Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday's Post............

It is another capture of one of the mourning doves. Maybe today that snow will be gone from the top of the feeder.  We actually will hit 35 or around that by this afternoon.  I think the dove is a great shaped bird with its round curved body and head.  I like the subtle color.  I haven't seen the Eurasian doves this winter at the feeder but it is getting closer to spring so they may be migrating in if that is what they do.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Waiting for Spring......

 The last snow was light and fluffy and it made my neighbor's trees look like they were in a Colorado forest.  All of my photos are those of looking out because the temps are so cold. More snow coming for us the next few days and we will warm up  to 5 degrees F.  That really is not a warm up as far as I can tell.
 The last snow did actually look like this fake recreation of it, compliments of google-picasa.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Straight from the Greenhouse.........

I didn't grow this one. It was in bad shape with leaves messed up and some rough treatment.  I have lost all my old blue purple single blooming violets so the obsessed one, me, bought a purple ruffle edged on for the collection. It needs to be cleaned up a little with deadheading and also removing some bad leaves. As one of my blogger friends, ah yes another day.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Winter Feeder..........

The red bellied woodpecker is a loyal feeder in my yard.  This kind and the downy ones really enjoy the fresh cake of suet and seeds. I have seen the nuthatch there once in a while but it only wants the seeds that are projecting out of the suet.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Shining Through.........

Blogging on Saturday I could see the sun shining through the petals of the amaryllis.  I took the shot from the other end of the dinning room window and so sun didn't mess with my auto focus.  We will see snow falling again in that window by noon today. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday with Sunshine........

The bright sun is great to have out there warming up the earth but it makes my photography skills seem poorly. The autofocus gets so confused.  The cardinal on the top of my bird house was posed perfectly but the day was so bright that it focused on the background and ignored the bird.  This photo was squeezed out of a bird in shade by manipulating it with photoshop. The feeder was faded and diminished for the sake of a good clearer shot of the bird. No worry though as the deep freeze weather is coming back the entire next week and it will be dark and gloomy.  Spring is not coming.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Another Red........

I had the perfect shot of a red cardinal sitting out on top of my large house birdhouse. He was sitting on the very top peak of the steeple.  Of course I only had an opportunity for the one shot and it came out blurred.  So I will share a red that doesn't move.

Friday, February 21, 2014


I have seen them out and about before now.  Today when I was out to put corn on the feeder for the squirrels I noticed this robing in the juniper shrub eating its purple berries. The dead stick is a volunteer tree that I must have snapped off in the fall and never returned to get rid of it as it grows in the juniper shrub.  We are sunny today and will warm up to at least 40 degrees F.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


It finally bloomed. Two years later and it put out three buds and the two are now opened.  I ended up taking this photo in natural light from the window. It was dusk and low light but the red picks up better in low light. We can look out today through the window and see thunderstorms taking place with a lot of rain.  It will change to snow by noon today and they are still saying it will be a blizzard. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Hit and Miss......

Our son and I are playing email tag with photos of toys. My wife and I picked out this toy for our grandson for his birthday, which is coming soon.  Somehow I thought about it and wondered if he already had one. I emailed this shot to Andy and he said it was good new/bad news.  Yes AJ would love it but the bad news is that he loves the one he already has.

So we bought a different one last evening and I again emailed a photo.  That one was a winner as he didn't have that one.  The toys have really advanced as they now read stories to kids, repeat the alphabet, and play many different songs.  I really liked the first one but we did find a train about the same size as this that pops balls out its smokestack and plays different songs as it is pushed around on the floor.  AJ is at the point where he likes to stack things and put plastic balls into different sized holes. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Taking a Break from the Snow........

We are having a good day today with bright light and warm temperatures. The snow is reducing but it will take quite a few warm days to get rid of all of it.  I do know that we are warned that we will have a blizzard on Thursday.

Monday, February 17, 2014


We first received freezing drizzle and then we had a thundersnow. It was sheets of snow falling that looked more like rain than snow.  The red twig dogwood looks deeper red in the winter time and as you can see I didn't get it trimmed back this fall.  The city piles up the excess snow on my corner so the foreground drift is compliments of the Woodward city crew.  If I were a perfectionists, I would go back out and retake this with the branch removed from the face of my sculpture but I am back inside and am not returning outside for a while.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Photo of Interest......

It isn't a great photo, I do agree.  It just was such a strange behavior to see two male cardinals out in the spirea bush scampering around from limb to limb.  It did look like they were eating something from the branches.  I have never seen that happen before now. The camera could only zoom in so far but I guess you do get the idea of what I was seeing. Maybe there are new buds on the branches, I didn't go look to see.  Snow is in the forecast for this afternoon so those bushes will be covered again.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Seeing White Snow and a Cat.........

I glanced out my dining room window with camera in hand and focused in on the bird feeder.  While aiming that way I notice a white shape in the neighbors window.  It is the window that sits at the top of the first landing of the stairs.  I zoomed in close as a stalker would do and there sat their white cat.

She was sitting there watching things outside as well on the inside.  There are many small dogs in that house as well as one large one so I am sure she always finds high ground to sit on so she could look down.   I did see her watching birds outside but I never got a good shot of that.  She is a pure white cat with very soft fine fur. She ran away a couple of times when they first got her as a kitten as she came over to our fence to watch Barney. At night I have seen dark shapes in that window with the light behind it and now I know it is the cat sitting there.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Mourning Doves............

I do not know if the doves migrate but they are at the feeder for the first time this winter.  We have the Eurasian Collared Dove that has spread throughout the United States.  I have seen one of those last week.  They are smaller and have two markings on the back going around their neck making it look like a ring decoration. During the summer we see more Eurasians in the summer than morning doves.  Unfortunately we have hunting season of doves in the summer.

Research shows me that the Doves do stay put unless they hang out in the northern states in the summer.   The northern Doves migrate south to the middle plains or maybe into the far southern states. My parents use to call them rain crows when I was young. It must have been a southern Iowa thing. As I became an adult people would smirk and wonder how dumb that I was calling them a rain crow.  I did see on the net that the mourning dove was sometimes called a rain dove.  The story from my parents, which must have been handed down, was that they call to declare a rain is coming.  I do know that the call is for other reasons including territory marking.

I had just put out some fresh seed and I had a few takers right away after that.  I salso enjoy the juncos and a two male cardinals were that were casing the area but hanging in the spirea bushes for some reason.  I don't know if buds have started on them already but I can't imagine that they would be out during this cold time. I will share that photo another day.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wednesday's Wandering......

A summer shot taken in Maine a few years back is my entry today.  The location of the bridge is on the old estate, island property of the Rockefellar's, that was donated to the country to become a park.  The park is now called Acadia National Park, which sits on the island of Mt. Dessert, named after a French explorer.  Bar Harbor is the nearest town. 

The area in which the Rockefellars lived, bridges were made like the one above to help create a great road for horses and carriages to travel.  There are a lot of bridges that you can see when you visit the area.  Men from Europe were shipped in to take a few years to build all of these massive stone bridges. Historians say that Rockefeller liked to bring in friends and take them on the carriage rides to show of their island and the ocean shoreline.

The trails are used mainly as walking trails but the park service drives on them to maintain the Park.  The island of course is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean.  My son and his wife live in Lamoine, Maine and they both work next to the park in Bar Harbor.  My son runs once in a while and he discovered he was was jogging on one remaining property that the Rockefellers still own near where he lives.  He said they were very friendly people and they didn't worry about people jogging there.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tuesday's Shot..........

Challenging my skills with the camera sometimes gives me good results or I learn from the mistakes.  I throw away less pictures than I use to but focus and/or composition makes or breaks the shot.  The red glass is great to see and top lighting helps to create the shadows and high lights to enhance the form and color.  The glass vase is one that was in my wife's family. I am always including things in the background that I might have to cut out with cropping it or I just trash it.

Monday, February 10, 2014


I am looking out the window at birds and the plants are sort of in my way.  I glanced over and there is a bud on the amaryllis plant.  It has never bloomed since we received it as a gift but it has put out foliage for two winters.  I took it to the basement late fall and let it dry completely. I brought it up a month ago and all I was seeing is leaves.  It must have shot up in the last week or so and blended in with everything.  I don't really know what color it is suppose to be so that will be a double surprise.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sunday Cold.......

My weather rock from Lake Superior shows the sun has caused some of the snow to recede.  The rock has been covered up for a very long time.  Maybe Wednesday more will recede as the sun can melt it away in spite of the freezing temps. 

The rock has been ground down by the continue lapping of waves rocking it back and forth on the rock covered Superior shore. I guess that lake is actually frozen over completely this winter.  The rocks there are also frozen and covered with snow right now.

Now the imported stolen rock works overtime showing me the weather every day as I look out at it when I let the dogs out of doors.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Solar Orb........

As I was replacing the corn cob at the squirrel feeder with a new ear of corn I looked up to see the effects of the sun on the silver maple tree.  The sun actually melted some snow off of sidewalks and cars even when it was only 14 degrees F. The old tree has seen many a winter and summer.

Friday, February 7, 2014

I Can't See You,,,,,,,,,,

Barney has a fear of camera's.  As a stray dog before he was rescued he apparently became afraid and distrusted lots of things.  Flying frizbies, men in hats, and camera's are some of his things he shy's away from or growls at to fend off the object coming his way.  He can play ball as it isn't a large visual thing. He is very protective of the property though and will take out a salesmen any day who comes to the door, so we have to put  him in the bathroom or outside when they ring our doorbell.

While out in the cold a few days ago, I took this casual but unusual shot.  I wanted to get his face but he ran off immediately when he saw me with the camera.  I wanted to show you his healthy coat.  He has such allergies in the warmer seasons and this is the best he has looked for a few years.  Dog people call this color of this border collie a tan color.  I have always called him yellow.  It almost is an orange color in outdoor light.  Dog breeders say that a red, redbrown parent and a black and white parent have at least one tan pup in their offspring.

Barney has decided that it is fun to go outside again as the roar of the wind kept him inside.  He goes out a lot in the very cold as long as the wind stays quiet. In this photo he is view a neighbor cat walking down the alley and of course is telling the cat to stay away from our property.

Thursday, February 6, 2014


A typical day in Iowa with the wind blowing around snow and snow accumulating on the roof and trees.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Just For Fun.......

While it was snowing yesterday afternoon I deliberately went out and took a few shots.  I had to keep the lens from getting wet but I shot a bunch of photos during a snow.  When you save your photos in Picasa for storage, the program senses movement like snow or reflections, and saves two photos for you of the same thing.  I don't know if I could manually ask for it to snow but so far it only works once in a while. 

I took 7 shots and this one picture is the one Picasa decided to transform. It may have to see reflections from the snow to know that it is snowing or maybe it has to do with how much white is in the photo.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


The windmill has survived many a storm including a tornado.  It is weathered looking because of its lost blades and yet it still has good character.  Snow storms are on their way today and there will be more snow piled on top of it.  The neighbors shed is an old one.  The stored cars are old also.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Monday's Squirrel...........

The squirrels still eat at the feeder while I have corn out there for them.  I need to hang this one on a hook outside the kitchen window and maybe he would be less apt to try to eat out of it.  The small birds come and drag out the seeds through the little holes and he cleans up the mess.  As you can see I am getting a glare for two layers of glass.  I removed as much as I could but the sun was shining so brightly that I couldn't prevent it.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Red Visits............

With snow on the ground I would have thought that they would have been visiting more than just once.  I am certain somewhere in the neighborhood they are serving straight dark sunflower seeds and they are there selecting seeds to eat. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Hello Stewart......

Stewartt lives next door across the street.  He was brought into a formerly cat loving family.  He is the love of their life.  He is part healer and another breed.  The parents take him for walks all of the time and one can tell that they love their dog.  Here Stewart is checking out the my jeans and wondering where all the dogs are that he can smell on that spot. He makes the strangest sounds as I guess that is what a healer dog sounds like.

The first photo is the artsy photo and here is a great informational shot of him. I like his tuffs of black fur among the white fur.  It is like a hunting dog's coat. He is a very gentle friendly guy who first gave his family a difficult time.  He loved to run and run all over the neighborhood.  One neighbor would open his car door and Stewart would just jump right into the vehicle. I don't know why Barnie does not like him as he is smaller than him and doesn't ever act aggressive. They walk him a lot now and he really isn't a pup anymore.