Nature Friday ~ August 25, 2023

Nature Friday

Welcome to this week’s edition of Nature Friday…where we join those cuties Rosy and Sunny from LLB in Our Backyard. Be sure to click on the link to see what else has been shared.

Today is the last Friday of August (good riddance I say though I know many of you will mourn summer coming to an end), and as Elsa and I prepared to head out for our early morning walk, we relish the quiet and peacefulness before the city wakes up and everyone hits their own running hamster wheel. I’m struck by the morning smell of dew, with an occasional whiff of freshly brewed coffee wafting through open windows as we wander in the dim dawn light. A few other early morning risers are out walking their dogs and, for the most part, everyone is on their best behavior with a minimum of warning barks. Now that I’ve set the stage, let’s see what we encountered.

Elsa: Well it’s another day, Mom. I know it’s been a tough week for you but let’s not focus on that, instead, how about we zero in on all the wonderful sights we encountered. Deal?

The Mom: Sounds like a plan to me. It was a rough week that’s left me emotionally drained but this morning’s walk reminded me why I enjoy these quiet early morning walks where I can contemplate life, and notice subtle signs nature often shares.

Elsa: Right-that’s the spirit, Mom! How about that bright cloud that followed us until the sun rose enough to remove the color? Glad you noticed it and didn’t take yet another sunrise photo. We may be morning folks but I’m sure some are over your fascination with sweeping sunrises from Sloan’s Lake.

Morning cloud

The Mom: I wouldn’t be so sure of that, Ninja. Early morning light can be simply magical that others can appreciate it.

Elsa: Ok, Ansel Adams…we may get it, but enough. So what about some of the other interesting shots around the neighborhood?

Cowboy boot planter

The Mom: As we walk around the ‘Hood, I’m always struck by what new interesting sights we’ll come across. The quiet allows my mind to see things we probably would overlook during the harshness of daily activity. When it’s quiet, things seem to beckon your eyes to see the city in a different view.

Elsa: That cowboy boot planter was an odd find, wasn’t it? But definitely interesting in the early morning light. I’d even hazard those owners should get together with the people who own that cow statute we featured recently. They’re probably more similar than different in the way they think about their gardens.

The Mom: You have a point. It’s fun to see the diversity throughout the area, from nationalities/races, the various kinds of architecture and how people landscape their gardens. We’re very lucky to be able to see how people interpret their gardens. It’s like a living museum of styles.

Elsa: I dunno about that…some of the sights we saw this week were just flat odd. That cowboy boot is the least of the weirdness. Hey, isn’t the city motto of Austin, Texas “keep Austin weird” starting to creep into our neighborhood? I mean, sure there are tons of people from Texas moving here all the time but…

The Mom: {interrupting} Hahaha, you sometimes crack me up with the way you look at things. I’ll just stay with different strokes for different folks. Besides it makes the neighborhood more vibrant.

Elsa: Vibrant? I’m beginning to wonder about you Mom. Seems like this was the week for seeing weird garden art/decor. And just like our dense neighborhood, it’s even impacting the housing crunch for birds. Did you see that avian condo this morning? Eight families can live there!


The Mom:  Affordable housing for birds means more density. I’m sure there are eight bird families who won’t mind being in such close quarters. At least it’s not some Modern McMansion like too many lately and fits into the neighborhood aesthetic pretty nicely.

Elsa: Good perspective, Mom. So I know things have been a bit of a zoo around the Ranch lately. But I’ve been very surprised to see it spill over in gardens throughout the ‘Hood. Here’s another weird garden critter we passed on our walk.


The Mom: I had to chuckle at the “Pigs Rule” sign, as if the numerous pig statuaries weren’t indicative enough.

Elsa: You uprights are just weirdos! We saw our fair share of critters this week. From too quick to photograph trash pandas (otherwise knowns as raccoons) to rabbits. I don’t think I’ve seen as many rabbits as I have this year. And then…{gasping} I even saw a freaking giraffe in the trees! What the dog?!


The Mom: That sight really blew me away. It’s not a great photo because it’s on a hill and hard to see it through all the trees and brush; we had to go back and see if we couldn’t get a better view. I suspect it’s made of metal but won’t know for sure until the leaves start dropping next month and we can it better. It’s a pretty wooded and weed filled lot but it stopped me dead in my tracks.

Elsa: As you were trying to get the best angle for that giraffe, I was focused on the bunny that ran under the car that was parked in front of that statute. I just love their fluffy white tails but they don’t seem to share the same loving feeling about me. They always hop away as quickly as their bunny feet will carry them.


The Mom: They are very abundant this year. There was even one in our yard when we got home but he didn’t hang out there for long. Hmmm…maybe he’s the one that ate the single ripe tomato.


Elsa: Let’s just hope he doesn’t filch the latest crop of  strawberries. Now let’s share the mystery plant of the week.

Flowers, Ground Cherry

The Mom: This mystery plant, as you refer to it, is Physalis Viscosa, commonly referred to as Ground Cherry. It’s a member of the nightshade family and is native to South America. Whoever moved into this property has pretty much let things go so lots of weeds have moved in and this plant is sometimes thought of as a weed. It has replaced the border of flowers where I took such pretty photos of blooming flowers in the background of you a couple of years ago. It looks a bit like tomatillos but then again, they both belong to the nightshade family. That fruit is rich in cryptoxanthin and can be consumed much like tomatoes.

Elsa: Umm, well you can, but there’s no way I’m not eating one those things. Blech…vegetables…er fruit. Nooo thank you!

The Mom: You’re so silly. Let’s end this week’s post with a bit of hope from a recent rainbow that we thought was a sign from Norman watching over us. We’re expecting a most welcomed bit of a cool down this weekend and if we’re real lucky, some rain. We hope the heat breaks soon for those  living in the central part of the country as well as folks all along the gulf coast and hope you are able to get outside to see what visual gifts Mother Nature provides in your neck of the woods.


Elsa: What she said ⬆️. Don’t forget to have a great weekend.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾


Monday Musings ~ August 21, 2023

The Mom: Hey Elsa, you ever wonder how things would be if  our roles were reversed?

Elsa: Wait…what? You mean you’re the Master? Nah, nah, nah…I’m not sure what kind of drugs you’re on Mom, but you need to detox. We both know who runs things. Thumb or no thumb, notwithstanding.


The Mom: Sigh. What can you do when you live with a Ninja?

Here’s hoping all the roles in your household are clearly defined and where appropriate, the detox goes well this week. Happy Monday.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ August 18, 2023

ElsaWelcome to this week’s edition of Nature Friday…which means we’re joining our pals Rosy and Sunny from LLB in Our Backyard. Don’t forget to click on the link to see what other slices of nature have been shared.

The Mom: {softly speaking} El….sa, oh Elsa.

Elsa: {yawning} Wha…er, who said that?!

The Mom: Good morning sweetie, didn’t want to startle you but it’s time to share nature from around the neighborhood. You ready, sweet girl?

Elsa:  {Big yawn and stretch} I guess so. You do realize that  you interrupted my wonderful snooze.

The Mom: So sorry, little one. I tried to be as gentle as possible waking you.

Elsa: It’s okay, Mom. I appreciate it-you know how I can wig out if I’m unexpectedly startled so I appreciate it.

The Mom: You’re very welcome. So what do you plan to share with us today?

Elsa: Well, I like to call it ‘hodgepodge’ slices of nature since there really wasn’t a congruent theme we could pursue. Ok with you?

The Mom: Of course, it’s your blog; you can do what you like.

Elsa: {wheels in her head are spinning around} Seriously? I get to decide?

The Mom: Sure-you can do whatever you like…

Elsa: {interrupting} Hot dang! Woo hoo…finally, some power…

The Mom:  Umm…let’s not get too carried away. You still have to operate within the perimeters of WordPress and decency…

Elsa: Wait…what? There are limitations on what I can share?

The Mom:  Well, first there is the User Agreement that WordPress will enforce and then there are technological limitations. So we don’t want to get too carried away by letting power go to our heads…

Elsa: Oh man…you’re always raining on my parade.

The Mom: Sorry, but that the way things work in life. That’s just the way it is. Now given that, are you ready to start?

Elsa: {grumbling} Fine…sheesh…you never let a girl have any fun.

The Mom: That’s not exactly true, but it’s a simple fact of life that it has its boundaries. Plus you want to be a good girl, don’t you?

Elsa: {more grumbling} Harumph…I guess so. Ok, let’s get started. Maybe if I find some interesting pics this week, I’ll feel a better.

The Mom: Probably a good idea. So what ‘cha got for us?

Elsa: Well, like I said, we’re doing a hodgepodge collection of flowers from around the ‘Hood. But first, check this out! I had no idea Groot lived in our neighborhood. I always thought the Guardian of the Galaxy star (aka Flora Colossus) lived in Marvel-land. You never mentioned he lives so close to us.

I am Groot

The Mom:  Umm, hate to break it to you, but that’s not Groot. It’s a Virginia creeper that spread all over a power pole. But it rather does look like Groot. Can’t wait to see it when autumn arrives and the leaves change color (note to self, try to remember where you saw that thing to photograph it!).

Elsa: Umm, that’s Groot, Mom-you can’t fool me. Besides, remember this is MY blog and I can write what I want. You just got through telling me that. Remember??

The Mom: {sighs} Fine, believe what you like.

Elsa: Woof! I’m kinda liking this new found power thing.

The Mom:  Oh dear, I’ve created a monster.

Elsa: Hey, no comments from the peanut gallery. Just because humans have a thumb, they let things go to their heads. Sheesh.

The Mom: Well ex-cuuuse me. What else did you see this week on our walks?

Elsa: Well, I noticed those gigantic pink Hibiscus blooms at that house around the corner-you know, the one that bugs just love to sniff?


The Mom: Indeed I do. That plant has the biggest blooms I’ve seen this year and the color is truly Barbie-inspired.

Elsa: Umm, right. Just don’t get any ideas of dressing me up, Barbie style, okay?

The Mom: Wouldn’t think of it, Toots. Everyone else may be gah-gah over the whole Barbie phenomena, but I know you’re more of a tom-girl than a Barbie girl.

Elsa: Doggone right! I am not some silly girly-girl who needs protecting, although you notice how much I’ve calmed down on our walks?

The Mom: I sure have. I’m grateful you no longer seem compelled to attack passing dogs on our walks. You’ve been a very good girl and pretty much stopped fence biting with the dog next door.

Elsa: Thanks, Mom. I guess now that I’m the solo dog who coincidentally is enjoying all this newfound power, I don’t feel as threatened. But never fear, I’ll happily defend you should the need arise, Mom.

The Mom: Thanks, sweetie. That’s very kind but there’s no reason to scare dogs we may encounter. I’m glad you recognize that. So, you have any other flowers to share?

Elsa: Ooh, ooh, I do. On the farthest end of our walks, do you remember those beautiful Hollyhocks we walked past? There was one in particular that really cranked my handle. Such a bright shade of red and sooo pretty.


The Mom: Oh yes, that one was particularly striking. Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea) are part of the mallow family and are considered a popular ornamental annual, biannual or perennial. Hollyhocks were imported into Europe from southern China. Did you know that the red varieties seem to prefer sandy soils, while the lighter colors seem to like more clay like soils. No doubt the hummingbirds love that garden.

Elsa:  Well, it seems to be Dahlia season now and we’re seeing a bunch of them blooming around the ‘Hood. Sure wish you’d plant some of those, they are very pretty even if they don’t have much fragrance. I really liked this pink one with the yellow center.


The Mom: They really are gorgeous, but I’m just not willing to dig them up at the end of the season to over winter them and then replant next Spring. I prefer less work-intensive perennials.

Elsa: Pfft…don’t know why. It’s not like your slaving away on the blog anymore. You should reconsider that plant for next year.

The Mom: Umm, not gonna happen little one, but nice try  with the guilt. There are so many others that are equally as pretty that require a lot less fussing over.

Elsa: Whatever. How about something like this one? It sure is pretty. Although most of the plant seems stripped of its leaves (likely due to the hail storms we had), the flowers sure are  pretty. Didn’t you say your plant identifier thought this was some kind of Hydrangea?


The Mom:  That’s right, sometimes called hortensia, Hydrangeas are native to Asia with the greatest diversity in China, Korea, and Japan.They can be deciduous or evergreen, although the majority of temperate species are usually deciduous. One fascinating thing about Hydrangeas is how they act as a natural indicator of the soil’s pH levels, with the flowers turning blue when the soil is acidic and pink when the soil is alkaline. I discovered the white ones (the oakleaf or smooth varieties), don’t change their flower colors. They can naturally bloom in white (sometimes fading to green), cream, or dusty pink. There are some red ones, too. Isn’t that cool? They aren’t typically planted much in Colorado since they tend to require supplemental water with rich soil, and the leaves and flower buds are poisonous to dogs and cats if eaten. Guess we won’t be planting any, just to be on the safe side.

Elsa: Well poop, I like them. They look like big snowballs and you know how I like the snow. Just when I get excited about a plant, you share facts that shoot down any planting around the Ranch. Rats!

The Mom: Sorry, Elsa. Just want to keep you safe, that’s all. Got anything else for us to enjoy?

Elsa: Well there are a couple more pics to share. The first is a small garden in front of a storefront along on our walk. This border contains Peregrina, the colorful plant mixed in with some ornamental grass and Black-eyed Susans behind a wrought iron fence. This was a tiny little garden, but it sure makes for a pretty summer border.


The Mom: You’re so right, I must have walked past that place a jillion times and just noticed these plants this week.

Elsa: Don’t you just love it when little gardens catch your eye like that? It reminds me of the Painted Lady moth I noticed this week in the dog run. I’m sure they’re out there all the time, but this one stayed in place long enough to get his picture taken. I was only bummed you didn’t try to dress him up like you do me but…oh well.


The Mom: I got lucky being able to capture this guy before he flew off.

Elsa: Well that’s about it for this week though I’m going to miss face rubs on the grass. My eye got all nasty looking and you unceremoniously rushed me off to the vet. Dr. Ken is very nice and I was a good girl. While he looked me over he thought maybe I’d developed an allergy so no more face rubs in the grass, just to be safe. Well, if it means I no longer need eye drops, I’m cool with that.


The Mom: Yeah, me too. You had some very yucky eye-snot with redness so no more rubbing your face in the grass…sorry, Ninja.

Elsa: It’s ok, thanks for always looking out for me, Mom. I’m sure I can find one something else for you to worry about {heh, heh}. But I’ll give you a break…for a little while. So what’s on the calendar for this weekend? Anything exciting?

The Mom: Nothing for us; we’re just patiently awaiting for the heat to mellow out. These past few days of high 90’sF (35+C)  really don’t lend themself to getting out and about, unless we do it at the crack of dawn.

Elsa: I’m good with lazing about in a nice air-conditioned home with abundant treats, hint, hint, Mom. What about you readers? Anything exciting going on? Let us know so we can live vicariously through you while the autumn countdown continues. Just 35 days until autumn’s official arrival in the Northern Hemisphere.

The Mom: {smiling at the mere thought of autumn} We hope you’ll stop and pay attention to all the beautiful servings that Nature dishes up for our enjoyment.

Elsa: Woof…good advice, Mom. Have a great weekend, everyone.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Mondays Musings ~ August 14, 2023


May all your foodables be ‘wagnificent’ this week…with no buffering or static.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ August 11, 2023

Welcome to this week’s edition of Nature Friday where we join friends Rosy and Sunny from Adventures of the LLB Gang. Remember to click on the link to see what others shared. Ok, let’s get started.

As we’re wrapping up the Dog Days of Summer (thank dog-I’m over that celestial phase), Mom has made a few trips to Sloan’s Lake so I couldn’t help wonder, what is it about that place that she loves so much. Elsa here and after doing some research, I think I finally get it, at least historically. Sure there are lots of great sniffs (between the Mallard ducks, Canadian Geese, not to mention a host of other kinds of birds and critters), it’s a plethora of fascinating sights and sounds to check out.

One fact we were unaware of is that Sloan’s Lake is the biggest lake in Denver, it is also the city’s second largest park. It  contains playgrounds, tennis courts, athletic fields, boat docks for launching water skiing craft, boats in general, kayaking launches, basketball courts, a multi-use walking/biking trail that surrounds the entire lake, along with some picnic areas where families can gather and celebrate birthdays and the like. Do you realize how many crumbs fall on the ground that could potentially get left behind that the squirrels don’t devour? Let me just say, Mom no longer lets me sniff around the picnic tables for just for that reason-she says sugar isn’t good for me (so I apparently have to suffer).

Sunrise – Sloan’s Lake

Sloan’s Lake is one of the best parks in Denver to catch a beautiful sunrise (or sunset) with a beautiful backdrop of the city’s skyline to the east or mountain foothills to the west. And of course, the annual Colorado Dragon Boat Festival celebrating the Asian American Pacific Islanders culture is held there in July. If you missed our most recent post sharing pics from the festival, click here.

Sloan's Lake

On Mom’s latest walk around the lake, she discovered some leftover Dragon Boats moored in the lagoon. She said the surface was very calm and the clouds beautifully reflected on the water.

Sloan's Lake

I told her she’s getting a bit obsessed about the lake but to each his own, right? The two boats on the right though kind of reminded me of the Loch Ness monster. Come on, am I wrong? But she was right on about the reflections that day.

Sloan's Lake

You’re probably wondering just how did Sloan’s Lake come into existence in the first place. Even Mom didn’t know about its origins. Seems that before the 1860s there was no lake there, because the South Golden Road ran through the area, which  connected Denver to the nearby western suburb, Golden.

So let’s take a look at the history of Sloan’s Lake, shall we? In December of 1866, under a newly passed piece of legislation known as the Southern Homestead Act, Thomas M. Sloan applied for and received a land patent from then President Andrew Johnson’s administration with the intent to use the land for agricultural purposes and cattle-raising. It is widely reported, though never confirmed, that Sloan dug a well which inadvertently tapped into an underground aquifer, and he woke the next day to a portion of his property being flooded which then flooded a portion of that road. A realignment of the road, now known as Colfax Avenue on the southern portion of the park and lake occurred. For folks who don’t know, Colfax is known as the “longest continuous commercial street in America” as the major east-west thoroughfare for the western portion of the city. But according to a gold rush era stagecoach driver, Bill Turner, there is some dispute to the origins of the lake. According to Turner, the lake appeared sometime between when he left for Kansas in June 1861 and when he returned in early 1863 according to reports appearing in the Golden Transcript newspaper in 1909. It is possible that Sloan occupied the land prior to receiving his patent, however, it seems highly unlikely that Sloan would have applied for a patent if it was underwater and even less likely that a patent would have been granted under the Act.

In the summer of 1881, a small amusement park and swimming facility opened to the public. “Manhattan Beach”  was the first amusement park to open west of the Mississippi River. Unfortunately, the park suffered a devastating fire 17 years later but was rebuilt as “Luna Park” later in 1908. Mismanagement and competition from nearby Elitch Gardens and the Lakeside amusement park, led Luna Park to close in 1914. A body of water called Cooper Lake (origins unknown), was a separate body of water southeast of Sloan’s Lake, fell under the jurisdiction of the federal WPA (Works Projects Administration created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930’s as part of the New Deal) and a plan was hatched to dig channels linking the two bodies of water, creating the Sloan’s Lake we know today. The combined size of both lakes is 177 acres (0.72 km2), reduced from its initial 200 acres, since portions of the lake were filled north of 25th Avenue and west of Sheridan Boulevard.

So that’s the history that Mom discovered about her favorite place, but let’s see some pics of what else is going on around Sloan’s. Mom discovered gobs of Barn Swallows vigorously defending their mud condos and new babies. You can barely see a little head peeking over the nest, no doubt wondering why she felt it necessary interrupt his breakfast since its parent flew away as soon as she saw Mom move closer. Birds? More like little piglets-what messy houses, but apparently quite strong. I’m not sure I’d issue a building permit, but it seems to suit these birds.



Sloan’s Lake is a refuge many other birds as well. Canadian Geese have a huge presence there as do many other kinds. This Mallard seemed to yell at Mom to move along and let him sunbathe in peace. He looks like he’d make a fine Christmas dinner to me, but I digress. Yum, drool {smacking my lips at the mere thought}.

Birds - Mallard

On a sad note, once again the city posted caution signs about the water being off limits due to another case of Blue-Green Algae. It always makes Mom sad when she sees the signs but understands with the recent warm temperatures, lack of wind, lots of sunlight and plentiful nutrients like phosphorus from fertilizer runoff, those conditions almost always create a new fresh bloom. It’s pretty gross, isn’t it? Can’t imagine anyone wanting to be out on the lake but people are people and Mom said she saw a few kayakers and people fishing from the shoreline. The sign cautions people and pets to avoid any contact with the water. You don’t have to tell me twice. I would rather set my hair on fire than get into any water, even if it wasn’t under a closed order.

Sloan's Lake
West View of the Lake

Health effects in people and animals when they come in contact with infected water whether by touching, drinking, or when airborne droplets are inhaled can cause various problems, such as diarrhea, nausea or vomiting; skin, eye or throat irritation; allergic reactions or breathing difficulties, and even death in pets if they consume large amounts of the contaminated water.

On a separate note, because Mom and I monitor the number of days until the official arrival of Autumn (42 as of today), we came across this view near the Ranch earlier this week. We’re not sure if it means we’re transitioning quickly toward Indian Summer or if trees are simply stressed, but it sure peaked Mom’s interest since Autumn is her favorite season.


Both Mom and I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Rest assured though, we’ll be getting out to enjoy more slices of nature and maybe even return to Sloan’s Lake if it’s not too hot.



Hope springs eternal from this black, fur-coated, award winning correspondent. Wish us luck.

Whatever you do, we hope you enjoy it.


Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday

Monday Musings ~ August 7, 2023

Monday Musings

Elsa and I recently experienced a similar question when we were out on our walk. The woman was certain that Elsa was ‘some sort of Doodle’ and imagine her reaction when I replied, “no, she’s a ‘sub-Standard.’ I always get tickled when humans give me a head tilt look. That goofy response was always more accurate when I was referring to Sam, but not especially as much with Elsa. She’s many things but sub-standard is not one of them.

Here’s wishing you a better than standard week, in fact, we hope it’s 100% pure bread.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ August 4, 2023

Elsa & the ButterflyWelcome to the first Nature Friday post for August. Gosh, where has the time gone? July with its nasty heat came and finally went (thank dog!) and it’s dawned on me that autumn’s official arrival is just a mere 49 days. Forty-nine days, people!! Woo hoo…Elsa here joining Blogville pals Rosy and Sunny from Adventures of the LLB Gang. Remember to click on the link to see what others shared. Let’s get this party started, ok?

Elsa: Hey, Mom…why is there a butterfly on my nose-get it off. I know you’ve been fairly apologetic about not sharing any good smelling flowers recently but if you think a little photo editing is gonna going to make everything ok, guess again.

The Mom: Umm, well, erm, lighten up, Elsa. I was just trying to add a bit of creativeness. Why not tell folks the real truth now…that you’ve been badgering me ever since that post went live, bugging me to find you some nice smelling flowers.

Elsa: Meh…you say potato, I say ‘potahto.’ Let’s just tell readers that you no doubt, have felt lots of remorse and have been looking for fragrant flowers 24/7, to make it up to me?

The Mom. Umm, not 24/7 but I will say I have been looking for flowers with lovely scents but it’s been a challenge this time of year. First the two hail storms from last month pretty much wiped out all the roses, along with just about everything else…

Elsa: {interrupting} And this is my fault exactly how?

The Mom: Ahem, as I was about to say, I have been looking for some fragrant flowers on our walks. We’ve even been taking different routes to see if some garden out there have some fragrant flowers. I did find some marigolds but you made it perfectly clear you weren’t all that keen on them with lots of sneezing after checking them out closely.


Elsa: Doggone straight! “Eau de blech” is not my idea of a sweet smelling fragrance.

The Mom: Yes, but you have to admit they are cheerful and pretty and manage to keep bugs at bay around the tomato and strawberry plants.

Elsa: And there’s a good reason for that. They. Just. Smell. Disgusting! Don’t do that ever again.

The Mom: Umm, o-k-a-y. I can take a hint.

Elsa:  {interrupting with raucous laughter} Bwahahaha, you slay me sometimes, Mom. Hint indeed-HA! I’ve been barking my head off about sweet smelling flowers for weeks and all you can come up with are marigolds? Good grief!

The Mom: Now hold on…hear me out. Marigolds are cheerful, super easy to grow, and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They thrive in hot dry conditions and lord knows, we’ve had plenty of those lately. They will grow in just about any soil, even ours. With two separate kinds (French and African), they’re usually self-sowing and they make excellent companion plants that can repel certain harmful bugs around tomatoes, strawberries, onions and garlic.

Elsa: Oh great, onions and garlic-more disgusting smelly plants. Do you not understand the concept of nice/sweet smelling? Do I have to explain it to you by speaking more slowly and using small words so you’ll get it?

The Mom: Sheesh, I got it. Honestly, you have become such a pill lately.

Elsa: {eyes rolling} Listen, Mom, I don’t mean to harsh your mellow…I just ‘nose’ what I want and am a very focused dog about getting it. That’s all.

The Mom: Yes, I think ‘relentless’ does comes to mind about the things you demand want. Fine, I’ll get you some nicely scented flowers, okay. Are you happy now? Continue reading “Nature Friday ~ August 4, 2023”

Monday Musings ~ July 31, 2023

Welcome to this week’s edition of Monday Musings. After that recent smile with the talking dog seemed to delight many of you, we thought let’s find another one top start out the week. I think you’ll agree these contestants from the 2015 season of Britain’s Got Talent might just fill the bill. Sorry, I was unable to remove those pesky ads in the middle of it, but I still think you just might be charmed, I know I sure was. And anything that can make sourpuss Simon smile…can’t be bad, right? When you combine a charming humble upright with a too “a-dog-able” Wendy and Marc…a winning combination in my books. Let’s hear it for 4 big fat yeses!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ July 28, 2023

Welcome to the last Friday of Hades, erm I mean July. While Monday is the last day of the month from hell, we’re more than happy to bid July farewell early. And good riddance, I say. Elsa here to share something a little bit different for this week’s Nature Friday blog hop hosted by our pals, Rosy and Sunny from Adventures of the LLB Gang. Be sure to check out what others have shared at the link.

ElsaIt’s too doggone hot to be outside lingering over flowers or critters. Mom said the Dogs Days of Summer have their grip on at least 180 million in the US and countless others across the world. This is about all I can do during the day after my morning walk at dawn when it’s relatively comfortable to be outside.

So let’s get to it before it gets any hotter, okay?

Dragon Boat Festival

Thankfully Mom let me stay home while she ‘took one for the team’ attended this year’s Dragon Boat Festival and races held at her favorite nearby park, Sloan’s Lake over the weekend. She’s attended this neighborhood event for years but thought this was the biggest yet. While it was super sunny and hot for Mom, her good friend, (my ‘Auntie Cheryl’ and husband) and recently married granddaughter, Hailey and hubs for this year’s event. Opening day starts out the festival and Mom managed to capture the opening parade by Shaolin Hung Mei Kung Fu with its 75-foot long, colorful, traditional Chinese Dragon winding through the festival to begin the event. The festival celebrates the Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (AANHPI)  with its diverse culture and this year was an exceptional visual feast and the largest one Mom has attended yet. It’s the largest in the Rocky Mountain region with more than 170,000 attendees last year. The Dragon’s presence symbolizes the chasing away “negative energies” by sending good luck, good fortune and a safe day of racing to all of the race teams, vendors and attendees.

Dragon Boat Festival

Dragon Boat Festival
Bringing up the rear

Although Mom didn’t bring her big camera due to the heat, she did pull some close-ups from the festival’s Facebook page.

Dragon Boat Festival
Courtesy Colorado Dragon Boat Festival FB Page – We have a winner!
Dragon Boat Festival
Courtesy of Colorado Dragon Boat Facebook Page – Paddling in unison
Dragon Boat Festival
Participants lining up waiting for their race to begin

The festival was well attended again this year though Mom didn’t find final numbers for visitors this year, which included a couple of feathered friends watching the races from the shoreline. This year’s feathered crowd seemed less than enthusiastic. I think they must have been trying to keep cool.

Sloan's Lake Ducks
Go away and stop bothering us

This year, the festival organizers managed to acquire a few new boats for the first time. So shiny and fierce. I think I might start practicing that kind of dragon intimidating look. It appeals to my inner Ninja. Don’t you think I’d look good trimmed out in gold?

Dragon Boat FestivalThe festival stage featured numerous groups entertaining the crowds throughout the weekend.

Dragon Boat Festival

Organizers seemed to have had more vendors this year with loads of food vendors and Asian crafts. They even provided a water station where Mom and her guests could enjoy “fresh squeezed filtered H20.”

Dragon Boat Festival

It wasn’t especially icy cold, but it was refreshing enough and kept everyone hydrated in the sunny conditions.

Dragon Boat Festival
Need a quick lift?

So that about wraps it up for this year’s festival. We’re going to ride off into the weekend counting the days until the official arrival of Autumn arrives. Fifty-six for anyone keeping track.

Dragon Boat Festival

Sayonara, peeps. Have a good weekend. Here’s to being well hydrated and try to stay as cool as you can but we hope you are still able to enjoy some elements of Mother Nature.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ July 24, 2023

There are several of  these talking dog videos on YouTube that just crack me up. Hope this one provides you with a smile and well…maybe even a kitten to start out your week on a happy note. It started out fairly clever but then left me wanting more on the ending. Guess I’ll be going further down the ‘rabbit hole’ this morning to get more satisfaction. Happy Monday.

Live, love, bark! 🐾