Monday, August 31, 2015

The Last of August........

The arrangement of the coneflowers really is not a natural one.  I had to stake up most of them and they ended up on bunches that look like this.  The flowers are fading quickly and I have yet to see a finch on the seed heads.  The butterflies don't seem interested in them any more so I guess the nectar is gone.

The sunflowers which grow next to the coneflowers are just now blooming.  I was glad to see that those small heads did expand into a larger flower.  The photo is a little blurred but I was thinking this one sunflower does look differently than the others.  The seed pack must not have had pure variety seeds in it. 

I shot the two pictures of the monarch with them a couple of days ago and yesterday I did see a single monarch flitting around in the area.   Never landed on anything.

I do have this mini patch of zinnias that should bring in some butterflies.  I think the warmer weather will bring them out more.  The apple tree branch that hung down above these flowers has raised up now as it started to drop apples and it has less weight on it.

I am thinking the city told the company that school was starting today.  The few children that do walk to school need not fall into all those ditches around the sidewalk.  It has all been filled with dirt and packed down with a small machine with caterpillar blades for wheels. The 1920's sidewalk is now tied in completely with out barricades to the 2015 addition.

A big change now is the space filled in with dirt on the corner next to the road.  The culvert was extend longer into the ditch.  The big trucks use to take a turn here and it would end up driving on the metal culvert. Now they will make their own new gouge into the area until that soil settles in and is grassed over.  I am hoping for grass and not gravel.

Barney keeps wanting to drab me through the ditch.  It is a mud hole and I could believe that we would be a real mess if he ever does succeed.  I notice that all my photos have the trees leaning in them.  The trees really do stand straight so I will work on that.  My redtwig dogwood bush did survive all of this as is shown on the right foreground.

The red coneflower has proven to not be red as the summer season continues.  I will be interested in seeing it coming up next year.  It being planted in real soil outside and not in a pot should make its growth to be different and better.

It is another slow day for me today but I am inspired to get some things done today.  I won't be working outside because of the heat.  I might go out and pick apples a couple of bags a day should do me. School starts today as they had 6 days of workshop before they kids finally started.  Of course it will be a full week of hot, very hot weather as the week progresses.  A third of all of the learning centers do not have air so it will be a challenge for some.  As new buildings keep being added to the school district they have air, but the 1970 areas are still not air conditioned.  Promises keep being made but it doesn't happen. 

It is the beginning of the week and I am hoping for good things all week.  I hope are are well and things are going well for you.  Thank you for coming by my post today.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sunday Stuff........

This little cat really worries me as it is so wild.  It was up on the roof of the garden shed the other day warming itself and I was concerned about its getting down.  I really didn't have to worry as I neared the area it headed up to the top of the roof and went down the apple tree branch and down onto the ground.  I am going to start taking some food out there under the porch roof and hope that the cats eat it and not the raccoons.

A monarch blessed me with an unusual shot.  It is a good shot of it even though you have to look around in the photo to find it.  I snapped two good shots quickly while the mosquitoes where tearing at my flesh.  I got a couple of other shots but the butterfly didn't show in the pictures.

The impatience is doing well out on the side porch.  I did succeed in killing off a few branches of it by not noticing that the rain had filled up its bucket.  I drowned the plant. When it started to wither then I saw it was standing in full water. Too much water takes away the ability for the roots to get oxygen. Well I think that is what it is.

I use to try to grow these in my classroom and I did call them a waterweed.  I could not water it and it would droop and then when watered it would stand back up again.  I have never over watered them before but they don't like it. well at least a flood. Just like an African violet that gets too much water.  They do die.

Closing down for the day.  It seemed like a tiring day yesterday and I hope to catch up on some rest sometime today.  We are heading into a long heat spell now and we will wish it would be cold again.
Thank your for checking in on my blog today.

Saturday, August 29, 2015


We are still waiting for the sun to show itself.  I guess this lily will have to do for now.   Heavy rains to the north of us flooded small towns and cancelled football games. Once it was all done raining we warmed up to a steamy evening.  It was strange as the humidity was so heavy that I felt like I was walking in a cloud and little bits of water would hit you in the face and it was not raining.

This is the one thing that brought me closer to Minnesota this summer than anything else.  It is an iron ore rock from the north shore area.  I feel a painting may be put on the rock by me sometime in the next few weeks.  The other side is more interesting to see and has shapes that remind me of cliffs along the Lake Superior.  I don't plan the paintings so I will turn the rock in every direction before I start.  No one please hold their breath waiting to see it, but I am determined to do it.

I am grateful that I have morning glories. I am so anxious to see the other couple of vines to come into bloom.  Maybe, just maybe, they may be a different color.

Phlox continue to give me good shots and I take one every once in a while because I do know that falling leaves and snow is around the corner.  People checking in on this blog for the first time probably think that I am only a garden blog but no, it is all I do during garden season. 

I will draw this post to a close for today.  Some small chores to get done and I need to get on with my day.  We are muddy everywhere but the next 7 days proves to be hot and returning to summer weather.  I hope we dry out a little around here as we are surrounded by the roads mud.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday's Finish........

It is raining this morning so I doubt I can find glories open for taking shots.  I am hoping a different color will bloom any day now.  It is suppose to rain all day until early evening.

 A creative shot on my creative zone blog seems appropriate. The salvaged water dipper needs to be cleaned up and I think a good soak will make it clean up faster.  The wheel barrel is always full of water so it has been laying in the water for a while.  I will get it cleaned up but  definitely not right away. Sometime soon it will happen.

The feeder has been busy lately with newly hatched sparrows.  I don't think I have ever seen young sparrow eat at the feeder but these past couple of weeks they are there.  It is fun to see them try out their wings by landing in a short tree close by and then flutter in onto the feeder.  One day when it was raining one of the little guys sat on the second shelf staying out of the rain.  I don't know the story about the cardinal.  I don't know if it is the one that has lost a lot of feathers or if it is just a young one. It is smaller than an adult cardinal.

 The sparrows are more in focus in this shot but the view of the cardinal is blocked. For us to have a great green world out there with lots of plants and seeds but the birds still like to come for  free food.  I only see the one male hummingbird now and I think the rest must have started the migration south.

The chokecherry turns to red during this month and then slowly drops its leaves next month. There are only a couple of places where they leaves have turned but some leaves have to be the first to start.

A bunch of them have fallen to the ground from the windy day we had recently.  They don't look so red when there is no light shinning through them.

It is not a nice day here today as we are having what we call a Minnesota rain day.  It will rain all day.  Sportscasters are praying for it to stop for the Friday night football games.  The first ones for the season.  We know we have a trip for business today so we know we have to get out.  It doesn't look like a good day to go shopping or mess around when you have to dodge in and out with umbrellas.  I have a sub job tonight for a friend teacher of mine.  He has a class reunion in Omaha area and the school is having a two hour open house late afternoon.  The principal gave him permission to have me sit in the room for him and hand out papers.  I can do that.  The rest of the day is a "fill in the blank" day.

We did finally get the senior photos from the school and will be doing the group composite.  We will start it but have decided if they can take three months to get the photos to us then we can take as long as we want to get the job done.  Photo givers all failed to do their job by giving me them on a flash drive and most of those are off to college now.  I got the web site address of the yearbook and I can pull photos off of that electronically.

I hope all are doing well on this Friday and that the weekend looks good for you and your plans.  Thanks for sticking by and checking on my site today.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Warming in the Sun........

The angel sits through the changing temps without complaining.  The hostas are turning to a lighter color. I am still waiting for the surprise lilies to pop up.  My neighbors bloomed a couple of weeks ago and I don't understand why mine have not bloomed.

The small rose bush that I bought in February is on its second round of blooming while being planted outside.  I have been trying to keep it watered as it is in a dry area that doesn't get so much water when it rains. I bet I bring this in for the winter if I remember to get it dug.  I know of a person who had them winter over but i am not so sure about that happening.  It was a cheap plant in a pot but I don't like plants freezing out if I can prevent it.

With lemons you make lemonade.  This wild vine gives me the beauty of a plant that I could have tried to plant but didn't.  Every year I cut it back before it grows this big but this summer I just let it grow.  It is a nice looking vine and it does grow wild here and there around the house. The planted morning glory struggles on the other side of the porch and has yet to bloom but this one really is doing well.

It still does not look like a path but it is.  I removed phlox along the sidewalk and I can now walk through there. I have some more trimming to do at the entrance but I can see the dogs both using the path now again. I remember when I had a hard time to get phlox started and now it is becoming too invasive.  I have one more path to clear by cutting back bee balm. It is too cold to go out there this early in the morning but maybe I can get that done today.

I grabbed a watering container and filled it with water.  I ended up with a nice bouquet of phlox from the ones that I trimmed out of the area.

The mandevilla sitting on the table continues to bloom but I don't see new buds forming.  I  may have to bring it inside soon as there was a low temp restriction on the tag.  We keep having cold nights.

I don't share the dianthus very often as they don't like hot weather.  Once we have a couple of hot days the blooms are gone and I have to wait for them to rebloom.

Today I would share pictures of people working on my sidewalk area (finally) but they are at work right now. It is amazing how all work must be done with machinery and the use of a spade or shovel is rarely done.  I suspect that when everyone is gone I will go out and fix it.  At least there is now no large areas for people to step into and break bones. I watched a neighbor go out yesterday and fix an area around his mailbox and a town worker stopped to check out what was going on. I am still wondering who will address the weeds and junk that is still in the ditches.  In a couple of years that whole ditch will be eroded to be a much flatter area for me to go into but not right now with its steep sides.

My only blooming morning glory is the pink one and I will try not to share too many of them.  It will be nice to see the colors of the other vines that have buds. They will probably be pink too even though the seed was a mixed colors packet.

We are both tired from yesterdays happening.  We know that my wife's friend is a whole lot more exhausted than us but we do have a long day getting her there to the hospital and back home.  The waiting is long.  We  also had to deal with a rescue at Shari's apartment.  A lady arriving back on a bus fell and really needed help.  We got through that and I think the woman is ok but housing places like this don't employ robust people to be caretakers of the place.  It was a difficult fall and she had to be lifted out of a area behind the wheel chair lift. The driver and myself plus an angel helped us lift her up and out of there.  I didn't think it was going to happen. It was good to be at the right place at the right time but it is challenging to make such quick decisions. We left with her being wheel into the building in a wheel chair.

No real plans for the day but to just hang around home. I have small things that I need to do and of course I have big things I really should be doing.  Anyway, I will take the day as it comes to me.  I hope everyone's weather is straightening out a little.  I hear we have hot weather coming back at us soon.  Rain may be falling this afternoon and evening.  Thank you for stopping by today.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Middle of the Week.......

When I cut off new starts of all of my hardy geraniums back in spring I really didn't know what to expect.  Most all of them are alive and some of them are now blooming.  I know greenhouses can make this process go faster but I did pull it off.  I don't think that I lost a single one of those starts.  I am in the process of reevaluating the bringing in of all those hardy geraniums in the fall.  I guess they take up so much space.  Maybe I can get a plan going where I can bring in one or two of each variety as a smaller plant and let the frost erase the rest of the big ones.  I guess I could take more starts off of the big plants and bring them in as small stems.  I will eventually share as to what I will do.

The white phlox is growing only in one location.  It is starting to fade now and I am thinking I would like to move a small section of this to another area in the gardens.

I had my shears with me this morning and I did a trimming of phlox away from one of my paths so I can walk through it to get to the fish pond.  I have one more path to work on getting rid of bee balm and phlox that took over the path.  When it was early morning and dew was on everything I had to walk on the one path with my arms up into the air to keep from getting wet.

The yucca's this year were yucky.  I didn't get a single bloom.  Weather and past summers mess with each plant in a different way.  I bet we were too cool and wet for the yucca's to bloom.  I can always look across the street to see my neighbor's plants blooming.  Theirs are planted on the south side of the house where it is hotter in the sun and drier too. I did move one section of this to my south side of the house and I will see how it does.

I am excited thinking of the idea of setting up a 20 gallon tank this year.  I will bring the two large goldfish inside and also the five smaller ones too.  Those feeder fish have grown large while being outside.  I think real mosquito larvae and greens make them grow up fast.  They also like the sunlight.

I gave away my very large tank this summer and also gave a science teacher a tank for his grandkids.  I still have this one last tank in my basement and it is a good size for fish.  I won't have to buy fish and I think I have all the equipment that I need to run it.  Nothing is more soothing than to watch fish in a tank when the weather is high winds with a snowstorm and the temps are in the below zero location. We will have winter again in spite of those who think we are getting warmer. 

While I was out picking tomatoes and apples yesterday I notice my one morning glory vine had five or six blooms on it.  I didn't make back to take shots as I was also mowing grass at the same time.  I was breaking from mowing and picked things during the time.   I am taking apples to the housing place where my wife's friend lives.  If they are a hit and people take them I will take in larger amounts.   I know the apartment where she lives has people who share food with each other all the time.  Being cooking apples they will have to be told to fry them in butter in a skillet or make pie.

We will be busy today with my wife's friend Shari as it is a chemotherapy day.  I just found out from my wife that she is actually getting three different kinds of chemicals in the treatment and that is why it takes so long for her session. In the most part it takes five to six hours from start to finish.  I am glad we are able to take her and that does give her a little bit more courage and less worry as she goes through this process.

It is Wednesday and we are half way through the week. I already get to go to school to help out a guy who has to miss the open house on Friday evening.  I am glad I can do it and hand out material to parents as they walk through the building.  I do have my name in for subbing this year again.  I am going to try to slow it down and be far more selective in what I do.   I did get a call to come take a permanent associate job earlier in the week but I said "thanks but no thanks."  

I hope all are well and the weather is being good for you all.  Thank you for stopping by today.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Around the Place.......

The very first bloom of the morning glories was a couple of days ago.  We just have not had normal growing weather this summer.  The other vine that I have planted may not ever bloom. I will check them this morning and see if any other blooms will be happening.

I keep taking photos of the same 10 or 12 blooms that I have on the zinnias.  They do change in shape a little as they mature and they photograph as different colors as the the time of the day varies.  I have refused to tie them up to a stake but it may happen today. I will be out there and it is too cold for the mosquitoes to be out.

It is an interesting study to understand how a flag can be wrapped up on a slanted pole. What ever windy weather that we have been having it seemed to twirl up the flag about 8 times.  A vertical flag pole like the ones my three different neighbors always unfurl because gravity helps them out in straightening it out.

Holding my camera in one hand and using my left hand I was able to unwind it.

The birch is having a good year.  The leaves are holding their own right now and not one leaf looks like it is turning.  My chokecherry tree has leaves that are a muted red-brown right now that are starting to turn red.

This silver maple has a dead trunk that is ready to fall.  There is nothing underneath it and they usually fall straight down. I will just have to wait for it.  The trees are getting to the point that they need to be taken down.

The fish are enjoying some food that I tossed them.  There are a couple of apples that are floating in there from the nearby apple tree.  I have seen some aquarium shops that would drop pealed sections of orange and apples for tropical fish to nibble on as a treat.

I have lots of projects started and nothing finished.  That is one thing that can drive me insane.  I will probably just go mow the yard and figure out what to do next.  I will have to wear warm clothes while I push the mower around as it is very cold.  I turned the furnace on this morning to take the chill off and will now turn it back down.  It will get up to the upper 70's today.

Maybe I should put some air in my tires and go for a bike ride.  No, not today.  Thanks for stopping by today. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Its First Bloom........

It is August 24th and I finally got one of the morning glory vines to put out a bloom.  We have just had a strange summer.  Lots of rain, lots of breaks to dry out and slow starts on all seeds planted.  I do know that the morning glories can bloom until late fall but it has been so long for the plant to get started.

The phlox is in decline so much that I will be able to trim them down early this year.  The plants were so tall and healthy that I will not dare leave them standing through the winter. It would be a huge mess in the spring to clean up. I liked this shot of the plant in front of the step ladder,  It made for an interesting background.

Some of the pears are falling because of the wind.  I brought one inside to watch and see how long it takes it to ripen.  It is hard as a rock right now but with pears they can ripen so quickly and then start to deteriorate just as fast.  I have mentioned many times that there are lots of pears on the tree this year.

I really like seeing this bright spot of red across the street.  The driver is originally from New Zealand and is a very good guy.  Some people are getting nervous about him parking there but it doesn't bother me. I sits one or two days and then it is gone for days. He explained to the city council that his weight per tire was less than the big four wheel trucks that are on the road daily.  I hope they will just leave him alone as he is not damaging any asphalt with that truck. The truck comes and goes without our notice unless we happen to look out and see the red cab going by the house.

The fallen coneflowers are blooming among the rhubarb and tomato branches. It looked like a good shot as I looked down to see how the rhubarb was doing.

We are planning to have a low key day today.  I could do a number of things but I am not going to jump at anything for now.  I think that I have three more days that I can do all the projects in.  Our Wednesday is a medical day for my wife's friend.  I hope all are well this Monday and I hope it is a good day all day for you.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sunday's Shots.....

It is a blurry beauty.  I didn't notice that it was not in focus until I started the blog.  I am not sure if this flower is declining or if it is just starting to open.  I will keep and eye on it and take a clear shot of it next time.  I will give myself a second chance.

The fish were enjoying the food I put into the tank.  They have a floating apple in the water.  It looks partially eaten but I think maybe a squirrel dropped it into the water from the tree above it.

My two fish look like whales compared to the smaller fish.  They do grow faster when they are out in the pond. The fish should have a lot of mosquito larvae to eat as those insects are clinging to every human that goes outside.

The  field lilies are all on the ground now.  They have shut down and by early fall they will have died out completely.  Every season is different and this plant usually doesn't die out this soon.

The corn dies out from the root and travels up the corn stalk as it shuts down.  You can see in this photo that the corn is turning more yellow and it won't be long for the husks to die off.

I have decided to start picking bags of these and giving them away.  Most of the people I will offer them to won't really be able to come over and pick them so I will drop them off at their door.

We made a quick apple cobbler tonight and tasted just a little of it after supper.  Before we go to bed we will have another batch and will be putting pecan ice cream on top of the heated dessert.  The apples are good tasting ones.  I don't know their varieties.

The month is going by quickly and fall does seem to be approaching quickly.  We had another thunderstorm last  night and we won't be going into winter with low soil moisture.

I hope all will have a good day today.  Thanks for stopping by today.