Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday's Blooms.......

My clematis is giving me a great showing of blooms with great subtle colors.   The storms didn't destroy the plant as the buds seemed to handle the beating.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


We have a sunny day today just like the day that I took this photo. The weather has made blemishes in the iris showing the marks of hail falling on it when it was in bud stage. The old traditional iris is a great standby to have for giving the garden a good spot of color in spring.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bumble Bee........

In the commercial trade this is being sold as Bumble Bee.  It is a very old strain of iris that grows wild in the Murray, Iowa cemetery.  They mow it back around this time so the area doesn't look overtaken by it. I am having a poor showing of it this year in my yard so I will take shots everyday to assure visuals of those few that I do have.  It is one of my favorites that I remember my Aunt Lois had at her house. She lived at the end of a dirt road in a very old house that had the old peonies and iris blooms.  During Memorial Days she was always bringing them to the cemeteries in glass jars.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Final Blooms..........

My fern leaf peony was not damaged in the hail storm other than the storm sped up the blooming process.  I had two other plantings out there that I never saw the blooms since I couldn't go outside.  I am so glad I got to take a shot of this warrior with its beautiful center.

This is the very last bud that will probably open today.  My other kind of peonies have buds on them but have not started to open up at this point.  I guess there is never the perfect season for things in the spring.  Our rains are so great to receive and the cold and snow is finally gone.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day......

It is an important to have a day for us to remember the ones who gave their lives while serving our country. The veterans alive find it more important that we remember and respect them even though we can never really understand all that they had to experience.  Thanks to all who have served.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday's Slant.......

This photo is by my wife. I should just let her take all my shots for me.

The hail storm has the whole globe allium patch leaning.  I have yet to get out since Tuesday and things look bad with shredded leaves everywhere.  My flowers continue on as I hibernate and heal. I would like to visit my baby birds nest this afternoon but it is raining.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Guest Photographer..........

I am back with the living.  My wife went outside and took shots while I have been down.  I thought I had beat the allergy attack on Monday.  I taught all day on Tuesday but knew I was in trouble by that last period of the day.  My body just could not fight it.  I lasted until Wednesday evening and then my wife took me to the emergency room.  I won't go into detail but I ended up having an infection  or maybe two that caused severe dehydration and high fever that wouldn't go away. My lungs were a big part of the problem and I suspect I should start coughing soon.

I did miss out on a lot of stuff as my wife brought in pictures of what is going on out side.  The plants sort of survived a big wind and hail storm on Tuesday night.  The iris above came out after the storm.  Our hail was a quarter size and was noisy.  It beat up the geraniums that were in pots and we are still covered with leaves.

I don't want to use up all the great photos my wife's but I have been gone for a while. This is a short iris that I have which reminds me of a tall hybrid one.  This year we had the rain and we have blooms. I worry about my baby birds out there as I can't get out there but maybe by tomorrow or Monday they won't be flying away without one last photo.

The globe alum took a great hit from the hail storm.  I have some mor time to get more photos once I am more on my feet.  I miss being on the net but wasn't able to muster the energy.  Thanks for stopping by today.  

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Framed View........

Trying to capture the neat scene of the gate and honeysuckle spreading over the roof, I get a different shot.  I could have captioned this picture "Looking Through" as the neighbor's backdoor and all their stuff seems to be the focus of the shot.

I will share a second shot that shows the honeysuckle in bloom and leaning on the gate roof.  The warmer weather will bring more of the row of them out into full bloom. We went into high humidity yesterday and it probably will be around the rest of the summer.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Outside, Inside...........

I cut a lot of the deformed flowers out in the garden that had been damaged by the very cold weather.  Most of these had stem freeze which caused them to twist and drop their flower heads to the ground. They didn't last lone when I brought them inside but we were able to enjoy them for one day.

Sunday, May 18, 2014


The day before they were passive.  As I held my camera up over the nest on Saturday, I was startled with this moving set of creatures stretching out of the nest.  This is my National Geographic styled photo of allowing blur to illustrate motion.  I will give you another photo below to show I can get a focused shot.  As I have explained before,  they are blind shots as I can't get above the nest.

The instinct to demand food is an unusual but a practical behavior.  The top photo shows the birds are different ages as the neck of one bird is not as developed as the one next to it.  The parents are really busy out there looking for things to put into their mouths. I doubt ever that I will get a feeding shot as it is too dark to capture when standing far away.  I do think it is humorous to see the mother robin sitting now on top of the birds and not down into the nest as the four birds fill up the nest all the way to the rim.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Feathering Out........

The four eggs that hatched into birds are not wasting any time in their development.  Fur to feathers and they will soon be out of the nest.  I think they have a 10 to 14 day turnover once hatched to leave the nest.  I haven't seen any feeding going on but the parents are busy hunting for food.  I will mow near the nest today and the robins will be out in the yard looking for the worms and bugs that are exposed because of the mower. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

One Lone Bloom........

This is one of my favorites of all my tulips.  Some that I like are the lively colored red and yellow but this red edging on white is really a great look.  I have so many lone tulips that if I were organized I could dig and move all of them into one bed of tulips. The late thaw and the cold weather has made the tulips last a longer time.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

That Wooden Stare........

While I sit at the dining room table working on things, I am amused as to how the wooden water bird  keeps watching me.  He sits among the plants as if he is trying to not be noticed hiding in the foliage. I really enjoy the simple shape of the sculpture and am glad I pull him out from the storage room.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Greenhouse Wonders........

We purchased these a couple of weeks ago and it turned too cold and wet to get them in the ground. The week is suppose to be cold but if I have another day off we will get them into the ground. The baby robins have hatched but the photo isn't good enough to make my Photo a Day post so you can see them on my blog Larry's Creative Zone.  The mother robin was staying on the nest on Sunday as if she was protecting babies so I thought it had become the magical 14th day. I took a blind shot but I can't get those fuzzy birds in focus.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

New Growth.......

As the blue jays are seen hitting the trees they find new growth on the evergreens that makes for good eating. I suspect that this tree has matured too far now for them to be interested in them anymore.

 When the neighbor girl was young she would encourage her parents to buy the ten trees for ten bucks from the National Arbor Association. She planted these trees close together and for many years. I think she quit planting as she ran out of room to put them.  The little girl still lives there and is now a mother of three children ans the trees are now mature specimens.

Monday, May 12, 2014


The photo has wonderful color from the bright sunny day on Friday.  It reminded me of a shot with kodachrome film of the past.  It really looks like I have enhanced it but I did not.  The rains have made the leaves pop out quickly and the greens are so great to see.  The clear sky would be a welcome sight as we have had two rainy days so far with a lot of storms with wind and rain.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Spring Rains......

We are having a typical spring day with cloudy weather and light sprinkles.  It is one of those low light days where the wet grass and trees seem more green than normal.  It really does appear we are moving into a rainy season. The farmers are getting as much corn in as possible into the ground.  I don't know if the farm across the street was planted as I have been at school most days.  On Wednesday last week one of my students I know at school stayed home and used a disc on that farm to get it ready for planting.  He made a lot of noise with his tractor. 

It may be too wet to get new pictures today. Once we get home from church and lunch out we are told we will have severe storms.  It is Mother's Day and I wish all mothers a great day today. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Delicate White.................

Before the storms and between heat spells, I captured the white daffodil. When it was very hot, this variety just shriveled up into a mushy ball.  It is one of my favorites to photograph as the white shows all the lines and textures of the blooms. Yellow daffodils are my favorite of this variety but it doesn't always photograph well with the bright yellow flashing at the automatic camera.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Red and Yellow Hot.............

These two tulips are always there for me each spring.  I have a few others like this planted elsewhere but these two seem to put out such great color.  I somehow planted one here and another one there. I don't know what I was thinking. I guess I should did the others and move them close to these two.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Thursday........another steaming day.

The neighbor's tree opened its buds over night.  I see too that the lilac is about to be in full bloom.  The air really smells sweet in my yard right now with two different flowering trees on my property.  My one apple trees should be opening soon.  The other two don't seem to be budded yet.  We cooled down to 70 last night from 90 degrees during the day and now today it will be 80 degrees with the possibility of sever storms and/or tornados.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Rhubarb Red........

The red of the stems makes them more inviting to see among the green.  I don't know how much longer I will wait before we have a cobbler.  I am sure another week and they will be ready to be pulled. I transplanted another one of these plants two years ago taking it away from my neighbor's invading evergreens and it is going to do well this year. More rain will come for them on Thursday.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Trees and More Trees........

A sky the really looks like spring creates a great background to the birch and silver maple. I guess the neighbor's maple tree is in the photo background too. The bright light on the birch is so great to see to show off the old tree.

Monday, May 5, 2014


I dug this brass piece out from the cupboard to take to Sunday school with me.  I wanted to share the common cup concept with them.  I used small pieces of candy and passed it around like we do with mashed potatoes but I told them they could only take two pieces. We did study and read about the sharing of wine, each person drinking from the same cup,  but I wanted them to understand the process even if it was more lighthearted. We passed the cup around until all the little smarties candies were gone.

I bought this item at a flea market over thirty years ago in Red Oak, Iowa.  They had boxes of them as they were made by craftsmen in India and shipped over here.  Brass things don't really stay very popular when one realizes that you have to clean them yearly or more often.  When I took this out of our cupboard it was brown and green in color.  After twenty minutes of cleaning with a powdered brasso product it came to life again.

My first experience with brass was when I was in high school when my grandmother replaced these very old fashion light fixtures with ceiling lights of modern world.   I was told by may parents' friend to use salt and vinegar on the two fixtures.  That was so exciting to take off many years of tarnish from them and have them shine back to their original condition.  Brasso is a lot more pleasant that working with vinegar. The hand carved decorations must take them a long time to put on the item.You can see all the solder points as the three sections were all connect to make one.

Sunday, May 4, 2014


I will have daffodils this year but either the two years of drought or extremely cold winter has caused them problems.  The blooms are less this year.  I hope the rains make the leaves flourish so the bulbs can build a lot more energy in them this spring. If I run into some bone meal at the store I think I will get some to help them out for next year.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Home Sweet Home..........

I wasn't sure which photo to share but I think I will just share two.  The nest is easy to shoot pictures and yet it is high enough that I can't get that perfect shot. In this photo the nest is emphasized. It is hard to believe the time and energy it takes to retrieve every piece and to weave it  into a nest.  Earlier it had a small sheet of plastic woven into it on the outside but the winds did finally remove it from the tangled stems.

They really are robin egg blue in color.  The shot I took was the result of hanging the camera up above my head in my hand and just randomly shooting. It is dark under the eave so it messes with the focus on the camera. I guess this photo still emphasizes the nest but it is more about the eggs in this photo. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

A Stern Look.........

I really have never notice before the expression coming from a blue jay's head. I guess it is related to his markings but he looks really stern. I know when they use the bird as a team mascot they deliberately give them a mean, tough looking face. This guy hangs around the neighbor's evergreen tree and collects seeds.  He stands around my water tray acting like he needs to kill time.  When I first saw him out the window, I thought I would never find the camera and return in time.  He was still there when I returned.  My wife says he really splashes the water everywhere while bathing in the drinking bowl.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

It's History....

I finally took the wreath down from the front door.  I know wreaths can be year round but this was definitely a Christmas one.  It still sits on the top of a bookshelf in the living room but today it goes to the storeroom.