Welcome to Monday. As I was looking for a smile to share, I came across this cartoon. My dogs cannot fathom spending too much time with me. They make sure it’s in the tightest of quarters just to keep things interesting. In my small, narrow galley-style kitchen, Norman apparently thinks I need tightrope walker training by ‘encouraging’ me to navigate around him while cooking. Having this dog means your joints get well lubricated as you high-step over him.
We hope your week is spent with lots of pawsome ‘underfoot’ time. Happy Monday.
Having enjoyed more than a few days of life sustaining moisture earlier this week, spring has ramped up its presence. Tulips continue to bloom but other spring bulbs and tubers are now front and center. Alliums, a member of the garlic family, are now blooming and are quite gorgeous. We’ve been encountering many of them along our daily walks. Allium are a genus of monocotyledonous flowering plants that includes hundreds of species, including cultivated onion, garlic, scallion, shallot, leek, and chives. Did you know allium is the Latin word for garlic? Allium vary in size in the different species, ranging from small (approximately 2–3 mm in diameter) to large (8–10 cm).
Bearded irises have begun blooming too, assuring lovely bouquets for alfresco dining.
Even the heavenly-scented lilacs, are beginning to emerge from a long winter sleep.
With all the rain we’ve received lately, woodland plants are verdant and beginning to bloom. Lupines and woodruff are some of my favorites.
Not all the moisture that’s fallen recently has been rain. It recently has been ‘snowing’ a bit, too.
Just kidding, that fallen ‘snow’ is just spent blossoms. Had you going there for a second, didn’t I?
It seems warmer and drier weather is in the foreseeable future and will be welcomed. Yesterday was a day of R&R enjoying the landscape while visiting my dad in southeast Colorado.
We hope you enjoy your weekend but don’t forget to use some sunscreen. Or you could spend outdoor time under an umbrella like I did yesterday. Either way, we hope any time is spent outside enjoying nature is ‘wagnificent.’
Happy Monday, peeps! We hope you had a great weekend. Just a reminder…today is the final day to timely file your income taxes in the U.S. if you have not done so yet. I have always filed mine as early as possible but this year a Thundershirt might have made filing during COVID a little less stressful.
Welcome to this week’s edition of Nature Friday where we join our ‘fur-iends’ from Adventures of the LLB Gang. It’s been another crazy wild weather week including temps in the 80’s and a flash snowstorm on Tuesday. Springtime in the Rockies continues to be all over the map but one that that has been consistent where tulips are concerned. Like many others around Blogville, I’ve noticed they have been more beautiful this year than in the recent past years. The moisture we’ve been receiving lately has no doubt impacted how lovely they are. While I think we’re done with more snow, the next few days are calling for showers-a bit of a treat in the Mile High since we’re more likely to receive snow before rain so this will be a pleasant change of pace.
One early morning dog walk this week highlighted just how pretty tulips have been. With the rising sun behind them, the early light made them look almost transparent. This yard is nothing to write home about but three large clumps of tulips in a fabulous shade of pink along the side yard, one could almost think it’s channeling a “Better Homes & Gardens” landscape.
Even though these tulips are quite pretty, let’s take a look at another beauty that has been blooming, the crabapple tree. As a kid, each street in our neighborhood showcased a different tree on that strip of grass between the street and sidewalk. My family’s designated tree was crabapple and for a couple of weeks in the spring, it was one of the most beautiful streets in the whole area. With this week’s rain and snow, their blooming has been extra spectacular in Denver.
Malus is a genus of apple trees which are small deciduous trees or shrubs that are included in the family Rosaceae and includes the domesticated orchard apple. Other species are commonly known as crabapples, crab apples, crabtrees, or wild apples. The genus is native to the temperate zones in the Northern Hemisphere.
These trees are typically 4–12 m (13–39 ft) talI at maturity, with a dense, twiggy crown. Leaves are about 3–10 cm (1.2–3.9 in) long, alternate, simple, with a serrated margin. The flowers are borne in corymbs, and have five petals, which may be white, pink or red, and are perfect that produce copious amounts of pollen.
Many apples require cross-pollination which are frequently accomplished with the cooperation of bees, which freely visit the flowers for both nectar and pollen. Self-pollination is impossible, thus making these hardworking insects essential.
Several of the species hybridize freely and are a good source of food for butterflies and moths. The fruit is a “globose pome” meaning they are a type of fruit that is produced by flowering plants, varying in size (from 1–4 cm (0.39–1.57 in) diameter in most of the wild species, to about 6 cm (2.4 in) or even larger in certain cultivated orchard apples. The centre of the fruit contains five carpels arranged star-like, each containing one or two seeds.
There are about 42 to 55 species and natural hybrids with about 25 from China.
Can you see why they’re part of the Rosaceae family? I walk past these trees usually twice a day and they look like gigantic bouquets of roses.They were particularly showy yesterday with clear blue skies highlighting those gorgeous blooms. While some people make crabapple jelly from the fruit, more often they provide food for the neighborhood birds in autumn. Do you have any crabapple trees in your neighborhood?
Norman, Elsa and I hope you have a wonderful weekend and are able to get out and enjoy some of the beauty Mother Nature offers this time of year.
Welcome to Nature Friday where we join our ‘fur-iends’ from Adventures of the LLB Gang. Mother Nature has been all over the map this week. It’s been a bit of a typically weird Springtime in the Rockies kind of week weather-wise.
As I drove back from my parents house in southern Colorado, a large wet weather front hit pretty much most of the state but especially along the I-25 corridor. Monument Pass (just north of Colorado Springs) received several inches of white stuff. Luckily the roads weren’t too slippery but with nearly 15 miles of road construction, it was a slow, sad slog home.
While I was in Pueblo, Norman and I took occasional walks around the chaparral near my parent’s house. There are lots of ancient pinyon and cedar trees, some a few hundred years old. Norman wasn’t particularly interested in their history, only the crossing trails of bunny scents.
While snow this time of year is not unusual in the state, a couple of days of rain are (we’re more likely to receive snow than rain). The rain has refreshed the landscape, washed off the dust and grime of the city and brightened everything as Spring moves forward. The tulips have been extra gorgeous this year.
After a few days of rain and cold, Colorado’s bluebird skies and sunny conditions returned. They made for a great background for the now flowering crabapple trees yesterday.
The yo-yo temperatures will continue today, likely reaching 81ºF. That said, the forecast for early next week once again includes snow, keeping the past few years of history intact around Mother’s Day, with snow in the Mile High. If you don’t like the current weather, just wait 10 minutes because it will no doubt change to something you may enjoy.
Whatever is your jam, we hope you have a lovely weekend and you’re able to share some of nature’s beauty with Happy Mother’s Day wishes to all moms, whether your kid has two or four legs (or wings).
Welcome to the May edition of “In Purrsuit of Flavours where we join our host “fur-iends” The Canadian Cats and the French boys over at Easy Weimaraner’s Blog . Because today is the 5th of May, we’re taking a look at the celebration known as Cinco de Mayo. If you click on the host links, you’ll see other shared recipes from around Blogville.
Before we share a recipe, what is this thing called Cinco de Mayo anyway? Cinco de Mayo (which is Spanish for “Fifth of May”) is an annual celebration held every May 5. It commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862 under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza. The victory of the smaller Mexican force against a larger French force provided a big morale booster for the Mexicans. A year later though, an even larger French force defeated the Mexican army at the Second Battle of Puebla, and Mexico City soon fell to the invaders although the celebration is still commemorates the Mexican victory.
Rooted in the Second French intervention in Mexico in the aftermath of the 1846–48 Mexican–American War and the 1858-1861 Reform War, internal strife between Liberals and Conservatives in Mexico as well as the near bankrupting of the Mexico Treasury led President Benito Juárez to issuing a moratorium whereby all foreign debt payments would be suspended for two years. In response, France, Britain and Spain sent naval forces to Veracruz to demand reimbursement. Britain and Spain negotiated with Mexico and peacefully withdrew, but France, at the time ruled by Napoleon III, used the opportunity to establish an empire in Mexico that would favor French interests. The empire was part of an envisioned “Latin America” (term used to imply cultural kinship of the region with France) that would rebuild French influence in the American continent and exclude AnglophoneAmerican territories.
Cinco de Mayo is more popularly celebrated in the United States than in Mexico and the date has become associated with the celebration of Mexican-American culture. These celebrations began in California, where they have been observed annually since 1863.
Now that we know the reason for this fun and tasty celebration, let’s get to the recipe we’re sharing. We figured there’d be plenty of tasty tacos, burritos and enchiladas along with course plenty of margarita recipes, so we thought we’d go for something a little different. Sangria.
1-1/2 bottles Cabernet Sauvignon
1 cups Brandy
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 oranges cut into 1/2″ rounds
2 lemons cut into 1/2″ rounds
2 limes cut into 1/2″ rounds
2 apples cored and cut into 1/2″ cubes
2 cups chilled sparkling water
In a large pitcher, combine cabernet, brandy, orange juice, and sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves.
Add oranges, lemons, limes and apples. Stir.
Add sparkling water and stir to combine.
Chill overnight, or serve immediately over ice.
Sangria is a refreshing type of an adult summer time drink that will go well with all sorts of food. I’ve made it without the brandy to keep it nice and light and even used a Pinot (or a red blend) in place of the Cabernet. Sangria can easily be customized to suit your own taste buds.
You may have noticed we’ve been absent lately. A death in the family has taken an emotional toll on my heart and posting has been the last thing on my mind. When I returned home from being with the family, I was greeting by a deck of cards on the floor along with a certain card shark. Through my tears from the unbearable loss our family has suffered, the clouds over my heart lifted for a just a moment. Today’s moral…never play cards with the Ninja. This girl plays to win and will eat you alive.
Happy Monday, troops. This week we restart the process of getting back to pet therapy with an updated orientation class on Friday. While Norman won’t be attending that session, he still continues to update his K-9 levels through lots of people interactions.
We hope you have a ‘pawsome’ week and get daily doses of the magic K-9 vitamin.