Category Archives: Weather

Nature Friday ~ February 8, 2019

Nature Friday

Welcome to another edition of Nature Friday at the Ranch hosted by our California friends, Rosy and her brothers over at LLB in Our Backyard. We hope you’ll swing by their backyard and check out theirs and others tip of the cap to Mother Nature.

You can say things have been unseasonable around the Ranch lately. Normally our coldest weather comes in January when the Stock Show is in town. This year however the weather for the most part was quite balmy. A number of days even had peeps wearing shorts with their puffy jackets (yeah, I don’t get that either-wearing shorts with a ski jacket is very common around here). January and February typically have little in the way of snow and yet we’ve had two snow storms in consecutive weeks with 10 and 6 inches respectively. I don’t mind the snow, but the below zero temps following this latest storm seems beyond what is normal for this time of year. Yesterday it was -5 F and just barely over 0 this morning, so let’s go for a little orchid action to warm things up.

It’s been some time ago but I found this beauty hanging out forlornly at the grocery market so naturally I felt compelled to ‘rescue’ it. It was the only blue one and I knew it would be a lovely addition around the Ranch. Isn’t that blue color simply exquisite? I don’t know how they get the color, but it’s beautiful and made me feel like I was back in Hawaii.

Orchid

Speaking of Hawaii, I would be remiss to not include a photo of the real deal in its natural environment. Located just north of Hilo on the Big Island is the Onomea Bay and the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. With 2,000 species, representing more than 125 families and 750 genera, this is just one many beautiful plants located in this one-of-a-kind garden.Their orchid collection is particularly spectacular. Just check out this specimen. Talk about colorful and delicate looking!

I don’t know about you, but after seeing photos of tropical orchids, I can once again appreciate all that nature has to offer even as I look out the window at a wintry white-scape. I hope we won’t have to bundle up like Eskimos again, like yesterday. Lacing up 10 snow boots, donning three coats and mittens was more exercise than the actual walk!

Snow

Have a super weekend and get out there to enjoy all the beauty Mother Nature has to offer but stay safe and warm.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Not Even Close to Wordless Wednesday ~ Long Shadows Edition

Sam, the Dogtor, is making rounds again (today he’s at West Pines) after some incredible visits yesterday with so many nice people. We hope to share a story or two about those visits soon. For today though, we thought we’d share a photo from the recent snowstorm. Hard to believe long, winter shadows arrived shortly after 2:00 PM across the snowscape, topped by a cornflower blue sky. Those gorgeous blue skies brought a smile to my face. Colorado’s weather is nothing, if not changeable. If you don’t like 10 inches of snow, wait a bit and you’ll see something like this. The temps will be warming to 50ºF over the next few days. Ahhh. Not too shabby for being mid-winter.

Long shadows

Have a great Hump Day.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Moanings ~ January 28, 2019

Up the river poodle

Today we woke up to poodle zoomies weather, otherwise known as a good 6 inches of snow. Elsa zoomed up and down the dog run racing around in jack-rabbit gallops and yet happy to come inside (and shake off…once in the house). Does anyone know why dogs ALWAYS wait until they’re safely indoors before shaking?

Today should prove to be interesting since I have an appointment this morning. Just hoping I can return safely and get back up the little hill to the driveway. Hoping you aren’t stuck ‘up the river without a poodle paddle’ and your Monday starts off on a ‘pawsitive’ note. To our friends in the upper Midwest, stay safe and warm in the midst of a Polar Vortex this week.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ January 11, 2019

Nature Friday

Kudos for surviving the week and if you’re like us, you’re excitedly waiting for the weekend to begin. Welcome to today’s edition of Nature Friday where we join our fur-iends Rosy and her brothers from LLB in Our Backyard.

While the temperature outside is the warmest it will be all day at a balmy 34F with a beautiful wet snow falling here, we thought we’d share a photo of a real snow storm from a few years ago. These kinds of storms are only in my dreams these days and can only hope we ever receive that much again.

Snow storm

However you spend your weekend, we hope you enjoy it.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ January 4, 2019

Nature Friday
Welcome to the first Friday of 2019 where we enthusiastically join our fur-iends Rosy and her brothers from LLB in Our Backyard for this week’s edition of the Nature Friday blog hop.  Don’t forget to check out other blogs when you click on the link. Not yet ingrained in my brain, I’m still having trouble typing 2019 but figure it will become second nature soon. Fingers crossed. Speaking of nature…Mother Nature went on a bit of a tear earlier this week. Last year ended with a small snow storm blowing through the 303 and New Year temperatures started out literally in the freezer with emphasis on the blowing part. Low double digits dropped like a rock into single figures with the windchill. One early morning it was below zero. Hard to even recall today as the temps have been warming since Wednesday and should be around 60 F this afternoon with mid-50’s forecast for the next several days. Crazy Mother Nature…at her best/worst again, depending on how you view it.

Here are a couple of images from Mother Nature’s first storm of 2019. The bird bath was photographed early in the morning and chills me just looking at it.

And while the sun is shining in the second image, you can see exactly what windswept looks like on a patch of ornamental grass.

So how do you plan to stay warm this weekend? Whatever you do, we hope the first weekend of a fresh new year is ‘pawsome!’

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ December 28, 2018

Nature Friday
Welcome to the last Friday of 2018. I have mixed feelings about this year but am always happy to join our fur-iends Rosy and her brothers from LLB in Our Backyard for this last Nature Friday blog hop of the year.

On a day where our temps will struggle to reach the 20’s, I thought we should go back to Mexico and warm up a bit.

Turtles are ubiquitous in Mexico and these little guys know how to enjoy the heat, sunning themselves on rocks but always close enough for a quick dip to cool off (or to escape from pesky tourists).

Turtles

While walking through the Old Town area on the way to a favorite gallery our family discovered, this noisy little guy was either greeting us or more likely, telling us in no uncertain terms to go away. The racket this little squirt made me nervous its owner might check to see if we were some sort of nefarious troublemakers. It never ceases to amaze me that the tiniest of dogs are the ones who raise the most cain, in the most aggressive way. I’m sure they have to wipe down the glass panels on the deck frequently as he gets frothed up with all passersby.

Tiny pups

Go. the. hell. away!

After scurrying past the 4-legged security alarm, I stumbled across this building that stood out against a cloud-dotted sky, a restaurant known as Café des Artistes.
Old Town

Check out this exquisite video I found on their website which is narrated by the founder and chef, Thierry Blouet.

Don’t know about you, but after seeing these images, I’m slightly warmer (and more determined to go back to this lovely place in nature!) and can now face the first of what will no doubt be frequent, but brief forays outside with the Knuckleheads. Stay warm this last Friday of the year and have a great weekend.

Live, love, bark!🐾

Nature Friday ~ December 14, 2018

Welcome to Friday where we join our fur-iends Rosy and her brothers from LLB in Our Backyard for more Nature Friday.

So far Denver has not had any significant snowfall. While snow has fallen in places that are far less used to it, we remain dry as a bone with breezy conditions most days. It did snow the day I left for Mexico last month; I was afraid I-70 might be adversely impacted for the ride out to the airport. But I arrived with plenty of time and in 3 hours I was sipping a tasty margarita on the beach in Mexico basking in upper 80’s temperature while folks back home were shoveling 4-6 inches of the white stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I loved being on the beach but missed one of the very few storms we’ve had this year. The only other notable one was back in October when leaves were just beginning to fall. The bird bath proved to be a fine canvas for displaying a touch of autumn in the snow.

Autumn snow

The foreseeable forecast doesn’t offer any chance of snow but I’m hoping Denver enjoys some white stuff from a weather system soon from the outer edge of the Gulf Stream which normally would provide it in El Niño years like 2018-19. Till then we’ll try to get our butts in gear for Christmas preparations by making fudge today and hopefully sending out cards and starting some shopping. I know, it’s an ambitious plan, right? Then again, probably all that will be accomplished will be to store the bathroom scale until February 1st. I know my limitations.

Wishing you and yours a lovely weekend as you make your final push toward Santa Paws’ visit to all good dogs, cats, birds, bunnies and other pets. Happy weekend!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Flower Friday ~ October 12, 2018

Autumn splendorAutumn has definitely arrived in the Mile High. Cooler temperatures and even a trace of snow seen here earlier this week have made things seem somewhat seasonal but there hasn’t been a whole lot of color change in leaves with a couple of exceptions from a few maples and ash trees. I suspect the summer drought and long stretches of extreme temperatures took their toll on the internal clocks of the trees in the neighborhood. One exception is the tree shown here, taken yesterday in downtown Denver. But this dearth of autumnal  color doesn’t mean things aren’t looking somewhat seasonal. The plumbago still has a few flowers but now the mahogany-hued leaves are beginning to show.

What else is blooming in the autumn garden? Oh course, there are the ubiquitous mums and asters but what I’m enjoying now are the ornamental cabbage making for some beautiful texture in the Sedum bed (which is also turning gloriously mahogany). Normally I prefer the cream variegated version of ornamental cabbage but alas, was too late at the greenhouse and only managed to grab the only two remaining offerings [Note to self, make autumn purchases sooner instead of later].

Today will be sunny with temps back in the 60’s so it’ll be a great day to leisurely stroll around the neighborhood taking in all Mother Nature has to offer in city gardens.

The weekend is upon us so I’ll leave you with something totally smile worthy from yesterday’s downtown excursion. While waiting to join a former colleague for lunch, I spied a street busker in full regalia playing tunes on his bagpipes along the 16th Street Mall in front of the Federal Reserve building. Just across the street blaring on patio speakers was a hip-hop tune at a brew pub. Can you say musical incongruent?

Nothing really surprises me anymore but I did find the alley scene below beyond the usual weirdness. It must have struck a chord with the rest of the lunch crowd along the mall because a queue had formed and you had to ‘wait your turn’ in order to get close enough to photograph. I almost miss working downtown for seeing odd and peculiar stuff like this. Almost.

Have a great Friday and an even better weekend. We’ve been asked to ‘pawticipate’ at a hospital event tomorrow to bring a little joy to ER nurses so I’m guessing smiles and fun will be in abundance.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Did You Know?

Do you know where the term “dog says of summer” originated? Sam and Elsa here. When mom said we could do a post about the Dog Days of Summer, it set our tails-a-waggin’. Something about dogs?…oh heck yes! Put us in, coach.

Follow the belt of Orion to find Sam and Elsa’s Star Sirius. Credit: Starry Night Software

Typically those hot, sultry days in summer are referred to as “dog days” or “dog days of summer.” Visible from anywhere on Earth, Sirius is part of the constellation Canis Major otherwise known as the Greater Dog. Dog? Hmm, why they didn’t just call it Sam and Elsa’s star is still a mystery to us. Perhaps it’s due in part to the ancient history we learned. Right now you see ‘our star’ as it ascends in the east before dawn on late summer mornings. The simple answer is because the hottest/most humid days of summer are associated with Sirius (aka the “Dog Star”) because it was the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major.

Now for some astronomic history…first from the Egyptians. The period following the heliacal rise (that period of less than a year when it had not been visible) of Sirius when the constellation becomes visible just above the eastern horizon before sunrise generally arrives around July 19th and ends around the last week of August. This timeframe roughly corresponded with the annual flooding of the Nile River.

Not to be outdone on all things Sirius, ancient Romans believed it radiated extra heat toward the Earth. During the summer when Sirius rises and sets with the Sun, they were convinced the added, additional heat to the Sun’s heat caused hotter summer temperatures.

For the ancient Romans, the dog days of summer period was from about July 24 to around August 24. Over time, the constellations have drifted somewhat and today, The Old Farmer’s Almanac lists the dog days of summer to be from July 3 until August 11.

Although “dog days” are usually the hottest of the summer, they really don’t have anything to do with either dogs or the star Sirius. Actually it is Earth’s tilt that explains why these days tend to be the hottest during summer.

The Earth’s tilt this time of year causes the sun’s light to hit the Northern Hemisphere at a more direct angle and, accordingly for a longer period of time throughout the day. This means longer, hotter days during the summer. While Sirius is the brightest proper star in the night sky, it still is 8.7 light-years (8.23×1013 km) away and effectively has no effect on Earth’s weather or temperature.

Yet the effects of summer heat and rainfall patterns are real and variations occur by latitude and location according to many factors. Although London is farther north, Calgary has a milder climate from the presence of the sea and the warm Gulf Stream current. One medical institution has reported a connection between Finland’s dog days and an increased risk of infection in deep surgery wounds, though that research is unverified.

So there you have it as to some of the why’s and the what for’s about the dog days of summer. All that  abbreviated history aside, us Knuckleheads tend to be lazy during these pizza-oven hot days (mid 90’s for the past few days). We enjoy early morning walks, and laze about working on our napping form as demonstrated by Sunday’s ‘howliday,’ National Dog Day.  Mostly we are  over these dog days and are excitedly awaiting for Indian Summer to arrive. How have your dog days been?

Live, love, bark! 🐾