii.

Orchid

Speaking of Hawaii, I would be remiss to not include a photo of the real deal in its natural environment. Located just north of Hilo on the Big Island is the Onomea Bay and the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. With 2,000 species, representing more than 125 families and 750 genera, this is just one many beautiful plants located in this one-of-a-kind garden.Their orchid collection is particularly spectacular. Just check out this specimen. Talk about colorful and delicate looking!

I don’t know about you, but after seeing photos of tropical orchids, I can once again appreciate all that nature has to offer even as I look out the window at a wintry white-scape. I hope we won’t have to bundle up like Eskimos again, like yesterday. Lacing up 10 snow boots, donning three coats and mittens was more exercise than the actual walk!

Snow

Have a super weekend and get out there to enjoy all the beauty Mother Nature has to offer but stay safe and warm.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ Eskimo Style

Today we join our fur-iends Rosy and her brothers from LLB in Our Backyard on the last Friday of January 2019 for this week’s edition of Nature Friday.Nature Friday

We had a little storm blow through Ranch-land yesterday and by blow, I really mean windy conditions. While the total snow only measured 3-4 inches, the wind drifted it in some places to closer to 6 inches. The Knuckleheads however saw it as an opportunity to go mushing.

Poodles-Iditarod Style

Normally, the Knuckleheads walk on either side of me. We may still look like a 3-ring circus, but they walk nicely on either side. Sam never walks right next to his sister. I think I’ve heard him moan, “ewww, dog germs” on occasion. Yesterday, the windy and snowy conditions made them both frisky as all get out and I had to bundle up like an elder Eskimo on the ice flow including fat mittens which leaves very little dexterity to steer them around. While we weren’t out anywhere near the time or distance we normally are on a morning walk, those two bounced, galloped and frolicked like a couple of school kids. Try holding a cell phone in a mitten while staying upright in blowing snow. I laughed just contemplating the image we must have cast.

Poodles-Alaska-John-Suter

It reminded me of another musher team captained by John Suter in 1988. Suter and his team of Standard Poodles entered the 1988 Iditarod. As a rookie, the team actually finished in 38th place with a time of 18 days, 1 hour, 50 minutes, 50 seconds. Thankfully, the Knuckleheads were happy to head back to home Nome after a few blocks rather than days. Yes, it’s true; I’d we’d never make it in Alaska. But no doubt the Knuckleheads still dreamt of winning their own Spirit Mask and race trophy.  It should be noted that a few years after that first run, officials passed rules allowing only northern breeds like Siberian huskies and Alaskan malamutes to compete.

Here’s hoping you win any race you’re in this weekend. Stay warm and safe.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Wordless Wednesday ~ Setting Moon

Full Moon

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ January 18, 2019

Welcome to today’s edition of Nature Friday where we join our fur-iends Rosy and heNature Fridayr brothers from LLB in Our Backyard. Click on the link to see more Nature Friday posts.

The weather been in the mid-50’s the past few days but winter is expected to do a quick drive-by sometime today. Yes, that is unusually warm for January, but particularly during the National Stock Show when the temps typically hover in the frigid zone. Our forecast calls for rain mixed with snow but since temperatures will be somewhere in the upper 30’s or low 40’s today, but I only expect a sprinkle or two, but not much in the way of snow accumulation. Monday, winter is expected return with a higher chance of snow so we have our fingers crossed. The dogs would love to run Iditarod style, in the white stuff. Me, I just hope to hang on while staying upright laughing at them when they go snow crazy.

Ok, enough with the weather reports. How ’bout some Nature? A trip to my parents house in Southern Colorado allowed me to see these precious little things. Living in an urban environment, birds like this are as rare as hens teeth so can you imagine how thrilling that was. Generally seen on the Western Slope of the Rockies, these  little guys flit to and fro in the pine and pinion trees looking for insects.

The Centennial State I learned is home to three species of bluebirds; Western, Eastern and Mountain bluebirds. A bit bigger than a sparrow, these guys can be found in fields, open woodlands, and in some suburban locations near open areas such as golf courses. Mountain bluebirds (which I have encountered when my daughter lived in the foothills west of town), are found at higher elevations in open meadows.

I could have watched these little guys all afternoon if they’d have let me. They seemed cautious, even a bit shy while I photographed them from inside the house but then again I know I’m not thrilled when someone watches me eat either. They reminded this city girl, there’s a whole ‘nuther world out there that I’m missing.

We hope you get the opportunity to see some unique elements of Mother Nature this weekend and make it a great one.

Bluebirds Bluebirds

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Wordless Wednesday ~ January 16, 2019

Pagosa Springs

Pagosa Springs, Colorado

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ January 11, 2019

Nature Friday

Kudos for surviving the week and if you’re like us, you’re excitedly waiting for the weekend to begin. Welcome to today’s edition of Nature Friday where we join our fur-iends Rosy and her brothers from LLB in Our Backyard.

While the temperature outside is the warmest it will be all day at a balmy 34F with a beautiful wet snow falling here, we thought we’d share a photo of a real snow storm from a few years ago. These kinds of storms are only in my dreams these days and can only hope we ever receive that much again.

Snow storm

However you spend your weekend, we hope you enjoy it.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ January 4, 2019

Nature Friday
Welcome to the first Friday of 2019 where we enthusiastically join our fur-iends Rosy and her brothers from LLB in Our Backyard for this week’s edition of the Nature Friday blog hop.  Don’t forget to check out other blogs when you click on the link. Not yet ingrained in my brain, I’m still having trouble typing 2019 but figure it will become second nature soon. Fingers crossed. Speaking of nature…Mother Nature went on a bit of a tear earlier this week. Last year ended with a small snow storm blowing through the 303 and New Year temperatures started out literally in the freezer with emphasis on the blowing part. Low double digits dropped like a rock into single figures with the windchill. One early morning it was below zero. Hard to even recall today as the temps have been warming since Wednesday and should be around 60 F this afternoon with mid-50’s forecast for the next several days. Crazy Mother Nature…at her best/worst again, depending on how you view it.

Here are a couple of images from Mother Nature’s first storm of 2019. The bird bath was photographed early in the morning and chills me just looking at it.

And while the sun is shining in the second image, you can see exactly what windswept looks like on a patch of ornamental grass.

So how do you plan to stay warm this weekend? Whatever you do, we hope the first weekend of a fresh new year is ‘pawsome!’

Live, love, bark! 🐾