Thursday, July 31, 2014


While working in the garden yesterday I notice this butterfly flying from one coneflower to another.  I went to get the camera thinking it wouldn't be there when I returned.  I was wrong as the swallowtail stayed out there for quite a while.  I had so many photos that I didn't bother to edit some of them.  Later I was out with my wife and I told her to bring the camera.  I wanted her take a photo of a volunteer sunflower that was blooming.  While out there we went out into the coneflower area and there were two  swallowtails.  So my wife took a lot of photos too.  I was glad my wife got to see them dancing around as they were really not too concerned about the people around them.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

In the Middle of the Week......

The daylily is a very good plant to give out so many blooms for a long period of time.  An iris is my favorite but they tend to have such a short bloom time.  This flower is a lot less yellow than the camera picks up and the bloom is one of the smaller flowering varieties.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bumble and Honey Bee......

I have seen a lot of bumble bees this year.  They are feeding on the coneflowers and also the mint blossoms that are in the area. The mint put out a great smell while looking at the coneflowers.

A second photo today that is showing the honey bee at work. I have a friend that lives across town who maintains three bee hives.  I bet this guy came from one of his hives.  I thought the winter would have been hard on his hives but he said they had survived.  He keeps adding boxes of frames for making more honey. I also think he bought a new queen bee for one of his hives as he thought the queen he had was too old.  One hundred dollars buys you a queen bee these days.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Seeing Red Today.........

Daylilies in my yard have done well this year.  It will be a while for them to be done as some varieties are a lot later in bloom time than others.  They seem to regroup as a flower and the smaller buds grow larger and bloom.  It makes for continuous color in the garden.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

No Flowers Today..........

A mystery shot for today that has nothing to do about single bloom. I need a small section of fence to replace a woven wire section of fence. It will be a totally recycled one if I can figure it all out. This is the leftover wood that I will give to the  neighbor to burn in her kettle grill.

Rather than buying wood for the project I am going to use the wood from two shipping pallets.  I had to use a circular saw to cut it up. The nails used in this hardwood structure are power driven into the wood.  The tips of the fasteners have a spiral on the ends of them making it impossible to be able to pull with a hammer or pry bar. I am not sure what the fence will look like at this point but I will design something from this stack.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Coneflower Flurry........

The coneflowers are back and better than ever from the last two summers of heat.  I had not been out to the area for a few days and when I walked out there they were blooming everywhere.  I know that they look like they have taken over the garden but I like that.  I am sort of a country garden person where there really are no boundaries.  If they decide to take over the area where I plant tomatoes I will just plant tomatoes somewhere else.  I was concerned that I didn't have the darker colored coneflower and I now realize that dry weather keeps the flowers looking pale in contrast to a well watered flower.

Friday, July 25, 2014


We were surprised with a light shower that washed off the dust on everything Thursday afternoon.  It didn't rain enough to be measureable but it was welcomed. Rumors from the weathermen that more will come proved to be true as we received a very welcomed inch rain in the night.  We are drying out now after  having so much rain most of the spring. I shouldn't have to carry water things for a while now.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Big and Small.............

The small oxalis blooms in the back are small compared to this ball of blooms. This hardy geranium is bloom profusely outside on the patio.

To prove how well it is blooming I will share this shot of the whole plant.  It has a stray daylily sticking up behind it. The geranium is in a pot and the lily is in the ground.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wednesday's Pink .and Red....

My wife's pink petunias are packing a lot of color.  The pattern of an almost red color in their centers make them look great. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cornfield, Iowa.......

I missed taking photos of the growth development of our neighboring corn fields most of the spring. The corn field on the hill is planted in a different direction so the tassels and view is different.  The field in the foreground is about five days later in progress. The bird did me a favor by flying in to the viewfinder and stayed for a while.  It helps to give you the perspective of the height of the corn.  It is watered well and growing tall. I think it is a robin.  The rhubarb plant on the left is a little wimpy but again adds to the size comparisons.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday's Bouquet............

Everything will be needing to be watered after the hot day we have today.  I have been using water from my rain barrel but probably will have to dig out the garden hose to get it all watered.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Just Leaves.........

I have been bombarding you with blooms for quite some time.  I saw a chance yesterday to give you a different focus.  The muskmelon seeds I planted seem to now be settling in and starting to spread.  The leaf of this plant is similar in shape and yet it does has a shape of its own.  I was hoping I was seeing buds forming while I was taking the shot but as I look at the photo I just was thinking wishfully.  The melon itself was one of those small ones that was given to us last  year.  I saved the seed and now have a few vines of my own growing.  We will see how this little activity turns out in  August.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Bee Balm..........

The camera that my wife and I own has never been able to take a good photo of Monarda, Bee Balm.  The  color of the flower doesn't register well with the camera's automatic focus.  I have been taking a lot of shots in the sun and in the shade and it just isn't working well. The windy day that I tried was a great disaster. I like growing this plant as it requires no care.  It grows under my ash tree in the back yard and keeps spreading out as it grows.  I mow some of it down as it is headed towards my back door.  

On another theme the ash tree did eventually leaf out but it is showing dead sections in it now.  This means the ash bore is in central Iowa but those who report this  stuff about its spread hasn't really asked me about it.  It is creeping across the country with the emerald bug spreading destruction and death to the Ash tree.

Friday, July 18, 2014


The peace rose is giving me another bloom to enjoy.  It didn't take very long for it to grow new buds once I had trimmed back the last old blooms.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

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

The lily shown has been great at giving me some great blooms. The ruffles makes it a very fancy day lilly.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wednesday's Macro........

My orange petunias put out a glow as the sun is going down.  I ever expected this cheap pot of flowers would ever give me such a great bunch of flowers to photograph.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Gerbera Daisy.......

The deformity of the bloom makes it unique as a flower.  The bud behind it looks like it too could be an asymmetrical bloom.  It is a wonderful color of yellow.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Full Moon.........

This is a simple shot of a much more beautiful sight.  The camera probably could take a better shot but that would mean I would have to read the manual.  I was walking the dog and the mosquitoes were friendly.  After returning with Barney I returned to my neighbors backyard and tried to take a shot.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sunday's Splash of Color.......

The lilies are coming on strong in my garden.  They are really doing well this year with many buds ready to open.  I have a few varieties that have yet to start blooming.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Regale Lily Bloom............

The regale lily puts out a wonderful bloom. It will be the only bloom that I will have this year.  I plan to move the three bulbs to a new location that will encourage their growth.  The history of this plant dates back to 1965 when my grandmother Brooks lived in Murray, Iowa.  She had the regale growing on the east side of her house and each year it increased in bulbs and she would count all of the buds and bloom each year telling everyone how many there were.  I can still relive her seeing her pride as she would take me back to see it blooming in the hot sun.

She had two rusty nails attached in the trim boards of her bedroom window and hay jute binding twine tied to the nails.  The twine wrapped around all the stems keeping all of them standing.  My mom took bulbs from that growth and then eventually gave me bulbs from hers. The past two summers almost ended its life cycle but I think I can get it all back to healthy growth again. I may even put purchased soil from the bag in the hole when I move them.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Fritillary Butterfly....

I don't remember ever seeing this kind of butterfly when I was young living in southern Iowa. I had to look it up on the net to find out what it was when I first saw them a few summers ago.  I am so pleased to see it around as there are not a lot of butterflies out there so far.  I have seen one swallow and one monarch butterfly.

This butterfly was warming itself on a large leaf when I went out to the garden to mow.  I went back to get the camera and it faithfully stayed in the area as it really did need to warm up.  I think the moister on the leaves were of interest to it as well as the sun shine.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thursday's Maroon.............

This photo is bigger than life as the smaller daylily is smaller than the regular daylily.  This is a maroon one with the light shining through it giving it a lighter color.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Different Points of View........

The lilies in the garden are taking their turns in the cycle of blooms.  I really like this particular lily but most of them are my favorites.  This one lily bloomed and closed up on me before I could get a good shot but now the buds are blooming every day.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Weathered Warrior.........

It is a beautiful lily.  It is one of my favorites in the garden.  The one bloom that was destroyed by the rainstorm is shriveled up behind the beauty in the foreground.

Monday, July 7, 2014


My first one for the year that isn't deformed.  It's colors are bold and it is a good flower to have in the garden. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sunday's Rose........

Our new rose is awaiting to be planted but for now is enjoying the sun and rains of Iowa.  On the back you can see small red spots on the petals.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Saylorville Dam.......

We visited the Saylorville Dam area yesterday to see and hear the water overflowing out of the lake.  Years ago the Des Moines River was dammed up to create a recreational area for Iowa and to help with flood control.  I guess the flood control thing was the practical side of the reason but too much water coming from heavy rains and the water from northern Iowa really is never ever really controlled.  This water is coming through the spillway and entering into the Des Moines River. The roar is unbelievable as the water flows down a larger concrete tunnel  into the river.

As it is dumping into the river the result looks like this.  Can you see how small the people look along the riverbank on the left.  It is a larger amount of water being put back into the river. This water ends up meeting up with the Raccoon river that is south of Des Moines where flooding can take place to old Valley Johnston.  It usually floods everywhere near and in the cities around Des Moines.  The last major disaster was in 1993.

As the water comes down the concrete spillway it collides with the body of water of the river and there are many reactions to the great force.  It forces water into large waves of water getting the visitors wet on the other side.

It actually reacts to both sides of the river and here we are getting wet on our side from the mixing of the great force of water coming down the spillway.  The dam is said to be holding fine all of the high water but another foot higher in the water level and the emergency spillway will be going into action allowing the water to overflow down into another channel.  When it does overflow that will cover the road in which we had travelled to get to this spillway. We received rain continually last night through the morning.  Our town is actually a few miles from the Des Moines River where it now is full from bluff to bluff from having the water being held back.  I am sure the emergency spillway will be running in another day or two. We also live close to the tributaries that go into the Raccoon River that meets up everything down there.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Thursday, July 3, 2014


The garden angel watches over the growing of the flowers and the weeds.  I have her standing on the pedestal that once held my blue gazing ball. I have not actively looked for a new gazing ball but figure it will pay to wait for the time when those things go on sale.  Hobby Lobby have the Christmas stuff up by the fourth of July and I probably should check there for a new one.  They tend to move their garden stuff out as quickly as possible.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


A little statue that has been added to our collection sits on the coffee table keep an eye on all of us.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Wet and More Wet....

They daylily still has the water beading on it after it has been in the rain for the whole day.  I find it unusual that the bottom bud opened up before the top bud. We have had too much rain, wind, and hail.  We are promised a quiet dry day tomorrow. July has now arrived and we will see what will happen now.