Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Animal faces from a print that we have hanging in our house. The angle was forced to keep the glare from becoming a part of the photo.

Larry the cucumber from Veggie Tales.  Me being a Larry and my name keeps being abused and used over and over again in shows and commercial's to depict unkempt, unintelligent, dim witted human beings, it makes sense that I should own Larry the cucumber. I am not smart enough to know that they are making fun of me by giving my name to a cucumber.

Monday, May 30, 2011


I witnessed a painting of a student whose face was to be concealed. He was to blend into the background. This was at the school where I was subbing for a math teacher.

One young man's own face expressed his joy of being photographed with their project.  The guy being painted didn't seem to be alive.  I did see him later going to lunch, looking like that.  Later he literally hit the showers to wash off the tempera paint.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


My wife's doll collection is filled with many differnt faces.  They are ceramic creations, hand painted to give the illusion of a human face. They sit in rows and gaze out into space, giving a stare or a glance.

The camera created a special effect with the glare of the window that I couldn't duplicate but I did like the resulting photo. I  have another that will show a completely different coloring. I intend doing a series on faces.  Not everyday in a row, but periodically as I find the photos to take.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Archived photo.............

This is a three year old photo that I took of my brother's father in law.  It was just Thursday that my wife and I were back to this Murray cemetery for the burial of my mom's brother, my Uncle Kenny.  The tent edge you are seeing covers the graves of my dad and mom. It was at that time that we were attending my mom's burial.

I snapped this photo of Robert Liggitt as he was wandering down to explore the area of the cemetery.  Since this photo was taken, he has lost his wife this past year.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Seeing red.....

I had a For Sale sign that was covered up with buds from the peony bush.  I trimmed them back and brought them home.  Once they hit the water in the vase they started opening.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Blooming in the rain.........

I bought this many years ago and it is the most hearty of iris that I have ever owned. It is called superstition and is advertised as a black iris.  It is a hybrid and it spreads and grows in spite of the wet rainy seasons.  It is tough.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fully in bloom..........

The natural purple of these globe alum continues to become darker with the little flowers opening up completely on each strand.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sunday, May 22, 2011


My red weigela puts out some wonderful blooms. The rain has made it  a little weepy.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Newly formed leaves.........

New maple leaves forming on the tree make a wonderful color contrast to the green background. Is it spring or fall?  I didn't realize the young leaves come out in color before they turn green.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Lily of the Valley........

The weekend is coming and I am hoping that the rain will stop soon.  Monsoons are for India not for Iowa. I really don't think the Mississippi can handle any more of this water. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A two for one day..........

A water valve that I replaced at my parent's home.  It is old and it leaked. The new one is smaller and shiny and made from brass.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wild Phlox.......

I had photographed this earlier last week when it was just starting to bloom.   Taking it again when the sun was sitting  gave me a great lighting effect to create a macro of greater quality than I usually achieve with my camera.  I know that professional photographers take hundreds of shots to get the perfect one or two, so I guess it is no different with my little Nikon.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


The first of my spirea is blooming now. I have a lot of bushes that I assume were here for many years. They seem to be a part of the past  of this 108 year old house.  When you take a macro of the shrub the flowers look larger than one would expect.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Pure white tulip......

This is the last one for the season and as you can see it is starting to weather from the rain, wind and cold. The deep red ones are shriveled up a lot but put out a nice spot of color.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Honeysuckle blooms.....

The gentle drizzles and cool weather seems to encourage the honeysuckle bushes to bloom.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Returning to the Globe's

The alum theme will continue until they are fully in bloom and they start to fade.  The blue reflection globe among the globe alum seems genius but it really is that it just happened.  I  like the purple color of these plants.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday and it is wet and green.............

Our two days of light drizzle has done amazing things to the plants and trees. It is nice that it is cooled down again as I didn't want to air condition the house this soon in the year.

This hosta reminds me of Sum and Substance but I don't think that it is.  Whatever it's name it really is producing large foliage this year as it has matured from last year.

It is nice to be back!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Flower Power.......

I transplanted a fernleaf peony last summer and I was so surprised to see it up and blooming.  It was planted out in the open in dirct sun and it was the first to bloom.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Globe Alum.......

My flower bed of alum is about ready to bloom.  We are so hot right now that the present flowers are wilting or are gone way too soon.  We reached over 98 degrees Tuesday and will cool down to 86 degrees today.  It makes it too hot to be outside and work in the garden.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Photo of a photo.......from a postcard.

An antique frame with a newly created photo from a postcard of the train bridge. I restored the frame and inserted the photo with glass for a customer.

Between Woodward and Madrid runs the Des Moines River. The river eventually runs into the Saylorville dam.  The bridge that crossed the river has continually evolved in the years since Iowa became a state back in the 1880's.  A smaller bridge was there for crossing but a wooden bridge was built for the train.  The train would come through Madrid and stop on an incline near an old cold mining town called Xenia. The trains stopped there because of the large population of Italian coal miners that lived there but the train couldn't start up again on the hill to keep on going.  Eventually the train stop was changed and was further up at the top of the hill and the town of Woodward was established.

A newer bride was built to replace this one with pillars that were 13 stories high, that were made of concrete. The bridge was massive and a long expanse. When the train stopped doing passenger service it continued to do grain service for a number of years.

At least 10 years back, the tracks were removed and the train company sold the metal beams from the bridge as steel was at a high price and they made millions of dollars from it.  All that was left standing were the concrete columns.  Now today a million dollars plus later a bike trail bridge has been placed back onto the pillars. More pictures to follow in other postings.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Wood stove........

Another old timer thing sitting around at the Woodward Depot. One of the things I remember about the little windows is that they used sheets of mica in the  door. You can't see through mica but it did let you see the glow of the fire through it.  As the wood would burn the ashes would fall down into the bottom of it. They had to be removed from the back door on the base.  I remember to that trophy like ornament that sat on the top of them. It made it look fancy.

We had a wood burner in the basement of our old house to burn wood for heat. I do remember that my Uncle Marvin who lived nearby did have a wood stove like this. He heated the entire house with one of these and there were vent's in the upstairs floors to allow the heat to travel up into the attic bedrooms.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A peach tree adventure.............

Mr. Randall's Peach Tree
I ran an errand today to pick up something for Mr. Randall and to deliver it to him.  He is an elderly friend and I am glad I was able to help him.  I couldn't find him when I arrived and he had shuffled himself out to his workshop to glue some pieces of wood together to make a table top.  He is so shufflely, if you catch my drift,  but he had gotten himself in a corner with the glued board project and he couldn't get out of his work area.   The boards he had glued together had blocked his exit from the area and he was just standing there saying I can get out of here, but no it really wasn't possible.

I had to move a large settle bench out of the way and move other things against the wall so he could leave his work area. We had to go see his young peach trees and all the blossoms.  I took his picture standing among his young peach trees.  I left a lot worried about his fate but he has others who keep an eye on him.  I am just glad I went over today.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Top heavy......

I had never thought of it before but the stems of the tulip have to be very strong to have the bloom on the end of it's stem.  I guess that is why they have such a stiff stem that snaps when you break it off by hand.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Going green......

It almost projects a green haze as one views the chokecherry tree. It is so nice to see the green and the smell of the fragrance is wonderful.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bashful barrel......or a wallflower

This is a barrel that sat in the corner of the office area of the Woodward Depot.  It is a fitting object that could have been used to ship grain on the train. My father use barrels like this to soak oats in sour milk to feed to his pigs.  I can still smell that sour mix today even though it was fifty years ago.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Red and yellow explosion........

This is a specialty tulip that resembles a parrot tulip and yet it is more like a peony tulip.  Strong color and great expression of an explosion that comes from a flower makes it another one of my favorites.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


As a photo blog, I do want to share photos that have artistic compositions, more that just a pretty picture. Don't get me wrong as you know I post a lot of pretty pictures.  While at the winery attending to our booth at the art show, couples of older folks, older than me came walking through the show.  They were dressed up in their finest, looking out of place among the tightly outfitted bikers who were showing way too much.  Later on, I heard that it was a classic car group that was out for a tour. It wasn't like a scene from the Great Gatsby but the group looked like they had a little more money than me and they were well refined in their appearance.

The photo show the reflection of the red roof of the winery.  I left the guy in the green shirt as had really added a color balance to the abstract close up of the car.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Yellow Free Spirits......

I wanted to be the first blogger to post my prized flowers.  They really are a nice flower with great color and texture. Yes they do make a mess in the yard's smooth blanket of green.  I do need to get out there and mow my yard but alas I am a Industrial Tech teacher today.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A special tulip........

I planted some bulbs under the bushes many years ago.  The bushes have overgrown the area but this and one other tulip always shine through every spring.  It is the first of May and where did the wet, windy, and cold month of April go?