Friday, August 18, 2017

Young and Old..........

The young goldfinch is shedding his gray baby feathers to become a male goldfinch, like the one opposite him on the feeder sock.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Sunrise in Suburbia.......

The change minute by minute shows the sun coming up. The sun projects light that reflects off the bottom of the clouds. At a certain time it just isn't there and we have daylight.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Blue Sky Roll Out........

This was actually taken on Monday morning but my blog was already posted.  The butterfly then bumped it back another day, so today I will share it. The oncoming clouds sprinkled a few drops down but we really didn't get a rain from ethos clouds.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Giant Swallowtail......

When I researched the kind of butterfly that this is, I found giant swallowtail was its name.  It is a very large butterfly. It is a busy one that is hard to photograph.  It continually flaps its wings while feeding.

The body on this one is whitish.  I do think I have seen this variety before but I don't think I ever was able to get photos.  I did a lot of blind shots, shooting without waiting to see if it was in focus, because it wouldn't stay put for very long.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Feather Find.....

My wife has a large collection of black glass pieces. We are displaying a few of them on the couch table. The feather I found out in the yard is one that  I am thinking  is an Eurasian Dove feather. That is the largest bird that is in the yard.  I can not visualize the place in the tail feathers of the dove but it could be that. We have the smaller mourning doves in our garden a lot of the time but that feather is too long for a mourning dove. The pattern on the feather is an amazing, interesting arrangement.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Point of Interest....

I hesitate to take pictures like this, as I can't ever really find a center of interest with a random pattern of things.  In this case, after I took the photo, I realized that I did have a tiny little flower next to a weathered flower to serve as a  point of interest. The weathering effect was compliments of the Japanese beetles.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Hidden Melons........

A green and yellow squash lays among the vines surrounded by the three muskmelons.  At last count there are six muskmelons growing in my volunteer garden. I know that they sprouted out late in the season but I do think we will get to the ripe stage before the snow.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Grandma's Platter......

The platter of my Grandmother Brooks is on the wall, so we are officially moved. I don't know at what point my mother was given the ducks plate, but I saw it on our wall for most of my childhood. The piece made a move from the farm to my parents city house and then to a second home.  I had it at the old house for ten years or more and now it is in our newer home, hung with honor among the golden oldies things.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Sac Air Force Base..........

The sky is pretty much a clear one, early morning, and the jet lets off a vapor trail. By jet plane, Omaha, Nebraska is not so far away, but we do see their maneuvers often in our sky. The vapor trail that was being made was dissolving pretty quickly as he traveled by. Back when President Obama was around, our fleet was sent to another base. I have known and seen the Reserves practice with jets locally in our sky most of my life but now they only work with drones. At the old place north of here there were many patterns of flight as training continued in the sky.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Color Power......

Volunteer morning glory vines are always welcomed at my house.  I didn't notice the vine being there except for the last couple of weeks.  This is the very second bloom and only bloom on the vine for yesterday.  I am thinking I will have two blooms today.  I have blogger friends. like Jo, who have hundreds of blooms on their vines.  I will take what few that I have with great excitement. The pollen from the flower has put out white specs on the flower.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Fluffy Power........

The photographs of zinnias seem to always turn out no matter what angle that they are taken. I can still get unfocused shots of course. I am still battling the Japanese beetles but the numbers have slowed down. The person who told me that there season was almost done, was wrong when they said that three weeks ago.   The rows are getting too tall and it makes it hard to water them daily.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Monday's Roses......

The revival of the roses is great  as they give us more good blooms.  I had been watering them as the heat spell continued and now as the drought continues they get a refreshing drink once a day. All the roses are red in the front of the house and it seems to look good as a landscaping plan.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Seeing Through the Forest.......

The rows of zinnias and the single row of sunflowers seemed miles apart from each other when they were planted. Now the three rows of zinnias are tall and wide and the sunflowers are really turning into trees.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Daytime Moon.......

It is getting to be time for a full moon again. Some are talking of an eclipse but I am tnot staying on top of that.  A full eclipse will be happening in Missouri, the state below us.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Stacked Up.....

Three kings and a colonial citizen stack up to make a great old storage unit. I really don't know how many cigars my dad smoked regularly but we did accumulate a lot of cigar boxes.  Having never smoked, I don't understand the differences in the product. I imagine he had to buy a Wm Penn brand because he was desperate. A lot of the most important papers of my parents were found in a cigar box in a chest of drawers.  All of the envelops inside all had "keep" marked on them.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Spot in the Sun.....

Barnabas hangs close to one of either of his parents during the day.  The living room chair is right there and the sun is coming in the window. He has adjusted quite well with the new house. He has problems with the hardwood floors as they seem too slick for him. He loves laying on them as they are cooler but getting up takes some work.  He has learned that I can grab his collar and gently pull him forward and that solves the problem.

Resting on the carpet is good though and he can get up and walk on that surface easily. His back legs get weary by the end of the day so he tends to land in one place and stay there for most of the evening. I am glad that he is back and strong after a nights sleep. It isn't easy for a border collie to get old but we are helping him as much as we can.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Monarch on Task......

The sun was bright and it made it harder to take shots of the monarch.  The butterfly wings have a reflective characteristic which dulls out the color in certain light. I finally caught this one on a flower with the butterfly in shadow on the one side. Its has true color in this particular lights.

The monarch feeds with its wings closed on the zinnia flower.  I am remembering that they open their wings when feeding on a coneflower. I am still battling the Japanese beetle on the zinnias.  They can be sprayed and it takes them out, but I have to keep visiting the flowers often to keep them down. The good thing is that I need to take a camera with me because some sort of butterfly is feeding when I am there. The liquid I spray on the beetles is not a poison so the spray doesn't effect the butterflies.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Sun Setting Glow.......

Warm summer days and cool summer nights makes for a happy muskmelon. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017


Our severe heat spell shut this plant down. It is in the planting mix soil that really doesn't sustain things very well.  One extreme hot day and every bloom shrivels up and dies. It took a week and a half for the petunias to regroup and bloom.

Messing with the genetics of this plant, they were able to create three distinct colors with the same pattern characteristics. But the patterns are different in color which makes them so special to see.

Saturday, July 29, 2017


Looking down on the flower garden I could see this light colored butterfly fluttering back and forth on the zinnias.  I grabbed the camera and went down the stairs to get out there thinking I would never get a shot.

The swallowtail seemed to be  so excited about there being so many flowers to eat from that he didn't notice me being around. I just randomly shot pictures, as I could tell this insect was flipping back and forth so fast. I just snapped without looking through the viewfinder.

Life gets so busy that I forgot that the zinnias would be a draw for the butterflies.  I did remember that I liked taking photos of the flowers but it did jog my memory when I saw this one having such a great time.

I am still spraying individual Japanese beetles that seem to keep hanging around.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Old Egg Crate......

I took a lot of shots of an old piece of farming in Iowa history. The crate shows its wear and tear visually. A patch with a piece of metal holds the crack together for a few more years.

Eggs were placed in cardboard  partitions and layered in stacks of five or more. Parts of the lid shines from the continue rubbing on human hands and arms from loading and unloading eggs.

Hooks from metal were used to fasten the lid to the box. When things wear out, make-shift wire makes a great substitute or safety latch.

My grandmother remarried in the early 1940s and her husband did not give her spending money. The egg money was her way for her to buy cloth for dresses to sew.  It was her spending money that she stretched from week to week. Milk from the cows and the eggs from the chickens were two ways that farmers who were so poor, could keep food on the table. I have a strong memory of seeing a woman candling eggs on Saturday night as she could be seen through the store window. She would sort them and check for cracked eggs as she packed them in boxes to ship on to the next buyer.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

I Choose Pretty........

I am back on my flower visuals. I did choose pretty colors and shapes as my criteria for the photo for today.  Cropping out a set of overlapping shapes can give one a great composition. The coneflowers do mature into all the same color.

The new plant is now in the ground. I found some black dirt to put around it as the hole was a clay filled piece of the garden. The new plant has the company of chives next to it and an antique haying fork.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Lions, Tigers, and Blooms..........

I have talked about having a tiger lily bulb planted in my yard.  It was a long time ago that it was planted and I kept writing that I didn't have it anymore. On Monday, I was at the old place and I looked out at the overgrown garden to see this orange bloom. I dug it up and brought to the new place. Where it was growing was a place where  I can imagine that will be mowed down by any future owner. It goes into the ground this morning before the rain.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

No Flowers.......

I do try to share different kinds of things on my photo a day. I usually want a great photo and not one of visual information only.  Today the photo is a story teller with things of our past exhibited. As I returned from the old home yesterday I brought a few more things back to the new place. These are out there on the patio as they had just had a garden hose bath.  My wife and I use to spend two weeks a year, sitting along the North Shore of Superior.  We sat and created artworks in the natural elements along the shore with the sound lapping water. The loons would swim by and the chipmunks would venture out to find things to eat from our picnic.  Button was there with us, watching and waiting for the chipmunks or laying on a blanket beside one of us. The camp stools are steeped with lots of memories.  I brought them to the new place as there is hope that one day again we could do that during the summer.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Monday Morning.....

It is just the beginning for the blooming season of my three rows of zinnias. Having not a single zinnia bloom last year this will be a good year for me and my camera. We are having cool weather this morning and that does give the plants a break from all the heat.  I did have tor return and spray insecticide on them a second time for Japanese beetles.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

A Splash of Gold.....

The large marigolds are doing well as they surround my tomato plants. The thought is that the flowers ward off the insects from the tomato plants. What I found last night that the Japanese beetles had returned and were again chewing on the blooms. I had gone out in the evening to take photographs and I had to return to get the spray to kill the bugs.

For those who don't follow my Creative Zone this is the raised bed of tomatoes with the various kinds of marigolds planted on the edges. I do need to take an up to date photo of the tomato/flower bed.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Bright Yellows......

The goldfinches join the sock feeder once in a while but the majority of the birds are the house finches. You can see the tail ends of the house finches in this shot.

I don't have visual evidence at this time but we see many newly hatched young finches and house finches at this feeder. I wonder how that might change the behaviors of the young ones as they do have to learn how to find seed in the wild.  I saw an adult goldfinch on my coneflowers last night while I was out with Barney.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Seeing Spots......

The stargazer flowers put out great blooms.  I have phlox growing and blooming everywhere at the old place and their aroma is great.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Picture This...

When you shoot through windows, there is a greater chance of things being out of focus. The lead photo that I wanted to share was not focused so I will start with this one. I have stopped feeding the birds with the main feeder of various seeds. My neighbor doesn't like birds near his garden and since we live 14 feet away house to house, I decided not to feed them the rest of the summer.  He or his wife put a fake owl out to ward off birds.  Because of that this sparrow decides to try eating from the sock feeder.

They seem to be desperate as the two young house finches and the one sparrow are working the same area all at once. I am still getting goldfinches at the sock once in a while so I am going to keep the thistle seed feeding going. It is on the opposite end of the deck and it isn't drawing in very many birds. This is the blurry shot and I have found you can post it small and it looks better.