Sunday, July 31, 2011


This is a photo taken at gift area of The Machine Shed in Des Moines, Iowa.  They sell rolls that look like that pictured in the background but that is actually a cookbook about making cinnamon rolls perfectly.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Quilter's Landscape......

Artist,  Zella M. Burgus, 1919-2008

As my mother reached an age of no return with the making of quilts,  I can see in this quilt the artist's expressions fading and changing from that of a person with a younger heart.  Each fabric had a meaning, a memory, but the placement of the pattern and color became more of a difficult task.  The choice of colors became random shapes only, just to get the job done and any color would do.

Her love of bright colors meant that she would use them but there would be no more actual reason for it.  Also it is a pattern of mixed patterns and scrambled colors with less perfect skills in the sewing of the many blocks into rows.

Just like Monet with his fading sight, creating large waterlily paintings or an older artist's mind who knows the process but it fades to minimal work, my mom had moved into that stage of work. It is still a masterpiece that they all produce but one from a fading creator of greater past times.

This quilt was passed on to my son and his wife today.  It actually has more of my mom's person embedded in it than most as it shows the true self's being to the viewer.  It was a work that would be one of her last.

My son Aaron was special to her and if she had known that he and his wife had received it she would have had a huge smile.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Summer heat.......

It is hard to depict heat and humidity but it is there. The sun comes up and the temps immediately rise.  The air is full of moisture and it makes it difficult to breathe. Friday is finally here.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A true red........

My camera rarely captures this color correctly but it sure did get it right this time.  It  is the last days for this color of daylily and they have done well. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Light and color..........

The two elements create a magic photo with the light shining through the petals of the zinnia and the leaves in the background.

Monday, July 25, 2011


A large shell that was given to me by a student 25 years ago.  It has a little age but still looks like a natural sculpture out there on the shelf.

It really has weathered well.  The student's name was Shelly Berry.   She had a brother named Jerry Berry.  Also there were others like Sherry and Shawna Berry.  They are all adults now I am sure with children of their own.  I hope Jerry Berry didn't name his kids thie same way as his parents had done with him.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

Moss Garden......

This is a natural moss garden that I have in a shaded area.  I did not create it as it just is there.  The daylily that I put into the photo is one that I knocked off of a plant while I was weed eating along the flowers.  The moss is growing on a piece of rock that is flagstone.

The same kind of stone in which my foundation of  the kitchen was created probably over one hundred years ago. There was a basement put in under my old house in the Fourties and they didn't put it under the kitchen, so the original foundation is still there. I dig up stray pieces of flagstone in the yard and I don't know why it is there.  I also find bricks  six inches under the soil. I guess someone just liked to bury their building trash in the ground.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tommy Tom.........

Our neighborhood tomcat that likes to cool off on my cement block steps.  He is sort of tame and my wife feeds him more than I do.  He is always coming around for a handout in a passive sort of way.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Knock out rose faces the heat..........

It was out for almost two days but it didn't really last the second day.  Half of the nation is feeling this heat wave and even my squash plants are hunkering to the ground and are very wilted.  It doesn't really cool off in the evening but I will go out and water some things when the sun has passed and there is a little shade. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Phlox season......

It seems early for the phlox to be blooming but it has started. The colors are always so subtle and I like how they keep spreading in that area giving me more blooms each year.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Steamy Sunday......

I went outside with the dogs Saturday afternoon and my camera fogged over because of he excess humidity.  I planted some new petunias in my granite pan.

I did find after shooting a few foggy photos that my finger and shirttail wiped the moisture off of the lens.  We have seven days of heat both night and day to look forward to as the Texas heat has migrated north.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Busy as a bee.........

 A bumblebee is busy seeking the nectar from my hosta blooms.  It is good to see them out there working among the flowers.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Catalpa Tree...........

When I mention down on the farm, from here on out, it means the farm in which my wife was raised.  This is one of maybe three catalpa trees that are down on the farm.  Their flowers in spring are so wonderful and then those bean pods are like Christmas decorations dangling and swinging in the breeze. I was down on the farm working the past week.

This is a borrowed photo of the catalpa blooms in spring.  When I researched this tree is seems to stop growing west of Iowa and originated from out east.  There are dozens of types of this tree.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

One hosta is a crowd........

I had two different varieties planted here but this one got to be such a bully and pushed the other one to the side.  I had to move it away from the area.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer scene........

Heat survivors and also wind survivors that seem to tolerate Iowa weather no matter what. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hot and steamy even in the shade.......

The old silver maple tries it's best to give us some shade but it it not helping out very much. Maybe a rain shower or two will help to cool it down a little.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Penny.......my neighbor's dog.

I did a little dog sitting today with Penny while her owner was gone to Northern Iowa.  Penny is always active and glad to see you.  She loves to destroy these plastic bottles.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Regale lily showoffs............

There are two stems of these leaning together which gives off a great show. My Grandma Brooks would be out counting them right now as she did every year. I think her record was 15 blooms at one time, which would mean five stalks were blooming all at once.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Bee Balm.........

Mondarda, bee balm, shown just before it's start into the bloom stage.

One of the first of many monarda to bloom.  The camera picks up a more magenta color rather than a pure red color. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I couldn't resist taking a photo of our umbrella. It's colors and textures and the design as a whole as it was all squished together made a nice composition.  I don't leave it open as the winds can pick it up or tip the table over, even when there is weight at the base of it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Asiatic surprise.........

I had forgotten what color this lily was until it opened on Sunday.  I really am glad to see it multiply and spread as I now have three stalks of it. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sunday's day of rest...........

The sun was low in the west and the stella's actually were glowing in the low light.  It was such a dull light out there and the yellow was a magical light against the dark background.

Everyone have a restful day and I hope the weather is not a major extreme in any way.  

Saturday, July 2, 2011

One lone sheep.........

I took the truck to the Boone landfill and while I was making the journey I pulled to the side of the road and took barn photos.  I want to start a series of paintings of barns and I thought I would get some resource pictures.   There were actually more sheep than just this one and you will see that later in a header photo.

Friday, July 1, 2011

A flower portrait..........

The regale lily that has been shared from my late grandmother in Murray, Iowa, and then was moved to Osceola, Iowa, and now it is in my garden. This one is being crowded out by some field lilies so I will move it to a new location after the blooms are spent.