Larry.s Creative Zone

Larry.s Creative Zone

Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday's Photos.......


The old silver maples lives on not missing a beat of the rigors of being a tree.  The dead parts keep falling out of it and the rest of it leafs out readily.  The birds, squirrels and maybe a raccoon would really miss it if it were gone. Our skies are clear today with the temps at 90 degrees F. or more.  No reain in the forecast.





This beat up red admiral still has to eat and maintain what he has left for a body.  It was a sloppy shot but makes for a good abstract composition.








It was early morning and the light was low as the sun hadn't moved above the trees in the east.  The camera with me under control finally got a photo of a fish in focus.  The large orange fish is eating from below and the surviving five are busy skimming off the fish flakes. When the town isn't spraying the fish get a lot of mosquito larvae to eat.  It makes them look really healthy with full color.




The black and orange fish looks like he has been dipped in black paint or the head of the fish was dipped in orange.  I like buying a mixed assortment of the fish so I can identify them more easily. It is more fun when they are not all just orange. This photo has the fish in better focus than the first.








The mandevilla is starting to open as of yesterday morning. There are lots of buds so it will be great to see it with more open flowers.









This front head on view shows its true colors.  I picked this up at a very low price.  When I looked up info about it the article said that some people treat the flower as an annual and just toss it after the first frost.  I don't think I can do that.



It is a find the kitty photo for you today.  He really does think he is going to move into the house but he may get delivered back to his home next door when the snow starts to fly.

Our town is without water today as a water main has broken somewhere in town.  Maybe by this afternoon we will be back to running water.  I have a rain barrel full of water so I carry a bucket of water per toilet to keep our facilities modern.  We will go buy drinking water as the state law requires a boil order for one to two days after a main pipe breaks and is repaired.  If your thinking all the trucks driving around caused it I am sure you are correct.

A joint effort created this rhubarb and apple cobbler.  The apple really is a good foil to the sharp rhubarb sourness.  Easy to make and fun to eat.  We have about two servings left to eat of it right now.

No heavy physical activity for me today as I can't get a shower afterwards.  I will just hang around in the house and be mellow.  We will make a drinking water purchase somewhere today.  I hope all are well with my friends out there. Thanks for stopping by today.




As an addition of information about our water problem, the one break is a half a block away from our house and there seems to be another one a block north of that.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thursday and Button is Better...........


Button is so much better.  He recovered well by eating a lot of food yesterday and is doing almost everything the same as before he fell. We can now pick him up without any complaint. I still think he bruised his rib cage as he would lay on his side all the time to sleep instead of laying on his belly.  He has been sleeping a lot which helped him heal up faster.  We know when he is better when he trots along behind us to wherever we go.  He is back to making a lot of requests for treats and food.



I went out into the hot afternoon sun and found butterflies eating at the coneflowers.  One monarch tamed up enough to land on my shoulder and red admirals were everywhere.  The smaller yellow ones and white ones darted in and out.  I think the butterflies were getting tired of the continual two plus days of rain.


The red admiral likes to eat with its wings open.  It makes for great photos.  The monarch doesn't eat with its wings open so I could not get a shot of the full wing span. I guess some monarchs are less hyper than this one and I have taken photos of them when they are slow movers. 










The rains knocked off a lot of petals off of the blooming roses.  This bud stood strong and is putting out a subtle color.  It will be more pink as it opens .



















I will go out this morning and finish up some of my mowing.  The flowers are not too quick to stand back up and I am not sure that I can coax them up with a stake and string.  I will watch the mass of flowers for a while and see what happens.   We have less humidity today but the heat will be high again today.  There is dew on the ground right now but it will evaporated quickly.  Thank you for stopping by today.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Muggy, Moist, Middle of the Rains and Week........


The rains are over for now.  We had two days of continue storms coming through our area.  The coneflowers, phlox and sunflowers bow down as a result of the beating rains. I will stake the sunflowers and the rest is on its own.


It rained so much that my now famous ditch acted like a creek.  I remember seeing all those ripples in the creek beds and the patterns are fun to see.  A city guy was out in his truck, flashing a light at it , seeing that water does not flow up hill.

 We had over 2 inches of rain last night but also had two rains before that both morning and afternoon.  I don't really know the total of the yesterdays one day rain. Some places south of us got over 6 inches or more of rain. We did get rain on Monday too.  The ditch will eventually fill in with silt and the water will eventually flow down the hill.  As you can see my Lake of Mistakes will be there for the rest of this season.  The edge of the road dirt will eventually be washed down into that ditch also as good Iowa dirt does erode easily.













Our skies are clear today and the sun is shining.  A jet stream shows up against that blue sky.  The Air Force flies over us daily from the SAC Air Force base south of Omaha. Usually they fly in threes but there was just one lone jet this morning.














 I did what I said that I would do.  The small single start of spider plant that I bought a year ago was just not growing.  As you can see with it in its new bright yellow green pot. I was a leftover one that I found from a sale item. I split thewhole plant up into many little ones.  I can tell already that I am going to get normal growth now. It apparently was a bundle of the plant and they just stuck it in the small pot for sale all crowded together. I usually pull new plant out of their medium and put them into real Iowa dirt. I just never got to it.




We have been nursing our little Button dog back to better health.  Yesterday he took a fall while trying to get up on the couch. We didn't see it but he sure let us know that we couldn't pick him up anymore.  He has done this a couple of times before and we can't ever tell what he hurt.  I think he messes up a joint in one leg and yet he acted like he had hurt his rib cage.  He isn't able to see well any more so he could have done whatever.  This morning he jumped down off the couch by himself and was trotting around behind me to go outside.  He still is touchy and decides to complain that we might pick him up the wrong way.  He is resting on his favorite pillow and he has some cooked meat to eat.  He looks and acts better now. He should be back to normal self by tomorrow.  We are feeling better this morning too about the situation.  He likes to scare us every once in a while.

I am moving slow today.  We did make a trip for my wife's friend yesterday and we were so glad we could help her out.  Groceries are hard to buy and then take home on a bus.  With it being rainy all day yesterday I didn't do much.  I actually read in a book.  I like to read but it doesn't fit in my "to do" list. You can check on my Photo a Day blog to see what I am reading.  Thank you for stopping by today here in soggy Iowa.












Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tuesday's Tribble.......


The old wagon wheels lean against my ugly pile of tires.  Either it has been too hot to deal with the tires or it has been raining.  The tarp keeps people from seeing a pile of tires but I don't like the look of any of it.




I am now one of the crowd so to speak with my bicycle out in the open as a decoration.  The bike trail that travels over a 13 story old train bridge has a trail head in our town. The thing is to decorate you yard with a bike. 








The rose is beaten up from the last heavy rain.  I had two great shots of it on its first blooming and I don't think I shared it on my Creative Zone.  This is the second bloom of this round and if I trim the spent blooms off it will just do it again.










Here is the shot I took a week ago of the first blooming.  The past two rains have really messed up the flowers in the garden.  I am grateful to get rain and I am hoping the hot weather that now follows will straight things back straight again. I noticed zinnias and sunflowers bowing to the ground and a lot of flower petals are stripped away with the beating of the rain.  Some people are begging for rain so I am not complaining, just noticing the damage.




When is the question?????????  Others are picking but I am not.  I have to go stake up a cherry tomato some time today as I noticed last night it was all laying on the ground.  I need to get string out and really tie it up.





It is time to start making cobbler again.  The problem is to decide what to put with it.  We usually buy some strawberries and put in with it but chopped up apple taste good with it too. When I pull this it will give it time to probably have one more growth spurt.







There are no open blooms at this point but soon I will know what color it will be.  The mandevilla loves our high humidity and frequent rains. I am sure it thinks it is back in the greenhouse or the tropical jungle.  The weather person says we just are not going to like anything about today.  She did promise that tomorrow will be great so we are to ignore today. 

A threatening rain storm is going on right now but I think it is going to roll north around us.  We have to take a friend to go buy groceries and buy her some lunch.  It won't take the whole day so we will be home for the afternoon.  I am hoping things with the weather will even out a little for you hot states.  We will have plenty of water to send down the Mississippi to help out Louisiana.  I trust everyone is well.  Thanks for checking in today.

Monday, July 27, 2015

A Monday Moment.......


Monday's seem to be difficult for one to get up and get going.  Our neighbor's cat who is vacationing at our house for the summer found some cool dirt on which to sleep. It was a very hot day.  He also likes to curl up on and in the foliage of any garden and sleep.  It is funny as you can hear him meowing as you  walk by and he is undercover at the time.  The hostas seem to be calling out like a cat.


The neighbor's white shadow comes over for a quick check of the cat food bowl and then scampers back to her house.  She is not so friendly but I can stand a few feet from her now when before she would run away quickly.




The never ending cat food bowl now has to come in at night now.  As I was ready to go out to take Barney for an evening walk a very large racoon was enjoying the dry cat food. They should be busy eating the corn in the field across the street but I bet he was over for a few free falling apples.  I don't mind seeing the raccoon but I don't like it living on the roof of my house or on the side porch.  I think I have enough branches trimmed off of the pine to keep it off my house now.









I am returning this morning to finish my job of moving iris to a new bed.  It just got too hot last Friday and I couldn't work any longer.  I have about three iris clumps to dig.  The new area where they are being transferred is lawn turf.  I will need to do some good digging to clear it back to soil.  This rhizome is one that I salvaged off of the big clumps of iris that she had.  It really was time for the neighbor's  iris to be dug and split up for better growth.  She was telling me she wanted to buy a red peony to be place in area of her dog cemetery and I said I had one to giver her.  I don't know it I will dig that today but it will be in the future.








One blogger friend was sharing his green hydrangea and he was explaining that it would eventually turn white.  My old fashion one does the opposite.  The white bloom above is a stray new sprout that bloomed late.  The rest of my shrub has now turned to this green. I find it amazing that they can mess with the genetics of things and get those kind of results.

I actually have two stray white blooms out now and it is great to see them. It is on the north of the house and I had figured the hydrangeas were done now.  My memories of this kind of plant is one of a house in Murray, Iowa.  My Uncle and Aunt rented a two story house and all around the porch were these shrubs.  As a kid I thought they were strange and thought they looked like puff ball plants. Later would I know that I have that now same kind of  plant growing at my house.

 This is the kind of work that is left to be done. Some dirt has been placed on the edge of the road but that other road still needs it.  I tripped off of the one in the background last night as it is a good 6 or 7 inch drop off from the road to the edge.  I was told they would add more dirt.  The sidewalk connection will take manual labor with a shovel or spade to finish up the job.  No machinery can do that particular job.  I am anxious to see how the whole area on the left side of the sidewalk will be treated.  They will need to bring in a lot of dirt to get it all at one level.


I will finish off the blog with a large dash of color.  This day lily keeps blooming and showing off its color.  I should go back and see in my blog when it first started to bloom. I have sedum in the area that will start blooming in a couple of weeks.

Odd jobs can be done all day if I just do them.  I have a frame job yet to get assembled and that shouldn't take long. I will share someday as to the frustration that I am having with the new modern stains and finishes.  I don't like the color that they put out anymore.

I appreciate you stopping by today, I hope I have caught all the spelling errors and my sentence structures are not too fragmented.  I notice that when I am tired I tend to change my tenses of verbs wildly and freely.  I always use too many adverbs.  Anyway, thanks for stopping in today.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday's Stream of Shots.........


It was very hot and humid but the road crew worked yesterday and got it done. Everyone was peering out of their windows or were on their porches watching the final process being accomplished.



They had two machines to lay out the asphalt.  Being Saturday they must have had a difficult time getting a full crew to work.  They had the one crew ride and lay out asphalt on the west side of the road and then they would just stop and get off the machine.  The three or four guys got off the machine and walked down to the other one and spread asphalt on the east side of the road.  It was a cat and mouse game all the way up the street.



This is the crew coming up Cedar on the east side of the street.  The roller guy in the background hurries and presses the two seams together once the second side is done. The young girls next door were out in the afternoon with their roller boards riding up and down it.  Cars are not allowed to be on it yet but they were sure enjoying a very smooth hard surface.



Out my front window you can see the last of the laying of the asphalt on Cedar past E. 6th street.  It was a wonderful moment to see it moving up the street and away from us.


With the street closing down I had parking on my street.  I had told people the last time to park on the grass and get off the street.  I got a free banana bread loaf off of that deal. It was good.  This should be the last for the road.  I think it will be the last area for the whole town.  I had heard quoted that they were three weeks behind what they had planned to do.





Saturday was a planting and replanting day for me.  With all the noise I was out putting things in the ground and repotting things that had outgrown their containers.  All the new iris starts are in the ground and watered and the mandevilla is in a pot.  It does not have buds blooming yet so I won't share a photo of that until it does.  I have been seeing a lot of mandevillas on other's blogs.

My wife always wanted to have asters as her mother had asters.  She remembers that the butterflies really like them.  I had been looking for plants every time I went to the Walmart and finally they had them for sale.  I hope they will winter over well.  They will get a cover of leaves just in case this fall.



This window box of hardy geraniums has been slow to bloom.  Those who follow me regularly know that I take a large quantity of dramatic shots against the fence.  I am sure you will notice that I will be doing it again this year. This is the red orange one and I will have to wait and see what colors are in the rest of the pot.

Another hot a humid night last night.  Rain can be threatening off an on today.  We will see what happens as it does happen. We had a thunderstorm early morning giving us another inch of rian. It was a noisy storm but we didn't have any damage. The temps are to be in the 90's today.Thank you for stopping by today.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Weekend Begins.........


I moved an iris bed from a circle bed to a bed that lines a fence. I had to spade up the whole new area removing water grass and weeds. The tools stay out as I didn't get done with about three clumps of iris and will have to move them another day.

My neighbor said to pull out samples for myself.  That is just what I need is more flowers.  I was not greedy and just took the small ones that were attached to the larger rhizomes.  I am hoping that I have 5 or 6 new colors of iris.  They will go into the ground this morning.  I was to return to the neighbors today to get the job done. They are officially going to work on the road today to put on the last asphalt.  I could get stuck over there or have to walk back across hot steaming asphalt.








This is what I see from the back side of my fence where all the bee balm are growing.  I just finished cutting out a few mulberry starts and it impressed me that it  looks like what it is suppose to again, It just took me two months to get it done.

















I have a lot of old farm stuff in storage in my yard.  I may get to keep some of it but my brother in law thinks he wants it all back once he can find a place to put it.  I have them dumped over so the rainwater won't collect and encourage mosquito reproduction. Their storage outside helps with the aging process. I have a pile of tires with rims in them that I need to start disposing. I have to get the tires off of the rims first and then pay the landfill money to take them.









As I was staking up a tomato plant on the patio I had this land on my foot.  They are small tomatoes that are so slow to ripen.  We had a strong wind and the plant was falling down on me.  I found a tomato cage out among my farm junk and put it to work.



The hardy geranium on the side porch did start to bloom and this is my deep red variety.  I like this one best of the reds.  The ones of old almost were an orange red and I don't think we see them for sale anymore.  Iowa weather works well for these plants as they love the humidity and a good hot sun. 

I saw lots of plants on half price sales yesterday at Walmart.  I resisted mostly but did buy a mandevilla and an aster.   I would like to get a patch of asters growing for the butterflies. Photos will be coming soon of the aster but the mandevilla is not blooming but does have buds.  I will have to bring that in in the fall.














I am going to rest most of the day today.  I have a few hobby like things to do but nothing with spades and shovels.  I think this plant is root bound and will try to separate today.  I have to find a bigger pot for it. It is new from last winter and it just doesn't grow. I clear some roots and divide to see if I can get it to grow.  My little iris will be planted and the aster goes into the ground today. 

It was very humid all night last night and the low 70's right now are not comfortable to be in this morning.  It is to get hotter.  While they do the road this morning we will be hearing a lot of noise but it is a good sound of things getting done.  There has been a layer of thick oil placed on the road so they will have to cover that up next with the last layer of asphalt.  I think we will just hunker down today and stay out of the way of everything and everybody.  Thank you for stopping by today.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday's Photos.........


I shared a different shot of this very same plant on my other blog. It is a wonderful daylily and keeps on blooming. I have a horizontal shot of this plant on my Photo a Day blog.




This Asiatic lily has done well with me gathering it all up from off of the ground. The metal bracket I found in a dumpster.  It was used to hold wreathes at cemeteries.  I don't know why someone would throw three of them away at one time but they did.










I was discussing the color of red that this hardy geranium was and today I noticed that the geranium that sits on the other porch is the one with deep rich red color.  It is now budded and is partially opened up with one bloom.  You will be seeing it posted once it makes a decent showing.






I didn't catch a bug, bee or butterfly on this flower but it seemed to be in perfect form.  I was out there this morning filling my watering can from the wheel barrel and put water on needed plants.  All the tomatoes got watered and my minimal bed of zinnias were watered this morning.  The water in the barrel was full of hatched out mosquito larvae so I had to dump it immediately.  Everything got watered with larvae included. It wasn't on my list to do but I could not just dump all that water onto the ground.


The sedum planting  is doing well in the tile.  I planted it a couple of weeks ago and I am pleased as to how it has perked up and looks healthy.  It got some of the water from my watering can put on this too.

I keep checking on the new plants that I planted from my smashed flower bed that was along the road.  Everything looks to be very much alive.  I really like seeing the iris putting up brand new sprouts already. The daylily doesn't show much change but it isn't dead so I am sure those roots will work out and bloom next year.

I moved another day lily yesterday morning, one that I had first of all my daylilies.  It was not doing well where I planted it years ago so I moved it over to a garden area where daylilies are thriving. It location became shady both morning and afternoon because someone planted a yew shrub near it.  I have plans to move a red peony in the future as well and an older Asiatic lily bulb.  I am going to extend the length of my porch in that area and things need to be moved.




Our wonderful grandson is eating his corn on the cob.  He is discovering so many new things like corn and watermelon.  Strawberries are his favorite right now.  Just like grandpa he glows when people talk about cake.  Chocolate cake is his favorite. They do grow up fast and when you are a grandparent it seems really fast.  If we were around on a daily basis it would not seem so fast.

I am headed next door to move an iris bed this morning.  It will be cool enough for about an hour and the temperatures will determine how long I work at it.  I know the neighbor wants to fill in the empty bed with more soil and get it grassed over before fall. I will do what I can do to make it happen.

I see the garbage trucks went by early today so I suspect we will get our final surface of asphalt put on today.  The garbage people are notified to get their job done so they won't get in the way when all the trucks of hot asphalt hit town.  I still need the dirt work done around the sidewalk but it is getting close for some grass seed to be planted along the roads. 







It is Friday and the weekend is coming.  We need to buy groceries some time today and we will need to stay cool the rest of the time.  It is going to be a hot day today.  Thanks for stopping in today.