Friday, December 31, 2010

Parts of a time gone by.........

Seth Thomas wall clock

This is a beginning of a project in which I have no game plan.  It was found in an old Victorian house by my father.  It was then stored in a burlap bag for another 35 years in the attic of a garage. Dirt, dust, mice droppings, spider webs, wasps' mud dauber homes, and a very dusty, smelly burlap bag is what separates a true antique fanatic from someone who would have thrown it away.  I may just be crazy but many a times the filthy stuff really ended up being a gold mine or least a valuable, useful thing.

Check out more about this by clicking here.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Changing Birch Spectactular........

Four photos today on a one photo blog, go figure........it is the same tree.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Barney the dog.....

Barnabas Burgus
Wonderdog and fellow companion to his family.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Abstract day......

Another snowy day with an abstract design of last summer's garden.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Monday's frosty morning.......

Hoar Frost
We had this on Sunday morning also but today the sun was shining which gave me more beautiful shots. This is a shot of my birch tree.  Without the frost it is just a bunch of bare branches.

Looking down Cedar Street.  The neighborhood looks wonderful and yet it is hard to get a good shot of nature without seeing the cars, houses, garbage cans and street poles. They don't look bad, they just don't help it to be a pure nature shot.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Backyard retreat..........

It is winter in Iowa and the thought of green grass and flowers is a distant memory.  Cold and white with dark shapes against the snow is the new landscape of the season.

The gazing ball still reflects the light of the day and the rose bush behind it is begging to be trimmed back. Ah yes, winter is here and the tracks in the snow tell stories of dogs and cats.  Birds and rabbit tracks circle around the feeder and the squirrel tracks are there too.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas day......2010

The camera will travel outside to catch the snow of the season today.  The ornaments are all hung and the lights are all lit.  Packages will be opened and we will share time with my brother in law and his wife over a noon meal.  The rest  and peace that follows is welcomed.
Our Christmas Eve service was beyond spectacular. A very large choir which sang to a crowd of a few thousand in the congregation.  It was spiritual, not for entertainment sake but for glorifying the word of God. It was far more than we expected. Everyone lighted candles and we sang Joy to the World. We were blessed and the drive home in the light snow was beautiful too.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas eve..........

and the angels do sing, Glory to the new born King.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Rock on........

As I worked on my parents home the bedroom door would swing shut on me due to gravity.  I don't know why it wouldn't stay open but I propped it open with this little figurine.  It is probably a Hallmark product and I am sure one of my nieces sent it to my parents.  It is small and I was going to toss it but look what came home with me a few weeks ago.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Christmas Train........

My Uncle Cecil was my dad's oldest brother.  He was a fireman on the train most of his life.  He was the one who tended the fire to the steam engines by adding the coal to the burner.   After the steam locomotives were not used, he remained the fireman, which meant he was second in command to the main engineer. 
He was deaf in his latter years from riding on those trains all of his life.  I can still hear his with Bertha saying not to speak to him because he just can't hear a thing you'd be wasting your time.  She loved to talk so she would smile when she said that, so she could do all the talking.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A horse of a different color.......no not really a horse

This is my new purchase of a mule for our nativity scene. He is such a handsome fellow.  You can see a sheep grazing casually in the back ground

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bright and shiny...........

A replica indent ornament of the ones that were sold in the hardware stores back in the 60's.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Do you have a teddy bear on your back?

This was a Hallmark ornament that we picked up a few years ago.  When my wife's father lived with us he would keep bringing up the topic that he had a riding horse like this up in his attic at home.  After much plundering of the place by thieves I wonder if it is still up there.  The thing he always added to the story was that he had cut it's tail off one day when he was young. He told me I could have it since I liked old things. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sled and boy....

When I set up this particular blog,  I wanted to do so to show photographic skill or photos that would lean to the artistic side.  My skills and understanding of my camera have increased to the better.  I really do want to post just photos that have a fine art quality on this site.  So when I take dozens of shots of the tree and most everything is blurry I do get discouraged, maybe ever disgusted. I know that good lighting and a macro work together and I just didn't have enough light.  A tripod would of worked with macro but that really wasn't my desire.  I just wanted to point and shoot.

  Trying to give you something different than the usual ornament I am going to share this one successful shot of a wooden ornament.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I have my eye on you.......

My ever helper who keeps watch over our every move.  He is actually saying, I do need a haircut, but don't tell my parents.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Soldier boy......or a man I guess

He does have a mustache and he is a soldier.  Kmart carries a line of about ten ornaments that were made by Radko.  It is the bottom of the line for Radko I am sure but I have bought a couple on half price.  I actually don't like most of the shapes that they made.  I have a wreath also.  The colors are so rich along with all the gold.  Please forgive he subtle blur but shining things don't always work well with macro shots.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Glitzy Gold.......

I like to look up the old Christmas ornaments in antique catalogs or in books about the history of ornaments.  It is fun to see what  shapes existed at first when they started to make the glass blown ones.  Some of the shapes included mushroom shapes, acorns, house shapes and this particular shape.

I bought this in the 70's so it is over 30 years old.  It came in a box of eight different shapes and at the time I thought they were just nice to look at, but now I know that the whole batch were based on traditional designs. One can age some of the ornaments by the hanger as they were made cheaply at first with thin metal.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cows can be tricky.......

I received this as gift many years ago.  I don't know if the giver thought it was a gag gift, but I really like it.  She does play tricks on people though.  If you pick her up to check her out, she starts playing loudly a Christmas tune.  It is like a gag ornament as people should not be going around a house picking up people's decorations but if they do, they will get noticed.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Angels we have heard on high.........

My wife's angel tree was put up a couple of days ago.  I find it a fascinating challenge to try to capture special effects from the different shinning ornaments on the tree.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday's glow

We put up tree number two this evening.  It will give me a lot of chances to find interesting photos.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It is a dilemma, you decide.......

Is it a partridge in a pear tree or is it one of the turtle doves???????

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sunny day........

A few weeks ago I was snapping shots out of the car while driving down the road.  It was a time to capture cloud pictures for the contest that I enter each month.  The further north I came,  I found myself in a small rain storm.  Then there was a break in the clouds.

By the time I arrived home, I was able to capture this for the contest.  I see now that it was in November when I took the shots.  Click here to see all the entries in the contest.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Blessing or curse......

This looks like a great way to keep your tools in a box.  The problem is if you open it from the wrong side, everything falls out.  This was my late brother's tool box and as I opened it a few months ago, I lost it all.  The left side is metric and the right side is standard sizes.  So today I opened it up and I began to put it back into place.

It took almost two hours of time.  I had to remove my glasses so I could read the side of each one of the sockets, turning them carefully to get to the side that identifies the size.  The sizes are then marked in the plastic holder which also required me to look very closely to read the numbers.

I was going to take it to the basement, then I changed my mind.  If it goes down there I will never use them.  The case with tools is headed for the back of my car so I always will have the tool I need to fix anything.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Archived oldie.........

The weather is so windy and cold.  I had to buy a new battery for my car today as the age of it and the cold do not work well together.  The dogs are so cuddly these days as they get cold and want to come and sit down close by or on our laps to get warmed up.  This is the time of the year when you wonder if you are going to survive one more winter in Iowa.  I like snow falls that are gentle and quiet and they can be so beautiful but all that comes with it is so uncomfortable to deal with for three straight months.  Stay in and stay warm everybody.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

An archived photo today........

Archived, outdated and out of season but it still is a good one.

I spent some time on our old iMac to retrieve photos in order to move them onto my macbook. I found this spring photo taken in 2005 of this wonderful iris.  The bush behind it grew so large that it hasn't bloomed for three years.  I moved it out last fall away from it and it still didn't bloom.  I have large amounts of foliage now so maybe next spring.  If it doesn't bloom this spring, it gets moved out into full sun.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

He's back......

This is actually last year's photo of my neighbors Burl Ives snowman.  We don't have this snow yet but maybe by the morning.  Our little poodle is so concerned about this guy when he sways in the breeze.  Button will just bark so angrily at the bearded guy, telling him to stay on  his side of the street.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Rescued Nemo.........

I was out with the dogs last week in the backyard checking on things.  I looked down in my fish pond to see if it had iced over and it had.  As I looked down, I could see a couple of goldfish swimming around under about three inches of ice.
I immediately retrieved my stock tank heater from inside and placed it on the ice.  It took it a couple of hours to thaw it out but then it took me a few days in a row to capture out the remaining fish.  I thought I had caught them all.

It is a two photo day today as here is the same guy as above only in side view.  He watches me created my blogs now and is living in tropical paradise in my small aquarium.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Violet power......

The grow light for my plants causes my camera to pick up a red or pink.  It makes for an interesting visual.

As a footnote,  I was so excited to make it on the lists of Blogs of Note on the dashboard of Blogspot that I forgot to go ahead and publish this.  I never expected to see my one or any of my blogs ever to be in that list.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What's in your pocket???????

A still life of my pocket contents. I arrived  home from doing outside work at the house and I just emptied my pocket on the counter.  I saw it today still laying out on the counter and I thought, there is a nice still life.
I don't  have a carpenter's belt but wear big baggy pants with large pockets, so they work pretty well when you need to keep a handful of nails ready to go. I do wear a belt just in case you were going to comment about the oversized jeans.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Clearing up after the rain.........

This is the sight that was to my left as I drove home on the Interstate.  It was raining a little and the closer I was to Des Moines, the clearer it was becoming.

I don't text while I drive, as I don't text at all, but anyway I can shoot this over my shoulder while driving.  I just blindly pointing and take a lot of shots hoping I can get one good shot.

There is always somebody or something that wants to get into the picture.  I stopped the car off the road at the corner before turning to come the mile into town. I even rolled the window down for this one. It was wonderful but I couldn't stop where the foreground noise wasn't.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Future milk cows.........

A closer view of my neighborhood cows that live down the street. I am not sure when they will have their calves but I think it is late March.  They will become milk cows for their first time after they have their calves.

It is a two photo day on Larry's Photo a Day.  The sky is clear and it is cold, but Sunday we did warm up into the fifties.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday's Angel..........

This is a part of my wife's angel collection that is out all year.  It is not the first Christmas decoration of the year.  We will start soon to bring up from the basement the season's lights and colors and display them.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Saturday's shadow..........

Our sun is shifting further to the south each day.  We get great shadows from this arrangement but it also causes us to loose the heat gain from the sun.

A fine Italian sculpture it is not, but it's detail still gives it a sense of dignity in the art world.  The bucket boy usually spends his winters outside but I have decided to let him keep warm inside this winter.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Lost Marbles....

I have my eyes on the look out for marbles in containers, stray drawers, any location where they may get displaced.  I collected these from the spare room, the basement, a container with junk in it and down in Osceola in the garage.   Not one of them are of the same color but they all look like they were manufactured by the same company.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Nature's own composition.......

Dead sedum, leaves and other green foliage create their own visual masterpiece showing the effects of seasonal weather on what was once live vegetation.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Down the street heading south......

When you drive three blocks south of my home you hit the edge of town and a farm.  The farmer is gone now but his son in law helps to keep the herd going.  It is a sunny day and no matter how I tried, the sun on my right was too bright and the point and shoot just would not focus. I still liked the color and so I will share the photo anyway.

The silos have not been used for years.  They would fill them with chopped corn, silage, and feed it to the cattle all year.  On the other side of the silos and shed is a feeding lot for raising beef steers but it has been years since that was done.  In fact, the son in law now raises heifers calves in the area each year, raising them into milk cows for their dairy which is down the road a few miles.

The sunny day is deceiving as it actually is 29 degrees with a cold wind chill.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The orchard floor.........

The iris is hanging in there even though it has been through many frozen nights.  The composition of line of the leaves are contrasted to the texture of the various kinds of leaves and vegetation.  I like the one lone red leaf from the burning bush.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Green Mungo Pine.........

We don't live in a pine forested area so any evergreen is appreciated even if it is the size of a shrub.