Squirrel

Squirrel

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Zinnia Power.......


The zinnia dies gracefully with its way of saving the center piece last.  The faded colors of a declining flower does give it a whole new set of colors. I had a perfect pink rose to share today but a zinnia gets to be first for me when it comes to sharing a sculptural form.


The whole patch is looking pretty worn out but this new bud that is opening gives me hope that I will have a few good blooms through to the first frost.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Sedum Shot.......



The buds are starting to open into star shaped flowers.  The five petaled flower really is unique.  As all the blooms open up then the sedum looks like a larger bloom and it takes all of those flowers to make it happen.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Put Up or Shut Up.....


I have blogged about these vines way too much but now it has happened.  I stepped out to feed the neighbor cat some dry food and kapow, there were blooms.  They all bloom toward the light which is away from the porch.  It wasn't a problem though as I hung onto the corner post and swung around and took some macros. I will name that procedure Tarzan shots.


Now that I see the color of the bloom I can now remember that I could only buy this one color.  I wanted mixed colors and that was not available.  It is strange how the growth cycle all work out. The vines  put out five to six of them with all blooming on Sunday at the very same time.  It was a foggy morning and it was warm and I bet they really did like that. They were opened by nine in the morning.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Southern Iowa Scenes......




The rolling hills are green from plenty of rain falling all summer. My dad's farm was made up of a lot of landscapes like this and he planted them with corn or beans.  Cattle grazing on the hills seems to be the only use of thie land.

Unfortunately I did not get photos of cows. Maybe I can dig into my archives and find cows on the hills for you to see.  Black angus seems to be the breed that is dominate in southern Iowa even though I have seen some of the others in the area.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Great Climber.......


The morning glory is growing out of a planter on my side porch.  It has taken it a long time to grow but it seems to be established now.  I can see at the top left that there are buds developed that will finally give me blooms at the end of August. The sun shines through these leaves in the afternoon creating great color.  I do have to water it everyday to keep the vine from getting wilted and wasted. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Open Winged Warrior........


He is a little battered but still in good form.  As he sat on the zinnia he spread his wings to feed from the flower. The monarch can be seen from afar so I had time to run out a couple of times to get a shot.  The first time I went out the battery light came on and the camera shut down.  I was charged and ready to go the next time I went out to the garden.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

I Was Missing in Action.....


Starting back to school with my day busy spent at school meant that I didn't get to sign in on any blog. It was an interesting day of workshops and planning for my new long term substitute job.  I am alive and well.... just very tired.  Tomorrow I will be back on duty.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Blushing Pink Beautiy............


Weather beaten but still putting out a few great trumpets of pink.  The wood fence creates a great pattern in the treated wood. We had rain again last night in the for of a very slow drippy mist.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Pure White......


The glory seemed to take time to create a pose for me while hanging on the rickety old trellis. The place the plant is growing makes it to be in full sun most of the day.  It always makes it a challenge to get a shot because of the bright light and it also seems to being in the wind most of the day.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Flowing LInes Everywhere......


A spontaneous shot to display the foliage from the flag iris.  I really have never noticed how much growth comes from the flag iris but this shot shows it is a dominate green area in the garden.  When I focused in on the leaves I thought to did give it a great contrast in the foreground with the wavy hair of the angel. God provided the great lighting as I had no control of that.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Garden Shed.......3 Shots.






My garden shed is functional as it is filled with lots of things from many different aspects of my life.  I can not go into the shed and pot a plant in there though as the shed is being a storage area.  I don't have a garage on my ancient property so the shed and my basement are both my storage areas.

Still life items that I had a school for students to look at while they drew with pencils ended up out at the shed. A lot of those things are displayed on shelves and in the window.

A pot from my parents garage hangs from the ceiling waiting for a plant to be put into it. Someday it will graduate to that type of use.

The old scythe is from my wife's farm that originally was her grandfathers farm.  I am sure her granddad used that scythe to cut prairie grass.  The story goes that her granddad bought the farm near Grimes and lived in a shed with a couple of his brothers.  They cut prairie grass the first year and sold it in the downtown area of Des Moines in order to make money.  The old rake is a cheapie one that I still use in a pinch.  It is ready for the landfill. The red cupboard next to that was inherited from a former shop teacher that wanted it out of the shop.


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Special Bloom........


It is a single stem rose that barely sprouts up our of the hostas each year. It tends to not look very strong but it puts out this great bloom. The red bud opens to this bloom.  Tomorrow the color will fade and it will be a white rose. I am not good at raising roses and my macros make me look more successful that I really am. The new Knock Out rose that we purchased recently will bloom with multiple flowers which will make me feel more successful with roses. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

White on White.........on Friday.


The second bloom of this plant hides from me behind the trellis.  I have to lean out and around to get it in my viewfinder.  


I promise not to number every single one of my morning glory blooms.  I will mention that this was the first bloom and you can see the many buds that are ready to develop.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Visual Evidence......


I have shared many photos of my narrow view of the sunrise. No one has questioned the view.  I have written a couple of times that when I stand as far as I can on the patio that I can only get the neighbor's garage with the sun behind it.  By the time the sun raises above that area there is no color in the sunrise.  Today, it was like standing in a cloud with the fog surrounding everything.  To my surprise the sun is now in view.  The earth is tilting back and the sun is now further to the right in my view.  I normally shoot this scene with the pine tree covering up the flag on the pole. Today I share it and it is a less natural looking photo. When I cover up the flagpole I can pretend that I have timber in the foreground and I might be in Minnesota or Colorado.  No, it is just Iowa.


Going back in the files I found that not only does the garage block the sun but the row of trees are in the way.  The green light at the bottom of the shot is the garage light.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Doing the Job.........


I keep snapping this angel whenever the sun casts an interesting light on it. I walk by it and it jumps out at me as another good visual to photograph. As the earth is tilting back now getting us ready for winter the sun is farther south now.  The light is almost like back lighting from the side on the sculpture. The shadows are definite and the shading is soft on the rest of it.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Up Close and Personal.......


This last Asiatic lily to bloom is a red carpet star.  I was able to capture the textures that come off of this flower. The bloom last a long time surviving many rainy days.  I still have a few buds yet to bloom.

The bud on a knock out rose is a serious looking bud. I know that it isn't any T rose when it blooms but the buds are very well formed.


The wave petunia keeps blooming but the stems do not keep growing.  The petunia is a plain looking flower but their positive feature is that they put out many blooms of the same color.

When doing this post, it is my goal to just share one photo of better quality than maybe a point and shoot photo.  Many times I have to crop down and adjust  a point and shoot into a better quality photo. When I get desperate I do make it happen with the computer program.

Today though I have too many photos that could fit this quaity one spot shot blog.  I shared three and I held back some pretty wonderful sunrise shots for another day.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Sunflower World.......


The smaller sunflower continues to mature just like a big sunflower would.  I have mentioned before that it is a volunteer plant grown from fallen seed from the bird feeder.  It flows the philosophy of "grow where you are planted"  or in this case accidentally planted.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Staying Focused Somewhat......


The last blooms of a field lily stretches out diagonally  because of all the rain making the soil too wet and the stem sag.  I saw it out there all by itself and decided to take a shot of it.  The sunshine gave it a special effects mood and the flower ended up being the only thing in focus.


The second shot surprised me as I can see that everything is in focus in this shot except for the flower. The sun's glow just messes with the automatic camera. The river birch has enjoyed our very wet summer as it has had plenty of moisture to grow easily. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Photographic Studies.....


It had rained early in the morning.  It is always raining.  I went over mid morning to see how the cornfield's natural flower garden had fared. The rain really had messed with the blooms and a third of them were in decline or damaged.


I had to work for a few good flowers in the composition and use the corn leaves and vines as my bones for the photo.


Corn stalk leaves and glory vines with stems really create an abstract structure for me to shoot through.  A lot of the flowers hve little insects inside of them feeding off of the nectar. They have to work fast as the flowers doexn't stay open for long and they could get caught inside of the bloom.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Small Town Sunset...........


The humidity is heavy and it is hot.  The sky seems to look non threatening but that is the western view.


Looking easterly and the clouds are forming.  I cropped out the neighbors house to give them a little privacy.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Peering Out.........


The neighbors have dogs and  cats.  It is usually the all white cat that sits in this window. I was checking things out in the backyard and looked over to see her watching me. She has been over for some free dry cat food and is friendly with us.  The house is a traditional bungalow and the window is the one on the first landing of the stairs. The dogs look out the second landing window even though there are a lot of plants in that window.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Visiting Monarch.......



The photo above is one of a larger than life monarch butterfly.  It is the first that I have seen this summer feeding on the zinnias. It is the only one at this time that is out there.  I have been seeing monarchs along the highways where they are feeding and flying up into traffic.

The monarch flaps it wings open to lift off of a flower so you need to be fast with a better camera than I have to catch it.  I noticed that they open really wide for about a second or two and then they flip up into the air.  The landing is open winged also but they shut close those wings immediately to start eating. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Composition Studies......


This is a photo of vines more than of flowers.  I know I shared morning glories yesterday but today I like these to photos.  The composition above is more jungle-like with the vines framing the one flower.


The vines of the morning glories are so thick that they appear to be rope.  The seed from last years flowers must have easily germinated this spring as there are many flowers throughout the field.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Cornfield Flowers........



The photo shoot in my neighbor's cornfield proved to be successful.  The vines of morning glories are out of control and the flowers are bountiful.  Farmers of old would complain of getting their corn pickers clogged with vines.  I suppose the new monster combines probably are not effected by the extensive ropes of many vines in the corn.

The sun was in just the wrong position for taking the photos but I still did get some good ones. I took a lot of bad ones. I may return again on another day at a different morning.  The blooms are all gone by noon.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Multiple Shots Today.............


This random shot gave me an interesting image of the tops of the wings.  It reminds me of two sails on a boat.  The swallowtails vary in personality to my surprise. I have three swallowtails out in the garden right now.  One of them is so scared of me that it heads to the sky as soon as it is aware of me. The other one is so spastic, jumping from flower to flower never really stopping in one place to feed for a long time. The one I do enjoy is this mellow fellow who feeds and meanders with ease from flower to flower. I could take hundreds of photos of it and it just doesn't leave the garden.  I can see him out there from a window and have plenty of time to go and take pictures of it.

The swallowtail feeds on flowers with different wing positions.  I have noticed that when this guy was on the zinnias that it would not open its wings. It would be busy digging into the center of the flower. It was rare for me to capture this V-shape as normally the wings were clamped shut.


When the swallowtail is on the coneflower its wings hang wide open. It may be a balance thing.  I caught this shot from a distance as it was so rare to see it wide open. I had to manipulate the photo to get a better focus on it. I have noticed that the feeding on the phlox is more difficult fot them. It is a kind of flower that they can;t really stand firmly on as all the little flowers.  Because of that  they have their  wings wide open on it too. Because they are not feeling secure on the flower the flit from flower to flower.


This is a shot of the newest butterfly that visits the flowers.  His markings are different than the other two.  When this butterfly saw me walking closer it immediately headed up into the air and towards the trumpet vine that grows in the pine tree at the neighbors.  I just doesn't like to be around moving things with cameras.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Cloud Forms.........




I found a new window to the sky while I was out walking the dog yesterday.  I have to stand in the street but I have a clear opening to see and shoot pictures.  My window in my backyard to the horizon is limited but it does work. We had periodic rains all evenings from these cloud formations.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Smell the Phlox.......


The phlox are so colorful this year. Genetically they must spread giving out different color strains. I only planted a pink one and now I have various pinks and a white phlox blooming all at the same time. I had a friend at school where I taught that admired my tree plantings and all the flowers.  He restored an old house and would ask questions when the would think to imitate my yard.  I told him that I plant with no plan other than I think it should look like a country garden. I do think of the English country gardens in Europe where there are long rows of flowers with many different kinds of flowers blended together. I really have succeeded in that around my backyard patio but the rest of my gardens just never got to that kind of design. Iowa is great for growing wild grasses and weeds and volunteer trees.  I have to keep areas simple to keep them from becoming more work that I want to have. 

I have mentioned the benefits of good rains means that some flowers are damaged from it.  The phlox drops lots of small flowers on the patio after a rain.  The geraniums I share earlier this week are now back to looking pretty much beat up from the rain. The little flowers are neat though as they fall to the ground all in one flower shape making it look like an intentional scattering.