Wash Day Wednesday ~ April 29, 2020

Are you still washing your paws?

Wash Day

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ April 27, 2020

Good morning, peeps. It’s the day (once known as Monday) where, if you’re under mandatory shutdown/isolation orders, you might roll over and go back to sleep. To those of you who are essential or whose states/countries are loosening up restrictions, we want to provide you first, with our thanks, and then a smidge of motivation to face a new week.

Monday

We hope you stay safe and happy today, while making it a pawsome week.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ April 24, 2020

It’s another day in the cluster known as the coronavirus epidemic, but (and only after I looked it up on the calendar–heh, heh…and many people thought paper calendars were obsolete), it appears we’ve reached the day once known as Friday. Today is also the last Friday of what seems like the longest April ever. Today is where we happily join our fur friends, Rosy and her brothers from LLB in our Backyard to check out what Mother Nature  managed to dish up for us.

Snow
Last week

While last week’s storm brought a fair amount of snow, it melted quickly with mild temperatures and sunny days. With that much snow, you never know what will or won’t bloom so this week was a nice surprise. A few daffodils were brought indoors to bring a cheerful spot of nature inside.

Flowers

How nice to not have any shovel snow with a nice break in white stuff, giving the landscape a chance to wake up. Trees are for the most part have barely begun to leaf out, but I have noticed shrubs and perennials are definitely yawning and stretching toward the sun. Let’s look at what a visual difference a week makes after a nice drink of water.

Flowers

We took a different walking route a couple of days ago and came upon a front lawn in bloom with thyme. Pretty little purplish blooms that are easy to maintain.

In my own garden which always tends to be late waking up, the lupine, poppies and peonies are beginning to wake up. Blooms can’t be too far off.Flowers

After snow every week this month, it’s a welcome sight seeing flashes of phlox in borders along our daily walks.

Flowers

My luck with growing tulips in the past has been a definite gardening disappointment. For years, tulips have been deliberately avoided but then I planted a package of mixed bulbs a few years ago which included a few tulips figuring if they didn’t grow, they would at least provide a some compost to the crummy clay soil. They have performed surprisingly well despite their reputation for being finicky after spring storms. I wasn’t sure if these guys would bloom as they were just forming buds late last week when they were dumped on. In the past, tulips have not been particularly forgiving with  spring snows but these surprised me. Imagine my delight as I walked around the garden early this morning and noticed they are blooming.

Flowers

Even some red columbines were starting to bloom much to my delight. They became very unhappy with me last summer when they were ‘somewhat’ neglected during a hot spell. [Note to self: don’t forget to water the columbines this year]. Another surprise that wasn’t white.

Flowers

The Ranch is still sheltering in place despite some restrictions being lifted  beginning on Monday. It should be ‘interesting’ to see how many bazillions of haircuts are given next week. I’ll probably be wearing a hat for the foreseeable near future.

Coronavirus

Any plans this weekend? Whatever you plan to do, we hope it includes loads of smiles with bits of nature sprinkled in for good measure. Happy weekend!

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Earth Day 2020

Earth DayIn a world where we are battling a war against the coronavirus, is it possible to celebrate Earth Day? Last night as I took the dogs on a different route for their evening constitution, I came across this latest piece of chalk art and wondered if it would be possible to mark the 50th anniversary. Obviously with social distancing being the new norm for safety during the pandemic, marching in person wouldn’t be possible. Enter digital technology to step in and continue this important work. Continue reading “Earth Day 2020”

Meet the Breed Monday ~ April 20, 2020

ElsaWe’ve been a bit derelict in putting this post together and apologize for the lateness. First we couldn’t decide who should be next after Norman introduced this series last month and then I couldn’t get him to focus on picking someone from the submissions we received. He kept thinking treats were wrapped up in the entries. Ugh, brothers! Elsa here ready to share this month’s installment of “Meet the Breed.” So without further delay, let’s meet…drumroll please…Schnauzers, Miniature Schnauzers to be precise.

Schnauzer
Look at this adorable face!

Did you know there are three different breeds of Schnauzers: miniature, standard and giant and each one is considered a separate breed. Our good friend, Princess Xena (click on link to visit her blog) provided much of the 411 for this post. She told us that miniatures range in size from 10 to 14 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh anywhere from 10 to 18 pounds. A word to the wise from our Miniature Schnauzer expert: if you’re interesting in this breed, don’t fall for breeders who say they have teacup or toy schnauzers, it’s a distortion of the breed. Schnauzers should be uniform in size; that is the same length from neck to base of tail as they are in height (Xena is 13×13).

According to the AKC, Miniature Schnauzers were bred down from their larger German cousins, Standard Schnauzers. The bushy beard and eyebrows give them a charming expression. They come in four color patterns: salt and pepper, black and silver, solid black and solid white. They were bred to be medium sized farm dogs in Germany, equally suited to ratting, herding and guarding property. The first recorded Miniature Schnauzer appeared in 1888 and they are a member of the Terrier group.

With their working days behind them, today’s Miniature Schnauzer is best known as a friendly, charming companion who continues to be a steady winner in all sorts of competitions.

Miniature Schnauzers are sturdy, clever dogs and enjoy vigorous play. Home and family oriented, they still make great watchdogs and alert their family of any trespassers. Xena says you have to be pretty smart to live with a Miniature Schnauzer or they will outwit you every time. Miniature Schnauzer’s have a strong desire to be with their people and need lots of interaction. They don’t like being left alone and can become bored, inventing their own “fun.” They are active, smart and will happily accompany their uprights on walks or runs. They do equally well in small apartments or on the farm.

SchnauzerMiniature Schnauzers are chow hounds. Left to their own devices, they’d eat a whole bag of kibble. Miniature Schnauzers compete in dog agility trials, obedience, showmanship, flyball, and tracking. Xena is quite the dancer. Schnauzers have a high prey drive, so ‘tree rats’ should exercise caution when Schnauzers are off leash. Miniatures are consistently rated as one of the smartest breeds and their ability to learn and obey new commands is high. Experts rank Miniatures as 5th among the top 15 breeds for their watchdog barking ability.
Schnauzer
Will you be my friend?

We hope you learned a little about these adorably cute dogs. Have you owned one or have stories to share? Next month we’ll showcase another breed. Who could it be? While I’m not giving any clues away, it’s probably someone else from the Blogville community. Just saying. Happy Monday!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ April 17, 2020

It may be April 95th but if the calendar is correct, it’s still Nature Friday which occurs even during the pandemic. So that must mean we’re joining our friends, Rosy and her brothers from LLB in Our Backyard  (click on their link to see other posts from around Blogville) all the while maintaining social distancing. Pandemic or not, there’s still beautiful aspects of nature out there to enjoy virtually, right? 

SnowToday is a beautifully clear blue sky day (albeit with the windchill hovering at 16, quite chilly). The forecast though is calling for a high of 50F so the garden should get a nice cocktail from the melting.

After going from flowers to flakes (as in snowflakes) in a matter of hours, it snowed yesterday. Again. And what a storm! Officially the city was blanketed with a foot of heavy, wet snow though I think it’s more like 6-8 inches here at the Ranch. Early yesterday morning, the visibility was so limited, it was hard to distinguish where the roofline of my neighbor’s house  ended and the sky began.

Snow

The flower scene really hasn’t changed much this past week but some of the chalk art has been impressive. If you follow us on Instagram (you do follow us, right?), you know I’ve posted images from along our daily walks and some very impressive chalk art has been showing up in the ‘hood. Many are created by people just trying to fill boredom during the pandemic, some are just there to inspire or make you smile. Either way, it’s been nice to see how  neighbors continue to deal with the stay-at-home restrictions. Nature isn’t the only artist around.

Chalk art

Chalk art

Norman is hopeful today that the weekend offers more spring-like beauty with far more mileage than we experienced yesterday. What are your plans for the  the weekend? Hopefully you can get out and enjoy some of the beauty nature offers this time of year. Without the white stuff, of course and at a safe distance.

Norman

Nature FridayLive, love, bark! 🐾

Wordless Wednesday ~ April 15, 2020

Bird
Red-headed male House Finch

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Bedhead Monday

Yawn…please don’t tell me it’s Monday already. Ugh. Think I need a spot of a groom to deal with this bedhead look.Norman

This is no way to usher in a new week. Any chance they make Sheepdog mousse? It’s bad enough that it’s snowing again, but to look this bad on top of it…argh!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ April 10, 2020

Greetings fellow Nature lovers. Welcome to Nature Friday where we happily join our fur friends, Rosy and her brothers from LLB in our Backyard for this week’s edition.

You may recall where I’ve shared the Mile High area has ‘enjoyed‘ a lot of up and down weather these past 3 weeks. We seem to be in a pattern that repeats itself weekly…sunny and warm for a couple of days, a small snow storm, then warming up again. It may be a bit challenging to have any Easter egg hunts as the forecast once again calls for snow to arrive, this time on Easter Sunday.

We relished absolutely gorgeous days this week that highlighted beautiful spring bulbs which in this age of sad COVID news helps brighten low spirits. And a couple of real stunners to boot helped lift my spirits.

The Ranch hands experienced a couple of scary encounters on their normal walks with unleashed pets (along with their unleashed owners not adhering to social distancing) so we’ve been mixing up our routes to avoid as many people as possible which is why I decide to walk over to Sloans Lake, the urban, man-made lake in the park with the same name. We were richly rewarded for our efforts on the warmest day yet.

On the way over, I saw Hellebore flowers in someone’s front yard. I have never seen them outside of the pampered environment of the botanic gardens. They’re so pretty but fussy about their environment but look how well they’re doing in an urban landscape and just beginning their seasonal bloom.

Flowers

Along with the Hellebore, another spring beauty were these Scilla Sardensis, known as Glory of the Snow. I love seeing these little blue flowers popping up in spring. So cute and colorful.

Flowers

One of the best reasons to visit Sloans Lake are its lovely city views. With a beautiful city skyline toward the east, I often look toward downtown, but when you look in the opposite direction, you can catch snowy mountain peaks. On a mostly clear day, that view was just too beautiful not to share.

Mountains

The Ranch Hands and I wish you a lovely weekend. Please stay safe, keep smiling and wash those paws. We also recommend wearing a mask if you must go out. Shopping trips have turned into a gigantic scavenger hunt. Some items you find, others remain elusive. I’m learning how to function wearing a mask which makes my face sweaty and fogs up my glasses while simultaneously getting by with less. Norman made his own PSA for staying safe.

Norman

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Some Bunny Loves You

Whether you celebrated Passover yesterday or Easter this Sunday, the Ranch hands send their best ‘howliday’ wishes to everyone. With social distancing/stay in place mandates, please remember some “bunny” in Denver loves you and sends their best virtual greetings. While we may not be able to physically touch or hug, we still want you to know that we’re thinking of you at this time of year (with a-pawlogies for being a day late on Passover greetings).

Easter

Chag Sameach, Happy Easter!

Live, love, bark! 🐾