Thursday, March 31, 2016

Red and Yellow Flutters.......

I have been busy at the kitchen window the past two days.  Yesterday morning it was the day for the house finches to visit.  Their red heads seem to be brighter now that it is spring.  I really rarely ever saw them at the bird feeder all winter but the thistle seed sock is one of their favorites.

The goldfinches have given me quite a show this morning as they battle for a postion on the feeder.  They have really turned more yellow now and I think they are close to be in their full summer feathers.  The female is actually brown most of the summer and I have had a few of them at the feeder.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


The flowers are beautiful but the leaves are really equally wonderful to see. This plant is a good one to quickly pick up for a gift.  I don't think they have a long bloom time but they suffice for quick color to celebrate spring.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A Silent Trumpet.....

that has a form of a musical instrument,
graceful as a swan with sleekness of line.
Fragrance adds to the form of three dimensions
while reminding us of its purpose to beautify the world
in a so temporary moment.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Eggs Are All the Rage......

When you reach a certain age, Easter candy traditions become very enjoyable. A search for eggs in the backyard is amazing.  When you can immediately open the egg and start eating out the goodie, it makes one have great joy.   Unfortunately the squirrels could smell the nuts in some of them and they did get to a few eggs in advanced before AJ got out there. Photos were taken by my son Andrew.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter Day........

I wish you all a very good day with plenty of blessings in your life. Easter is now here and spring is finally going to be on its way.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Sunrise City..........

I will never be able to move the sun into a better location in the photo as the house sits directly to the left.  I have to crop it out and make a badly balanced shot out of it everytime.  I did think that I should put a step ladder out there on the patio and leave it there for every morning's shot. I could climb up each time and get a better photo

Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday

The Des Moines Botanical Center

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Big Birch Tree, Big Blue Sky,,,,,,,,,

 ..........bleached white bark, bunches of branches......... It is just like a Dr. Seuss story with all the b's being used. This tree continues to give me great views of itself and the skies above.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


The photo is an impressionistic view of a koi floating just under the surface. The water itself and the reflections makes the composition work.  Koi are a neat fish.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Yellow Glow.......

The bulbs planted in a warm corner of the school always bloom earlier than most ones in town.  I donated the bulbs about ten years ago and a student council group planted them one fall.  The flowers like the warm brick walls that protect them in that corner.

My daffodils at home are sprouted up about 3 inches, leaves only.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Doves Digging for Seed.

Small doves continue to be a mystery.  I really don't have a book to tell me what they are.  They could be young ringnecks as they develop that neck marking as they mature.  I can not believe they hatch this spring as they wasn't enough time for that to happen. 

I really like this photo but the head of the one is chopped off by the camera man.  The color of their head feathers is so great to see.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spring Surprise.........

Cold and snowing on Saturday makes for a fine mess.  We didn't really get that much but the cold is not welcomed. 

I missed an anniversary back on March 3rd.  I forgot to mention it as I don't keep things like that on my calendar. I started in 2009. It has been seven years when I first started this blog and I posted a pretty picture of a white bridge with lots of pink coneflowers in front of it.

The coneflowers are all gone now and the bridge rotted out and has been removed from the yard. So many things have taken place in our lives  the last 9 years with both good and bad memories.  I don't even think about quitting unless I would take a job for a newspaper.  I don't plan on doing that ever.  Thanks for following me no matter how long you have been hanging around.  Oh yes, good bye if you have had enough.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Two Birds on a Sock.........

After I refilled the sock with seed I had more birds show up to eat.  The house finch is a new visitor to the feeder.  It joins in with the goldfinches picking seed out through the cloth sack. I have plenty of seed that should keep them eating for a long time. We have been partly cloudy but I get spells of sun to help me get better focused shots of the birds.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Tropical Visit in Iowa.........

It is a jungle in there when you walk into the Des Moines Botanical Center.  It was around 84 degrees F. and the humidity was very high.  It isn't easy to adjust to that temperature when you are still having late winter weather outside.

We visited the center on Thursday.  It had been a long time since we had visited.  They had remodeled some of it removing a lot of  plants and replanting for better growth.  They added an elevator to get one upstairs to a viewing deck which gave us more places for taking photos.

I took about 60 photos and only threw away 10 of them so I have many of photos to share.  One photo a day will not work well for me now so I will be sharing more than just one photo. I have visuals of fish, flowers, furniture, desert plants and many palms to share.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Puffy Clouds......

We had clouds and more clouds everywhere.  While out in the car these kinds of clouds filled the entire sky in every direction.  Unfortunately I did not have my camera or cell phone.  When I got home I realized that I never would have been able to capture the whole sky.  So this is my sky from my backyard view.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Goldfinches Feeding.....

As I was headed to the kitchen to get the geranium start that sits in the glass vase, I noticed a lot of activity of scrapping birds.  I had goldfinches fighting for position at the seed sock. Between the camera setting being bumped to a wrong setting, it was raining or hazy, and the shot was taken through glass, I did get some images of medium quality.  Most of the shots on the camera were thrashed.

The goldfinch are changing back to their yellow feathers now and they seem a little dirty. This is one of my more focused shot  and there seems to be no head.  I call it the detail shot of showing how the bird uses its feet to hang on to that sock.  I did see some of the birds out this morning while taking Button outside. We had scared a couple of them away. So maybe just maybe I can get them in some bright sun for some true clear color and focus.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Pick a Brick.......

I cleared away some bricks from around an old fishpond that I am shutting down.  The bricks have been collected from all sorts of locations.  Half of these bricks were dug up from the property as they seemed to be buried and left after a small building had been torn down.  The oldest brick in the pile is the one that has the indention.  I have seen bricks like this used on restorations shows where the brick was made this way to hold mortar. One set of bricks came from an old school building in Guthrie Center, Iowa.  A former student who had attended there brought home a bunch when she attended there and then brought them to our school to do a project for me.  That was at least 15 years ago.  I inherited the bricks as she didn't want to take them back home.

Some of the bricks were salvaged from a town south of us called Moran.  It is an Italian coal mining town in which the highway department tore down an entire row of houses. It was done so they could turn it into a four lane next to the town.  I haven't a conclusion to this post.  I find myself using bricks around a planting area and then I get bored with them and move them away.  These bricks may be rearrandged as a sculpture as I don't have plans for them at this time;  and yet I guess I could make a new walkway next to my extend porch project.  Photos follow always if that happens.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Salt or Pepper......or Both.

My mom collected the salt and pepper shakers.  She started to buy them when we would take a trip out west each summer time.  Her collection was not huge but some just got to be tossed due to the lack of good design, ha, or were just plain ugly.  I kept a few and I am determined to put the few that I have into a box for storage.   

Watching a show on Sunday Morning a few weeks ago, they covered a convention of collectors of these kinds of things.  People today are still collecting them and one woman was known to have 53,000 salt and pepper shakers. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

New Blooms......

The oxalis likes the longer days of light.  It is still looking weathered from the long winter but it seems to be starting to revive. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016


My neighbor's maple tree is a perfect specimen and looks good against our sky.  The other maple tree standing to the right of this one was clipped and chopped at because of the tornado we had a few years ago.  Its profile is not so great to see.  I now take the good maple and the Minnesota balsam pine tree in my yard for foreground.

Friday, March 11, 2016

In the Shed.....

I like cupboards.  I took this one from my dad's garage.  I am thinking he took it from an old house that he had torn down many years ago. This one isn't so valuable on the market but I am sure I would be surprised to know.

When I was young, living in southern Iowa, old things were cheap.  I have a chest of drawers and other oak furniture that  my mom picked up for 6 bucks a piece.  I bought lots of things for one or two bucks during my early years living in far southern Iowa.  When I moved to Woodward and went across the street to bid on a neighbors old bathroom cabinet, thinking I would be carrying it back home in no time, I was wrong.  Antique prices started to increase at the time in value and the piece sold for $45.  I haven't been to an auction for years.

I appreciate the old cupboard in my shed and will always wonder about its history.  I need to get into that shed and clean house. The red shelving thing was from a shop at school that was being thrown away and the wooden tray at the top is from Madagascar.  It is a tourist piece that has been made from unusual wood with a carved scene on it.  Maybe I should photograph the carving some of these days.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Freespirited and Impressionistic..........

I took a photo of the science room aquarium today. The whole shot would be unsuccessful if you wanted a clear focused photo but this one is purely impressionistic. One of the calicos has an eye that big.  The regular goldfish has smaller eyes. I hope it isn't disease because the on on the other side is normal in color.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Tilted a LIttle......

The squirrels did find the corn in the feeder.  It looks like they had a party the way it was left hanging there. I can now see two squirrels out in my yard but one of them is not friendly with the other.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Storing your Car.........

My new neighbors are giving the old garage some attention.  It is an early design of a garage for model Ts and the older first cars.  They were not so big. The doors on the other side swing and fold up to allow the garage to be used. I like how the side door is almost blended in with the side with no trim boards around it. It reminds me of the farm grainery designs on old farms. The small window provided light as there probably was not electricity in these early garages. I don't know which owner of the past three put up the eave trough but it seems pretty modern looking on such an old building. One of the owners quickly shingled it and the left eave never did get its shingles trimmed to the edge of the roof. I will definitely keep you posted as they restore this shed.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Feeding Time.......

The ring necked dove really doesn't mind sharing.  In fact in the bottom picture the dove is watching for danger for the other birds.  If he flies they all fly for safety. 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Sunday Morning........

My view from the back porch shows a wonderful sunrise.  It is right behind my neighbor's house, garage, trees and my everygreen tree. I like the electirc pole sticking straight up in the background.

 The sun did make it up peaking from behind my neighbor's house.

Saturday, March 5, 2016


My wife gave to me many years ago a set of prints of paintings of the Star Wars scenes from three movies..  They were protected by this metal shiny box.  The only way to photograph it is to find something to reflect into it. I found the dining room light fixture worked best. They were concept paintings used by the designers to create the movie. It seemed appropriate to dig them out an look at them as I had recieved a cd of the three movies for Christmas this year.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Friday's View......

Looking east from our back step I can now get a sky view with the neighbor's trees in the foreground. It did have some clearing and we saw some sunshine for a while.  It then became cloudy again for the rest of the afternoon.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Comparative Vision.........

This is an iPhone shot from the English classroom in which  I am working.  I really was interested in sharing the doll and its costume design.  I guess I know a little bit about the author Amy Rand and her name on the edges of the books seems to be in contrast to the fantasy doll. Amy Rand had some serious social comments and the doll not so much a comment about anything serious.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A Close Up View.........

It really is a normal birch tree.  It looks a little spooky up close but the limbs do just hang down as it grows. I do see there is one that is broken among the limbs.  It should start putting out small buds soon to make those spiral shaped seeds.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Jade Plant.....

While working on the computer yesterday I saw a segment of "P. Allen Smith" on television, making new starts from his large jade plant.  I immediately got up and took photos of the broken stem of my jade plant. It really did put out new shoots in a couple of months. I was so upset that it broke off because of me but this is a good thing.  I will plant them in soil when I have the time to do so.