Nature Friday ~ January 20, 2022

Setting the stage…{Classical music playing from the Bugs Bunny cartoons playing in the background}

Norman: {stretching} Wha…erm…what day is it?

Elsa: {y-a-w-n} Huh? Oh, you woke me up from a great dream to ask what day it is?

Norman: No, I just woke up and was a bit disoriented-mostly I was just thinking out loud. Well…do you know what day it is?

Elsa: Of course I know what day it is…it’s Sleep in Friday…that’s what day it is!

Norman: {eyes rolling} Oh sister…I think it’s actually Nature Friday, where we join the cute pups from Adventures of the LLB Gang in celebrating the wonderful moments in Nature.

Nature Friday

Elsa: Whatev. I still would love to go back to bed and resume dreaming but I know you never can pick up where you left off. So…whaddu got from Nature this week?

Norman: Well, dear sister…it was as Mum puts it…another yoyo week. We started out in the season of mud with a spot of Spring and then…well you know how it turned out.

Elsa: Oh yeah, I remember now {still yawning and stretching}. The dog run was a bit of a mess wasn’t it? Mom went crazy trying to keep our paws clean. Boy, she gets really wound up about muddy paw prints, doesn’t she?

Paw prints

Norman: Tell me about it…She grabbed me as soon as we came back inside with a chamois and began wiping me down. Ugh.

Elsa: Yeah, she nailed me too. Why are moms such clean freaks?

Norman: No clue. But the beginning of the week when she wasn’t zero-ing on my paw prints, she was squealing about something in the front garden.

Elsa: So that’s what she was doing. I heard her and when I looked at what she was checking out, I did the double, dog blink, rolled my eyes and walked back inside to steal one of your toys play with one of the new Christmas toys.

Norman: Mum told me she’s never seen anything like that in January. I had to look closely. Those little things were pretty small but I guess that shock of green really got her gardening juices flowing.

Hyacinths

Elsa: What the…what are those things anyway?

Norman:  I think she squealed they were Hyacinths. She shooed me away saying they were dangerous to us dogs.

Elsa: Yeah, like we’d ever chew on anything like that?

Norman: Ha, ha, ha…good one, Elsa. I may only have been here 3 years but Angel Sam told me stories about all the weird things you’ve eaten.

Elsa: Yeah, yeah…doggone blabbermouth…ugh. Back on point, brother…what else do you have about “Nature” this week?

Norman: Well, Ninja…a couple of days after Mum was crowing about those teeny, tiny little hyacinths growing, this happened .

Winter

Elsa: Yeah, more snow. Makes you wonder how those Hyacinths are doing now, doesn’t it? Back to winter temps and snow. But isn’t January the driest month in Denver? We’ve received the most snow this January in 30 years. What the dog?!

Norman: Tell me about it. You know how I feel about snow. I keep wondering what I’ve done to deserve all this white stuff?

Winter

Elsa: Guess Nature exacts a heavy toll on oaf brothers.

Snow on trees

Norman:  Well, that was kind of rude.

Snow on trees

Elsa: Hey, I don’t write the rules…they just…are. I only report them.

Icicle

Norman: It was sort of pretty, I guess. I’m glad Mum didn’t take me for a walk in it though. You know, I’ve got my aging joints to worry about.

Elsa: You’d come up with any kind of excuse to not have to go out in that weather. I, on the other hand, happily bounce outside. Snow doesn’t bother me, in fact, I love it.

Norman: There’s just no accounting for taste, is there?

Winter snow

Elsa: Wheeeeee! Bouncing through all that snow is what us Standards love to do.

Norman:  That’s not what Sam told me.

Elsa: Hey…he bounced with me on numerous occasions!

Norman: That may well be, but I think he’d prefer snuggling in Mum’s lap over shushing through drifts of snow. No matter how pretty it is.Snugglers

Elsa: You gotta admit, it sure makes for some comfy snoozing. Mom can go out walking and finding dripping icicles all she wants. Heck, I didn’t even mind sharing her lap with the likes of you.

Little icicles

Norman: You’re right, I’m right there with you little sister.

Elsa: Well that looks like that’s all from us this week. Mom did want me to tell everyone how much she appreciated all the kind thoughts and comments on whether she should continue to blog in the future. She was truly touched by everyone and that was the main reason she let us pen this week’s post in Nature Friday. Hopefully she’ll let us do more, I mean…after all, she’s a got a resident award-winning correspondent right in her house. I mean, how does it get any better than that?

Norman: {eyes rolling again} Yes, Ninja. She’s very lucky having us. Let’s wish everyone a great weekend. I personally hope everyone stays warm but fancies about in whatever Nature’s dishes out. I know Mum will. I just hope she lets me do what I do best (next to loving her).  Oh, and we want to wish everyone 新年快乐 (xīnnián kuàilè) a very Happy Chinese New Year.

Snoozing Norman

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ January 13, 2022

Welcome to the Friday the 13th edition of Nature Friday where we join our hosts over at Adventures of the LLB Gang for their weekly blog hop.

ElsaHey everyone, it’s me, Elsa, your world renown blog correspondent and gorgeous Ninja dog model, sharing some sights from around our neighborhood this week. But first, do you consider yourself superstitious when it comes to Friday the 13th?

As you may know, Friday the 13th happens when the 13th day of the month of the Gregorian calendar falls on a Friday, and that can happen at least once a year but can occur up to three times in a year. This year will have two-today and again this October, which both me and that oaf of a brother of mine think that month is spooky enough without a Friday the 13th on top of it. I dug around to find out more about the background surrounding Friday the 13th.

According to folklore, the number “13” is considered unlucky. Based on a Norse myth, 12 gods met for a dinner party in Valhalla. That mischief maker, Loki, who had not been invited, arrived as the 13th guest, and arranged for Höðr to shoot Balder with a mistletoe-tipped arrow. After Balder died, Earth became dark, and mourned and the day was thought to be a bad, unlucky day. Norse mythology believed the number 13 to be unlucky and both Fridays and the number 13 are considered unlucky in Western superisition.

But we’re not here to talk about superstitious days, we’re here to see what Nature looked like around our ‘Hood this week. It’s been fairly chilly this week but Mom met up with a friend and they strolled over to her favorite place, Sloan’s Lake for a nice walk around the lake.

Sloan's Lake

The lake was pretty solidly frozen and looking west you could see the beautiful, snow-capped Longs Peak, the 14,259-foot mountain located near Estes Park off in the distance. Did you know Longs Peak is the tallest point in both Boulder County as well as Rocky Mountain National Park?

Sloan's Lake

Looking east,. you can see the Denver skyline as well as critter tracks. I think the Canadian Geese were looking for potential breaks in the ice so they could paddle about in the water. The very thought that any living creature would actually want to get into the lake on a cold day seems insane to me. Heck I don’t like to get wet on warm days {shudder}.

As Mom and her friend rounded the lake, they noticed the boat ramp had partially collapsed in the frozen water. Mom didn’t know what happened, but figures once the ice melts, the city will be out to reset the pylons for the many boaters and paddle boarders that use the lake.

Sloan's Lake

Well that’s it for me this week. Mom is still trying to decide if she’ll continue blogging so I’m not sure when or if I’ll be back. She said she’s lost her mojo but I think she just needs a break. I’m always up for blogging and even Norman would happily pitch in. Maybe we should just stage a mutiny and take the whole thing over. What do you think?

We hope you can safely get out there to enjoy all the wondrous sights of Nature and don’t forget to check out what others shared at the link above. Have a great weekend and don’t walk under any ladders.

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 ~ December 9, 2022

Well, well, well…it’s Friday and you know what that means-it’s time for us to join our pals over at Adventures of the LLB Gang for their weekly Nature Friday blog hop.

Greetings, fellow Nature Lovers, ’tis I, Norman bringing you a few scenes from around our urban ‘Hood. Mum has been busy trying to catch up reading all your blogs while working at  holiday preparations like decorating (I do say, I’m rather embarrassed at her pitiful attempt and not convinced at all it should even be considered decorating but we’ll let her have that mantle if that makes her happy). She did put up a teensy little tree on the table and other than showcasing the special ornaments for me and my sister, you gotta admit it’s pretty dismal when it comes to Christmas decorations. I’ll give her credit-she’s been busy trying to catch up from being sick. But I hope she doesn’t tell anyone she’s decorated the house. Just say you’ve been busy, Mum and leave it at that, okay?

Christmas tree

Notice the little sock monkey she recently ordered for us me. Umm, I’m afraid I was so excited at playing with the little guy I ‘might’ have poked out a spot next to one eye. Mum said she’s transferring him to the toy hospital for repairs but she said because the hospital is full of other toys and sewing projects it may be awhile before I actually get to enjoy him again. {Sigh.} Fortunately there are enough other toys I can play with until monkey-boy is well enough to play with us me.

Christmas Ornament

Notice the handmade ornament made by Mum’s friend with my name on it. She is an artist and hand painted it just for me-isn’t it adorable! Mum dug out the felted poodle ornament so the Ninja would be represented on the tree as well. It’s kind of hard to see, just like her. Black dogs pose all sorts of visibility issues for human eyes. Sigh. It reminded Mum she’s going have to spiff Elsa up so she doesn’t look so much like a furry Muppet. I think she needs a bath in the worst way but she said she’s trying to dissuade Mum about that. It’s bad enough losing one’s furs let alone having to deal with water torture on top of that.

Christmas Poodle

Mum’s Christmas cactus seems to display more holiday spirit than Mum, bursting into full bloom even before Thanksgiving. The color is so welcome on these drab days heading toward winter.

Christmas Cactus

One of the first walks Mum was able to make after recovering from COVID was to a favorite neighborhood spot, Sloan’s Lake. It was a chilly day, there was a thin layer of ice on the water and even the normally sure-footed Canadian Geese were slip-siding around. Mum said they looked a bit like her hockey team who is struggling with gobs of injuries. Although it’s technically a color pic, it looks more black/white with shades of grey. That’s the way things look like this time of year unfortunately.

Sloan's Lake

Some people get into decorating their yards. Mum passed this house on the way to the lake. We’ve seen those giant guys and both my sister and I don’t get why they constantly make noise. We prefer a quiet neighborhood. Mum just shakes her head and whispers…”pssst’ whenever we walk by and then laughs loudly.

Christmas Yard Decor

Even the little shops nearby have gotten into the spirit. I always enjoy walking past the flower shop-they always have holiday decorations outside. We didn’t go inside which was fully decorated but I did do a full sniff around this guy. Mum made sure I didn’t ‘water’ him though. COVID seemed to make her extra grumpy about that. {huff}

Christmas

A couple blocks away, a historic church always puts up a 12-ft.  tree in their parking lot. It’s tastefully decorated with ornaments and lights and brings more holiday spirit to  the neighborhood. The snow is real but the tree is artificial.

Christmas decor

A bit of snow looks pretty but it makes a fair weather boy like me move slower. Mum said I’m getting older and she has to make sure I don’t spend a lot of time outside when it’s cold. You won’t get any arguments from me but I feel like I’m missing out on time spent with her even though she puts a coat on me to keep my hip joints warm.

Well mates, that’s about it for our look at nature in the city this week. We hope you are enjoying this magical time of year. Stay warm and enjoy seeing all the holiday sights in nature. Do you have special plans for the weekend? Mum said she’s going to start her baking. For my part, I plan on helping her by laying at her feet in the hopes of dropped morsels of tasty treats. She may even make some special treats for Elsa and me-won’t that be grand? Whatever you do, enjoy spending some time taking in the sights Nature gifts us.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ November 11, 2022

Norman & ElsaWelcome to this week’s edition of Nature Friday which just happens to fall on Veterans Day in the US. An official public holiday celebrated in the US annually on November 11, we  honor military veterans, that is, anyone who served in the United States Armed Forces. Also known as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day in other countries, it marks the anniversary of the end of World War I when the major hostilities formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. Prior to 1954, it was known as Armistice Day in the US and still is known by that name elsewhere. The Ranch Hands and I tip our hats to all veterans today so that we may be free. Red poppies are frequently worn to commemorate today but without any blooming poppies, we’ll serve up as different kind of flora and hope you don’t mind.

As always, we’re joining those fur-kids from Adventures of the LLB Gang for this weekly blog hop where people from around Blogville share slices of Nature.

This nimble little dude pretty much describes how the weather has been again this week. Up, down and all around throughout this week. It’s enough to make you dizzy.Yo-yo
We’re now well into the season of brown with countless leaves raining down on the landscape pretty much nonstop. Bags and bags full of leaves are primed to be recycled into luscious compost at the city leaf drop. But first, my back needs to chill after all that raking, which still isn’t complete but at least people can see the sidewalk once again.

With the up and down temps, imagine my surprise at seeing some colorful roses when visiting a friend yesterday. I can’t help but wonder how they fared overnight. When we woke up this morning it was a brisk 18ºF degrees. Brrrrrrr. Norman looked at me with an expression that suggested I was out of my mind. That may well be ole chap, but the truth remains, you need to make a pit stop. An audible harrumph may have been heard as he slowly meandered out to the dog run.

I’m always drawn to vibrant hues of pink in roses and this one punched my dance card nicely.

Flowers

Coming in on the beauty pagent of beautiful roses comes this peachy orange colored one. The fact that it was nicely highlighted in the autumn sunlight also made it worthy to share.

Flowers

But of the three, I think this one is my absolute favorite. Those beautiful shades of peach, pink and yellow spoke to me, saying it was the belle of the ball. And I had to concede that fact.

Flowers

Well that’s it from us. Do you still have roses blooming in your garden? What’s your favorite color of rose?

We hope you have a wonderful weekend but ask that you stop for a few moments and think about honoring veterans in some special way. After all, they are what makes our freedom possible. Whatever name you call it, we hope you have a safe and reflective Veteran/Armistice Day.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

 

 

 

 

 

Nature Friday ~ November 4, 2022

SkelliesWith Halloween in the rearview mirror, the skellies have mostly been put away (or seem to be focusing on upcoming holidays), welcome to the first Friday of November. As usual, we are joining the cuties from the LLB Gang for their weekly Nature Friday blog hop. Be sure to check out everyone’s take on Nature in their areas.

It was a glorious autumn week…well until the next season in the calendar lineup decided to make a cameo appearance, just to keep things real.

The trees continue to do ‘autumny’ things by changing colors and dropping leaves (in anticipation of the forecast storm, I raked and bagged leaves Wednesday before a doctor’s appointment so of course, Nature thought she’d prank me by immediately blowing an equal and new batch of leaves down on clean garden beds and sidewalks. Despite four enormously stuffed bags, it looked as if I hadn’t done a bloody thing. Oh, Mother Nature, you sure have a cruel sense of humor.

My doctor’s office is very near my old house in City Park and I always like to walk around before the appointment to see how my old Victorian is faring and how the neighborhood in general is doing. When I lived there back in the late 80’s/90’s it was considered a neighborhood in transition but seems to be enjoying the same development and renovating improvements that have occurred in my neighborhood. I enjoy walking around checking things out and strolling through beautifully manicured yards and garden beds. When I came across this plant, I knew I had to include it today. It was growing up between a garage and the sidewalk in a tiny sliver of dirt between the two. Talk about a showy beauty! Euonymus europaeus, commonly referred to as European spindle tree, is a beautiful ornamental shrub. I had never encountered it before in autumn but oh my heavens, am a huge fan now. No wonder birds and wildlife are drawn to its fruit and seeds. Just look at those colors!

Flowers

After finding that gorgeous beauty, I spotted this ‘lawn ornament’ a half a block away. It made me chuckle out loud.

Elephant

I mean, who wouldn’t want to have an elephant in their garden with an upended wine bottle to water the flowers?

From 70’sF  and sunshine on Wednesday to rain mixed with snow yesterday, the landscape morphed into a different kind of beauty. This was from pre-dawn this morning.

First snow As you can see, it got a bit nippy last night with the first icicles forming on the bird bath.
Bird bath

Well that’s about it from us this week. We’re looking forward to a sunny Friday and sunnier weekend with temps back in the 60’sF. Gotta love the yo-yo weather here in Colorado.

Got any special plans for the weekend? Whatever you do, we hope it’s fun and interesting and you make a point to get out and look around at all that Mother Nature shares. The good, the bad, the cold, whatever..it’s all amazing.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ October 14, 2022

Ranch HandsWelcome to this week’s edition of Nature Friday hosted by those cute hosts from Adventures of the LLB Gang. When you click on their link you’ll get to see what others around Blogville posted for this blog hop. This week the intrepid Ranch Hands take a look around the ‘Hood at trees in various stages of change in their colors.

Elsa: It’s about time, Mom. I was beginning to think you were putting me on waivers since I haven’t been able to contribute much lately.

Mom: Not at all, sweetie. Things have just been a bit crazy and well…you don’t have thumbs so.

Elsa: Whatever. Seems like a pretty lame-o excuse to me.

Norman: It’s ok, little sister. Look at bright side; we haven’t been vexed by writer’s block.

Elsa: Hmm, well there IS that. But then again, you would find the silver lining to a situation. How is it you always are so doggone cheerful and easy going?

Norman: I’m a proper, well mannered dog who heralds from the British Isles. We’re well known for having a stiff upper lip and all that.

Elsa:  Well all this chit chat isn’t sharing the changing leaves around the neighborhood, so let’s get this party started, shall we?

Norman: Quite, let’s go. First up, we noticed some trees can’t quite decide what color they want to be. Look at this one; it has a rainbow of colors. Yellow, green, burgundy…looks like it has it all. How brilliant is that?

Tree

Elsa:  That’s quite the specimen. I tend to lean toward the golden hued trees. Golds are often a trademark of autumn in Colorado trees.

Tree

Norman: Those golden trees are quite lovely and look exceptional against a clear blue sky. I know a lot of people are drawn to the reds when it comes to leaf viewing. Whoever said Colorado doesn’t do red, hasn’t looked hard enough.

Tree

Elsa: Umm, I think that might have been our, Mom.

Mom: {stuttering defensively} well, that’s NOT exactly what I said about leaves changing colors in autumn.

Elsa: Ha! Gotcha. Hee, hee, I love it when I’m right! Let me show you another specimen just a few steps along into our walk. Ain’t she a beauty?

Trees

Norman: I do love to water that tree, I mean, relish its beautiful color. And the shade it provides, it’s been a favorite of mine all summer.

Elsa: Shade…oh brother. You’re not fooling anyone. It is has bark, you love to ‘water’ it. It has nothing to do with beauty.

Norman: {somewhat miffed) I beg your pardon. I’ll have you know I possess a keen sense of aesthetics.

Elsa:  Yeah, right. Whatever it takes to make you feel better about yourself. Do you remember this tree we walked past the other day. I almost needed sunglasses it was so bright!

Trees

Norman: That one was pretty amazing. I was taken by this scene of ‘confetti’ we came upon just a few blocks away. Just look at those red leaves on the deep green grass carpet. Guess raking will be in the near future for a bunch of people. I do hope they don’t rake them all away…I do so love sniffing them. There are some very cracking smells in leaves!

Tree leaves

Elsa: I’ll give you that one. It made me want to face roll through those leaves. No trip around our ‘Hood would be complete this time of year without checking out some Halloween scenes. Yesterday Mom spied a very friendly black cat who was also checking out Halloween decor on a lovely afternoon.

Black cat

Norman: She was a real sweetie, wanting Mum to pet her and rub her ears. I was almost a tad jealous but then Mum gave us our own special ear rubs so everything was back to aces in my book.

Elsa: Us two black chicks just enjoying a groovy autumn afternoon. Yeah, talk about heaven. But what about the house that has all those skellies that get moved about in different scenes?

Norman: You’re so right, Ninja. Mum always has to stop and take a photo. And she always laughs. I’m not sure I get the humor of it all, but then again, skellies don’t hold much fascination for me anyway. Unless I can pee on it sniff at the corners or legs, I just don’t get it.

Halloween
A day at the beach

Elsa: I dunno…this beach scene seems out of place…I mean, there’s no waterfront despite sunning skellies, beach toys, gigantic lifeguard, flamingo and those snorkeling skellies among some piranhas who were out of view. Who thinks up things like this? {Huffs} Humans are just so weird!

Norman: You’ll get no arguments from me on that, little sister. Still, if it amuses Mum, it can’t be all bad, can it?

Elsa: I guess not. So I heard you’re doing a hospital Halloween festival tomorrow. You know dressing up in costumes will be required?

Norman: Quite true. I’m going as your friendly neighborhood fireman centerfold. Mum thought since I help people, it would be the perfect costume for me since I deliver smiles to people, plus I’m a knockout, or so I’m told.

Elsa: {eye rolling} More like it was the only costume large she could find.

Norman: I did try it on and it’s a wee bit small but Mum thought she could make it work so I won’t look too barmy. I’m not all that keen on dressing up but if it means making Mum and others happy, pencil me in.

Elsa: You’re such a brown nose.

Norman:  I’ll have you know my nose is actually black, sister.

Elsa: You. are. an. idiot. So readers…do you have any plans this weekend? We hope to get out and maybe look for more gorgeous trees changing color. Whatever you do, make sure you enjoy some of the amazing scenes in Nature.

Norman: Right-o. Enjoy!

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ October 7, 2022

HalloweenWheee…it’s been a wild and busy week but we managed to ‘hang’ there and make it to Friday which means it’s time to join Rosy from  “Adventures of the LLB Gang” for their weekly Nature Friday blog hop. Don’t forget to check out what others shared by clicking on the link.

This week I traveled south to see my Dad and to visit with a sister from flew in from Maryland to also visit with Dad. Let see what autumn looks like in southern Colorado, shall we?

NatureAutumn is in full swing along the Greenhorn mountains west of Pueblo and a beautiful alpenglow at sunrise silhouetted a lone pinon tree in the wide open space on the nearby Walker Ranch. Nature deftly adds some tawny buffalo grass among the prairie dog burrows and provides a serene and resplendent landscape.

Sunrises tend to be pretty spectacular down at Dad’s anyway and they certainly haven’t disappointed this week. Everything seems to glow in the autumn air.

Sunrisew
Rise and shine!

Prairie grasses are illuminated in the early morning light while my favorite tree continues to remain stately just a couple of hours later. You may recall I’ve featured this tree before and it continues to blow me away, given that it is estimated to be over 700 years old, yet it still soldiers on. And as is so typical in these parts, a beautiful blue bird colored sky makes for a great backdrop for added emphasis.

Pinion treeRabbit brush

Down the road a large patch of rabbitbrush is in full bloom and provides a safe habitat for neighboring bunnies and other small creatures. One dashed out in front of me as I headed up the hill but was so fast I couldn’t even grab my cell phone quick enough to capture it. But like all the rabbits around Dad’s house, it was furry and adorably cute with a signature white powder puff of a tail. Wouldn’t it be nice to be as energetic so early in the day? But all was not lost on spotting critters. I did find these guys on the afternoon walk. I’m a total sucker for whimsical lawn art.

Critters

Plus keeping up with them is never a problem and they happily pose for pics.

Critters

They may not be actual living creatures, but they still provide  a nice smile nonetheless.

We hope autumn is beautiful in your neck of the woods (or plains, as the case may be). Do you have any special plans for the weekend? Whatever you do, I hope you’re able to take some time to enjoy this beautiful time of year.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ September 30, 2022

Well, will you lookie here…it’s Friday and that means we’re joining our ‘fur-iends’ from Adventures of the LLB Gang for this week’s edition of Nature Friday. Don’t forget to click on the link to see what others shared.

Autumn is unfolding each and every day with a new scene in the 303 and we managed to find all sorts of signs of it this week on our walkabouts. This week’s offering is somewhat of a catch-as-catch can, with some unusual sightings from around the ‘Hood. First off, as Norman and I arrived at the hospital we came across something unlike anything I’d ever seen before. Like most hospital parking lots, there are a few trees placed around the parking lot. One of the trees along the far perimeter has been on a downward spiral for at least the past year. This past spring it appeared this poor wretched tree looked like it had finally given up the ghost. I always feel badly whenever I see that a tree that has died but I wasn’t prepared for what I saw. Well I’m not sure what it’ll mean in the grand scheme of life but this scrappy little tree started blooming like it was April. Weirdest thing I’ve ever seen. I had to go back after passing it to get a closer look to see if those were actually blooms among the skant few leaves. Sorry about the blur, I was so blown away, I didn’t get the camera to focus as well as I should have.

Tree

When we’re out walking the neighborhood, I like to keep my eyes open for interesting things and that sure seems to fit the bill but it wasn’t the only unusual thing we saw this week. Wisteria is ever so lovely in the spring, but in late summer it can produce bean-like pods. I’d never noticed them in past years, but it sure caught my eye this week. Kinda weird, huh? Given that Halloween is just a month away, it kind of reminded me of a scene from the Bodysnatchers.

Flowers

Last weekend was the end of the season for most of the Farmers Markets in the metro area. A friend and I went to the one in Old Towne Arvada and apart from the typical booths with handmade craft items as well as fresh produce, various flowers caught my attention while we walked around and took in a picture perfect day. Just check out this pretty strawflower and coleus.

Flowers

With autumn’s arrival, a few mushrooms have begun to pop up. When I saw them on this slight grassy incline, they remind me of an air filter on a car. More weird things around the ‘Hood.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms

Changing leaves is a sure sign of autumn and the Virginia creeper always delivers. The reds are always eye catching.

Flowers

Lastly are a couple a pollinators we saw in the yard. The dogs paid no attention but I kept following the Hummingbird Hawk moth through the Plumbago. They tend to be fairly elusive buggers…big but very flighty.

Pollinators

And finally, as I was working in the garden tidying up a few areas, I came across the fattest bumblebee I’ve seen in a long time. This guy had been apparently working very hard as he was carrying large bags of pollen on his body though you can’t see them from this vantage point.

Pollinators

One of the true signs that autumn has arrived is when a neighbor’s begins his annual display of ‘skellies.’ Every morning when we walk past this house, the guy has arranged them differently. I laugh out loud every morning. The guys on the roof especially crack me up.

Halloween

So all and all, it was an interesting first full week of Autumn. How was yours? Find any interesting things? We hope you have a fantastic weekend. We’re sending loads of thoughts and prayers to all those affected by monster hurricane Ian and pray for all those in this path.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ September 23, 2022

Welcome to the first edition of Autumn 2022 where we’re joining those cute hosts from Adventures of the LLB Gang. Don’t forget to click on the link to see what others around Blogville posted for this blog hop.

Yesterday was the official arrival of Autumn, our favorite season and it’s already started to show up in small slices around the 303. A couple of days of some very welcome rain this week probably helped the process though small spots of leaves starting to turn have been noticed for the past several days.

Taking another trip down to Sloan’s Lake, let’s see what Nature served up for us this week, shall we?

As I entered the park, the honey locusts trees practically shouted with spots of yellow brilliance. They are one of the first trees to show signs of the changing seasons and their honey gold leaves appearing in a few spots called out to me.

Changing leaves

Autumn is the season of transition from summer to winter in the Northern Hemisphere and marks shorter days, cooler temperatures and a change in leaf color as deciduous trees begin their annual leaf shedding.

Trees

Like pots of paint from an artist’s pallet, spots of color show up each day while wildlife prepares for the upcoming season of change as well. Squirrels seem to gather more (i.e. they seemingly become more brazen about their garden raids). This little guy was determined to photobomb my golden moment by barking his self-righteous displeasure at me as I walked around the tree attempting to find the best angle.

Squirrels weren’t the only critters spotted in the park. Different kinds of birds cruised by searching for whatever they nosh upon.

Birds

Some just rested in the morning hours, waiting for their opportunity to rifle through trash bins once the morning visits went about their days. These guys refused to yield their space even as I moved closer. Clearly they didn’t view me as any threat.

Gulls

These ducks demonstrated the adage, ‘any ole port in a storm’ will suffice as I walked near the shoreline, although they kept one eye always open and focused on whether I made any sudden moves toward them.

Ducks

Nature is marvelous as it transitions into another season. Crab apple trees produce hips for the local critters to stock up on. The supply chain seems fairly robust around the lake.

Trees

Sharing the bounty of the summer, trees also produces some interesting seed pods. No clue as to what this tree is, but found the seed pods fascinating as well as colorful. It was like seeing fireworks, without the noise.

Trees

Colorado is well known for its quaking aspen’s brilliant gold shimmering in a blue sky but there are some elements of red and orange to be found that dominate the season in the Midwest and eastern states. This holly along the sidewalk hellstrip beaconed me to inspect it more closely. The shock of color provides us uprights with a beautiful scene while producing fruit for birds and other critters.

Holly leaves

This tree just can’t seem to commit to one color, with a few yellow and orange leaves as well as a canopy of red ones.

Changing leaves

This milkweed caught my eye providing quite a curious show with it’s cottony seed pods. Those seeds should provide new plants for butterfly meals next summer.

Milkweed

While Autumn officially arrived this week, the Ranch Hands and I expect to enjoy some Indian Summer weather this weekend and hope for a visit to checkout the changing aspens in the high elevations. What plans do you have for the first weekend of Autumn? Whatever you do, we hope there’s some exploring the gorgeous pallet that Nature shares this time of year.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾