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.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


I have lived all my life in Iowa and I really never noticed that we had this insect until these last few years. I took the photo know that something green was on it. After editing the photo I finally noticed it was praying mantis. While researching the spelling of the insect I see that they exist worldwide and that there are many different kinds of families of them. I remember seeing them in books and magazines but I thought they were larger than this one.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Complementary Colors........

The colors on the opposite sides of the color wheel are call complementary colors. I am going to call this the yellow side of the wheel.

Purple is on the opposite side of yellow. Both shots were taken during high heat and the sun was going down over my left shoulder causing great lighting.  It was too hot to actually worry about composition. I just did a quick "point and shoot" and I figured I could edit something out of them while inside in the cool air. The liatris is really being destroyed by the weather even though I do water it.

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Shot of an Old Shot.....

I am sharing someone else's photo today. This is an old photo found in an old house in Osceola, Iowa. I have shared it on my Sepia Saturday site but never really looked closely at the photo.  For now I am just remaining curious about the whole photo of a full classroom of students. I am more curious about the photo on the wall on the chalkboard. It looks like a school with a tower on it. I will spend time in the fall studying it all when I quit being so busy.  I think by then a new scanner will help me get a better view of what is on the back wall of the room. As my shot of this photo it proves to be a bad one. I was concentrating on the building and really didn't center the classroom in the picture.

I really had to dig through my old site to find both of these photos. The one above is the old house in the photo. My dad tore it down to build a new house on the lot in 1979.  The photo at right is the one that has cause me to ask many questions.  Can you see the photo of a building on the back board? I identified the photo on my site as being taken in the early 1900's.  I really don't know that to be true but I do wonder if they are sitting in the same building as is on the wall.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sun Glow on Sunday........

Heavy humidity on the ground and I suspect the same is up in the sky.  The rays of the sun are reflected on that moisture. We did not cool down over night and it is like walking in a sauna outside this morning. The sun promises to now heat us up some more.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Day Lily.......Daze.

The color of this particular lily is so strong and different than most of my other colors of lilies.  I did dig some of this lily and planted it in two different locations on the new property. I had to work hard to photograph the back side of the stamens of this flower.  They are light yellow on one side and red on the other side. I kept getting shots of it but the focus doesn't like taking red things.

Friday, July 14, 2017

My Findings for Friday........

While taking a shot of the goldfish I got a  segmented shot of the largest goldfish. The end view of the aquarium creates and optical illusion.

 I was originally going to give my goldfish away but they did make the move.  They are sitting in a smaller aquarium right now out on the patio while I clean and establish a location for the larger tank.

It does make a nice garden feature on the patio but I am sure some stray raccoon will show up for a midnight snack.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Still Life......Photography.

I try to keep finding different kinds of things to share on my photo blog. This takes us father away from croquet balls and flowers than before now. The lily is a day lily and has the markings as if it were a tiger lily.  The shape isn't right for a tiger lily.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Croquet Anyone??????

I have been accused of losing my marbles but the expressions I received from my wife's relatives about these old croquet balls were priceless. "Yes, I do want the croquet balls". The solid wood items have a special old fashion character.  I should wax them and retake the photo but for now this is what they look like. I don't know what the new ones are made of but they are all painted a solid color with a stripe.

I have good memories of playing the game at my cousins house. It was a lot of fun for me, I maybe had more fun than my older brother and older cousin back in the 60's but they did like competition.  I don't even remember how I played, but being the youngest it was just for the sport of it all. I have yet to find any older mallets that would go with these five balls.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Summer Home in the Woods....

I vaguely remember seeing the birdhouse in the tree but it didn't make any impression back in early spring.  When I was over taking photos of the clematis, I looked over and saw this neat weathered birdhouse hanging in the tree. It looks like it is a part of a serious forest even though it is just an oversized pussy willow shrub. I doubt I will ever get a songbird in the house though with the hole being so large. The weathered roof takes a lot of years to have that effect.

Just to let you see why I was over there is because of these blooms of the clematis. The weight of the blooms has cause the flowers to sag down more lower on the vine.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Full Moon......

The shot was not expected to be perfect but it did capture the colors.  The full moon really glowed from behind the clouds.

A second shot that was not zoomed in, shows the great patterns of the puffy clouds at night.The hot nights seem to less miserable when you can see a full moon. The cloud patterns does suggest the possibility of thunderstorms.  It did happen in northern Iowa with rain and wind.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Hot Days and Humidity......

The sky can be deceiving as you see it is partially clear.  Less clouds in the sky means more sunshine to hit the earth.  We were cooler temperature-wise yesterday but the heat index was so much greater. It is typical Iowa weather and it sounds like others throughout the country are feeling the same.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Patterns with Shine......

The patterns of most of the glass coasters are the same.  In the collection is one with a completely different design and another that is just larger than all of the rest. After they were unpacked we decided to stack them and start using them in our living room area.

When I researched the glass pieces I found that they were sold in sets boxed up by purpose.  The coasters could have been sold with a sugar and creamer and some small plates. It isn't crystal glass but it was a inexpensive way to have glass pieces to use for formal dining. I would think that glass was a substitution to fine china. While I was unpacking things I found some glasses that were similar to this and I am sure one could buy sets of drinking glasses back in that time of history. My knowledge is limited but I am thinking these were more popular in the 40s.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Moss Rose....

I have moss rose growing in my blue granite pan again this year.  The variety I bought seems to be very well color schemed.  Every flower is in the light and dark pink color family. With the temperatures being so warm I really have to monitor them every day for adequate water. When the plant gets too dried out it takes it a long time to bounce back.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Found: One White Clematis.......

I knew there was a vine growing up from the base of the fence.  I didn't really look at the top of the vine as the bushes on both sides had filled in the area. I started mowing along there and saw one white flower.  After mowing I trimmed back the branches to reveal a mature clematis vine putting out great blooms.  I think the neighbors get to enjoy this one as it does hand down on the other side.  It was a very pleasant surprise to see it doing so well out there in the hot sun.  It got to be watered last evening since it now is totally exposed to the sun and not shaded by branches.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


The monarda, bee balm, is blooming at the end of the house.  I also have a honeysuckle vine next to  it and it is blooming a second time.  I didn't notice until I posted the picture that there a speck of orange color from that viner hanging in the corner.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Brilliant Color.....

The goldfinch is the Iowa State Bird.  The male feathers turn an intense yellow the further into the the summer season. My memories of them as a kid was when they fed off of the thistles on our farm. They didn't hang around the house so we had to be back in the timber and prairie area of the farm to see them feeding.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Party Boats......

I cross a dammed up area that has a road built over it, when I travel to the old house.  The secondary dam keeps the Lake Saylorville from interfering with the water level of a smaller lake north of it, Big Creek.  That main dam holds back water when the Des Moines River overfills the big lake and the water can raise ten feet or more. The main dam to the left of the photo, has the spillway which sometimes can't dump it fast enough. This artificial lake created a cove like this which became a place for boats to dock or be anchored out in the water. There are some nice sailboats at the docks in the background but these boats really are mostly pontoons, used as party boats. When I cross in early morning the sun is reflecting off of the boats making it look more impressive than it probably really is. As I drive on from here, pass this area, I will end up driving over a mile long bridge connecting two sides of the lake. The whole area originally was built around the Des Moine River and now the enlarged river turned lake controls and limits traffic all over the area. There is no straight route for me to travel to get to the old house.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Sunshine Glare.......

The sun is bright coming in the southeastern window.  It makes Barney squint the one eye in the glare. He soon got up and went over to the air conditioner vent. He likes to lie down on it so he can cool off. Being a dog, he thinks that cool air is always blowing out of the vent. On hot days the air is always on but at night he will lay by it anyway.