Saturday, April 30, 2016

Rain Makes the Trees Grow.....

Another day of rain and wind makes for a cold and wet day.  We have become waterlogged with too much moisture.   It has been a busy day and I am low on photos.  The picture that I have is of my front yard silver maple and balsam pine tree. I  appreciate your checking in today. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Fussy Cold Wet Friday.......

The fern leaf peony has one bloom partially opened.  It looks like that it isn't a normal bloom as it seems caught in this angle. I couldn't straighten it out of the tipped position.  If we ever get warm weather maybe the stem will help to straighten it.

I am predicting that this bud will be the next to open.  I don't think we are ever going to warm up again.  We need heat to move us along in the gardens.  Our normal at this time is suppose to be 65 degrees F.  We were in the low 40s this morning.

This iris now grows next to the south side of the house and it gets warmed up more in the sun.  It shot up to be a tall stem in just a couple of days. I see that there are three buds on the one stem.  I am not guessing what color it is but I do have a hunch of what it is. I will be taking lots of shots once it opens.

My water collector has been busy at work collecting the rainfall.  I was surprised to see the rain gauge showed one and a half inches of rain.  It seemed like more but it did come in sheets of sprinkles for two days.  The reflection of the dead tree in the water is another one of my projects I need to get done.  I am afraid that it will fall on my flower bed unless it gets cut down with just the right cuts.

A distorted looking kind of bud.  I will be interested to see if it develops into a normal bud or if the freeze damaged it. It seems early for iris but the cold weather keeps me thinking we are in early spring which in reality we are in the middle of spring and maybe further than that.  Our last frost day is suppose to be May 15th.

I have one section of lilac that almost looks normal.  You can't see in the photo though that the back part of it has been frozen from the cold and the dead flowers or buds prove it.

I am in the high school special education room today.  I was asked to switch back to the office job again today but I think they found a baby sitter for that phone.  I am also being a teacher in two high school English classes today.  I keep having to flex my skills to other avenues.  

It is nice that the weekend is coming.  The weather really dampens the possibility to get outside work done.  I have a framing project to get done this evening that I must finish and maybe we can go to the bookstore on Saturday.   I hope everyone has a great weekend.  Thank you for stopping by today.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Spring Stuff

I get so many photos taken that I forget to put some of them up on the blog. I was glad to see the apple trees blooming.  The tree next to the garden shed doesn't seem to have as many of them this year.  It is probably better as they get too many apples on the branch and the tree self clears away some of them, dropping them on the ground early summer.

The sedum in the tile looks good.  I wonder if I will ever see blooms on them. I planted some of this plant on the ground below and it is looking good too.

I have shared the single shot of one of these earlier.  They are an interesting tulip with the red flares of color on the edges of each petal.

I was surprised to see these popping up so quickly.  They are out by the road and I guess I wasn't monitoring them, just like with the rhubarb's growth.  It looks like I will get some good blooms from them this year.

It is just a different kind of tulip. I don't remember when I buy these things but I am sure it must have been a sale in early fall. I need to go back and get another photo of them with all of them in full color.

This is another variety of the pointed petal tulips only they are yellow.

I am manning the secretary station at the middle school today.  I  find it interesting that the pause from the caller is  a normal response when a man answers the phone.  I have done the job often enough that some of the  frequent callers now say hello and move on to state there purpose for the call.

I am glad that the rain has stopped.  I think we have had a total of 3 inches or more of rain.  I have a rain gauge to check if I could ever stay home. The wind was so strong last night that I took the little dog out to another side of the house where the wind was blocked by the house.  Button can get blown over in the kind of wind we have had lately. The cold is back again today and I do wish for it to warm up again.   Thank you for checking in today.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Every Other One........

I finally touched base on this flower and I have a focused shot. I have a lot of photos of tulips and I will share as many as I can.  I do think I will scatter them though.

I am out on my sidewalk next to the street having a "Senior Citizen" moment. I had notice that the iris that I had rescued for my parent home had all died out, there was too much water in that spot,  and nothing was there in that spot. Also I was moaning because I thought the rhubarb had not come up either.  After a few seconds I glanced back and well look at that, there is the rhubarb.  I had lost my focus.  It looks as good as usual and is ready to be picked.  I guess it was too large for me to see. So I then took a photo to share and said, "never mind."

I have only one of these kinds of tulips.  It came in a pack of mixed bulbs.  It reminds me of a cabbage like flower. It is very short this year because of the cold spell we had in the middle of a nice spring.

The garden area that I created two years ago is taking shape this year.  I had removed a 35 year old spreading juniper.  The iris are taking off quickly.  I again have no clue as to what colors they will be.  I planted some new varieties and I think I transplanted a white variety in here. The bucket boy statue looks like he needs a platform to stand on so he can see out over the plants.

I have only one of these.  It would be nice in a bed of 24 bulbs but I have just the one.  I can enjoy it as photographed better and easier than going out to see it.

An artist named Nesbitt did large oil paintings of different flowers and these single close up photos remind me of his work.
My wife has an artwork of an iris that I will share on the side bar of this blog today.

We all know Iowans are strange.  Look at me!  Anyway we as a population can see wildlife in real life and most people will believe us.  If we see moose, which is very rare, no one doubts the person.  When we see bears from Minnesota, not a person will doubt them.  But when anyone sees a mountain lion, they are always doubted.  A man yesterday morning saw a mountain lion just outside of town, three blocks from our home.  We have  washways from our town, my ditch, that have created ravines in the many years the town has existed.  The ravines are now large with water in them and they eventually drain down into creeks and then into the Beaver Creek west of here.  If a mountain lion was following our Beaver River down from the neighboring states he would feed on small animals and maybe even road kill.  If a mountain lion is in a town such as Des Moines and has to be shot because it is near a school, one can't disclaim that they are seeing a mountain lion.  They did have photos when that happened a couple of years ago.

Back to the point, a man posted on facebook that he saw the mountain lion south of our gas station just outside of town early morning.  It was on the town facebook for a good part of the day and then they had it pulled.  The DNR maybe thinks it best we don't know it until they can prove it looks like a very large cat similar to a smaller African Lion. In the past, if the DNR didn't see it then all reports are not true.  It may have been pulled to make people not to be so scared.  It may have been pulled because we might get our guns out and shoot things that move in the dark.  I don't know.  I believe the guy saw what he saw.  The reactions that follow, always seem to amaze me.

The full moon has been and is now receding.  I took this many days ago.  It really isn't a good photo of the moon, it just a bunch of colors.   I am in the AT RISK room today helping people to not avoid  doing their homework.  We are so windy and cold today.  It rained very hard early morning with 50 mph of wind.  The east side of our house has been scrubbed down like it has been to the car wash.  The windows just had rivers of water running down them during it all.  It is Wednesday today and two more days of work to go.  Thank you for stopping by today. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


 A circle of color formed by the tulips is shadowed by the photographer.  The red tulips are not a true red but the yellow orange colors make them seem red. 

Tulips that had difficulties were brought into the house.  Someone was weeding water grass from an area and one tulip was snagged by mistake.  Others were out there growing all alone in different parts of the garden.  I brought them in too.

One lone grape hyacinth is out in the yard. I should move to another location and maybe I could get some more to grow. I use to have a lot of them and things happen causing them to go away.

The one lily that was large and old was moved to a new location.  I notice that it is coming up and that there are new sprouts coming up from its making a move.

A week later and look at them now.  The larger one is shooting up tall and has out grown the little sprouts on the side.  It definitely was a good transplant.

The honeysuckle was effected by the freeze as the blooms are really sparse.  The usually have many more blooms than this.  I keep finding more things that didn't like the cold.  I do have a viburnum that didn't bloom last year and it surprisingly has many buds that have formed in the past few days.There will be pictures.

It is a cool, overcast day today.  I don't think we will be as warm as yesterday.  The end of the school year is 5 weeks away and the kids do act like that it is time for school to be completed.  I am in the special education room today and will also be working in the coffee shop.  I went to the dentist yesterday to have the new bridge put in to my mouth.  I am happy but know that my jaw line and teeth will all move around now to get things arranged.  I am not chopping down continually any more to the new object put in the row of teeth.  It is better, the new one, than the temporary piece of plastic.  It is better that I don't have a gap anymore.  In a few days I won't notice anything but will be able to eat on my left side of my mouth again. Until I am fully adjusted to it I will be somewhat grumpy or irritated.

Thank you for stopping by today.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Mondays are always an Adventure.......

A multi color tulip that leans from the frost.  It has such interesting colors that really can't be appreciated without a close up photo it.

I have found that there are a lot more plants that have been damaged from our freeze which we had a few weeks back.  I noticed the cherry trees may not put out fruit this year.  It has happened before a few years back.  The fern leaf peonies have less buds on them and the lilacs were hit hard.  The blooms will look pretty distorted.

I don't know the name of this plant but I believe it would be a shrub it it had enough sun.  That will happen now as the trees are gone and it is in full sun.  I have seen a shrub like this growing at the school and its height isn't more than a foot tall. I like seeing the wild violets showing in the photo.

The golden privet keeps dying back each year and not really becoming a good looking bush.  I would not think our winters are the cause but I guess it must be. It seems futile to keep letting it grow like this and fade back each spring.  A twig in the ground does not make a bush.

This is what the freeze did for the lilacs. I wander out yesterday and thought I could smell blooms but then I realized this is the most of it. Visual dead parts of the blooms do tell me that they got to be too cold.

I am hoping that the blooms mean there will be apples.  They don't seem to be so abundant and yet they seem healthy.  One tree that I don't usually get a large apple crop is covered with blooms this year.  I hope my neighbor across town is keeping his bee  hives going and he sends some of them my way.

The facetime feature on the iPhone is such a blessing for two grandparents of this little guy.  We got a call  later in the evening and there he sat looking at us wide eyed and awake. He apparently has his days and nights mixed up for his parents.  I guess it is his parents that must be mixed up.  Anyway we had a great talk with our newest grandson up close and personal. He is filling out in his face now and we can see more of his true handsome face.He seems like a small little guy as he is 6 pounds in weight.  I remember his dad's birth weight was also 6 pounds.

I am at the school today and will be playing the role of a special ed. instructor. as well as other odd jobs to fill in for the school.  There is a secretary gone today as well as a social studies teacher and I will pick up jobs along the way instead of the normal special ed. position.  It is a bright sunny day after a very light rain in the night.  We did not get storms as they faded out in strength by late evening. The wind was unbelievable most of the day on Sunday but we are a little bit windy again today.   I hope all are ready for Monday as it is here anyway.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday Morning........

The photo of the tulips and the birch tree has become a traditional shot for me.  The tulips are sturdy and show their blooms every spring regardless of my lack of memory of it.  Then, every spring I am reminded that I have taken this shot before.

I am old fashioned and I am going to let them grow. They are invading the side of the yard and it looks like I had done it deliberately.  Normally I mow them back to keep them under control.  This year I have a new garden statement. I am sure a few older walkers that go by to critique my yard will be a little upset about it.  I just hope they don't call and ask if they can come over and help me mow them back.  When they go into decline, I will then mow them back in to the correct formal garden shape.
Can you see the robin in the background looking for bugs and worms?

I moved iris and planted new iris from the neighbor last growing season so here we have it. I don't know where any color of iris is planted. This one though I am betting is a white iris.  I dug large clumps of white iris that the road and sidewalk crew had smashed down with their machinery. I have a good chance to see them bloom this year as they were very large established rhizomes.  

With most of my iris in full sun this year I am anxious to see what will develop in the show of flowers.  The area next to the fence that was in complete shade from the now demolished and removed maple trees should grow differently and better than it has ever before now. The 40 years that the fence area with honeysuckle bushes should change and grow well. Then again, hot sun may be the negative too. 

The growth of the Asiatic lilies has been fast.  The photo above was taken 7 or 8 days ago and now look at it.

We had a visit with this little guy via facetime yesterday.  We are able to visit live on the internet with visuals going each way.  One very proud father was holding him with one arm and holding the iphone with the other.   The little guy is a small one and he slept almost the whole time.  He did blink open once and looked at the invading phone screen.  It was nice to visit with our son and see his second son.  Teddy is nice little bundle. 

Off to teach Sunday school this morning and home again for a quiet day.  We are suppose to have severe storms in the evening.  We seem to be getting heavy moisture in the air but not sprinkles.  I hope for all of you to have a good Sunday.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday, April 23, 2016


Our second grandson was born April 20th in the evening.  He was 6 lbs. 4 oz. and 21 inches long.  I have movies of him right after he was born and he has a great set of lungs that he was trying out.  The older he gets the more he reminds me of our first grandson.   His name is Theodore John Burgus.  He will be called "Teddy or Ted."  After just three days the name really has stuck and he looks like our Ted. I suspect we will be doing some "facetime" on the computer pretty soon.

We have been cold again but today is predicted to be a warmer day.  I probably will do my first mowing of some parts of the yard today.  I have most all of the sticks finally pick up off the yard so I can mow without obstructions.  One section of my yard, the ditch area, is still all mud and that won't need any of my attention.

The birds are hanging around less now as all the trees are budding out for leaves and there must be something there that the like to eat. The house finches have been more visible this past year than another other year.  I bet they have found new nesting areas that are close by to us.

The wild violets are doing well with our weather.  We are getting the rain that they like and the cool damp evenings seem to make them happy.  We had fog this morning but I couldn't photograph it.

Last night, early evening, we had a beautiful orange moon.  When I went out later to photograph it the moon had turned back to its normal color. I guess stuff on the horizon was causing the color. I hope someone on facebook captured it and shared it as it was worth photographing.

After the tulips we should see peonies and iris.  I think the tulips were early this year so we will have to wait.  The lilacs are maybe just budding but I haven't been out to see.  I would think the apple trees would be blooming but again I haven't taken out the camera.  Some people who live in the warm low lands of Des Moines have fruit trees with big buds and blooms on them.

Every spring in Iowa can be so different in its timing.  I see that I have my two clematis that are already shooting up vines.  I didn't have a single bloom from either plant last year.  I hope this will be a better year. I have to water everything in the house today.  I ended up working all five days this week and just didn't get things done.  Tomato plants are tough and could wilt on me and I could still keep them going.

It is fertilizer day for all the plants, especially the tomatoes.  I bought a new bag of potting soil the other day which means I will be moving things into bigger pots or splitting up some over sized plants. I think I can start moving some of the plants in pots outside in a week or two.

No big plans for today as we both are a little under the weather.  Even with the announcement of a new grandson we have had a slow week.  It is nice to have a weekend to have time to regroup.  Thank you all for stopping by today.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Friday's Features........

The neighbor's crabapple is blooming out but is not in full color yet.  I will have to keep an eye on it to get the photo of it when all the blossoms are open.

The angle for the shot was chosen for the flowers that were blooming and not for the garage.  This tree was a freebie from the bank years ago and I remember the first neighbor's who planted it as a small twig. I think that I remembering that I had to encourage one owner not to cut it down.

Overlapping of the tree trees shows three different kinds of blooms.  The real pear tree in on the right and the decorative pear tree is on the left.  The red leaf with blooms is a problem and I will probably take it out over the summer. It has grown crooked because the one tree is too close to it.  The trunk is at a 60 degree angle to the ground making it look strange.

I just looked up the name of the tree and it is a Bradford pear.  I didn't read the label when I bought it and was disappointed that it is a non-bearing tree. I also read that some places discourage it as a tree to plant in urban areas.  The birds scatter the seeds throughout the country, so they said.  One state classifies it as an exotic tree pest.

I will finish today with these shy looking tulips.  The rains have them bent over a bit and thre was not a way to get a good  photo of them.  I am hoping they do straighten back up when we get some sunshine.

I am teaching today, even though I had planned not to.  I was in the special education room this morning and now back in the Middle School social studies room.  It has been a long week and I am ready for a weekend. I have yet to get much outside work done.  I remember when I worked full time as a teacher I didn't work out there until the end of May.

I thank you all for stopping by today. I will share my new grandson's name when I get a new photo. You can all just wait in the lurch until I get that next photo.

Yes, I did correct my spelling of "Tudging" into "Trudging  through Thursday." I hate it when I check the spelling on my writings and forget to look up at the title.