Sunday, November 30, 2014

Blue Sunday.........

While painting in the kitchen, the blues were removed from the window and window shelf.  They all ended up in a bunch, an unorganized arrangement, and I had to take some shots.  I like the top photo that shows a kleenex box in the background.  The blue box blends right in with it all. We both have had mild colds and the tissues needed to be out and about during that time. Some art gallery stuff is in the background of the second photo.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

AJ, Our Sweetiie........

We had a great day with AJ and his parents.  They rented a suite at a hotel and we spent a lot of time with our visitors from the Chicago area.

He is a pretty wonderful boy who ate a breakfast like a growing boy would.  He did not have to be persuaded  to eat most food.  Right after breakfast he came around the table and climb onto his grandpa and grandma's laps.  Taking turns and really made his grandparents feel welcomed.  We had not seen him for such  a long time and he is just talking a blue streak about many things.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Soaking in Sun........

It is easy to do in the window on the inside of the house.  It is 18 degrees F.  outside this morning so the geranium wouldn't last very long outside.  We will warm up to 41 F. by afternoon.  Maybe some of this snow will melt. Have a great white Friday.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Chickadee, Dee, Dee........

I don't think I have heard the call of a chickadee for a long time.  They do go back into the timber areas in the spring when it warms up and I am never out there to hear them.  I took this shot through the window during the snow.   The water drops on the window and the snow itself fill in the shot surrounding the bird.

My wife and I will be home together today and some family will show up tomorrow in Des Moines.  I wish all of you a great Thanksgiving day and weekend. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Snowy Day..........

A fresh snow fell overnight.  We are still having a light snow but it isn't heavy.  A neighboring town was said to have had 3.6 inches of the white stuff.  My closed-eyed angel seems to always have the right expression about the weather as he sits on the outdoor porch table.  I brought him in last year but he will probably do good right here.  His weathering surface continues to age him properly.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Good Morning Sunshine..........

It is nice to see the sun again this morning.  I don't have that great horizon in which I can capture it as it is on someone's property.  It is like certain people who  own a beach on the ocean, my neighbor's own the  horizon because they are on the edge of town.  So I will share the glow of the sun through the trees with the neighbor's houses all in front of the horizon.

I really regret posting this yesterday as it got me into trouble elsewhere.  I was good posting it on my own blog.  I like the piece and it does look like old glass.  Yes, I did get answers of it being an ashtray.  I still don't know if it's history but the glass it is made with seems like old glass.

The problem I got into was I thought it would be nice to post it on the blog Dusty Old Thing.   It was ok but with facebook being what it is, it put it up also on my timeline and my whole set of fb people saw it too.  I was innocently wanting some of the antique people to give some answers.  I see that Dusty Old Thing has pulled it from their blog, deeming it unworthy or foolish to put up with real antiques.  I think all my friends response on my timeline did make it into a less than trivial piece and I didn't intend for Dusty Old Thing to see them. 

Anyway I guess I should think before I post.  Yes, people there were glass furniture coasters when my grandmother was around in the 50's and 60's. I looked them up as antique furniture glass coasters and the sites pop up right away with them being for sale. They were around in the late 1800's.  No, this probably was not one as it has less than a flat bottom and yes, it has indents to hold cigarettes.  I did find out my neighbor up the street has a set of three of them and maybe I will give it to her to add to her collection.  It all turned out to be a humorous thing. My mother kept it among her crystal things in the hutch because glass is glass not matter what.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Let it Shine,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Another lost item that I found in the back of a drawer.  I use to think it was a coaster for an old cast iron bed.  I do know my grandmother had glass coasters under one of her beds.  I am not sure what it actually was used for but I have had it for a long time and I have apparently had it hiding in the back of my drawer for quite some time.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Sight of Neglect......

It is a birdbath sort of and it still has leaves in it.  The water is bad and the small round things are glass balls that came from a garden ornament that fell apart.  Maybe today I can go dump it all out and save the glass balls for something.  I could also wait until the snow falls and it covers it up and I can't see it.  I will work on it.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Garden in a Deep Sleep......

There is no life left in the garden.  The zinnias are only memories and the morning glories left long ago.  The raspberries are without leaves and fruit and only one tree in the area still has its leaves. What apples that did not get picked from the top of the tree have now fallen to the ground after the cold spell.  Squirrels are enjoying them as they thaw.  Our snow will be history this afternoon as we are to warm up to 38 degrees or more.  We sort have returned to fall but the air does feel like winter.

Friday, November 21, 2014


Bluejays do keep things active at the feeder.  It is the largest bird out there similar to the starling. When they decide to eat and land on the feeder  pretty much all other birds yield to them.   We have bluejays that like to eat the dried cat food that my wife puts out on the side porch.  She thought the other day that she might be the one getting squawked at as the cat feeder was empty.  They pick up one of those cat food stars and take off for a tree. The weather is to be warm today so the snow will start to disappear so less birds will be at the feeder.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Woodpecker Heaven........

Red bellied woodpeckers are wonderful to see with that cap and the stripped black and white feathers.  The head is so striking that one wants to call it a red headed bird but it is not.  We have seen a red headed woodpecker on this property but it was years ago. The title shouldn't mislead you as I don't have that many woodpeckers.  I find it great that I can see them and photograph them in action though.

I did get a few pictures of the downy with a red notch on the back of its head.  The ones without red seem to be a younger bird. I have to look closely so I can see the different black and white birds and not misidentify them.  The nuthatch is so quick to come and go to the feeder that I have to get my eyes working quickly to focus in on them.  The camera lens helps a lot as the focus lets you see clearly what is out there. I did not mention that the other day I saw a finch on my coneflower seed heads. I didn't get out there with a camera so I didn't capture any images.  The goldfinch had already started to turn brownish in color dulling down that bright yellow color.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Suet to Eat........

The European starling really loves the suet feeder.  It may just be the peanuts that is in the suet that he likes but I am not certain. I have had the suet cake out for a while and only the starlings have been interested in it.  This morning as I blog I see I have a downy woodpecker that is enjoying the feeder.  Nuthatches sometimes will peck at it but they don't seem too  impressed with that kind of food.  They would really like me to dump a huge pile of sunflower seeds on the three tiered feeder.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Winter Blooms..........

When I started the Photo a Day blog, I had a goal to always share one of my best photos.  The subject matter really was not the purpose as much as it was to practice good photography skills.  As people follow me they know that sometimes is just stays on a certain theme because that is what is out there for me to shoot.  I know sometimes I jerk my viewers around by taking a corny shot just because it is a good picture to capture.  For whatever happens on the blog the journey continues and I am back hitting winter hardy geraniums rather than summer hardy geraniums.  The snow in the background is a good show of the irony of spring blooms in winter.

Huddled Down.......

The female cardinal doesn't stand up in this cold weather and settles in on the loose snow.  It also is convenient for her to reach down for seed that is close by for her to reach.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Looking Out......

The sparrow looks out to see all the activity on the big main feeder.  When that gets to be too full they come to my two feeders next to the window.  It is fun watching the juncos trying to dig out the top level of the feeder. They kick their feet rapidly like a hen or rooster would making the snow to fly.  It is cold today, especially this morning with the temps hanging around 6 degrees F  (-14.44 C). The wind is really low which makes it a lot more bearable.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunny Cold Sunday..........

The junco birds are the most active at the feeder today as the cold brings many birds to the feeder.  It was 18 degrees F.  when we got up and it had dropped to 4 degrees in an hour and a half.  It has warmed up this afternoon now but it is still cold.  We did get a lot of fluffy snow through the night but it did stop by morning. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Two Ears.............

Squirrel food is on the menu.  I bought a sack of corn at the Walmart to help slow down the critters from hitting my bird feeders. I put the corn on the one feeder north of the house and I installed another squirrel feeder to the south of the house.  It was an old feeder my dad had built and I brought it home for use.

It helps a little at keeping the animals fed but they do like their corn shelled out for them in which they can find at the feeder.  Corn harvested for squirrel food has to either be picked by hand or they have an old fashion picker that picks it but doesn't shell off the kernels from the corn. All the combines today have a built in sheller to take the kernels off of the ear and collects the seed in a hopper.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Final Fall Shot

The very last branch of the burning bushes that has any leaves remaining.  It has been cold enough to shut these leaves down now.  We will have a thick coat of snow tomorrow and it plans to warm up to do that.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Looking Outside........

The snow on the gate's roof shows the amount of snow we received a couple of days ago.  The temperature is something  I can not take a photo of but believe me when I say it is cold.  I am sure a lot of the bloggers out there are just as cold.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Female Cardinal.............and Her Partner.

As I stated in an earlier blog I was having difficulties identifying my male and female cardinals.  It had been a long summer and the mind got melted.  Anyway, I came to my senses yesterday and realized that this is the female cardinal.  I had not seen her all fall but she did show up for pictures and just maybe if she had shown up earlier I wouldn't have such a brain disturbance. 

The wind is blowing hard during the time she was feeding.  You can see in this view her top notch blowing up in the wind.  The wind was so strong that in some pictures the back tail was being forced to the side as she was eating.

The male cardinal demonstrates how strong the wind is with it back end being blown up in the air while he looks for sunflowers. You can see he is bracing himself to counteract the force.  As of to this date, I have only one pair coming to the feeder.  In snow storms in the years past I have had up to three pair.  I am not hoping for any snowstorm. It has dropped to 14 degrees F. (-10 C) this morning getting colder while I blog.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Feeder News........

I really didn't understand at first what was going on here.  I had thought by viewing the small screen on the camera that it was dipping its head to get a seed.  Now that I have edited the shot I realize the bluejay is breaking the seed on the edge of the feeder.  The other one is watching the process.  I had put out seed earlier and there are not many sunflowers in the batch. Normally they pick up the seed and take it to a tree to break it open and then eat the inside seed.


When I get a good shot of something red I immediately show it.  Cardinals are usually the reds I like to show but this hardy geranium bloom is wonderful.  I was just thinking I needed to trim back all the long stems coming off the base plants since they were taking up so much room in the plant window.  With this set of buds and blooms I know now that I won't be trimming for quite some time.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Work Day.......

I really do not want to physically work today but it will be our last day of warmer weather.  I have no choice.  We will be in the low 60's this afternoon before the Arctic air hits.  I am assuming it will be my last chance to do some more work on the house.  It is nice to get things cleaned up and painted.  I just won't get done and I don't like unfinished jobs.  What does get done will look a lot better.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Feeder Frenzy..........

It doesn't seem like a frenzy with only one bird on the feeder but there had been  many birds right before this starling arrived.  It is rare to see only one as they usually hit the feeder in large numbers.  I couldn't at first recognize what it was as it seemed smaller than what I remembered them. I found out that they change color in different seasons and the beak is yellow in the summer and black in the winter. It has pink legs and the feathers' whitish color does turn to a darker brown color. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Seeing Red.........and Brown

There is no snow on the ground but the birds are already hitting the feeders.  I was concerned about not seeing the female cardinal a few days ago but she spent most of the day Friday hanging around the feeder.  I assume the things that the birds normally eat in the summer have shut down now with all the cold air.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Harvest Moon............

The fall sky is showing lots of color both at dawn and now here at dusk.  It seems to be a clearer set of colors as our cold weather sets in on us. It makes for a long photo when I try to get both the ground and the moon in the photo.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Blue Jays.........

A quick shot that didn't give me time to straighten the camera.  I like the face of the top bird and the colors of the back of the jay is beautiful.  I had just dumped some seed leftovers from the cockatiel cage and three blues hit the feeder in an instant.  Having not being use to the feeder being moved back closer to the dining room window I was paniced in finding the camera to take a shot of three jays at once. 

As proof that there were three bluejays on the feeder you can see this very bad shot of the one at the bottom and the feet of the two others at the top. While the three were out there a cardinal was swooping around in disgust as he wanted to be at the feeder.  There seems to be only one male cardinal hanging around and I am hoping that the female is out there somewhere.

The cold weather is starting to bring in the sparrows and juncos.  I was pleased to see the juncos are now back for the winter.  I guess they are coming from up north. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Corn Be Gone..........

The corn has been picked.  The debris that is left includes corn cobs and torn up dried stalks.  It looked like they had received a very good harvest with so many cobs laying on the ground this year.  The variety put out one big ear per stalk rather than the two ears of the past that were medium sized and one other very small. Maybe the variety was planted thicker so there would be more stalks per acre.

Our grass is still very green and the ground under them while they picked was damp.  It caused the big tractors to leave large tire indentations in the soil.   A farm boy at school said that they were planning to not disc up the soil in the fall this year as it is just too wet.  It will mean they have to do it in the spring before they can plant it.  This making the planting a longer process than normal.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Two Toned Leaf........

Most of my leaves are now chopped up and in small pieces but I do have this photo as a memory of them.  There are a few strays still tossing around but the most of them are gone. The colors puzzle me as I know red maples and yellow maples are different kinds of trees.  I think this was did come from the red maple.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Apple Eater......

The apples are so juicy that when they fall to the ground they sometimes split into pieces.  This guy was sitting out by the shed and eating on one of them.  He was really chewing off pieces very quickly looking like an action lawn ornament.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sunday's Sunshine.......

The sun shines in the window or the south and it is warm inside.  A small mug of milk and some animal cookies makes the blogging more pleasant.  I had already had a few cups of coffee so it was milk time. I wish you all good times today and I hope it is a good day of rest.

Saturday, November 1, 2014


The area that they were planted seemed to be a good spot.  Then the hollyhocks grew up with a lot of foliage and shaded them from view.  They are now in view as the hollyhocks have faded from the cold.  I suspect after two nights of freezing temperatures and the marigolds will be gone also.  The one bug on the far left flower might just be gone too.