Friday, May 31, 2013

All on the ground..........

This is another variety of iris that I call a cemetery iris.  They are small and they are scattered throughout older cemeteries in central United States.  On the ground in the background you can see I had work to do to pick them up and brace the fallen stems.   The stems are so full of water and the rains made the flower heads heavy.  In the one area I had seven stems of flowers on the ground.  I have them braced up but they are not very pretty looking in form.

This bloom is a wonderful one but it was so damaged that I will have to take another shot when a good bloom is on the stem.

I shared this bloom, different shot, on my Photo a Day blog.  It is a wonderful bloom.  I read on the internet that this variety is the parent plant to all the hybrids that we see today.  They do have a hybrid one of this particular color, like a larger clone of the small original.

It is not an iris.  My pear cactus is getting use to being outside again this year.  I had a lot of growth on it last summer and I am anxious to see how it does this summer.

I still don't have my cushions and umbrella out yet but it is getting close to having that happen.  It is Friday and the last day of school!!!!!!!!!Yayyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!
I did get my summer job back.  For some reason it was a secret that I was to get my job back.  They hired only two workers for help this year and me and one other person was chosen to do the summer cleaning and repair.

We are headed to Minneapolis on Saturday to help my wife's friend move to Des Moines.  She doesn't have many possessions so we will load the car full and head to the older part of Des Moines.  I was glad to see that it will only be about 4 hours or less to get there.  It will take a majority of the day but yet we can be home after her delivery way before sundown.

Time to close this up for the day. Thanks for stopping in today. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tom Tom......visits.

I am ready for my close up shot please.  Also the bowl is empty and I need a snack. 

It is Thursday and I think that I might make it to the end of the week.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Apples.........and more.

The one tree did get pollinated as I now have some apples.  The dry season made the apples on this tree disease and insect tree.  I will wait to see how a normal season will work out for the crop. Last year's harvest was wonderful.

Rhubarb cobbler with red raspberries from last season will be on our menu soon.  It is nice to have the rhubarb being so robust.  I have three different plantings of this and the neighbor across the street has a large row of it.

Speaking of rows of things the flowers on the strawberry viburnum do keep themselves in order up and down the stems of the shrub.

The hardy geranium has come to life from being brought out into the light of the outdoors. The rains have washed the leaves and I may just fertilize these plants rather than repotting it with fresh soil.

The green and yellow leafed iris now has buds that are ready to bloom.  I thought they would be pale blue or lavender.  One can never tell the exact color by looking at the buds.

It is Wednesday and we have had not participation as of yet today.  The late afternoon promises more to come and strong storms are also predicted on Thursday.  I snuck out on Monday afternoon and finished up most of my mowing.  It was not all completed so now it is.  I will probably have to mow again soon as it is all growing so quickly.  Two more days of school left after today.  It is getting to be a long school year.  We had snow days tacked to the end to make up now.  I hope everyone has a good day and thanks for stopping in today.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Storm debris......

It isn't like limbs on the ground, even though I did have dead limbs and live limbs in the yard, but it is the debris that you get with high winds and hail.  Evidence that the seeds were being forced from the limbs and parts of the neighbors locust tree are all over my property. A neighbor lady lost a windshield on an old car as loose shingle hit her car.

Two out of three of the stargazer lilies did come up this year.  I planted them very early spring and didn't expect much,  but here they are. I hope there are many buds and blooms. It is one of my favorite lilies.

I lost a couple of tomato plants but the rest seem to be rooting in and are looking strong. I have a few more tomatoes in pots  to fill in the spots.

It has made it to the outside now and has new buds on it already.  They set on inside when the spring light started shining in the window.  The hardy geranium should so well with real rainfall to replenish its soil.  It will eventually be hot enough that I can put the umbrella out for it to get some shade in the afternoon.

A lot of things going on today and school.  I can tell that I will be tired after school.  Three days left and sometimes they can be the most difficult.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day......

A new bloom in my garden opened up on Saturday morning.  It was given to me in a bag of 20 random small rhizomes and three years later I have a bloom.  Most of them will bloom this year and it will be fun to see what colors that they are.  I don't have this one already so it is good to see it to know.

The spirea is late this year but it is doing well.  The snow packed bushes seem to have survived its winter abuse.  Some of my spirea in another area were severely damaged and I will need to trim back the whole shrub and start over with it.

We have had rain for two straight days and heavy winds each time as the different fronts pass through.  The predictions are said to be that we will have dry weather next Saturday or Sunday.  The iris did not like the small particles of hail that we had last night so the remaining buds will be the rest of the flowers.

Memorial day is always a day of reflection and of good and bad memories. The different stories and true depictions of all of the wars seem to be more real each year in my life.  PBS decided to cover the Korean War ( conflict) this year and it is interesting to see what hasn't been shared about that time.  I was born around the time and the history books of my lifetime didn't include the Korean War. Books were not replaced as readily as they do in schools today.

It is gloomy weather outside but the rains have stopped.  I hope everyone has a restful day. Thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday One Shot.......

I am sharing my wife's photo today with you.  I hope you all have a good couple of days off. Thanks for stopping by my post today.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

I could spend a few paragraphs complaining about the change in Googles design.  My storage of pictures is a part of the picasa system and they have reworked it one more time.  I know that they have to make it complicated so it will remind you of facebook's system, but I don't like it.  My older macbook does not like it at all and balks when I try to download my shots.

I am not a happy camper when it comes to not being able to put more pictures into existing files.  I know that the new computers probably have the system power to do that but my old one doesn't accept them.  Instead, I am now having to make a new folder each day that I download.  I don't want hundreds of folders to look through each time.  I would like to use the same folder over and over again until it has filled up to about 300 shots and then I will make a new folder.  A folder of 300 keeps the pictures in order by date taken and it is easy to retrieve them if I just have to go to one folder.

I am sure that if I had the time or was using other types of programs that I would understand this one better.  I just know that downloading my pictures to iphoto first, opening them up into photoshop gives me a better system to edit the photo and then saving them into a file for transport into picasa should be working.
On the weather report from me today, it is raining windy and lots of lightning and thunder.  Not a good day for dogs and a great day for ducks and geese.  I don't have to mow today.  I did mow a partial outside area of my yard last evening so I don't look as bad.  It will be hard to mow now that I have to put it off for a few days.  Maybe Tuesday after school I can get back on to it.   I did get some more tomato plants in the ground yesterday.  I had lost about three of them and I had plenty to replace them.  I want to give some plants to my neighbor but figure I will be the one planting them.  I like helping but my schedule doesn't say that I can do it today or tomorrow.  Maybe monday.  They needed to be in the ground a week ago.

I am sitting with Saturday school kids again today.  They serve 4 hours in the library with me and that clears a lot of their debt to society.  Some will be learning the hard way  for quite a few more years down the road.  This is the last Saturday school for the year and there will be a short four day week coming up before school will be out.  I don't know if I will have work all four of those days.

Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your weekend!!!!

Friday, May 24, 2013


I see by the traffic reporter on television that it is noticed that a lot of people took off on Friday.  I was thinking I would do a shorter blog today as I could take it off, but I don't take blog holidays off unless I am stressed, sad, angry, bad or sick.  I guess I don't have a dominate one of these and I am just tired today.  I will find a couple of more pictures and slide out of here.

I have a circle of iris that were planted three years ago as small rhizomes.  Last year with no water they didn't bloom even though they should have.  This year it looks like they all will bloom. I haven't any idea what their color will be.  One has a very tall set of stems so they will be hybrids and the rest are the medium sizes iris.  It will fun to see what color that they are.

As I shared on my Photo a Day blog, this iris is now out.  It grows close to a tree and I need to move it out from under partial shade.  I really like this one,  but I actually like all iris.  This one bloomed earlier than my cemetery iris.   All the peonies and iris are too late for Memorial Day this year.

A three day weekend is ahead of us and I hope all have a great break.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

On the prairie........

The yew shrub has faced a hard winter with heavy loads of ice and snow.  Twice it was flattened to the ground.  Now it has rebounded to a tall large shrub with all the new growth.

The old fashioned iris is all in bloom now.  I have removed some of the spent blooms to keep it looking good.  I have a variegated blue and white one in bloom and I will try to get shots of it this afternoon.

Another shot of the honeysuckle hedge in the back yard.  It looks better everyday as the blooms keep opening.  The cool wet weather may keep them around longer.

It has been cold and wet for two days now.  I may get out with a camera after work today. I have six tomato plants in the ground and will need to plant more as I have plenty to put out.  I am going to try two different spots to grow them this year to see which is the better site. Everyone has to mow and I do want it to be a little warmer when I do it.  The grass is growing great.  I have a wood pile to be burned by the end of the month.  I need to stay with that and not miss the ending date.

It is a Thursday and it has been a long week.  The Friday activities at school include community service with the kids going to different places to clean, weed, and level gravel at playgrounds.  I have not been asked to be involved with this so far.  The kids are out at 1:30 to go do these good deeds.  I hope you have a great day today.  Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Close buddies.....

I rescued the small rhubarb plant from over under my neighbors towering pine tree.  It was a small sprout and now it is going to do battle for space with the iris.  I like seeing people who plan gardens, I just don't seem to be one of them.  Accidental planning and planting is my theme.  When in doubt just get it into the ground and deal with it later.  So maybe this fall I will deal with it. In the mean time if I keep the rhubarb pulled and we eat it, there really isn't a problem.

I had to research the name again as I don't ever seem to remember it.  This is the Strawberry Viburnum that I have growing out my back door.  I trimmed it back last summer and it didn't seem to bother it.  It keeps growing and becomes too large to walk on the sidewalk. It has a great design and the little buds turn into little flowers.

Buds on every stem of the original rosebush William Baffin.  My start taken from the bush is doing well in its new location and this one has revived for a summer of blooms.  I will be sure to show you the first blooms when they happen.

Pin oak trees put out leaves in the spring that have fall colors.  The leaves stay on all winter and then in spring drop with new green sprouts to follow.  The trees look like fall trees when I look out the dining room window.  A bright yellow tree against all that green grass and leaves of the other trees.

We are having cool weather today which will be nice. I have my classroom windows open and I see the kids have shut off the fans.  It does feel damp and cool when it blows on you.  I have to get the room cooled off early in the morning and may not have to shut them later in the afternoon as I usually do.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


The mother's day peony is being crowded out by the redtwig dogwood and the iris.  It is a good problem as everything is growing.  I may move a large section of the peony as I can't keep the redtwig from advancing.  This one peony is the one that is going to bloom in stages rather than all buds at the same time.

This is the smaller old fashion iris.  They bloom earlier than any other iris that I have.  I had a white iris that bloomed earlier but it is in too much shade to do the early spring show. With all the moisture in the ground, they all seemed to open suddenly all at the same time.  There are a few buds still to bloom but the most of the plant has open blooms all over the area.

My old lilac is starting to see its last days.  I got this start from a huge stand of lilac on the shores of Lake Pokegama.  It always puts out a great show of flowers.

Honeysuckle is all in bloom right now.  The bushes are big and old as they make a visual screen for my back yard and the street.  They smell wonderful right now.

The school year is coming to an end as the last of the band and choir concerts are finishing up for the year.  Students have a few field trips to get done and they have a half day clean up day for the town.  There are only 8 days of school left right now including today.  I heard through the grapevine that I don't have a job with the school this summer.  So the old guy is hitting the streets looking for a summer job.  I don't know how an old man can get a job these days but some places are only hiring us worn out people.  We work harder sometimes and don't take sick leave.  I have some places in mind but I don't know what the employers will want to fill their summer jobs.

It is a cooler day today.  We had a tornado scare again last night while the school music program was being held.  The radars are good at telling people where the exact path is so we were 15 miles north of the path which was heading below and away from us.

 Today's students are so oblivious to reality with all their technology that they can't believe or can't comprehend the students can get killed at school from tornadoes.  One student couldn't believe that brick walls would fall down.  Anyway, such it is with today's youth. It is sad for such a thing to happen to any community.  All we can do is watch and hope that they find more survivors and less dead.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Monday, Monday........

The rains on the plains really don't like this plant.  One blogger friend told me that this was called a Mother's Day peony.  In three days all of the buds went into blooms.   We had a larger rain and a lot of rain last night so I doubt there is much left to show for now. I really like them.

A quote from an Iowan, unknown to me, but I bet is a nice person said, "The peony, if you're interested, is called Paeonea Smouthii. We always called it "Mother's Day Peony" because it blooms very early, usually early to mid-May (at least around se Iowa)"

The name of wildflowers get confusing but I think now that this is called the blue wood phlox.  I think as a kid we called them sweet William but that was folklore.  Anyway the area in which these plants are growing reminds me of the timber with all the creeping Charlie, day lilies, old fashion roses and grass growing in all the same place. It is a thick jungle.

I am growing this aronia berry shrub for my neighbor.  She has three of them and I have her fourth one.  We will see plenty of fruit on this one this year.  The dry weather last year did nothing for it but the early rains brought it to life.  It stands almost six feet tall now and is sending up new shoots each year.

I didn't have the time to get the tomato plants in the ground over the weekend.  It looks like we have another rain coming this afternoon so maybe by Wednesday I can get some of them planted.  I did get the yard mowed and the senior composite of the graduating class was finished and delivered on Saturday.  I didn't get pictures of it this year but they all do look alike.  It would have been nice to have the tomatoes  in with the nice rains.  I do have them in the larger pots and they seem to be still growing strong.  I have had them on the back porch for a few days but tornado warnings all evening meant that I should bring them in.  We escaped the 80 mph winds but we did have strong winds.

It is Monday.  I have had better days but I will face it with courage.  When I get discouraged someone always comes around and encourages me.  I could tell myself that things could be worse.  We have a foul 5 day work week and this the last four days next week for the end of school to happen.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The end of their season..........

It has been a busy day today and I want to give you this one photograph for Saturday's posting. The color of the tulips that were a deep red almost turn black as the weather away before the petals fall.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday's Fix' not food.

Two views of the same  bloom.  It would be nice to see bees inside of these but there are none. I hope there is some type of bee out there to help pollinate the thousands of blooms I have on the three apple trees and the pear tree.

I have larger plants of rhubarb that are ready to be harvested.  We only had one crop last year but I think it will keep coming back this year.

I am still watching and waiting for my first blooms from this plant.  All the  plants that I have of this variety have many buds on them this year. I did see some ants on them so they will be opening very soon.

The classrooms are warm now as the brick buildings have progressively retained a higher heat level each day.  It is 67 degrees F. right now but the humidity is very high.  It is like being in a raincloud.

 Speaking of a cloud, I was out with the dogs last evening and the moisture in the air was high and the smell of ammonia from the neighboring farm fields was so strong.  I don't remember having it come into town like that before but the winds were from the east and they blow over a lot of corn fields.  I didn't open the house up to cool it off until about midnight and it didn't seem to come into the house.

I am glad it is Friday.  I have a few small projects to do this weekend and I have a few large  projects to do also.  The one project will be a frame job that I will work most of this evening on and hopefully finish it off by noon tomorrow. Have a great day today and enjoy the weekend.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


The red tulips are aging but they still show off against the barberry shrub that sits behind them.

This time the camera caught the red in its true color.  The wild violets are doing so well this year with all the rains.  I don't mow until they are about gone.  It is tall but my mower will chop through it.

The redbud is looking good this year.  I am always amazed how this kind of tree grows in the wild areas and you can see it has slowly spread up through the wooded hills of Iowa.  It looks more red in color when it is in the timber with the light green background of the leaves and grass.

It cooled off last night so the air didn't have to stay on very long in the evening.  It was 60 degrees by morning and the house was cool with the windows opened.  I have plans to get some tomato plants planted by the weekend so the rain in the forecast doesn't make that a possibility.  We will see where that will fit in to my time schedule.  I do sometimes just plant a few at a time for a strung out period until I get them all planted.  I have more plants started than I need so I will hand out some in the neighborhood once I get all I want into the ground.  Lawn mowing is in my future too.  I can wait to see what the weather is going to do to decide when to do that.  

I am back in the middle school study hall today.  I am counting the days now. We have had only one bad very hot day so far and hope we can avoid them until the end of the school year. Thanks for stopping by today..