Howl-oween Monday ~ October 31, 2022

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

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

Halloween

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

Norman

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

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

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ October 28, 2022

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

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

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

Flowers

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

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

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

Weather

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

Snow

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

Norman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Halloween

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

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! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ October 14, 2022

Ranch HandsWelcome to this week’s edition of Nature Friday hosted by those cute hosts from Adventures of the LLB Gang. When you click on their link you’ll get to see what others around Blogville posted for this blog hop. This week the intrepid Ranch Hands take a look around the ‘Hood at trees in various stages of change in their colors.

Elsa: It’s about time, Mom. I was beginning to think you were putting me on waivers since I haven’t been able to contribute much lately.

Mom: Not at all, sweetie. Things have just been a bit crazy and well…you don’t have thumbs so.

Elsa: Whatever. Seems like a pretty lame-o excuse to me.

Norman: It’s ok, little sister. Look at bright side; we haven’t been vexed by writer’s block.

Elsa: Hmm, well there IS that. But then again, you would find the silver lining to a situation. How is it you always are so doggone cheerful and easy going?

Norman: I’m a proper, well mannered dog who heralds from the British Isles. We’re well known for having a stiff upper lip and all that.

Elsa:  Well all this chit chat isn’t sharing the changing leaves around the neighborhood, so let’s get this party started, shall we?

Norman: Quite, let’s go. First up, we noticed some trees can’t quite decide what color they want to be. Look at this one; it has a rainbow of colors. Yellow, green, burgundy…looks like it has it all. How brilliant is that?

Tree

Elsa:  That’s quite the specimen. I tend to lean toward the golden hued trees. Golds are often a trademark of autumn in Colorado trees.

Tree

Norman: Those golden trees are quite lovely and look exceptional against a clear blue sky. I know a lot of people are drawn to the reds when it comes to leaf viewing. Whoever said Colorado doesn’t do red, hasn’t looked hard enough.

Tree

Elsa: Umm, I think that might have been our, Mom.

Mom: {stuttering defensively} well, that’s NOT exactly what I said about leaves changing colors in autumn.

Elsa: Ha! Gotcha. Hee, hee, I love it when I’m right! Let me show you another specimen just a few steps along into our walk. Ain’t she a beauty?

Trees

Norman: I do love to water that tree, I mean, relish its beautiful color. And the shade it provides, it’s been a favorite of mine all summer.

Elsa: Shade…oh brother. You’re not fooling anyone. It is has bark, you love to ‘water’ it. It has nothing to do with beauty.

Norman: {somewhat miffed) I beg your pardon. I’ll have you know I possess a keen sense of aesthetics.

Elsa:  Yeah, right. Whatever it takes to make you feel better about yourself. Do you remember this tree we walked past the other day. I almost needed sunglasses it was so bright!

Trees

Norman: That one was pretty amazing. I was taken by this scene of ‘confetti’ we came upon just a few blocks away. Just look at those red leaves on the deep green grass carpet. Guess raking will be in the near future for a bunch of people. I do hope they don’t rake them all away…I do so love sniffing them. There are some very cracking smells in leaves!

Tree leaves

Elsa: I’ll give you that one. It made me want to face roll through those leaves. No trip around our ‘Hood would be complete this time of year without checking out some Halloween scenes. Yesterday Mom spied a very friendly black cat who was also checking out Halloween decor on a lovely afternoon.

Black cat

Norman: She was a real sweetie, wanting Mum to pet her and rub her ears. I was almost a tad jealous but then Mum gave us our own special ear rubs so everything was back to aces in my book.

Elsa: Us two black chicks just enjoying a groovy autumn afternoon. Yeah, talk about heaven. But what about the house that has all those skellies that get moved about in different scenes?

Norman: You’re so right, Ninja. Mum always has to stop and take a photo. And she always laughs. I’m not sure I get the humor of it all, but then again, skellies don’t hold much fascination for me anyway. Unless I can pee on it sniff at the corners or legs, I just don’t get it.

Halloween
A day at the beach

Elsa: I dunno…this beach scene seems out of place…I mean, there’s no waterfront despite sunning skellies, beach toys, gigantic lifeguard, flamingo and those snorkeling skellies among some piranhas who were out of view. Who thinks up things like this? {Huffs} Humans are just so weird!

Norman: You’ll get no arguments from me on that, little sister. Still, if it amuses Mum, it can’t be all bad, can it?

Elsa: I guess not. So I heard you’re doing a hospital Halloween festival tomorrow. You know dressing up in costumes will be required?

Norman: Quite true. I’m going as your friendly neighborhood fireman centerfold. Mum thought since I help people, it would be the perfect costume for me since I deliver smiles to people, plus I’m a knockout, or so I’m told.

Elsa: {eye rolling} More like it was the only costume large she could find.

Norman: I did try it on and it’s a wee bit small but Mum thought she could make it work so I won’t look too barmy. I’m not all that keen on dressing up but if it means making Mum and others happy, pencil me in.

Elsa: You’re such a brown nose.

Norman:  I’ll have you know my nose is actually black, sister.

Elsa: You. are. an. idiot. So readers…do you have any plans this weekend? We hope to get out and maybe look for more gorgeous trees changing color. Whatever you do, make sure you enjoy some of the amazing scenes in Nature.

Norman: Right-o. Enjoy!

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ October 10, 2022

Happy Columbus Day (or Indigenous People’s Day if you’re so inclined). Today is also World Mental Health Day. For the Ranch Hands, it’s more like “can’t we just sleep in a little longer today, Mum?”

Norman

While the Ranch Hands enjoy a couple of extra minutes of zzz’s, let’s enjoy a smile to start the day, courtesy of the Ninja.

Smile

While picking up scattered carcases toys over the weekend, I noticed more than a few missing ears and noses. I can only shake my head at this compulsion of hers. Now to find where she stashes her list  of victims.

Wishing you and yours a ‘pawsomely’ victorious day and week. Happy Monday.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ October 3, 2022

Is it really Monday…again? Mom said I could do today’s post. Elsa here. I’ve been using this Field Guide for my early morning walks which ‘pawfectly’ shows the Wild Kingdom of critters in my world. Norman only seems vaguely interested in the grumpy or bouncy squirrels. I on the other hand, am all in on every squirrel category. It’s what us Ninjas do.

Squirrels

We hope you have a terrific week and manage to avoid any of the ‘danger squirrels’ on your hunts. I’d also avoid the spicy ones too. Blech. Besides, it’s likely better for your digestion any way.

Hunting

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ August 26, 2022

ElsaWelcome to the last Friday in August. As always, we’re joining our pals over at Adventures of the LLB Gang for their weekly blog post. Make sure you check out the link for other posts.

Let me just say, it was one of those weeks. Elsa here, your award-winning, internationally renowned correspondent, coming to you from the scene of a major crime. Mom was ‘extra busy this week’ (Norman went to visit peeps at the hospital so there was that)…anywho…there I was minding my own business and sort of laughing that he got groomed and was patiently waiting for them to leave. All of a sudden, I was held at leash point gunpoint and robbed! Can you believe it?!?! Right under my nose, in my own home. I tried calling 911 to report this felony but Mom grabbed the phone away. The nerve! The thief (aka Mom) apparently thought it would be a good idea to get another dog, like what am I, chopped liver? I know, she has a sick sense of humor but don’t laugh to humor her, okay? Hmpf…another dog indeed. Can you imagine what that ‘dog‘ might look like if I was really in need of a haircut? Egad, I’d probably end up with another monster of a brother since Mom says I have a ‘robust’ coat…or what I like to call, being simply fabulous.

Any way, our outings to find cool slices of nature were somewhat limited. Mom simply had her head in the clouds this week. Literally. She says it’s because we’re beginning the transition to more autumnal flowers and not as much has been blooming. Coupled with warm temps, I guess most flowers feel like us and just want the summer to end. With 27 days left until the official arrival of our favorite season, I totally understand if they need a break.

Here was the sky as we strolled out for this morning’s daily constitution. Sorry about the Tokyo-type power lines criss-crossing the alley. When you live in an old neighborhood, unfortunately you’re always gonna have those ugly power lines that will show up ruining otherwise nice pics. It doesn’t bother me though…I like waiting underneath them just in case any squirrels lose their footing and fall into my waiting mouth down. It happened once before but Mom kept me from catching the failed member of Flying Wallenda family little fella. He shook his head and staggered off. Mom was laughing hard; but I simply wanted to ‘go check on him’ to make sure he was tender okay.

Sunrise

We’ve been fairly lucky temperature wise this week, with temps mostly in the 80’s. Warm days with clouds rolling in late in the afternoons. Yesterday it was 90ºF and Mom thought any rain would probably evaporate before it hit the ground; we had maybe 12 drops of rain but the weatherman reported some decent showers in the mountains which is fine by me. Those clouds probably ran out of moisture by the time they reached the metro area. That’s my theory anyway.

Clouds

When Mom went visiting her dad recently, he too had lots of cloudy afternoons and surprisingly far more rain than we received in the city. Notice those rainy streaks off in the distance near Pikes Peak?  Mom said it has something to do with moisture coming up from the Gulf. We’ve been thinking of all those folks in eastern Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Have you seen the flooding going down there? Yikes! What going on with the crazy weather these days remains a big question.

Clouds

Well that’s pretty much all I’ve got this week. I’m keeping my fingers crossed we’ll get to go somewhere to see something other than stupid clouds or charred flowers. Got any suggestions? Whatever you do, we hope you are able to enjoy some of Nature’s prettier sights. Have a great weekend and guard those furs…you never know when an otherwise innocent looking Mom sneaks up on you with scissors and clippers behind her back.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ August 19, 2022

Hard to believe we’re more than half way through August already which means we’re just a little over a month (34 days if precision is your jam) until autumn arrives. Count us in the happy column.

Elsa
Elsa here, your award winning correspondent, and I’m joining the LLB Gang for this week’s look at what nature dished out this week. Don’t forget to check out their Nature blog hop.

We started the week out with…ahem…steady yourselves…a nice little shower! I know, who’d have thunk it, right? Mom was expecting our usual 16 drops when she took me for a second walk all by myself. I was so excited spending one on one time with her, that is until about halfway to the post office when those 16 drops multiplied by a jillion. It wasn’t a heavy rain but it did drench us fairly well. We figured it’s be only a couple of minutes but ended up lasting for over an hour. Hurrah. They haven’t been too horribly bad and I’m hoping the 90º+F days are pretty much over. We’re beginning to see very, very subtle signs that autumn is coming. Then again it could be that some trees are so stressed, they’re just giving up for the season-they just can’t take it anymore.

At any rate, this week I decided to share some pretty gladiolus from around our ‘Hood. Mom has never planted them (she says her partial shade garden wouldn’t be a good place for planting them and she’s kind of OCD when it comes to any plant that flops over). Oh well, at least she has neighbors who have sunny yards and apparently don’t mind having to support them. Let’s check out this year’s crop of Glads, shall we?

Flowers

This ruffled, purple one is my favorite although I have to say they all were quite pretty.

Flowers

Mom was hoping she’d find a bee noshing down the throats of these flowers but she didn’t see any. Doggone it, I love following them buzz around and luckily don’t think they’re ‘sky raisins’ which makes Mom very happy.

Flowers

Mom also liked this pink one. She just kept saying out loud, “Oh my gosh, that’s just so gorgeous.” As you can imagine, I just shook my head. We had things to do and places to see. What’s wrong with our huMoms is a question I ask myself all the time.

Flowers

Ok, I’ll give her a pass. This time. It is kinda pretty.

Moving along on our tour…we walk past this house all the time but hadn’t noticed the front garden with the bike and wagon before until Mom was out photographing gladiolus. It may be a new feature this year. The border garden is quite lovely and we both were a bit surprised no one has stolen the bike which unfortunately seems to be a favorite of urban hoodlums these days. It seems that if you don’t have something nailed down, you can probably figure someone will filch it. Recently someone reported their baby stroller was stolen from their front porch and someone else reported someone swiped a potted plant. It’s getting ridiculous. How come people aren’t walking around the neighborhood to check out the beautiful flowers instead of causing larcenous mischief?

Flowers

Well that’s it for the ‘Glad’ show. I do have a critter pic to share though. A raccoon mom and her two babies have been combing the block early in the mornings while we’re out doing our thing. The babies are quite afraid of me and Norman but the mama seems poised to go all Oprah on us. She stands her ground till we get a little closer and then they either climb a tree or most often zip down into the storm sewer. That reminds me, anybody know what is so doggone interesting about those storm sewers anyway? I’ve seen foxes go down them too. The mysteries of life are just so confounding to us doggos.

Critters

So…you got anything exciting going on this weekend? I’m trying to get Mom to do something different, but we’ll see. She’s been so busy lately and then there’s the fact she’ll be doing hospital visits next week so we’ll both likely be getting bathed and groomed. Ugh…Mom…you know that wasn’t what I had in mind, right?

Have a cool weekend, both in what you do as well as temperature wise.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ July 29, 2022

Lavender FestivalIt’s Friday and that means it’s time to join our pals Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard for this week’s Nature Friday. Today is the last Friday in July and we’re pretty chuffed about it since it puts us that much closer to the arrival of autumn…which is just 55 days away for anyone keeping track.

Hello fellow nature lovers, Norman here to wrap up Part 2 of the Lavender Festival that Mum attended recently. The Ninja agreed to let me finish up this week’s nature walk. {Whispering softly} Elsa’s in the other room so hopefully we’ll avoid any peanut gallery comments while I wrap this up.

Elsa (voice coming from Mom’s studio): Not so fast, dog breath. My uber sensitive, world renowned hearing is primed for anything stupid you may say, so just know I’m only a micro decibel away from stepping in if need be.

Norman: [Sigh…muttering under his breath…”and to think I was “this close” to pulling it off without being badgered”]. Replying: “Fine…snoopervise all you like but I think you’ll agree I’ve got this well in hand and am well prepared to share Mum’s photos.”

Elsa: Time will tell you, bloviating bag of fur. Just remember…I’m. Watching Listening.

Norman: {Panting with just a tinge of stress} Moving along now, let’s check out a few of the critters Mum encountered while touring the farm at Denver Botanical Gardens, Chatfield location. Click on this link for more info about the Hildebrand historic farm and surrounding trails and plant refuge at Chatfield. Last week, I shared the pic of the ‘Elvis Duck’ (otherwise known as a Crested Duck who was graciously identified by our friend Ingrid from Meezer’s Mews and Terrieristrical Woofs). This week I have a few more ani-pals to share. Mum saw a few goats and chickens along with Elvis. There were a couple who seemed rather plump, like This one who was content to lay in the hay trough while catching some sunshine as loads of young uprights squealed with delight at its antics. You may recall it was pretty hot that day so none of the animals were expending a lot of energy moving around. Looks like had she managed to lose her ear tag.

Critters
Mum thinks these goats are Anglo-Nubian variety 

Critters

Norman: Oh my…I daresay this gal is NOT plump…she’s pregnant. Carrying around another goat inside you on a hot sunny day, has to rank fairly high on the ‘miserable aspects of summer’ list.

Elsa [heckling from the studio]:  She’s almost as fat as you, Bucko!

Norman [continuing]: Ahem…as I was saying before being rudely interrupted…Elsa [now yelling]: You want interrupted, pal?!  I’ll show you interrupted. Hrumpf! Sheesh, you try to give a guy a break to get into media and what does he do…takes your awesome mentorship for granted.

Norman: [ignoring the background grumbling from the studio] As I was about to say, one of the reasons Mum likes to go to the Chatfield location is she always learns something new. There was a demonstration table set up with various plants used to dye fabric. Makes you eye naturally dyed fabric knowing that some remarkable plant created that gorgeous shade of blue, yellow or orange somewhat differently, doesn’t it? All of these jars of dried flowers contained flowers that were used to dye the pieces of silk on which they were displayed. Mum wished she would have seen the entire presentation.

Indigo

Marigold

Cosmos

Madder Root

Dyer's Coreopsis

While wandering about the grounds, Mum came across this pretty specimen that seemed deliberately planted. At first she thought it was some sort of yarrow (which is also used as a natural fabric dye), but later discovered it was in fact, Wild Carrot plant. It’s still pretty and I’d definitely check it out closely for its scent, given a chance.
FlowersElsa [from Mom’s studio]: Of course you would…you NEVER miss a chance to sniff or water ANY plants. You’re probably the main reason why they don’t let us good dogs accompany their parents to the botanical gardens.

Norman: For the record dear sister, service animals ARE allowed at the botanical gardens.

Elsa [from the studio]: Oh sure, insert facts here while I’m trying to make a point.

Norman:  [Getting back on task…] Often referred to as Queen Anne’s Lace or Bird’s Nest plants, Wild Carrot is edible but best avoided since it closely resembles hemlock and you definitely wouldn’t want to risk confusing the two. Besides, it’s considered an invasive weed in many areas.

Norman: Here’s a colorful chicken Mum found in the Elvis’ enclosure. The image doesn’t do it justice-just look at that colorful chest plumage.

Chicken

Norman: One of the best things Mum saw non-lavender related, was she realized that the Stickworks exhibit is still standing. For more photos and background info about it back when the exhibit opened, check here. Her only regret was not being able to check it out more thoroughly because there were too many people and it was too hot to wait until it cleared. It’s held up rather nicely in the three years since it first opened to the public.

Stickworks

Norman: Well that’s it for me and the Lavender Festival. I’m fairly certain next year, Mum will avoid the festival and go see the lavender and other plants days before to avoid the crush of crowds. Have any plans for the weekend? I’m just planning on recuperating after seeing gobs of people this week at Lutheran. My goodness, had no idea I was so popular!. One staff person was so excited to see me, she gave me a small stuffed teddy for all my pet therapy work.

Norman

Elsa: Yeah, I saw the pics of you carrying it around. Do you realize how stupid you looked?

Norman: I’ll have you know I was most dignified. But how wonderful was it that she gave me a new toy (although it’s not like I don’t have enough toys in the overflowing basket but it meant the world to me all the same).

Norman

Elsa: You are so gullible-she probably was trying to bribe you to get you to leave early.

Norman: Not likely, sister…I’ll have you know I have a big fan club and enjoy spending time with them all.

Elsa: Whatever gets you through the day. I was able to nap in complete bliss without the presence of a certain hairy beast.

Norman: I hope you enjoyed this year’s lavender festival and are able to get outside this weekend and enjoy Mother Nature.

Elsa: Speak for yourself, dude. I plan on chill-axin on the sofa…unless the new raccoons who moved in the ‘Hood show up. Then all bets are off. Ditto, if any bunnies are around.

Norman [rolling eyes]: Whatever you do, do it safely, stay hydrated and enjoy Mother Nature. Hope to see you again soon.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ June 24, 2022

Welcome to this week’s edition of Nature Friday. Award-winning international correspondent, Elsa here joining our fur-pals, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard with their weekly Nature Friday blog hop. Don’t forget to click on their link to see other posts about nature from around Blogville.

Norman: Ahem…when did you become an award-winning international correspondent? May I remind you that you were born in Northern Colorado?

Elsa: Geography is subjective, brother…besides I needed to beef up my ‘brand’ by creating a compelling presence for these Friday posts.

Norman: Does Mum know what you’re doing?

Elsa: You better not rat me out, hairball or I’ll make your life miserable.

Norman: Trust me, I won’t be the one to tell Mum her blog has been taken over by a fraud someone who’s ‘creating a brand.’

Elsa:  Whatever. Didn’t anyone ever tell you it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission? Besides, you’re ruining my byline with all this chatter. Let’s get on to showing off this week’s images my pawsome reporting skills.

Norman: Go right ahead but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Elsa: Thank goodness, maybe now that dolt will let me get on with doing my job. Sheesh…so this week…let’s take a look at some images mom took recently when she went up to the foothills in Morrison, Colorado to meet with family and friends. They met up at a place called The Fort.

What is The Fort, you ask? It’s a full scale adobe replica of the 19th century fur trading fort, Bent’s Fort. Created by Sam’l P. Arnold and his wife, “Bay” (Elizabeth), local amateur historians who wanted to create an authentic adobe home for their children to grow up in the country outside Denver. Purchasing the Morrison property in 1961, they began building the adobe structure consisting of 80,000 adobe blocks for the main building. When construction costs exceeded the budget, Sam’l and Bay had their builders redesign the lower level into a business location while the upper level served as the family’s living quarters. The furniture, gates, doors and chairs were hand carved by Taos artists in the same style as they were in 1833; their restaurant opened for business in February 1963. Today’s menu is inspired by the same recipes that pioneers ate along the Santa Fe Trail of the 1800’s. While the food is terrific,  the scenery is what we’re going to showcase today.

Foothills

As you prepare to enter The Fort, one of the first things you’ll notice are the surrounding rolling hills and scenic vistas. Then you’re greeted  by quite a sight. Yikes, is that a SNAKE? Mom, what are you doing hanging out with snakes?

The Fort

Mom: Well, Miss award-winning, international correspondent, isn’t that part of your job of due diligence/research for this story?

Elsa: Heh, heh…ummm, I’m going with that’s some fancy kind of kinky artwork on the surrounding red rocks. We’ll leave it at that. Moving right along…

Door handles
Doorway to The Fort’s restaurant

Let’s continue, shall we? The courtyard boasts signage about The Fort’s history.

Sign

After reading the sign, you are blown away by the adobe construction and full sized teepee inside in the courtyard.

Courtyard

Teepee

The bear carving is a replica of the adopted Canadian black bear cub the Arnold’s daughter played with as a child. ‘Sissy the Bear’ lived with the family for 19 years.

The Fort

The Fort is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Fort

An outdoor patio has a few water features that add to the ambience of the area.Water feature

As you prepare to order a meal, you can look out toward Denver and imagine what Native Americans and pioneers alike encountered with the landscape while enjoying a lovely evening.

The Fort

Well, that’s it for this week. Join us again next time when we look at all the remarkable sights Nature is kind enough to provide us. We hope you are able to enjoy Nature the weekend. Stay cool if at all possible, and drink lots of water, okay. This is Elsa, award-winning international correspondent signing out  but before I go, don’t forget it’s “Take Your Dog to Work” today. I hope this means I’ll get lots of treats in the studio. You did bring home a buffalo bone or two, right mom? Have a great weekend, everyone.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾