Friday, July 31, 2015

Bud and Bloom........

The one rain cause the bud to be on the ground.  A few days later the bloom also was on the ground.  I have the stem braced now and it my stay vertical since it has stopped raining. I am down to only four roses that do bloom and this one seems to be my heaviest bloomer. I clip the spent bloom back and within a short period it has reset a new bud again.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Monarch Mania.......

I finally had a monarch butterfly that became tame.  It hung around for a long time.  I became tired and just quit trying to catch it with open wings.  They feed with there wings closed and there is a fleeting second when they flap their wings before they start to eat. 

I guess that if I had it in movie mode, I could pull out one shot from the movie to get that one photo of  open wings. I am assuming the butterfly was stocking up on food so it could go lay eggs somewhere on some milkweed. It is too early for any migration to start.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Rained and Kept Inside......

Sooner or later I needed to start picking up books and reading them. I should have had the closed computer in the background showing all the things that could distract me.  My wife and I bought the book about Monuments Men as we really liked the movie.  It is based on the protection of artwork being done while the War was going on in Europe. Also the recovery of art work and restoration of great buildings. It is coincidental  that I am sipping coffee from a mug with an impressionist's painting on it.

Politics, evil history, and the goals of one man to steal and own all of the great art in Europe is the major theme of the book. Taking people from their homes, killing them and then taking all of their art reveals a pretty demented man.   The movie is such a watered down version of the whole story.  Matt Damon played the part of a man who really accomplished a lot in Pairs finding and saving art.  He is romanticized a lot because of who he is as an actor but he really did portray the real guy very well. The movie tended to leave out his couple of years of work with the French and other governments after France was liberated from the dictator. He pops into the story in the movie as if he had just arrived to meet up with a woman to find stolen art from a temporary art museum.  The rescuing of the famous works from storage in copper and salt mines is an amazing story.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Bottle Buddies.......

My dysfunctional flower box serves as a catch all for antique bottles.  The canning jars have been removed from the pile and they are now in the basement in antique bottle location. The last three are standing in a row ready for their owner to determine their fate. I have never noticed before but the Canada Dry bottle is one of the oldest type of pop bottle.  I assume that it is 8 ounces.  The next one over is a Mountain Dew bottle with the hillbilly on the side of it. Both of those are going to go for a trip in a truck to landfill city.  The taller one I can not identify.  They all came from my dad's garage and even though they are old I don't place any value on them anymore. I use to have them as an art teacher for still life sketching.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Butterfly Surprise........

I was taking our small dog down the stairs for him to go outside.  I looked over and did see this butterfly that was very dark.  Compared to the other butterflies it looked like a bird.  I went in to get the camera and returned to capture one photo. It was a hyperactive one as it flipped back and forth on the phlox as if it was its last meal. One other shot was a failure as it flitted off.  Black swallowtail butterfly is its identity.  I am thinking it is the male because of the colors of blue on its back.  I do see a yellow one flitting by and I did see a monarch out there but nothing else was landing on the phlox. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

It Isn't a Flower.......

Machinery is a new theme for me on Photo a Day. As they lay asphalt the truck feeds in the hot material into the spreader. You can see the steam coming off of the asphalt as it rolls out of the truck.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Saturday Sad?????????

I don't think I have ever taken a photo of her at this angle before now.  The angel seems a little discouraged or maybe is having a bad day.

Friday, July 24, 2015

A Good Day Lily.......

I moved this plant into the new location from where it had been crowded out by a spreading juniper.  The next year I got rid of the juniper.  It is such a great bloomer putting out so many blooms the last three weeks, maybe even longer. I don't think it bloomed only once in its old location. It is a tough plant.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Thursday's Shots........

The honeybees and the bumblebees are really busy this time of the year.  I see some good butterflies to photograph but they seem to frighten of me this year.  Maybe as the weather warms up again they will be a lot less giddy. 

I have plenty of coneflowers for them this year.  I do think I have seen bees on daylilies but they do like the coneflowers better. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Fishey Shots.....

The story is that the fish look like orange blobs but the background reflection is wonderful to see.

My five feeder fish are all in the photo. Two of the fish have more black on them than orange so they are harder to identify. The sun is bright and it sure messed with this photo.  I couldn't decide which one to show so I just shared them both.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


brown eyed Susan.  It doesn't seem to spread out for me but the original plant seems to come up every year. I see I have buds yet to bloom.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Barnabas....the Dog.

I have one or two dogs usually keeping track of me while I am outside.  I turned to look into the backyard and there he was.  I didn't hear him approach he just sauntered over and looked through the spaces.

It is late afternoon and it did warm up a bit from a cooler day than normal.  His job is to watch for people walking by and cars passing by on the road.  Those who are dog walkers get to be barked at while passing and stray cats get to be scolded.   The past days of very hot weather have been hard on Barney and we try to keep him inside as much as possible.  I keep brushing him and it takes forever to shed that winter coat.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday with a Vine.......

I try hard to find things to post that are not flowers.  This is a half of a flower but the rest is the antique metal canister. I am repurposing it as it is in bad shape and I wouldn't use it in the house.  I am trying to keep the house from turning into a museum of old things that are not in good shape.  It it was in pristine condition I would save it.  I planted some morning glory seed in there and it was slow starting but now it seems to be taking off. It is climbing the small trellis. This was a spontaneous shot as all the junk around it needs to be moved and placed elsewhere.  When I get some blooms on the vines I will be sure to put all things away so it looks better in the area on the back steps.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Butterflies are Free.........

Once the red admiral starts to eat, it doesn't notice much about what is going on around it.  It was a hot day that I was taking the photos and the mosquitoes were lined up on my face taking turns poking holes in my skin. The flowers must be putting out good nectar now as the bees were also enjoying the flowers. Perhaps  more butterflies will come now.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Deep Red........

I don't remember this daylily doing this well with so many blooms.  The water on the petal is leftover from the morning shower.

As you can see I have lots of blooms and I will be having many more with all those buds on the stems.

Thursday, July 16, 2015


While visiting the cornfield across the street I snapped a shot of the neighbor's hibiscus.  She has a watering system that allows her to go off and visit Florida and see the hibiscus there.

A person comes to mow the lawn and you can see the pottery spout on the watering system for the plant that he connects to the garden hose. I am assuming she will have to take these into the house when winter arrives.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

What If......

If I could have stood on my neighbor's garage roof I could have given you quite a sight.  It is still a nice shot but I kept thinking how could I get higher up on the shot. I was across the street from our house taking shots of the corn field when I turned to see this sight.  This was the sky of a hot day.  It is the clouds that sit off west of us who are having rainstorms.  I am thinking at the edge of Nebraska was the storm and these clouds were created from it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Complementary Colors......

I am again sharing a photo of this lily.  It is a much better photo. The picture shown is very close to the actual color. It is a smaller flower and it just keeps blooming.  When I look at the foliage of it I can see that I need to split it up and move some of it to another location.  It is a stunning color with the deep yellow center.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Sunflower Promise.........

The lens was foggy from the heavy humidity outside.  I brought the air conditioned camera out into the humidity and the lens went to fog.  The blur adds to the photo as I take a shot of a volunteer sunflower that came up from some birdseed falling from a feeder.  I know knowledge wise that people say sunflowers follow the sun but I really never took time to document it.  Yesterday afternoon this bud was facing the west.  This morning it was facing the eastern sun.  I assume the stem swings around slowly and by noon it will be facing south before it moved into the west again.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Orange Blooms.....

Sunlight creates lighter spots on the flower and yet doesn't ruin the photo. It is a beautiful lily that I had moved there a few years ago.  It bloomed in its new location quit well with lots of buds left to bloom.

This is the same lily that I had also planted out on the corner of my property.  When they smashed it down with a forklift I picked up the stems with buds on them.  They did go ahead and bloom while in a jar of water. That lily has been moved to two different locations.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Saturday's Green Things......

Cherry tomatoes were just blooms a week ago and overnight I found these all in a double row. 

Beefsteak Tomato

In spite of the planting of the tomatoes was early this spring, the plants have taken a long time to set on tomatoes.  I guess we just were not as hot as it should be to help them grow.  They like a lot of direct sun and not cold nights.  I can't imagine when I will be able to pick the first tomato.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Large Bloomer........

This is a very large bloom in the daylily family.  I have had the plant for a few years and every summer I am amazed ast o how large that it is.

Just for comparison sake this is the normal smaller size of daylily.  I like this size too but the one seems like a giant compared to the others.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Abundant Blooms....

The rains and very cool weather have made my gardens bloom with great gusto.  It is so amazing to see this as of three years ago blooms were so few and far between. It took last year with a normal season to replenish them so they can bloom well this year.  I have a lily that I thought was dead, killed out by the crowding of ditch lilies on top of them.  No, with all the rain I have three stalks standing tall this year among those lilies and ready to bloom.  I didn't think those bulbs would just go dormant until the right amount of moisture would bring them back.  The blue flowers in the background are the blooms on some of the hostas. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

New Bloom........

I have been watching three different stalks that had very large buds on them.  I didn't remember what they were as I think they were planted two years ago.  I had a bad year for lilies last years and a lot of them were trying to bloom during a hot dry spell and the buds shriveled up rather than open.  To  my surprise they were as big as a regal lily and they have a light smell of a stargazer.  The color is wonderful.  I took this photo as the sun was going down so I could get better color in the shot.

It is such a delicate looking color and the size is great.  It was a surprise to see color as the buds were pure white as if they were going to be a white regale lily. The two stalks were planted together and why the crazy gardener planted on in another area is beyond my understanding.  I must have thought I should scatter the color.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Fancy with Frills......

The hybrid daylily is so much larger than most of all my others in the garden. The colors are subtle and rich in nature and the ruffles makes it look like a fancy curtain. It does bloom like a regular daylily as it puts out a new bloom about every two days.  I am amazed at how they shrivel up after their bloom time so quickly. You can see it do that overnight like the one that is shown in the background above the good bloom.

We  had a heavy rain on Monday while we were in Des Moines and so many blooms were beat up from it.  I have sunflower plants all leaning as if the rain was just to hard on them to stand up.  I am hoping the stand up straight with a sun shiny day. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Wildlife Walk............

No, I didn't leave the state to get this shot.  It is at a pond near a hotel in Des Moines. The Canada geese stay year round in Iowa.  They didn't do that 30 years ago and back then one would be fascinated to watch them as they flew over heading north.

AJ needed to get out of the hotel room and get some exercise, so we walked the trail around the pond. 

For a moment I though I was visiting Minnesota along the North Shore but no, we could hear the noise of Interstate 80 that was right near there. Business buildings were built all around the water feature.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The 4th......as is.

It is a holiday that brings good times of celebrating and eating hot dogs.  The historical day does seem to be lost now and our present state of the union seems very unstable.  The checks and balances of our governing body has fallen apart. Our repealing of taxation without representation is worthless as it has raised its head behind closed doors the past few years.  Presidents who abuse the office and know that anything they say  must be right and best for the majority, throws out all representative government. It again tramples the feeling of independence and a free country. Judges declaring a philosophy and not following laws made by the founding fathers and our representative government  becomes dictatorial and socialist behavior and not constitutional.  Lies with symbolic convictions don't mean much replacing honest substance. Socialism always works very well until the money runs out.  As Greece citizens about that. Our flag symbolizes a lot of good things and a lot of bad things.  Either way it does identify a country that has many good people who are out there who keep trying to do the right thing in spite of those who are the powers in charge.

As a holiday, it is time to break from everyday routine.  It is a good excuse for families to get together and parties, picnics and eating pie are good bonding events.  I hope everyone has a restful weekend and do stay safe.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Hardy G's.......

A simple single bloom from the hardy geranium.  It is a color of the new one I collected last year. The white center of the bloom is a different one for me and the only one that is of two colors if you call white a color.

It will be a two photo day today as I share this full bloom from another of my plants.  Hardy geraniums like heat and sun but we have not had either for a few days.  Today we will have heat and the sunlight looks like it is less filtered. I believe all of my wintered over geraniums are all now putting out buds. Of course that means there are more blooms to come on this post.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Another Bloom to Share......

This daylily is one of my favorites.  It has such striking line design down the middle of each petal and the colors are so strong.  I bought this at the Arboretum that is north of us about 10 miles by the way a c row flies.  It is a crooked road to get there because of the Des Moines river.  A bird could fly there in an instant but to drive there requires many turns back and forth going north to get to a main highway in which again we turn off of and we come back south again. That also is a crooked road with lots of turns as you wander down.  Normally one pays to visit the place but on Saturdays with there are plant sales you can visit for free. I bought this one a day when they were having their daylily sales.  I think they also have a hosta sale on one weekend. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Going with the Roll......

The second day of road construction is now finished.  The second coat was put on quickly and the two different machines did flatten things out nicely.  The smaller one seemed to try to get hit by the larger one.  I think he was trying to see how close he could get trying to get the right a way from the big guy.  Our street to the east of us has not been done.  That street stretches almost from end to end of the town.  I think they will need to wait for the short streets, east and west, to dry out.  Maybe the word is called cure, as the asphalt cools down and shrinks down into a solid street.  Barney and I walked on it last night while the dog gets his last outing for the night.