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! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ June 17, 2022

Ranch HandsGreetings, nature lovers! Elsa here with this week’s gander at some of what nature dished out this week. We’re joining those Land of Enchantment cuties, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard with their weekly Nature Friday blog hop. Don’t forget to click on the link to see spots of nature from around Blogville.

Like many places across the country, the weather has been hot, hot, hot. As a pup gardener with a black coat, it’s been brutal. Mum has to walk us at the crack of dawn so me and my dolt of a brother don’t melt. He’s not a fan of the heat either and both of us suffered until mum could find someone to start up her rooftop evaporative cooler. We’re finally online now enjoying pleasant conditions indoors. Whew…those triple digits we’ve had were brutal. But apparently the garden seems to enjoy them which proves there’s no accounting for taste.

Nature FridayThe most notable plant we encountered this week is the Mock Orange shrub. Mum goes nuts when this shrub starts blooming with its white flowers and their sweet, citrusy fragrance. Once it blooms it’s pretty unremarkable as shrubs go. Still, Norman is compelled to try and treat it like it’s a bulletin board by attempting to leave ‘messages’ to every 4-legged passerby in the ‘Hood. Mock orange has a soft texture not usually found in xeric shrubs with it’s oval-shaped leaves and billowy vase-shaped growth. It looks great in a perennial border in a naturalistic landscape and tolerates Colorado’s poor, heavy soil. It will even thrive in dry shade locations.

Flowers

Next up on this week’s photo roll are the Smoke Bush shrubs that we see along our walking route in several spots. A deciduous shrub/small tree, it has beautiful purple-pink ‘smokey’ plumes with purplish leaves which turn a gorgeous shade of mahogany in the autumn.

Flowers

A closeup below shows the trademark, flowering hairy clusters which bloom white flowers resembling smoke drifting in a breeze. Flowers

Smoke bush has an upright, multi-stemmed form that reaches about 12 ft. tall with either waxy green or purplish leaves. It is a moderately xeric shrub and prefers well draining soil.

Ice Plants throughout the neighborhood are exploding with color. I may be a scrappy Ninja but I still prefer the girlish, hot pink color. Check out this one that I see every day.

Flowers

Closer to home, the cherry tomato mum planted just a couple of weeks ago is already beginning to produce even though it didn’t have a lot of flowers formed when she planted it. She hadn’t expected seeing tomatoes for another couple of weeks but they seem to love hot days and cool nights. She actually squealed out loud when she saw this little puppy. Mums can be so doggone embarrassing.

Tomato plant

I certainly won’t eat any (blech on veggies other than green beans or broccoli) but it seems to make mum happy and as long as those hoodlum tree rats don’t try to filch any, I’m happy for her.

So what’s going on in your garden? Doing anything exciting this weekend? I’m taking a vacation from the brother where I can lounge around with all the toys while he and mum go visit her dad in southern Colorado for Father’s Day. Which reminds me, I hope all the dog daddies out there have a ‘pawsome’ Sunday with their families this weekend and hope a spot of nature is part of the celebration.

That’s it for me. This girl’s gotta go take a nap to digest breakfast. Make it a ‘wagnificent’ weekend. Signing out…your favorite neighborhood Ninja.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ June 3, 2022

Ranch HandsWelcome to this week’s edition Nature Friday  where we join the blog hop hosted by our fur-pals, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard.

Norman: Since I kind of took the last word from last week’s post, I’m giving free and full reign to the Ninja because I’m a proper gentleman. Elsa: More like I threatened you, you gigantic heap of fur. I don’t consider this much of a gift-it’s more like acquiescence in the face of harm. I still think you owe me but mom said I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. So with that, let’s take a look at a springtime lovely, otherwise known as the Bearded Iris.

Beardies, as mom likes to affectionately call them, are hardworking and easy to grow. They like full sun and tend to prefer well-drained soil to keep the rhizomes from rotting. Since our soil is more claylike, we tend to water them less and they’ve done fine.

Twenty years ago before either me or the Oaf moved in to the Ranch, mom found an iris farm in the heart of the city shortly after moving in. “Iris Bob” has been in the business for years, and grows more than 400 varieties of tall Bearded Irises. Sadly, they’ve been closed to visits since the panDAMNic. We’re hoping next year they’ll reopen. It’s a real treat to wander through the rows of gorgeous flowers. For a bird’s eye view of the farm, check out this short YouTube video.

Isn’t that something?! I’m gonna see if we can get a drone so I can spy on squirrels better-it could give me an edge on those doggone tree rats! Norman: Umm, let’s stay on point, shall we? Elsa: Growl. While mom’s garden is nowhere near the extent or scale as Iris Bob’s, it became the foundation for her garden. Happy now? Norman: Indubitably.

Flowers

The house mom owned before had one nearly black iris and she dug it up and brought it with her. It was the start of her obsession of bearded irises. While her garden has mostly blue or deep purple, she as a large border of the traditional purple but they have variegated foliage. Their flowers aren’t particularly exceptional, but the striped leaves provide interest all year long.

Flowers
View from the ground at the Iris Farm

Did you know the irises take their name from the Greek word for a rainbow (also the name for the Greek goddess of the rainbow, Iris)? Some suggest the name refers to the wide variety of colors found among the many species. The “beard” refers to those short hairs that look like a furry caterpillar, and are found toward the back of the lower petals. Its purpose is to a path for pollinating insects toward the reproductive parts of the plant. Bearded irises now tend to have larger blooms than they did a hundred years ago.

While growing beardies is fairly easy, according to Iris Bob (and taken directly from his website), here are some rules that can ensure good results so you too, can enjoy these springtime beauties.

Rules of Thumb for Tall Bearded Iris:

  • Minimum of 6 hours of sunshine per day.
  • Good drainage
  • Plant 7-12 inches apart.
  • Divide every 3 to 4 years
  • Fertilize late summer with a LOW nitrogen fertilizer, 14-14-14 (or something similar)
  • Fertilize in the spring with a high phosphorous fertilizer, 0-48-0 (triple super phosphate for root development)
  • Don’t overwater.
  • Don’t plant too deep [this is one of the biggest mistakes people can make]
  • Remove dead brown foliage and bloom-stalks when last flower folds.

So let’s see a few of the pretty ones from around our garden. Mom has always loved the super dark irises. They are unusual and she likes that kind of stuff. It’s probably why she adopted Norman. They don’t get anymore ‘unusual’ than him. Norman: I beg your pardon…I would never say unkind things about my sister. Elsa: Umm, Fathead…I thought you were going to butt out of MY post. Norman: Umm, sorry…go on. {Sigh}

As I was saying before being so rudely interrupted, here are a few pics of some of mom’s favorite irises blooms.

Flowers
Black bearded iris being crowded out by the variegated irises (note to mom-make sure you divide those guys this year)

Another showstopper is this speckled iris. It’s like Mother Nature got the hiccups. Tee-hee.

Flowers

Here Mother Nature decided to compete with Picasso with a ruffled variety. What do you think…Yay or Nay?

Flowers

Here’s a peach colored one from a walk this week that looks so bright and happy. I tried to sniff it but mom pulled me away since a bee was enjoying its dinner.

Flowers

And finally, this delicate looking one that always makes mom smile.

Flowers

Notice the spots of moisture? We actually got a couple of days of showers this week-something we rarely receive. Mom was happy, but my crybaby brother can’t stand getting wet so I have to hear him winge on about it. Norman: I do not winge. I simply observe. Elsa: Whatever.

Anyhow, we hope you enjoyed our my post on bearded irises. Do you have them in your garden?

We hope you are able to get out this weekend and see things blooming now. Luckily, I’ll get a free day tomorrow while Norman goes to an Old English Sheepdog Rescue benefit as an ambassador for rescued dogs. For me it means I can destroy play with the toys by myself. Yay! Have a great weekend.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ May 27, 2022

Happy last Friday in the month of May. As always, we’re joining our fur-pals, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard for this week’s Nature Friday blog hop. Be sure to check out what others are sharing by clicking on the link.

Ranch HandsHiya, it’s us Ranch Hands bringing spots of nature photos from this past week. Elsa: Remember not to pee on stuff, brother, ok? Norman: Tsk. I’m nothing if not a proper gentleman, Ninja.

You may recall that last week we received some snow showers on Friday and Saturday and boy did it cause some damage to several of the neighborhood trees. Elsa: Luckily it wasn’t as bad as some storms but it’s taken all week long for the cleanup. Here are a few pics from our walks.

Snow

Norman: I rather enjoyed watching it fall from the sofa while I had my ball. Elsa: Your ball? Ha, don’t you wish!

Norman

Norman: Mum dressed us up in our jackets so we could ‘enjoy’ the weather first hand. Elsa: It wasn’t that bad, you big baby. Norman: Can I help it if I don’t like wet? Elsa: {eyes rolling} Oh good grief, you’re such a wuss. When I lived at the puppy mill, I was outside all the time. This was nothing. Norman: Well, I came from a warmer climate and became used to kinder conditions. Elsa: Oh cry me a river, will ya. Let’s get on with it and show our readers some more pics, ok?

Trees

Trees

Elsa: As you can see, the amount of snow wasn’t all that much, only about 4 inches max. It melted nearly as fast as it fell but it was unusual to get snow this late in May. And we managed to not get the below the forecasted freezing temps too. Norman: Mum was happy about that; she was worried about her peonies which were just forming buds. Elsa: Yeah, she had to tarp a good deal of the garden. For a while there, it looks like a bit like Sanford & Sons but that seemed to save them and the ready-to-pop irises.

Flowers

Norman: The lupines didn’t seem to suffer all that much either. A few were a bit floppy from the weight of the snow but they are all blooming nicely.

Flowers

Elsa: We walked past some wildflowers after the storm who seemed to be thriving from the nice drink of water they  received.

Flowers

Norman: Nice one, Elsa. I took a nice long sniff at those yellow charmers. Elsa: Yeah, I remember mum trying to drag you away so you wouldn’t pee on them. Norman: {huff} Must you always bring that up? I’m required to check the canine bulletin board to see if there are any messages to pass along to you. Consider me a sort of chaperone for your delicacies. Elsa: Bwahahaha, delicacies?  Who you trying to kid, I’m about as delicate as a panther, dude. Norman: {miffed} I’m just trying to be gentlemanly about protecting my unappreciative sister. Elsa: Ok, I’ll give you that. Thanks, I think.

Norman: You’re most welcome, dear sister. So do you have any other photos people might like? Elsa: As a matter of fact I do. Mom found a new cactus plant that didn’t seem to mind the cold or snow. Norman: Yeah, mom won’t let me remotely near those plants. I prefer plants with soft leaves but it is rather pretty if I say so myself.

Flowers

 

Norman: Why not show one last photo of another iris we pass on our walks? Elsa: Happy to oblige. You know this sharing the Nature Friday thing isn’t so bad with you. You’re a good boy, Norman. Thanks for letting me have the last pic.

Flowers

Norman: Heh, heh…I’m actually going to get the last word/pics by sharing that mum received an award this week when we visited hospital staff and patients. She was quite shocked to see she’s logged over 500 hours since she embarked on being a pet therapy chauffeur. Even though the majority was with her beloved Sam, I think it still touched her. But we all know who does the real work, don’t we? Elsa: You’re going to pay for this, dude.

Norman

Pet Therapy

 

Norman: So worth it, little sister. Sooo worth it.Norman

Ranch Hands {in unison}: We hope you enjoyed our pics of Nature in all her gore and glory. She can sometime exact a heavy toll for sharing her beauty with us. We hope you make sure to get outside and enjoy some of it this Memorial Day weekend. Have a safe and happy ‘howliday’ as the unofficial start of summer begins.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ May 13, 2022

Ranch HandsHappy Friday! Norman and Elsa here to help Mum out by sharing some nature from around the ‘Hood. Friday is generally the day most of us look forward to as it’s usually the gateway to a relaxing weekend spent with our families, many of whom work weekdays. Today would be the same, unless of course you happen to have friggatriskaidekaphobia-that irrational fear of Friday the 13th. The good news is today is the only Friday the 13th in 2022 and since it is a Friday afterall, it’s better than any Monday whatever, right? Did you know that Friday the 13th occurs whenever a month begins on a Sunday? All well and good but today is also Nature Friday around Blogville so we’re here to share the beauty of nature, and we’re not going to worry about crossing paths of black cats, walking under ladders or broken mirrors. Elsa: “Cats…where?!” Norman: “Nevermind the cats, Ninja”…let’s just join our pals, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard to see what’s happened lately naturewise in the Mile High City.

It was another windy week but that reality won’t stop us from sharing unusual gardenscapes this week from around our ‘Hood.

Gardens in the metro area are as diverse and fascinating as the people who tend them. Elsa: You mean weird, don’t you? Norman: “Well that’s somewhat rude to say. I like to think of them more as creative souls, expressing themselves. They can range from meticulously maintained flower beds at the Denver Botanical Gardens to pint sized plots on teeny lots with monstrous mansions on them and everything in between. Let’s take a closer look, shall we? Here’s an example of a perfectly tended bed from DBG. Notice the symmetry and formality?”

Flowers
Tulip bed near the front entrance to the Denver Botanical Gardens

Elsa: “Yeah, yeah, but where’s the flower bed with bunnies?” Norman: “Oh, for heaven’s sake.”

One of the things we keep our eyes peeled for when we’re out wandering about are unusual plants and whimsical garden decor. Elsa: “Not me, I’m looking for bunnies and squirrels you big oaf.” Norman: “Ugh…focus, please!” We came across a small group of trees that just blew mum away with its ‘camouflage’ bark. American Sycamores are stately trees with unusual looking bark. Norman: “They smell nice.” Elsa: Everything has a nice smell to it where you’re concerned. Sometimes I think you’re a Bloodhound, not an Old English Sheepdog.”

Tree
American Sycamore Tree

Mum always manages to find unusual sights on our walks. She likes to check out those gardeners who are clever and original. For some reason, she’s begun to notice of a lot of gardeners decorating their trees like this neighbor who lives around the corner from the Ranch. Norman: “Hey, if it’s a canine bulletin board, count me in.” Elsa: “Look at that weirdo face. I think a cat must have been here earlier this week.” Norman: {eye roll}.

Trees
Ponderosa Pine with Face

Some gardeners think whimsy should be part of their design. Norman: I thought I should investigate what this dog was sniffing until Mum said it wasn’t a real dog.” Elsa: “Yeah, there wasn’t even a treat in that hole or flowers in the pots. What kind of scam is that?”

Garden Decor
Hey, where’s the bunny?

Some ‘gardeners’ have more success with paint brushes than with trowels. A nearby neighbor paints ‘house tattoos.’ She guarantees her creations require no water and will always bloom.

Art
House tattoo by a neighborhood artist

Fairy houses are popping up everywhere, probably a sign of the housing crunch that’s rampant everywhere. The square footage may be minimal, but the cuteness factor runs large.

A newly constructed Fairy house

A neighbor who’s new to the block has a toddler and as they tell it, they’re often too busy trying to keep up with the little tyke, so they installed a small potted garden for flowers on their corner lot that is otherwise turf. Norman: I keep waiting to introduce myself to the dog named ‘Cat’ but haven’t seen him or her yet. Elsa: Cat??? Where? Why are you torturing me by bringing up mythical cats again?”

Flowers
‘Cat,’ the nice dog’s potted garden

Norman: It’s clear, Elsa sees gardens differently than me or mum. But we still hope you enjoyed some of the more whimsical gardens around our neighborhood. Elsa: “Yeah if anyone knows where I can actually find a cat or a bunny, please let me know. That stupid oaf of a brother can’t seem to dish on their whereabouts.”

Mum: Ok, you two, that’s enough. We hope you enjoyed our little tour with some of the different gardens around and liked the tour the Ranch Hands conducted. Just like gardeners here, their ideas are as different as night and day. Hopefully you will be able to spend some time outside this weekend looking for beauty from around your own neighborhood. Have a ‘pawsome’ weekend!

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ May 2, 2022

Ever have one of those weekends where the dog is unusually clingy? It seems to coincide when you have something of import to accomplish.

Exhibit A – both dogs were not pleased with my attempts to do some spring cleanup and upgrading the backyard by reinstalling the flagstones after spending more than a week leveling the area and weeding. Both barked loudly when left indoors while I tried to work as quickly as possible and then stared at me with disdain when I brought them outside with me. Norman in particular has discovered that using his rather large body laying in the most inopportune spot is quite effective as he tries to derail my work than doesn’t revolve around him. I won’t even comment on the Ninja’s attempt at scratching dirt into furrows after I’d spent days leveling and smoothing the area flat.

Smiles

While I know at some point I’ll miss any annoying attempts to derail my attention on activities that aren’t 100% focused on them, once they’re gone. You have to give dogs credit for being in the moment and I’m actually pretty envious they can do that instead of like us peering into the future and seeing how it might benefit their comfort but I’d really appreciate it if dear Norman and sweet Elsa would realized the backyard area isn’t going to  finish itself for just a few more hours. Luckily for them (as well as my back) today will be a makeup day since the forecast is calling for  a bit of moisture (fingers crossed). Here’s to having a ‘pawsome’ week.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ April 29, 2022

Welcome to the last Nature Friday post for April. As always, we’re joining our fur-pals, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard.

Ranch HandsThis week (and likely for a few future weeks) we’re going to share images from the Denver Botanical Gardens. Let’s get started.

Today we’ll be highlighting some of the amazing things to see from the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory at the gardens, starting with the building.

Denver Botanical Gardens
Image courtesy of Tom Churchill

This concrete and Plexiglas paneled structure, designed in 1964 by Denver architects Victor Hornbein and Ed White Jr., opened in 1966. Named to honor local benefactor Claude Boettcher of Ideal Cement Company, it became a Denver Landmark in 1973 and contains more than 11,000 sq. ft. of plants from tropical and subtropical regions, as well as a concrete fabricated two-story banyan tree offering a multi-layered view of the tropical forest.

When you first enter the conservatory there is a small aquarium with D. tinctorius “Azureus”  (Blue Dart Poison Frog), who has bright blue skin with dark spots. With glands producing poisonous alkaloids which can paralyze and sometimes kill a potential predator, these little guys (reaching approximately 3.0-4.5 cm in length) live in the rainforest of Brazil and feed on ants, beetles, flies, mites, spiders, termites, maggots, and caterpillars. Spots are unique to each frog. These frogs are territorial and aggressive toward their own as well as others and their toxins have been used on the tips of arrows darts of natives.

Denver Botanical Gardens

Sorry about the glare, the aquarium has a ceiling light above it but they are kind of cute little guys.

Denver Botanical Gardens

{Shudder} We’re not sure we’d like toxic frogs less threatening so let’s see something else, shall we?

Bromeliads are tropical plants that adapt to various climates. Their foliage takes different shapes, from needle-thin to broad and flat, symmetrical to irregular, spiky to soft and usually grows in a rosette, are widely patterned and colored, ranging from maroon, through shades of green, to gold. Varieties may have leaves with red, yellow, white or cream variations. Did you know that pineapples are a type of bromeliad?

Mum couldn’t find an identifying tag in the humid conservatory but loved this bright pink one nonetheless.

Denver Botanical Gardens

Lots of you are bakers and probably use vanilla when baking but did you know that the vanilla flavoring come from an orchid? Mum buys the pods, and makes her own extract.

Denver Botanical Gardens Denver Botanical Gardens

Mum was totally captivated by this beautiful Travelers Palm (Ravenala Madagascariensis) which fanned across a large area of the conservatory. Isn’t that symmetry something else?

Denver Botanical Gardens

Well, that’s it for this week. Join us next time for another post highlighting scenes from the Denver Botanical Gardens. With the weather being far more pleasant we hope to get outside to enjoy some of Nature’s wondrous treasures. Do you have any special plans?

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ April 22, 2022

Welcome to this week’s episode of Nature Friday where we join Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard.

Spring finally sprung in the 303 and apparently decided to do double-time to make up for her slow arrival, while the upper Midwest and Northeast decided to take a step back and revisit Winter. Meanwhile Spring lasted about a hot minute with emphasis on the hot and now has decided to confer with her cousin, Summer. The Ranch has once again traveled to the family homestead in Southern Colorado where temperatures will reach the low 90’s today. And yes, that’s 9-0, as in too freakin’ hot for April. Why, oh why does Nature punish the Front Range with hot temps and low moisture is far beyond my paygrade so I guess I’ll just move straight to some of the things we saw around the ‘Hood this week.

For those few moments Spring was actually in town, welcome sights greeted anyone who took the time to check them out. Last week I had intended to share a pic from the cold hardy magnolia a tree from down the street but was unable due to computer issues so because they’re so pretty, I’m including one today. This tree had been zapped a couple of times with chilly temps (and thus some browning around the edges) but managed to show why it’s worth sharing this week. When it first started blooming a few years ago, the blossoms were a light creamy color but now they are more yellow in recent years. Still, it’s a lovely sight to behold. The only shortcoming is it doesn’t have the typically divine scent that magnolia trees have in the South. But when you look like Sophia Loren, people don’t criticize you. No one.

Flowers

Flowering trees showed why gardeners enjoy planting them. This crabapple tree was covered in blooms apparently so yummy as to beg for pollinators to nosh on their sweet nectar.

Trees

A visit to a local garden center showed some stunning Ranunculus asiaticus, as early blooming perennials are beginning to arrive. These double flowered beauties heralding from the eastern Mediterranean region are simply stunning in the ornamental garden.

Flowers

The Ranch Hands appreciated some ‘breezy walks’ this week (which translates to windy as all get out) among some showy Creeping Phlox and even posed nicely together. Apparently miracles do happen and not just in hockey. Imagine wrangling two squirmy dogs not all that keen on touching one another while holding their leashes tightly so they don’t chase a nearby squirrel, focusing a cell phone in between hands also holding a full bag of poop ready to be ditched in a bin and this is one extraordinary image despite its less than stellar composition. Yeah, I’m bowing now and patting myself on the back, you betcha.

Ranch Hands

The Ranch Hands and I have been keeping our eyes peeled for wildlife. Yesterday while Norman was playing co-Grand Marshall with another pet therapy dog leading a parade at a hospital event, we spied a goose who was roosting over 6 eggs in a planter near the front entrance. Mama Goose was not pleased with the people or their dogs and hissed warnings at us. A quick unimpressive snap and we off we went after she made it clear we were not welcome. Next week we’ll share pictures celebrating the National Pet Therapy Day.

Goose

Well that’s it from the Ranch this week. We hope those of you who received a blast from Winter are now enjoying better Spring days and we are praying for all those in the western US dealing with wildfires. Hope you are able to get outside this weekend and enjoy all the beauty Nature shares. Go forth and enjoy.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ April 15, 2022

Welcome to the Good Friday edition of Nature Friday. As always, we’re joining our hosts, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard.

Nature has been conspiring against us most of this week with ongoing high winds every day, making Wi-Fi sporadic at best. The laptop did a death gasp and am now trying to post something from my phone. People who are able to function that way have my greatest admiration.

As I’m clearly inept in my feeble attempts of trying to post from a phone (trying to insert images is beyond challenging), I’ll just end this painful exercise by hoping everyone has a Happy Easter, Passover or Ramadanwhichever holiday you celebrate.

Hopefully we’ll be back and fully functioning online next week. Till then, do good things, smile and be kind. But for heavens sake, make sure to get outside and enjoy some of the Nature shares. Had I been able to figure out how to add additional photos, you no doubt would have agreed with me. ☮️

Live, love, bark🐾

Purple Day ~ 2022

Purple Day

This weekend we are honored to join Fur Angel Gibson from the FiveSibes blog and fellow epi-warrior, Olivia at Knotty Toys for Good Dogs for the 2022 edition acknowledging Purple Day for Epilepsy (with apologies for being a day late of the actual date, March 26-I got my dates mixed up).

Elsa
The Ninja rocking her purple bandana

You may recall, the Ranch’s resident Ninja (aka Elsa) was diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy a couple of weeks following her adoption. You can read part of her story here.

We are so grateful for all the info Gibson and Olivia have shared on their respective blogs about epilepsy and remain appreciative for their leadership in sharing information and resources. Please visit the Purple Day website for additional information about epilepsy. Elsa is living proof dogs who have been diagnosed with this condition can live relatively normal and productive lives.

Epilepsy
Elsa ‘reading’ the”What’s Wrong with Gibson” book

Live, love, bark! 🐾