Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sunday's Sharing..........

They are faded and weathered. The last two blooms of this one plant for the season.  It is a sign of the fall season that is to come.

This is my recycled hardy geranium.  I had it weather through the winter in the basement with no care from me.  It looked pretty sick in early spring but now it looks like I had bought it at the nursery.

The harvest of cherry tomatoes started last week.  This is my second picking for tomatoes for salads.  My other tomatoes are in their building stage of filling in the green tomatoes into full sized ones. I hope that I can start picking roma tomatoes soon.

A different swallowtail was hitting the flowers in the garden yesterday.  I went out with camera in hand and caught glimpses of the very hyper insect. It was the kind that "hit and run" the flowers and then it was gone. I don't think butterflies have personalities but this guy was on a mission.  The last that I saw of him he was flying over the tops of the apple trees and heading to another neighbor's yard.

This framing job will be on high priority this week as I am ready for it to be off my counter. This is not the final arrangement but it seems like it could work. I don't have a frame bought so I will do that after I get this all all assembled and attached.

Sunday activities will be going on today and then home for some rest.  Our weather is good again today and then we will warm up for the whole week.  Thank you for stopping by today.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Summer Shots........

The corn grows tall with all the moisture and a few very hot days.  I used the zoom to get the shot as the neighbors were out and about on their property.  When they are gone I can walk the property line out to the cornfield and get close up shots. I share this photo because the tree in the photo is helped to be balance with the morning dove on the electric wire. We have rolling hills in our area and you can see the other farmer's corn field on the hill heading to the horizon.

The neighbor cat likes to rest on a rail.  He was there for many hours yesterday while I was outside working.  I have water damage on my side porch roof.  I am tearing off any wood that has gone bad and will need to replace new boards on it.  The porch was built 30 years ago by some younger kid and he really didn't do it correctly.  I will return to the job and fix it right this time. 

Another shot of the flag that I finally got download into picasa.  I am doing battle with picasa as I download a set of photos and only half of them show up in the file. I keep trying and certain photos won't move onto picasa.  I did open up another folder and it let me download them all.  I think back as to wondering how many photos never got to the final destination and I just forgot that I had them.

Everyone hates tech problems but this one took me a while to catch. Blogspot also is giving me a glitch right now.  When I go back into a post and edit something, it resaves the same posting, blank, as if I am created a new post with the old title. I end up with the original post in the list and another one with the same title right above it.  All I have to do is delete it but I shouldn't even see another one created.  Anyway, it seems that things that have worked for so long now have to have an ability to be flawed.

The humming birds are liking the bee balm and I just took this shot right after one of them left the area.  It was landed on a branch right above me as I took the shot. When I pointed the camera in the direction of the hummer he just left.

This is zinnia number 2 that is opening here.  I only have one color of zinnias this year.  I couldn't find a mixed packet anywhere and none of my old seed germinated this year.  I will just throw all of the old stuff away now. I do think the butterflies like these flowers but there are not many in bloom.  In fact there is number three opening up right now.

We are having sunshine today after two days of clouds.  It is normal temperatures right now but we are to get hotter in the future. Seeing the sun is nice and it now looks like a normal summer again.  I hope all is well you.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Friday's Finds..........

The photo justifies why I seem to always need to grow moss rose each summer. I can't seem to grow poppies even though there is a neighbor that can.  The moss rose is a small form of a poppy shape.  It also is a small version of a rose too.

 The oxalis can survive outside without much difficulty.  I guess I have grown it in the ground in the pass but this is in a pot.  This plant had maintained its shape and leaves most winter months  but at the end of winter it seems to die down getting ready for the next season. So I kept it alive and took it outside in the spring.

The lily keeps putting out blooms even though it is start to show decline. I like this variety as it puts out so many blooms that last for a long time.

The wave petunia has not impressed me yet as it seems to be growing too slowly.  I guess it still needs to get its roots established better. I don't grow petunias very often as our heat is hard on them and they need just thr right kind of care.

While working outside, cutting down the old lilac bushes I looked down to see this in the dirt.  Marbles are always fun to find and this half of a marble was special. I have found the pottery marble of old in garden areas closer to the house but find this out away from the house makes it a mystery.  I suspect the Iowa winters were hard on this one marble as it split in half.  The many stories I could make up to tell of this marble.

I had my min photo shoot next to the blue chair in the living room to see what images I could capture.  It was not easy with artificial light but I took some shots and got a few in focus.

The colors of the half marble does look like some of the older ones that I have when I was a kid.  Someday maybe I can dig through my jar of marbles and find a similar one.

It will be a cooler day today before the warm up coming to us soon. The phlox are really enjoying the temperatures and they will hang around longer.  The rest of the lilies are about gone now along with the bee balm.  I have things to do outside so will take advantage of the weather.  Thank you for stopping by today.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Thursday's Things.........

When I looked down I could see one more picture in the making.  I like how flowers on different stems are faced in different directions.

Larger than life blooms of a hardy geranium appear in large  splashes of red.  The hardy geraniums have returned after there beating by rain drops a week ago.  It takes awhile to get the whole plant looking good with damaged blooms next to the new blooms.

My pet swallowtail was too friendly yesterday as it got into my face and was too close for the camera.  It is such a hyper active insect and flaps its wings rapidly never stopping for a still shot.  It now has one part of its wing broken off from all of its busy movements.  The phlox were a fascination to this guy hitting all the little flowers for nectar like he was in a scanning mode. I would call this swallowtail a black one when you see it with its wings open. I share a photo below to show what the makings of a light colored swallowtail looks like.

I could not get my mind to remember the differences between these two so I dug back into my file to find the picture of a few days ago. Besides it being a clearer photo of a butterfly that just hung around in slow motion, you can see the outside markings are completely different. The white on this one is more of a cream color than the one above that has more of a yellow light color in its markings.

 The project of cutting down the overgrown lilacs continues.  The photo shows that I have removed most of the 25 foot branches from the 30 year old white lilac bush. This photo is not one of the end result but the larger pieces on top have been removed and now the tall one shown are also shortened or removed. None of this is a good looking sight and won't be until it is done.

Here is another new shot of the second bush being pruned back. Behind it is another partly lilac bush and also a very old honeysuckle bush growing side by side. Sunlight is not hitting the soil and I have sewn in some grass seed to get some green back in there.

 The surprising thing that I noticed yesterday is that within a week since I started trimming back things  the old branches immediately started new sprouts. That bush plans to survive no matter what I do to it. I have branches to cut up and clear and the whole area will look better when I get done.  I hit the project a couple hours a day just to get it done.  I have no deadline other than it was to get done this summer. I will show photos when the bushes have leafed back out and become better looking shrubs.

The weather continues to change around here and it sometimes cools off at night now.  There was a rainstorm happening last night north of us with strong lightening but it never came our way.  I will work out there again this morning and eventually can just move on to something else.

I appreciate your checking in today.  I hope it proves to be a good day for you.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Middle of the Week......

The old guy just crosses his arms and sleeps.  I have never seen him awake.  I had a set of three of these guys and the other two went to the landfill the past few years.  He always has seemed like he is in meditation.

It is early morning yesterday and this is one of the last of the stems with buds and blooms on it. It is partially opened here. As a bulb plant I would not think it would open and close at night.  I think it was just opening for the first time.  The three plantings of this lily have been the show stoppers this season in the garden areas.

I finally was able to get a shot of the small yellow butterfly.  I think the only way for me to catch a photo of the inside of it is to find one that is dead or caught in the front of a car grill. I have a shot of the white one but this yellow one is a first for me this year.  In the old days, when I was younger I should say, I can remember seeing this butterfly variety surrounding a water puddle after a rain.  They would all be drinking water in the bright sun.

The television is on as I blog and I look up to see hollyhocks blooming in Japan.  When I researched moss rose the one time I was amazed as to how it grew all over the world.  It must be the same with hollyhocks that grow in a similar climate or at least with a similar growing climate.

I have no blooms of morning glories yet.  I am finally getting vines to grow.  I will be glad to see what color they are as they seem to surprise me with their different colors.  I may have to wander over to the neighbor's corn field and see if the glories are blooming in the wild.  I did not get any wrens in that house this year.  I have wrens in numbers in the orchard area but not in the house.  I guess I need to get one of my ladders out and take it down to clean out the mess inside.

I had a swallowtail visit the coneflowers yesterday.  I had seen him the day before and he looked like a small bird flying about.  I guess the black on them make them seem bigger. I have other shots of this guy on my Photo a Day Blog. I did have a visit of the lighter colored swallowtail also.

I am not sure that this is the exact same butterfly that I took photos of a few days ago.  If it is, this one seems to have been ruffed up a little bit as its wings are weathered.

I am going out to work in the yard today.  I have a cool morning right now that won't hang around for long.  Yesterday morning it was hot as I mowed some of the yard. The humidity was less but it still was hot.  Today we will return to heat and heavy humidity.  I am cleaning up the area of the two old white lilacs.  I have been cutting back their very long branches and it is a lot of work.  I mentioned earlier that they are 30 year old bushes that I just had never trimmed back.  Now I have a mess of overgrown of bushes with the only green leaves being at the top of its 25 foot limbs.  You can't see the lilacs blooming when they are that tall.  The purple lilacs don't seem to grow that tall.

July is almost gone now and I really don't know where the days have gone. I am not a fan of winter anymore so I hope the fall stretches out for a long time.  As I finish this off I can hear an airplane that is spraying chemicals on the beans.  Kill the weeds before the combines go to work next month.  Thank you for stopping by today.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


The bumble bees are so busy this time of the year feeding on a lot of different kinds of flowers.  I don't see the honeybees much but they are smaller so they are probably out there. Bright sun and shadows are strong so I really never could get the bee into focus.  I just saw a goldfinch at the coneflowers this morning.  I don't think there is any seed ready for them to have but the bird must have been checking things out.  I do know there are plenty of bugs out there and maybe it was looking for them.

I planted more tomatoes over by the garden shed as I had the plants to deal with.  I don't kill tomato plant starts even when I don't need them.  I ended up putting 12 rescue plants out there and the majority are now blooming. They have caught up in size with the  original plants that are in the back yard.

The back yard plants are most all now with tomatoes on them.  This roma seems happy with me now that I water them every single day. I sort of missed a day on Sunday so there were a few of them warning me with wilted leaves that they felt neglected.  I watered them n the afternoon yesterday and they did perk back up again.

I have picked four cherry tomatoes now and I am certain that I will quit counting as there are so many of them.  I am thinking this variety was the cherry 100's as I look at the bunching of the stems on the end of a branch.

I missed a photo of a black swallowtail yesterday.  I only saw it once and it never came back.  With its color being so dark, I first thought it was a small bird.  I hope to get a shot of it but I don't always make those things happen.  The small white butterfly did hold still for me for a while but the yellow small one didn't land long enough for me to even point a camera its way. The white one is enjoying the flowers on the mint plants.

The pears are looking great this year.  The bees really did do a good job of pollinating them.  I have so many of them.  The variety must be a small sized one as I saw a pear tree a few blocks away that had huge, larger, pears on it than these are.

The apples are not so plentiful this year but I hope that means the apples will be larger.  I have had a lot of apples fall off the stems already onto the ground.  It seems to be a normal behavior as the trees seems to shed off apples very early in the season too.

Some shots out there that I just have to take as the flowers looks so good.  I know that I have saturated my files with photos of these in excess. This one bloomed later than the other two that were like it so I can just keep taking shots.

It is to be warmer again today and the humidity is going to be high also.  It seems like the weather people are apologizing for it but I would rather know what I am going to get in weather rather than what they wished we are going to get.  The predict a high of 89 F.   today and I bet we will be 92 degrees for sure. 
 It is Tuesday and I have things to do.  I keep plugging along and hope to see completion on some things today.  I quit setting goals to be very high now that I am taking it easy.  Getting things done is just the goal.  Thank you for stopping by today to visit my post.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday's Bouquet.......

This photo really does symbolize how great the flowering season has been in my yard.  Iowa usually is hot and dry with sporadic rain.  To have the frains that we have had no flower that did not bloom.  In the past I have had years when phlox didn't show, or the field lilies would put out a token set of stems with buds.  This year everything is doing well.  I even have volunteer tomato plants coming up in a couple of my planter pots.

When I placed this window box planter here three weeks ago it had struggling starts of hardy geraniums in it.  I went ahead and planted a couple of morning glories in it to vine up the trellis.  Finally I can see that everything has rooted in and the planter is filled with foliage.  The morning glories are all those large leaves and there are a lot of vines headed up the trellis.

The burning bush is doing well with all the moister and it is creating a forest in my yard.  I don't really want ot trim it back yet but maybe this fall I can do that.

I will keep working on the frame job today.  I have some new ideas on how I am going to make it happen.  I have all the crochet things made by the woman washed and dry ready for their being placed in the arrangement.  We watched the "Titanic" movie last night and it reminded me that the women whose stuff I am framing was around during the time of the sinking of the ship.  I have papers that are from 1907 among all the other things in the old basket.

We have a couple of errands to run today and the morning is actually cooled down for a while.  We will hit 89 F. today so we are not out of the furnace yet.   Thank you for stopping by today.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sunny Sunshiny Day.........

I had two butterflies in the garden yesterday.  I have not seen many  all summer.  There are some of the all white ones and sulfur ones.  Otherwise it has been maybe too hot for them.  This red admiral never did open up for me to get a shot of its great colors inside.

At the very same time this swallowtail also was hanging around.  It was too hot to be outside but I was watering tomato plants anyway.  The two of them were hanging around so I headed back into the house for the camera.  I was able to get a few good shots of each and then they were gone.  I posted two other better photos of the swallowtail on my Photo a Day blog today. Check them out and view that stained glass window design more clearly.

In the middle of the night the neighbor's cat stays on the porch or on top of the car.  He might ask for food if he is hungry. If it is 4 in the morning when I am up with the Button the dog I just go ahead and put out a half cup of dry food. He may also just ignore us and just keep sleeping right there.

This is a sunflower seedling that just mow popped up.  I guess we will see what it can do being that it really is too late for it to start growing.  I planted twice in the one area nothing was germinating.  I guess I will make it my science experiment to see if it every makes it to a bloom stage.  I guess there are three of them growing in that spot now.

I planted a whole package of zinnias and they too had a hard time germinating.  Out of the whole package of seed I only had 8 plants that grew. They are just now mature enough to start putting on buds and this one is blooming.

The weather people keep screwing up with their predictions and really like to pad their projections.  Magically at 7 o'clock last night the whole state was going to transform into a cooler state.  That didn't happen.  We are 81 degrees F. right now at 8 o'clock in the morning.  They are now trying to tell us that we are have a cooling trend with it being in the upper 80s. One degree less than 90 degrees is not a cooling trend.  As we all suffer through this I hope everyone has adequate cooling in their homes.  I wish everyone to have a safe and restful day. Thank you for stopping in today.