Monday, August 31, 2015

Red Maple...........

It isn't an outstanding photo today but it also isn't a  flower photo.  I was taking shots of the finishing up of the sidewalk connection when I looked up to see if the red maple had any leaves changing.  I was glad to see not a leaf has turned color.  I am not a professional arbor person but I do see by the picture that I have some work to do.  The city had youngsters come through on the side walks last summer and trim up offending branches.   This tree has been sheared back on the west side.  I see by the photo I will now be required to clean up the east side of the tree.  The major bottom branch will have to go and a lot of little ones above it will have to go.  I am not sure I am able to get my chain saw running but I will need it for that larger branch.  Dirt is filled in on all sides of the sidewall connection now and Lake Big Mistake is filled up again.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sunday's Sun......flower.

In the last many days I have been struggling to get a good shot of the sunflower blooms.  They had not opened up enough and they seemed so small.  Now they have grown in size over the last two days.  While out there fighting and dancing around with the mosquitoes I saw a monarch flying around.  Little did I know that it would land up there for me to photograph.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Stories They Could Tell...........

The trees are old.  They are past their prime and yet I like their part of history on this property.  I have only three silver maples left.  I have lost two of them the past 15 years.  One fell down in a wind storm and the city took the other.  The house is over 100 years old and I suspect that these were put in during the 20's.  That is when the sidewalks were put in by the WPA.

I have found evidence that one grew on the south side of the lot and had fallen and landed on the kitchen a few years back.  Both the stump area was gone but the indention was there and the patched roof of the roof showed how tall the tree was.  The other indention in the yard of a past silver maple would mean that there were 7 of them originally. The whole corner block was surrounded with them. I have never found a photo anywhere that shows the trees when they were younger.

 Birds of all kinds, squirrels, owls, and sometime raccoons make their homes in them.  Woodpeckers love them and squirrels travel from branch to branch never really having to be on the ground. I have always appreciated the activity that they bring to make my property to seem more like a wildlife refuge.

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Promise of Blooms......

As I try to keep the photos posted here fresh and different each day I find it hard to pick just one shot. This is a wonderful sight of many buds on the sedum ready to bloom.  The hint of a few blooms suggest what is yet to come. Having this plant shrivel up about this time of the year last year makes this years promise to be a great sight.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Faded Beauty.....

As the seasons are transitioning the most showy flowers are now fading.  Some coneflowers just dry up and turn black but this one is fading slowly.

In the very same area as the above faded bloom is this new bloom.  It hasn't been open for very long as it is a late bloomer. It is a small one that has stronger color than the camera pick up of it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Showing Off........

I find myself saving back photos for this post and then they get buried or used on facebook.  I never make it to the original site that I intended for it to be displayed.  This twisted stemmed zinnia has stayed the course and just today I staked it back up into a standing place. How the stem got twisted can only be blamed on weather and gravity.  I found an old tomato cage that I could place into the middle of the zinnias and I drew each fallen stem back into a semi vertical position. 

The shot on the side here is one that has a shriveled, old flower look.  It almost has a personality with the way that it is weathering.  This is a mulit-petaled one that had been one of the first to bloom.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Blending In.......

I was out taking photos and I could hear a cat calling from the woodpile.  It was the neighbor's cat warming itself in the sunshine and reminding me that it was there.  "Meow" as we call the cat loves to live on our side porch and does so for days at a time.  The cat disappears when one of the three neighbor girls see it and off Meow goes home. The last time I saw the cat go home the older girls had him in her arms and all I could see was the tail hanging out through her one arm.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Natural Lighting.........

A sunny, windy day that gave me some good shots in the backyard.  Looking towards the orchard the sunlight gave the old windmill perfect lighting. Some leaves are falling but on the most part it is too early for that.  We are having very cool weather for this time of the year. 

A bonus photo shows the shedding bark of the river birch.  The background green shows the raspberry patch that did not give me much fruit this year.  I am told by a guy on television to trim it all down before winter.  I still have a good month or more to get that job done.

Sunday, August 23, 2015


I don't know anything about zinnias.  I know these both are red, which this is the first year that I have had red.  It was variety pack so there are other colors among the seeds.  I don't understand the two different kinds of blooms but the packages of seeds seem to have both in there always.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Wandering through HIstory........

As I remove 50 years of class composites from their frames I am reminded of all of the families in this community.  Certain classes of certain years I am identifying grandparents of some of the children that have been in my classroom.  More recent years I see the parents of my classroom student.  As visitors come to the house many are doing what I am doing here tipping the frames and peeking into the faces of the past.

Taking photos of framed photos makes for interesting compositions. The history of all the lives is revealed through dress, hairstyles and the photo techniques themselves.  I have only 9 left to take apart and to start the next step of the process in their new display panels.

As I do work with these I can see the line in time where no one is possibly still alive.  I also see people like our good friend Avis who is in the class of 1955.  She use to be our neighbor but has moved to a different area of town.  Being an outsider of the town, having moved here in 1976, I am amazed at the number of people that have their generations of family rooted here.  I would never had known until I spot their parents or grandparents in one of the composites.  I am always saying out loud to my wife, I can't believe that so and so graduated from this school.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Winter Wishes......

The squirrel sat there for a long time.  I don't know if he is waiting for that ear of corn to be placed on the nail, but he has a long wait. All winter I do keep corn available for them to eat.  I guess sitting on a platform is easier than clinging to a tree branch as he sat there and watched the world go by him.  It would put him into shock if I placed an ear of corn on there but I don't have any right now.

Thursday, August 20, 2015


It is cooling off at night so much that the furnace turns on by morning.  I am not ready for cold yet.  I think the plants are liking the cooling off time.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Still Life......Junk.

Things sit outside my garden shed door.  I will get things put into their proper storage areas before the snow flies, or maybe while the snow is flying.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Cornfield Heaven.......

The corn is almost 8 feet tall.  It is putting out a great crop with two ears on each stalk. The corn is starting to fire, meaning that it is dying at the bottom, and will be harvested early this year in this field.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday's Rose.......

A colorful surprise as it opened on a very hot day on Friday and became fully in bloom by Saturday.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Friday, August 14, 2015

A Garden Visitor........

A yellow swallowtail visited the garden yesterday.  It was generous to let me get two successful photos of it.  It didn't stay for very long but I was glad to have it come.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Warmer Thursday.........

While mowing yesterday in the yard I could see this butterfly soaring around the garden.  When I was finished mowing I went in to find the camera and returned to the coneflower patch.  The foxtail grass looked good in the composition so I left it in the shot. I thought the foxtail would also help with the balance of the leaning of the shot but not so much.

The monarch proved to be friendly and seemed to want to fan its wings while it was eating.  I thought later that it was probably warming its wings while eating.  Monarchs usually don't fan open that often from my experience. Only when they land do they look like this and then the fold up flat while they eat.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Our neighbor's cat was taken back to his own house and had been living inside for a few days.  Monday he had escaped again and yesterday he was apparently in the tree cooling off.  I looked out and saw him there wondering if he was stuck. He wasn't stuck but he did find it to be comfortable to take a nap.  When one of his girls see him out and about he will be taken back into this house again. He really does enjoy our side porch and the back yard gardens.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


This is a first time that I have ever seen a sight like this in real life.  I have seen shots of cardinals that were moulting on facebook and thought it looked like a freak show. I am fighting low battery problems so the photos are a bit poor quality.  I had to share them anyway.

I looked it up on the net and most cardinals do not do this.  It just happens.  I don't know if it is a nutrition change, climate change, the reason is unknown.  My reaction at first is to think that it is sick but I was assured on the web site that it is healthy and will be ok.

I noticed with my cockatiels this year that my male yellow one dropped all of his tail feathers.  I have never seen that before and I was concerned that he was sick.  In reality the guy grew back new tail feathers in less than three days.  I can't believe that it can grow out that quickly.

Monday, August 10, 2015

One Squirrel, Two Shots........

With all the young squirrels that were born in our trees, only just a few are still around. I don't know the behaviors of squirrels that well but I am assuming that they become territorial when older so they had to fan out into the neighborhood.  We have this one young one who still is not to frightened of humans.  I can go out the back door and it will be sitting on the roof just over my shoulder looking down at me.  It is trying to decide if I am a threat or not and then he scurries off.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

What was that???????

I have this cheap feeder up at my window and the birds are loving it. I guess it is easier to eat here than to look for their own food.  The bird looks a little startled because this very bright yellow bird was at the feeder and flew off in a flash.  It was a goldfinch in its full yellow garb.  That will be my next goal with the camera is to capture it or one of its own kind at the feeder.  I did get my better picture of the humming bird but I will share it later on.  It would make my yesterday's shots look pretty bad and out of focus.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Ruby Throated Hummer.......

It is a rainy soggy day and the humming birds seem to be fighting over the feeder. I guess it is out of the rain a little and it is a dark day.  The impression of the bird is all I can get as I struggle to get a focus.  The camera wants to focus on the feeder.  The camera wants a flash turned on because it is darker inside than outside because it is a dull day.  I turned on the dinning room light a little to shut the flash warning down and I wait for some one hummer to land.  I ended up with two different ones this morning.

The female seems to be the larger bird and it is different looking than the one I shared a couple of days ago. I am thinking if they would eat at the feeder on a clear sunshiny day that I would probably get a better focus.

I know when the hummers are coming as the dart in and out as if they are casing the joint first. They are so fast that they look like a large insect and they are just a blur.  I have learned that in most cases that I have time to get the camera ready before they actually land on the feeder.

I never expected to get the ruby throated shot as the red turns to a black in some light angles.  It seems to be reflecting perfectly in the above shot.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Rose Bud........

I discovered a new thing about this rose bush that I never knew before now.  I have had the rose for many years and the past weeks I find that the buds look like small red roses.  When they spread open the petals turns to the pink color.  It is a pretty bud and the William Baffin rose turns into an old fashioned looking bloom when it matures. It probably isn't an unusual behavior for roses but sometimes things like this just don't get noticed.

It is a climbing rose and I have long stems that I need to deal with.  I may turn my garden shed into a trellis by designing some system of brackets attached to the shed to hold the canes. I guess I could make a big trellis the same size as the end of the shed.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Zinnia Power........

This is the first post of this photo of my zinnias.  I won't have so many this year so I will have to take a photo of every single one that blooms. I was planning on having a large field of them and instead I have a dozen plants that survived our strange spring.  It was a good spring,  it just didn't work good for the  germination of plants.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Everyday LIfe........

Old water main pipes lay in the back of the truck with all the debris that comes from digging it all up and out of the ground.

Another orange that will hopefully become red very soon.  The very first tomato has been picked.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A Winged Friend.......

The red admirals seem to be the most friendly of the butterflies.  Orange really is what they look like to me but they are call red.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Cool Sunny Day.........

The volunteer sunflower plant from the bird feeder gives me a great specimen to shoot pictures just as if it were a big sunflower that I couldn't reach.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Seeing Double..........

The second bloom struggles to find its place as it is positioned so close to the first bloom.  It does seem like a tropical bloom with the shape of its flower and the smooth texture of its petals.  The shiny leaves is another tropical thing too.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Sun Goes Down......

While out trying to get that perfect shot of one butterfly I look over to see this scene. The river birch glows from the sun in the west.  Everything else is in low light creating a nice photo.  You can see the sunflowers are really growing and by next week I would not be able to take this shot as they will have grown into view. My collected stick pile is looking good in the background also.  I can either haul it away in a truck that I don't own or I can burn it in the fall with my leaves. The pile gets very large by the time fall arrives.