Nature Friday ~ May 26, 2023

Blimey, is it really the last Friday of May? Norman here along with the Ninja…

Elsa: {Interrupting} Hey, I thought I was going open this week’s  edition of Nature Friday. What the dog!?

Norman: Oops, sorry mate. My bad. By all means get us going but make sure you include the opening, ok?Nature FridayElsa: Pfft…as if I need a reminder. Do you know who you’re dealing with here? I’m the world-renowned professional correspondent, not some rube. But {switching to a horrible British accent} to satisfy your ‘unconventional British’  eccentricities…but for the record, we’re joining our pals, Rosy and Sunny from the LLB Life. Don’t forget to click on the link to see what others have shared. There, are you happy now?

Norman: I think it’s good to be proper though I’m not sure where you came up with that accent. For the record, that’s not a very good imitation of Hermione Granger. There’s nothing wrong with following protocol.

Elsa: Yeah, whatever…but I ‘for the record’ I thought I did a superb Hermione Granger but let’s get this show on the road. I ain’t got all day, I got squirrels to harass monitor, okay?!

Norman: Mum’s not going to be thrilled to hear you’re planning to ‘monitor’ the local rodents. So…what do you have to share?

Elsa: The irises in our neighborhood are really coming into their own now and our Mom likes those that are atypical. Just check out this purple/red and orange one, called “Supreme Sultan.” Don’t think I’ve seen one like that before.


Norman: Golly, talk about a gobsmacking beauty!

Elsa: Gobsmacking?! Well aren’t you just a “cheeky bugger”? {eyes rolling} Good lord, do you British dudes always talk like that?

Norman: Ahem…{indignantly} I beg your pardon. Moving right along. It looks like the oriental poppies are also starting to bloom. Mum really likes the pinkish ones. The ones in our garden are the classic orange variety so whenever she sees one, she always has to photograph it.


Elsa: Ooh, ooh, that’s pretty but did you see these anemones? I even saw one with a ginormous flying raisin I love to catch, otherwise known as a Miller Moth. They look like they’re made from crepe paper, don’t they?



Norman: Flying raisin’s? “Miller moths” are migrating to the mountains right now and there sure are a lot of them on the Front Range, and their stay has been extended with all the smoke drifting down from the Alberta fires. Did you know they aren’t even a moth…they are the adult stage of the Army cutworm who annual migrate from the Eastern Plains toward the mountains. They’re going through the city much like every other vacationer on their way to the high country and provide a good food source for bats, birds and beetles. Those anemones we found along our walk are quite posh. But then we saw this next plant along our walk: Columbine, Aquilegia Columbine (often referred to as granny’s bonnet though that was a new one for Mum). Did you know they come in lots of different colors.



Elsa: I sure did, we’ve seen white/cream, yellow, red, purple and of course my favorite, the blue ones. The Blue Columbine is Colorado’s state flower, you know. I sure can see why it was chosen. It’s mighty attractive. Columbine nectar provides a good food source for butterflies and moths and according to the online sources I found, Native Americans used very small amounts of columbine to treat ulcers. Good thing, too since the seeds and roots are super toxic if eaten. I think I’ll pass on them as an appetizer.

Norman: That’s quite fascinating, sister. What did you uncover about our next flower, this peony?


Elsa: Easy, peasy. That one is called Red Charm and it’s an award-winning beaut. Just check out those fully double scarlet blossoms that stand tall on sturdy, green stems.

Norman: It’s very showy, that’s for sure. I loved the rose-like scent and read that it’s quite heat tolerant too.

Elsa: Well I know Mom was smitten. She immediately checked our peonies when we got home to see if any of them are getting ready to bloom because it’s her favorite garden flower. Because of our big shade trees, ours are a bit slow in blooming, but they are budding up nicely. With the potential for hail in the forecast, she’s hoping they’ll remain safe.

Norman: I heard there was pea sized hail in other parts of the city but we were spared. But will you look at yesterday’s sky? We received a little shower and lots of thunder again, but we were sure lucky the hail missed us.


Elsa: You’re right on our good fortune for dodging the hail bullet. Mom also discovered she actually didn’t lose one of her Bleeding Heart plants, it was just slow in recovering from a tough winter. Yesterday she noticed it was beginning to bloom but she was bummed the one in the front garden didn’t survive apparently. Isn’t it a pretty thing?

Bleeding Hearts

Norman: It sure is. I just want to kiss those cuties.

Elsa: Awk…I’m positive they wouldn’t appreciate your dog slobber, so best if you just appreciate them from afar.

Norman: I didn’t really mean I’d actually kiss them, it was just an metaphorical analogy. Hopefully one of these days you’ll actually understand me.

Elsa: That’s likely very doubtful. I’m a literal dog, when you say something, I think you actually mean it. I just don’t get you British dogs. I’d like to but, nah…you’re just too complicated for me.

Norman: {eyes rolling} You’re not reading my body language, sister or maybe you just don’t want to see it. Sam never had a problem understanding me.

Elsa: Yeah, that’s why Mom called him a Knucklehead.

Norman: You cut me to the quick, sister. I try very hard to understand you but am not 100% convinced you reciprocate the notion of understanding.

Elsa: Guess that’s your cross to bear. Tough biscuits, Bucko. I am what I am, deal with it.

Norman: {Sighing} I still love you, little sister.

Elsa: {umm, erm, stuttering} Now don’t go all sweet on me, dude. Let’s wrap this up before I get misty-eyed. So, you got any plans for this weekend?

Norman: Well I heard Mum planned to go to the Iris Farm to check out the iris bloom with a good friend. It wasn’t open last year because of the pandemic so they’re very excited about seeing the flowers this season. Should be quite amazing and I hope Mum takes lots of photos for our next Nature Friday. How about you, little one?

Elsa: Well, like I said, I plan to be ‘monitoring’ the squirrels in our big maple tree, catch a few Zzz’s and just generally be a regular dog. Whatever you do, both of us hope you have a super weekend and take Ansel Adams’ advice to heart. Because it’s a holiday weekend (Memorial Day is Monday) it’ll be fun and we hope a safe one for everyone.


Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ Cinco De Mayo Edition

Elsa, Cinco de MayoHola and bienvenido a la naturaleza viernes (welcome to Nature Friday). Me llamo Senorita Elsa with my oafish hombre brother, Norman to share slices of Nature around our hood. Today on Cinco de Mayo we’re joining the kids from Rosy and Sunny from the LLB life. Be sure to click on the link to see what others have shared.

There are some misconceptions about Cinco De Mayo that I’m gonna clear up today before we get started. First of all and contrary to popular belief, it is not Mexican Independence Day. Instead, it actually commemorates a battle during the Franco-Mexican War that took place in a town called Puebla on May 5, 1862. The Mexicans were severely outnumbered and under-supplied but they still managed to defeat the 3 times larger French army. While Cinco de Mayo is celebrated with tons of food, drinks, and partying in the United States, Mexicans celebrate somewhat differently. In Mexico, the holiday is mostly celebrated in the state of Puebla and while there’s food and drinks, local residents cheer the military with a parade with people dressed as French and Mexican soldiers, cheering from brightly colored floats, and there’s a reenactment of the battle on its original site.

Hombre Norman: Gosh, I didn’t realize that tidbit. You find the most interesting things to share.

Senorita Elsa: Hey, I’m not just a pretty face or can’t you tell from the expression in the photo above? Can’t believe Mom expected me to dress up for today’s post so I felt like I needed to find out what the dog all the fuss was all about.

Hombre Norman: Well, I do recall you were adamant about not being photographed with me. You acted like I had fleas or something.

Senorita Elsa: Nothing personal, dog breath, I just don’t like being photographed. Period. With you or anyone else.

Hombre Norman: {sniffle} I’m rather offended by your comment. I mean, look how Mum dressed me up. You don’t see me trying to hide my face.

Cinco de Mayo

Senorita Elsa: Bwahahaha…you probably should have. You look pretty…umm…how can I put this diplomatically-ridiculous?

Hombre Norman: {interrupting} Ahem, I. am. a. good. sport…something you might do a bit more often, {sarcastically} dear Senorita. No me gusta when you hurt my feelings {sniffling}.

Senorita Elsa:  Ha! Fat chance, eres un tonto (you’re a fool), Bucko.

Cinco de Mayo

Hombre Norman: Oh dear. Well, guess I understand better. Mum didn’t share that pic with me after she took it. She was laughing so hard no sound was coming out. I thought I’d have to give her CPR.

Senorita Elsa: {steamed} No me gusta indeed! Ok, let’s get on with it. Vamos amigo!

Hombre Norman: Aye, yai yai. Ok, let’s see what we’ve got from this week’s walks.

Senorita Elsa: Well it looks like the snow continues in our neck of the woods.

Crabapple tree

Hombre Norman: That’s not snow, Chiquita. That’s a crabapple tree in bloom on a windy day.

Senorita Elsa: Harrumph.Well it looks like snow to me.

Hombre Norman:  It’s just some of the beautiful crabapple trees in full bloom. Check out this pink one. Is that gorgeous or what?

Crabapple tree

Senorita Elsa:  Oooh, you’re right, that is a beaut. But when it comes to beauty, what about this Common Purple Rock Cress?

Rock cress

Hombre Norman: It sure is colorful! It was just a few feet away from this Golden Alyssum. It compliments that purple nicely.

Golden Alyssum

Senorita Elsa: Whoa…looks like it’s spilling out of that garden onto the sidewalk.

Hombre Norman: Indeed it does. Such a cheerful garden plant. And I didn’t even try to pee on it.

Senorita Elsa: Well that’s gotta be a first! Mom walked to a nearby garden center and found some blooming Clematis. When she came home she was very excited about those blooms but wished the white specimen had been flowering. She’s gonna keep checking on it to see what it looks like.


Hombre Norman: Boy, both of them are really gorgeous.I hope she gets some to add to the pergola. It’d be a perfect spot, don’t you think?

Senorita Elsa: It sure would. Let’s keep reminding her there are a couple of supports that need something that spectacular once she paints the wrought iron supports.

Hombre Norman: Deal, senorita.

Senorita Elsa: Well that’s it for this week So what are your plans for the weekend? What’s going on with you?

Hombre Norman: Well, our first big fundraiser for the rescue happens on Sunday. Our first annual Old English Sheepdog Picnic will be held. We managed to receive a bunch of fabulous donations of dog accoutrements, OES themed jewelry, sports items and some swank alcoholic beverages to auction off. Plus there will be a toss game of skill. Mum helped assemble the gift baskets a couple of days ago and came home super chuffed. It’s gonna be a great event in nearby Elizabeth, CO. I love going out there and schmoozing with my fellow sheepdogs among the pine trees. It’s going to be quite epic. Over 40 people have registered and there will be a big herd of sheepies like me. I’ll finally be around my people and we all get along. Mum will be taking pics and try to share them soon. She may even post some on Instagram. You do follow our Instagram account, don’t you?

Senorita Elsa: I confess I don’t but will be sure to check it out. I may not show it often but I do love ya, you big hunk of fur so I promise to start following. You know me, I’m not that much into social media but will be a dutiful supporter of my big brother.

Hombre Norman: Thanks, sister. I appreciate it. Whatever you do, we hope you have a wonderful weekend and are able to get out there to check out wonderful Nature, first hand.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 ~ St. Patrick’s Day Edition 2023

NormanAlthough Mum’s lineage is mostly German, we happily (ok, maybe ‘happily’ is a bit of an exaggeration, let’s just say  we generally tolerate and by we, I mean me) participate in the ‘wearing of the green’ for St. Patrick’s Day for her sake. Of course, that means she has to work über fast when trying to capture Elsa in costume. We all know that Elsa never likes to participate in photo sessions but Mum has gotten quick with the shutter after years of countless bloopers with Elsa.



With that introduction, welcome to the St. Patrick’s Day edition of Nature Friday. Norman here at the editor’s desk penning this post. My sister decided to boycott since her motto is “Bah Humbug,” not “Erin Go Bragh,” especially today (feel free to insert an eye roll here in honor of her typical curmudgeonly manner). If you were to describe her with an Irish expression this week, she’s been “acting the maggot” meaning she’s been obnoxious, showing her displeasure with just about everything. Mum has had a pinched nerve and with a lack of sleep, is pretty much over the difficult princess routine. Blimey…these two strong willed females with competing agendas and…well…this bloke knows to avoid the fireworks. We all know that Mum’s win in the end (or at least we let them think so) but don’t tell her I said that but boy, the mutual crabbiness isn’t what this bloke enjoys as we march toward the official arrival of Spring on Monday. That said, as usual, I’m joining our friends from Adventures of the LLB Gang.

Like I said, Mum has been suffering from a painful pinched nerve all week and photo taking hasn’t been high on her list of things to do since restorative sleep has been most elusive. As a dog we are lucky we can sleep just about anywhere and at any time. Still she did manage to find a few offerings this week. Let’s see what she came up with, okay?

She took this one while visiting with family in Southern Colorado.

Pine conesFor a hot minute, I thought that Spring had arrived on Wednesday. It was a lovely day in the low 70’sºF and about as glorious a day as you’ll find. Then Winter stepped in with a cruel way to remind us that Springtime in the Rockies is not for the faint of heart. In other words, it snowed {shiver}. Not much mind you, but enough to keep the coats, gloves and hats close at hand.

Grape HyacinthsOn the plus side, Mum noticed the blue hyacinths were coming up as their lovely blue shade contrasted nicely against the snow and dried leaves. On a walk late yesterday afternoon after most of the snow had melted, she noticed some Spring bulbs that have nice southern exposure. Mum was excited at the thought of these tulips blooming soon which, if she remembers correctly, are red and very cheery looking. They are much farther along than any of the bulbs in our garden since they are warmed by that nice sunny spot while ours tend to be somewhat shaded by large trees.


Before she passed by those tulips, she walked past her favorite Eastern Redbud tree along her usual route and found a couple of icicles hanging off some major branches. She’s hoping that in a week or so, buds will start forming for a beautiful display of those showy flowers that bloom in early Spring. It’s a plain looking tree when it’s fully leafed out but for a good 7-10 days, it’s breathtaking with those colorful fuschia blooms.


Of course, no St. Patrick’s Day is complete without a shamrock plant or two. Mum has had this plant for more than 20 years in her kitchen window. It’s seen better days and likely is trying to remind her it needs to be repotted in fresh soil. Apologies for its raggedy appearance, but it did manage to bloom just in time for the holiday.

St. Patrick's Day

So do you know why we wear green on St. Patrick’s Day? It’s because of Ireland’s nickname, The Emerald Isle. The green stripe in the Irish flag also plays a role since green represents the Catholics of Ireland, the orange represents the Protestant population and the white in the middle symbolizes peace between the two religions. As a dog whose lineage heralds from the UK, I’ve often thought maybe they should have made the white part bigger since there were many years of conflict.

So how might you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Any corn beef and cabbage on your weekend menu? Whatever you do, we hope you’ll take some time to search for Nature this last weekend of Winter while you prepare for Spring’s arrival.

St. Patrick's Day

May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be always at your back and May the sun shine warm upon your face .

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ March 10, 2023

Ranch HandsWelcome to Friday where we join our friends from Adventures of the LLB Gang with glimpses of Nature from around our urban ‘Hood as well as Southern Colorado. With the official arrival of Spring on the calendar a mere two weeks away, there are more subtle signs that the landscape is beginning to wake up. Hi, there, just us two Ranch Hand editors sharing a few scenes from around the area.

Norman: So Mum’s sister from Texas came to visiting their Dad in Southern Colorado so we came down for a few days to visit and wanted to share some sights from life in the 719 as well as a few scenes from earlier in week from the Big City. Plus I know my Grandpa absolutely adores me and was especially concerned after I was sick last week. He needed to make sure I was in tip-top shape.

Elsa:  You’re still milking that pancreatitis thing, aren’t you? Life around the Ranch has been windy and dry so Mom is keeping her eagle eyes peeled for signs of color. She squealed when she saw these tiny crocuses between the sidewalk and lawn. That’s definitely a sign that Spring is on its way, right?

Early crocuses

Norman: Cute little buggers, aren’t they? With such a nice pop of purple, it made them fairly easy to spot but Mum thinks most people just walk past them because they so tiny.

Elsa: Right about that, brother. But you know what Mom says about Spring Bulbs?

Norman & Elsa {barked in two part harmony and in unison}: DON’T LET YOUR PET EAT ANY SPRING BULBS-THEY’RE TOXIC TO US 4-LEGGED FUR BABIES.

Norman: Mum took us for a walk a couple of days ago before heading south Mum spied this grass seed head. It was rather stunning against the wooden fence. All those lovely shades of tawny brown.

Seed head

Elsa: {interrupting} You just wanted to sniff it, you could care less about how it looks!

Norman: Ahem…that’s not completely true. I’ll have you know I can appreciate an interesting picture as much as the next bloke.

Elsa: {giggling} Right. You keep telling yourself stuff like that, maybe one day you’ll actually believe it.

Norman: I rather do believe it now, thank you very much. Not everything is about the neighborhood pee bulletin board, I’ll have you know, little sister.

Elsa: Uh-huh…sure. Whatever.

Norman: {moving along} Did you know this week we had a Full Moon? Seems as though it was the third and final full Moon for the northern hemisphere’s winter season which took place and  fell on Tuesday, March 7, 2023. Did you know it’s referred to as the “Worm Moon” in some parts of the world because of the ground temperatures are warming allowing earthworms to come to the surface. Mum didn’t have her big camera so only was able to take this shot with her cell phone.

Worm Moon

Elsa: It won’t win any Pulitzer prize, but it was interesting how  the clouds seemed to pull back with the Moon in the middle, almost like a curtain, so I guess that’s kinda cool.

Norman:  Very cool. So let’s share some of the sights we saw once we arrived at Grandpa’s house. The sunsets and sunrises are always quite stunning and Mum never tires of seeing them on the prairie. Check out this sunset shortly after we arrived. Is this a great country or what?


Elsa: Yeah, the sunsets are only surpassed by the sunrises. Mom really likes that time of day…it’s quiet and you can’t beat the colors. Especially against all the brown that tends to dominate the scenery this time of year. Check out this progression of light. This series started when it was fairly dark. But chilly.


Norman: You can say that again. 22ºF but when a mate has to go…well it makes you do your business and then trolly back into the house quickly.

Elsa: Us girls may have stronger bladders than you boys, although I can practically pee on demand whenever I go outside.

Norman:  No need to remind me. Sunrise didn’t take long. Check out the next pic.


Elsa: Those are some pretty colors over the Greenhorn Mountains. And you can still see a few spots of snow on some of those peaks.

Norman: It was quite the trio of sunrise pics. Here’s the last one of the series. The sun came up fairly quickly after that. And I noticed Mum managed to capture a shot with the moon hanging over the mountains.


Elsa: Well, as they say in Hollywood, that’s a wrap. We hope you have a terrific weekend. Make sure you can get outside and see what Nature is dishing up.

Norman: Cheerio, mates!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday

Nature Friday ~ March 3, 2023

Ranch HandsGreetings and salutations, sports fans. Elsa and Norman here to welcome you to the first post of March. After surviving the longest month in winter history {ahem…oh sister, may I remind you that February is actually the shortest month of the year}…Yo brother, please stop throwing shade on my post! 

Norman: Sorry to have interrupted you, I just wanted to make sure you (a) understood that you made a misstatement and (b) I didn’t want our readers to think you were unsophisticated as to not know that February is the short month. By the way, you neglected to mention we’re joining those cuties over at Adventures of the LLB Gang for their weekly blog hop.

Elsa: Big deal…it was just a euphemism, fur ball. Sheesh, you can’t lighten up even a little, can you? And yes, we’re joining Rosy and Sunny. Are you happy now?

Norman: Of course I’m happy. You know how much I love those little pups. That said, I just want our posts to be factually correct so we can keep our integrity intact.

Elsa: {shaking her head and mischievously wagging her tail} W-h-a-t-e-v-e-r. As I was saying before you so rudely interrupted me, we managed to slam close the door on February and now are more than ready to welcome March. You know in two weeks, we’ll be celebrating a ‘green’ holiday, right, Mr. Precision?

Norman: Of course I do. Being a dog whose breed originated from the British Isles, I’m keenly aware of the “National Holiday of Ireland which is celebrated throughout the UK, Canada, US, Argentina, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand, particularly among the Irish diaspora, as well as the territory of Montserrat.”

Elsa: Oh lord, you’ve been on Wikipedia again, haven’t you? Anywho, we began to notice subtle signs of greening yesterday that I thought we might share. You ready, dude?

Norman: Right-o, lass. Mum has been looking for signs that Spring is headed our way and said she’s hopeful that things are beginning to shift now. Just look at this garden art she found on her walk. It’s not the greatest composition (please don’t tell her I said that) but she stopped and went back to snap this pic because she saw…gasp…actual green grass, not the usual straw colored stuff we typically see in Winter around here.

Green grass

Elsa: Hey you said it, not me. Yeah…but you’re so right, it IS a really crummy pic but you gotta love the green grass which I plan to start munching on the next time we walk by. I love grass-those tender, fresh new shoots {smacking her lips}, it’s the best fiber around.

Norman: Umm,. hard pass on the grass, sister. After this week’s health scare, I’ve been strictly forbidden to eat ANYTHING other than what’s in my bowl.

Elsa: Yeah, I was going to ask you how you’re feeling now? You sure scared Mom-she was panic-stricken.

Norman: I know she was but am so grateful she acted quickly getting me to the vet. Getting poked and prodded is not my idea of a jolly time. The vet said my tests showed signs that I had a small case of pancreatitis but I’m feeling better now. Boy, let me just say, avoid pancreatitis if at all possible. I was one sick puppy for a few days and even had to cancel my hospital visits. Which really was unfortunate since I got all spiffed up and groomed to visit my friends at Lutheran. Oh, and before I forget, thank you for staying close and repeatedly nose-nudging me while I was recuperating. It was more than a bit disconcerting but think you were just trying to make sure I was ok so I appreciate your gentle care.

Elsa: {blushing} Well, I know I don’t show it very often but I do care about you and am glad you’re doing better. I’m not ready to be an only child.

Norman: Thank you, lovey. Very sporting of you…

Elsa: {interrupting} Yeah, yeah, don’t go all sentimental on me. Let’s get back to seeing other signs of green nature, ok?

Norman: Ok, let’s not dwell on the past. Mum found some little tulips along her walk. She told me these are very pretty when they’re in bloom and I, for one, am looking forward to seeing them in bloom. But of course, I won’t do anything more than sniff them-bulbs are toxic to us canines.

TulipsElsa:  Count me out on eating bulbs. I have high standards as to what I eat {snorfing heard in the background from Norman}. I noticed some green around the Ranch as well. Achillea x ‘Moonshine’ (Yarrow) is beginning to show signs of waking up. It looked pretty grim with brownish dried-out sticks and leaves until Mom cleaned it up a tad yesterday. It still has a  l-o-n-g  way to go, but that spot of green is a good sign.


Norman: She also noticed her hyacinth bulbs survived despite being repeatedly buried with snow. And the bearded iris and even some naturalized snapdragons are showing signs of waking up.

Signs of Spring

Elsa: All good signs, I’d say. But the pièce de résistance this week had to be these magnolia blossoms from a nearby neighbor’s garden. Mom says they’ll likely be hit with frost before they fully emerge but with that trademark blue sky, it was a lovely sight to behold. I’m not sure which was more welcome, those blooms or the clear blue sky. Mom isn’t a fan of gloomy grey skies.


Norman: Mum and I have that in common. Enjoying a nice sunny clear day is good for the soul, isn’t it?

Elsa: Right you are, dog-breath. So do you think we’ll get to enjoy some new adventures this weekend when the temps should be in the upper 50’sF? It’d be great if Mom took a different route on the walk so we can sniff new and different smells. The ground is nice and damp from the snow melting this week so it should be pretty doggone awesome for our olfactory systems.

Norman: Oooh, I can’t wait. I need to check out the neighborhood bulletin board. So what plans do you have for the first weekend of March? Anything exciting planned? Whatever you do, we hope signs of Spring are showing up around your neighborhood. This is the time of year where nature renews itself so be sure to get out there and find it. Have a bonny good weekend.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday

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.


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 .


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?


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.


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}


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! 🐾