Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Summer Shakeup...........

I have too many things going on in my neighborhood that I will be shaking up the variety of things that I routinely share.  I am not solely interested in flowers but sometimes that is all I have around to shoot.  I plan to stay out of the rut and post a different thing from the day before as I go through the summer. 

A bonus photo for you today.  How many trucks of hot asphalt does it take to lay a road down on my street.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Reaching to the Sky.........

The Principal building stands in downtown Des Moines.  It is 630 feet tall and one of the tallest downtown.  Principal Finacial fills a lot of the building but the bottom few floors are rented out to other companies.  It was built in 1991 and has a copper roof.  It was suppose to turn green like the Statue of Liberty with age but we seem to not have any salty air in our area.  It has turned dark brown and the company is going to live with it. My oldest son's prom was held at the top floor where there is a band of windows all around it.  I went up to take photos and then left.  Every year there is a contest for people to run the stairs from the bottom to the top.  My wife and I took the elevater when we visited the top.

It being so tall and the only skyscraper in Des Moines it is easy to look up to know where you are while you are in the city. While driving into the area around the city you can see it sticking up pointing to the sky.

The second tallest building is the Ruan building as seen to the right of it.  That building was designed to have a rusty finish and it is just that.  The have put lights on the outside edges of the box so that you can see it at night.  It is not a good looking building.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Cue the Bird..........

While at downtown Des Moines yesterday I grabbed the camera and took a shot of the Polk County courthouse.   I did it so quickly that I didn't even see the bird in the photo. It reminds me of a pigeon.

The building is old.  It is filled with murals on the walls and both exterior and interior are decorated with carvings.  It's courtrooms have become inadequate in size and a new building is planned to be built. This building stands in strong contrast because of its historic design to some of the modern buildings that surround it.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Asphalt Eater........

While checking out the street construction next to the house I could hear it coming.  The design of the machine makes it look like a robo dinosaur.

The machine is designed to break up asphalt roads and the resulting material travels up the elevator into a dump truck.  The photo shows it coming up the street ready to attack our north side road. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Ditch Lily........

It is also called a field lily.  When farm buildings are gone and the house it gone this lily is still growing in the ditches along the road where it was originally growing.  It really is a wonderful lily and it is so much more complicated in design than just a regular daylily.  This is my very first bloom.  I will try not to take so many pictures, but it is an easy subject.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Bush Cherries...........

It is a job to pick them but it will be worth it when we make our jelly from them.  I fight the mosquitoes or rain storms to get the job done.  I have one batch picked and will do more if the rain ever stops.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Bold Color for Today.....

My revived Asiatic lily has put out a powerful strong colored bloom.  It has been planted there for so many years and for some reason it did not bloom last year.  I will have a dozen more blooms that  I can take photos of as the lily is loaded with about ten or more buds.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wild Flower.........

I don't know the name of it but it does come up volunteer by the pear tree.  The wild flower comes up every year and I just let it grow.  It is a small daisy like plant and I remember seeing them in ditches and down on the farm. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Lily, Lily.......Bloom

This daylily has its frist bloom spreading open revealing the yellow glow.  This is the first daylily that blooms in my gardens but there are  others that are ready to bloom within the week.

I really have never noticed this before but each stalk has one bloom open on the end of each stalk.  Good rains have made this plant be very prolific with more stems than last year.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

First Lily Bloom........

I have been watching the buds out the window of the dining room.  On Saturday morning I saw it had opened and I went out right away to get the first shot.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Summer Scene........

The clippers have been busy with a lot of help from me.  I am cutting out all the unwanted growth along my alley area.  The spirea row tends to  have so many volunteer trees and weeds.  The hostas wers too cheap to refuse.  It is easier to buy these damaged plants than to dig up existing plants and dividing them.  I thought I had my hand clippers in this photo but I must have cropped them out.  How did I do that?  Anyway, we are dodging rains today so I won't go out and finish my job until Monday.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Meet the Family...

I first saw an extra set of eyes up in the nest but I wasn't so sure what was up there.  I had to run and get the camera and use the zoom to see that this baby was not going to sit under his parent anymore.

As I walked around the tree I see that the two eggs that mourning doves usually raise have become young birds.  The male sits on the eggs in the day and the female sits on them at night.  I did not see the two being fed by the parent.  Yesterday she was still sitting on the two of them and today as you can see they are just too large to be kept warm. The net shared the information that the flimsy nest they build sometimes don't hold onto the eggs when the adult flies out of it.  I can't believe these three can stay in this nest at one time.  I was really excited to be able to catch these photos.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

A Rare Event.......

The bishop's weed is blooming this year.  I don't think I remember ever seeing it bloom.  It has had lots of rain and this is growing on the north side of the house.  The plant was called "snow on the mountain" when I was a kid and I see after research that it is also called "goutweed."   While reading up on the plant on the net I saw one gardener calling it an insidious weed.  I find it nice to have in areas where nothing else will grow.  The flowers were a surprise to me and they really are very pretty flowers.

My one memory of the plant is of a neighbor who I had asked to get a start of it from her patch.  She was a friend of a woman who had a nursery outside of town and told me to go buy it out there.  I did get a start of it from the hillside behind a motel in Grand Marais, Minnesota. I will be glad to give it away to anyone who wants to take on the challenge of keeping it under control.  I do think if it were mowed down continuously for a couple of summers it would be gone. I know our drought years almost killed it.  I guess that is why it is celebrating all the rain by giving me blooms.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Middle of the Week.....

A different kind of composition from me on Wednesday.  The angel sculpture is in contemplation as the hostas keep creeping into its space.  Back lighting is a good thing and a bad thing as I keep exploring this thing call photography.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Old Things Day........

I rescued a dipper from the farm.  I had almost forgotten about graniteware dippers but most farm households had them.  Drinking water was brought to the house from the well and a dipper would be placed into the bucket for people to use to get their drink.  We had running water on the farm but it could be used for drinking water. We carried one to two buckets of water each day to the house for use.  The metal thing in the background is a part of a harness set up for horses that pull things.  One of those with rings on both ends were attached to the back of a horse.  The rings were connected to the wagon in which the horse was then required to pull.  The dipper lays out on the bench because I was using it to dip water for some plants.  I need to put it back in the shed.  The metal device is out there for decoration along with a pitchfork.  The horse device will eventually go to my brother in law when he gets his garage cleaned out for space to store it.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Reflection Pools........

We have lost track on the amount of rain that we have received.  It just keeps falling from the sky.  If it isn't raining, it sprinkles.  I see on national weather today that it is still coming from the gulf.  The weather guy can say Missouri but he didn't notice that Iowa sits above it and the green spread of color was on Iowa too. Before summer is over all this free growing green stuff will be cut down.  Usually I can get out to the rough areas and fight back the unwanted vegetation but mosquitoes and rain seem to win out on any outside work.  I need to tip the milk cans over as the mosquitoes love standing water especially the ones in reflective pools.

Sunday, June 14, 2015


On Saturday we saw the sun shining for a couple of hours.  It seems strange to see if as we have not seen it for so long. Today is suppose to be a warmer day and I am hoping that lots of sunshine makes that happen.  These rose bloomed through all the rain and these are the last two blooms for this blooming session. I will trim them back and it will bloom again.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Bloom Time.........

A splash of color with a splash of sprinkles on the bottom makes for a vibrant showing.  I think we have caught  up on the rain that we missed out on a few years back. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Fresh Color on Friday......

Larger than life, petunias are growing well in the new container.  The continual rain and sprinkles for two or more days are taking a toll on the blooms.  Better weather is promised and the new buds will come out to replace these two. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Hosta Hangout........

The bench seems to be a comfortable place for the angel to sit.  While writing about this statue it brought back memories of a photo of the statue sitting in the snow with drifts all around it. That had to be quite a few years ago and I now bring it inside each fall.

The hostas are a good payoff when it comes to having good foliage.  I have larger hostas this year that really may need to be divided.  The dry weather in the past years wasn't kind to them but they are now doing very well.  I think I will just keep digging and spreading them all over the gardens as they do well and they are a lot less work than other things that I have planted. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Pin Oak...........

The small pin oak in the backyard was late to put out leaves.  It acted like it was dead but now it is putting out these yellowish leaves. The pin oak in the front yard has filled out with green leaves weeks ago.  I hope this tree can find its groove soon and start to look normal like last year.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Bloom Time....

It is a tough rose and I don't know its name.  It survives our winters and puts out new stems every spring.  It will bloom off and on all summer.  Tomorrow the petals will immediately fade to lighter colors.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Keeping Cool in the Big Pond

I kept these two fish in the little tank in the house all winter. I think they have been out there last summer as I remember having seven feeder fish and there were only two left that had survived by fall.  It all blurs together as the years go by but I do know they started out as small 13 cent fish.  The reason that I remember is that it took me about three weeks to finally get someone to wait on me at Walmart to let me buy some. I kept returning different times when we were buying groceries and on the third try I did finally steal someone from the cookie and candy section to come over to help me get fish. These two were not scared of me this morning as they were busy skimming the surface for mosquito larve.

Sunday, June 7, 2015


The blooms open in the morning and close by afternoon.  I suppose the hot sun may cause them to close.  They seem to be opened early every morning when it is cooler and there is dew on them.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Faithful and True.......

The dove stays on task rain or shine.  She tolerates me working around the area and once in a while flies off when I am near.  I think she has to leave to eat and I do believe I have seen her at the feeder at the back of the house. This is a mourning dove as it doesn't have any ring band on its neck.  When I researched the Eurasians, I find that both male and female have the marking and regular mourning doves do not. I am assuming the hatching of the eggs should be soon.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Flag Iris.......

My one flag iris plant put out about four blooms for me this spring.  I finally was able to capture a shot of one of the blooms when it wasn't windy or raining.  I was pulling weeds from the area and noticed I should try to take one more specimen shot as this last bloom was in perfect conditon.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Big Ole Birch.....

The birch is all leafed out now and ready for summer. It looks really healthy with plenty of water keeping it looking good.  The bark looks really clear and whiter right now.  It is such a show stopper as a specimen tree.  It is at least 30 years old now or more. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Sharing Space......

Cardinals are a lot more friendly to others than bluejays.  There was plenty of seed and the cardinal was busy breaking his sunflowers seed to really notice his neighbor.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Future Crop.......

The blooms on the tree were so many but only the pollinated ones become apples.  The tree has many apples on it again this year.  The wren loves to sit and sing in the apple tree as he waits for the baby wrens to hatch.  Once they hatch I should be able to get some photos of the  bird.  i can't seem to get the wren's photo in the tree as the leaves and apples seem to be too thick for me to even see the bird.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Mock Orange........

The mock orange bush is putting out a great fragrance with its many blooms.  It is an old shrub that was old and large when I bought the place in 1976.  It thins out and new branches do form.  It is the only one left in the neighbor hood.  Two other neighbors had the bushes and they have through the years cut them down.  On guy planted a house addition on top of the place where his was growing.  The other neighbor systematically eliminated all the ornamental bushes one every couple of years.  I guess he just wanted grass. The former owner liked to landscape and had a large variety of bushes that are all now gone. I do go over and tell the owners that they can not cut down the magnolia tree as it took over 30 years to grow and it is a novelty in this town.