Sunday, January 31, 2016

Waiting and Watching......

AJ is watching a toy crawl down the surface of the door. His new flannel shirt from his grandparents fits well. He now asks his mom if he can remove his socks before he does so.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Glowing in the Dark........

One out of five fish in focus is better than no fish in focus.  I had the fish light on in the evening as I had fed them late in the afternoon.  It was dark then because of our weather so when I walked by the fish were glowing. My son's colorful rock are fun to see in that light too.  I found that kind of lighting works for photos as long as the sharks are not moving so much.  The larger fish tend to stay still longer than the smaller ones. The object in the foreground is a handmade castle that I have yet to get into the tank.  Maybe it will make it in there today.

Friday, January 29, 2016


I have decided to call all eurasian ring necked doves the common name of dove.  Itf at anytime that I get a shot of the larger mourning dove, I will call it that. The eurasian variety seems to have out multiplied the others.  I almost did not use this photo as the head blends into its body too well to have it readily seen.   I had removed the above photo and then I thought put it up.  The view shows how they are designed to blend in to protect themselves from predators.  There seems to be a lot of seed shells on the snow but it has  been picked pretty clean by the sparrows and juncos. The dove must be picking up stray sunflower seeds.  One day this week about 4 doves and a cardinal were fighting it out for space on the feeder.  I guess a blue jay was also there with starlings getting seed. I was too ill to take photos so I can just say you should have seen it.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Red Bellied at the Buffet........

This woodpecker was having a lot of competition with the doves, bluejays and one cardinal.  It warmed up to above freezing and the birds thought it was time to come to the cafe all at the same time. Juncos and sparrows were here and there and one bird that I didn't recognize.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

From Davenport, Iowa.......

I can not imagine what device or pot that they used to make coffee during the time of this can. I have had the can since late 1960s.  It was surely in that Horton's household many years before that when it was given to me.  The givers were moving into town after being on the same farm 65 years old more.The were convused about my liking this old can.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


The shiny bells are a modern version of the old brass bells on horse's harness.  The bells here are nice bells though and do have a great sound when shaken.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Under the Sea........

Actually deep in the aquarium you will find hungry fish.  The food is floating down and they act like they are starving. I enjoy seeing a reflection of an extra fish on the ends of the aquarium. It is Monday and they get a little heavier feeding this morning as we haven't been around much the last two days.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Let Us Read.....

A.J. does like a good book.  He likes to read them often. I is amazing as to how fast that they grow and interesting to watch them soak everything into their minds.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Friday, January 22, 2016

Special Effects.......

When you are tired and you shoot the photo with an automatic camera in low light you can get this to happen.  I didn't want it but I would snap and then instead of not waiting and holding still, I would drag away from the shot.  The light was low. I am sure that contributed to the special blur. The lens was staying open longer to get more light for the picture.

The photo with no motion still has some blur.  I should have taken shots an hour earlier as the sky had clouded over and no sun was seen all day. The amaryllis is going to be showing itself off but it does seem strange to have such a short stem.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

In the Mood.......

I have always thought I should share a well executed photo on this blog. I started at first thinking I had to share one of my best shots.  Subject matter for a best shot really can vary and when I pick from my pile of photos I can be moody.   Today is seems that I like the fun looking mug that sits on the shelf above the sink.  It is one that I select often for coffee because of its size.  I don't want to keep returning to the coffee pot to fill it so it is a good sized mug. I think also that the illustration does draw me in to pick it up.  The dog at the bottom is so much a dog called spot and all the other dogs are playing in the grass. It is a worthy good photo and it is take of a fun subject matter.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Middle of the Week.....

It is a flower day for Photo a Day.   I have a violet that sits close to the humidifier and it is really living the good life.

If you look closely you can see more buds ready to bloom.  It is a striking violet that does not look anything like my grandma's violets.  The work of plant growers really have created a great plant.  It has the robust growth as the old fashion African violet.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Monday, no Tuesday..........

Finding different things to photograph while inside meant pulling out some of my wildfowl sculpture collection. The interpretation of them in sculptural form is interesting as the different countries that put these out simplify the bird from the picture in which the are referring to in making the design.

 It is fun to have them as I like seeing ducks and geese in true nature.  These were collected as gifts from my wife each Christmas.  She stopped buying them a few years back as they stopped selling them but I do think some of them are back in the stores again. Photographing them required twisting and turning them to catch the best light.  I placed them on top of a brown shoebox and it helped get them closer to my camera lens.

Monday, January 18, 2016

More Lost and Found.....

I ramble on and on about finding some things that had been put away at least 3 years ago, maybe longer in my Creative Zone blog.  I had wanted to find the brass bells for a couple of years. I unexpectedly found the box and other things in a storage cupboard in which I didn't have easy access for a long time.

As I emptied the box I found lots of different things stowed in the box.  The box is at least 80 years old and has a history from a farm home in southern Iowa, a place near Hopeville. The box itself has a whole story of its own.  Young children back then had drawn pictures on its side. I know the boys and they are still living in different parts of the United States. They are in their upper 80's now. I write to one of them every Christmas.

I don't remember where all the bells were from but I had been given a couple of them from my parents. Others I found in auction boxes. The carriage bells were placed on the harness straps attached to the horses.  You can imagine how great the sound would be when they would have the horse trot down the way in the winter time. Jingle bells ringing all the way.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Lost and Found..........

I actually first found a cigar box full of buttons that I had misplaced in storage.  Old buttons of many kinds dating back to the 1950s were in the wooden box. It is one of the two button boxes that I have.   Also, there was one marble among the buttons and bobbins. I immediately put it into my jar as it is easy for them to roll away from wherever you place them. The one antique toy plane keeps the jar of marbles company.

It had to have been one of my marbles from when I was a kid. It would have been purchased at the Robinson's Dime Store on the main street in Osceola, Iowa.  There may be more of these in the button box but I didn't have the time to really dig through all those old buttons.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Casting Shadows...........

The shadows are cast from a bright sun on a very cold today.  It will be colder tomorrow. I took a few shots outside this morning as I made my birdseed run to the feeders.  It seems to be too cold for the birds to be out but the sun will warm them a bit and they will come for free food soon. It was too cold for me too so I click some shots in double time. If you can see the weather rock tells us the sun is shinning.  If I were to pick up that rock it would tell me that it is cold.

Friday, January 15, 2016

A Collector's Collection.......

I am working in a classroom today in which the teacher has a stapler collection.  The collection seems to be not an obsession but a novel thing to have in a classroom.  He has added a couple of smaller ones to the group but at the most part they are all just conventional staplers.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Lunch Box Special......

I am in a classroom where I am substitute teaching and there sits this lunch box all decked out with spider man on it.  It isn't an older one as I am thinking it was sold during the time when the movie of spider guy was just released. I thought it a striking image to share for today.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Heathy Growth.........

The inside growing of plants makes the weather outside a little bit more tolerable.  I know if I moved this violet outside that the 7 degrees F. temperature would take it out immediately.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Front and Back......

I was exploring my cupboard last night and thought I would shoot a couple of photos of these model cars.  I have a collection of cars but have not added to it for years.  These two are both Cadillac cars probably made in the middle 1950s.   When I was young, any person who owned a Cadillac had reached a stage of wealth and could show others that they had made it in the world.  It has been interesting to see the tradition diminish. Different cars of a different make are prestige cars now.  Some of the older people who lived that time period as teenages still buy the modern, less decorated version of the car.  One lady in town has a red one right now.  She has always had a Cadillac.

The back end of this particular model has a look that could have been the front end of the car.  I have never noticed that before until I was snapping photos.The trunk lid looks like a hood of a car.

The reason I have two of these is that the Art Store use to carry these as novel items. The were to be gifts items you could buy while purchasing art supplies.  When they sold out everything and closed their store they were selling the cars for a dollar a piece. It is fun to have them in my collection. I think these are the newest models of car that I have as the rest are old Model Ts and such.  As I search the web, I can see they could be 1957 caddies through 69 or 60.  The went from clunky looking to sleek looking in a very short time with all the fins and jet like styling.

Monday, January 11, 2016

There is a chance......

......a chance of goose down snowflakes in the afternoon.  We have warmed up 20 degrees and it seems like a heat wave.  Unfortunately 14 degrees F.  really isn't warm.  When you are in the negatives or negative windchills it seems warm.  These two geese project the feeling ot them wanting to communicate with the viewer.  They are two of my favorites to display in the winter.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Train Wreck.......

When I was a teenager, my family and I were visiting my sister in laws parents on their farm for  a Sunday dinner.  Near the farm was a small town built on a hill called Woodburn, Iowa. At the bottom of the hill of the town was a double train track that went through town.  After the meal, word was received that there had been a train accident in the town.  It probably was five miles away and we all went over to see it.  The track curved through the town and 6 or more cars jumped the track. 

They were all jumbled on top of each other like a kid that had tossed his building blocks into a pile.  The cars were all the same kind of wooden boxcar that looked like the red one here.  Those cars are very large in real life, so to see them overturned like that made it an incredible sight. Dirt was shifted by the weight of them and I am assuming they were loaded with cargo. I think of that wreck every time I put these train pieces away in a box. I just had to recreate a wreck just for the camera.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Go Big Red.......

I am watching for something colorful to come to the feeder.  I was trying to take a photo of a downy that was swooping in, grabbing a seed, and then taking off again.  While standing there waiting for the hunter does for a kill, I look over and snap this poorly looking shot.

And the specimen arrives to the feeder posing for me in many directions. He looks very red today compare to his color a month ago. 

Just like a professional model he turns and tips his head my way.  He is a friendly guy and I hope he stays for the rest of the winter.  The cute juncos are really enjoying the fresh seed that I took out this morning in 12 degree F. temperatures.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Snow on the Roof......

Anything horizontal, including the top of a spade handle has snow on it.  We have been getting continue drizzle for two days so most snow on top of things is gone.  Snow on the ground is not gone. I didn't want to get my ice chopper out of the shed so I grabbed a spade and pounded out the ice on the steps.  I will take it to the basement and go get the chopper another day.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Warm and Balmy........

It is nice and warm in the tank and they are wishing I was home right now to feed them. I will write my wife on the net and ask her to visit them.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Snow Pending......ice Possible.

The snow rock has been picking up afternoon sun which causes its snow bank to melt.  We are suppose to start to have rain and snow this afternoon and the rock will be back to work predicting the weather.

After I took the shot I moved the rock out to be with his iron ore buddy.   You can see a piece of my old blue gate in the photo.  I built a platform for the dogs that is level with the first step.  Barney can take the 6 inch step up and then only has two steps to easily climb.  Button's sight is bad enough that he doesn't know how far down it is to the patio when he is on the platform. He jumps off of the couch easily which is 18 inches but the six inches off the platform is not working for him.  Of course we carry him up and down the obstacle course many times a day.

I will show you what the weather rocks look like late this afternoon when we get our next snow.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Weathering the Storm Inside.......

The angel boy did make it inside and seems to enjoybeing around the flowers.  I like how my violets are doing so well in contrast to the one Christmas cactus that looks pretty much dead.  I won't toss the cactus but it sure is going to take time to revive from its partial demise.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Shiny Glass.......

I use to store my older ornaments in antique mason jars but these days I use my wife's large glass canister.  Things got to be so busy that it didn't it get brought out for decorating until after Christmas.

I use to have such a difficult time taking a photo of my outside garden globe.  There is no way to take a photo of these glass balls without them reflecting the camera person or at least the camera.

I realize that I am doing these two days in a row.  A rut I must be in but I promise no more glass ball shots for a while. 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Moving Picture Show.......

It really isn't a moving picture show as much as it is a moving camera and it is me not holding still.  I liked the look so I will share it.

I was actually looking through my collection of old Christmas balls that I have inherited from parents and brother.  Some of them are from my first Christmas tree in 1972.  The three brands of balls are shiny brites, rauch and HD.

Saturday, January 2, 2016


I talk the walk but I didn't get all my dead stalks taken down in the garden.  I guess in the back of my mind I know that I can have great views like this with the stalks against the snow background.

Friday, January 1, 2016


Seaglass is glass that has been buffed and polished on the shores of the Atlantic ocean.  When we visited Maine a few years back I was fascinated with seeing things made from these pieces of glass.  The glass itself could be very old as harbors along the east coast were dumping grounds for garbage like old bottles and pottery.  Sometimes ship wrecks created a shore line of the same kind of thing.  I found a couple of books about seaglass and some people who live along the shore become great collectors of these pieces of glass just like collecting polished stones from the shore. 

A gift to us a few Christmas years back was a wind chime that we received from our son and daughter in law who live in Maine.  I don't think it is of real seaglass but of glass that has been treated with a texture and ground to a shape.  Real or not real it was great to find it and put the chime back up again in the kitchen window.  The chimes had been put away in the tablecloth drawer during one summer and was not found until this Christmas day.

In case you are wondering the white globe is from an old school house and I have placed it on a lamp that sits next to the sink.  We turn it on instead of the overhead lights as it is a softer light to have on the kitchen counter. The chimes have a very nice sound just like the old Chinese chimes you could buy at dimestores when we were kids.