Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Garden activity.......

I started my pump system for my tank today.  The fish can be put in tomorrow after the water has been oxygenated for a day.  I am getting a lot of weeding done but it will take me another week to really have it all done.  I only weed a half hour a day and eventually I get it done.

These iris are more brown than red but my camera doesn't think so. Here are red iris against my blue gate.  I won't call the camera a liar but......it is a fibber.

My neighbor's white clematis was out the other day while I was over there dog sitting.  It was a very healthy plant and the blooms are large.

Thanks for stopping by............I am slowly catching up on my blog reading.  Everyone have a good week.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Rain and cool weather.......

I read a article a few years ago in a garden magazine about a couple who had an iris farm in Colorado.  After seeing the iris do so well in cool, wet weather, I can see how that farm could grow iris so well.

The superstition iris at top all opened blooms the same time overnight Saturday night.  The iris below is the one I showed you the day before and it too came out in the cool, windy and rainy night.  The camera again made this flower a little more red than is shows.

Have a good day.............

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Blooming reports...........

I saw this iris bloom a few years back but the forsythia over took it's territory.  Two years ago I moved it out three feet, into the sun.  This year it is going to bloom again.  It has been a long time coming and in fact I saw it in bloom this morning while I was walking the dog.  It is raining right now but we are suppose to  have hot weather the full week to come.  I will get photographs of it.

While babysitting my neighbor's dog, I spotted this growing out from around her rain gutter. She doesn't remember planting it but it is a wonderful specimen. I think it is the first year for it to bloom for her also as she didn't know what color it was until now.

The iris and peonies will be in full bloom now for the next couple of weeks.  The peonies are late and I hope the rains will stop soon.  The rain can take out the blooming season in one hard rain.  The iris seem to thrive on the water while blooming.  They rot otherwise in too wet of soil.  I brought in my pink peonies yesterday as buds and they did force open when put in a vase of water.

The dogs awakened us early today as the thunder was scary to them.  I think that it will be gone soon as I look at the radar.  I am hoping it to be sunny and dry by the time we leave for church.  I hope the weekend goes well for you all.  Take care.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Mysterious View..........not veiw!!!!

A large pastel drawing that hangs over our couch projects it's many dimensions. It is a pastel work that I did many years ago of Duluth, Minnesota.  I snapped a photo of a storm coming up hovering over the hill.  I was standing along the harbor area and the old historic part of the city starts there.  The city has through the years built up over that hill and further west.

Because the pastel is framed under glass, my painting really will never be photographed well as the reflections will always be there.  I would have to disassemble it and I don't think I will do that just for a photo.

The reflections shows the front door, fireplace with a reflection picture on the mantle, all in reverse. Also you can see the old photographer's hands and camera.

Thanks for stopping in..........

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday's findings...............

Peonies from southern Iowa.  My background doesn't really measure up as I didn't really seem to be too concerned about what was in it. 

This is another shot of my weigela bush.  I need to get outside as I think there are new iris blooms out there.

Thanks for stopping by..........lots of errands to run today.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Taking soggy pictures........

It is muddy in the backyard so I get to walk the dog.  After returning from one of our walks in the mist or rain,  I went into the house and came back with my camera. Flowers must respond to water more than sun as they all have just come out in cold, wet weather.

Thanks for stopping by...............I lost my Uncle Kenny this week and  I will be blogging about him soon.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday's day of few words.........

I haven't pruned this back much but I am going to have to this year as it is starting to spread out onto the sidewalk territory.

One more shot of globe alum in the sun.  It is on the right side this time as the sun is setting.

We received a huge rain and 55 mph wind Tuesday.  There is not a single petal of any flower on this snowflake viburnums now after the storm, washed away and blown away to the ground

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

Redtwig Dogwood...............

Thanks for stopping by..........

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bloom time..........

A small old fashion iris that came from a start from an old cemetery.  They bloom earlier than the hybrids and have very delicate markings and color.

My rider mower took a chunk off of this weigela.  I have never owned a riding mower before so I have to bone up on my skills.  I have put the broken back branch into it's original position hoping it will heal back together.

Have a good Sunday and thanks for stopping by............

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Faces, a Collage of Friends.........

Faces, a Collage of Friends   by John Hodges

One of my former art students who is now graduating from school has become a stencil artist.  He takes a picture and allows a program to divide photos into three values.  When he project each one of the values separately on stencil paper he can trace out the three values of the photo. 

Once the stencils have been cut out, he can then spray paint the three stencils onto a paint surface with light to dark color values, or in this case black, gray and light gray. The photos are of a lot of his close senior friends and the display has been put up to be on exhibit for the graduation ceremonies this Saturday night. 

The grouping won a Best of Show at a local contest.  I can't take credit for the skills and talent he already had but I did get him started during his freshmen year in school.  He has won a prestigious award that is giving him a full ride at a design school in Canada.

Click on the photo to get a clearer look of the work.

The picture below the grouping was awaiting to be hung.  It reminded me of a Norman Rockwell moment as the painting had the girl looking up at the others.

I am proud of this young man and wish him the best.  I am glad his creative talent was not discouraged and that he is pursuing a career in art.

Thanks for stopping by the creative zone..........

Friday, May 20, 2011

Everything plus the kitchen sink is in this picture.  I cropped out a lot but what you see is reality.  I brought home these iris from the down south property.  My wife cut them and I had to scrounged around to find a glass jar to put them in with water. Most everything has been thrown away or taken to my house.  I found a dirty old mayo jar in the garage with nails in it and put some water in it for them.  They ended up in the sink at home and I liked the linear pattern that the stems made while awaiting their new vase.

This may be a reposting but I thought I would share this as the rain probably now has washed all these flowers off the branches.

My mature violets just started to bloom a month ago and they are still at it.  The youngster starts are still developing leaves but will probably bloom in another month or so. This was one of my Mennards buys last fall.

I looked out the dining room window one morning early this week and the sun was giving the alums a nice lighting effect.  I was still in my bathrobe but went out anyway and snapped the shot.  I needed to get to school but I didn't think that it would make me late for subbing.  I don't have a firm arrival time when I sub anyway and as I have always said to the kids, what are they going to do to me, fire me?  No I am responsible but the idea is I am needed no matter when I show up to school.

Well I am a science and pe teacher today.  Fortunately I will have a quiet day as the seniors are gone so the classes have reduced in size.  They graduate on Saturday.  School continues without them for another week. I think my subbing days are numbered as staff won't be taking off time for much longer.  We have kids at State Golfing  today so I am the coach's sub for the day.

Thanks for stopping by..........

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Checking in on Thursday........

I was glad to see these iris blooming in Osceola on Wednesday.  The climate is a few degrees warmer in southern Iowa and most of the bulbs and iris bloom a few weeks earlier than mind do here north of Des Moines.

I don't know this variety of iris nor it's history but I am sure my mom snag some of the roots from a neighbor somewhere in town. 

I am subbing today and have fond memories of crawling around in the basement yesterday replacing this trail of pipes and valves.  I disconnected it on the right from the water meter and then removed the whole train from the elbow.

My wife and I went then to the Farm and Home store and this wonderful guy in plumbing took a look at it and put all the new parts out for me to replace the whole thing.  The pipe had started to rust through and either it was the pipe or the valve was dripping water.

I have kept this for a photographic subject but promise to toss it soon. 

Thanks for stopping by...........I am a band teacher, math teacher and a librarian today.  I had to write it all down and just follow the list as to where I have go next.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Promises to keep......

This iris will be blooming by next week.........

and the weather will be warmer.

By adding water and sunshine to these two agapanthus plants they will be green again and maybe bloom.

Thanks for stopping by............

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday's trio............

When the drizzle started and then continued for three days, it was like magic.  The yew trees, Austrian pine and balsm trees just put out new sprouts instantly.

I bought this cheap tea rose, Abraham Lincoln, last year.  It never bloomed and I thought well that was a waste of money.  I didn't plan on it to over wintering but it did.  Now I will see if it is just the root sprouting or if it really will bloom this year.  I like to do cheap experiments once in a while to see what I can pull off and I hope I get one year's of bloom from it. I am in borderline zones 4 or 5 so it causes our plants to live for a few years and then just freeze out.

It is all just apples and oranges, isn't it?  I mean we take the weather we get and we complain about it no matter what.  The perfect five to seven days that Iowa has in the spring are probably gone by now.  I have had the furnace running the past seven days and before that the air condinting had to be used.  We are told now that we have a warming trend and each day it will warm up further until Saturday we will have a great day.  I can hardly wait. 

Thanks for stopping by........

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday's moments.......

The quartet is hanging in there though their days are numbered.  I have snapped here before but there is a tulip of a different color that is now spent and I left it out of the group photo. Rhubarb is being harvested very soon.

This is the last composite that we will have to create for a while.  Actually we don't have any to do until next years graduating class.  This the third and final one we are working on right now.

Graduation is this Saturday and we promised to have it done but we still need three pictures.  I had to swipe some of them off facebook as they wouldn't bring them in but they had them posted on their facebook sites.

I need to draw the lines now and get holes cut for the opening of the school name and class year design.  The figuring has been done and we lucked out with an even number of pictures.  Ten per row and I think there are 50 photos in total.

This is not the true color of this flower.  It is not a deep red but more borders on a light magenta.  The digital camera decides which color it wants it to be when it comes to shooting red things.

I am the business teacher again today.  I take a coat to wear as the air conditioning makes it very cold.  The other end of the old wing is not as lucky, so when I go down there for one class I have to shed my coat.  Monday's at school can be long but school will be out in a couple of weeks and I won't be subbing anymore.

Thanks for stopping by........

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday's shots.........

Can you see the crazy guy in the Maine sweatshirt?

Snowflake Viburnum

I really have been too busy to get outside in the cold to take shots but I made it out for a five minute fling.   I snapped as fast as I could as it was trying to sprinkle. 

We are working on the last school composite of graduating seniors.  We have yet to receive three of the seniors photos but we are still going to go ahead and glue it down.  I will show shots later of the senior class group once it is done.  Even maybe I will give you a shot of it in progress.  It is far more work than it appears.

Thanks for stopping by.............headed to church and I have a Sunday School class to teach. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Summer Plans.......

As the weather is cool and rainy one has to remember that the summer is coming.  It was a longer lasting winter than normal and we do look forward better days.  I grabbed a few shots to remember or dream of the summer to come.  Rhubarb cobbler is going to be a reality very soon.

Della and I do not have to work on this mural.  We lost a month last year working on it and we will have time to do something else.  It was a fun project and we are proud of it but it is nice to not have to revisit it this summer.

I think we should plan to go back to the International Balloon Festival this year.  It was our very first experience there and we had a great time. 

We will not be going to Maine this year.  I have mixed emotions about it but I think maybe a trip to Lake Superior will be a lot less expensive and take less time.  The kids from Maine are coming through Iowa this year for a couple of days so that will be great to see them.

Not taking a trip to Maine means we don't have to get frisked down at the airports.  I don't think I will miss flying, as we did it two years in a row.  No flights for the summer is for certain,

Red raspberry pie is a must and my bushes have really spread.  I should be able to pick quite a few through the summer as they are an everbearing variety.  The black bugs hopefully will stay away for awhile so we can enjoy them.  I know bugs could add protein, but I will eat a hamburger instead of a bug.

Our frightened visitor will allow us now to pet her for a short period of time. Now that she just had a new litter of kittens next door in the neighbor's garage, we will be waiting to see how many she had and when she will bring them back home to us.  She and her kittens are promised a visit to see the vet once we are all catchable.

I think of the State Fair and summer outings that make the summer fun.  I have cut down on my coffee drinking but I still can have some with more time allowed to drink it.  Sitting on the patio in the summer is restful and cold or hot beverages make it more pleasant.

I am hoping for a good summer and will try not to make tight plans this summer.  We have some major responsibilies taken off of our list now and yet there are a few biggies yet to accomplish. 

I hope this is a good day for you and that tomorrow will be a restful Sunday.  Thanks for stopping in.......