Monday Musings ~ November 8, 2021

Halloween

The neighborhood has barely put away all of its Halloween decor when we walked past the yard above over the weekend to discover another frightening scene in its place. Ugh, I think I need a Bromo-seltzer to settle that queasy feeling in my stomach. With weekend temps hitting the upper 70’s, some peeps are already dragging out the Christmas gear before raking up all their leaves. *sigh

Christmas

I suppose if Costco can start displaying Christmas decorations in early September, then anything is possible. Here’s to having a ‘festive’ week-whichever holiday you’re preparing for. Have you managed to source your Thanksgiving turkey yet? I’ve heard there are…wait for it…supply chain issues related to the Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings.

Live, love, bark!🐾

Nature Friday ~ November 5, 2021

Nature FridayWelcome to the first Friday of November for this week’s edition of Nature Friday as we join our pals, Rosy, Sunny, Arty and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard. For those keeping track, there are only 57 days left in 2021! Try and wrap your head around that while we take a look at this past week.

Having survived a cold Halloween with a chilly temps and a few days of light frosts, the Mile High has returned back to mild temps and clear skies. It seems like Mother Nature tapped many trees on the shoulder as a reminder to shed their leaves and some seem happy to oblige.

Trees

Others have taken a hybrid approach, with some leaves still on and some off. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to know that I came close, ever so close, to jumping into that small pile of leaves to the left of this tree imitating Linus who always jumped into the middle of Charlie Brown’s freshly raked pile. I did come to my homeowner senses but wondered how many kids walking home from school couldn’t quite manage to do the same without enjoying some joyful mischief.

Trees

And then there’s my Catalpa which naively takes the Scarlett O’Hara approach to dealing with the upcoming winter season: “Tomorrow is another day.”

TreeUmm…sweetheart, I hate to break it to you but while it’s mild now, it’s no longer summer and you need to pick up the pace to catch up with the rest of the trees.

One of the more interesting aspects of autumn is how leaves impact the dogs. Daily “walks” take on a whole different vibe. It’s as if Nature opened a library and invited the Ranch hands to come in and browse through the collection. And browse they do. What normally takes nearly an hour to complete our route is now taking more than an hour and a half as they read each. and. every. page.

Norman cannot seem to get enough sniffing done in leaves. This Ranch Hunk takes any job on with gusto but his work ethic seems particularly focused when checking out leaves. And not all sniffs result in ‘watering.’

Norman

He roots around, over and under leaves as if he were a Bloodhound tracking a lost child. What is it about autumn leaves that turns dogs into Sherlock Holmes looking for clues?

Elsa takes a different approach to leaves. Oh sure her nose goes into overdrive when she’s on those narrow strips of grass between street and sidewalk much like Norman does but will try to find a clear pathway without leaves on sidewalks. Apparently she has no desire to crunch leaves and goes out of her way to not step on them when they cover sidewalks. Sam was the same way and would weave like an Army convoy around leaves on sidewalks. Norman being the Humvee sized dog that he is, merely plows through waiting for the next deep patch that he can plunge his probiscuis into olfactory nirvana. I think there were audible sighs of pleasure.

How does your good dog approach walking (or in our case  sniffing bouts) in fallen leaves?

Halloween

Do you have big plans this weekend, like sending the Halloween back into their storage shed? Whatever you do, we hope you get outside and enjoy Mother Nature first hand and have a great weekend.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Wish I Was There Wednesday ~ November 3, 2021

Are you ready for the time change? Do you favor or oppose DST?

Prague
Astronomical Clock, Prague

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ November 1, 2021

Happy first of November! Where has the year gone? Norman is happily contributing to today’s post so take it away, Norman.

Thanks, mum. So remember when we were out the other day and you found your dream car? Umm, I don’t think a vintage Mini Cooper is in your near future, mum. Looks like size apparently does matter.

Norman

Mum and I and even the crabbish Ninja hope you all have a great week where everything is full sized and fun.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ October 29, 2021

Nature FridayWelcome to the last Friday of October for this week’s edition of Nature Friday where we observed some urban Nature. As always, we’re joining our PNW pals, Rosy, Sunny, Arty and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard.

While parts of the both Coasts were pounded by rain, the Mile High received a pittance of wet stuff and what did fall was more leaves than moisture. It was very windy for a couple of days so a lot of leaves are no longer on trees. I was determined to find any remaining color on yesterday afternoon’s walk and  was quite surprised at what I encountered. Care to tag along on a walk through the ‘Hood to see what we found?

First off, many trees still look like those in my yard. Green with brown edges. Even my two Locust trees are only slightly yellow, fairly unusual for this time of year. The Catalpa looks as if it’s still channeling summer. Its leaves mockingly stare with a look of disapproval when I pulled out the leaf rake. I think I heard it chortle, “Fat chance, lady-you ain’t getting rid us any time soon.”

Trees

Ok, big boy, but your day will come…one way or another. Think wet snow, dude. Many oaks I’ve come across look similar but not nearly as arrogant as the Catalpa. I think they’re just trying to figure out what the heck is going on this autumn.

Trees

As I wandered about, I was determined to find some colorful trees. And I wasn’t disappointed. Looks like it pays to take different routes on occasion to see different landscapes. Ahem…you hear that Elsa…Miss Can’t Possibly Deviate from the Route” walking partner. I feel rather foolish for kvetching about a lack of color on our daily walks. I stand corrected, Mother Nature, with my apologies.

While this maple had a lot of green on it, there were a fair number of red mixed in on the lower branches.

Leaves

This maroon beauty was especially pretty even in the shadows of a corner lot.

Trees

There’s nothing I enjoy more than a long autumn walk on a clear day. We’ve been blessed with lots of those trademark Colorado bluebird skies lately and they stand out in between colorful leaves.

Trees

Colorado’s rising COVID numbers may be depressing, but receiving a healthy dose of Vitamin D daily helps keep the spirits up.

Trees

Turning onto a new street, this red beauty practically screamed at me.

Trees

At least it should be easy distinguishing fallen leaves on the ground from brown grass and leaves as shown on this nearby sidewalk.

Leaves

A detour over to Sloan’s Lake shows how clear the skies were yesterday. The downtown skyline gleamed.Sloans Lake

While on my walks, I’ve been noticing Halloween decorations. The neighborhood has really gone all out. My favorite house that I pass every day has a colossus skeleton, a dozen life size skellies, and a dog skelton (they are the people who had the gigantic Aragog spider that I featured earlier). Yesterday they had added 3 vultures overlooking their fence. Earlier in the week, the colossus was engaged in a game of tug-o-war (see on our Instagram feed) with the skellies. These folks must have a great sense of humor. I always laugh at their latest arrangement with the decorations.

Halloween

People seem to be embracing costumes too. This local pup was dressed in prison stripes behind bars of his yard which made me giggle. “Louie” was not amused by my response and barked ferociously as I passed.

Dogs

It’ll be interesting to see if any Trick-o-Treaters will venture out this weekend. The weather is set to change here with rain/snow showers starting Sunday evening. Typical Colorado weather for Halloween. I’ll be prepared just in case some fool trick-o-treaters decide freezing is worth a piece of candy.

What are your plans for the “Howl-oween” weekend? Staying in or going out? Whatever you do, we hope there’s some outside time taking in all that Nature offers us when we only take a moment to look. Stay safe but have fun.

Live, love, bark!  🐾

One Word Wednesday ~ October 27, 2021

Autumn

Autumn

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Festival Recap ~ Part Deux

Hello mates, Norman here to share more photos from the weekend’s adventures mum and I had at hospital’s Fall Festival. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but any time I get a chance to ride in the car, I’m in. Just don’t forget to bring my costume, mum!

Norman

There were a lot of games for all those little people to play. I came “this” close to catching that ball till mum reminded me that I was there as an observer, not a participant.

Norman

But don’t cry for me, I got to spend some quality one-on-one time with lots of little people…some of them even tried to poke my eye out give me a treat.

Norman

No sweat, little guy. I like pineapples.

The Flight for Life helicopter made an appearance and all the  kiddos wanted to sit in it. It was pretty noisy but great fun for attendees.

Helicopter

We had a great time hanging out with the other pet therapy dogs and their mums. Logan and his mum, Janet went dressed up as “Mardi Growls.” These guys definitely know how to ‘par-tay!’

ELMC

My friend Delia, a hospital staffer, brought her recently rescued pup to the event. Bubba definitely won the dog lotto by getting adopted by her as she is one of the kindest people we’ve met at hospital. He wasn’t quite sure what to make of me so I was careful to be extra kind to him so as not to scare the little guy.

Bubba

Nurses seem to be drawn to me, and you know what? I don’t mind one little bit.

ELMC nurse

Face painting and painting pumpkins were a bit hit with lots of diligent artists.

ELMC Fall Festival

Our group led the pet parade for all dogs in attendance as well as anyone who wanted to walk with us.

ELMCMum and I spread the word about the very cool backdrop at the photo booth. My pal Bindee and her mum, Joy took  advantage. Isn’t Bindee just the cutest little pumpkin you’ve ever seen on a lap?

Our director, Donna has a beautiful and super talented black  miniature poodle. Roxie, a champion dancer who also competes in nose work, is nothing like my sister and she made sure to tell me not all black poodles are Ninjas. Whew…that’s a  relief!

Even mum and I decided to get in on the action at the photo booth. We’re just a “couple of jokers” having a good time.

Jokers

It was good seeing our Golden pal Riley and her mum, Jaycee. Riley has been very sick this past year with an autoimmune disorder and is just now able to bring smiles to people. She’s a real sweetheart and loved by all who meet her.

Fall Festival

A group photo of the pet therapy dogs show we’re a good looking and a well behaved bunch.

ELMC Fall Festival

As events go this one was a nice family affair. It was good being able to spend time in the community after last year’s event was cancelled due to COVID. But I can assure you, I was one knackered boy at the end of the day. I fell fast asleep in the Ninja’s bed-something I never do (she wasn’t too happy about it but I was so tired and it was the first bed I found).

Norman

Mum and I are back at hospital again today after having great visits yesterday. We’ll share details about those adventures soon. What do you plan to wear for Halloween fun?

Halloween

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ Fall Festival Recap

Greetings and happy Monday. Norman and some of his fellow pet therapy friends participated at this year’s Halloween Fall Festival over the weekend. This hunk continues to impress me with his calm nature, especially at an event with loads of sugared-up kiddos, absent minded adults not watching where they’re stepping and a loud entertainment system blasting hip-hop music. Still, a good time was had by one and all. Here are some photos from the event.

Norman continues to impress me around little kids. Many of them are understandably wary of this ‘Joker’ because of his size. But he was patient and calm, especially around the smallest ones and managed to drew crowds of both big and little peeps. Norman was only too happy to serve up kisses.

Norman

This smiling Princess was initially hesitant to pet Norman but then she realized he was soft and sweet. Soon she was very happy meeting Norman and he loved the attention he received.

Norman

There were a number of non pet therapy pups in attendance and this miniature Dachshund named Amelia was in dog heaven greeting them all with one of the fastest tail wags I’ve ever seen. She was very smitten with Norman despite the size differential. Norman and I tried to recruit her for the program because she was such a sweetie and just loved everyone.

Dogs  Norman was thrilled to see his little pal, Bindee, who charmed the pants off young and old alike in her pumpkin costume. She didn’t seem to mind posing with this ‘Joker.’

Norman

There were loads of games and activities for kids to enjoy and a variety of good hearted hospital staff to greet them as well, along with a nice photo booth for family photos.

Halloween

“Little Bo Peep” (and fellow pet therapist) Dawn was voted best huMom by all the pet therapy dogs for sharing bites of hot dog with the gang. Pictured with Norman are Logan, an agility champion (dressed as “Mardi Growls”) and her Dolly posing as a lost lamb, as Dawn shared bites for the gang. As a dog trainer she knew just how to enlist their attention and even though they are all professionals, events like this can be somewhat overwhelming.

Halloween

Norman will be back at hospital today for visits with nurses and patients. He will post more photos from the weekend event tomorrow. We hope these costumed therapy dogs brought you a smile to start out your week.

Halloween

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ October 22, 2021

Nature Friday

Welcome to this week’s edition of Nature Friday where we observe some of the wonder in Nature. As always, we’re joining Rosy, Sunny, Arty and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard.

We walk past these pretty cool plants all the time and I’ve always wondered what they were. They’re especially perfect being planted in that useless area between the street and sidewalk. I finally figured out they are known as Datura, a plant originally from South America (Datura are related to Brugmansia which looks similar but whose flowers droop downward while Datura blooms always bloom upward). These plants are best known for their bold trumpet shaped flowers and rapid growth. Despite considered a short-lived herbaceous perennial, their self seeding habit assures continually new plants.

Flowers

Reaching a height up to 4 feet (1 m.) tall, the blooms are fragrant especially at night and make a striking appearance in any moon garden. The flowers are generally white but edged in purple. The flowers are quite large, with soft stems with lobed leaves which have a grayish, green tinge to them and are slightly furred. The prickly looking pod ensures they’ll be back year after year. The seeds inside these pods look similar to tomato seeds but be kept away from pets and small people as these plants are toxic.

Flowers

They make such a beautiful statement in the garden and their fragrance is divine.

Flowers
Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Horticulture

On yesterday’s walk, we took a different route to spice things up and boy am I glad. While many things in the urban landscape are winding down at the end of a long, dry summer, and looking rather dull, image my joy at seeing this reblooming bearded iris along our walk. They are such an appreciated addition to any garden.

Flowers
Reblooming Bearded Iris

Always welcome in the spring, it brings even greater joy in autumn when it blooms a second time.

We’re poised for a great weekend with mild temps in the 303. For the last few days of October, I’ll take it. Norman is ‘pawticipating’ in the hospital’s annual Halloween Fall Festival with pet therapy parade tomorrow and hope there’ll be some fun photos to share next week. We hope you have a ‘pawsome’ weekend and enjoy the amazing elements of Nature.

Halloween

Live, love, bark 🐾

Wordless Wednesday ~ October 20, 2021

Hummingbird

Live, love, bark!  🐾