Sunday, May 31, 2015

Starlings on Sunday.....

The mother starling was pulling seed out of the suet and dropping it to the ground.  Three small starlings with very short tails were waiting for things to fall down to them.  She did take suet to one bird and put it in its bird's mouth.

A bonus shot today shows the baby starlings lined up with one young sparrow on the front end of the chair.  Another mother was flying between the chair and feeder to get seed for the squawkers. It isn't a perfectly focused shot as no one was holding still for me.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

A Nail and a Tail.........

I had planned to share the above photo sooner as I took it last week.  It is one of those shots that could of or should of been good but instead it was not what I wanted. The younger cardinals are hanging around  a lot as it is easier to get food from the feeder than to go for the natural stuff on the trees and bushes.  I am having baby starlings showing up now at the feeder.  Mom starling is there sometimes putting food into their mouths.  They are old enough to feed themselves but being mom fed is easier.

Friday, May 29, 2015

A Circle of Roses.......

The William Baffin rose is showing off right now.  It has had plenty of water and now good sunshine to make it happy.  Having died back a couple of years back it has really sprung forth with a lot of new growth. The tarp covering old tires, ready to be recycled makes for a different kind of backdrop. It is nice to have the rose back looking healthy again.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Squirrel Chase.....

We were finishing up the supper dishes when my wife looked out to see five small squirrels chasing in a row down one of our trees.  When I looked out the same row of squirrels had started running up the sidewalk.  They were all baby squirrels and they were acting like they had been set free from a cage.  They were so happy.  Once down the street they all came back and found things to explore.  When I went out with the camera I found that this was probably the home that they were raised in as they chased all around the opening. This photo shows the mother waiting and watching. One little guy was still up the street having great fun bouncing and climbing and then returning to the ground.  He was like a kitten chasing things in the grass.

They were busy moving so quickly that I didn't get very many focused photos.  This one is a little blurry but you can see how they are really enjoying being on the ground.  I see now why the one squirrel was eating from my feeder so often as she had many mouths to feed.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Home Alone......a Nursery.

I had been out working in the orchard area and taking photographs.  Every once in a while a bird would fly away from above my head and I couldn't see what kind of bird that it was.  A couple of days a go I looked up and saw a precarious start of a nest. It was on a large branch but there wasn't much of any other branches to help incorporate a nest.  Yesterday I was out and about and I looked up and there she sat.  I couldn't believe she had pulled off the nest in that area but it was there.

She really is a lot larger than her nest.  I guess that is how the Eurasian ring-neck dove makes their nest. There must be eggs under her as she never left the nest while I was out there.

The tree is an older poplar type tree which looks dead to me.  It has just a few branches that put out leaves.  She did happen to pick a major branch that did have leaves around it. I was thinking that I would have to take the tree down but it did leaf out on at least a third of the tree,

I am still awestruck that her nest can sit there cantilevered out onto that small branch.  I was glad she didn't bother to leave her nest.  She is pretty well blended into the location on the tree.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


The company that bred this iris named it Superstition.  It is also billed as a black iris but as you can see there are many more other colors than black.  The bud of the iris is solid black until it opens and then it starts to turn to all these great subtle changes.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day.......

It was a day to remember those soldiers who died during the times of fighting in a war.  The day has evolved to be a day to remember all people who had also been in a war and are now gone.  Traditions turned it into a day to decorate graves of all members of family that have passed away.  My vivid memories as a young boy was the taking of cut flowers from the gardens and placing them on the graves.  Flowers put into mason jars of water helped to make them last longer but in most cases the flowers where wilted and gone in a couple of days.  Plastic flowers became the rage to replace real flowers as they can stay in bloom for many a season.  Silk flowers became a better solution as time has passed. 

The memories of the iris and peonies will always be a permanent memory for me as we would go to cemeteries of old to visit lost parents and grandparents. There are graves of great grandparents that I really have not visited but maybe I can visit them now with more knowledge of where they are buried.  Thanks to the internet we are open to so much more good information in finding graves.

The true original purpose was to remember those who fell during the battle.  My step cousin died at Normandy before I was born. George Horton is buried at the American cemetery near Normandy Beach.  My friend in school and a neighboring farm boy Norman Bettis, died in Vietnam while driving a supply truck.  He had not been in the war no more than three months before he was killed by a bomb.  A first cousin that I never knew because of a divorce of my uncle, was not killed in Vietnam but his death was caused because of his exposure to agent orange.  Max Burgus visited my father, his Uncle Jesse, before he died. He had been there to meet my dad.  He died weeks later.

I am grateful for my ability to commemorate those on this day.  When we remember to honor Memorial Day, I do hope everyone remembers those who were lost and appreciates the job that they did for out country.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sunday Blooms........

The peony bushes are starting to open.  The ones that are in the sun are open while the others will open up later.  I found these peonies out along the alley.  We would never see them so I brought some into the house. I am glad that the rest of them are not out right now as the two or three days of rain will ruin anything in bloom. It is good to see the peonies on schedule blooming over Memorial Day.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

It Is Iris Season.......

I was out of photos so went to the garden to see what I had new.  Three different iris have opened for the first time this season.  This one is a small older variety of iris.  I call them cemetery iris as they are some of the very first iris that were grown in this country.  The wild flag iris was around  and other orchid like wild flowers but these small ones were some of the very first.  Today you can buy this iris and it comes with the name of  "Bumble Bee." I did read a few years back that this one iris is the parent plant to all the hybrid iris today on the market.

Friday, May 22, 2015

A Promise........

The rose promises me to have blooms and I promise to go in and cut out the dead stalks.  This rose blooms readily all summer if I keep it watered. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A New Awakening........

I found this on the ground in the wet grass as the wind had sent it to the ground. I had hoped that I would save it by putting it into water and let it find some shelter.  It is a new iris that I planted last summer. A lot of the new iris that I bought will not bloom this year but this one has three branches of buds.

The indoor photo does not do it justice but it is a pale pink.  The beard is a bluish purple on the sepol part of the iris.  I can't imagine how they could breed this plant to look like this especially with that color of beard. I do hope to get an outside shot of this in natural light so I can share its true colors.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

In the Middle of the Greens........

As the rains and winds keep coming I discovered this iris laying among all of the vegetation.  This particular variety does not withstand much weather other than dry sunshiny days. I have planted this kind in a lot of areas and the stems just give out and collapse. 

This old fashioned variety stands strong and firm, putting out these orchid like blooms.  I moved some of this iris to a new location last summer and this plant didn't hesitate to bloom right away this spring. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Dinosaur Digger..........

As a result of installing a culvert at the corner of my property too low in the ground the crew has all returned to rework the ditch.  The monster here is actually parked in my neighbors front yard ditch.  They had to go back and dig out the neighbor's drive culvert and put it back in lower.  The ditch is in the process of being lowered from my corner to the end of the next block so the water can flow down hill. Maybe  I could borrow the keys and dig a swimming pool in my backyard tonight before they return in the morning.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Wild Flower.....

Columbine is a wild flower in Iowa.  I really didn't know it had gone on to bloom many more blooms.  I think I last shot a photo a couple of weeks ago. Memories of where I harvested this plant for replanting are vague.  i suppose I dug it up at the same location that I found the wild phlox.

The plant is on the other side of one of my trees and I hadn't checked on it until I saw another photographer sharing multiple blooms in a photo on facebook.  I am glad I went back to see how it was doing.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Food Finding......

The robin was darting around looking for seeds that the sparrows have scattered all over the patio. The bird is not interested in the silver maple seeds that have helicoptered themselves down to the ground.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Iris Beauty.......

The iris itself is damaged by an insect eating through the bud leaving holes it about every single petal.  The rain has cause the stems to give out with too much water so I have to stake them to get them to not lay in the grass. A close up shot is the best bet for me to share the beauty of this one iris.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Pet Squirrels.....

They really are not pets but they seem tame enough to act like they are.  I walked out to a bird feeder a couple of days and the one on the feeder really didn't take off until I was about a foot away from him. I really did inconvenience him though. Yesterday we watched a squirrel trying to manipulate the suet cage trying to remove it from the feeder or just open it if they could. I did find a suet cage on my roof one time and I see it had to be a squirrel that carried it up there.

Thursday, May 14, 2015


My pink weigela is doing well this spring.  It is covered with buds and blooms and it will be in full bloom soon. The rains are to stay most of the day in Iowa and flowers on this shrub only appreciate the rain, the flowers on the bush don't diminish.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Man Made Design.......

The shape of my new concrete culvert is a pretty nice design.  The rest of the dirt work hasn't been finished.  If it has been finished I guess it will be au natural.   All of the dirt work in the street is now settling and they will have to bring dirt back to fill that in the ditch that is occuring in the street.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

White's Purity and Simplicity......

The lack of color sometimes is a good thing too.  The three white tulips that I have seem to be a challenge to photograph. Automatics save time if they work but in many cases red, white and yellow mess with the camera's sensor. Maybe all colors mess with the sensor when the light is too bright. My wife did a set of paintings for a woman and she called them the "The Three Graces."  In many ways I have seen the three blooms out there and thought they two could have been called the same thing. The colder weather really has hastened the tulips from dropping petals so soon.  Wind and heat tends to hurry things up but the cool nights have really saved them as they closed up each night for the cold.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Seed Seeker....

The red bellied woodpecker surprised me with his seed seeking behaviors.  I know in the winter that they pick seed out of the suet but during this spring he is busy selecting the exact seed that he likes.  He shoves his beak back and forth in the seed pile until he finds what he wants. He reminds me of a person with a plow pushing through material.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Blue Jay Day........

I believe this is a youngster.  When I took other shots of him his coloring didn't seem quit right.  The back of his neck feathers seem to be too light in color. The shot of his body makes him look squatty but he is just leaning his head back and looking up making him to look wrongly proportioned.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Small Blooms.......

The smaller blooms of cream color are now open inside the white ring of flowers. The viburnum is a striking shrub with its dark green leaves contrasting well with the bright white flowers.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Spring Columbine......

The wild columbine continues to grow in my garden.  It seems to never be bothered by the winters or different temperatures of spring.  It blooms out this unusual shape. Being behind the tree away from my view I have to remember to go out and check on it to see how it has developed and what stage that it is in.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Iris Season Begins.........

The buds I shared yesterday on one of my other blogs are now flowers today.  These are a smaller iris that blooms first out of all of the others. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Warm Foggy Wednesday........

The fernleafed peony decided to open up most all of its buds in one day.  There are a few left to open but I bet they will be open today.  I am hopping t his afternoon's storm does not destroy the blooms.  I have another bush like this that is more in the shade so it will bloom later. The macro allows me to take a very artistic shot here making it a poster like shot.

The plants all originated from my parents home in Osceola.  I left some of it there and I am sure it is blooming down there in southern Iowa. My mom actually swiped some of it from a neighbors rental probably 20 years ago. I have planted parts of it in five locations and it grows and blooms according to its location in the sun or shade.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


The viburnum looks alive and well covered with blooms.  The small centers of the larger bloom have not open yet.  The misty rain for the 24 hours has helped to green up everything.

The photo will be updated when all those buds open in bloom and then it will be a complete flower. I found one of these on the net and it was called "summer snowflake." I believe that the companies that sell them make up their name for it and the genus species is probably the same.

Monday, May 4, 2015


The honeysuckle is not fully opened but the color is there to see and enjoy.  I hope the rains do not ruin the blossoms. The aroma from honeysuckle is so great. A visitor stopped by yesterday dropping off papers and remarked that the blooming of all the trees on our property was closing him down as soon as he left the car.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

It's a Tulip.....

I am down to having only one of these to survive.  It blooms much later than the others and it has multiple petals and it is a tulip.  It reminds me of a waterlily by the colors of it and also its shape.

A second shot of this tulip to share its beauty.  When I went out last evening to take more shots of it the flower had all closed up for the night because of the colder air.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Bleeding Hearts.....

The plant blooms on the third year as it continues to establish itself in my garden.  There may be better photos to come from this plant but for now I just am glad it has finally bloomed.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Have a Vibrant Day.........

It is good that it is Friday.  The tulips have lasted much longer this year with all the cool temps at night. I can't seem to get enough shots taken of these flowers.