Nature Friday ~ May 13, 2022

Ranch HandsHappy Friday! Norman and Elsa here to help Mum out by sharing some nature from around the ‘Hood. Friday is generally the day most of us look forward to as it’s usually the gateway to a relaxing weekend spent with our families, many of whom work weekdays. Today would be the same, unless of course you happen to have friggatriskaidekaphobia-that irrational fear of Friday the 13th. The good news is today is the only Friday the 13th in 2022 and since it is a Friday afterall, it’s better than any Monday whatever, right? Did you know that Friday the 13th occurs whenever a month begins on a Sunday? All well and good but today is also Nature Friday around Blogville so we’re here to share the beauty of nature, and we’re not going to worry about crossing paths of black cats, walking under ladders or broken mirrors. Elsa: “Cats…where?!” Norman: “Nevermind the cats, Ninja”…let’s just join our pals, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard to see what’s happened lately naturewise in the Mile High City.

It was another windy week but that reality won’t stop us from sharing unusual gardenscapes this week from around our ‘Hood.

Gardens in the metro area are as diverse and fascinating as the people who tend them. Elsa: You mean weird, don’t you? Norman: “Well that’s somewhat rude to say. I like to think of them more as creative souls, expressing themselves. They can range from meticulously maintained flower beds at the Denver Botanical Gardens to pint sized plots on teeny lots with monstrous mansions on them and everything in between. Let’s take a closer look, shall we? Here’s an example of a perfectly tended bed from DBG. Notice the symmetry and formality?”

Flowers
Tulip bed near the front entrance to the Denver Botanical Gardens

Elsa: “Yeah, yeah, but where’s the flower bed with bunnies?” Norman: “Oh, for heaven’s sake.”

One of the things we keep our eyes peeled for when we’re out wandering about are unusual plants and whimsical garden decor. Elsa: “Not me, I’m looking for bunnies and squirrels you big oaf.” Norman: “Ugh…focus, please!” We came across a small group of trees that just blew mum away with its ‘camouflage’ bark. American Sycamores are stately trees with unusual looking bark. Norman: “They smell nice.” Elsa: Everything has a nice smell to it where you’re concerned. Sometimes I think you’re a Bloodhound, not an Old English Sheepdog.”

Tree
American Sycamore Tree

Mum always manages to find unusual sights on our walks. She likes to check out those gardeners who are clever and original. For some reason, she’s begun to notice of a lot of gardeners decorating their trees like this neighbor who lives around the corner from the Ranch. Norman: “Hey, if it’s a canine bulletin board, count me in.” Elsa: “Look at that weirdo face. I think a cat must have been here earlier this week.” Norman: {eye roll}.

Trees
Ponderosa Pine with Face

Some gardeners think whimsy should be part of their design. Norman: I thought I should investigate what this dog was sniffing until Mum said it wasn’t a real dog.” Elsa: “Yeah, there wasn’t even a treat in that hole or flowers in the pots. What kind of scam is that?”

Garden Decor
Hey, where’s the bunny?

Some ‘gardeners’ have more success with paint brushes than with trowels. A nearby neighbor paints ‘house tattoos.’ She guarantees her creations require no water and will always bloom.

Art
House tattoo by a neighborhood artist

Fairy houses are popping up everywhere, probably a sign of the housing crunch that’s rampant everywhere. The square footage may be minimal, but the cuteness factor runs large.

A newly constructed Fairy house

A neighbor who’s new to the block has a toddler and as they tell it, they’re often too busy trying to keep up with the little tyke, so they installed a small potted garden for flowers on their corner lot that is otherwise turf. Norman: I keep waiting to introduce myself to the dog named ‘Cat’ but haven’t seen him or her yet. Elsa: Cat??? Where? Why are you torturing me by bringing up mythical cats again?”

Flowers
‘Cat,’ the nice dog’s potted garden

Norman: It’s clear, Elsa sees gardens differently than me or mum. But we still hope you enjoyed some of the more whimsical gardens around our neighborhood. Elsa: “Yeah if anyone knows where I can actually find a cat or a bunny, please let me know. That stupid oaf of a brother can’t seem to dish on their whereabouts.”

Mum: Ok, you two, that’s enough. We hope you enjoyed our little tour with some of the different gardens around and liked the tour the Ranch Hands conducted. Just like gardeners here, their ideas are as different as night and day. Hopefully you will be able to spend some time outside this weekend looking for beauty from around your own neighborhood. Have a ‘pawsome’ weekend!

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ May 6, 2022

If yesterday’s stock market dive has left you feeling a bit stressed, then hopefully this week’s Nature Friday edition will provide some comfort. As usual we’re joining our fur-pals, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard. Hopefully these new pics from the Denver Botanical Gardens will be the antidote that can help restore your zen.

Norman & Elsa curated these images from my favorite area within Denver Botanical Garden’s grounds. Despite the fact the Ranch Hands are not being able to enjoy the beauty first hand (dogs are not permitted unless they are bona fide service dogs), it’s a place full of peaceful calm and serenity. Let’s go straight to the zen, shall we?

First, a little bit of historical info about the garden called Shofu-En, or “Garden of the Pine Winds.” Located in the northwestern corner of DBG, the Japanese Garden was designed by Koichi Kawana over 40 years ago (he also designed Japanese gardens in San Diego, Chicago, and St. Louis). Kawana transplanted over 100 locally sourced ponderosa pines that had been stunted by harsh, windy conditions in the Roosevelt National Forest near Boulder, Colorado. Some of the smaller trees are more than 200 years old and are meticulously maintained to preserve their size and shape through trimming and tying of their branches.

Kawana also designed the teahouse, that was originally built in Japan, disassembled and rebuilt on the site. In the 40 years I’ve lived in the metro area, I’ve only seen the tea house in use between the fence slats just once for a private group. Without sufficient access to the fenced area, I’ve never really been able to get a decent picture but learned tea ceremonies are held during summer months, pre-registration is required and it’s already sold out for the 2022 season.

There are several features that distinguish a Japanese garden. This little fella, camped out near the “Bee Hotel” featured in last week’s post, sweetly shouted them out as I moved toward the garden. Overall, the keys are: keep it natural, simple and uncluttered.

Critters
Welcome visitors..

Japanese gardening offer simple, peaceful spaces that promote contemplation and serenity. The space can be small or large but always focuses on natural elements to provide a relaxing retreat, underscoring nature’s impact on the space.

Japanese garden
Order and serenity are a hallmark of Japanese garden design.
Flowers
Welcome to the Japanese Garden

Beautifully raked areas are often a prominent feature in a Japanese garden. No wonder dogs cannot accompany their owners. With Norman’s big paws, this area’s serenity and order would be undone in no time.

With Denver’s climate of being considered a mountain desert, a dry garden is in perfect harmony with Japanese garden design. It’s easy to slowly meander across the bridge while walking around a small water feature that feeds into the lake. Spaces are meant for viewing nature, provide balance and inspiring peaceful meditation.

Japanese garden
Boulders and a small  bridge adds to the zen feeling.

The pièce de résistance centerpiece of the garden is the pond and this redbud tree highlights it beautifully with spring color.

Japanese Garden
Calm at the pond area.
Pond
Evergreen trees surround the pond.
Bells
Japanese bells.
Bells
Temple Bells.

These temple bells were provided by a generous DBG patron. They are exquisite and one can only imagine the sound they could make when struck.

Koi pond
Koi enjoying a spot of sun.

No Japanese garden is complete without a Koi pond. These guys slowly meander about adding to the whole peacefulness of the space.

I hope this short tour lowered your blood pressure and just in time for a Mother’s Day celebration this weekend. Everyone at the Ranch wish mum’s everywhere, a lovely day with meaningful time with their children, whether they have two or four feet.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark!  🐾

The ‘Dogtor’ Is In ~ National Pet Therapy Edition

National Pet Therapy Day

Happy Saturday and welcome to a special post we are honored to sponsor today relating to the celebration of National Pet Therapy Day. Normally we don’t post on Saturday’s but this is a subject very near and dear to our heart. So get ready…there are a lot of pictures here so you might want to grab a cuppa of something tasty, sit back and see out how Norman celebrated his first National Pet Therapy Day. Special thanks to Ann at Zoolatry for the ‘wagnificent’ badge celebrating today.

Norman

Dogtor NormanAs a hospital ‘Dogtor’ Norman regularly visits patients and staff at a local medical center which includes a hospital, hospice and mental health center every month. We try to raise awareness by educating the public on the role therapy animals play in enhancing health and well-being of humans-be they patients or staff and bring a bit of comfort to all we encounter. A few days ago, the hospital hosted a special event in support of National Pet Therapy Day.

Various pet therapy teams assembled outside the front entrance of the hospital to meet and greet visitors and staff.The event was extra festive as the Volunteer Department provided a dog-bone shaped cake for the dogs with treat bags for them and their handlers. The cake must have been quite tasty judging by all those slurping tongues among the attendees.

Cake

Bindee
Our pal, Bindee, has the longest tongue I’ve ever seen on such a little dog.

Dogs

It was great seeing the dogs together with their owners. When Sam and I began pet therapy over eight years ago, there were more than 50 dogs. The passage of time has sadly thinned our ranks and we’re down to just over a dozen ‘Dogtors” these days. But there is a diverse variety of pure and mixed breeds in the program from tiny Chihuahua Bindee, to ginormous OES Norman along with Corgi Zoe;  miniature poodle, Roxie; Golden Retriever Rylie; yellow Lab Fiona; Italian Spinone, Bella; and agility champion Shetland Sheepdogs, Logan and Bismark. One of Norman’s favorite pals is Oreo, a sweet Shih Tzu who had been very sick earlier this year but who has recovered and returned back to work. Also in attendance were deaf dog Spanish Galgo Greyhound, Penny. Other therapy dogs not in attendance include Bellaroo, a Lab/Husky/Border Collie mix; Corgi-mix, Teagan; Coco, a retriever mix; GoldenDoodle, Dolly; and Standard Poodle, Indie. All the dogs are loved by patients and staff alike.

Fiona
Pet therapist Fiona with her handler.
Norman
Norman with Roxie, Zoe, Logan, and Bismark (L-R).

The pet therapy teams initially milled about catching up and greeting one another as well as visitors and staff before cake was served.

Norman & Oreo
Norman greets pal, Oreo.
Norman
Norman with the ‘Pawparazzi’

The ‘pawparazzi’ always show up for events like this. Not only is Norman the largest dog in the program, he’s also the furriest with a soft coat that begs to be touched.

Norman

Norman loves everyone and is always a hit with kids, young and old alike. He’s also a favorite of Kyle, the hospital valet attendant who always spoils him with lots of attention.

Norman

Norman

Cake

That cake looked tasty enough for humans to eat but was especially baked for the dogs. [Note the blue tongue from the frosting on Bindee-probably safe to say she liked it.]

Bindee
Bindee and her blue blep.
Norman
How come I got such a tiny little piece of cake, mum?
Norman & Roxie
Roxie and Norman.

Once everyone had their fill of cake, treats and attention, we had a mini-parade near the hospital entrance. Norman and Roxie were co-Grand Marshalls. Roxie, being the ultimate professional she is, followed the route perfectly. Norman, ever the gentlemen, let her lead…but I think mostly because he had to stop and visit with each photographer and well-wisher along the route. He may also have also been hunting for more treats.

Roxie

All in all it was a fun event enjoyed by all attendees. While Norman isn’t officially ‘certified’ through Alliance of Therapy Dogs or any other therapy group, I have no doubt he could easily pass any certification exam. He loves people and always seems ready to bring a smile to their face.

What about your dog…do you think he or she could be a therapy dog? To be clear, all of our therapy dogs are evaluated twice a year by board certified vets to make sure they are up for the task and each handler must pass an annual safety exam to ensure they are up to date on all hospital rules as well as all HIPAA regulations.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ April 29, 2022

Welcome to the last Nature Friday post for April. As always, we’re joining our fur-pals, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard.

Ranch HandsThis week (and likely for a few future weeks) we’re going to share images from the Denver Botanical Gardens. Let’s get started.

Today we’ll be highlighting some of the amazing things to see from the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory at the gardens, starting with the building.

Denver Botanical Gardens
Image courtesy of Tom Churchill

This concrete and Plexiglas paneled structure, designed in 1964 by Denver architects Victor Hornbein and Ed White Jr., opened in 1966. Named to honor local benefactor Claude Boettcher of Ideal Cement Company, it became a Denver Landmark in 1973 and contains more than 11,000 sq. ft. of plants from tropical and subtropical regions, as well as a concrete fabricated two-story banyan tree offering a multi-layered view of the tropical forest.

When you first enter the conservatory there is a small aquarium with D. tinctorius “Azureus”  (Blue Dart Poison Frog), who has bright blue skin with dark spots. With glands producing poisonous alkaloids which can paralyze and sometimes kill a potential predator, these little guys (reaching approximately 3.0-4.5 cm in length) live in the rainforest of Brazil and feed on ants, beetles, flies, mites, spiders, termites, maggots, and caterpillars. Spots are unique to each frog. These frogs are territorial and aggressive toward their own as well as others and their toxins have been used on the tips of arrows darts of natives.

Denver Botanical Gardens

Sorry about the glare, the aquarium has a ceiling light above it but they are kind of cute little guys.

Denver Botanical Gardens

{Shudder} We’re not sure we’d like toxic frogs less threatening so let’s see something else, shall we?

Bromeliads are tropical plants that adapt to various climates. Their foliage takes different shapes, from needle-thin to broad and flat, symmetrical to irregular, spiky to soft and usually grows in a rosette, are widely patterned and colored, ranging from maroon, through shades of green, to gold. Varieties may have leaves with red, yellow, white or cream variations. Did you know that pineapples are a type of bromeliad?

Mum couldn’t find an identifying tag in the humid conservatory but loved this bright pink one nonetheless.

Denver Botanical Gardens

Lots of you are bakers and probably use vanilla when baking but did you know that the vanilla flavoring come from an orchid? Mum buys the pods, and makes her own extract.

Denver Botanical Gardens Denver Botanical Gardens

Mum was totally captivated by this beautiful Travelers Palm (Ravenala Madagascariensis) which fanned across a large area of the conservatory. Isn’t that symmetry something else?

Denver Botanical Gardens

Well, that’s it for this week. Join us next time for another post highlighting scenes from the Denver Botanical Gardens. With the weather being far more pleasant we hope to get outside to enjoy some of Nature’s wondrous treasures. Do you have any special plans?

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ April 22, 2022

Welcome to this week’s episode of Nature Friday where we join Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard.

Spring finally sprung in the 303 and apparently decided to do double-time to make up for her slow arrival, while the upper Midwest and Northeast decided to take a step back and revisit Winter. Meanwhile Spring lasted about a hot minute with emphasis on the hot and now has decided to confer with her cousin, Summer. The Ranch has once again traveled to the family homestead in Southern Colorado where temperatures will reach the low 90’s today. And yes, that’s 9-0, as in too freakin’ hot for April. Why, oh why does Nature punish the Front Range with hot temps and low moisture is far beyond my paygrade so I guess I’ll just move straight to some of the things we saw around the ‘Hood this week.

For those few moments Spring was actually in town, welcome sights greeted anyone who took the time to check them out. Last week I had intended to share a pic from the cold hardy magnolia a tree from down the street but was unable due to computer issues so because they’re so pretty, I’m including one today. This tree had been zapped a couple of times with chilly temps (and thus some browning around the edges) but managed to show why it’s worth sharing this week. When it first started blooming a few years ago, the blossoms were a light creamy color but now they are more yellow in recent years. Still, it’s a lovely sight to behold. The only shortcoming is it doesn’t have the typically divine scent that magnolia trees have in the South. But when you look like Sophia Loren, people don’t criticize you. No one.

Flowers

Flowering trees showed why gardeners enjoy planting them. This crabapple tree was covered in blooms apparently so yummy as to beg for pollinators to nosh on their sweet nectar.

Trees

A visit to a local garden center showed some stunning Ranunculus asiaticus, as early blooming perennials are beginning to arrive. These double flowered beauties heralding from the eastern Mediterranean region are simply stunning in the ornamental garden.

Flowers

The Ranch Hands appreciated some ‘breezy walks’ this week (which translates to windy as all get out) among some showy Creeping Phlox and even posed nicely together. Apparently miracles do happen and not just in hockey. Imagine wrangling two squirmy dogs not all that keen on touching one another while holding their leashes tightly so they don’t chase a nearby squirrel, focusing a cell phone in between hands also holding a full bag of poop ready to be ditched in a bin and this is one extraordinary image despite its less than stellar composition. Yeah, I’m bowing now and patting myself on the back, you betcha.

Ranch Hands

The Ranch Hands and I have been keeping our eyes peeled for wildlife. Yesterday while Norman was playing co-Grand Marshall with another pet therapy dog leading a parade at a hospital event, we spied a goose who was roosting over 6 eggs in a planter near the front entrance. Mama Goose was not pleased with the people or their dogs and hissed warnings at us. A quick unimpressive snap and we off we went after she made it clear we were not welcome. Next week we’ll share pictures celebrating the National Pet Therapy Day.

Goose

Well that’s it from the Ranch this week. We hope those of you who received a blast from Winter are now enjoying better Spring days and we are praying for all those in the western US dealing with wildfires. Hope you are able to get outside this weekend and enjoy all the beauty Nature shares. Go forth and enjoy.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ April 1, 2022

Happy Fri-Yay and thanks for joining us and our friends Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard for this week’s Nature Friday blog hop. It may be April Fool’s Day on the calendar, but nature isn’t fooling around as she continues to deliver some lovely surprises associated with early Spring.

It was another week of a bit of everything where the weather is concerned. But nature seems to be at least trying to nudge  flowers from their winter beds. After a few days of cloudy days, chilly temps and a little bit of rain, the Ranch Hands and I woke up to glorious clear blue-bird skies. When it’s sunny and clear, all seems right.

Blue skies

While you can see buds on the tree (upper left hand corner) in front of this architectural wonder near downtown, other trees and shrubs are moving full steam ahead. I came across a small holly bush that was beginning to bloom.

Flowers

And then there are some trees that are hanging on to last year’s bounty left for the birds. Some people don’t find those scenes as interesting as I do but I love that texture.

Trees

I think this ‘dude’ is firmly grounded in the perplexed category as he resides next to that tree at a nearby elementary school community garden. It was abuzz with activity this week as garden plots were being cleaned up getting ready for early vegetable plantings.

Statute

Daffodils, hyacinths and tulips flash their pretty at a nearby neighbor’s garden that receives plenty of sunshine with great southern exposure. With my large trees, things are still mostly brown in my garden but I can admire others who are lucky to have great sun exposure.

Flowers

Glory of the Snow or scilla (Scilla luciliae) popped up along one of my walks and it was truly beautiful. I don’t see a lot of  these plants but intend to look for some bulbs this autumn when I add to my spring bulbs. Heralding from western Turkey, they are one of the earliest (and in my mind, prettiest) flowering bulbs.

Flowers

After another busy week, I found myself strolling around in the baby blue grape hyacinths to chill and reflect as I watched the bees happily noshing on the blue buffet. This spot always makes me stop and ponder the beauty of the surrounding plants. These bulbs continue to naturalize throughout the garden, much to my amusement. It’s like nature is moving the furniture around and who am I to argue with her design skills? I’ll save that argument for the lupine that’s beginning to emerge (in the foreground). I removed buckets of them last autumn as its naturalization throughout the garden has gotten far more than a ‘bit carried away.’ I’m hoping to encourage it to live politely rather than invasively, but so far it hasn’t seemed to respond to my criticism of “You’re not freaking dandelions, so stop popping up in every little nook and cranny and give the other plants a break!’

Flowers

Some of the reseeding annuals from last autumn are beginning to emerge (or are being planted) around the ‘Hood for some early seasonal color. I found some pansies amidst dried leaves and grass yesterday afternoon. Their cheerful faces provided a nod from me because, who doesn’t love those sweet little faces and color in the dried, brown vestiges from last year?

Flowers

Well, that’s about it from the Ranch for this week. We hope you’re seeing signs that spring has indeed sprung, despite the cycle of one nice day with the next day a visit from mean Uncle Winter. Makes you want to yell “STOP THAT NOW!” But around here we know snow is always a possibility over the next month, so we’ll just try to coexist with it. Have you got any plans for fun this weekend? Me, I’m just going to celebrate my baby sister’s birthday today (albeit from afar until she arrives for a visit later this month). Happy birthday, Kathy. Hope your day is as lovely as a spring day (sans snow). Love you.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ March 25, 2022

Happy Friday! Thanks for joining us and our friends Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard for this week’s Nature Friday blog hop. It’s been a super hectic week with Nature throwing just about everything at us together with lots of commitments and appointments. When Norman went to hospital earlier this week, there was a little bit of snow with chilly temps. We were nearly blown away by gusty winds over the past couple of days but managed to find some elements of spring now that it has officially arrived. Even though they were small changes, they were still most welcome.

Flowers

Small specks of green caught my eye on yesterday’s walk and to say I was surprised to see this lilac bush beginning to leaf out, would be a big understatement.

Even a nearby Yew tree showed signs of renewal, with fresh new sprigs of green along with its beautifully textured bark.

Flowers

Don’t get me wrong, there’s still plenty of drab to be seen as this clump of crocuses with that shock of color sprouting in some ornamental grass and fallen leaves shows, but it was just the right pop of color to encourage me to be on the lookout for more like it.

Flowers

And then it happened…a full on blast of spring I’ve been looking for to prove spring is coming, was discovered. I spotted the first blooming tulip over at my neighbor’s house. Seeing it proves that spring is indeed moving forward. Of course, that other season (who shall not be named), will no doubt make a few cameo appearances (goodness knows we can use it) but there’s nothing like spring’s hopeful signs of renewal and rebirth to brighten one’s spirits. We plan to enjoy it, especially since temps will likely reach 80ºF this weekend.

Flowers

What are your plans for the weekend? Anything fun on tap? We plan to relax and rejuvenate after a busy week but will keep our eyes open for more signs of spring. Whatever you do, we hope you will enjoy a similar encounter.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ March 18, 2022

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

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

Flowers

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

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

Flowers

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

Flowers

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

Snow

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

Snow

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

Snow

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

Snow

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

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

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ March 11, 2022

Better late than never, right? Sorry we’re late getting this published. This week’s offering is fairly slim/grim as it was doggone freezing and blanketed in snow, making picture taking impossible. I had to put my thinking cap on to share any nature pics that weren’t cold and/or white.

The day before the cold and white set in, I made a quick last minute visit down to my dad’s house with my oldest granddaughter who wanted to spend her day off with him. He was absolutely delighted to see her and hear all about her recent engagement. She brought one of her pooches, Marley, who is one of the most engaging pups around and loves to show off his repertoire of cute tricks. Everyone loves him and my 91-year old dad was no exception.

Family
Put me down so I can show off

As usual, we are joining our pals, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard. Remember to click on the link to see what others have shared.

So let’s get to it, shall we? As I mentioned, I decided to spare you a(nother) post of snow pics (you’re welcome) which meant I had to dig deep into the photo archives for something else. Given that I visited my dad this week, I couldn’t help but share this tiny little blue bird I saw on a previous visit. Isn’t it totally adorable? It captivated me with its striking blue color since there’s nothing like them in the city. The image itself wasn’t all that great since it was photographed through the windows and I couldn’t risk disturbing him by going outside for an up close look.

Birds

I had originally thought of sharing some interesting shadow pics I have but then realized they had snow as well, so one little bird is all I can offer this week. Hopefully with a forecast of warmer temps beginning tomorrow, I’ll be able to do better next time.

Before we go, we want to remind you that it’s that time of year again (at least in the US) when we try to alter time change the clocks. Oh the plus side in the minds of many dogs and cats, dinner will be served an hour early, on the other hand, they’ll be losing an hour of beauty sleep this weekend. I hope the sunshine on Sunday is worth it. DST makes me crabbish and takes some time for my bio-rhythms to adjust. #bahhumbug

DST Well, that’s it from us. We hope you are able to suss out some nature scenes this weekend. Don’t forget to “Spring Forward” for Daylight Saving time Saturday night before you go to bed. We hope the hour less of sleep doesn’t make you too cranky and you’re able to enjoy the sunshine later on Sunday.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ March 4, 2022

Welcome to the first edition in March to the Nature Friday blog hop, where we join our New Mexico hosts, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard. Make sure you stop by the clicking on their link to see what others are sharing.

SpringLast week, the Mile High spent most of it suffering in brutally cold conditions with multiple days in a row of snow. Total accumulations were between 8-10 inches.  Apparently this week, Mother Nature reconsidered and then decided an about face might be appropriate, apparently trying to make up for being so bloody harsh and mean last week.Spring

Yesterday morning’s walk showed how she was trying to make up by being pretty and nice. Look at that lovely clump of early blooming crocuses.

Spring

No doubt Mother Nature thought all could be forgiven if she merely provided a burst of beautiful color with some reticulated irises. Well…okay…maybe. Sights like this make you begin to think perhaps all those previous HBO thoughts you had weren’t warranted after seeing gorgeous deep purple crocuses with those vibrant, brightly colored stamens. Sigh, how can you stay mad with Mother Nature when she delivers days like this?

Spring

With sunny, warm days like these, one could easily be seduced into thinking Spring was just around the corner ready to burst forward. And then you hear the weekend forecast foretelling of the age-old battle between Winter and Spring duking it out with two back-to-back storms colliding in the metro area beginning later tonight with accumulations of 2-5 inches, depending on where you live. This, following record-tying temperatures in the mid-70’sF this week.  In March! Today will be fairly nice again (albeit dreary) until this afternoon when the first front moves in with a splatter of moisture.

Weather

And then the bungee cord snaps your head back in the ongoing battle between the seasons here…often referred to as “Springtime in the Rockies.”

Join us next week when we share a big announcement-it’s gonna be ‘pawsome!’

Whatever you do this weekend, we hope you get check out to see what Nature has to offer-whichever season she deigns to share.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾