Monday, December 31, 2012

Red Twig Dogwood........

The snow has forced the branches to bow down from its weight. The warm up on Sunday didn't really change much as melting really didn't take place.

The snow packed street is in view in the background.  We had a dusting of snow on Friday and that fluffy coating really  has packed down and become a part of the blizzard snow we received weeks ago. The birds are hitting the feeders hard as there is much else for them to eat.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Gotta love him.......Barnabas.

Barney watches me shooting photos outside of his backyard fence. He is such a great dog and watches out for us at all times.

This is what we are still looking like outside on Saturday.  We will warm up a little today and some of it will leave, but a colder front is coming in by tomorrow morning.

My neighbor's yard still looks like a blizzard.  Shrubs and trees are still bent over from the frozen snow/ice weight on the branches.

The Austrian pines speak for themselves as what they are experiencing the effects from the blizzard we had on December 19th.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Another Quick Snap.......

My wife's angels seem to be having a flash mob moment.  The angel playing the stringed instrument seems to be the star of the show.

Friday, December 28, 2012

French Hen.....

I have a set of ornaments that are based on the 12 Days of Christmas song.  This is a French hen from the set.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Quick Snap.........

Christmas is over and I am just now getting time to take some photos.  I will work with color and design and try to take more abstracts since I missed the season.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

To all of my blogger friends I extend wishes of a very wonderful Christmas day to you and your family.  The gift of Christ is remembered today and I hope all will be thankful.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve......

There is a gentle flurry of snow this morning and it tends to calm us as we head into the final tasks for Christmas.  Our tasks are few now and mundane and we will work hard to keep things low key.  We may even head to the mall just for fun today.  We each would like to purchase one more thing for each other and we would like to go for the final look.

Christmas eve means candlelight services at our church and coming home to a snack like meal of pumpkin bread, crackers and spreads, Christmas cookies and eggnog and coffee.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Survival of the fittest.......

The little drummer boy is ready for Christmas.  All of our trees are now up and our chores are winding down.

The past three days have looked like this outside.  Our short visit to 32 degrees yesterday didn't really change much.  We will look like this for a long time as the snow is frozen to the branches of everything and it is not going anywhere. I scooped out most of my sidewalk but I do need to return today to finish the job.  

Have a great Sunday.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Snowball In The Sky.....

It is very cold outside on Thursday and I had just finished taking off a layer of ice and snow from my car.  I returned inside, grabbed the camera and starting shooting. It was so cold so I didn't take time for many photos.  I looked up and the sun was bright and the daytime moon was up in the sky showing clear and bright white.

Friday, December 21, 2012


It blew hard, snowed hard and it stuck the snow to everything.  We haven't had a good snowstorm for quite some time. Last year we didn't receive much measurable snow all winter.

There was 12 inches of snow and it was very wet.  It was so heavy that it smashed this yew shrub to the ground.  Trees lean and branches broke and took out electric wires.  Today is an 8 degree weather day and it will warm up to 23 degrees with the sun shining.  School was cancelled yesterday and today.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Christmas Tradition.......

I have learned the past year that this is actually a Thanksgiving cactus. The shape of the green leaves determine it to be one.  But whenever I see the blooms I think of Christmas cactus.  My cactus shown here actually has stopped blooming and is try to reset blooms for next month.

The pilot television show of "The Waltons" was actually presented as a movie length feature.  It was written of the Walton family and it's experiences of a large family on a farm. John Boy narrates as the story goes along at the beginng and end of the show as he is the writer of the memories of living in the house with all the family. Grandma and grandpa lived with the family so the house was filled with people.  The one scene that I only remember about the pilot show was the finding of the Christmas cactus in the cave in full bloom.  It was suppose to have been a few days before Christmas and the mother Walton was going into the cave to get canned foods for the Christmas dinner.  She walks up the stairs out of the cave holding the cactus in bloom being amazed as to its cycle of life that keeps on going. I don't remember her exact words but the meaning of her lines was that even when times seemed hard that there is alway a bright future ahead for them.

Monday, December 17, 2012


The angel tree is not completely decorated but it is really starting to sparkle. It was a busy weekend and we just didn't get it done.  I have two others set up but also there are no decorations.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Feeding time...........

Our snow is now gone but a few days ago the birds were hungry.  We didn't get much snow and then last night we got a small amount of rain.  Some moisture is better than no moisture.

Juncos and sparrows are all you see here but I have had a chickadee show up to eat.  The snow has to be pretty heavy before cardinals show up to eat.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Archived Shot.....

I need to remove the photos from my camera and transfer them to my iphoto site.  It just hasn't happened.  So here we go, digging around in the dusty archives to find something to share.  The depression ware glass dish is holding one of my glass blown ornaments.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Duck Ornament.......

I have had this ornament on display a couple of years now in my display case.  Normally Christmas is over and the tree is done and then I notice I haven't mainstreamed it into the boxes of ornaments. This year that will be corrected.  I have another ornament in the shape of an Italian cook that keeps missing out of being hung on the tree and he too will join the crowd.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Visions of shiny brites dancing.......

An archived photo of the ornaments that need to be hung on the tree.  Once the tree is up, our actions of decorating will be a blur as we do the job.  A progress report will be filed daily until all the last three trees have been decorated.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bucket Boy.........

I shared earlier that as I was the youngest in the family and I needed a chore. My chore was to carry buckets of drinking water to the house.  This is my bucket boy who is always trudging outside with his bucket looking for the hand pump on the well.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Struck by the color.....

Sometimes the most mundane thing can be very beautiful.  The colors that I saw as I looked at the birdbath with the contrasting green  stained wooden fence made a striking contrast. One can't see it in the photo but there was a thin glaze of ice over the top of the water.  Today it is 16 degrees F., almost -9 degrees C.  I am sure there is ice on the top now for sure.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Snowing today....

The porch roof makes the wreath seem dark but it is a fresh green one from our kids in Chicago. The weather stations shows that it is not snowing here but when I look out the window, it is snowing.  We will have measurable snow today and the temperatures are going to drop to 10 degree F. tonight. It is truly winter now in Iowa.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The farm pond.......


Our pond supplied our running water to the house.  There was a pump down behind the dike that would pump water up the hill towards the house and into a cistern.  The setup was in existence when my parents bought the farm in 1953.  Once the water was pumped into the cistern it would be again pumped for watering livestock and for general household washing.  It was used for washing clothes and keeping the bathroom running. 

My brother Rex mowed a path through the orchard grass all the way down to behind the pond so we could easily walk down there to put gas in the old fashion engine that would pump the water.  Once he had done that as a creative notion, it was continually done every year.  You can see that I am standing in that path the takes off to the left in the photo.  

The previous owners had planted an orchard down by the pond.  I suppose they thought that it would be a good place next to water to have apple trees and cherry trees.  They produced moderate amounts of fruit as the trees didn't get pruned very often.  

The old photo shows the discoloration of its being kept in a plastic album all these years. The kodachrome didn't survive as well as one would have expected it to last.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Down on the farm.....


They sat in the tall orchard grass most of theyear and then in the mid summer and fall they would be connected to the Farmall tractor and put into use.  They would combine oats in the mid season and combine beans in the fall. My dad had two of these but only used the one.  He had a set of metal screens that he had to change to deal with the different sizes of grain.  The hopper would get full pretty fast as they were small collection boxes and then dad would pull the combine over to the red wagon box and turn on the auger to feed the grain into the wagon. I think I remember the word Case was on the side of the combine but that was 50 years ago. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

More from the past.....


I must have been home for the weekend from college as the peonies are in bloom and things are green. It looks like late spring early summer.  The pump was our source of water for drinking in the house.  We trusted that to be good water and I carried many a bucket of water from there year round.  On a school day I got out of getting the morning bucket but I usually got the evening bucket of water. Our regular water system in the house was from cistern water from rain runoff of the house and also pond water.

Behind the pump is the garden area and it looks like peas and potatoes are up and growing. The tree is a crabapple tree that bloomed wonderful flowers and then had all those small apples. In very early spring the area around the pump had tulips and daffodils pop up in the grass.  The former owner of the farm had planted them and it was alway a great surprise to see them come up and bloom.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I wasn't so old then.........

It is 1972 and the camera I was using wasn't so great.  I am just out of college and I took some pictures of the farm where I had been raised in southern Iowa.   Little did I know that my dad would sell the place a year or two later. Check out that old wagon on the left.  The tree is Chinese Elm, as they grew quickly, but ice storms took out many branches as they are a very soft wood.

The old kodak shots are hanging in there but I did have to photoshop them a little to get better color and better lights and darks. They have yellowed at the bottom and they seem to be faded.  My mom had a flower garden in the front next to the house. If you squint you can see the gas barrel on the right.  The barn style was a sheep barn design but I don't think sheep were ever on the farm.  My dad raised hogs and cattle.  My mom had chickens for eggs and meat.  More pictures are to come.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday's Chicken......

I hope your monday has started off in a good way.  Monday's can be hard as you go back to work and the body rejects the idea of schedules and work.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Birds are flying south......

The birdhouse that I made a few years back is in need of some repair and restoration.  I will try to take it down during the warmer weather and leave it as an inside winter project.  The holes for the birds are just too large for anyone to nest in them so I will place a smaller square with a smaller hole in it, in front of the original holes. I need to repaint it too which means I might change the color of it.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

So where do you keep your small people?

He looks like Doc from the Snow White movie.  He likes being in the store window and does look like he has something alcoholic to drink. Maybe he just needs glasses.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Birding time........

An archived photo of my bird book and mug, showing a chickadee on the page.  I haven't seen chickadee all summer but they are now frequenting the feeder.  I am assuming that they are coming in town now for the colder months.  The fields have all been cleared also so they don't have that area to go to collect food.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


This was taken when there was warmer weather.  We are back to being cold today but the wind did die down.  Wind chill is something that makes one to feel more miserable as if it is a bonus or something.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Remembering When..........

I was digging through some old albums to find the oldest son's baby pictures and I found some interesting things.  The guy on top is too familiar in 1974.  It was a long time ago and another place and another person.  Dig those large glasses and plaid pants.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012

I Am Thankful......

I hope each of you have a great Thanksgiving Day.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Photo from the Past.....

A sepia shot of two horses that were pulling a buggy down highway 34 in Osceola.  I followed the buggy and rider to their parking spot and asked to take photos.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Juniper Berries and Gin.......

I watched a show on Sunday Morning showing where they grow junipers to use for the making of gin.  The berries from the evergreen shrub are grown just for the purpose and then are crushed and fermented into gin.  My berries will rippen and the cardinals will eventually eat them all.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Gentle moments.......

This photo make me think of my two dogs who love to have their ears to be rubbed.  They like the gentle touch that makes them both gaze into you face. Button is smaller so you can rub both of his ears at the same time while he tries to put his nose into your face.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Burning Bush Berries.......

The birds are enjoying the berries of the burning bushes.  We don't have snow yet but they seem to be already enjoying all the seed pods and berries on the bushes.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Stop Swimming Around.......

Fuzzy fish that just won't hold still for the camera.  I have three gold fish in this small tank next to my computer so that winter won't seem so bad.  I can see my fish swimming around carefree in the warm water.  Even though goldfish are not tropical fish they do live in areas in the world where the water is warm year round.

Friday, November 16, 2012

More Leaves To See......

The pear tree gave me many opportunities to get cool shots.  This one shows the variety of colors that are on the tree as it approaches the time to drop them.