Nature Friday ~ September 9, 2022

Nature FridayWelcome to this week’s edition of Nature Friday where we join our pals over at Adventures of the LLB Gang for their weekly blog post. Make sure you check out the link for other posts.

We were absent for last week’s blog hop as we went to celebrate my Dad’s 92nd birthday for a few days so this week’s offerings are a bit ‘catch-as-catch-can’ with no real theme. But sometimes that works out ok as Nature often can be a benevolent mistress when sharing beautiful sights. We weren’t able to do a lot of looking around this week, between the broiling temperatures and catching up after several days away, but managed to capture a few pics from our trip that just might do nicely.

Birthday
92 never looked so good

Different from most trips down to Dad’s house in southern Colorado was the addition of a certain Ninja coming along. She loves my Dad so I thought I’d see how’d she do in the ‘wild’ if you will. New situations for Elsa are always tricky and I’ll admit she was definitely a bit out of her routine element but she handled things far better than I had hoped. Dad’s property isn’t fenced and there are loads of critters weaving across the two acres (ground squirrels, rabbits, quail and heaven only knows) but she stayed close to me, cautiously sniffing the trees, bushes and ground. Norman of course, was his usual self but having two clever dogs to keep an eye on kept me on my toes. I’ve learned to never leave anything to chance when dogs are involved.

Let’s start with meeting the neighbors. Norman loves saying good morning to the donkeys across the road and they seem very keen on him so I wondered how Elsa might do.

Elsa & the donkeys
‘What the bloody heck?’

She has that “what the &#@% are those things” look to her in this pic, which cracked me up. The guys, however are pros around the dogs and didn’t blink an eye no doubt wondering what the fuss-up was all about as Elsa lost her mind and barked her fool head off. Oh that dog.

Rather than wake up the entire area, after brief introductions, we moseyed along our on walk.

Norman
Norman meets a horse

The next morning following a most delightful evening rainstorm, the morning skies seemed to shout “Are ya happy now?”

Sunrise

It was exquisitely beautiful. But it got better. As we started out on our morning walk, the sky kept getting redder and redder with that great cloud cover. After we climbed the first hill, I turned around and this is what I saw.

Norman & Elsa

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more intense and spectacular sunrise anywhere. It was just breathtaking.

We all had a great visit, celebrating, eating, laughing, and Zooming with out-of-state relatives. It was one terrific visit for one terrific human. Once we got back to Denver, we noticed a new neighbor moved in around the corner from the Ranch so naturally we had to check them out. The dogs weren’t sure what to make of the new feathery dudes, and the ducks sure aren’t keen on them getting too close, but they quack at us every day when we walk by.  They usually are swimming in one of the two small pools as their owners sip a cuppa and watch over them. They wave, I wave and Elsa barks her fool head off. She may never be a member on the Welcome Wagon, but fortunately the duck owners seem friendly. I’ll stop when the dogs aren’t with me to welcome them personally.

Neighborhood Ducks

It’s bounty time now in the veggie garden. I came home to the potted tomato plants kicking into high gear. The cherry tomatoes have been a regular, heavy producer but it’s outperformed itself this year in the hot temps.  They are like little red candies-so sweet, so tasty. The ‘Early Girl’ is just now beginning to ripen. All the fruit seems fairly misshapen as well as smaller than I anticipated so I think this year’s experimental planting likely won’t be repeated next year, no doubt to the chagrin of the neighborhood hoodlums…aka squirrels. Anytime I can irritate that local population, I’m a happy gardener.

Tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes
Tomatoes
‘Early Girl’ tomatoes

Well, that’s it for us. With a break in the heat bubble this weekend, we’re hoping to be able to get out and find more of the amazing sights Nature routinely bequeaths us. A news report this morning indicated the Western US should experience a La Niña winter (colder/wetter while warmer/drier in the Southeast), with Colorado being pretty much the dividing line between the two so we’ll see what this means in the weeks ahead. I’ll be grateful to turn the AC off. Hope you are able to enjoy some of Nature’s finest. Have a ‘wagnificent’ weekend.

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 22, 2022

Nature FridayWhew, we made it to Friday before melting. This week we’re once again joining Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard for Nature Friday. Greetings, peeps, Norman at the helm today. The Ninja turned over today’s post to me so I’ll try to do my best to provide an interesting walk about Nature, Denver style. We sure managed to see a bunch of nature this morning on our post dawn walk. From death defying jumps by squirrels from telephone poles to rooftops, a couple of chubby raccoons who scurried into a drain, and a noisy cat fight in the middle of the street, we saw it all (Mum just couldn’t photograph any of it because she couldn’t balance our leashes, and safely hang on to a certain nameless Ninja who was losing her mind at the sights all the while trying to pull her phone out of her  pocket in time. Perhaps another day, eh?

[From nearby room] Elsa: You better not screw this up you big tank!

Norman: Ahem…I thought you said I could do this by myself.

[From nearby room] Elsa: I’ll still be snoopervising from the other room, dog breath.

Norman: Can I start uninterrupted now?

[From nearby room] Elsa: Knock yourself out, just don’t screw it up. I’m watching and have razor sharp hearing.

Norman:  Sigh. Let’s start, shall we? Mum went to the annual Lavender Festival last weekend, and I may need to split this up over a couple of weeks. There were so many photos, I just couldn’t decide just what to share.

Flowers

[continuing] Norman: It was a bloody hot day so Mum didn’t stay in the sunny spots too much but you can see past  lavender photos from the last festival here along with a video about the Chatfield location. This was the first time since 2019 the festival was held after a COVID hiatus.

She did spend a lot of time at the butterfly house. She’s fascinated by these guys flitting around from flower to flower. Can you blame her?Flowers

Butterflies

Mum was somewhat surprised by the large number of people attending so early (and most were maskless) so she and her friend (my Auntie Cheryl) tried to avoid the crowds as much as possible. And did I mention it was HOT and sunny? A sheepdog like me isn’t a fan of all the heat but when you add intense sun at a mile high, it’s a wonder she managed to stay as long as she did. I’m sure I’d have dug a hole in the shade and laid there till time to go.

[From nearby room] Elsa:  Pfft…as if they’d let you in.

[continuing] Norman:  As I was saying…here are more photos of some of the many butterflies.

Butterflies

Butterflies

[continuing] Norman: Gosh, aren’t they something? I guess I understand now why Mum is so fascinated by them.

[continuing] Norman: After wandering about the butterfly house, Mum and Auntie Cheryl wandered the grounds at Chatfield. The Coleus was particularly impressive. Just look at those brilliant neon colors!

Flowers Flowers

[continuing] Norman: Mum said she might even plant some in pots in the garden next year. They sure are colorful.

[continuing] Norman: Mum toured the historic farm at the Chatfield botanical gardens (it’s a part of the Denver Botanical Garden facilities located near Chatfield Dam in the southern suburbs). She saw goats, ducks, and chickens at the farm. Here’s the weirdest animal she encountered. Look at the bouffant-what in the bloody blue blazes is THAT?

Ducks

[continuing] Norman: Poofy-headed Elvis the Duck was a bit of slob when it came to drink but then again he wasn’t very happy being the subject of finger-pointing by all the visitors crowding around him so Mum and Auntie Cheryl moved along to see other aspects of the farm which I’ll share next week.

[From nearby room] Elsa:  What makes you think I’ll let you do the honors next week?

[continuing] Norman:  Hmm, well one of us will share the other photos next time. That’s it for this week. We hope you enjoyed this butterfly edition of the Lavender Festival. Stay cool if you can and if possible get out to see some nature this weekend. We’re planning to mostly hide out in the comfort of the air conditioned house. Good lord, will the heat ever go away? Just 62 days until autumn arrives.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ July 15, 2022

Sunrise
Clouds from yesterday’s sunrise

Good Friday morning peeps. As usual, we’re joining Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard for this week’s Nature Friday blog hop. Don’t forget to check out other posts by clicking on the link to see what others have shared.

This week has been dominated by one word. HOT, just miserably hot. And it’s hot everywhere, not just here. Europe is suffering as much as much of the central US with heat advisories being issued for Great Britain and Wales. Today’s forecast for Madrid, Spain is sunny with a high of 105ºF-ugh (around 41ºC).

So for this week, let’s stroll on over to Sloan’s Lake where perhaps we can use the water to at least refresh our parched souls. Sloan’s Lake has been in the news this past year.  Officials had to close all access to the water for a large blue-green algae bloom discovered last year. The potentially deadly condition made it unsafe for any paddle boarding, boating, or any other water sport that the lake allows including fishing and dog owners were cautioned to keep their pets away from the water as well. Added to the blue-green algae closure/news, last month wildlife officials caught a Caiman who had been surreptitiously released in the city’s largest lake. A freaking Caiman! Now dubbed “Miss Bo Mangles,” the small reptile has joined other rescued reptiles at Oscar and Friends, who graciously assisted wildlife officials in the capture. Kudos to Oscar and Friends for saving this creature as she likely would not have survived for long in the lake especially once temperatures drop. [Please tell me they will eventually drop]

Even otherwise fierce Canadian Geese have been trying their best to stay cool in Denver’s sweltering temperatures. I caught a number of them lounging in the shade near the water’s edge.

Geese

When not resting in the shade, some of them decided to train with locals in preparation for the Dragon Boat Festival which will be held next weekend after cancellations over the past couple of years, first for COVID and then again last year after the lake was closed with the blue-green algae contamination.

After a quick sprint with the Dragon Boat team, they exited the lake, single file…one by one.
Geese

The temperatures were so miserable, I could empathize with this mallard who seemed to keep diving in the water to stay cool though I expect he was probably noshing on whatever mallards eat. Ducks and geese

While I’d love to watch the Dragon Boat races next weekend, it will be totally dependant on the weather. Twenty minutes at Sloan’s in the middle of the day was far too much for me and after bidding the one team crazy brave enough to train in the sunny, hot conditions, I bid them a fond farewell. I left the park for the air conditioned comfort of my living room for the rest of the day.

Dragon Boat Race

Still it was great visiting the lake, even for a short period of time. If you like sunny conditions, heat and low humidity the day was tailor made just for you.

Have you got any special plans for this weekend? Whatever you do, we hope you stay safe, well-hydrated and are able to enjoy the wondrous sights Mother Nature provides us when we take a moment to check her out.

The latest countdown update is there are ‘just’ 69 days until autumn officially arrives.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Wordy Wednesday ~ Dog Days of Summer

Stars

It may be “Wordless Wednesday” around Blogville, but here at the Ranch where we tend to do things against the grain, we’re pitching a “Did You Know” post that’s anything but wordless. What are we yammering about today?  We’re talking about the Dog Days of Summer.

What are the Dog Days of Summer? In the Northern Hemisphere, the Dog Days of Summer coincide with the rising of the Dog Star, Sirius, at the same time as hot and sultry weather does this time of year. So let’s take a look at some of the historical background surrounding this annual phenomena.

Traditionally the term “Dog Days” refers to the period of particularly hot and humid weather occurring during the summer months of July and August in the Northern  Hemisphere from July 3 through August 11.

In ancient Greece and Roman times, the Dog Days were thought be a time of drought, bad luck, and unrest, when dogs and men alike would be driven mad by the extreme heat. Today however, we recognize it as the time of the year when temperatures and humidity peak.

So why are they called the “Dog Days” of Summer? This period of sweltering weather coincides with the rising of Sirius, the Dog Star. You may recall that the constellation Canis Majoris—known as the “Greater Dog” (aka Alpha Canis Majoris) and that apart from our Sun, Sirius is the brightest star in the sky.

Ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans believed the early morning rising of Sirius in mid-to-late summer actually contributed to the extreme weather of the season. In other words, the “combined heat” of super-bright Sirius with the sun was thought to be the cause of sweltering summertime temperatures. Did you know the name “Sirius” comes from the Ancient Greek-seírios, and means “scorching?”

Ancient Egyptians believed the star was a “watchdog” for the coinciding fact of the Nile’s flooding season.

We now know Sirius’ appearance does not actually affect  weather during this time period, but its appearance during the hottest part of summer ensures that the lore surrounding this star continues to live on.

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, “old-timers believed that rainfall on the Dog Days was a bad omen, as foretold in this verse:”

Dog Days bright and clear
Indicate a happy year;
But when accompanied by rain,
For better times, our hopes are vain.

The organization made this further comment in the early 1800’s:

“Dog Days are approaching; you must, therefore, make both hay and haste while the Sun shines, for when old Sirius takes command of the weather, he is such an unsteady, crazy dog, there is no dependence upon him.”

Both Elsa and Norman take great exception to the “unsteady, crazy” reference.

Whether you believe in ancient folklore or follow science, no one can deny this is definitely the hottest part of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

An interesting 2009 Finnish study tested the hypothesis that rates of infections are higher during the Dog Days. The authors concluded, “This study was conducted in order to challenge the myth that the rate of infections is higher during the dog days. To our surprise, the myth was found to be true.” Go figure, Norman and I thought pet therapy helped peeps feel better.

Canis Major

Speaking of Norman, he knows exactly how to cope with the Dog Days of Summer and advises everyone to stay well hydrated. As you look up in the early morning skies at Sirius, just remember there are ‘only’ 71 days until the official arrival of autumn.

Norman
I think I’m melting

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ June 10, 2022

We made it to another Friday  where we join our fur-pals, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard with their weekly Nature Friday blog hop. Be sure to click on the link to see spots of nature from around Blogville.

Monday we actually received a little shower to the delight of germinating weeds everywhere. Since that moisture and accompanying pleasant temps, areas all over the Southwest have begun their march toward the summer solstice. Temperatures have been steadily moving into pizza oven temperature range and will likely reach the upper 90’sF this weekend. With a black dog and a dog with a ready made fur coat, we’re already beginning to look forward to autumn since not one of us do heat very well.

Offerings are somewhat on the lean side since other than before 6:00 AM it’s not tolerable enough to leisurely walk among fresh blooms, but a few things caught my eye early in the week.

First off, let’s wander around our own garden. The climbing rose near the front door was beginning to burst forth with hundreds of small, delicately scented white blossoms. The lupine were in their prime as well. P.S. Let me know if you want any seeds, there are plenty for sharing. Again. Despite brutal culling last autumn. You can hand water like crazy but let nature deposit a smidgeon of rain and it will turn it into an jungle oasis.

Flowers

As of this morning, it is totally covered with small white flowers, despite being cut down to the ground last autumn. Some branches are above the roofline and there may even be a mailman or two stuck in the branches somewhere that will need to be rescued.

Here’s a close up of the blooms following Monday’s lovely shower. They really are delicate and have the loveliest, slightly spicy scent. Maybe those hi-tech billionaires might want to work on  creating scratch and sniff apps for computer screens rather than dashing off to the moon. Just a thought.

Flowers

The Queen of the garden has begun her reign. The garden has 7 peony bushes, but this colorful one is the most striking. And talk about a divine scent. Whoa Nellie!

Flowers

The poppies are likewise drawing attention to their colorful petals. The ones in my garden are the traditional orange but this one at a nearby garden is an absolutely gorgeous shade of peachy-pink.

Flowers

Our daily walks take us past a front garden that has quite a collection of cactus featured in it and this one definitely caught my attention. Quite the punch of color within the perennials, wouldn’t you say? It almost looks like a tulip but with those spines, best to appreciate from afar.

Flowers

Well that’s it from the Mile High. We hope you are able to stay cool yet enjoy some of nature’s more picturesque elements. Have a great weekend.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ May 20, 2022

Welcome to Friday where we join our pals,  Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard to see what’s going on in our ‘Hood in the 303. The intrepid duo decided to sleep in today (for reasons I’ll explain later), so I’ll be bringing today’s edition.

Spring is in full swing with a riot of colors, from pinks to red, blues and lavenders, pops of bright yellows and greens but today we’re gonna look at orange. No Max, not Bronco orange…but the kind of orange from Nature’s very own slice on the color wheel. Besides it’s hockey season and we. just. can’t. do. football yet. So let’s get to it.

Walking around the neighborhood it’s easy to find lots of orange. First, fresh annual marigolds are brightening spots all over Mile High gardens. Bright and happy, they also are guardians in the veggie garden. Harmful bugs do not like their scent, so I always plant some of this hardworking annual around the tomato plants so I don’t have to spray any toxic herbicides.

Flowers
Cheerful and hard working marigolds

When it comes to orange nothing says springtime quite like Oriental Poppies. Native to the Caucasus, northeastern Turkey, and northern Iran, they grow from a mound of leaves and are drought resistant. Coming in a variety of colors, bright orange seems to be the standard default. They beg passerby’s to stop and stare at the paperlike blooms and fuzzy teardrop-shaped buds.

Flowers
Oriental poppy

Another type of poppy around here are Papaver nudicaule, commonly known as the Icelandic Poppy. Native to subpolar regions of Asia and North America, and the mountains of Central Asia as well as temperate China (ironically not Iceland), these charming poppies can pop up in unusual spots, like in this retaining wall which were clearly not planted. Again, flowers are crepe papery textured, bowl-shaped, supported by hairy, curved stems in the feathery blue-green foliage. First described by botanists in 1759, they are hardy in USDA Zones 3a-10b and xeric with low water needs.

Flowers
Icelandic Poppies along a garden wall

No low-water garden in the Mile High is complete without Blanket Flower or Gaillardia, a member of the Asteraceae family, native to North and South America. It was named after Maître Gaillard de Charentonneau, a French 18th-century French magistrate who was an enthusiastic botanist.

Flowers
Gaillardia (Blanket Flower), a perennial

Next entry on the Orange Tour are perennial Daylilies (Hemerocallis), whose name refers to its flowers, which typically last about a day. Hemerocallis are native to Asia (primarily eastern Asia, including China, Korea, and Japan), and popular everywhere because of the showy flowers and their hardy nature. There are thousands of registered cultivars. Despite their name, daylilies are not true lilies growing from bulbs. Be sure to keep your pets from ingesting as like most spring bulbs, they are harmful to pets.

Flowers

Last on our walking tour, is this tiny cactus. I probably wouldn’t have noticed it save for it’s bright shock of color. Regrettably, I have no idea what kind of cactus it is but it was pretty enough to include in this edition.

Flowers
Blooming Cactus

So what’d you think of the Orange Tour? Some interesting and certainly lovely blooms, right? Glad I was able to present them for your enjoyment since we’re under a winter storm watch. Yes, w-i-n-t-e-r.  A late season storm moving through the northern and central Rockies is calling for 3 to 6 inches of heavy, wet snow for the metro area with freezing temps (note to self: cover the freshly planted veggies and emerging flower seeds and disconnect the hose). It will be the first decent snow since mid-March. We hope.

I haven’t got the heart to tell Norman about the snow…preferring to let sleeping dogs lie. Ignorance is often bliss.

Norman
Rest up, big guy

So what plans do you have for the weekend. We’ll be drinking hot chocolate and nursing our wounds from the first lost in the Stanley Cup Round 2 playoffs and hope the Round 1 team shows up again instead of the guys who played last night. Whatever you do, we hope you have a fun-filled weekend enjoying the wild, diverse beauty of Mother Nature, especially from the orange pallet.

Current temp 39F°

  Light Rain – feels like 36°
High today: 42F°/38°

Friday Rain to Snow Showers

Saturday – Snow

40F°/28°
 80%

Sunday- Scattered Showers

52F°/27°
 50%
Nature Friday
Live, love, bark!  🐾

Nature Friday ~ March 18, 2022

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Nature Friday blog hop, where we join our pals, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard. Don’t forget to click on their link to see what others are sharing.

While the Spring Equinox is scheduled to arrive on Sunday, it continues to tease the Ranch Hands as it takes one step forward and then retreats briefly. Tuesday and Wednesday were warm and inspired me to cleanup various flower beds before another storm was forecast to arrive. While raking up winter debris, I took note of a few unexpected early arrivals.

Flowers

These hyacinths are beginning to wake up from their winter snooze and should be ready to bloom in a couple of weeks or so now that Mile High sun has nudged them.

Garden poppies are beginning to wipe the sleep from their eyes as they started greening up. Seeing green not related to St. Patrick’s Day was so exciting, I nearly did an Irish jig. The  key word being “nearly.” I don’t think I’ve actually ‘jigged’ for decades but in my mind I was pirouetting with joy as if I were young and limber again. The ground was moist and loamy with that invigorating scent of a world of microorganisms. There’s nothing like the smell of freshly tilled ground: earthy and fragrant, full of life from decayed material.

Flowers

Raking up leaves accumulated over the winter, I interrupted several bees hoping to nosh peacefully amidst the freshly bloomed baby-blue, grape hyacinths (their purple cousins continue to sleep in for a bit). When these little charmers appear, I know spring is, indeed on its way. These cuties continue to naturalize throughout the garden as I discovered  some in unexpected spots between the flagstones. The spring cleanup will continue for some time to remove marauding plants to better sites.

Flowers

A lovely day spent getting my hands in the dirt, I waited for the forecasted spring storm to arrive. True to the ‘Springtime in the Rockies’ adage and all which that means to Front Range gardeners, yesterday’s landscape turned into a beautiful sea of heavy, wet spring snow.

Snow

I had previously scheduled my tax returns to be prepared yesterday and decided to walk over rather than drive. It was surprisingly as quiet as it was beautiful. I say ‘beautiful’ because like 99% of all spring storms in the Mile High, it will be mostly melted by late today, a nice drink of welcome moisture for the landscape.

Snow

As I took in the scene, I couldn’t help but notice some ground cover tumbling over the rock wall surrounding the grounds of the assisted living home across the street from my appointment.

Snow

Walking along two of the sides of this oversized city block,  beauty along the fenceline emerged like lace.

Snow

The weekend promises more spring-like temperatures which will beckon more garden work but commitments for the ongoing Canine Colorado magazine fundraiser has higher priority, taking me south to the Colorado Springs area to help another supermodel with his day before the camera, after which I’ll continue southbound and drop in to see my dad. As Norman will be heading to hospital on Monday for visits, it will be a busy weekend getting him ready for his shifts following the photoshoot. Just don’t mention the bath/groom to him-wouldn’t want to wreck spring’s arrival on his tender psyche with his aversion to getting wet.

What plans are on your dance card for this weekend when Spring arrives? Whatever you do, we hope you are able to get out there and immerse your soul in Nature’s gifts.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾