Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tulip Time........

Pella, Iowa has a festival each year based on the tulips and their traditions from Holland.  Last year their tulips were bloomed and gone by the this time because of the warm weather.  This  year they say about 75% of the tulips will be out in time for the event.  Iowa has 3 maybe different zones when you base the info on how the flowers bloom.  My parents in southern Iowa would have their tulips and daffodils bloomed out by now, while the Pella area are in their peak of bloom.  Up here in north middle Iowa my tulips are just now opening. I am sure at the Minnesota border it is a different story.

My neighbor lady told me that tulips go back to being yellow after the bulbs get to be older.  I am assuming these bulbs were another color at some time as  a lot of my tulips are yellow.  I do have another bed of plants that are just now showing buds and I will share them with they are in full bloom.  They are cheap bulbs and they still are of different colors.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Leaning with the wind.......

The flowers out at the corner of the property get the full wind causing the blooms not to fare so well. I like the little garden area but I have to force myself to go and see what is out there or drive by with my car.  The leaf patterns are great in this picture but the blooms seem to be protecting themselves from the weather.  Believe it or not, we really could use some more rain.  The next few days  forecast promises some moisture is on the way.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Birch White...........

The sun was peeking out from behind some clouds making the birch tree glow.  It is a beautiful tree year round but it seems whiter than I have ever seen it before.  The bark is so clear and clean.  The seed pods are starting to form creating those spiral textured decorations that swing in the wind. We had a beautiful warm spring day.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


I think I can cope with the sun shining for a while. Saturday is here and I think I will get some odd jobs done, small garden jobs and anything else that I have to get done.  Hey, did I say the sun was shining, wow!

Friday, April 26, 2013

It will bloom........

I declare this blooming by Sunday.  It has grown up and out to the tune of cold air and rain.  The warm weather that is on the horizon will be a blessing. Yesterday it was almost 70 degrees F.  We were in western Iowa yesterday where it was sunny and very warm.  We had to run the air on the car and the church we were in after the funeral had the airconditioning running.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Thursday's Post..............

There is a live bug on the flower. That is a good sign that we will be warming up. You can see the frosted tips of some of the leaves from those early frosty nights. This is a daffodil that I apparently bought not noticing that it is a different variety.  I have three different stands of them wich means I must have bought a bag of 25.

A Firm Base.......

My birdbath has a wonderful design on ist base.  The leaves will eventually be mowed up and be gone.  It was cold last night but we have 80 degrees predicted in a couple of days.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Two Colors in One.........

It will freeze tonight but maybe that it is close to the house and we are in town that it will be a borderline freeze.  Many years we have ice storms that take them out so normal weather really can be about anything.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The First Bloom.....

The snow later this week may slow things down but for now I have my first daffodil for the season.  The rains splash dirt up into their partially opened blooms.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Geranium Leaves..............

The hardy geranium is confused with the real geranium which is shown here.  The hardy one is sold in so many colors and does not survive winter weather.  This geranium comes up each year spreading and putting out petitie blooms. Mine is white and it isn't very showy compare to some of the pink and red.  The leaf structure is a frilly like leaf and as you can see can have a reddish color in early spring.  The other leaves you see in the photo is from another shrub that sits close by.  It sends out vine like shuts and will turn bright yellow as the weather warms.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

It is cold outside........

I ventured outside after school to see what there is to shoot for the blogs.  It is green grass and brown leaves covering flowers.  The redtwig dogwood has not budded yet but its bark is really turned to a true red.  I did not get it trimmed back but will still clip some side shoots away on the other side as it keeps creeping out and expanding.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Silver Streak is Gone........

I am publishing twin blogs today.  Those of you who visit my Larry's Creative Zone will be seeing a duplication of this post.  

Those of you who have been around my territory know this car. I have photographed it so many times as it sat across the street next to a cornfield.  It is a 1949 Pontiac that has set there and has been mown around for about 6 years now.

I have always been fascinated with it's decorative design features.  The front and back of the car has this decorative band on it that reminds me of a waterfall.  Paintings with large waterfalls in them were everywhere back in the days that it was designed.  The guys who designed this car had to have thought that as they placed the Indian Chief's head projecting out like it is carve in rock with the water flowing down and around it.  The strange thing about it is the space theme in design was incorporated as the top view of the Chief's decoration looks like a early designed spaceship for one of those old classic space movies .

The interior design has a dashboard and steering wheel that reminds me of the early space movies also with circular openings and space like switches and dashboards.  The logo of Chief Pontiac on the side and chrome work on the car makes it a real classic.

One of my former students owned the car and she had it in storage in that field of her mother's farm.  Now another one of my former students has bought it from her and he plans on restoring it. I don't think he has ever restored any car of this age so he will have to learn as he goes.

While I was at work one day, they took the old blue car away.  The car is gone.  It now sits on the opposite side of town in its new owners yard.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Ditch Lilies........

Nothing keeps these field lilies from coming up in the spring.  They are tough, the spread, they even seem to crowd themselves out.   One can see them along the roads where old farmsteads were as well as along roads where the construction of the road helped to spread the tubers. It is nice to see green out there in the back yard again. In another month there will be blooms.

I would post an archived photos but someone out there would confuse it as being a bloom of today.  I will just show you the present condition of the plants.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


The daffodils next to the pin oak tree will look great.  You can see the frost that hit the tips of the leaves earlier but the buds did come later which is good.  We are going to receive rain all day today.  It is so wonderful to have rain.  I don't think our water table is up to normal but we are sure looking better in that area.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The River Birch........

Peeling onions is a process that lets you remove layers at a time sometimes with tears in your eyes.  The river birch does it voluntarily just like a snake sheds its out skin.  It is amazing how clear and clean it looks as it sheds itself back to expose its new skin.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Monday's Bunny......

My wife recently sold this painting of a bunny.   He is a sweet bunny that was sitting in a cage at the Iowa State Fair.  He was sitting and chewing and watching the people walking by his cage.  Taking a photo of a framed work with glass is impossible to snap.  I wanted to share this so I took the path of least reflection.  It still has reflection but the whole photo takes on a magical mood with the reflections.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday's Spots.........

This little guy will be headed via the mail to Chicago on Monday.  There is a rattle inside of him which makes the parent happy more than the child.

Saturday, April 13, 2013


My son Andy is my guest photographer today with a photo of my grandson, AJ.  He is modeling an outfit his grandma picked out for him.  In a few more months he will probably be grown out it even though it looks too big right now.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Windy weather......

My photos of one of my favorite mugs shows guys trying to fly a kite.  I saw kids last Saturday who were out flying kites.  We were on our way to Ankeny and the suburbs had kids in the backyards flying various kinds of kites. Our temperature changes keep the kite flying to a minimum as one would need a winter coat and gloves to fly a kite today.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


I gave this plant to my father 25 years ago and when I closed down the property I brought home a couple of starts with me.  It grows slowly and has yet to figure out how to climb the trellis.  English Ivy or a variety like it grows all over some of the older brick buildings at ISU where I attended. It would take over the entire buildings and they looked so cool and green on a hot summer day.

Shape and color and texture.......

Sometimes when I take a shot I really don't know what a plain image will express.  I know sometimes I have created photos that deserve the trash immediately.

 The leaves here are definitely those of a tomato. If you are a gardener you know that immediately when you glance the leaf shape.  I find the photo pleasant to see as our weather keeps swinging back and forth from hot temperatures to cold temperatures. I like its color against the dark background and texture of the planting compartments.  The plant gives me hope that winter will be gone soon.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Photo of a Photo.........

A cheater's photo taken by me of a commercial photo of stargazers lilies, packaging art. We grew these for a few years and somehow they stopped growing.  I think they were overgrown by an aggressive other plant.  My wife and I planted the three bulbs on Monday night before the rain fall so they may actually bloom this  year.

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Spring Sky......

The buds on the trees are just barely visible and the grass started to turn green a little yesterday.  The sky and the light is a dead giveaway that we are through with winter.  We have some snow that may fall on Thursday but it won't stay on the ground for very long.

Our rain last night was more like a sprinkle and there isn't going to be more for a couple of days. The redwing black birds continue to migrate north as yesterday another large amount of them were in the trees doing their calls, many of them at the same time.  We are suppose to get up to 75 degrees today which means we jump from furnace weather to air conditioning days very quickly.  We won't run the air but it will warm up the house on its own today.

We were crossing the mile long bridge on Saturday across Lake Saylorville looking for pelicans.  There were none, but there were swans out there.  They were about 15 or more sitting in a cove trying to feed or low underwater grasses.  They won't stay around for very long but it was nice to see them.  The bridge is mistakenly called the mile high bridge sometimes when it actually is a mile long and sits about 4 to 5 stories above the water level of the lake.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Bigger Than Life.......

The season of longer daylight did cause the hardy geranium to put on some buds and bloom.  It is a little early for me to put it outside but in another month it can go outside.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Color and Texture......

As the redbud tree matures you can see that its trunk has become large.  The many far reaching branches need a good base and the trunk of this tree proves to be strong and beautiful too.  I had to trim the many branches last year as we could not see out of the window because it was so dense.  Once it was trimmed it didn't look like I had done much to it.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Seeing Red.......

The redtwig dogwood is a bright color among all the brown grass and weeds.  I didn't get it trimmed back last fall.  I may still do some thinning on it as it is crowding out an iris and a peony.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Another Violet.......

How many photos of violets can this crazy guy share?   Well I have one new one that I want to share. I bought it in the winter not really knowing if it was a different one or not as it was closing the last of its blooms at the time.   I am glad to see that it is a totally new one for me.   I saw new ones in the Walmart store yesterday of heathy greenhouse grown plants with huge multiple blooms.

I think it is the collection addiction that drives me as I immediately wanted to by two more.  Sure I have no room left for  flower posts to sit and I also have a dozen more new starts to repot.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Rocky Friends......

A rock collection given to me by a friend who spends his summers at his home in Minnesota is laying out to dry.  I had the collection in a rock garden arrangement with plants and now I am about to regroup them into a different display.  Two of the rocks are shiny agatized rocks and one looks like it is made of granite.  The standing rock has me a lot curious about it's origin.

The standing rock has a perfectly flat end on it as if it had been a grinding stone for native American Indians.  It did come from around Duluth, Minnesota where my friend said that a tribe lived in the area of his home.  I don't know why I had never noticed before how the rock fits so perfectly in one's hand and yes it could have been used as a grinding tool.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Keeping an eye out......

When you are a feral cat and you come for free food, you still need to be careful.  As the black and white cat eats, he keeps turning his head to see if he needs to run from danger.  He is out of his territory as he belongs to the neighbors.  This guy is the smaller one that was probably an offspring of a larger black and white cat.  We haven't named this one as he doesn't venture over very often.

Monday, April 1, 2013

American Bald Eagles.............

Along the ice that is receding away from the shore of Lake Saylorville sits one lone American Bald Eagle.  A few seagulls can be seen in the background.

We don't own a long lens for the camera so photoshop has to help me to bring the view in closer.  Let's just say the large group of eagles were not out on Saturday.

If you look closely you can see one of the five or six eagles that were soaring very high in the sky.  Great  pictures like this should make the National Geographic Magazine.  Our goal was to go see the flock of birds that were being seen but they must have gone on break as these few shots are all I have to show for from the outing.