Squirrel

Squirrel

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Thumper's trail. . . . . . . . .two back feet and a tail.


Thumper's track of two hind feet and his tail as he searches for loose seeds on the ground.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sepia Saturday......


This is a photo of my dad, Jesse Burgus, who is in Belgium in 1945.  He was born in 1917 so he was 28 years old in this photo.  He was actually one of the older men in the service as most were drafted at 18 or 19.  Some were younger if they could lie about their age.  He has just arrived, looking pretty sharp. From other descriptions on photos, I think he is in an apartment  complex area that sections were turned into barricks temporarily. He will see actually front line battle in another week or so.
He carried a fifty pound radio, glass tubes inside the radio back then, and that meant he went with the scouts, into enemy territory in front of the main battle lines. I found a book that describes where his unit was on a daily or weekly basis and I wonder where he actually was being in front of the unit. By December they had moved into Germany.
This is one of those photos that you need to click on it to enlarge and see what is in the background.
I have those patches that are on his sleeves.


They printed their own photos over there, even in the field. My dad did not know how to do it but his buddy did. The buddy would wait until dark and do the processing. What a unique and lucky thing to have my dad having a photobug buddy and I now have the pictures.

Others in my group have photos for Sepia Saturday, check them out here.   Sepia Saturday

Friday, January 29, 2010

Cold illusions........














Having been out a couple of times today to feed the squirrels and the birds,  I ventured out one more time for art sake.  I so wanted to find something new and interesting to shoot.  I have been working hard at getting a good photo of a cardinal that really gleams in the setting sun, but that isn't happening. He sits way over at the other end of the yard next to a corn cob, picking up bits of seed from the grackles who came in and made a mess.


The winter is white, blue and gray.  The sun reflects off of the crystals of the snow, while the trees and bushes stand out in contrast to it's cold background.  I see tracks of the bunny who lives below the porch steps, and corn cobs lay strewn from the squirrels nervous energy. The busy work of the birds at the feeder really is an  anxious movement to feed in order to keep warm before the sun sets.  It will be below zero again and they loose a lot of body heat at this time. I sit and wait, and plan for another day.  Hoping one last chance will come to shoot the red bird one more time.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Nobody Home.......



A blurry picture of my birdhouse among the snowdrifts.  I made this about a year ago and used a recycled piece of plywood for the base.  Of course it didn't weather, I was not thinking, as the plywood is flaking a part one layer at a time.  When it warms up, I can unbolt it from the pole and make a new base for it.  Fortunately I put screws into the house down into the base so it will be easy to disassemble it.  I may work at making the openings smaller if I don't get Martins again this year.  The grackles were going in and out of it they other day for some reason, I guess to get out of the strong cold winds.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A study..........



I have been messing with the camera and I refuse to give you any more snow pictures. I really like to see what the old guy can do with his camera.  I still have to take these Christmas bells down stairs and put them away.
I should go outside, as it is bright and sunny out there, but I was out earlier scooping white stuff and my fingers froze with gloves on them.  I may still go out but I won't take snow scenes, never more. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Quite a pair........



My new tray bird feeder is quite a hit for our bird population. We had an unpredicted snow start last night with lots of wind and today it continues.

It looks good now out my dining room window as it warmed up a few days ago and I could pull the plastic strips that were put on the new window to protect the glass. It's a good idea so you don't scratch it during construction, but when it was so cold, it wouldn't come off the window. Now we have a clear view and I can take a few shots.

My little camera is a wonderful camera, but it will never take great photos of birds out my window. I will have to use my wife's camera for that. My Nikon doesn't even have a place for a tripod, but I can get a resemblance of an almost good picture of the birds.

The way that our creatures of this earth bond always amazes me. The have such strong pairing bonds greater sometimes than humans. The two in the photo are out there sharing in the search for the loose seed that I threw out with the three inches of snow that was in the tray feeder.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sitting on the dock of the bay.......



Getting out of a rut for a while and kissing the bad weather good bye, or maybe I just won't talk about it anymore, here is a view of last summer's visit to Maine. Being a land lubber this sight is enjoyable to see. A lobster fisherman has his stack of traps sitting there to be ready for pick up.  I am not sure why they are there except it is afternoon and they maybe have unloaded their traps and left them there for some reason. It is a sight for a old farmboy to enjoy.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Silent Sunday......maybe









The last orchid bloom leaves a remnant of it's original glory,
having created beauty in it's short life and yet it's intended time.

Pastel color with line and shape to create a natural stained glass world,
giving itself a rebirth in all of it's dignity as a second chance to shine.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sepia Saturday......Norte Dame Cathedral



My father was sent to Belgium at the end of  WW 2,  a few months before the end that is.  He was there for a time period to acclimate before he was sent into the Battle of the Bulge.  Even though there was success in the war or it seemed to be, they brought in fresh troops to add to the numbers or replace all of the thousands of dead. The invasion into Germany was at hand also so they needed to strengthen their ranks.

Before going into battle, he and a couple buddies took the weekend and played tourist. It was ironic as what my dad was about to go into was the very opposite to a vacation.

My dad had sent pictures home to my mom, continually, with his daily letter, and I finally found my CD of over 130 scanned pictures of these photos.  I still have the photos, lost  their scanned images on a computer repair. My son had a copy, and I didn't want to rescan them again. I was on the search and my wife finally found my son's CD of my original scan.

As a tourists, and being that France was so close, they crossed over the Belgium border and visited Paris. This is a photo of Nortre Dame, compliments of Photoshop, which help me resurrect back to it's original form.  The photo is blurry at the bottom but you can see a woman walking along the street to get an idea of the actual scale of the building. It is a beautiful church. Do click on the photo above and see the detailing of this building and the statue too.

My Paris friend blogger, Claude, was asking if I had my dates correct, and I didn't, as I found his first letter home, dated February 1, 1945, that was the day he had arrived in Belgium.   I assume this photo was taken in February, 1945. He apparently arrived after the major part of the Bulge battles  but soon enough to get into the gruesome invasion into Germany.



Ballpoint pens either had not been invented yet or my dad didn't have one.  Can you imagine them carrying bottled ink and pen with them?  All of the pictures he had sent home were written on the back with fountain pen.

I am participating with a group originating from England, that is jointly doing Sepia Saturday.

Click here to go to the blog to find other SEPIA SATURDAY PHOTOSKat is from Canada an is monitoring the post for a few weeks. Thanks Kat for helping us out.

Friday, January 22, 2010

We have had worse..........




Two days of ice on the car has left it with a nice decoration.






The coating on this looks more like a clear frosting coating, rather than ice. 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

To Cheer You.....



I am reposting this photo of a bouquet that sat on a table in a Maine.  We were at Jordan House at Acacia National Park and it was cold and rainy. Inside on our table sat this vase of flowers to greet us.  The place had fresh popovers as their specialty and lots of good clam chowder. 
Some of you remember that I had just purchased my new Nikon the night before we flew to Maine. This shot was an experiment with the micro with the new camera.  It has been a blessing.
No matter what your weather is today, enjoy a lot of great color for these flowers. Click on the image and get yourself super colorized.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Less Words on Wednesday......




Before and .....





After!

We have freezing rain coming our way.  We have a southern wind that has moisture and the cold from Canada coming south.  When they meet,  they think it could be freezing rain all day.  We will see what happens to the hoar frost.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Big trike.....



Big wheels were the thing for my boys to play with and they would wear the plastic wheels down on them so they would have to get a new one.

My brother, who was older than me by three years rode a trike this size and I  of course rode a small one.  They were both used, I suppose they were purchased for the set of two older brothers or came from a farm sale.  We had gravel driveways and dirt roads to ride them on so we didn't really wear them out as they were not that fun to ride.

My youngest son is just like his dad in grabbing hold of gold mine items.  This was in his grandmother's basement and he had to have it.  Right after I had clean out the basement a couple of years ago, he brought it home plus furniture, as he was moving to Maine.

I don't want it to weather but I would like to use it as a garden sculpture in a flower garden.  Does anyone know if I can spray a clear finish on it to keep it from weathering in the summer? I will bring it in each fall but I would like to display it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Phlox......



I don't always get things cut back for the winter and I am glad that I didn't get to this trimmed down. I enjoy them out there as they look like a modern sculpture.  The hoar frost on the top of them stayed most of the day, even with the sun shinning.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Another Frosty Morning.....



My neighbor's lilac bush is magical as it displays it frost.  The Saturday morning was beautiful with all of the trees and bushes loaded with beautiful white frosting.



The silver maple tree looms over our house with it's white coating.  As the morning progressed it was raining down on the house like falling leaves.  As we traveled that afternoon, through the country back roads to go to Ames, the tops of all of the trees in the timber were still coated like white paint on the ends of  artist brushes.  It didn't warm up enough for it to all to fall or melt.

As we returned from Ames, the city that sits along side of Iowa State University, there was an ominous cloud. We drove under it and then we hit an instant wall of fog.  It made it dark at five in the evening and the driving was difficult.  I believe these conditions will again gives us another magical morning of hoar frost for a second day.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Seipia Saturday, Sisters?



I watched a PBS program a year back and it was about one's genetic background.  Today's scientists say we have a least 64 sets of grandparents in our past. They were showing how they can now take one's DNA and identify nationalities back to whatever past that you had.  One pop star musician was tracked back to a tribe in central Africa and others who found out their background markers were somewhat appalled and maybe even shocked to their ancestry.

This is a photo I will have to take to my Uncle Kenneth and get the scoop on who is who.  My mom has written that this is Great Grandma Wheeler, I am assuming she is saying her Grandma Wheeler. My grandmother was a Wheeler and this would have been her mother.  The puzzling thing is that the woman on the right looks like she could be the next generation or she is just an older sister. They all have that great nonsmile.  There is no date on this or company name.

I am a part of a group who participates in Sepia Saturday.  Just click on Alan Burnett's blog address and see more sepia photos from around the world.

Sepia Saturday Link Click Here

Friday, January 15, 2010

Rose hips in winter......



A Wild Iowa Rose hip during a frosty snowstorm.  The stems turn red in the winter like a redtwig dogwood. The rose itself spreads by it's roots underground. I have to mow it to keep it under control, not that I really have it under control. I spend my summer trimming it back from everywhere.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Decoration.......



Sometimes I think things get to be too decorated, but not in this case.  Color, line, shape, and texture has been done to the hilt and I really like it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Little tree......


The little tree is going to get some relief today.  We will be above freezing in the day time for about four straight days.  We will refreeze each night  but maybe too we will loose some of that ice underneath the snow.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Blinded by the light.......



The amaryllis that we bought a month before Christmas  has put out it's second shoot. The new window has blessed it with a large amount of light and it does like looking out onto the world.  I still have the protective plastic covering on the outside of the window as it won't budge with the cold temperatures. The first really warm day with the sun shinning on it and I will be out there peeling it off for a true clear view.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Rust and a glitter makeover....




Closeup of a lionel toy train car.  The ability to  replicate the various actually parts of the set of wheels is amazing.  The middle shapes is replication shock absorbers. This is my consideration for entering a contest showing rust.



This is a pinecone texture of a real cone on a plastic wreath.  It is real glue and glitter on the  pinecone.
I will put the  wreath back in the basement soon.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Frosty Fence and more.....

















A very cold night gave us a beautiful frost the next morning.  It stuck around most all of the day.  Have a restful Sunday.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Sepia Saturday, Work to be done....



As I go through things in the spare cold room, that are left over from the funerals and as I am looking through boxes of things that I brought home,  I see the pictures.  There are family pictures that have been piled up in a hurry, to be saved, not to be discarded.  This pile is the leftovers from my mom's funeral and from her house.  I am finding photos of some interesting looking relatives that I will have to try and identify.  Some I will never figure out who they are, but I do have one hope.  If I can get my act together, I have one living uncle left, ninety some years old, and he could know the answers to the various poses of people of the past.  My mom's senior photo is the one sticking out at the left.  All you can see is the wavy hair, taken in 1937.  You will see that portrait some of these days, along with Great, Great, Grandma Wheeler.   The sepia search will make me dig into the boxes and do the work that is left to be done.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Reflections continued....

You know that I should be giving you only one photo a day, but when you have a theme going and I have to tell the stories, you will just see more pictures than one. I will settle down and quit putting out so much on my photo a day, but being snowed in, drinking large quantities of coffee and I do talk too much, it just all adds up to this kind of thing.





I have always had a fascination of glass items.  It is the way the pieces are made, and of course the reflection.  I have inherited, collected through garage sale finds, and hoarded pieces that fascinated me.
I will probably do a blog as this winter plows on, on my Larry's Creative Zone blog about the glass items that clutter our house.  I like the history of pieces as  well from the family members who owned them.
The bowl above was won by my mom at an antique show.  They have door prizes offered, if you sign up, and she had her name drawn out for this bowl.  It is a medium size compared to a punch bowl and is a thick  so it is heavy.



The side view shows a great pattern detail below the rosette. I am assuming this is a mold created form and was never hand cut as it wouldn't have been given away as a door prize if it were hand cut. There is a matching rosette of course on the bottom.



A closeup of my grandmother's fruit bowl.  I don't know the pattern of this but I bet someone out there will know.

I was one of the few grandchildren around during my grandmother Brook's later years.   She was always just giving me stuff, after I had painted her house,  mowed her yard, or helped with things inside the house. One day she was digging around in her old buffet, and she pulled out this bowl and six matching dishes.  I know that it didn't cost much when she bought as she was always poor.



It is a clear glass, not pink as the left bowl is shaded, and I have seen it at garage sales in malls from time to time and they have high prices on them.  The actual value is irrelevant to me.

Jack Sparrow, in Pirates of the Caribbean, was returning to his crew, and he told them he was looking for something.  They asked him what he was looking for, and he said "Shiny." Who knows what he was looking for?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Day of Reflections.........




After Christmas I purchased these small ornaments.  They were hard to find but I was looking for the small inch and a half ornaments for a small tree for next year.  It is hard not to find ornaments that are influenced by Martha Stewart's color schemes of lavendar and lime green.





As a design enthusiast I think that the product was packed in a great way to sell the product. It was a pretty box with it's glass balls all in a row, that is until I had tipped it to the side and a couple of rows fell out.  It still gives that great reflection I just didn't bother to cover up the wire hooks.





Photoshop gave me a chance to change the mood of the photo.  I plan to continue my reflection photos tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It continues......

I went out to get the mail and to take great photos of the snow. The cold was so bad that it shut my batteries down. Once I warmed them up they seem to be better but they probably are getting close to being discharged.  It really was too cold for me to be out there with a little wind chill going on so it was probably best that I just shot pictures in the driveway.









Just to shock you out of all the white that you see I will share texture and color of our fake wreath. It will be refreshing to see even if it is fake.



We have to go for an appointment tomorrow so we will be out and about tomorrow.  I am looking forward to next Sunday when they say it will be warming up to 15 degrees above. 

Monday, January 4, 2010

Different Views.......



Out of frustration, I will just start enjoying my mistakes and photoshop decorate them and move on.  I am sure that I am smarter than the camera, but at this point, I am not.



I know that I need to know about and observe more of my lighting conditions and adjust towards that, but I do like to just shoot and see what happens.  I like both of these photos but I know I couldn't achieve that affect if I wanted to do it. I was reading the other day at the bookstore that digital cameras actually read heat off of a color.  Yes, color has a visual heat quality and the digital camera is designed to read them and interpret it into a visual for us.  I talk about red a lot and how it doesn't read well with my camera.  But I enjoy my Nikon point and shoot and I will just move on with the process. I will continue on and just explore.  Someday, I will buy the next step or two up from what I have for now but that is another time in life.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Silent Sunday....starry heart delight




I hope all of you are safe and warm and the glow never goes out.

Sepia Saturday




As I was driving the streets of Osceola, Iowa, in the southern part of the state, I was shocked to see these two horses.  They were being driven through the traffic of cars and trucks pulling an Amish looking carriage.  It was 2009,  but when I stopped to take pictures, I thought I was visiting a time in our country's past when we were just a young nation, 200 plus years in the past.
My father-in-law was still farming with horses during the second World War and this country was settled by the pull of a single horse or cow pulling a plow.  Only on Living History Farms do you still see the horses being used and on our Amish farms throughout the state.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Faces........



On my other blog, I have worked with a lot of faces that I found while wandering through the house.  This sculpture is a cheap one that I found at Hobby Lobby and I have another one just like it that I keep outside.

We don't really have access to anything better than plaster ones.  We do have concrete sculptures that are for sale with large lions, Herky the Hawk, and frogs and stuff, but concrete doesn't translate very well into classic sculpture. I am sure that I couldn't afford stone carved sculptures but I am always on the look out for something that has some refinement to it.

The photo was taken of the angel while it sat in the window sill.  It is back lit and the snow makes a very bright light that comes into the window.  I have always liked the expression on this guys face.