Nature Friday ~ November 3, 2023

Welcome to the first Friday of November. My goodness, any idea as to how in the dog did we got to November already? As always we’re joining our friends from Adventures of the LLB GangMake sure you click on the link to see what else was shared.

The Mom: Yoo-hoo, oh Elsa…time to share pics from this week for Nature Friday.

Elsa

Elsa: Nope, not coming out. I’m still recovering from the humiliation I suffered from wearing that ridiculous Halloween outfit.

The Mom: Aww come on, everyone thought you were cute.

Elsa: Cute?? Baby ducks are cute! I am a Ninja.

The Mom: Ahh sweetie, I’m sorry if you’re feeling bad about your Halloween photo. I was super proud of you for posing so nicely. You did well, Ninja.

Elsa: Of course I did well. Remember, I’m a total professional.

The Mom: And professionals don’t pout. They lift their head, put their big girl pants on and get back to doing what they are extra good at.

Elsa: Nope, I told you already…I’m not doing it.

The Mom: {begging while pulling out the extra high value treats from the cupboard} Please? For me? {crinkling the package}

Elsa: Oh man, you don’t play fair, do you? You know I can’t resist those dehydrated fish skins. They are so addictive and I absolutely love them. Ok, but you better keep ’em flowing if you expect me to share this week’s nature looks from around the ‘Hood. Got it, Kemosabe?

The Mom: Deal! So other than Halloween, what have you been up to this week?

Elsa: Well, there was that 6 inches of white stuff that hit us over the weekend. That was kind of an adventure. And then there was the cold that followed. But I gotta admit, I’ve been having a blast eating my weight in snow on our walks.

Elsa eating snow

The Mom: Yeah, you have been obsessed with chewing snow along our walks. What’s up with that?

Elsa: IMy new job-I’m on water quality control recognisance. Denver Water contacted me to check it out for dogs everywhere in the metro area.

The Mom: Uh-huh…sure. I don’t think that’s a real job.

Elsa: It is for me. I can’t let snow that’s built up next to sidewalks go un-tasted. Plus, I’m keeping hydrated-very important for us canine ninjas.

The Mom: {eyes rolling} Maybe we ought to move along. So what would you like to feature this week?

Elsa: Well, let’s go with the obvious. Like I said, it snowed about 6 inches of white stuff but then it also added about 87 inches of green stuff.

The Mom: Don’t remind me. The Silver Maple and the Catalpa trees didn’t appreciate the weather and kinda went crazy shedding leaves.

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Elsa: Thanks for raking them up from the sidewalk…you know how much I despise walking on them…although I noticed they aren’t crunchy, but they are gross and mushy. Still…no bueno in my books.

The Mom: I agree, they stick to my shoes and your paws and we both end up dragging them into the house. Definitely no bueno. Vacuuming every 12 minutes is not my idea of fun and games.

Elsa: You’ll get no argument from me on vacuuming. That noisy beast scares me.

The Mom: And then as if on cue, the wind came up and dropped another ton. I need to figure out what to do with them in the interim since it’ll be next week before the city will collect leaves for the compost project. Sigh.

Elsa: Ugh. Don’t tell me things like that. I’ll worry my pretty little head off.

The Mom: Oh no, don’t do that. It’s just that it is that time of year where leaves fall; we just have to accept this part of Mother Nature.

Elsa: {boo…hiss} I vote no.

The Mom: Sadly, it won’t make a difference on that kind of vote.

Elsa: Harumph…so much for democracy.

The Mom: {shaking her head} Oh sweetie…what else you got?

Elsa: Well I was thinking we should share pics of those funky critters we encountered. I still can’t believe why some uprights put this kind of stuff in their gardens!

The Mom: The first one really cracked me up. Everyone around here has jumped on the Colorado Buffaloes bandwagon and their notorious Coach Prime…aka Deion Sanders. Lo and behold when I walked over to the Post Office, I came across this new sculpture. It took me a second to realize it’s a buffalo! Interesting metal work, don’t you think?

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Elsa: Hmm, not sure I get it but this just goes to show art is in the eyes of the beholder. I was pleased to see you were brave enough to walk up the stairs to photograph that giraffe but glad you captured it quickly. That guard dog was none too pleased with us scoping out his giraffe. Speaking of giraffe, isn’t that the one we saw through the trees back in August? You can see that post here.

The Mom: Good memory, Ninja. Yes, it was obscured through all the brush but I decided to get closer now that most of the leaves have fallen. I really do like that piece. So unusual.

Elsa: Well as long as I don’t have to give that guard dog a piece of my mind, I guess it’s ok. Sheesh, not very hospitable was he? You should have let me teach him some manners.

The Mom: Umm, no..that’s fine. Besides, he was just protecting his giraffe. That’s his job and you wouldn’t want to deprive him of his job, now would you?

Elsa: {pondering for a moment} Yeah, you’re probably right but I was ready to go Rocky on his butt. Nobody talks to my Mom like that and gets away with it.

The Mom: Aww, aren’t you sweet? So I went back to Sloan’s Lake a couple of days ago to see how things looked after last week. All the gold and reddish colored trees have dropped their leaves but the cattails were kind of interesting. I also noticed the squirrels and birds should get nice & chonky this month with pumpkins and fruit setting on trees.

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Elsa: Mt. Evans in the distant with the snow was kinda cool. Too bad you couldn’t get a better angle from the hill. It was much prettier than this pic lets on.

The Mom: Sometimes you just gotta go with what you can get. Still, it was a pretty morning looking west from the lake instead of toward downtown.

Elsa: Well that’s it from me. So…got anything cooking for the weekend? I think we’re just gonna chill (though it will be nice around here for a few days). Whatever you do, we hope you get outside and check out what Nature’s got going on. We realize it’s that time of year where things get busy as folks gear up for the holidays, but trust me…it’d be good to look around and see the beauty out there. Have a ‘wagnificent’ weekend.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ October 27, 2023

Elsa

Well, well, well…lo and behold…it’s  Friday. Elsa here, your intrepid blogging queen with another episode of Nature Friday where we join our New Mexico pals, Rosy and Sunny from LLB in Our Backyard. Don’t forget to click on the link to see what else has been shared.

Elsa: It’s been one of those beautiful autumn weeks with mild temps, blue-bird and cloudless skies and then Nature sent out a memo now that autumn isn’t going to last forever and to get your affairs in order. All our walks have been punctuated with the sound of psst as sprinkling systems were getting shut down.

The Mom:  Right. Last night’s freeze was a rather rude awakening, wasn’t it?

Elsa: Sheesh…rude doesn’t begin to cover it. Even with my luxurious furs, I can tell you straight up that I won’t mind wearing a coat on the morning walk. And the forecast of 1-3″ of white stuff for the weekend with highs in the 30’s…yikes! Oh sure the changing leaves have been terrific, at least the trees received and actually read the memo that ‘things be a-changing,’ but what’s up with all the roses in bloom right now? Oh sure, I expect mums to be blooming this time of year, but what the dog are the roses doing by giving nature the middle thorn and blooming all over the place?

The Mom: {interrupting} Excuse me…middle thorn??

Elsa: Yes, I was being metaphorical.

The Mom: Well, let’s not be quite as crudely metaphorical in the future okay, kiddo?

Elsa: There you go again, harshing on my mellow. As I was saying before you crushed my flow, there have been ooodles of leaves that have turned and started their annual drop although these looked like apple slices to me.

Leaves

The Mom: Yeah, wasn’t it fun to walk through them? Crunch, crunch, crunch {squealing with delight}.

Elsa: Umm, yeah, no. You may enjoy that crunching but I’m barefooted, or did you forget?

The Mom: Oops, I hadn’t really thought about it from that perspective. Sorry..

Elsa: Well I will concede the ash trees have been pretty amazing-they always are but I still don’t like to walk on their fallen leaves.

Ash tree

The Mom: Considering how bizarre the autumn weather has been, the ash trees really have been pretty colorful. Too many of the maples and elms have just turned brown around the edges and will, no doubt be on the ground once the snow arrives. I noticed this spruce tree where fallen leaves ‘decorated’ the boughs like it was some sort of Christmas tree all dressed up. I’d never seen a leaf garland like that before.

Spruce tree and leaves

Elsa: Nice, but did you get a good look at that ornamental plum we passed by? I almost needed sunglasses it was so bright and colorful. The light was just amazing.

Plum tree

The Mom: Yes, I stopped dead in my tracks because of that beautiful color.

Elsa:  Trust me, I did notice that. There I was happily sniffing through the leaves and {imitating screeching brakes} you just froze. You know our walks are for my olfactory pleasure not for your visual delight.

The Mom: Oh, excuse me. I just got caught up in the moment. Sorry.

Elsa: Ok, just this time. So can you explain why all the roses are going bonkers blooming? For a summer flower, I guess these guys decided to go down in a blaze of beauty. I sure hope Miss Rosy likes these babies.

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The Mom: They sure caught my eye too. But nothing like what I saw in the dog run. I saw these weird, swirly tracks in the dirt and couldn’t for the life of me, figure out what or who left them, and then I found the source. A big worm made them. I moved him back toward where he started out because he was quite a bit away from the initial swirls for that picture, before relocating him permanently.

Elsa: I think he was stoned or worse, high-neither one of us could make any sense out of his path or those swirls. Then again, maybe he just was trying to stay dry after a light shower we received but I’m no worm expert. I’m glad you ended up gently placing him in the front garden to hide in the mulch-maybe he’ll do some aerating before the cold/snow gets him. I think I’m going to name him Jake. Yup, Jake, the Snake…er, worm.

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The Mom: I have my paws crossed for him too. You’ve named him, I see. Oh brother.

Elsa: Doesn’t everyone deserve a name? I mean you named the mouse that lives in the compost bin.

The Mom: {stuttering} Er, umm, well okay, maybe we’ll keep our eyes open for ‘Jake’ in the future.

Elsa: Thought you’d see it my way. So I noticed you were going through the box that houses the dog costumes and hats. I know Halloween is next week. You weren’t thinking of dressing me up now, were you?

The Mom: Umm, me? Uh, probably not.

Elsa: Yeah…I heard you giggling as you found some of the stuff you used to dress up Norman and Sam. Please, I beg of you…don’t do it. No self-respecting poodle wants to be dressed up like that. I’ll be the laughing stock of Blogville and I’ll look ridiculous and be totally humiliated.

The Mom: {innocently whistling while looking the other way} Umm, I’ll think about it.

Elsa: Mom, please, I’m begging you {making sad puppy dog eyes…desperately pleading}. People will think I’m a sell-out.

The Mom: You worry too much. {changing the subject} So…got any plans for the weekend, Ninja?

Elsa: With the snow and temps in the 30’s? Umm, yeah, lots of cozy naps while this storm blows over. I’m no ordinary fool. Throw in couple of toys for a good old fashioned chew-fest and I’ll be good.

Elsa

The Mom: Well whatever you do, we both hope you manage to enjoy whatever Nature has in store for your region. Make it a great weekend.

Elsa: Yeah, what Mom said.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ July 14, 2023

ElsaWelcome to Nature Friday, hosted by our pals Rosy and Sunny from Adventures of the LLB Gang. Elsa here bringing this week’s edition to your inboxes. Imma here to also tell you it’s {in the words of my brother} bloody hot. Good grief…who turned up the thermostat? I almost feel badly for Mom since she’s been walking me just after sunrise which means neither of us are getting our beauty sleep. Trust me, she needs it more than I do but still…I wouldn’t be adverse to sleeping in until 6:30 or so. C’est la vie…such is the life of a black dog.

So this week I thought we’d check out pollinators from around the 303. Mostly Monarch Butterflies that is, though Mom got to see other kinds of butterflies at the Chatfield location of the Denver Botanical Gardens for their annual Lavender Festival. This iconic butterfly has an amazing journey, migrating between 1,200 and 2,800 miles from the northeast US and southeast Canadian mountain forests. Monarch butterflies, Danaus plexippus, which means “sleepy transformation” in Greek because of the species’ ability to hibernate and metamorphize. Adult monarchs have two pairs of brilliant orange-red wings, with black veining and white spots along the edges. Male butterflies are slightly bigger than the females. Did you realize these amazing pollinators only live about four to five weeks! Guess they have a lot to do in their short lives.  Here are some of the butterflies Mom saw at the butterfly house at Chatfield.

Butterflies
Butterfly educational board

As you probably already know, milkweed is the only plant on which monarchs will lay their eggs and their favorite source of food for emerging caterpillars. Sadly far too much of the Monarch’s natural food source is being eradicated from urban and agricultural landscapes.

Every wonder what the life cycle of a butterfly looks like? This sign depicts it far better than I can explain it.

Butterfly sign

Mom saw some new emerging Chrysalis, but they were so miniscule, she couldn’t get a photo without them looking too blurry on her phone. How many times do I need to tell you to bring a decent camera with you, Mom?? Ugh, when will she ever learn or pay attention to me? Anyway, she did manage to capture a caterpillar munching on a stalk of milkweed. Kinda cool for a bug. They have voracious appetites and that 18 inch tall stalk will likely be gone in less than a couple of days.

Caterpillar In the butterfly house, they flit among colorful plants, feeders and visitors. I think this guy was giving my Mom the stink eye.

Butterfly
Hey, what are you looking at, lady?

Here’s one resting on a bright green leaf. He seemed a bit tired, but I think he was probably just suffering from heat exhaustion like the rest of us.

Butterfly

Mom watched the guys below at a feeder. The big one seemed to hog the nectar away from the others and the two other couldn’t seem to convince the hog to move over. Who knew butterflies don’t share much?

Butterflies
Yo Frank, Joe is hogging the nectar again-why don’t you dive bomb him so we can enjoy Happy Hour as well.

There were a bunch of those Red Admirals that followed Mom around in the butterfly house. This one seemed particularly interested in her despite the fact she wasn’t wearing a colorful shirt. If she had, it might have landed on her. Though the Door Attendant would have frisked her when she left so no butterflies escaped. Seems the butterflies are always trying to hitchhike their way outside the butterfly house. Sheesh, conjugal visits apparently aren’t enough for those guys-they’re looking for freedom as well.

Butterfly

They may be small but they sure are pretty. As Mom was leaving the exhibit, look what other cutie she found! Oooh, hello, little bunny. Why can’t I ever find a cute bunny to play with on our walks? Oh wait, they’re afraid of a menacing hunter like me. Oops.

Bunny

Well that’s it for me this week. We hope whatever you do this weekend, you are able to enjoy some of the more gentle aspects of what Nature is dishing out. For you folks in New England, we’re praying the predicted rains aren’t as severe as they have been and for our friends in West, we hope Mother Nature turns down the pizza oven temps. Looks like El Niño is back with a vengeance according to NOAA (National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration). Please stay cool, dry and hydrate yourselves.

El Niño

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday

Nature Friday ~ April 28, 2023

Ranch HandsWelcome to Friday, mates. Norman here, joined with my Ninja sister, Elsa ready to share a spot of Nature from this week. As always, we’re joining Rosy and Sunny from the LLB life. Be sure to click on the link to see what others have shared.

Elsa: We gonna get this show on the road or what?

Elsa & Norman

Norman: Patience little one. I need to set this up first. You know that we had to go see my Grandpa, right?

Elsa: Yes, I know that.

Norman: Well our readers, didn’t so I’m ‘setting the stage’ as to what went down. Ok? Can I proceed now?

Elsa: Fine then. Knock your socks off, dude.

Norman: Well apart from hitting the road, it was quite the week. I think we ‘enjoyed‘ all 4 seasons. The place where my Grandpa lives broke a 133 year old record for most rainfall in a 24 hour period. And at our house, there has been lots of wind. Again. Which means crunchy leaves showed up and needed to be raked. One day even had rain mixed with snow. But it’s official though, spring has sprung. Just check out these tulips.

Tulips

Elsa: That’s pretty spring-like. I know you and Mom like the pink ones but we haven’t seen too many of those. Red seems to be the number 1 color of tulips we see on our walks, like this one.

Tulip

Norman: Mum was afraid the snow that fell last weekend might damage some of the flowering trees but this crabapple seems nonetheless harmed. They sure are pretty when they’re exploding with buds. And the bees sure seem to love them at this stage.

Flowering trees

Elsa: I thought that one evening before the rain began was almost eerie, much like at Halloween but much better than all those leaves that Mom had to rake up. I mean, who ever heard of raking leaves in April? Mom regretted not having her big camera with her when she saw the clouds around the moon but at least was able to capture the mood.

Moon

Norman: We managed to see all kinds of clouds on our trip and some of the more eerie ones were when we drove past the federal SuperMax prison located just outside Florence, Colorado. Did you know this is the most secure prison in the U.S. prison system and houses some high profile inmates? It was a foreboding scene with those clouds hanging over the prison where such notorious prisoners reside such as “Shoe Bomber” Richard Reid, Terry Nichols of Oklahoma Bombing fame, Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, and Thomas Silverstein, the former Aryan Brotherhood leader and convicted murderer who has been in solitary confinement longer than any other U.S. prisoner (since 1983). Silverstein was one of the reasons the ADX SuperMax was designed following his uncontrollable activities committed at other prisons.

Clouds

Elsa: Yikes, those are some bad hombres for sure {shudder}. I’m glad we didn’t stop there for lunch!

Norman: No, we managed to dodge the bullet there but Mum did find a window display she thought was creepy in a funny sort of way in the town of Florence.

Poodles

Elsa: Oh sure, pick on us poodles.

Norman: Well on the bright side, they were displayed eating some tasty looking food.

Elsa: You’re always thinking about food, you big oaf!

Norman: {indignantly sniffing) I’m not even going to respond to that unfair accusation.

Elsa: Unfair? You clean out my bowl after every meal. I’m surprised the stainless steel is still in tact.

Norman: Ahem…getting back to nature, sister, Mum saw her first blooming Bearded Iris yesterday. It’s quite early for them to be blooming. Apparently its southeastern exposure mimics more Summer-like conditions. See, I told you all we had all 4 seasons in one week!

Bearded iris

Elsa: That’s just nuts…blooming Irises in April. What is this world coming to?

Norman: Can’t answer that but hope that’s not an indication of an extra hot Summer ahead. I can barely tolerate it as it is. I may need to get a haircut sooner than I had planned.

Elsa: Tell me about it, I’m a black dog, do you have any idea how hot sunny conditions feel on my back? No siree, pal…not looking forward to a hot Summer OR a bath and groom, come to think of it. Definitely count me out.

Norman: Now, now, don’t get your knickers in a bunch. Mum will be gentle and make it as easy as possible. Just don’t make it harder for her, okay.

Elsa: Ha, me make things hard? Surely you jest.

Norman: {snickering under his breath} Right-that’s me, Mr. Jester. No doubt I have you confused with a different Ninja. Anywho…the weekend is upon us and I hope it means we all get a chance to get outside and enjoy some of the lovelier elements of Mother Nature. Do you have anything special or exciting planned for the last weekend in April?

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ February 17, 2023

Norman & ElsaHello there, sports fans. Elsa and Norman here to share photos for this week’s edition of Nature Friday. Like always, we’re joining those sweet pups from Adventures of the LLB Gang with glimpses of Nature from around our ‘Hood. The question for the week continues to be “where’s the delete Winter” button.

Delete Winter Meme

Norman: I know, you’re all sick of me whinging on about the weather but I can’t help it. I’m a fair weather chap who enjoys moderate (and dry) temps. I can see a lot of you nodding your heads in agreement, don’t deny it.

Elsa: Well brother, you do tend to be a bit of wuss when it comes to weather. I mean, look at the new neighbor a couple of days ago. Mom couldn’t believe her eyes-that morning the temps hovered around zero but at least he was finally shoveling-he’s missed doing that the past few storms. Personally I think he had to be looking for pants before but who knows?

Winter

Norman: I. have. no. words. for. people. like. that. Mum said it was pretty and fluffy even if the temps kept us all inside where we were cozy and warm.

Winter

Elsa: It was a busy week for you, dude with your various fundraisers and hobnobbing for the rescue. Congrats on raising a boatload of funds at the two Valentine’s Day themed events. While you were out there working hard, I was snoozing in your favorite spot on the sofa. Heh, heh. heh. So…you gonna show some pics from your adventures?

Norman: Well, they aren’t really Nature oriented. Wait, you were on my sofa?? I hope you didn’t ruin my pillows? Good thing they seemed ok when I got back home.

Elsa: Relax dog-breath. Everything was fine; I just enjoyed some nice quiet time where I could drool admire Mom’s cookie making for the fundraising bake sale and play with your the toys without you barking your fathead off at me and I’m proud of what you accomplished. Can’t believe I’m saying this, but those funds will help other fatheads sheepdogs like you. It’s in the dog code book that we rescue dogs gotta stick together, dude.

Kendra Scott event
Kendra Scott Give Back Event

Bake sale cookiesCookie paws

Norman: Well that’s very kind of you, sister, but we probably need to get back on point…as in Nature pics. You know the return of winter has kept Mum more homebound except when she had commitments she needed to keep but she missed her walks but managed to find these shots when she went to have her taxes prepared.

Winter

Elsa: Wait…isn’t that the flower shop near our house? Looks like they’ve been thinking Spring like the rest of us.

Norman:  You know when she showed me that window I had to admit, it was really pretty. But then she started grumbling and grabbed the snow shovel so I didn’t see her for a while.

Elsa: Before she shoveled though she took some photos of nearby “Goose Mountain Ski Resort” that was on a former assisted living, senior home. They don’t even have a chair lift and have to waddle walk back up the hill. That’s kind of a gyp especially considering they still have waiting lines.

Winter geese

 

Winter geese

Norman:  They seemed to enjoy it though I’ll never understand the whole skiing thing that most people in this state relish. Other than being around others, I just don’t see the point. And to think they pay good money to do that! Me, I’m all about going to a Brewpub and waiting for people to come pet me, not to ski down a slope and then go back up to do it all over again.

Elsa: I know, humans…who can figure them out? Then again, I don’t understand the neighborhood critters. I mean, look at this lame-o merry-go-round they created. How dumb is that-I mean, they were apparently walking around in circles for no  reason it seems.

Winter

Norman: And no one left any messages for anyone!  And when it comes to uprights, who can comprehend why they do things, let alone what Nature’s kids are thinking. Good thing peeps give us nice ear rubs, make tasty treats and love us. Otherwise we might never have become domesticated.

Elsa: You got that right! People are just weird. Well at least the afternoon turned out to be one of those beautifully bright sunny days our state is known for, even in winter when it’s cold. And look, it began to melt!

Winter icicle

Norman: I for one, am looking forward to more of those sunny days with warm temps to go with my naps. So what’s winter been like in your area? Are there any signs of spring where you’re at? We’re still trying to rejuvenate after a busy week but with warmer temps, hopefully Mum can get out with us and not workout on her elliptical. I like it when you and I can sniff walk with Mum.

Norman

Elsa: Oh dude…you’re embarrassing yourself again. Yeah, I think sniffing is best too. So do YOU have any special plans for this weekend? Whatever you do, we hope it’s fun and you can find beautiful signs of Nature to enjoy.

Nature Friday

Norman:  Right-o. Cheerio mates and have a pawsome weekend.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ December 30, 2022

It may be the last Friday of 2022, and even though we haven’t posted much lately, we could not let this week’s Nature sights not be shared. As always, we’re joining our pals from the LLB Gang.

We hope you had a lovely Christmas celebration. Returning home, I noticed what might have been a few bargain hunters lining up early at a local WalMart probably waiting to make returns.

Birds

Once back at home, Norman did his last visits for 2022. The big guy was quite grateful that the days he visited early in the week coincided with the top end of the extremes we encountered. This graphic taken from last night’s weather showing the high and low temps. Understand this turn-around happened in a mere 24-hour period. We’re still recovering from the whiplash.

Weather

Once again I headed down south to spend the Christmas holiday weekend with my Dad and other family members. It’s always a good excuse for all the good cooks in the family to showcase their skills. From brisket to lasagne and everything in between, we had quite the feast.

Christmas Dinner

The sunrises this past week have been beyond incredible. Rising early to catch up on computer work before the others rose, I was blown away by the vibrant colors shining in the living room. Adjectives seem totally inadequate to describe them.

Sunrise Sunrise

Then yesterday Winter tapped me on the shoulder and said thanks for holding my beer and promptly dumped over 8 inches of very wet, white stuff. It was more like a Spring storm than one that is typical right now. There were lots of fallen branches around town though my street was luckily unscathed.

Snowstorm

It also took hours to plow the sidewalks. While this time of year often becomes reflective on all that’s happened throughout, the top question of my introspection continues to be: “remind me again why I bought a house on an oversized corner lot?”

Despite several hours of shoveling, it was a beautiful sight. Not sure if it was beautiful enough to warrant a repeat performance but the weather folks cautioned residents to not put the snow shovel away just yet. A fresh storm is forecasted to welcome the New Year.

Snow

While I’ve often shared how Norman isn’t a fan of cold or snow, no one can say this boy doesn’t know how to effectively deal with it…as in stay inside no matter what. Elsa may go bouncing outside in deep swirling snowflakes like a loon, Norman is more low keyed and prefers the warmth of the sofa. With blankets.

Norman

That’s it from us for 2022. We want to wish you all a safe and very Happy 2023. Stay warm, hug your loved ones and don’t forget to enjoy the amazing beauty Nature provides.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ December 16, 2022

With just nine sleeps until Santa Paws arrives, we’ve been busy trying to get ready for the big day but not so busy we couldn’t find at least a couple of pics for this week’s edition of Nature Friday. As always, we thank those furry pals over at LLB Gang for hosting the blog hop.

Winter officially arrives next week but it seems to have already arrived here in the 303. Not in the form of any white stuff, mind you. This week’s forecasted Snowmageddon completely fizzled with only six tiny flakes falling. Temperatures however did fall and the dogs’ daily walks have been limited to quick trips in the dog run in order to preserve achy joints. Luckily those trips coincided with some winter beauty.

Red sky

The old saw says ‘red skies in morning, sailor take warning’ so this early morning scene left me hopeful that we’d receive some white stuff later in the day, but it was not to be.

Red skies

Apparently that other part of that old saw, “red skies at night, sailor’s delight” prevailed. Not sure if sailor’s would want to be  sailing in the low temps, but it certainly seemed to apply on the prediction of a storm. Cloudy, cold and windy are the watch words controlling weather conditions for the foreseeable future.

Cold temps mean both dogs are getting cabin fever. With Christmas preparations in high gear and little opportunity for the releasing of any pent up energy physically, that means boredom. I’ve had to rescue more than a few items from the jaws of death. Hopefully Christmas preparations will be wrapped up this weekend so I can concentrate on stemming any excess energy mischief this next week. Fingers crossed.

Well that’s it for us. Sorry for the lack of images this week. Hopefully we’ll do better next time when things calm down.

So what plans do you have this last full weekend before the big day? Whatever you do, I hope you’ll have the opportunity to see some slices of nature in between. Have a ‘wagnificent’ weekend.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

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! 🐾