Saturday, October 21, 2017

Trucking Shots......

Three views with one shots as I blindly push the button on the camera.  I drive and don't look through the viewfinder.  I did take some bad blind shots, but that is allowed when one is just clicking away with one hand. The interior of the truck counts as one. The mirror and window each have a view.

I am crossing the bridge over Saylorville and you can see the erosion on the Iowa landscape of a 45 year old man-made lake.  When they hold back too much water in the early spring, thinking they have to have boating water for the summer,  we can get heavy rainfalls that floods the lake up to the tree line. When that happens the state park, Ledges, north a few miles, is completely under water, shutting down most of the state park.  It is a lot of water that takes half the summer to release at the dam.  The worse flood ever happened one year where the overflow poured huge amounts of water, washing out a road that is built below the area. Scientist had fun as it eroded many layers of soil and clay revealing dinosaur bones and layers exposed to study the earth's crust.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Thursday, October 19, 2017

On the Road......

Driving to the old place to work and to move things home, gives me a time to see the area in which I now live. I see pelicans, seagulls and deer.  Bald eagles and hawks can be soaring above me. Once in a while there is a lone heron wading along the shore of the lake.  I have been able to see crops being planted and now they are being harvested.  Along the way is a family that raises cattle and special kinds of bulls. The two bulls and two horses are in adjoining pens.  The animals are switched from pen to pen.  The growth that I observed of the two bulls has been remarkable.  In the spring the two guys were thin and young animals.  Now that it is fall, they have filled out being very bulky and are now slow moving. I do believe that they are the offspring of the herd of cattle that is up the way from here.  That means that these bulls will be sold to other farmers for their herds. Buy breeding animals is profitable if you have a pure breed line.

In the photo you can see the whiter bull laying down and the other is standing.  The grey one has darkened in color and has a deep brown color on his chest now.  I at first thought he was getting himself muddy and then I realized he was changing color. The photo from the truck shows afternoon traffic as people are all lined up trying to get home. I am in line of a lot of slow traffic and I am not the one who they are following, wishing I would speed up. The 55 mph speed magically is 64 mph in the afternoon as those wanting to get home go faster than they are suppose to be doing. My commute goes through two towns before I arrive at our old place.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Inside Colors.....

The lower level of the bouquet with the most color sits in the kitchen. As I worked on the sunflowers stalks on Tuesday I was thinking it is just about time to take the zinnia patch down too. I will pick at least a couple of more bouquets before I do that.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Harvest Time.....

The birds and squirrels were helping themselves too aggressively so I had to cut off the heads of these three. I will feed them to the birds this winter but I almost didn't get them cut down soon enough. The sunflower is one of many living things on earth that a display the "the golden ratio".

The divine creation has used this in many ways with plants, animals, and humans. Our ear is based on this golden ratio. I am going out on a limb and state that I think zinnia flowers are also arranged in this perfect ratio. There are many more things that I really don't know about but I really have not spent much time researching the topic.  My wife was reading about it early this summer.  I remember being asked about it as a young art teacher by a math teacher and I only had seen the illustration of it in an art history text. I can see how mathematicians would have fun with it.

The flowering parts that help to make the seeds of the sunflower are also in that same patterned ratio.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Clear Blue......

Can you find the sliver of a moon? It is an open cup right now as it continues to become larger. The sky is a cold-looking sky. The sun did show itself a little later and it has been clear all day.

This is the same sky but at a different angle.  I like seeing again that small suggestion of the moon. The planet was also show up clear and bright earlier in the morning.

This is the kind of sky that some artist strive to capture as it has such a great, subtle gradual change of colors.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Help Yourself.....

He wings from the leaves and stems.to get to the sunflower seeds. If I want see for winter, I will have to harvest what is left.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Basket Bunny....

With camera in hand to go outside,  I looked down and saw this composition. Usually the leash is sitting there ready to be used with Barney. Barney doesn't need the leash to the most part but he does want to cross the street once in a while. It has an extensible line so he does have free roaming if he wants it. I have to keep my hand on the stop button just in case he wants to become independent or check out a dog walking down the other side of the street. I keep remarking to myself that the basket almost made it to the landfill abut I gave it a second chance. I removed it from the garbage bin and tossed it into the back of the truck.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Leaves are Changing......

My tree with a dead limb is changing color.  The sun setting also caused it to look more yellow orange that it actually is. A lot of the trees are starting to make a gradual change but more will follow soon.

The houses line the horizon in this photo with the background of trees that are changing colors. As a young person I would probably flee from all the houses, but now at my age it is a tradeoff for the quality of life we now have here in the growing city.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


A gentle glow with the fluffed up clouds reflecting the sun. The clouds were wonderful to see on Monday as then all day Tuesday it was full cloud cover.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Free Flight.....

I found the pelicans congregating below the bridge again. I had my point and shoot and did get a few good photos from the thirty or more that I took. When I drove down to the boat launch the birds were on the ground and they were in large numbers soaring in that cold northerly breeze They float on the air using very little energy as they float around without a care. I didn't dream that I would get this shot but as soon as I had seen the moon I knew I wanted it in one of my shots.

Above is my very best shot of them in flight. I really don't have any control with the point and shoot as long as I am standing in bright sunlight. My dirty lens shows up in my every photo.  I couldn't crop it out without loosing a perfectly good sea gull. My camera is a very good Olympus camera.  It just doesn't work in the conditions I previously described.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Fading Flowers.....

The visuals speak for themselves.  Fall is not my favorite season when things start to look like this.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sunshine Today......

The seeds that germinated were from my last years crop.  This vine is a different color of flower than the red vine that grows from the same pot. The rain didn't seem to deter it from putting out some blooms.  I discover this morning while looking out the kitchen window, that I will be growing them in the very same spot. The view is perfect for vines full of blooms. Maybe I can get them to start growing a few months earlier next spring.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Late Travelers.....

The monarch migrations were going on a few weeks ago.  Two of these guys showed up at my zinnia patch yesterday.  I guess they still could make it south, but the group of butterflies did not go through here. I use to have migrations at the old house but that stopped a few years ago.  It was said they were now following the Missouri River, over by Council Bluffs/Omaha area.

Evidence of a difficult time that I had taking the shots is shown here. The two were hyper and would flit around to find food. I tossed a dozen shots that were just blurred because they kept flapping their wings in and out. Once in a while they would open their wings wide for a second. Even so they opened they immediately shut them up again causing me to have a blurred shot. I really did not expect to see these butterflies now in October. I do suppose they are new butterflies that had came from eggs that were laid a few weeks ago.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Insect Visitor......

While I was taking photos of the zinnias yesterday,  I was surprised to see this praying mantis.  It is very large compared to the one small white one that I posted shots of a few months ago.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Sea Gulls In Iowa....

Lake Saylorville use to have a lot of sea gulls but in the most part there are very few all summer. When the dam was first built 40 some years ago we had sea gulls come in and stay.  One could see a gull hovering over shopping mall dumpsters and that was so unusual for Iowa. But now when the fall migration of birds pick up, there are a lot of gulls. My camera is a great point and shoot but it can't take things from a mile away.  Regardless, when I view my shot of the lone sailboat, enlarged it  a large percentage, I discovered all the gulls hanging around on that end of the lake.

Because of the lake, we do now have gulls that are hanging out at our landfills. They live there all summer as the site is a great source of food. The one landfill that is next to the Des Moines river has hundreds of them living in flat open areas on top of the landfill. I have archive photos of them looking like they were sitting along a beach but in reality a garbage dump.

We were at the lake shore trying to capture these pelicans yesterday afternoon.  I had seen them along the shore north of the bridge earlier in the day.  When we returned, they were flying around over the lake. The birds  then landed north of us around the bend, out of sight.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

No Mail Today......

Our mail is delivered six days a week to our box.  Packages can come any day of the week to our front door.  They come late in the afternoon and they drive fast from one box to another.  They are unpredictable. I was out late, checking for mail and I could see him roaring down the hill. He made it to the bottom of the street then came back up. I just sat on the step to see what he was up to.  Apparently he had missed putting mail in some of the boxes and was giving the neighbors something. He sat after that for a while, out there and the tore out of here back up the hill and he was gone.   We didn't get mail either time.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Two Views Same Place.......

Sunday morning view of rain clouds which later sprinkled on us. The color glow from the sun was so wonderful for such a very short time.  I really felt fortunate that my wife saw and that I immediately went out and shot it.

It is amazing that 15 minutes later things just changed. Clouds kept moving around and stretching out in different directions.

Sunday, October 1, 2017


A Writing Spider
This is a bigger than life photo of the yellow and black spider.  When I was a kid helping walking corn rows to cut out large weeds, I would see these.  They would spin a web from corn row to corn row,. This  required one to use the corn knife to take down it down so you could walk through. I don't know the name of it but someone out there does know. They are common in Iowa but never expected it to be in my zinnias.

Here are two flowers to look at if you don't like spiders. I watered the zinnias last evening and picked a new bouquet. So maybe the spider will have someplace to live for a little longer.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Bakers and Folgers.......

While looking for things to share on my blogs, I looked up and saw this. It isn't a set up.  I was given the shining bright Folgers can as a gift years ago. Being a coffee addict, I just couldn't throw it away. While emptying a box of leftovers in the basement, I found the old can and just placed in on a blank spot of the shelf.  I was going to move it later stop be with all my other antique cans.  So I have display of a coffee can that is a probably seventy five years old and a new can aged 15 years old. The kids have a Lego box sitting there too that holds valuable lego pieces, probably thirty years old. If it had been a set-up I could have grabbed a bunch of old stuff to sit around the two coffee cans.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Mums the Word.....

I have been watering them and they look a lot healthier than a few weeks ago. I really like the color of them. I have had to keep cutting back buds to keep them from blooming on me. Finally it was time to let them bloom.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Rainwater Collection.....

After the harvest of the pumpkins, I piled them on the patio under the deck. The two put in the enameled bucket can be seen here.  With a rain of two and a half inches the bucket collected a lot of rain and overflowed. The large pumpkin does displace a lot water but it still seemed unusual to see.

My unplanned fall display sits there yet today with only my neighbors in the backyard to see it. My dad's windmill ornament has a new base but I have been too busy to replace lathe boards and rework the top. I won't put windmill blades on it and may try to make a birdhouse on the top.  I do think birds won't nest in something that low in height.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Morning Glories......

When you have a beautiful, perfect subject matter like this you have to keep taking photos of it. The light shines through the blooms on a sunny day helping to show all of its structure.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Mile Long Bridge.......

The mile long bridge that crosses Lake Saylorville can be seen here while I am trying to take pictures of a flock of swans.  I didn't get a good picture as I had my wife's cell phone and the sun was so bright that I could not see what I was photographing. I cross this bridge in early morning to go to the old house.  Pelicans and sea gulls seem to be migrating at this time also and I never know what to expect next as I go to work.

Looking to the north, this is what I could see. The white feathers are all you can see when you look at the tip of the extending land form. It looks like a bank of snow along the lake,  When I returned at noon, the flock here and the one across the lake were all gone. I don't think they went to any other part of the lake but probably now have left the area.

Monday, September 25, 2017

In the Shade......

The angel sat in the sun for years and now he has a step to sit on, in the shade. I have to keep the vines cut back so it won't cover him with green leaves. He isn't completely protected from the weather but he is in a better location.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

In The Sun.......

The painted lady butterflies frequent the flowers most of the day.  They are smaller in size so they seem like moths as they fly around in large numbers.

I had to dig out an archived photo to show the patterns of the butterfly.  They seemed to open their wings more in August than they do this month. I know that they open their wings to warm themselves and yesterday they certainly were not cold.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Morning surprise with glories.....

The window box was planted with new seed three months ago.  I   kept waiting for the seed to germinate. It did not.  I replanted last month with some seed that I had collected last fall from the old place. It took three weeks to germinate as we had harsh hot weather.  I have been watching the vines, thinking I will never see blooms. Yesterday I shot this bud while I went down the deck stairs.

To my surprise this morning there were three blooms open at the same time. The color is a far cry from the original blue morning-glories that I had planted a long time ago.

I normally would have only shown this one shot for Photo a Day, but I thought the story needed to be illustrated with the other to photos. It is nice to have something new to watch while going through the fall season.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Morning, there will be sun.......

Friday morning sunrise shows a glow behind the trees. It is warm already and will be hot by noon today. They look like clouds that show up on hot days and probably they will move on when it gets really hot.