Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Two flights out,

three flights back.   We are back from visiting our son and his wife and the Bar Harbor area.

The view down from your plane seat is an interesting view.  The stories I can tell you about the experiences of the five total flights.  I feel lucky to have made it back alive, well to survive it all from a 14 hour day to get home.   More.........later.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Coming home soon........

from you know where.  From the east coast returning to Iowa will be another shock to the system. 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Red can look great on a great old car.......

State Fair photo again of some vintage car.  Red is better than black and I assume that it originally was black. 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Blue on blue.....

The one balloon had the same colors of blue as the sky on the bottom part of it.  If you remember the sizes of these balloons, they are pretty far up in the sky.  The one behind the blue balloon has a passenger gondola on it.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Kids keep busy........

At the Balloon Classic the children had free time to get bored. One set decided to start up a soccer game while the two guys here are having an impromptu wrestle in the grass.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Machine Shed entry.....

The Machine Shed Restaurant started it's first venture at the Amana Colonies area in Iowa.  The owner has done so well, having established many more restaurants since the beginning that he now owns a very large sporting store on the east side of Des Moines in Altoona, Iowa. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rumble seat........

Transportation being such a revolutionary idea with gas driven cars,  a rumble seat would be an obvious addition to add more people to the load.  I suppose two could sit together back there but the dust and the rain could be a problem.

Here is a look under the hood of this car.  I assume that it isn't the original engine as I can see devices that probably were invented at the beginning of the making of automobiles.

For some reason,  I don't have a picture of the actual car.  I guess I just shot the unusual parts of it. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Recycled gumball machine.

It is not a perfect picture but it does have glow and colorful gumballs.  I am inside a restaurant called the Machine Shed.  I  know the glowing part is authentic but I don't know about the base part of the machine.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Baa Baa Black Sheep.......

have you any wool?  State fair youngsters watching all the people.  The fair is over and these three are gone now, probably back on the farm.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Two buddies at the fair.........

Here are a couple more vintage cars that I saw at the fair. They are very color coordinated and it is great.  I am sure Henry Ford doesn't care as long as he didn't have to pay for the new paint jobs. Black was his choice of color for quite some time. Did you know that the wooden floors of the cars were recycled from shipping boxes from companies that supplied parts for building the cars?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

There are many points of view........

But here are two points of view of this hibiscus.  My neighbor gave it to me last year and it survived the winter and the summer too.  I had a dinner plate hibiscus a few years back and this one seems a little smaller that my first one. The smooth perfect circle leads me to believe that it is why they call it a dinner plate.

It coloring is almost unbelievable.  It has such delicate textures with subtle coloring. I learned from the past that the hibiscus plant doesn't come up  very early in the spring. In fact they look dead from last years growth, but leave them alone.  A month longer than you will expect, they will start to shoot up new growth.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Out for a trot.......

The new arena built for horse shows and also concerts is a beautiful facility.  This competition was a fun one to watch,  When the announcer gave the directions, the horses would  walk, trot and a few other things that I don't remember.  The horses actually seem to know the words from what the announcer said as you did not see the driver giving them any commands.  They would pull back on the reins once in a while to slow them down.

Two pictures today so I can show you the one end of the new arena.  The metal fencing held in the clay floor in place. They put in for the show as it is easier on the horses to be on a clay floor.  It is a cement floor at the bottom and they will remove the clay with machinery to return it to maybe a floor on which concert goers can sit.  The side areas seat 3600 people but the floor space can add another 3000 folding chair seating.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

State Fairs

 A State Fair brings large groups of people together to look at things, animals and other people.  The baby chicks were to be watched by a 4H volunteer to be sure no one would disturb the exhibit.  This young man really had a need to get closer to newly hatched chicks.

Rose and foliage........

I tried to create a different composition this time and it does look like it could be used for a Hallmark card.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A pretty picture.......

I took this a week or two back and it was buried in my August file.  I have one more pretty picture to show tomorrow as I don't want to not share them.  I tied up zinnias today with light string as the rains keep causing the outside edge of the patch to lean out in to the grass where I mow.  I don't want to mow them and I would like to maintain the shape of the planting area so I just tied them to each other.

Monday, August 16, 2010

All in one day........

 The bud actually develops the day before but then the unfurling begins.  It  can be opened in a few hours and then it is gone.  It collapses instantly as if it were like a deflating balloon or a smashed umbrella.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Superman and a cow and a chick.........

Sometimes I just need to play with the results and find a new visionary work.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Supershot of Superman......

Superman has been lost. If you are a believer in the toy world of "Toy Story" you know that this guy has been anxiously awaiting me to find him.  He has been peaking over a large set of books on the bookshelf wondering when the owner of this house will ever find him.

I am clearing and cleaning the spare room.  It had been a toy room a lot of years in the 70's.  Then it became  our bedroom for my wife's father for almost 7 years.  The past year it became a storage room and bird room.  Early this week I had decided to attach the room.  Everything is being tossed if it doesn't look viable. Some of it is my father in laws and the rest is an accumulation of 34 years of things. 

I really was surprised to see this guy laying behind the books.  He has had to been there over 15 years.  The boys, which one I don't know who owned him, are now 35 and 33 years old.

Placing the super strong guy into a glass vase really made him spin around.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sedum, correction Succulent........not sedum!!!!

Succulents and a stray straw.  I planted these into the ground  and they are loving the heat and humidity. The rains are keeping the two plants happy also.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A special rose........

This rose survives my lack of care every year and comes up among a thick cover of vinca and and daylily that is planted to close to it.  I have great intentions to get it moved and each spring it looks dead.  It again is like some of my roses that give a good show for a day maybe two and then it fades to ugly.
I really like the rose and maybe I will get it moved out of it's bad location soon.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Snake in the bush.........

I had never known that garter snakes like to climb up into vegetation.  I have been noticing the past few years that they will climb into my old fashioned rose bushes and also in my spirea bushes.  This guy was  lounging among my black eyed Susan's.  I was  looking for butterflies and seeing a hibiscus that budded but this was a special time for me to snap this guy.  He of course was a little annoyed and slithered off down to the ground after his photo shoot.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Blue Tuesday.....

I continue to play with the reflection ball in my yard in trying to get creative shots.  When I downloaded it I was surprised with the results.  Surrealism at it's finest with only a hint of the photographers hand.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Modern car design...........

Head light design has come a long way since the Model T headlamp.  My brother surprised me by driving up with his new vehicle from Arizona.  I think it is a Tahoe but I guess I never looked to see for sure.  He had a white Tahoe before so I at first thought it was the same machine.  It is a beautifully design vehicle.

Yes, it is a Chevy Tahoe as I returned to retrieve another shot. I really like the design of that grill work.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A rare beauty........

Black Swallowtail Butterfly

I don't think I have ever seen this butterfly in Iowa.  I may have seen him in butterfly collections but this is the one and only one that landed in my zinnia patch. Having photographed the yellow one early last week I was so surprised to see this one.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

"Night Glow"............

National Hot Air Balloon Classic
Indianola, Iowa

It is an instant joy to see when you click on the photo.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday's morning glory..........

It's Friday and the weekend is coming. Have a good day.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I planted these late this year but they still are doing well with all the rain. I have to pick them as the weather is putting them on the ground.

Those who have photoshop, I want to share something here about the program.  First of all if you have a blurry picture, not quite right, go to the filters and use the blur command once.  Then go to the sharpen command and more sharpen command.  Then if it isn't working and you may need to toss it.  I sometimes keep hitting more sharpen.  If you have over sharpened anything before, you know that it can turn grainy.  But in this cast the one step too far gave me just a hint of grainy but not enough that it took away the blur cause by the photographer. It turned the photo into a poster like presentation that isn't bad.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tilt a Whirl...........

I was outside working in the heat all morning mowing yard. In the afternoon when I went back out the heat index was at 103 degrees F.  I snapped this of the porch chair on the way out to catch a butterfly and it is a crooked shot. I couldn't crop it and correct it.

I know I am abusing the chair.  I will pull it in and get it sanded and restored this fall.  The box cost me a buck from an antique place at Silver Bay, Minnesota.  The vine is wild hops.  It is a weed but when it looks this good I have to  leave it be.  I see my FIL's boots are still on the porch. He's been gone now over a year and I bet I will leave them there forever.

The reason I was in a hurry and snapped a slant was that I was returning to another hops vine that had a wonderful butterfly with perfect sets of circle on it's inside wings.  I of course didn't get it.  It was feeding on the hops flowers when I left to get the camera.   I may get another chance to see it as I am not pulling those vines if it attracts that butterfly.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Rose pink........

The rains have been good to keep the roses blooming and bad to make them drop petals prematurely.
I had to keep reposting until I found one in focus. I find it frustrating to have just a gentle blur on something that looks good if you don't look too closely.

Monday, August 2, 2010


There is so much more to the story of how proud Russ was of the mural idea and with us getting this mural done on time. You can see him here opening the door up, proud of the mural and proud of the door that covers it up when it needs to be protected.

The group that served lunch on the day of the mural's grand opening needed to use all the electric outlets to keep their food warm.  The irony is that it was the day that the largest amount of the public could view the mural, but they couldn't. There is an electric socket behind this door and they had to close the door to get the electric cord plugged into the socket.  They didn't pretend to find a creative solution, they just closed the door.

So as we met the deadline for the grand viewing of the mural and all that the public were able to see was about one foot of it on the left side.   I do have a great sense of humor about how life works and I just laughed.

It reminds me of a fellow art teacher who taught at another school.  She had her students work so hard to create a wonderful mural and the highly paid administrator placed pop and juice drink machines in front of it.  It is a crazy world.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sunday single shot.........

Sometimes you snap a picture, walk away, and don't have a clue how great the shot will be.  This clematis is trying to stay alive. It just hasn't done well in this location.  This is it's very first bloom for the summer and I thought I would capture it as it may be the last one.

I could not have planned out the depth that trellis was going to create or know that the  texture of the trellis would look so great.  I would never have thought the background was going to be such a perfect fit in the composition. Sometimes accidents are just meant to happen and wow I got a good shot.