Saturday, July 31, 2010

Photo albums..........

The latch is an engineering marvel.  You squeeze the two curved areas with your fingers that the rod with the ball goes up to release the latch.

I actually have two of these old photo albums and each latch  are marvelous just to admire.  The top latch requires a twisting of the knob to make the latch open.

Some days it takes so many trial and error shots to get a good photo.  I had to keep adjusting the light source and allow for metallic reflections of light.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Recycled Friends......

Those who have followed me for over a year will remember my two little friends. Their condition isn't great and that is what  I like about them. The are recycled as I removed them from my neighbors garbage inside a window planter. Their close friendship is admirable and their personalities are outstanding.  The big eyes also are a good sell.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A day of reflection........

Water in motion, 
light reflecting from above, 
a fish of gold lurks behind the foliage
resting, watching,
and there is peace
in the pond.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Painted Lady..........

I was concerned about the painted lady butterflies and then I thought they probably don't emerge from cocoons at the same time as others. I do notice they are few in numbers this year but I was glad to catch this one.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mexican Fritillary ........

I thought this was the comma butterfly that I was shooting pictures of Monday morning, but it is not. With a Google inages search I found so many pages of examples. This is a Fritillary but they do come in different shades. One was called high brown Fritillary.  Mine is so bright because the sun is shining through it's wings. Below is the comma butterfly that I just got a quick shot of but the one above is not even the same shape.

 As with the swallowtail the other day, this guy was so hungry that he just never bothered to move. I even had my straw hat on ready to go mow and that did not scare him.

I thought I was so smart snapping away today thinking I had this fellow in my lens but no not even close.  I will just have to keep an eye out for it. I won't leave the house without my Nikkon in my pocket.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Two green photos for today......

I like to make my photo a day post one of photos with good composition and ones  that are a lot better quality than the standard point and shoot shot.  So as an artistic endeavor I give you green Early Girl tomatoes in high focus and somewhat perfect composition.

Moving to a different area of the tomato patch I get a totally different lighting effect. Sticking with the good quality photo I left it with the metal post at a diagonal to add interest to the subject matter.  I could sell used cars, huh?  Oh yes, these are Roma's that I started from leftover seed and I think we will have  fruit very soon.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Queen Anne's Lace........

We have a lot of this wildflower growing in our ditches along the roadsides. It has been sown there with coneflowers, chicory and yarrow.  This is another one of my photographs that were affected by my camera steaming over when I removed it from the air conditioned car into Iowa heat and humidity.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Name that butterfly.........


This is a blog for audience participation as I haven't had time to research what the two butterflies are.  I will go back and edit the blog as you kindly help me to find the name of each of these insects.
The one above is plentiful on my coneflowers.  I can stand still for a few minutes and there will be four  or five all over the flowers.  The hardest thing to do is to photograph them as they close their wings while eating the nectar from the blossom.


This guy would not land on a flower and seemed very elusive. I caught him on the side of the wooden fence for just a split second.

What I am not seeing this year thus far are the painted ladiy butterfly. I have past photos of them but would like to see them again this year.  I did see a white cabbage month but no photography took place as it was just fluttering by me.

 A bonus picture is of the one that I can identify, the swallowtail butterfly. Two of them gave me a good show last week and I haven't seen them since.

Thank you to anyone who can give me a name or two of the top two pictures. 

Friday, July 23, 2010


I used an Iowa summer weather effect for a filter on this photo.  I stopped the car and got out of an air conditioned car and the camera fogged over instantly from our severe humidity and heat.  The first five pictures that I took were hazy until the camera finally warmed up to outdoor temperature.  I have never had that happen before now.

I have been watching this  plant on the side of our roads for the last few years and really didn't know what it was.  I had thought it was a form of a bachelor button as the blue is the same color as that flower.  The state has spread the seed of this flower along the roads and I have seen it also on the edge of my town.  I dug through my handy dandy wildflower book and I found that it is called Chicory.  It is nothing like a bachelor button.

I really like the effect that the humidity created on the lens and I will be sharing some Iowa landscapes later on with this same effect.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Brilliant color............

I cropped out an abstract composition of a stunning lily. The complete photo is on the side bar.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A splash of color......

Pink Yarrow

I love this plant but it never stands up for me.  I guess I need to get my act together and stake it as it is coming up in spring.  It is so flimsy that it is hard to deal with now.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Another Insect mystery.........

I won't even pretend to know what it is but there was one on each of the orange daylilies.  Another shot below.

This one is going to be hard for you to see as he is more camouflaged in the green background.  This is one of my favorite daylilies as it's color is so intense and pure.

Katydids!!!!!!!!!! I didn't know we had them in Iowa.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Swallowtail Butterfly......

I was remarking to my friend Abe Lincoln that I never see swallowtails in my area in Iowa.  So while I was out surmising the wind damage from last night high intense winds, this guy was fluttering about the garden.  I ran into the house and grabbed the camera and he was just sucking away at the nectar and ignored me.  What a great thing to see and to photograph.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sunny day, everything is A ok..........

I was in my neighbor's yard today taking photos of hay being baled and this was too good to pass up with my camera.

This is the informal cousin of the sunflower above. This one likes to hang out and wear it's cap backwards, and doesn't shave every day.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Animal shots............

When it is hot outside, you must find a place to lay in the cool dirt.  Always on duty to bark at the neighbor's cats, the heat was just too much for him today and he would only check the territory quickly and then come right back into the house. It was 95 degrees hot F.  with a humidity of 85 percent or more. The heat index was like 114 degrees.

Button the mean dog actually does not lean but he is walking towards me and it looks like he leans.  He is completely well from his surgery and he has all his stitches chew off on his one leg and the ones on his eyelid are close to falling off too.  That leg look of his will be corrected as soon as more of his hair grows back. The vet did that to get to one of the warts and I think she used the other leg for an IV. We need to trim the ends of his legs to match but we have been too busy.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rose is a rose is a rose...............

This is a small rose that has bloomed for me all summer.  It had lost all of it's leaves and I sprayed it with a natural product that brought it back instantly.  It is a soft thing but won't last for long once it blooms.  It fades by the third day into a white flat bloom.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Jars and lids.........

I brought home more oldies from my parents home place.  There was an old model T garage on the place and my Dad tore it down.  Inside were a lot of glass lidded jars but these were also in that garage.  The Ball jars are the ones with the narrow neck.  The one on the rightt is actually a pale green and when you view it you can see all the uneven thicknesses of the glass. The lids are those zinc lids I believe.  They are made to squeeze down on the rubber seal while canning the food.

The one small bottle on the left is a medicine bottle from an company here in the US.  The other one is a mystery to me and the original rust doesn't want to budge.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lily lined path........

This is my most common day lily that I have planted in a row along the path going back to the blue door.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Seeing Red on Sunday......

A geranium bud can almost pretend that it is a rose bud as evidenced in this photo.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Stargazer Saturday.........

I have one lone bulb that hasn't bloomed for a couple of years but this year it has shared it's beauty.   The aroma of a stargazer travels throughout the garden.  This is a back lit photo because it was the only time I could take the picture was in the hot sun.  The mosquitoes are so bad that it has to be very hot outside to be outside without the attack of the swarms.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Summer colors..............

I carried this over from last year and it seems to be perking up.  I had cut it back and fertilized it early spring so it is giving be another summer of blooms.  I may have to start over with it next year.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pink Phlox.......

An early start for the phlox in my back yard.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Bright or light or polka dot..........triple photo day........

Not only is this a very yellow lily, it is the largest variety in my garden. I can stretch out my hand, all fingers out, and that suggests how big it is.

This lily is not as large as the last, but it is a very light yellow flower.  Somehow I have this in two different locations.  I must have purchased it at the Arboretum at one of the sales where it isn't identified and it is a very low price. So I bought them both the same time not knowing what they were or bought one unidentified one in two years in a row that happened to be the same color.

I have a large group of these in the front of the house.  I have had them for years and it continues to spread.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Water drops, color, and an ant.........

This lily is struggling in an area where I have a ladder leaning and a bunch of steel posts. When taking the shot I had to lean around it all and just snap.  The water droplets are a great touch but then I saw the ant. What more can you ask for, wild life photo, right?

A bonus photo showing the rich color of this lily. More rain predicted tonight, not just misting anymore, but a real rain.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Waiting for more free food.......

I have yet to pet her, but she quitely now comes up to me a few feet and meows very softly and I go get her something to eat.  

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Field lilies........

In the country you can drive along gravel roads and see the field lilies blooming.  If you think about it you can place the source from which they came.  It has spread down the ditch of an old farmstead where nothing is left of the property.  It could be down the hill along a big interstate and the house that sat on the top of the hill, but was removed because of the road construction, was it's source.  New road construction actually spreads the plant as in my wife's former home as the grading of the ditches has spread it way past from it's original site.  I found my start of this plant on a gravel road east of Woodward,  in the ditch far from where any sight of inhabitants once were. 
Once you have the plant, it then has you.  It spreads and destroys your other plants and if you don't pull it out like a dandelion, it will choke out hostas and phlox and Asiatic lilies.  I have to revisit my many beds of this and start again to reduce it's growth.
I really like the flower of it and it's healthy foliage. I discovered last night while out with the small dog, that it closes up its blooms at night. I think I remember noticing that from last summer but had forgotten the fact.
As a flower to photograph, it is superb.  I love it's many rich colors and it's fancy petals. Some of you may call it the local name of Ditch Lily but whatever you call it, it is a great bloom.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Missing piece doesn't mean a thing........

I am just standing by the pear tree and was admiring how well the coneflowers were doing that were near the tree.  I saw this guy coming my way, but I didn't dream that I could get him in my viewfinder. He was hungry and he stayed in position for me for quite awhile.  I was blessed.  A broken part of the wing makes him a special guy in my book.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A pear tree.......no partridges.......

This tree put out about a dozen pears last year for the first time ever and this year there were lots of blooms.  The bees must have been doing well as this tree is covered with little pears, hundreds of them. I didn't say that they were edible pears last year but this year the tree seems to be trying harder.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Say cheese please............

As my wife and I attended the art festival, this crew from Star Wars were roaming the area.  They were advertising the upcoming Star Wars concert coming to Des Moines at the arena.  It was very hot and Darth Vader was followed around with assistants that had a stool for him to sit down on as he was becoming too warm for his outfit.  I snapped this photo and it really is a Norman Rockwell moment.  People were loving it that they could get their photos taken with Darth and the gang.

Here is another one, bonus picture, that I snapped which I see now that she was also snapping me.

It will be a fun concert that will be held the day after the 4th of July.  Unfortunately my boat has not come in and I don't think we can give up a few hundred bucks to go see it. Getting to see and photograph the prop people for the show is priceless.