Larry.s Creative Zone

Larry.s Creative Zone

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Begging for Candy........


Halloween night and beggars night in our town are the same.  Most other towns had beggars night last night.  I will camp out next to the front door and dole out the candy.  If they want to give me a joke fine. If they act like spoiled brats they only get two pieces.  If they are sweet and bashful they get three pieces.  My game, my rules as some people say.  We won't be very warm and I will have to go out and clear leaves from the sidewalk even they will walk across the yard and never hit the sidewalk.  My photo is an abstract, informal view of the best food on earth.  Ok, so it isn't food but I can try to get some nourishment from some of the candy.




My post with a ball finial has weathered well making it have a nice natural look. I have shot pictures of it before but this is a different angle with the hosta presenting a line design on the ground.

























A nice young man helped us today at Best Buy to find a replacement battery for my camera. The camera has a rechargeable battery which became old and wouldn't take a charge anymore.  I searched their site before we went in to the store and they did have it.  My battery that came with the camera was already a year old when I got it.  I never really checked it out because I figured it would be a long time battery.  Searching on the online internet manual, I found on page 71 that the rechargeable batteries do wear out and that if I were to take a major trip that I should buy a spare battery.  That kind of says rechargeable isn't meaning a long lived one and there isn't any reliability.

My camera battery is charging as I write this so I can't get any more new photos off the camera for now.  I will just post a short blog today and wish you all a great day.  We gain back that hour that they stole from us way back when.  I hope we can sleep in tomorrow morning.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday's Finds.......


The burning bush is only turned red at the top right now but when you stand in the back yard you get an illusion of it being fully in color.


This is the true view of the burning bush.  It has a great yellow background from the river birch leaves. The neighbors wing to the back of the house is on the left and the other neighbor's old fashion garage is on the right. I don't understand why just the top has turned red first but every year the three of my bushes tend to do different things.



 The volunteer vine out the back door has met the challenge of the fall weather.  It got shocked by me pulling it down part way as I removed a window air conditioner.  Now the light changes and temperatures are taking its toll on it.  I will leave it until it gets ugly and then I will remove it from the side of the house.

The morning glories did take a hit last night from the frost.  I had to scrape frost off of the car this morning before going to school. I noticed the one roof on the garden shed was covered with frost when I looked out the window upstairs this morning.








A volunteer maple from the neighbor's tree is putting out quite a show.  I need to cut this out of the flower garden area but I will leave it until spring.



Moving to an indoor subject I caught a shot of the jade plant.   I like these plants that look like trees but these growths do not resemble that at all.  I suppose I could take one of them and put it in a separate pot and try to bonsai it.  I am assuming that is how they do it to sell them commercially.  I suppose there is a variety that does that and this is not that one kind.  I guess I need to do research.

The birch is done with dropping its leaves.  It really didn't take long. I am going to let the leaves dry up and shrivel some before I mow them.  We are suppose to warm up on Monday so maybe I can start working on that.

I am in the shop today subbing for classes like agronomy and horticulture.  There also will be movies for welding and ag mechanics.  It is a shortened day so I will be out by 2:15.  I am glad it is Friday.  I hope all are well and the weather is being good to you.  Thanks for stopping in today.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


The surviving small zinnias have more buds in which to bloom.  I think the time is running out for them as our wind chills are way before freezing.

I am calling it the hobbit hole in the ground.  The culvert ended up to be a blurry picture.  The leaves probably will cover the hobbit hole shortly. With all the fertilized grass seed and insulation type material I am thinking I won't be raking those leaves out of the ditch because I don't want to move the grass seed around.  On guy on the other side of town said a rain washed all the grass seed to to bottom of the ditch and it has sprouted out very well. It will be hard to get that all reseeded and it will probably take a couple of years to get a good stand of grass.

We were sort of promised a freeze last night and that didn't happen.  I brought all the hardy geraniums inside so the would still be alive when I yank them from the soil in the pots. We didn't have a freeze. I will move them back outside to remove them from the container.  The dirt will spread too easily when I take them out leaving them with bare roots.

Our winds made it very uncomfortable outside yesterday.  I felt so chilled when I was out there that I decided Barney didn't need to walk last night. He voluntarily went out in the back yard and hurried in after doing his business.

I was to be the librarian today but got switched to be a high school social studies teacher.  It is the other position different than yesterday's one. Actually it is 8th grade and freshmen for most of the day. The switch was ok but it made me a lot grumpy for the first few periods.  I am settling in now and doing good.  I hope all are well out there.  Thanks for checking in today.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Middle of the Week.....


I am going to have to rebuild my blue door.  It may not get done until this winter but I can put a new one on the hinges once it is made really any season.  Instead of going into a panic about it I decided I could nail one together in the art gallery or in the basement and paint it in the spring. It will not have the arch anymore.

My burning bush seems to be changing slowly this year.  Others I have seen have the entire shrub covered with red leaves.  I have spots of red leaves and then the top only has a layer of red. The birds of all kinds are really enjoying the fruit from them.  I saw a nuthatch yesterday out and about helping itself to the fruit.










The variegated leaf is still a mystery to me on the red maple.  I saw a photo of someone else's red maple and I really am concerned for this tree. Hopefully it will jump back from the root trimming from the "ditch people."











I need to get this craft birdhouse into the shed before it snows.  I bet I can hanging it on the side of my garden shed in the spring and get some bird to nest in it. The materials it is made of will cause it to weather quickly.  I suppose it is suppose to be an indoor decoration.















I have a lot of photos of the William Baffin bloom.  I wonder if I will be able to see any more blooms out of all those buds. If there is a predicted hard freeze I may cut it and bring it into the house.



















I am sitting in the high school social studies room today.  It is a shortened day so the day should go fast.  We are cold outside and the wind is picking up.  It isn't summer any more. This is the last apple of the season which is eaten up on the other side by insects.

I hope everyone has a good day and thanks for stopping by to see my posting.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tuesday's Things.......


The birdbath gives me a great composition of dead leaves and a reflection of a tree also. Everything seems to be so color coordinated.


The weather prediction stories about the wooley worm are too many for me to remember.  I did see one a few days with two colors while this one is all one color.  I remember as a kid how I would picked these guys up and let the crawl all over my arms or legs.  This little guy was strolling along on the side porch while I was out burning the brush pile.






The old silver maple shows that it has lost a lot of leaves already.  It is the last kind of tree that looses its foliage in the fall. 

I don't know what I am going to do with the leaves.  I usually mow them up and probably should do so.  I remember mowing leaves into the middle of November.  I have not had the time to think about it and I have notice most neighbors just are not started yet.  One neighbor who has too much time on her hands is out there mowing every other day.  Her sycamore trees haven't dropped their leaves and when they do she will have a big job ahead of her. I don't want too mild of a winter but I sure hate that we got so cold so quickly.





It took me about 20 minutes to get the complete set of lights out of the tree.  When I look at how tall the tree is now, I bet those old Christmas lights had to have been in the tree ten or more years.  I stood on the second to the last rung on the stepladder to reach and unhook one part of it from a very high branch.

I should had my brush clippers with me as I could or removed it by chopping the wires up into smaller pieces.  Once on top of the ladder I was not going back down and go inside to get clippers.   I got the job done.








It must have been a set of 100 as there were a lot of lights still in that tree. I shows us how long plastic will last in the out of doors and that it doesn't decompose readily. Off to the land fill it all goes to lay underground for many years more.










My river birch still has a lot of its leaves.  The regular birch on the opposite end of the lot is mostly bare. I did get the tree trimmed back in the middle of the summer  so I could walk under the tree without getting hit in the face with hanging branches.

This photo looks better as a guy from across town came and too away two old lawn mowers that were sitting there next to the roto tiller.  I was going to send the mowers away on "city clean up day" but I was under the weather on that day and didn't think about sitting them on the curb.  The guy who took them saw them while walking snooping my alley and asked if he could have them. They left last Friday and  I am glad that they are gone.













The photo with one barberry seed shows that we did finish the fall in a drought.  It usually is covered with berries and it isn't this fall. The leaves are slow to change on the bush this year as I usually get a few shots of the turned leaves of the bush.







A true red zinnia opened up the past week.  The camera picked up its actual true color.  The lighting must have been perfect for it as red just isn't that easy to capture.  My zinnias are still going strong as we have not hit below 32 degrees, freezing.  They will all turn brown quickly when that happens.

I didn't get work again today so I will be outside later today when it sort of warms up.  I never know what I will do when I get out there but progress will be made on something.  We are going to stay cool for a while so I will have to dress with layers and remove them as needed.  I hope everyone has a great day.

Monday, October 26, 2015

My Monday's Mentions........


I collect scraps of wood from bushes and trees for almost a whole year.  I have a couple of piles where it just collects.  I would love to live in the town that picks this stuff up once a week on Mondays for the entire summer.  If I barrow a truck from someone who has an old truck I can take the material out to the towns site where they burn it all up.   In October we are allowed to burn late afternoons or evenings. Yesterday afternoon I was out shooting photos.


I was outside to take photos. It was calm with no wind and the ground was muddy from the previous rain.  I lit a match and the rest is history.  I had some major piles that I kept feeding onto my fire ring until everything was gone.  I still need to rake up some of the small twigs that I didn't mess with last evening.  It is nice that it is now all gone.  I have sticks in the yard that I can now pick up and start the new pile.


The red maple tree has variegated leaves.  I couldn't figure out why I couldn't get a clear photo of it.  I think the two colors mess with the camera sensor.  I also think the two colors mess with our own brains trying to understand what we are seeing.  I am assuming that the ditch people who dug into the roots of this tree have damaged the natural flow of sap. I have never seen anything like this before now.  I hope it is still alive by spring.



No work today at school so I can work outside again today.  I found an eave on the old part of my house that needs some repair.  I like to take the easy way out on this but I guess I will tear back the rotted wood and see what has to be done.  It is a little cold this morning but I will go out and trim back the bush that is keeping me from getting close to it.  It will be ladder work as it is higher in distance than what my stepladder can reach. 

I hope all are well and that it is a good Monday morning for everyone.  Thanks......for stopping by.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Sunday Snooze........


The birch dropped it leaves slowly for the past week but now over night it dropped most of the rest of them.  It usually takes a rain for it to happen. I wasn't home when we had our downpour so it could of cleared them then.



 One lone bloom on the spent phlox shines out among the dead and dying leaves.  There is always one more bloom that is trying to stretch out one more spot of color. I have one sedum that didn't bloom this year except for one stray small branch off to the side of it.









There is a lot of overlaps of kinds of trees in this photo.  The balsam pine in in the foreground.  The birch and red maple are on the second plane. The background is my silver apple and the neighbors one maple tree.








My William Baffin rose is taking its final bow at the curtain call.  On large stem of it decided to put out a head full of buds.  I know the sun has changed the color of this rose a bit making it a lot lighter in color but I took this particular photo of all the buds that are on the stem. 

I hope all have had a good Sunday.  Thank you for stopping by today.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Days are Numbered.........









The time for fall comes so quickly and it is never like a long hot summer. Fall dips down to be very cold and then teases us with a warm spell. It is frustrating as you don't have any promises for the next day to be good or bad. No planning can be done.  Whenever you want to work outside you just have to dress for the day.   It looks warm outside as the sun shines through the red and yellow leaves but I will need a coat as I go out to take some more photos. 

Thanks for stopping by today.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday's Finally Here.......


 My weather rocks were not wet when I took this shot but today they are soaking wet.  It just keeps up a slow drizzle and does not stop. For Iowa that is a good thing.  When I transplanted things I did discover how very dry our soil was and it still is.  It will take a lot of moisture to bring it back to  normal.



It was a "duh" moment when I looked down and found these blooms.  They should look good because I just put them in the ground from a planter about two weeks ago.  The rains will help them to settle in.  My brain just thought at first, look volunteer dianthus.  Did I say "duh" already?









With all the winds and rain I never thought I would see another full bloom but last evening there it was.  Another heavenly blue glory just for us to share.




My National Geographic photo for today is a photo of motion.  The fish do seem to never stop so I click and go. Maybe I need to take a movie some day soon.








 I am an associate today so I follow students to classes all day.

It has been a long week for me so a few cups of coffee and resting seems appropriate.  I do think we have to take a neighbor to go shopping on Saturday morning but there are no other plans.  That type of activity for her requires a big chunk of a day to get what she wants done.  The wet and cold weather slows things down with work outside so I am hoping for a dry warm week for next week. I hope all are well and thank you for stopping by today.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Thursday's Things........


Falling leaves everywhere but we still are not at the peak of them falling to the ground.  I assume the frost that we finally do get will bring the most of them down. Our small quick downpour seemed to help loosen some of them.



The downpour really did shred the morning glories.  I don't know if the cold helped with that but it did rain very hard. I have never seen anything like it before yesterday.









Adding to the theme of primary colors the yellow is showing here.  I like the different colors that the hosta have at this time of the year.  A lot of them were sagging and I think a slight rainfall has perked them up a little.

The iris seem to be pretty healthy yet in most parts of my garden. You can see a few iris blades in the background. A lot of my new plantings of iris are rooting in nicely and I hope winter over well.  They usually are really tough.

I have yet to mow anything as the yard keeps growing.  I need to start doing some things like that when I get home from school.  The dry weather has slowed it down.  All of the blown grass seed, green soft material, in the ditches are all covered with fallen leaves.  That probably is a good thing as it helps to keep any moisture down under them for the seed to sprout.  I will photograph any evidence of growth by the grass mixture when it happens.








I call this my National Geographic Photo.  Most things are in a blur with only one new white fish being in focus.  The fish are moving and the lighting still isn't quite correct.  I picked up five feeder goldfish last night while buying dog food for Barney.  I buy them because they are cheap.  I like to grow them myself and what joy can you have for under just a dollar. It actually was 85 cents in total.  The true purpose for feeder fish is to use them to feed a large fish some food.  The lady who sold netted the fish says her mom also buys them as small fry and then raises them for years.

I did meet my goal to now have three sizes of goldfish in there.  The five little ones add a lot of activity to the mix.  I guess that will be my last purchase as I don't want to overstock the tank.  I have 5 little ones, 5 mediums and two larger older fish.   The older ones are not so big that they will eat my youngsters.


The one branch is just a different color.  I was out shooting last night and noticed it was not the light from the sun but a branch of a different color.  I am wondering if the branch got damaged by wind.

I am at the middle school office again today.  I an on my third and last day.  I do  have work tomorrow but it will be in a different position in the special education room.  I may get some coffee shop time in on that person's assignment.  I hope so.  I understand that we will be cooling off on Friday but right now we are keeping good temperatures. I really hope we can keep up with the warmer weather for a lot longer.

Thank you for stopping by today and remember Friday is coming soon.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wednesday Is All Day.........


I like to take this photo at this place as the seasons change to show how things look throughout the year.  Soon the house will be out in the open as all the leaves are gone.  Snow of course will be on the ground and also on the roof.


While out taking some photos late afternoon I could hear the last of the apples falling to the ground.  The one time I realized that a squirrel was up there trying to eat on one and it fell to the ground while he was chewing on it.  Most of the apples falling now are very well ripened and they burst open when they hit our very hard dry ground.  I still have a few or reserve for more cobbler or pie.






The burning bush is putting out red leaves in spots but we are back into a drought.  The red berries are shriveling up before the birds can eat them.  Normally the berries stay on through the winter.  Not this year for sure.







I thought I would try these out this spring when they were promoting them.  They are a form of small zinnia.  They did not do well.  I trimmed off the blooms thinking they would get taller and that never happened.  In fact this is the first bloom that I have had from them since I planted them.  It is a nice concept but not a great resulting product.









This is a smaller zinnia that came out just recently.  I think that it is smaller than the photo you are seeing here but its colors are so clear and clean.






I am back at the desk of the middle school this morning and it feels a lot more comfortable today.  I have to remember that I am babysitting and not doing high performance work.  I get lots of calls that I can now transfer and distribute behavior forms to the principal whenever he comes by the desk.

We are in a drought situation right now so the quarter of inch of rain we had this morning was greatly appreciated.  The dry weather did help farmers to get the crops out early but rain is going to be needed in the spring to get things started up again.

I thank you for stopping by today.