Nature Friday ~ October 1, 2021

Well, well, well…October already? It’s not even Halloween yet many retailers have begun displaying Christmas decor, much to my chagrin. Honestly…the trees in my ‘Hood haven’t changed colors yet but I’m supposed to get jazzed up about a holiday that’s 85 days away? Umm, that’d be a hard no.

Ok, I’m off my soapbox and now will join our PNW pals, Rosy, Sunny, Arty and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard on their weekly blog hop. If you click on their the link you’ll see  what others in Blogville have shared.

As I’ve noted before, there isn’t a whole lot of leaves changing color yet. Because summer has been so hot and dry in Denver, I suspect most leaves may simply turn brown and fall. From what I’ve seen on social media though, the nearby mountains are showing off beautiful swaths of gold aspens. Hopefully we can get up soon to see for ourselves.

Here is one of a few trees around that has begun its annual change but not a whole lot of change is apparent yet.

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And this tree had only one spot that was changing colors deep in its interior and it was actually more brownish than orange. Most trees continue to show signs of drought stress throughout the city.Trees

While walking along our usual route, we came upon this bright orange pumpkin planted between the sidewalk and the street. Seeing it made me mentally kick myself for not planting seeds in the garden this spring especially since canned pumpkin continues to be in short supply in stores. Probably crowded out by Christmas decor {grumble, grumble – I know, stop kvetching}. Between COVID disrupted supply chains on the simplest of products and persistent late season rainfall in states that provide the bulk of pumpkins, who knew there’d be a shortage of canned pumpkin? By the way, did you know that  the state of Illinois produces nearly 80% of the nation’s pumpkins?

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Thanks for nothing, Hurricane Ida.

Halloween

Whatever you plan to do this weekend, we hope it includes some time outside enjoying October’s splendor. Have a good one.

Live, love, bark!🐾

Nature Friday ~ August 14, 2020

Greetings nature lovers. Welcome to Nature Friday where we join our hosts and friends, Rosy, Sunny & their brothers for this week’s edition. Nature appears to be pretty upset judging by the numerous wildfires that have popped up around the state. The most concerning one is near Glenwood Springs where my brother and SIL just moved into their newly built home. Known as the Grizzly Creek Fire, it doubled in size overnight and now has consumed nearly 15,000 acres. I-70 has been closed in both directions and it is unknown when it will reopen. The fire began August 10th, is zero contained and some residents have been advised to be prepared to evacuate. The cause of the fire is undetermined but there are some suspicions it may have been human caused. This view was taken of the smoke and flames just south of the Colorado River on August 11, 2020. It gives you an idea of the roughed terrain in the area. That guard rail in the foreground is I-70.

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Photo Source: InciWeb-Incident Information System
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Map of the Grizzly Creek Fire. The red line was the perimeter at 12:47 a.m. MDT August 13, 2020. The white line was the perimeter about 24 hours before. Source: Wildfire Today /USFS /NASA

Another larger fire, the Pine Gulch Fire is located 18 miles north of Grand Junction, has now consumed over 70,000 acres as of this morning. Started two weeks ago and attributed to a lightning strike, the Pine Gulch fire is burning in remote, rough terrain of pinyon, juniper, oak, and sagebrush.  It is now the 5th largest in the state’s history. Hot, dry and windy conditions have forced three days of red flag air quality warnings with temperatures soaring into the 90s and windy conditions, with gusts up to 27 mph.

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Source: Denver Channel 7, KMGH

The smoke from these fires has reached Denver making for blazing sunrises and sunsets as well as unhealthy air quality alerts. This eery image was taken a couple of evenings ago from the front garden.

Fires

The Cameron Peak Fire fire near Chambers Lake, also popped up yesterday afternoon in Larimer County, 18 miles northwest of Fort Collins, and has grown to over 1500 acres in a matter of just four hours. Evacuations have been ordered. Fire season is always challenging in a state with high mountain valleys, canyons and wide open vistas but with the state suffering from a widespread severe and statewide drought, nature has us back on our heels right now.

While Mother Nature can provide us with all manner of beauty, she can get cranky real quick. It’s wise to act consciously whenever your path crosses with nature. Obey campfire bans and for heaven’s sake, please don’t throw your cigarette butts out the window when you’re driving. While we encourage everyone to enjoy Mother Nature, please be careful. And pray for those who are fighting these wildfires and all those who are personally displaced and affected by them. Stay safe.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ November 18, 2019

Time to start a new week out with a smile within a tiny bit of a rant because you know me subtle is my middle name. The Knuckleheads and I were recently on a morning walk and came upon a fellow walking his little dog. So far so good. I’m always glad to see people walking their dogs, especially in the morning. As we got closer, I noticed he was looking down at a personal device. We stopped to wait for him to realize he was about to walk into a couple of excited Spoos…but no…he kept looking down at his phone. “Ahem.” I cleared my throat loudly hoping he would rejoin planet earth to alert him of our presence (his dog was weaving back and forth from an expando-leash, a second no-no in my books but that’s another story). By the time he was about 4 feet away, he finally glanced up, gave me the stink eye and an exasperated ‘hrumph.’ Oh Dude, you did not just do that! We each went on our way without incident and as I turned around to throw mental darts at his back, I noticed his head went down again reading his screen. I’m not sure if he was catching up on his social feed or proof reading his notes for a cancer cure but jeez…what the dog?! I may also have prayed for an open manhole.

Finding this meme made me chuckle as I totally see this clown behind the wheel of a vehicle with no turn signals too. Sadly the attention too many of us give those little mini-computers in our pockets is not only rude, it’s unsafe.

Monday

However your week goes, and we hope it’s pawsome, just be sure to use your turn signal and make it a safe one. And ditch that expando-leash so your dog doesn’t poop in someone’s flower bed.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Clean Up Tuesday

You can tell once spring has definitely arrived. The fair-weather peeps come out after hibernating in front of fireplaces all winter long and start to take their pups for walks now. They are out in full force in my ‘hood these days but many of them seemed to have left a couple of very important things back at home. Their consideration and their dog bags. 

As our friend Jodi from Heart Like a Dog so aptly refers to them, the DADOs (dumb a$$ dog owners) are out in full force now that spring has finally sprung. What the heck people…were you raised by wolves? No, of course you weren’t. Wolves are raised in highly social and respectful packs. Growl!

Are the DADO’s without poop bags out in force in your ‘hood?

Life, love, bark! 🐾

Did You Know?

My daughter with whom I have been visiting all week recently posted this graphic on Facebook and as a mom and as a caring human being, felt duty bound to share. Do you know whether the products you use are tested on animals? Are you surprised at some of the companies on this list from the folks at the Beagle Freedom Project as I was?

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Game On Dude!

Normally when it’s been ‘game on’ in the past, it means I’m trying to match wits with a certain blonde knucklehead. This time however, we’re talking about a totally different game.

I’ve tried, really I have. Living in an urban setting, there is a surprisingly diverse wildlife population. Foxes, all sorts of songbirds, a couple of mangy coyotes, an owl, a pair of hawks, some raccoons and of course, squirrels. I enjoy watching them as they adapt to city life and have managed to co-habitat easily with them. That is, except…for the squirrels which seem to be some sort of spin-off from a Hell’s Angels fur gang, minus leather jackets. Lately they’ve become even more bold.

Source filched from the web

Oh sure, we all like to think of our little Sciuridae fur-iends as impossibly cute and even entertaining. Isn’t the one above just beyond adorable? Yeah right. The ones in my neighborhood are a lot more like this one. They’ve eaten screens, chewed ginormous holes in the trash and recycle bins to scrap out that lone tiny piece of stuck cheese in the discarded pizza box and left giant holes in the compost bins. Ordinarily I wouldn’t mind it they stuck to the compost bins and enjoyed a strawberry hull or two, but crimmin-Italy…not the dang window screen…again!!

Source: another filched image from the Web

Less than two weeks ago, the most brazen of the 3 or 4 that have been terrorizing gracing the Ranch from large tree in the front yard chewed through the screen in the kitchen presumably to snack on some bananas. Must be offspring from the one from a few years ago that broke in through that same screen and devoured a package of brownies on the counter. Yesterday as we were returning from our early morning walk, we arrived to find a blur whiz past us. Naturally the Ninja huntress took off after it. She nearly caught him too. Sure gave him a scare as he double timed it up the utility pole just out of jaw’s reach.

Meanwhile, back at the scene of the crime, I realized we had caught him ‘screen-handed’ though by the time I retrieved Elsa from chasing him, the only thing left was yet another torn screen in the exact same spot as the prior 2 times. Little bastard. If it only happened a few times every 4 or 5 years, I probably wouldn’t be so cranky about it. But this was less than two weeks ago!! So I went out to the garage to see if I still had any rat traps. While I didn’t find a rat trap, I did find a couple of mouse traps and baited them with some peanut butter. Not 30 minutes later that same hoodlum snatched the glob of PB off one and triggered the other one from the window sill. Are you freaking kidding me??!!

Ok, pal…it’s game on now and I’m going full nuclear. I’m going full Bill Murray from “Caddyshack” and plan to catch that little rat bastard. Have you ever been victimized by a rogue gangster squirrel? While I consider myself a major animal and wildlife lover, this. has. got. to. stop. We’ll be visiting our friendly hardware store this morning to stock up on armament.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

It’s baaaack

It’s that time of year again where we arbitrarily move toward insanity spring forward. Yup, time for a Ranch PSA to let you know that Daylight Savings Time arrives this weekend for the majority of the US this Sunday. Regardless of the pending calamity adjustment, we hope your weekend arrives with the promise of fun and some rejuvenation. Enjoy your weekend and for those of you lucky enough to not have to yet start this bi-annual catastrophe, we at the Ranch are quite jealous. Happy weekend!

Any big plans on tap beyond dreading the change?

Live, love, bark! <3

Things that go bump in the night

Ok, picture this. It’s the middle of the night and the call of nature wakes you up. More like screams its ugly head off, but you still resist. The crisp autumn air is a definite deterrent so you roll over and think, it’ll go away soon. Twenty minutes later, your bladder continues to send messages to your brain to get up and take care of this. You’re wide awake now so you succumb to your brain’s nagging and drag your sorry butt out of bed…shivering. You quietly tiptoe past the snoring fur-kids, quietly closing the bedroom door so as not to disturb anyone, walking toward the bathroom. Then you step on one of these babies. O.U.C.H. Ever step on one of these gizmos of pure torture? We kick or walk over these things 87 times a day. Elsa drags them from one end of the house to the other and I love that both fur-kids enjoy these beef hooves, but yikes, those bad boys will make you howl like a banshee if you step on them with bare feet when you’re somewhat half asleep.

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Suddenly you’re hoping around on one foot, yelling every HBO word you’ve ever heard, kicking those hummers every which way and the racket of all that yelling combined with skittering hooves across hardwood floors crashing into walls and furniture has woken up the entire household up with you asking everyone, “Who the [blank] left these things lying around?!?!” The sleepy faces facing you just nod, mumble and shuffle back to bed. You’re left wide awake with the you-know-what scared out of you, blood pouring from a toe and too mad to pee. Why is there no justice for mom? Would I be less crabbish if I stepped on a squeaking stuffie in the middle of the night? Yeah probably not, but at least I wouldn’t have to triage my injury before getting back to sleep in the freezing dark.

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Note to self: think about getting one of those IED robots to clear these “land mines” out  before you going to bed to avoid this far too often repeated scenario.

Hope your re-entry into the work week was far less traumatic and you had a great night’s sleep following a beautiful Autumn weekend.

Live, love, bark! <3

Wordy Wednesday

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Sam here. Ever notice how uprights have a double standard when it comes to us dogs? Remember…keep your eyes on the path and not on your social media so we can both enjoy our walking time together.

Live, love, bark! <3

Summertime and the living is…noisy

dog-meeting

Ever have that one dog in the neighborhood that barks non-stop? Day and night? We’ve got one and I can’t quite pin-point its exact location but I’m so jones-ing for a ‘come to Jesus’ chat with its owner. This poor dog barks when I take out the recycling. He raises Cain if I’m working in the garden. He barks at 5:30 in the morning before the day’s cacophony begins and he barks at 12:30 at night. I’m guessing he lives outside, but with all the wooden fenced yards around, I can’t quite determine which house he lives in with exact precision.

My first reaction is to go up to the front door and (1) calmly and patiently talk with the owner about what can be done about the barking dog (I’m guessing the owner is so tuned out that they don’t realize it’s an issue to anyone) or (2) simultaneously want to take a bat with me and bash whomever answers the door and scream “would you please shut that &#@% dog up or find it a more responsible owner who will pay attention to it!” Sheesh people.

It isn’t the dog’s fault. I get that, yet still desire a bit of peace and quiet when I leave the house rather than that endless barking till I’m out of range. Yes, I realize that the weather has been hot and miserable lately. Shoot, I’d bark as well if it’d get me back in a cool house. But for the love of all that’s holy, why can’t you bring that poor creature in rather than let it suffer outdoors and disrupt the entire neighborhood? Why does he have to stay outside 365 days a year? Yup, that poor dog barks in the winter, he barks in the summer, he barks early in the morning and in the dead of night. I feel as badly for him as I do for those of us who must endure it.

Did you ever have a dog that barked incessantly and non-stop in your ‘hood? What did you do? Bonus points if you didn’t get arrested AND still managed to resolve the problem without the dog being punished.

Live, love, bark! <3