Nature Friday ~ January 27, 2023

Greetings and welcome to Day 97 of Winter, Norman here. Before I share some of the sights around our Ranch, I wanted…{Elsa yelling from the other room} “Don’t forget, it was my idea!!”

Norman: Ahem…As I was about to say, before sharing what Nature has looked liked around the Ranch, I wanted to express my deepest gratitude to all the wonderful Gotcha Day wishes from all the readers. You made my day extra special and I appreciate it tremendously.

Norman: {continuing} Now, let’s get to the sharing part of this week’s episode of Nature Friday, shall we? As always, we’re joining the LLB Gang.

Elsa: Yeah, get on with it, Bucko. I got things to do to get ready for the weekend.

Norman: Oh dear, I’m afraid this might be harder than I had hoped with all these interruptions.

Elsa: You want interruptions…don’t get me started, pal. Why I oughta…

Norman: No need to get hostile, Ninja. As I mentioned earlier it seems like Winter has been around forever. After those hyacinths raised their heads up a tad recently (in case you missed it, click here), I was ever so hopeful we would be moving toward more temperate climes. Alas, that is not the case. All those “atmospheric rivers” plaguing the West Coast continue to move west and leave piles of the dreaded white stuff.

Elsa: What do you mean, dreaded? This stuff tastes great.

Elsa

Norman: {Rolling his eyes} Oh for bloody sake…do I get to do this post or don’t I?

Elsa:  Sheesh, lighten up, ya pile of fur!

Norman:  So sorry, I don’t mean to sound so harsh. My bad. I just want to be able to deliver my post uninterrupted. {Clearing his throat…continues}. Well as you can see by Elsa’s pose, it snowed…again. I think that was maybe Day 92 of Winter. At any rate, our landscape remains monochromed. Not totally brown anymore but more like 99.99% white.

Snow scene

Elsa: Ooh, ooh {breathlessly interrupting}…did I tell you I saw some brown yesterday? I took a whiff of the afternoon breeze and caught the scent of bunny. Or maybe it was squirrel, I don’t know. Either way…something had definitely marched through my front garden and I had to check it out since I am the protector of the Ranch.

Snow & shadows

Norman: Ok, moving right along. You know that one downspout that tends to ice up the sidewalk and causes problems when we turn the corner heading back to the dog run? I noticed even you wiped out and your fleet feet are pretty stable.

Elsa: Yeah…once I recovered and got up on all my paws and looked around like “what the dog was that all about!”

Norman: Don’t feel badly. I biffed it there as well. Mum was quite concerned. Seniors like me don’t do well when we fall. She helped me up and slowly guided me so I wouldn’t fall again on the icy sidewalk. I mean, I had patients and staff to visit and being hurt wasn’t on the agenda that morning.

Elsa: I noticed she tried to remediate the situation by spreading some cat litter and it turned into a lovely, squishy, grey goop during the bit of melting that occurred between storms.

Norman: Don’t remind me. It was a bloody mess. Turns out cat litter is not much of a substitute for sand so she cleaned it up as best as she could and then picked some sand up last night in anticipation of the next round of weather expected to move into the area this weekend. She went on a walkabout yesterday afternoon and raved about a cholla cactus she saw. She said it was completely sparkly from its spines to the small icy chunks of snow on it. I looked at her picture and felt badly for her-seems as if winter has clearly pushed her over the edge. All I saw was something poking through the snow with sharp spines. It was hard to see where the spines ended and the clumps of ice began.

Cactus

Norman: {Shivering} Some of you have admitted you haven’t taken down your Christmas decorations. Well fear not, you’re not alone. When it snowed the other day, Mum was going on and on about this house on her walk. Mum’s…the littlest things seem to amuse them, I just don’t get it. No tree, no decorations, no presents left at our house and she gets giddy about this fenceline.

Christmas decorations

Elsa: She was just captivated by the snow on the ribbon, that’s all. It’s just a human shortcoming to like stuff like that.

Norman: Well I don’t get it. Course I’m more focused on the flakes that keep making appearances and those slippery walkways.

Snowy scene

Norman: There are much better ways to deal with this weather pattern during all these endless days of Winter. For instance, having a good time with a fun toy. And if I can’t play with a toy inside where I’m warm, I enjoy making friends with a policeman and a couple of EMT’s  from Lakewood, CO. They were at the Emergency Department when I visited and they just couldn’t get enough of me. I did rather enjoy that.

Norman

ELMC

Elsa: {clearing her throat} Well your pet therapy work is nice and all, but can I just remind you that it really isn’t “Nature-centric?”

Norman: Perhaps not, but how could I resist such a swell group of chaps on my Gotcha Day?

Elsa: Oh jeez. You are shameless, you know that, right?

Norman: I beg your pardon. I’m just trying to show everyone there’s more to life than just drab brown or crystal white in life. That’s all.

Elsa: W.h.a.t.e.v.e.r…let’s wrap it up, big guy.

Norman: Roger, dear sister. We both hope you have a pawsome weekend and are able to get outside and enjoy some of Nature.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ January 20, 2022

Setting the stage…{Classical music playing from the Bugs Bunny cartoons playing in the background}

Norman: {stretching} Wha…erm…what day is it?

Elsa: {y-a-w-n} Huh? Oh, you woke me up from a great dream to ask what day it is?

Norman: No, I just woke up and was a bit disoriented-mostly I was just thinking out loud. Well…do you know what day it is?

Elsa: Of course I know what day it is…it’s Sleep in Friday…that’s what day it is!

Norman: {eyes rolling} Oh sister…I think it’s actually Nature Friday, where we join the cute pups from Adventures of the LLB Gang in celebrating the wonderful moments in Nature.

Nature Friday

Elsa: Whatev. I still would love to go back to bed and resume dreaming but I know you never can pick up where you left off. So…whaddu got from Nature this week?

Norman: Well, dear sister…it was as Mum puts it…another yoyo week. We started out in the season of mud with a spot of Spring and then…well you know how it turned out.

Elsa: Oh yeah, I remember now {still yawning and stretching}. The dog run was a bit of a mess wasn’t it? Mom went crazy trying to keep our paws clean. Boy, she gets really wound up about muddy paw prints, doesn’t she?

Paw prints

Norman: Tell me about it…She grabbed me as soon as we came back inside with a chamois and began wiping me down. Ugh.

Elsa: Yeah, she nailed me too. Why are moms such clean freaks?

Norman: No clue. But the beginning of the week when she wasn’t zero-ing on my paw prints, she was squealing about something in the front garden.

Elsa: So that’s what she was doing. I heard her and when I looked at what she was checking out, I did the double, dog blink, rolled my eyes and walked back inside to steal one of your toys play with one of the new Christmas toys.

Norman: Mum told me she’s never seen anything like that in January. I had to look closely. Those little things were pretty small but I guess that shock of green really got her gardening juices flowing.

Hyacinths

Elsa: What the…what are those things anyway?

Norman:  I think she squealed they were Hyacinths. She shooed me away saying they were dangerous to us dogs.

Elsa: Yeah, like we’d ever chew on anything like that?

Norman: Ha, ha, ha…good one, Elsa. I may only have been here 3 years but Angel Sam told me stories about all the weird things you’ve eaten.

Elsa: Yeah, yeah…doggone blabbermouth…ugh. Back on point, brother…what else do you have about “Nature” this week?

Norman: Well, Ninja…a couple of days after Mum was crowing about those teeny, tiny little hyacinths growing, this happened .

Winter

Elsa: Yeah, more snow. Makes you wonder how those Hyacinths are doing now, doesn’t it? Back to winter temps and snow. But isn’t January the driest month in Denver? We’ve received the most snow this January in 30 years. What the dog?!

Norman: Tell me about it. You know how I feel about snow. I keep wondering what I’ve done to deserve all this white stuff?

Winter

Elsa: Guess Nature exacts a heavy toll on oaf brothers.

Snow on trees

Norman:  Well, that was kind of rude.

Snow on trees

Elsa: Hey, I don’t write the rules…they just…are. I only report them.

Icicle

Norman: It was sort of pretty, I guess. I’m glad Mum didn’t take me for a walk in it though. You know, I’ve got my aging joints to worry about.

Elsa: You’d come up with any kind of excuse to not have to go out in that weather. I, on the other hand, happily bounce outside. Snow doesn’t bother me, in fact, I love it.

Norman: There’s just no accounting for taste, is there?

Winter snow

Elsa: Wheeeeee! Bouncing through all that snow is what us Standards love to do.

Norman:  That’s not what Sam told me.

Elsa: Hey…he bounced with me on numerous occasions!

Norman: That may well be, but I think he’d prefer snuggling in Mum’s lap over shushing through drifts of snow. No matter how pretty it is.Snugglers

Elsa: You gotta admit, it sure makes for some comfy snoozing. Mom can go out walking and finding dripping icicles all she wants. Heck, I didn’t even mind sharing her lap with the likes of you.

Little icicles

Norman: You’re right, I’m right there with you little sister.

Elsa: Well that looks like that’s all from us this week. Mom did want me to tell everyone how much she appreciated all the kind thoughts and comments on whether she should continue to blog in the future. She was truly touched by everyone and that was the main reason she let us pen this week’s post in Nature Friday. Hopefully she’ll let us do more, I mean…after all, she’s a got a resident award-winning correspondent right in her house. I mean, how does it get any better than that?

Norman: {eyes rolling again} Yes, Ninja. She’s very lucky having us. Let’s wish everyone a great weekend. I personally hope everyone stays warm but fancies about in whatever Nature’s dishes out. I know Mum will. I just hope she lets me do what I do best (next to loving her).  Oh, and we want to wish everyone 新年快乐 (xīnnián kuàilè) a very Happy Chinese New Year.

Snoozing Norman

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ January 13, 2022

Welcome to the Friday the 13th edition of Nature Friday where we join our hosts over at Adventures of the LLB Gang for their weekly blog hop.

ElsaHey everyone, it’s me, Elsa, your world renown blog correspondent and gorgeous Ninja dog model, sharing some sights from around our neighborhood this week. But first, do you consider yourself superstitious when it comes to Friday the 13th?

As you may know, Friday the 13th happens when the 13th day of the month of the Gregorian calendar falls on a Friday, and that can happen at least once a year but can occur up to three times in a year. This year will have two-today and again this October, which both me and that oaf of a brother of mine think that month is spooky enough without a Friday the 13th on top of it. I dug around to find out more about the background surrounding Friday the 13th.

According to folklore, the number “13” is considered unlucky. Based on a Norse myth, 12 gods met for a dinner party in Valhalla. That mischief maker, Loki, who had not been invited, arrived as the 13th guest, and arranged for Höðr to shoot Balder with a mistletoe-tipped arrow. After Balder died, Earth became dark, and mourned and the day was thought to be a bad, unlucky day. Norse mythology believed the number 13 to be unlucky and both Fridays and the number 13 are considered unlucky in Western superisition.

But we’re not here to talk about superstitious days, we’re here to see what Nature looked like around our ‘Hood this week. It’s been fairly chilly this week but Mom met up with a friend and they strolled over to her favorite place, Sloan’s Lake for a nice walk around the lake.

Sloan's Lake

The lake was pretty solidly frozen and looking west you could see the beautiful, snow-capped Longs Peak, the 14,259-foot mountain located near Estes Park off in the distance. Did you know Longs Peak is the tallest point in both Boulder County as well as Rocky Mountain National Park?

Sloan's Lake

Looking east,. you can see the Denver skyline as well as critter tracks. I think the Canadian Geese were looking for potential breaks in the ice so they could paddle about in the water. The very thought that any living creature would actually want to get into the lake on a cold day seems insane to me. Heck I don’t like to get wet on warm days {shudder}.

As Mom and her friend rounded the lake, they noticed the boat ramp had partially collapsed in the frozen water. Mom didn’t know what happened, but figures once the ice melts, the city will be out to reset the pylons for the many boaters and paddle boarders that use the lake.

Sloan's Lake

Well that’s it for me this week. Mom is still trying to decide if she’ll continue blogging so I’m not sure when or if I’ll be back. She said she’s lost her mojo but I think she just needs a break. I’m always up for blogging and even Norman would happily pitch in. Maybe we should just stage a mutiny and take the whole thing over. What do you think?

We hope you can safely get out there to enjoy all the wondrous sights of Nature and don’t forget to check out what others shared at the link above. Have a great weekend and don’t walk under any ladders.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

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 ~ December 16, 2022

With just nine sleeps until Santa Paws arrives, we’ve been busy trying to get ready for the big day but not so busy we couldn’t find at least a couple of pics for this week’s edition of Nature Friday. As always, we thank those furry pals over at LLB Gang for hosting the blog hop.

Winter officially arrives next week but it seems to have already arrived here in the 303. Not in the form of any white stuff, mind you. This week’s forecasted Snowmageddon completely fizzled with only six tiny flakes falling. Temperatures however did fall and the dogs’ daily walks have been limited to quick trips in the dog run in order to preserve achy joints. Luckily those trips coincided with some winter beauty.

Red sky

The old saw says ‘red skies in morning, sailor take warning’ so this early morning scene left me hopeful that we’d receive some white stuff later in the day, but it was not to be.

Red skies

Apparently that other part of that old saw, “red skies at night, sailor’s delight” prevailed. Not sure if sailor’s would want to be  sailing in the low temps, but it certainly seemed to apply on the prediction of a storm. Cloudy, cold and windy are the watch words controlling weather conditions for the foreseeable future.

Cold temps mean both dogs are getting cabin fever. With Christmas preparations in high gear and little opportunity for the releasing of any pent up energy physically, that means boredom. I’ve had to rescue more than a few items from the jaws of death. Hopefully Christmas preparations will be wrapped up this weekend so I can concentrate on stemming any excess energy mischief this next week. Fingers crossed.

Well that’s it for us. Sorry for the lack of images this week. Hopefully we’ll do better next time when things calm down.

So what plans do you have this last full weekend before the big day? Whatever you do, I hope you’ll have the opportunity to see some slices of nature in between. Have a ‘wagnificent’ weekend.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ December 9, 2022

Well, well, well…it’s Friday and you know what that means-it’s time for us to join our pals over at Adventures of the LLB Gang for their weekly Nature Friday blog hop.

Greetings, fellow Nature Lovers, ’tis I, Norman bringing you a few scenes from around our urban ‘Hood. Mum has been busy trying to catch up reading all your blogs while working at  holiday preparations like decorating (I do say, I’m rather embarrassed at her pitiful attempt and not convinced at all it should even be considered decorating but we’ll let her have that mantle if that makes her happy). She did put up a teensy little tree on the table and other than showcasing the special ornaments for me and my sister, you gotta admit it’s pretty dismal when it comes to Christmas decorations. I’ll give her credit-she’s been busy trying to catch up from being sick. But I hope she doesn’t tell anyone she’s decorated the house. Just say you’ve been busy, Mum and leave it at that, okay?

Christmas tree

Notice the little sock monkey she recently ordered for us me. Umm, I’m afraid I was so excited at playing with the little guy I ‘might’ have poked out a spot next to one eye. Mum said she’s transferring him to the toy hospital for repairs but she said because the hospital is full of other toys and sewing projects it may be awhile before I actually get to enjoy him again. {Sigh.} Fortunately there are enough other toys I can play with until monkey-boy is well enough to play with us me.

Christmas Ornament

Notice the handmade ornament made by Mum’s friend with my name on it. She is an artist and hand painted it just for me-isn’t it adorable! Mum dug out the felted poodle ornament so the Ninja would be represented on the tree as well. It’s kind of hard to see, just like her. Black dogs pose all sorts of visibility issues for human eyes. Sigh. It reminded Mum she’s going have to spiff Elsa up so she doesn’t look so much like a furry Muppet. I think she needs a bath in the worst way but she said she’s trying to dissuade Mum about that. It’s bad enough losing one’s furs let alone having to deal with water torture on top of that.

Christmas Poodle

Mum’s Christmas cactus seems to display more holiday spirit than Mum, bursting into full bloom even before Thanksgiving. The color is so welcome on these drab days heading toward winter.

Christmas Cactus

One of the first walks Mum was able to make after recovering from COVID was to a favorite neighborhood spot, Sloan’s Lake. It was a chilly day, there was a thin layer of ice on the water and even the normally sure-footed Canadian Geese were slip-siding around. Mum said they looked a bit like her hockey team who is struggling with gobs of injuries. Although it’s technically a color pic, it looks more black/white with shades of grey. That’s the way things look like this time of year unfortunately.

Sloan's Lake

Some people get into decorating their yards. Mum passed this house on the way to the lake. We’ve seen those giant guys and both my sister and I don’t get why they constantly make noise. We prefer a quiet neighborhood. Mum just shakes her head and whispers…”pssst’ whenever we walk by and then laughs loudly.

Christmas Yard Decor

Even the little shops nearby have gotten into the spirit. I always enjoy walking past the flower shop-they always have holiday decorations outside. We didn’t go inside which was fully decorated but I did do a full sniff around this guy. Mum made sure I didn’t ‘water’ him though. COVID seemed to make her extra grumpy about that. {huff}

Christmas

A couple blocks away, a historic church always puts up a 12-ft.  tree in their parking lot. It’s tastefully decorated with ornaments and lights and brings more holiday spirit to  the neighborhood. The snow is real but the tree is artificial.

Christmas decor

A bit of snow looks pretty but it makes a fair weather boy like me move slower. Mum said I’m getting older and she has to make sure I don’t spend a lot of time outside when it’s cold. You won’t get any arguments from me but I feel like I’m missing out on time spent with her even though she puts a coat on me to keep my hip joints warm.

Well mates, that’s about it for our look at nature in the city this week. We hope you are enjoying this magical time of year. Stay warm and enjoy seeing all the holiday sights in nature. Do you have special plans for the weekend? Mum said she’s going to start her baking. For my part, I plan on helping her by laying at her feet in the hopes of dropped morsels of tasty treats. She may even make some special treats for Elsa and me-won’t that be grand? Whatever you do, enjoy spending some time taking in the sights Nature gifts us.

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! 🐾

 

 

 

 

 

Nature Friday ~ November 4, 2022

SkelliesWith Halloween in the rearview mirror, the skellies have mostly been put away (or seem to be focusing on upcoming holidays), welcome to the first Friday of November. As usual, we are joining the cuties from the LLB Gang for their weekly Nature Friday blog hop. Be sure to check out everyone’s take on Nature in their areas.

It was a glorious autumn week…well until the next season in the calendar lineup decided to make a cameo appearance, just to keep things real.

The trees continue to do ‘autumny’ things by changing colors and dropping leaves (in anticipation of the forecast storm, I raked and bagged leaves Wednesday before a doctor’s appointment so of course, Nature thought she’d prank me by immediately blowing an equal and new batch of leaves down on clean garden beds and sidewalks. Despite four enormously stuffed bags, it looked as if I hadn’t done a bloody thing. Oh, Mother Nature, you sure have a cruel sense of humor.

My doctor’s office is very near my old house in City Park and I always like to walk around before the appointment to see how my old Victorian is faring and how the neighborhood in general is doing. When I lived there back in the late 80’s/90’s it was considered a neighborhood in transition but seems to be enjoying the same development and renovating improvements that have occurred in my neighborhood. I enjoy walking around checking things out and strolling through beautifully manicured yards and garden beds. When I came across this plant, I knew I had to include it today. It was growing up between a garage and the sidewalk in a tiny sliver of dirt between the two. Talk about a showy beauty! Euonymus europaeus, commonly referred to as European spindle tree, is a beautiful ornamental shrub. I had never encountered it before in autumn but oh my heavens, am a huge fan now. No wonder birds and wildlife are drawn to its fruit and seeds. Just look at those colors!

Flowers

After finding that gorgeous beauty, I spotted this ‘lawn ornament’ a half a block away. It made me chuckle out loud.

Elephant

I mean, who wouldn’t want to have an elephant in their garden with an upended wine bottle to water the flowers?

From 70’sF  and sunshine on Wednesday to rain mixed with snow yesterday, the landscape morphed into a different kind of beauty. This was from pre-dawn this morning.

First snow As you can see, it got a bit nippy last night with the first icicles forming on the bird bath.
Bird bath

Well that’s about it from us this week. We’re looking forward to a sunny Friday and sunnier weekend with temps back in the 60’sF. Gotta love the yo-yo weather here in Colorado.

Got any special plans for the weekend? Whatever you do, we hope it’s fun and interesting and you make a point to get out and look around at all that Mother Nature shares. The good, the bad, the cold, whatever..it’s all amazing.

Nature Friday

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! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ October 21, 2022

Woof, woof…it’s Friday which means that the intrepid pair of reporters (that’d be Norman and I) are at it again sharing slices of our natural world from around our urban neighborhood. Hiya, Elsa to kick this party off!

Norman: Top o’ the morning, little sister. Before we get started, let our readers know we’re joining our friends from over at Adventures of the LLB Gang for their weekly blog hop and hope everyone will check out what others have shared from their own natural world.

Elsa:  Always gotta interrupt my zen with facts, don’t ‘cha? Argh.

Norman: Well, we want to make Mum proud of our work.

Elsa: Mom’s proud enough of me, er us. But to stop going back and forth with you, let’s get started. We saw some fairly bizarre things yesterday on our walks that seemed really out of character for this time of year.

Norman: Quite right, Ninja. Mum was catching up with her sister on the phone when we walked past a shrub in bloom. That in and of itself is not the surprising thing, but the kind of shrub it was. Check this out. Have you ever seen a lilac in bloom…in October no less??

Flowers

Elsa: Whoa…that is bizarre! Don’t those thing usually bloom in Springtime?

Norman: How should I know, I’m a British dog.

Elsa: A British dog who seems like they know gardening, I mean you’re the one who waters plants all the time, I just figured you know their watering requirements.

Norman: I couldn’t say. Mum tried to sniff at it (the nerve, I mean sniffing is MY realm!) but it had no scent. Maybe it isn’t a lilac but some sort of hybrid or a related plant. But it left us all feeling like we were in a Tardis box and transported back in time. {scratching his head}

Elsa: It was weird, but then again so were these guys. I kept thinking I had been robbed of enjoying winter and it was now Spring again. While I know you’d be okay with that, I personally like the snow and felt like I had been cheated of dashing through the snow.

Flowers

Norman: Luckily the rest of our walk put us back in the present season. Looks like pumpkins are ruling. Pumpkins and leaves that are changing colors.

Elsa: They’re changing alright, and lots of the leaves have already started to fall. For a hot minute I thought it was snowing yellow and orange yesterday afternoon when a breeze came through.

Leaves

Norman: Right-o. The leaves did seem like they were snowing down on us but as we crunched through them, I was reassured it wasn’t snow but a beautiful nirvana of autumn scents in those falling leaves. Boy, do they smell terrific and very autumn-ish.

Elsa: You know that stretch where we see all sorts of critters in and around a water ditch that flows through part of the ‘Hood? Well yesterday, I  almost thought we were lost, it looked so different with it being dry and full of fallen leaves.

Autumn leaves

Norman: So true-it was like we’d stepped into the woods from a fairytale.

Elsa: Ha! Fairytale? I thought we’d taken a wrong turn and were lost.

Norman: I know Mum would never get lost, we mostly follow the same path all the time and even we know exactly where to turn.

Elsa: Well with all the skellies in the ‘Hood, things can look a little out of place if you know what I mean. Like yesterday, Mom delivered her mail-in ballot to the dropbox off our usual route and it was like we’d entered into a whole new world.

Norman: Indeed. New plants, new houses and new Halloween decorations. Pumpkins seems to be everywhere.

Pumpkins

Elsa: Those are too mild for my tastes. I like the the more interesting yard decor.

Halloween

Norman: Welp! I’m not sure I want to walk past that place again. I mean, if it’d been a creepy cloudy day…well it could have been scarier.

Elsa: Oh jeez, you big fur-baby! That thing can’t hurt us…it was locked behind the closed gate, you fool.

Norman: Well it startled me when its clothes started swaying in the breeze. I wasn’t sure just what that was all about. I thought maybe it was haunted or possessed.

Elsa: Haunted or possessed? Oh brother, you gotta get out more. Besides, while sometimes I might be a little terrifying  toward you, do you actually think I’d let anyone hurt you?

Norman: I can easily stand up for myself, you know. I just choose not to get into shouting matches with Rottweilers and such. But I’d go to the mat if anyone threatened you from behind a fence. You know that, right?

Elsa: Yeah, we’re both pretty bad-a$$ on this side of the fence, if I do say so myself. {looking pretty proud of her bad little self}

Norman: Enough with the bravado, how do you feel about this ‘pup?’ I thought he looked rather sweet in his appearance and demeanor.

Halloween

Elsa: Oh that dude? Bwahahahahahaha. What a pussy cat. I could whip him with one paw tied behind my back.

Norman: No paw tying is necessary. I distinctly heard him passing gas.

Elsa: Oh dear gawd, you really do need to get out more. That dog is one of those inflatable things that Mom is always joking about. You know she’s not a fan of them, right?

Norman: I gathered but heard her distinctly mention she and her neighbors would begin to look like this one soon enough when they realized the leaf raking had commenced.

Halloween

Elsa: Yeah, she said everyone was going to face plant after they realized they would be raking and raking and raking yet again.

Norman: It’s quite true, this is the beginning of lots of yard work. You think these guys might ride around picking up the falling leaves and carting them away?

Autumn

Elsa: Those guys? Nah, I doubt it. They just look cute in the yard. Remember when they were all decorated for Spring and we wondered if the bike and wagon would still be around. Well, looks like they survived. Wonder if they’re cemented in place? Seems like that’s the only way things like that stay in place these days.

Norman: Well, if that’s what it takes to keep burglars at bay, I guess I’m okay with it. They are pretty cheerful looking.

Elsa: Almost as cheerful as this planter of gourds and pumpkins outside the flower shop. It just screams autumn, doesn’t it?

Pumpkins

Norman: And without the noise or being scary. I liked this one very much. It was quite pretty yet spoke autumn. Well, I think the only thing left to share is our good wishes for a ‘wagnificent’ weekend. Thank you for joining me and my little sister. We’d like to leave you with a spot of zen as you head toward the weekend. Cheers.

Autumn

Elsa: Don’t forget to get outside and explore the wonderful world Nature shares with us. Have a doggone great weekend!

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾