Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I could never do a wordless Wednesday blog. I talk too much. Texture, the tactile quality, either visual or actual, helps us fulfill one of our many senses. The water lettuce is very slick looking and it sheds water quickly, but when you touch it, there is definitely a smooth texture. When you toss the little young plants in the water they will flip themselves over just like a rubber duck. First frost and this will all be gone. It takes too much light to be able to bring it inside.
Sage, a rough texture, is the only herb that I grew this year. I bought a new plant but one of my older plants also survived last winter. I like to plant herbs next to my sidewalk paths so that your legs will rub against it as you walk bu and you can smell the herb. This sage will be great for my wife to use in her dressing at Thanksgiving.
We are getting down to 41 degrees tonight here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A simple white rose.....

This is my neighbor's rose. It is a very small rose and usually you see it in a cluster. It has such a beautiful form to it and I was glad I could isolate this one.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Murray, Iowa.......

When I was young, the bottom floor of this building was a furniture store and the American Legion met upstairs. I have a dresser and a desk at my mom's house that was bought here in 1959. It is all fake wood but was built strong and is still in good shape. The furniture store was owned by the funeral home owners. As you can see now that the Legion has moved downstairs and check out the little sign on the door on the left of the building by clicking on the picture.
The paint job is new as I don't ever remembering it looking like this before and it certainly cheers it up.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Southern Iowa.....

Iowa has diverse land forms. I complain about seeing corn and beans on flat land but that is only in certain areas of the state. The glaciers played around a lot in Iowa. I use to live in Sidney, Iowa, on the edge of the bluffs that line the Missouri River. The bluffs are awesome and unusual, called loess hills. I could step into my backyard in Sidney and roll way down the hill. It was almost too steep to mow. In northern Iowa, seventy five percent of the richest soil in the world is found there. It is rich black dirt. In the far northeast of Iowa we have different land forms that remind one of European country hills.
In central Iowa where I now live we are fairly flat. The rivers have created land forms though, that give us hills and dales.We have farmers near here that own machines to pick up all the rocks that the glacier left behind. The rocks work up year after year.
In southern Iowa where I was raised as a kid, we had a hilly farm with clay soil and rocks everywhere. There is very little black soil in the south other than along the rivers and creeks.
The picture above is our rolling hills of the south. This particular area reminds me of England and Scotland, as the hills are very rolling and the cattle graze on the top and sides of the hills. When I drive to Osceola, I know that I am almost there when I see these hills. The town of Osceola is actually built on rolling hills like this with the courthouse at the top of the hill. If you can imagine hard enough less the two hundred and fifty years ago, we still had prairie grasses everywhere, buffalo, no trees and the Native American Indians lived along the rivers and streams. I had a Uncle who lived near Chariton that was a winter location of Indian tribes. He had large collections of artifacts from that farm.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Could you find for me a wrench?

It takes so many tools to do any job, and the residue of junk that develops around the area builds up. There are clues of all the different things that I am doing while remodeling a bathroom. I don't understand why the clothes hanger is in the arrangement but all the rest makes sense to me. I am ninety percent done with the plumbing, I have started the dry wall, and all the major problems that needed to be solve are done. The rest is purely cosmetic work to get the finished look as if it didn't take much time or thought to accomplish it. The water does run down the shower drain, and doesn't puddle anywhere. The drain did finally get aligned to the hole of the shower and it does all work. The technical stuff is out of the way, and yet some of the cosmetic will be a challenge. Take a thirty year old bathroom and make it look clean, nice, and well designed.
I definitely will have some tools to put away.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday's flower........impatience.

This flower is very patient with me when I forget to water it. It just wilts down and expresses thirst, then I water it and back it comes.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Burning bush.......

This is the transitional colors of this bush as it will eventually be bright red. Our weather is cooler longer but we got up to 72 degrees today which was warm while driving in a car.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hidden Beauty.......

A busy Wednesday........ as our season changes quickly, one must stop and notice or one misses it all.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Furry Friends

Dog show observations. Sometimes you just have to watch the fringe of the whole happening.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Faded Glory.....

This white zinnia has been a good one for me. I bought it because of it's clean white look with a green tint. It was a Martha Stewart seed packet and I plan to do an all white area with them next year. I need to either make envelopes or buy them to help me to store all the different colors of seeds.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Monarch butterfly......

Do you remember the story of the fisherman that tells one how big the fish was but it got away.? Well, there were many Monarch butterflies and they all got away except this one. When I first bought my property I didn't know about Monarch migrations, but I went out into the yard one afternoon and the entire row of bushes the entire length of my lot was covered with butterflies on their south side. They have taken place most years. Some years one is too busy and can miss seeing anything, but this year we had a large number, not a huge number that were flying south. I could look up into the sky and see six or eight at a time, but the weather is warm, so they were landing in the tops of my trees. I could walk towards the flower gardens and they were dotting around but I could only get one picture and this is it. They say that they land and eat to restore their energy, but I could only muster up this one on the zinnia. It would be ironic if another group goes through and I don't look so foolish, but some of you will believe me.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Photos a day.....Bees and wasp.....

It would be easier to do the one photo a day, but all of these tell the story and I need you to see them all. I haven't seen honey bees most of the summer and they are all over this sedum plant. I also have a wasp in there that I hadn't noticed while shooting. I was amazed at how close I could get to the bees and they were just so hungry for the sugar in the plants they didn't bother me.
The bees are almost transparent against the pink sedum. That is the same wasp as in the other picture, he just moved to another plant.
As a photographer, I would say this was my best picture, but my lens power doesn't compare to a lot of you out there. I am just happy to see bees.....

Friday, September 18, 2009

Maine Lighthouse

This was the last place we visited before we crawled into our rental car and started driving south to Portland, for our flight home. We went through some older towns on the island and saw a couple of old cemeteries that I wished we had time to photograph. My daughter in law doesn't know she was in the photo. The area was fenced in so one couldn't get a very creative shot of the lighthouse.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Geranium, garden variety.......

A sculptural form from the simple shapes of a geranium. The final blooms in the planter before the first frost.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

MUMS....and roses.....

Variable soft color, light, texture, layered petals unfolding, they all make the rose an asymmetrical beauty.

Color, texture, light and form, makes the mum a symmetrical beauty.

The rose is the one that grows in my mom's garden, the mums grow at the neighbors garden in which I helped to transplant. It is amazing the beauty of such different forms can still cause the same emotional feeling.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tired Tuesday.......

All dogs, are small in their own minds. Our border collie wants to sit on our lap and lots of big dogs just can't get close enough to their person.
At the dog show, this was apparently down time for this retriever, and his person sat down and picked him up and placed him on his lap. The stuffed duck in the mouth is the icing on the cake.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Maine coast......

Gray day on the coast but this was the first place where we could actually stand along the shore and see those waves coming in, ground level.
Otter cliff on Acadia National Park. My son wanted me to see this area specifically. He has a degree with geology understanding, and he pointed out that you can see the most distinct evidence of volcanic action on this cliff area. I did say geographic as his degree which comprises many studies including computer skills to do analysis of land forms. It is a newer major that is a BA in Geography. His interning at this park got him hooked on the area, plus a girlfriend now wife who is a third generation Mainer....

Sunday, September 13, 2009


When I found this dented rusty graniteware pan, the bottom of a double boiler, out in an old farmstead yard, I never dreamed it would work so well for these plants. I did drill a few holes in the bottom so it wouldn't get water logged.

As the summer winds down they are holding their own. If they had been in the ground they would have been weathered and dried up.

I hope that I can bring it in before the frost and keep it going for a while in the house. The furnace will take it down pretty fast.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Maine Sculpture......

Our visit to Maine was short, but it is good that we didn't stay too long to get bored. I miss my son Aaron and his wife Keegan. It will be nice to go back and visit again. We also had not see our older son Andy and his wife Patricia for a long time. They are in Chicago so we can make a trip out easier to see them.
Maine and the mountains and the ocean can cast of spell of tranquility on you. Even in the rain, it has a special effect on your being. My friends in England and France have such a different view of the world in the place that they live. They probably see the ocean regularly and it has always been a part of their lives. My wife and I seem so landlocked now, especially once the winter starts to set in around here.
I really like the dead trees when they have so many branches still attached and the roots were interesting. Since the soil is scarce on the rock mountain, a lot of the roots sit on top of the rocks.
When I do a painting of the North Shore, Minnesota, I always try to put a weathered top of a pine tree in the landscape, whether it is really there or not. The vine at the bottom of this sculpture reminds me of poison ivy. I didn't pay close enough attention when I took the photo, but there was ivy spotted all over the area. It will turn completely red before the leaves fall off of their vines.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Opposites on the color wheel........

Contrasting colors......a new theme....... now an old theme....

Orange, a warm color is enhanced when placed next to a blue color. Blue a cool color is a restful color.

Blue willow, so many copies, who has the oldest one? My oldest blue willow plate from my Grandmothers cupboard, has Japan marked on the bottom of it. I watched a show on tv today that said it has to have the England stamp on it to make it a lot more valuable.

Orange tomatoes, that once they are picked, they will turn red.

A shiny blue vase.

While planning this final contrasting colors theme, I noticed this hand painted floral design on the side of this hurricane lamp globe. The camera made the dark oranges look red, but they really are just dark orange line enhancement. The hurricane lamp is one that I gave my mom 34 years ago. My wife and I now enjoy owning it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Opposites on the color wheel.....

Contrasting colors day two of a new theme

This variegated geranium really stands out with the contrasting colors of the red and white stripes og the flag.

Yellow green really should have a red violet for it contrast but I am not being too scientific today.

Is it interesting that the created world is based on contrasting colors, The apple itself is made up of complementary colors, but the leaves on the trees makes the apple look very red.

I will never have a need to show you my son's backyard so I will sneak this in as a predominated green. Van Gough the painter is known as one of the earliest specialists in understanding color. His paintings show his use of contrasting colors to make vibrant paintings. He would place opposites next to each other and let your eye do the blending or react to the confusion.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Opposites on the color wheel.......

Contrasting colors.....

a new theme........

Yellow is opposite purple on the color wheel. Allow me a little slack by allowing the viola to be called purple, even though you see some blue also. Contrasting colors will be my theme the next few days. Check out on your own wheel and you will know what colors are opposites and where I will be heading.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rocks and trees......

The natural beauty of a dead tree contrasts to the living trees around it. Weathering of the trees along the ocean in the winter doesn't seem so severe as I have seen on the north shore of Lake Superior. The ocean must tone down the temperature along the shore so there is less destruction of the forest along the coast.
I have drawn and painted many rocks in my artworks and I am always aware of the compositions among these large boulders. I like the different colors of granite all along the shoreline. It becomes an informal pattern of design rather than a landscape so to speak.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Bar Harbor, Maine
Water has a way of giving you peace with it's sound, with it's color, and also with what it reflects to you. I love color and these boats are so well defined in form and the reflections are so soothing.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Otter Cliff revisited......

Otter Cliff on Mount Dessert Island. The climbing around on the cliffs did pay off as we found some beautiful scenes. There is a trail along that north shore of the island and it really isn't very dangerous unless you try to do climbing is some vertical, difficult areas.
This is a photo of some vegetation along those trails. There was also poison ivy along there that was doing quite well. The island is believed to be created by volcanic action so there isn't a very heavy amount of soil on top of the rock.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Gazing abstractly.....

I haven't given up on taking interesting photos of my gazing ball in the garden. The sun was setting through the trees and when I stood behind my grill, I wouldn't be reflected in the scene. I am there head only but it is a distance so you won't detect it in the photo, I hope.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Churches and cemetery......

My son and his wife bought a cape cod house in the town of Lamoine, near Bar Harbor. When given directions to get to his home it took us a couple of tries to achieve the destination. The roads meander and turn back and forth many times. Along the way are a small school house structure and two different churches and at the end of the road, if you go too far, is the ocean. We had a good time being lost a lot but it was par for the course. Our poor son is standing in the yard, frantically waving, as we drive on by. Poor kid!
I loved the old cemeteries next to the churches and we just didn't get the car stopped to take any photos of it. I was glad I could lean out the window to get the churches. There are churches and cemeteries all over the Mount Dessert Island. Here in Iowa an old cemetery would maybe date back to 1860. Our home cemetery where my parents are buried has civil war soldiers buried there and the town is 140 years old. These Maine cemeteries go back a lot more years than that. The visual of those white stones standing in rows would have been, could have been, should have been a great shot. I did Photoshop a cropped part of the one picture at the top to give you a close up of the side cemetery that came with the church photo. It blurs out when you enlarge it from a small space.