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.
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!
Autumn has definitely arrived in the Mile High. Cooler temperatures and even a trace of snow seen hereearlier 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.
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.
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 thesummer, 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?
For those of you of a certain age, today’s musing might bring back some memories. If you’ve been experiencing a heat wave, you have our sympathies. In the good news category, there are “only” 75 days to the official start of autumn.
How are you coping with the Super Mario Bros weather?
While most are yearning for spring and warmer temperatures, I continue to long for some moisture. This winter has been bone dry with few snow storms containing minuscule amounts of the white stuff. Imagine my rejoicing this morning to wake up to a this winter wonderland. I’ll take it. Thank you, Mother Nature.
Single digits are not stopping this dynamic duo. Hiya, Elsa here. We finally got some snow with a couple of days of bitter cold. Mom hitched us up in our paw mittens and coats and then spent 87 hours putting gloves, hats, mittens and boots on herself before we could go galloping out in the elements. Snow? We don’t let a little stinking snow stop us.
We traveled over hill and over dale like jackrabbits hopping along, dragging pulling mom along our walk. Sam is headed over to the hospital today while I stay home practicing my Olympic skating skills. I swear, I don’t get how he can get all tangled up in his leash, come to a complete screeching stop and then look up so pitifully at mom with a H-E-L-P me look on his face whereas I can skate at full speed, perform a double Lutz jump into a full-on poop stance in the blink of an eye. Boys…sheesh. Talk about snowflakes!
While Sam is putting smiles on patients faces over the next couple of days, I’ll have a few hours of peace and quiet each day watching the snow accumulate and our evil squirrel. He better hope he doesn’t slip off his branch while I’m outside. Stay warm and we’ll be back soon.
Yesterday was just shy of 70 and today’s high will be in the mid-20’s with fresh new snow. Elsa however seems to relish it, munching as much of the snow that was left earlier on the north side of the street as she can. She will no doubt dash about like a gazelle doing leaps and bounds in new fresh stuff. Stay warm out there this week.
Well it finally happened. Hiya. Elsa here. It should have happened weeks ago but finally and thankfully…Denver is under a Winter Storm Warning for snow, ice, high winds, and low visibility with blizzard conditions for the eastern plains. Can I get an Amen, brother!? Speaking of brothers, Sam wasn’t that keen about going out to potty in this white stuff and I confess, I too had some reservations initially. But Mother Nature (and snow zoomies) called, so who am I to refuse that pressure?
Denver is experiencing one of the driest winters ever as are the various ski areas in the state. Statewide snowpack was 58% of normal. That’s scary if you are a ski resort, people! That graphic pretty much says it all. Even Hawaii experienced a blizzard before Christmas last month with Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa receiving up to two feet of snow.
Mom said some of you have already experienced some major snow and cold lately but this is rather new this season (unless you count those few days in December when it was bitter cold but with no snow). Mostly we’ve been experiencing breaking days with many perennials still blooming in December. What the dog?!
How was your weekend weather? Anything exciting happening out there while we’re snuggling up on the sofa?
Two days ago we received a surprise snow storm. While it was very welcomed, news reports yesterday suggested Denver will have the driest winter on record since the late 1800’s. To all those worried about the tulips, here’s what a day later looked like in the Mile High.
Happy Thursday. Our close personal friend Friday is just waiting around the corner to put more smiles on our faces. Make it a great one!
Just in case you forget what springtime in the Rockies can look like. Love this state.
A number of you indicated you were unable to open either of the two images that were included in today’s earlier post for which I apologize. After spending far more time than I thought possible trying to ‘fix’ that post and the images, unsuccessfully I might add, I thought I’d provide the links from where they were obtained so you could at least have the benefit of useable information (I sent emails to those of you for which I had contact info). The comprehensive and extensive list came from this site. The photo image can be seen here. So sorry for the SNAFU. Technology very often vexes me.
As a consolation prize, here’s an image from today’s somewhat of a surprise winter storm that landed in the Denver area. Finally…some snow. Sorry little tulips.