Friday, January 31, 2014


A toy firetruck in my collection reveals the look of the early style of toy trucks.  The way the truck is designed reminds me of how they also drew the vehicles in early cartoons. I remember in early cartoon the firetrucks and police cars all had the same look. The window shapes were simplified like this one and the front windows had the middle brace to secure the roof.  I have never seen a truck like this with the accessories to know what was suppose to be on the hooks. Maybe a short ladder goes there.  The tires are a rubber like material which dates the toy prewar days.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


A special effects day with light and a Ball glass canning jar.  Filled with glass blown ornaments for decoration. This history of these jars go back to when people lived off of the summer bounty and preserved the food to eat during the cold winter.  The lid had a ring of rubber that helped to seal the heated contents when it was tightened. It made a vacuum seal as the contents cooled.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


He has his ever watchful eyes open as he protects the area in which he is standing.  I leave him at the top of the stairs in a corner for a while before he goes to the storeroom.  He looks like he is guarding the second floor of the house. He is a big nutcracker character who has either a Russian hat or a British soldier's hat.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Seasonal Stretch........

I was thinking I should take this down but it seems to be appropriate for the winter weather.  It is a pain to look out the door as one has to find an opening to see out, but it is cheery and welcoming to the house.   I have the other one on the front door that is still hanging too.  I guess when it gets warm it will have a feeling of being out of place then I will take them both down.

Monday, January 27, 2014


The chickens are walking the walk.  This is a photo of a small suitcase.  It is in the classroom in which  I am subbing today.  The focus is a lot off in the photo as the wave of blur to focus moves from left to right.  The item is used as a decoration for the classroom. It is a printed design on a small suitcase like item that has a clasp and a suitcase like handle.  It looks like something that one might pick up in Mexico but it really was made in China.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Yucca in Iowa.........

The yucca thrives among the snow.  We still have snow even though we are 40 degrees F.  right now.  Our warming up really doesn't melt the snow very much.  I think the winds keep the air cold so it really doesn't effect it.  Our weather is still yucky with dipping down into the very cold and very strong winds continue off and on forever.

Saturday, January 25, 2014


The Lenox star shaped dish is fun to see and fun to use.  I gave it to my wife a few years back and we dig it out for every Christmas.  It is almost a decoration piece and yet it works great for food. We don't hurry to put it away so we can enjoy and use it longer.  I looked at Lenox pieces this year for maybe a gift again.  They seem to keep their classic designs and shapes from year to year. I didn't buy any this year.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Sparrows From Far and Near........

The sparrows are really hungry as they have flown in with great speed.  The seem to be more nervous in large groups and the slightest movement by me from the window causes them to flee.  While they feed, other large amounts of them fly in to  force the first ones to move out.  It is like a swarm of bees when they get going.  Haven't seen other wild birds at the feeder the past few days, just woodpeckers.  A neighboring town friend posted pictures of robins at her house which is the earliest I have ever heard of that ever.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Be Brave.......

I almost didn't post this. I started then almost deleted it.  It is a good photo.  I guess it just isn't that entertaining.  But my gut feeling was to show a well taken photograph like what you would see in the modern world in mod art museums.  I know it is just an everyday item.  It is a decorated saucer that I picked up at a garage sale somewhere. The plate itself is an art deco painted piece on the front and it is Bavaria. 

I will go ahead and show you the front to help make sense of the photo.  It is hand painted and has a gold trim on it.  I have never looked for a cup that matched it but I bet it is of a straight sided design.  If you click on the top photo you can see it has an incised serial number.  I don't think I have seen that in dishes before now.  A mystery as to why I picked it up in the first place.  It must have been a quarter in price. Anyway I have filed it in my cobwebbed memory banks and someday I might find the cup.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Life Sized........

I was looking through a chest of drawers for some easels  that we keep in the gallery to display artwork and look what I found.  The old mind does not have a clue when and where I got it but I assume it was Hobby Lobby many years ago.  They have unfinished wooden bird houses and decorative items in which crafters can paint.  When there are craft shows, you can see the wood items are painted and sold as interior decor pieces. I  am sure the one birdhouse that was given to me was meant to be an indoor item but I have it outside under the eave.  How do you like my garment for a drape in the picture? I had one of my sweaters draped over a chair and I thought the orange would look better than the beige table cloth.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Bad, Good Photo......

When I started my Photo a Day blog it was my plan to always have a great perfect photo to share.  As the years go by I realize that the perfect photo can also be a very unusual one with some breaking of the rules.

I shot this to show the growth of an older amaryllis bulb that I have brought up from the basement, a carry over one hoping to get another bloom from it.  I have my doubts about the blooming of it but it will be nice green growth to see.  I noticed after the shot that I leaned in on it over the dining room table and the shot is slanted. 

In defense of the photo it does have good composition with the snow on the ground in the background, the balance of other plants scattered in the arrangement and the foreground directing you into the photo like Vanna White on Wheel of Fortune and her posed hands.  It was just a lucky shot. I guess I sense the balance takes place as the red Christmas cactus blooms are the balance for all the other half of the photo. It would not make a very interesting painting but it works as a photo.  As my wife says, if you have to explain your artwork you didn't do a very good job.  It was an "A" for effort today.

Monday, January 20, 2014


It all looks about the same around here.  We had sunshine and thawing on Sunday but all of the water is again frozen into slick spots for cars to slide on and for people in which to fall down.  The sky tells the real story though as the next cold front comes into the state by 5:00 today.  It should come on time just like a train arrives on time.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Seeing Red........

I snapped this a day ago as I wanted a photo with the red cap showing.  As I now realize that the red cap is not as large on one bird as it is on the other.  I know this bird and the one below are not the same as the white patch on it's back is not as distinct as the one below. 

Birdwatchers of the world, is this the same species? This one has larger white area and it's cap is smaller.  I suppose one is a male and the other is a female. The angle of the head on this one makes it harder to see the size of the cap. In fact you can't see it in this picture, but it is a small narrow cap.

Taking a break from my rigorous blogging, I found the answer to my question.  The male has a smaller red cap than the females larger one.  So the top  photo is a female downy woodpecker and the one just above is a male.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Putting The Toys Away........

I found the train box and put them all away for another year.  Two trees are now down and I have brought up the boxes for the angel tree.  It is an adjustment both having the trees up in the different rooms and then when taking them down. It seems vacant not to have them there anymore.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Wild Winter..........

As I view out my window I see the clouds of winter.  We had a short warming trend last week that helped get rid of some of the snow but there is still a lot of iced over snow that helps to make a person to fall down. I shoveled the walk that you can barely see in the photo when it had warmed.  Most of the walks are clear now. The plants in the foreground tend to make this a confusing photo.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Having photographed this plant so much I wanted to change its color.  If it looks a little green that is because I tinted it a little.  The plant did get frosted a little from the bottom on that extremely cold day that I bought it so I lost a few branches.  It is planted in soil that really isn't soil so I am having a hard time knowing when to water it.  In my young days I killed so many of these by over watering it.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Reflection Distortions.........

Playing around with the camera, trying to find something new to photograph, I noticed the lights shining down on the glass container of ornaments.  I have taken a lot of photos of this container but I did find a new view.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Photo Album...........

A quick shot, an informal shot of an opened photo album.  It feels like going into a museum as you enter into images of individuals of days gone by.  Fort Wayne, Indiana seems to be stamped on the majority of the photos and no actual year is recorded on any of them.  The funeral shot that was in the book also was not dated. Find the album in Iowa makes it more of a mystery. When I view the pages of the book the decorations remind be of the old Victorian times of parlors and draped cloth and decorated doorways into the rooms.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday's Capture...........

It looks like I have not netted any fish here but onions are a good thing to net.  It is one of those things that you shoot and wonder what was in the background.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Hey, what day is it?????????

It is Saturday Mr. Camel and I am watching 11 kids in Saturday school till noon.  He seems to be smiling at us all for some reason.

Friday, January 10, 2014


As I was shooting different things in the house I noticed the old photo album on the bottom shelf of the desk.  I had not been in there for a couple of years.  The latch is such an interesting thing on the album as you have to squeeze the two curved parts of the latch to get it to release.  The photo of the four women shows that it was taken in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  It is a long ways for the album to be that was found in an old abandoned house in Osceola, Iowa.  I may photoshop the photo and clear it up a bit for later posting.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Getting My Ducks In A Row......

No new photo today as I don't have any new ones.  I do have the ones in which I am pictured. That is  not what I want for a photo a day. I am back at school today and will work hard this afternoon to get some photos taken of something. It is suppose to be 24 degrees this afternoon so I could get outside.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

It Is Cold Out Here.........

While we would spend some of our summers at a cabin in Minnesota, we became accustomed to the chipmunks and their needs.  I believe the chipmunk would go home and watch tv while sitting in his lazy boy chair once all the summer folks went home.  I can still see them dancing across the grass looking and waiting for the benefits of food from people.

The squirrels seem to be of the same animal family as the chipmunks.  The three of our squirrels have great antics that they are pulling between the times that the dogs are going outside.  I have yet to see them take the apples that I put out but they do take them. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Checking Things Out...........

The guy was so glad that I refreshed the feeders.  The one feeder near our back door seemed to be very tempting.  The squirrel didn't seem too frighten having me look out at him at such a close range.  He was sitting there flipping his tale up and down.  I don't know if that he meant to attack me or scare me away from him.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Chickadee Day.......

I think this is a reposting of this shot but I really like it.  The photo was taken a few weeks back and I don't think I posted it on Photo a Day. It probably was thrown in as a group of shots on Creative Zone.   They are a difficult bird to capture with the camera just like the nuthatch.  The are hyper active and can fly in, grab a seed and fly out before you get the camera turned on or in focus.  The feeders are busy this morning as I dressed warmly to give them fresh seed with cracked corn in it.  It was a -14 degrees F. most of the night and it will warm up to -4 F. if we are lucky.  Schools canceled everywhere.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Keep It Coming.......

I bought more seed anticipating heavy feeding the next week.  It is very cold and the wind is going to make it worse.  I have been placing some dog food out in the feeder.  Button can't bite into it as it is too hard so I have placed it out there for whoever can eat it.  The squirrels seem to like it.  I will venture out again this afternoon and place more food on the trays.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Sun Glow.........Freezing Air.

I was out and about in the cold and looked up to see the setting sun creating this great color on the silver maple tree.  Today we are starting our morning at 31 degrees F.  No I didn't put a minus by it.  It is thawing in Des Moines.  By noon the cold from Minnesota will enter Iowa with strong blowing winds. They get it from the Arctic Circle so we really can't blame it on to them. We too will have wind chills in the -35's F. or more. It will be 10 degrees soon. The temperatures have not been warm here all winter but for a 12 hour period it extremely warmed up to our normal avearage of 31 and then we will be severely cold by noon today.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Looking Through the Oxalis.......

It is nice to have some green that enjoys looking outside today. The oxalis isn't bothered by the cold window glass as it is warm behind it.  We are frigid again today with a good gusty wind to add to the discomfort.  We have errands to run today as it is suppose to get up to 23 degrees F. by this afternoon.  It was in the negatives when we got up this morning.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Thursday's Shot..........

An oldie of a small glass blown ornament gets to shine among the branches of the poinsettia.  I have a set of them but didn't have the time to get them hung.  I thought it nice to see all the sparkle of light reflecting off of the ornament.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

January 1, 2014........

We will be frozen in and snowed in today.  We have plenty of food and the electricity will probably stay on so we will have a great day anyway.  My new plant is great to see but even though it was protected by many layers of bags I lost the outside bottom of it from severe cold while taking it to the car. Not much money to get to see a red patterned poinsettia and maybe keep it alive most of the winter.

Everyone,  thanks for sticking around and being my friend.  It is my so special to share our stories with each other from all over the world. Happy New Year.