Larry.s Creative Zone

Larry.s Creative Zone

Monday, July 30, 2012

To Crop Or Not To Crop............





The front marigold was out of focus and the back one was in focus.  I think the crop was necessary as the one above really isn't good composition.  

Saturday night we had scattered showers  that gave us almost an inch of rain.  It is a blessing and it may save the corn around here in this area.  Any rain is a positive to our moisture concerns.

Busy weekend and I am back at it at school.  I have about ten days or more before I will be done with the present job that I am doing.  I will switch back over to substitute, office help and technology guy if not immediately, it will be by the 22nd of August.  I will then be back to wearing nonjanitorial clothes.

Thanks for stopping by my post today.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Graniteware Revisited......


This is my other graniteware pan.  It looks like one of the horses down on the farm had stepped on it. It has a dent in it on one side along the rim.  I think it was used as a temporary watering pan for the two horses.  It was buried halfway into the dirt when I rescued it from the farm lot. Who knows how long it had been out there.



It feels like an orange day for some reason. We had clouds most of the day yesterday and then in the late afternoon we received a few thunder sounds and a gentle rain.  It wasn't much but it was water coming from the sky.  It helps even if it isn't quite measurable.  Made frames, stained frames and cut 14 mats for some crochet items.  I will have pictures later.

Thanks for stopping by my post today.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

It is a serious situation........


This is a  not so vibrant viburnum.

An inch of rain per week may save the corn crops but that isn't happening.  We were fortunate to have a pop up shower this past week and that helped a little.  It is said that the daily evaporation was a greater amont than what we received.  Our severe heat seems to be gone for now and the high of 87 with a wind seems to be cool.



The one plant that I do have which likes the heat is growing quickly.  This past week the sprouts on the cactus shot out a few inches.  Hot and dry is their preferred climate.  One can find these growing naturally in Nebraska, one state over from Iowa.  I remember seeing them growing in the ditches next to the interstate with yellow blooms.



Daily watering and keeping these planters in the shade all day under my porch roof has proven the only way to go. They are not as robust as a normal summer growth period gives me but by fall they should all be filled out in full bloom.

Saturday chores and a large framing job will keep me inside all day today.  It seems to be cloudy this morning and cool so we are starting off the weekend in a good way.  Thanks for stopping by my post today.



Friday, July 27, 2012

Plastic Swans Are Me........


My poinsettia survived all winter in the house and I placed it in the cheap plastic planter just to see if it would survive outside.  I have place it in the shade to keep it out of the heat. The planter actually doesn't allow the soil to dry out very quickly. The two are meant for each other.

I know that there are directions out there that tell one how to put them in the dark in a room during the winter and it can start putting out read leaves.  I don't know if I will have the energy for that but I bet I can keep it alive for quite some time.  The older they get the taller the plant becomes as I have seen them outside planted under trees and their height was three or four feet tall.

We had a rain.  It was just over a half of inch and we had a lot of wind with it.  It was welcomed and I know that it didn't help that much but it was better than nothing.  I watered my viburnum bush last night as it looks bad.  The light rain made the leaves on the end of each branch to green up again.

Friday is here and I only work four hours today.  I worked overtime two times this week so I only have four hours to work on Friday.  It will be good to get off early.

Thanks for stopping by my post today.



Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Real Story...........


I took this on a lark and I now see that the background tells a story of its own.  My viburnum is suffering greatly.

Thanks for stopping by my post today.



Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Freddie Frog............


My old pond is the home of my bachelor frog.  He enjoys sunning himself on the side of my pond and can be seen setting in the water with his eyes and nose sticking out of the water.  I placed a photo on my Photo a Day blog and this is a different photo.  He has gotten to be tame as he doesn't get so startled anymore when I walk by the pond.  I like the quirky sound they make as the jump into the water. I really don't know that he really is a male but I am going to think that he is for now.

From my memory only I think his spots make him a leopard green frog and I will welcome any corrections in the comment section.

Wednesday means we are almost done with our heat wave.  Ten degrees less will be a big difference for us  on Thursday.  A chance of rain is in the forecast.

Thanks for stopping in to my blog today.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Yellow Squash.......


It looks great but not in the late evening when it has been out in the sun most of the day.  I go out and water it in the evening after the sun starts to go beyond the trees.  My water barrel is now empty so I will carry water from the back yard faucet.  Hey maybe I can stretch the garden hose part of the way. Do you think that the heat is getting to me?


Saturday's project was cutting the parts for fourteen small frames.  I need to get  to the work of gluing them together then start staining them.



I have three glued together as of the time of this posting.  I will hope to get more done soon.

I worked with a fellow worker yesterday running machines to strip the wax from the cafeteria floor.  It is partially airconditioned and we finished it.  I have a couple of trouble areas that the boss wants me to return with the machine and fis it.  I need to sand out some kids greasy shoe residue from under one of the tables and strip off excess was in an area where a janitor had slopped too much wax in one area.

We are predicted to have had 10 straight days of temps being over 100 degrees F. by the end of Wednesday.  One doesn't really adjust to this heat like those in Arizona but we do learn how to survive.  My concerns are for the farmers who have the one summer out of the last 30 years to hit hard on their crops.  Parts of Iowa are getting spotty pop up rains but they just wet the ground.  I know that many states are suffering from this heat right now and some are suffering from too much rain.  The balance will come eventually.

It is Tuesday and I hope everyone is well and staying safe.  Thanks for stopping by my post.

Monday, July 23, 2012

River Birch......


The dry weather is signaling to the River Birch to shed some leaves.  I know it will last a lot longer but the bottom leaves are dropping just like it is fall.


The top of it seems to be staying green but you can see a few yellow leaves in there.


The ground does show the result of shedding leaves. Being the middle of July I assume most of them will stay on the tree.

A lot of you have been concerned about Button our small fluffy dog.  He is doing well.  He is back to doing the things that sometimes irritate us so he must be feeling his best.  Whatever he had, it hit fast and lasted about 24 hours.  He received a lot of special food and was cheered when he finally would drink water again. He was treated with some minearl oil, which he liked, as we were covering all our medical bases.  When he chased a cat our of our back yard we knew he was doing fine.  Thanks for all of your concerns for our little guy.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Checking In.......


Moss rose seemed like a magical flower to me when I lived on the farm as a young boy.  It reseeded itself and came up every year on its own.  I was fascinated with color as a kid just as I am now. It was so fascinating to see this strange foliage put out so many multicolored blooms.  I have these in an old enamel ware pan right now but when the weather turns around I will move some of them out and into soil ground level to see if I can get it to reseed.



If you are tired of seeing phlox, geraniums, coneflowers and pinks,  you will have to move on from reading my blogs.  I don't have much of anything else right now.  I have some squash blooms I need to shoot and I did see a dandelion shooting out in the dead grass and it was blooming.  I am taking great care of a dinner plate hibiscus that still has not set buds.  My sedum is looking good this year and is standing up on its own this time around.


I like the shine of the begonia.  It is sitting out on the porch in a planter and they are very hot, but the leaves still shine.

Thanks for stopping by today and have a restful Sunday.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Pathetic Looking....... But Alive.


This looks sad but what you see is what I have.  I have keep most of it alive and yet the yard is looking pretty sad too.



The first bud is developed and time will tell.  The mad zinnia guy will start shooting the close views of every zinnia that is in the patch.  I am sure there is a pill for that to stop the obsession but I  won't take it.



Two pink blooms show as the plants are new and the root development is slow.  They are young plants and I hope that I can get them to winter through for next year.


Instead of staking this branch I decided to just give it a support system to keep it from bending or breaking.  The tomatoes are growing out on each end of the branches.

Saturday is here and I have some frames to cut for a lady that crochets small crosses.  She brought me ten of them so I will be cutting up 40 different pieces for ten frames.  It is not safe to really be outside in the afternoon so I will have to get onto this project in the morning.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Bring it on..........



The hardy geranium is just that as it sits out in the direct sun.  I water it each evening and the blooms just keep coming.  The leaves seem a little bit weathered from it all but it doesn't seem to ever wilt.  I guess it is the shriveling up of the leaves that takes place that lets me know that I need to pour on more water.

It was a cooler evening for us but cool is relative.  When 80 degrees is all you ever experience, one thinks that it is hot.  But when you compare the 80 to 100 degrees, 80 is cooler.

 I am concerned for all my garden friends and farmer friends out there who can see their gardens and livelihood being threatened.  We have to hope for moisture sooner or later.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hostas and Heat.......



This hot summer reminds me of why some years I don't want to even try to have a flower garden.  I come out of a winter season thinking it isn't worth the try.  Because of that negative attitude I don't plant as many seasonal flowers.  I have added to the hosta collection and kept the black eyed susan type flowers going.

The hostas are suffering in this heat too.  I don't have the rain barrel water to put on them any more so I give them a drink once a week.  I keep the zinnia patch going with water each night along with the tomato plants.  We are going to have tomatoes this year hell heat or not.

I have some geraniums that look really good right now and I should have taken more photos. My energy level only allowed watering last night so maybe I can get some photo taken this evening.


This large flowering daylily sits next to a tomato plant so you can see it is sharing the moisture and rewarding me for it.  You can see how dead and dry the ground looks around it.  The creeping Charlie doesn't like this heat so it isn't doing as well any more.  It seems to be doing well under the hostas as you can see in the top photo.

The heat at work makes me more tired than the work itself.  I am going to make it with only four more weeks at this janitorial and repair job.  We are hitting the hallways hard getting them ready for waxing. Most of these floors are not in the air conditioned part.

Our little dog Button gave us a scare on Tuesday night.  He is better and almost back to normal.  We really don't actually know what happened but with his age we were more than a little concerned.  He stopped eating and was in a state of discomfort.  It was either stomach or possibly a bad hip or paw.  He didn't want to move because of the pain and little dogs just don't tell you how they are feeling.  He was better Wednesday morning and by evening he was eating and drinking again.


He actually was pooping and peeing again Wednesday evening which is a good thing.  We have loved that little guy for 13 years or more and it is so hard to see him getting sick.  We would have taken him to the vet on Wednesday morning but hints of improvement made us wait to see what to do.  He ate a snack early morning and by evening he was eating a Ceaser dinner that I bought special for him after work to get him back to good health.  He ate some of it and the next thing he was drinking lots of water.  We got some sleep last night thanks be to God.

Thanks for stopping by my post today.





Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I've nothing.......


I have nothing new to put up today.  I don't think this rose was ever posted but I am not for sure.  It is suffering as you can see and I have not seen many blooms on this bush.  

I think I have saved my zinnias but will return each evening to pour on water from my almost empty rain barrel.  One of the zinnia plants has a bud on it.  We hit 100 in Des Moines on Tuesday.  Our 93 degrees F.  feels very hot  as there isn't a breeze.  I am glad we are half way through the week.  The heat makes one tired most of the time.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tuesday's Things........


We purchased nursery flower plants a few weeks back and we just couldn't get them into the ground.  It stayed so hot that the planter area was bone dry and too rough to take any plants.  As an alternative my wife planted them into two window box planters.  They grew inside for awhile and finally I put them out on the porch.  They are doing good now that they have hit real soil.



I have four tomato plants in my backyard.  I also have the one that I planted in a planter.  The sixth plant went to be in Chicago with my son and his wife.

I had to stake a couple of them last night as they were getting top heavy. I will put posts in next to the others later. The soil is bad next to the foundation of this old house but I get them water every day and they like the hot south side of the house. My son sent me a photo of their one plant and it is doing well.



I took this a couple of nights ago as I was grilling.  I really like the colors in this petunia.

The heat wave continues and it is making life difficult.  My work is in the non airconditioned part of the building. I am trying to save what plants that I can by carrying water to them.  My transplanted zinnias have survived my rearranging of them but a few of them may not make it.  I soak the soil ever other evening to keep them going.  I felt sorry for my phlox and gave them a good soaking.  I am trying not to use so much water.

Our early warm weather made a great situation for those who planted vegetable gardens. They are doing a lot of early harvesting.  Now anything that was planted the last few weeks will not make it. I do know it will rain again.  I know we have survived summers like this as I lived them the many past years of my life.  Iowa is known for it's sweltering heat and humidity and this is a normal rather than an abnormal summer.

Thanks for stopping by post today.

Monday, July 16, 2012

It's the foliage that I like.........




The newer hardy geranium that I picked up for a dollar has this wonderful foliage.  I like the blooms too but the leaves are wonderful.  It is a seed geranium so I will have to baby it all summer and then keep it inside this winter to help it grow larger.


I used the blooms in a photo for my Photo a Day blog.  As you can see that the flowers are just as variegated as the leaves.

It again will be a warm day today.  Thanks for stopping by my post.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday's Stuff



While trimming some shrubs I found the remains of an old nest.  It had broken shells from robin eggs in it.


I trimmed out volunteer trees and weeds along my alley way on Saturday.  A lot of material in these piles actually came from my pear tree. I pruned it up from the bottom so I could walk and mow under it without getting hit in the face from a limb.


My tomatoes continue to grow.  I water them everyday.  I have four plants in the ground and I have this one in a pot.  I noticed at Walmart the other day that one could buy tomato plants with tomatoes on them larger than what I have here.  I started counting tomatoes on the potted plant but will have to give that up soon as it will get more difficult as the blooms turn into fruit.


This is the farm field that is across our street behind the neighbor's house.  Last year it was planted with alalfa which proved to be a bad crop. They  harvested four or five bales of hay from it then replanted it into soybeans.  This year the raccoons will be happy as they will have a lot of corn to eat.  This field is actually only 11 acres of land. Beyond this field is a much larger field of corn that one can see all the way to the horizon.


My yellow squash is regrouping from the heat.  I water frequently and hope that we do actually get some squash from the two plants.

It is going to be warm again today.  We had a threatening spot shower near us but was missed by that rain.  A neighboring town received less than a tenth of an inch of rain from that storm.  There was hail in it though the size of a quarter.

Another day of rest is good.  Back to work on Monday with the deadlines of getting projects done before August 1st.  I know we will not be done then but there will be two more weeks to finish up after that before teachers and kids start to swarm back into the building.  Administrators are putting the pressure on my boss but time is the enemy here and the projects require a lot of time. We will be done when we are done.

Thanks for stopping by today and have a restful Sunday.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Saturday's Chores.......


The black eyed Susan blooms are timid this year.  We had a great downpour on Thursday morning with about an inch and a half of rain.  It was again a lucky spotty rain that a lot of the state did not receive. They should perk up some now with some moisture.

It is cool this morning and I will be out doing yard work again.  I need to finish work on the alley way with clearing small trees and taking out dead weeds.  It will be the third Saturday in a row that I worked out there and hopefully I will get it done today.  It has just been too hot to work on the weekdays.

 I transplanted and rearranged zinnia plants on Wednesday evening to make my patch seem more even and spread out.  The rain came Thursday morning and I think that the timing could not have been more perfect.  The patch looks great.

I have some trees that need to be pruned but will see if I get to that.  When it is dry you don't have to mow very often and I will not be mowing today.

Thanks for stopping by my post today.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday's Frills........


I have had this sedumt for a couple of years.  I had it originally planted in an oriental pot.  Last year I moved it to a crockery container.  It didn't do well in that and over the winter it almost died.  I have broken all of the pieces from it and placed it in this smaller pottery container.



Yes I did take this at an angle.  I don't know why but it adds to the surreal type of planting.  I hope they all will root in fine.  It seems to do well outside in the summer in the shade.  I do know the correct name for this but I will look it up later.  I see green versions of this as well as the red ones in garden magazines.



I still have my piece of cactus in this terracotta pot.  I rescued it from the neighbor's plant trash in the alley way three years ago.  It lives in the house over the winter and does well if I don't over water it. 



What is it?  My past understanding of it from the people around me in life called it a sage like plant.  When I go to the nursery I see it labeled catnip.  It is mostly a wild plant that I have to cut back but never have been able to destroy.  It has a sage like smell but not really true sage, it seems to be more like a weed smell. 

It is Friday and I am glad for that. I have been using a sanding machine on hallway floors all week.  It is sanding down the wax to remove and clean the square tile floor. The dust that is left over is then vacuumed up with a wet/dry machine.  It can then be ready for a clean clear wax coat to be put back onto it. 




Thanks for stopping by my post today.




Thursday, July 12, 2012

Red Blooms........


This hollyhock grows under the pear tree.  I almost mowed it off as it seemed strange to mow under the tree and leave this one stray plant under there.  Hopefully it will reseed in a better location.

Thanks for stopping by my post today.  Friday is coming and I will be glad.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A meadow.........


The coneflowers in the front of the spearmint plants create a meadow like appearance.  The way that this particular set of coneflowers are growing I will have a meadow in a couple of years. The spearmint is going to take over if I don't mow it back. My other patch of coneflowers seem to be thinning out and not doing well so I am glad for this good patch of flowers. 

Tough day at work on Tuesday.  I hope it gets a little easier for a couple of days. Deadlines of getting projects done seem to be pushing us to work faster.  School won't be starting until third week of August.  We will be done by then.

Thanks for stopping by my post today.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tuesday's Big and Small..........


This is my large daylily.  It is two times the size of a regular daylily.  It isn't doing very well and I have been watering it to keep it alive.


This is a late bloom or a rebloom of the smaller pink rose.  It also is getting a lot of drinks of water by me when I am watering my tomato plants.


I really don't know why the shovel is still leaning against my fence.  I like it there and I don't even remember what I had been using it for in whatever project.  Next to the shovel is a dinner plate hibiscus.  The last short rain that we received did make it grow.  I need to water it but it is far from my water source.  I will try to get to it after work today.

Thanks for stopping by my post today. 

Oh yes we are really cooling down at nights now and I am so glad that it is doing so.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday, Monday.......


A view from my patio looking west.  The phlox are looking poorly and the ditch lilies never really did well this year. 


The rain may have made this be a better bloomer. Time will tell as they start to open up and show more color.


Another one of my smaller daylilies.  It doesn't seem very robust this year but there are more buds to help it show off itself.

Monday with cooler weather is going to be a great relief. I am seeing some of our projects coming to completion.  Others projects are still waiting for our attention.

Thanks for stopping in for a visit.