Friday, October 31, 2014

Freezing Fall..........

Some of the corn in our neighborhood has been picked.  When I left for school yesterday I could hear the  noise of the combine and thought maybe the field would be picked.  When I came home I realized that the neighbors to our field on the hill were the ones who picked.  Soy beans and corn are being harvested as fast as they are able to in Iowa but the wet ground is the problem  We have had so much rain all month that the ground is just not completely dried.

The area in the photo in the far field, next to the trees on the left, shows they got into mud trouble while they were picking.  Along highway 141 you can see them partially picking beans or corn where the ground is dry enough for them to pick.  Any wet section is still not harvested.  The field in the foreground is only 13 acres so I am sure the farmer and his boys will put it off to do last, even though it was one of the first fields to be planted in the spring.  They farm a 1000 acres or more so the big fields are being picked first.

 I brought in the last of the flowers last night as we had freezing temperatures.  Tonight we are going to have a hard freeze of 26 degrees F or colder.  That will stop growth of things for sure.

This planter of petunias is down to the small blue ones and the yellow flowers.  I brought it in just because I wanted it to have a few more days of life.  I figure the furnace will take them out soon enough.

I had mentioned earlier in a blog that my red maple turned red on the east side of it and the rest turned almost pink.  Those leaves never did turn red as they are now on the ground.  This is as red as they became.  I have some pale ones too I am sure I will share another day.  I now need to get out and mow and mulch up all those leaves.  The unemployed out there who live near me have made great attempts to get there's up. My piles look quite festive. They will be great for Halloweeners to walk through tonight.  Hey this is the last day of October.  Where did that month go???

I don't have school today so we are going to be shopping and book store visiting today.  It still is not warm out there so I won't work outside today.

I have three mats to cut for my wife's artwork so we can get them to the customers.  My wife sold a painting of a red fox that will be going across the seas to the UK.  One goes to Illinois and the last one I will be framing and it goes up the street about three blocks.

It will be nice to have the day off and have the weekend to follow.  I hope everyone is able to stay warm as it seems the big cold is coming through the country.  I wish you all well today and thanks for coming by to see my post.

Thursday, October 30, 2014


I still have not drained the pond.  It isn't a high priority at this point of time.  I have time to get those two fish out of there as they don't mind freezing weather.

The Austrian pine is getting ready for winter with its new frons matured to become a good part of the tree.  It isn't a large growth but it does make the whole tree larger as it adds new length each year.

I took this shot a few days ago and this is what I don't like to see.  It looks cold and shields us from seeing the sun. I raced out after school and got my siding all primed.  I am hoping today after school to get the final color coat or coats onto the siding project.  It will be 60's today, low 60's, but I can get paint to dry at that temperature.  I see I am running out of warm weather for the next week or so.  I can mow leaves in the cold and I am sure I will just do that.  I have two more days of subbing to do next week and then I am going to take a few days off.  Maybe a lot of days off in order to get some more done to the house.

I am giving tests today which makes it an easy day.  Kids get serious when they have to answer for what they have learned, or not have learned.  No school Friday so this Thursday is my Friday.  TGIT is what I get to say.  Thanks for stopping by today.  

Check out my Photo a Day blog to read about my Jello story. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wednesday's Wandering........

The flower is laying on the ground as the stem has given it up.  The flower is probably safer there than standing up with the cold winds blowing.  I shall loose all of the flowers when we hit the 20 degrees.  I hope to have the last of the apples out of the trees by then.  The grounds on the property are getting scattered with a lot of leaves and I need to get to the mulching.

This process I have seen done before on a house on a TV self help show.  The siding was removed and flipped over and reattached.  It can be scraped more easily and you still have your historic siding. This looks like crud but with a couple of coats of primer and then the paint it will all smooth out to look good.

The nails are not nailed completely into the sheeting in the photo  as I wanted to be able to go back if I had made a mistake in spacing and shift boards.  I actually didn't make a mistake in spacing as I completed getting the cedar siding back onto the house last evening.  It was a 12 foot 15 foot area and I am glad it is done.  I will sneak on primer this afternoon as school gets out early.  I will get paint on it whenever the weather warms up more as the paint is effected by cold.  The primer doesn't seem to be so bad with cold.  It just doesn't dry out well.

I have a pile of pressed leaves on my desk at school for the students to see.  I am surprise to see how many really do stop and take a look at them.  One girl who brought in the sycamore leaf, brought it a yellow maple leaf today. 

I have one more day to teach tomorrow and I have Friday off from school.  We have a few plans for the day even with it being predicted to be a bad day weather wise. My time as a science teacher is winding down.  I have to bring in the two large planters of agapanthus plants this evening and we may take a journey in the car this afternoon for a short time out and about.  Thank you for stopping by today.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

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

The red leaves were so striking as I looked down the sidewalk.  When I snapped the shot I didn't realize that I was going to get such a collage of plants and leaves.  It is a weedy area under a bush.

My new purchase of a different kind of sedum looks like it may never fully bloom.  I blogged about it earlier in the summer when I bought it but I don't remember its name.  It has plenty of moisture so that shouldn't keep it from blooming.  It reminds me that I need to dig up another batch of sedum and divide it up and replant it all over the property.

I sort of knew that I was being barked at for being in my orchard area.  I didn't at first notice that I was really being watched. There are four dogs on the picnic table checking me out.  I zoomed in on them and this is the shot that I got from it.They are two more small dogs in the group but they are not in the photo. That is six dogs if you are adding them up in your head.

While I was out yesterday my other neighbor was getting his boat ready for duck hunting.  It looks like a boat with a hulu skirt. Willie goes hunting and fishing with a friend and another friend who is our Governor's son. Willie and the one friend are former students of mine. I have never met the Governor's son but I see him a lot on Facebook with the fish they have caught.

A neighbor cat that is very friendly was out helping me out with everything that I was doing.  He had climbed one of my ladders in the apple tree.  He had already had a free meal at the porch door.

It is Tuesday and my job as a Science teacher continues. My three week job has become a four and a half weeks long now.  I have a short day today so I can go home and work on the house if it isn't too windy.  We are suppose to have wind and it will depend which direction the wind is blowing as to whether or not I can work outside.  I hope it is a northerly blowing wind. I am working on the south side of the house.  It is a week that they do parent-teachers conferences so I have short days the rest of this week and I have Friday off with no school.  That will be good. 

Everyone have a great day and thanks for stopping by to visit.

Monday, October 27, 2014

The First Day of the Week.........

This was laying on my sidewalk yesterday.  It is the leaf of a sycamore tree.  A student just today brought in one to give to me so I could press it and display it on the wall.  There are two sycamore trees across and down the street.  When we had a tornado going through town seven years ago I will always remember seeing a large garage truss hanging up inside that tree that had been dropped there from the tornado.

The two sycamores are showing in this photo.  I had shared the photo of my neighbors newly painted green house and didn't notice I had a picture of the trees. My silver maple tree trunk is in the foreground.


A different development is the aging and decline of the hollyhocks.  The plants did not bloom this year but next year I will have many blooms again.

This lily kept its leaves for a long time and now the decline creates a different pattern of colors. I am not certain but I think this was an Asiatic lily or a stargazer lily.

The burning bush puts out great color and I see this one finally is showing a few berries.  It is a striking bush to have in the yard in the fall.

I am now starting my fourth week as a high school science teacher.  I would never had dreamed of the path that I am on right now. I am glad to help out my friend who wanted his room covered by me while he was gone.  It has proven interesting with the students finally accepting that I can teach and that they can behave after the first couple of weeks.  Some students fall through the cracks not matter what and that is why we have an AT Risk program.  That teacher tries to pick up the pieces of failing students.  I will work this whole week and then a part of next week.  I am hoping to take some time off and finish up some projects.  I hope the weather holds.  I can work when it is cold, I can't work in the rain or snow....thanks for stopping by today. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Happy Sunday...........

The yellow blooms keep coming with rain and warm weather.  I thought they had frosted off a week or so ago but they appear better than ever.  The plastic flower that you see in the back is a faded flower on a hummingbird feeder.

I shared a similar photo on my Photo a Day blog. The bee is seeking nectar on the bud. There are two other partial blooms on the dahlia but this last big bloom is stunning and the little bugs like it too.

The hostas continue to decline as the summer is gone and the fall is upon us.  I split up a lot of hostas this year and I will be anxious to see them coming up in their new locations.

I worked on the siding on the back of my house Saturday. It is too complicated to explain but I have removed a section of siding on my house and I am returning it to the side of the house with the back side now on the front. When I get done I will have to prime that 100 plus year old cedar siding with a heavy coat of paint.  Then I will put on a new coat of paint.  It saved me from scraping the old paint from the boards as they are now facing the inside against the house.   We hit a bookstore in the afternoon yesterday and rested for the rest of the day.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Saturday's Shots........

The red maple was red on the east side of the tree and now it is pale orange on the west side.  I don't know why the west side did not turn red but it is a pretty color.

It was a good year for us in the produce from the tomato plants. We are now down to about a dozen of smaller tomatoes and we have had our fill of them for the year. We really did enjoy them.

The bucket gets to be used a lot but for some reason it leaks occasionally.  I had it at school and the two holes in the bottom of it caused water to leak all over the floor.  When I broght it home the leaves apparently are blocking the holes as the water still stands in the bucket from the last rain.

I will have to start to mow leaves soon.  I like to wait until they dry out and shrivel up a little to make the pushing of the mower easier.

The sun was shinning bright in the west and the flower does glow when it shines.  It is Saturday and I am not sure what our plans are for the day.  I will work on the back of the house for a couple of hours and then we will see what happens.   I wish everyone a great weekend in all that you do.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Friday, October 24, 2014


The robin's nest that was sitting on a ladder next to my garden shed finally fell to the  ground.  Apparently the wind blew in just the right direction to knock it onto the ground.

The birch tree is now a skeleton with nary a leaf on its branches.  It makes it look like a winter scene when I leave the ground out of the photo.  I noticed in the photo that my green shutters need a new paint job.

We have two yellow houses in our neighborhood and a blue one across the street. Now my neighbor has repainted her house this nice green.  We have a rainbow of colors in our area.

I am glad that it is Friday.  It seems like it has been a long week.  The rain in the middle of the week seemed to make it a longer week.  I will welcome back some of the warmer weather and sunshine.   Back in the classroom again today.  I have another full week to do now as the teacher with the new knee is staying home one more week.  I hope everyone has a good day and that you have great plans for the weekend.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thursday's Shots............

The river birch is losing it leaves quickly as the days get shorter each day.  The raspberries that grow near this tree are going to need to be picked again over the weekend.  I will try to prune the birch back some after the leaves fall so I can see better where to trim.

Burning bushes are doing well this year.  It is such a great red to see in the yard.  I see in some newer homes that landscapers use the red bushes in groupings with maple trees to make the arrangements look really good in the fall.

The leaves that were brought inside are really striking in artificial lighting.  I press a lot of these in a biology text book that I had in school.  The book looked like it had been in a water accident already so I didn't worry about pressing them in its pages.

An accidental shot looks like a modern painting.  I have one more day for Friday to be here and I am looking forward to the weekend.  We had rain early in the morning and it seems overcast later this morning.  We will warm up to almost 70 degrees F.  I hope everyone has a great day.  Thanks for dropping by today.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday is Here...........

I painted for an hour after school yesterday.  We had a late supper and then I went out to catch some photos. It was almost too late to take pictures as the light was really low.  I tossed half of the photos I took but I did get some to share.

It has been a long time since the birch dropped its leaves without rain.  Normally it rains and they fall during and after a rain storm.  I am surprised how our fall is so different than the last two years.  The low light did allow me to a photo of the tree.

A few petunias are still blooming and these two do look good together. I have a few single pansy blooming and the weeds are taking over now. First frost will clean it all up.

The light outside was too low to takes shots of the leaves from my red maple.  I brought a bunch in and placed them on the dinning room table and got a good shot.  No natural background but the placemat does work to give a nice blue.

Back in the science room again today watching movies, finishing tests and doing recycling.   It is a shortened day today so I will get some time off.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday's Shots......

I have been busy with teaching school and then painting on the back of the house after school.  I have run out of photographs to share.  I will have to go outside and take some shots.  I am giving tests today to three sections of students to see how I did as a teacher.  I will be busy showing a movie to one of the classes and the other two classes are measuring  photos of skulls of various humans to compare cranial sizes.  It has been a long time since I have been in the science field but I did have some of these classes during high school and my freshmen year in college. That was a long time ago.  There are suggestions that I may be staying on for one more week with this sub job.   I was hoping to get time off to mow my yard and finish other stuff at home.   I hope all will have a great Tuesday.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday's Moments..........

Barney didn't use to walk on the bridge but after the many years being around it he is very content to walk on it and also stop and look around.  The pond itself looks bad as  I am filling in with loose dirt.  I am planning to turn it into a bog garden as soon as I get it completely filled in with dirt.  I will leave the bridge as a path through the cattails and whatever else I can get planted in there.  Cannas would be great to grow in the area and volunteer water weeds will be great. 

Barney has a crooked bent ear from damage that he did to it from scratching it too hard a few years back.  The ear is slowly straightening as the blood vessels have healed up and is making the ear stiffer.

I have never heard of rabies in squirrels but this guy was very aggressive and seemed annoyed with me.  I wasn't standing three feet away and he came scurrying down the tree at me without any fear.  I guess he thinks it is time to get the corn put on the feeder.  He can walk across the street and pick his own corn.

The hostas are holding their own as the cold air isn't bothering them too much.  Some varieties that I have act like they have been frosted while others are becoming more wilted each day.

I will finish with my red maple tree.  The leaves are great this year and as you can see in the background that the birch is loosing its leaves quickly.  It is Monday and seems to be a nice day.  Back in the science room for the third week now.  The last two weeks did go fast.  Students are settling in to the different old man in front but today it seems Monday means that they behave sluggishly.  They are a tired bunch.  I am tired too but will make it thorough the day okay.   Thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday"s Posting...........

A stray volunteer maple tree is growing in the neighbors alley.  The tree is an offspring of the big maple leafed tree in the neighbor's yard.  The leaves seem so big and eventually turn brown.  As the snow starts to fall there are also some of these leaves blowing around in my yard.

A small group of phlox plants are putting out blooms.  They are very late as the rest of the growth in that section of plants have already gone to seed.

My neighbors tree is seen through the foreground of my birch tree leaves.Those trees have lost a lot of their leaves already.  Those leaves line both my neighbors side of the street and my side of the street.   I will need to start mowing and mulching soon so there isn't too much of it to deal with by the end of fall.

It is suppose to be a warmer day today in Iowa. The chilly weather yesterday didn't feel good when we were out and about yesterday. While painting on the house in the morning I had to wear a stocking cap to help keep warm.  I hope all will have a great Sunday and thanks for stopping in on my post today.