Thursday, August 31, 2017

Shorter than Usual.......

I learned about skippers from friends on the blogs.  The zinnias are busy with skippers and painted ladies feeding on them. There are other flower gardens in the area so the larger butterflies are finding plenty of places to feed.

It is the last day of August.  It has gone by fast and I am assuming September will do just the same thing. We have never been here in the fall so it will be a new experience for us. I am seeing a couple of flocks of pelicans off the far end of the lake.  They migrate through here and I did see a few of them flying last week while I was crossing the mile long bridge. I have a couple of fingers taped together and I almost wrote penguins but I did catch the mistake.

We had a nice evening last night as the neighbors were outside while i was out with Barney.  The one neighbor collects older Schwinn bicycles and he was out with his son trying out a newly reworking of a beautiful red bike.  It was dark but the street lights made it to be nice. The bike shinned in the street light and my neighbor Doug polished things up beautifully . His son was actually there to help him tune up the bike for him. Doug is older than me. So it was son helping dad with his bike.

I don't have plans for today.  I know there are things that will present themselves to me for work to get done.  It will be another warm, muggy day today.  I can do work int walk out basement for sure but I don't have a specific thing to do.  I can actually walk around in the workroom/furnace room as most boxes are emptied and plastic bins are stacked inside of themselves.  The organization is not really there yet but I plan to work on that as time goes by.  I hope everyone out there is safe and all will have a good day. Thanks for stopping by today.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Middle of the Week.......

It was good, just not great.  I thought its seemed a little light in flavor and sugar.  I have more to just give away as I am the only one who really can eat large quantities of it.  I will share with each neighbor on each side of me and any others that I see outside.

I remember my parents growing these as a kid on the farm.  They really were special as they were not selling them in grocery stores at that time. The season seemed short.  We really can now buy them year round.

Harvesting and eating it is a good thing.  We have had fresh slices for every meal and a few batches of BLTs. They have started ripening all at once but they have slowed down so we don't have waste.

        The oxalis is enjoying being on the patio with a shelter roof above it. This group of flowers is a first for me to see.  They look like a cluster of blooms rather than the single little blooms that are seen often on the plant. The set of plants have been in that large pot for a few years. It may not go into so much shock when I bring it in this year as it is use to the partial shelter.

The pumpkin bloom is too late for making a pumpkin. The late volunteer vines keep blooming in some parts and the muskmelon vines are in decline with a gray mold forming on them.

They do all look alike after while but the color on this one is good. I am happy that they haven't all lean in different directions.  I do know the seeds will weigh down the plants and their heads will tip down eventually.

I worked at the house for a while this morning.  I really need to go back and do some major work on mowing the yard. The rains up there have kept everything growing green unlike my yard that still is somewhat dormant. We had a warmer day today with it getting up to 80 F. degrees.  I wish you all a great evening and thanks for stopping by today.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Bird Invasion.......

One little goldfinch was demanding to be fed by an adult while sitting on the railing yesterday.  Everything has now changed as the baby birds all followed the adults to the feeder by the end of the day.

Todays photo shows some of them at the sock feeder today. There are six of them altogether in the group.

Yesterday it looked like this by the end of the day. Today it is less cluttered with birds and yet there are quite a few on the sock most of the time.  I did see last evening that all the young birds were flying around like a flock going from tree to tree while following one adult.

I still don't have the answers about these birds.  I read that the males are territorial. I also read the a young male is grayish brown for the first year as it readies to breed that next year. I assumed that the female was not yellow but I may be wrong. These two yellow birds seem to be taking care of the six. If they are both males, then they may be the fathers of each half of the crowd. I did see an article that showed a large quantity of birds in the nest so they could be all from one nest.  I guess I will have to find a better source on the internet to figure it all out. I have never seen anything like this behavior.

Three of my sunflowers have decided to open and to develop their seeds. They look like the three amigos here lined up in the sky.  All of the sunflowers are going to bloom, these are just the first three.

I have now picked three of the muskmelon. We had some for lunch.  It was good but not as sweet as they should be.  I was becoming concerned that they were going to be over ripe. The one we first cut is very good though. Sometime you can buy them at the grocery store and they are green and stay green forever.  For being a volunteer vine we did get a good harvest.  I think there are still four left to pick.

It would have been a great sunset to see. The parts of the sky we can see here shows that it must have been a beautiful one.  The western part of the state did get some rain from these clouds. This morning we were completely clear without a cloud in the sky. That changed by noon site as we have a lot of clouds blocking out the sun.

I am blogging late again today.  It seems to be I get too busy to get started on it. I hope everyone who follows me is still safe at this time. Thanks for stopping by today

Monday, August 28, 2017

Making Monday Work.........

The earliest zinnias to bloom are now pretty much gone.  They look haggard and worn out but the shape is still fun to look at during its retreat. The wind took out a section of my zinnias causing them to lay side ways. As I mowed this morning,  I was surprised that I did not get out there and prop them up.  Maybe tomorrow I can give them a little assistance.

The newest batch of goldfinches are at the feeder.  This is the first time that this guy was at the feeder as he sat on the hook for a long while and then now is trying to pick at the string.  Eventually he did make it to the side of the seed sock but it was strange seeing him just sit there on the hook. I don't know how many batches that they hatch in a season but if they do two batches I would think this is the second round.

My wife was remarking as to how we cherished the vies of at least one goldfish at our old place but the new place is giving us continue traffic of finches.  I had not seen house finches for a while but just yesterday there were a couple of them feeding.

While out and about yesterday I happened to notice that the zinnias had bloomed with an orange and red theme in this one area.

Right next to the others is this color-schemed set of blooms. I know that I could not get this to happen if I tried.

After mowing the backyard this morning I spent time working with the house plants.  I don't have pictures yet but I finally repotted a plant that has been crowded out for a few years.  It is a cousin to the mother-in-law tongue only shorter and darker green. I ended up with five different containers of them after I made all of the divisions. The violets that are in bloom right now need to be repotted but I will wait until they back off with blooms. This violet shown here is a new one. I am such an addict to cheap violets.  I bought a white one earlier this month.  They do give the away after the bulk of the shipment is sold out.

What can I say, the new living room has windows that makes them grow and bloom. I have an older violet that has a stretched out stem that will get repotted this afternoon. I am hoping that it survives my digging and replanting it again.

I mowed the front of the yard yesterday and today I mowed the back.  We are getting dew in the morning and that is helping to bring back the dormant grass to green again.  I still have some dead looking please but to the most part it is evening out and coming back.

I did water the zinnias, sunflowers and melons this morning as they seem like they could use it.  We had good rains but I don't want things to get a chance to dry out.  While watering I found a rotten muskmelon.  I don't understand how it just becomes extremely soft but maybe some one stepped on its vine.  I did pick a muskmelon and pictures will follow on another day. My wife and I will never be able to eat six or seven melons so we will have to find some others in which to share.

All of the people that I know, or who are related, that live in Texas are good.  I know that being safe if best even if damage is existing. My wife and I both have relatives that live in the area and other good friends from blogs. I hope the rain will just quit now and give it a chance to all drain away from the land.

Thank you for stopping by today.

Sunday, August 27, 2017


I have memories of the old fashioned locust trees on the farm in southern Iowa. They were not a great shaped tree with lots of thorns.  The tree tended to shed its branches with the thorns on them.  They did have the same kind of leaves as this modern one has but their really is not any other good comparisons. The tree in my yard has no thrones and its bark is smooth. I was a little critical of it at first during the winter time as it seemed not to be such a great looking one but when it sprouted out leaves I changed my mind.

My flag is positioned next to the front door. It has the garage wall next to, making a corner,  thatcausing the wind currents to mess with the flag. I spend a lot of time unfurling it. Where it is located though makes it easy for me to bring it inside when it rains.

My wife has fond memories of her mom planting asters.  She liked them as the butterflies really like the blooms.  In most years, I have not seen them for sale any where.  I am assuming that it is because they are blooming right now in the fall and Walmart pots them and can sell them.  I got the very last one on the shelf, a few days ago.

I planted it in the front of the house crowding the petunias.  I just won't plant petunias there next year and will let this spread.  For some reason the entire front of the house is covered with red roses and this reddish petunias.  Maybe next year I can add more blues or purples to the color scheme. I removed some previous owners plants that were just wild flower types with lots of foliage and minimal white blooms. One I saved and others I tossed in the bin.

I had to grab another piece from basement storage to place and carry my just picked tomatoes.  i wasn't planning on picking but while out there I could see that they were ready. I at first end up putting all the tomatoes in my hands and against my chest.  Then when I realize that I will have to make three trips with tomatoes and camera.  In past years we would plant many tomato plants but this years six plants seem to be plenty.  Even though they were planted late we will have all that we need and still will give some away to friends.

The Knock Outs do look good but all three of them are red.  My neighbors have inserted another color in-between their red ones. I will leave mine alone and just work on the foreground colors to be different.

Sunday is a same kind of a day for us. We will get a meal after teaching Sunday School and be home the rest of the day.  It is a cloudy, with sprinkles kind of day.  It is typical y.. that happens when a hurricane hits the coast line.

Thank you for stopping by today. Have a great day.

Saturday, August 26, 2017


Saturday morning sunrise reveals the layer of clouds for it to hide behind as it raises up. It was so dull  outside I was surprise to see this.

When I zoom in I can make it look like the whole sky is yellow.  No, it really isn't at all.
I planted harvest seed from my last years morning glories.  I didn't have a single seed sprout. I bought see and it all sat there for weeks with now sprouts.  Eventually three seeds did germinate and now the one vine is starting to twist around the trellis board. I was almost ready to dump th smile but they did grow.  The numbers of seed planted here are plentiful.  I will be anxious to see if I get to see any blooms from that one vine.

The coneflowers have rooted in well now and I am certain they will show up again next year, bigger and better. The older they get the more the colors fade.

Here is the daily rose report with the bud opening up with multi petals. The color of red is a good one and I have many buds yet to bloom.

It is Saturday and I do have things to do.  I don't have the ambition to do them so we will see what happens.  I will drink my coffee for now and watch "This Old House" rerun and think about my nest move.

I wish everyone to have a great weekend. Stay safe and well out there. Thanks for stopping by today.

Friday, August 25, 2017

The Friday Reports.........

I have been checking out the muskmelon at the grocery stores. I don't know when they are ripe and sometimes they are not when you buy them at the store. The color of this one looks more like a ripe melon.

Hidden from view are three muskmelons. The pumpkin sits in the center of them all. The leaves do a great job of covering up the melon.  The leaves actually made it hard for me to get a final count on the melons.  I haven't counted the pumpkins. I am not excited about them but maybe we can give them to the two neighbor kids across the street. It is too easy just to buy pumpkin pie filling in a can. No peeling, no boiling, and no smashing of pumpkin pulp.  I bet it all taste the same.

We delivered these to my wife's friend yesterday and she immediately picked out the one she was going to eat for supper. There are a bunch of pear shaped yellow ones in the bottom of the bowl.  When I went to  pick them I didn't have a container and it was easier to raid the storage room supply of pottery. Of all of the varieties, one of them is watery and doesn't have a great taste. I will figure that out to know not to buy that one again.

This goldfinch was smaller than an adult one.  I don't understand growth patterns of birds but I would have thought it would not be small once it had grown out its adult feathers. Between the finches and the hummingbirds our one window is continually busy with activity. The house finches are not visiting the thistle seed sock anymore.  They must be living out in the woods where real seeds are growing on plants for them to eat.

A project report is this old windmill that my dad had made.  Its base is made of redwood that I recycled from years ago.It is built and more pieces will be replaced on the piece. I really never have had time to really fix it up so maybe I can work at thought the fall. The roof really isn't great but the weathering and mold on the roof seems like that it has to stay. The table at the bottom of this is not a part of the project.  I guess I could turn it into a light house.

The patio below the deck really is a great place for me to work. I still have to stop working if it starts to rain as the slotted floor of the deck drips down on me and whatever I am working on at the time.

We are having a second day of clouds.  It has kept it cooler and is pleasant when outside. I took a quick trip to the old place and completed a couple of things. I did see a flock of white penguins earlier this week while traveling over the Saylorville Lake bridge. I can see two flocks of them off in a distance but there are no roads to that area for picture taking. Pelicans migrate south through Iowa but can stop to rest and feed for a couple of weeks before moving further south.

Thanks for checking in on my blog today.  Have a great Friday and enjoy the weekend. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Garden Visitors.....

I had a monarch visit the flowers yesterday.  I really had not seen any all summer out there in the garden or yard. It seems to be jumpy to get a good wings open shot.  This particular shot shows a wonderful background of colors and shapes. I was in the middle of a project and just stopped work and went to get the camera. I have learned to take photos when the butterflies are there because they don't stay for very long.

I don't see honey bees out on the zinnias but I do see lots of bumblebees. The get irritated with the painted lady butterflies when the start darting in and out on the flowers. The bees are not threatened but the appear distracted when the butterflies are there.

The evidence of the bracing that I had to do for this sunflower stem.  The whole thing lay on the ground but its roots were still in tact.  I just leaned it back up and tied it with some recycled jute twine. I am hoping that the water supply continues to flow to the leaves band especially to the flower bud. I dumped a bucket of water on it yesterday and we had a small rain again last night. I kept thinking I would just toss the large ball of jute, leftover from my mom's macrame days, but now I see I have uses for it. I moved it from Osceola to Woodward.  It  now has been moved to my garden shed in Ankeny and is being used. I may be a hoarder but I do use stuff from my pile of things.

I wasn't expecting more rain but anything that we get will be appreciated. I haven't had to water anywhere yet but am thinking I might spot water some of the front yard. We are hearing predictions that our fall is going to have some high temperatures.

My feeder was in pieces this morning with the bottom laying on the ground.  I had to get the base and attach it again.  When I filled it again I realized that it is badly designed.  When I tighten the nectar jar into the base, I am unscrewing the base below that holds the liquid.  My wife said that early morning the humming birds were at the window asking to for it to be fixed.

I did see a male hummingbird a few days ago with a very red band on its neck. I have not seen him again.  I am hoping that he shows up again when I have my camera in hand. The band is seen when it reflects from a certain angle of light. The females definitely do not have any of those markings. I am suspecting that I have them nesting in the blue spruce in the yard.

We have errands to run today and will be meeting with my wife's friend for lunch. She wants to show us her new apartment set up and is going to feed us coffee ice cream.  I have not heard of that flavor of ice cream but I am all in for trying it out. I drink plenty of coffee all day so maybe I can start eating ice cream coffee all day too. We are hazy and gray this morning but I am sure the sun will come out and we will warm up by noon.

Thank you for stopping by today. I wish you all to have a good day. See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Middle of the Week.......

The sky seems to be out of the news again as the moon and the sun quit showing off. Our two inch rain was such a surprise and so welcomed.  I dug plants at the old place yesterday and the ground was soggy.  I have not experienced that for a long time. The grass seems to be coming back a little and I can now mow again at the new place.  I did mow yesterday at the old place but that hadn't been mowed for three or four weeks.  I still had areas where I wasn't mowing grass but the tops of a few weeds.

We had strong winds Monday evening and the wet soil allowed the sunflowers to take a lean.  I remember that it happens but one of the sunflowers was laying on the ground.  While at the old place yesterday I picked up some more steel posts. I spent some time staking the leaning stems and sat back up the one that had fallen down.

The success of its survival will depend on its ability to get water back into the roots and stems.  It is on watchful eye by me as I just noticed it has a flower head developed and I would like to see it bloom.

I have not measured them but I am certain that they are at least twelve feet tall. With them being propped back up straighter, the three seem to be having a conversation. I do know that it will be normal for the heads to weigh down the plant and all of them will soon be bending over more.

I think this is a sedum. It is an old vine-like plant that I had growing next to an old tree. I grabbed it by handfuls in my gloved hand and brought it south. I have it temporary planted in this small pan and will move it soon to a solid earth location. I think I brought this plant from my parents home 30 years or more ago.

I am glad I picked this bargain bin item up as it will prove to be a great rose.  It is closer to being a real rose with the multi petaled bloom.  It still is not completely opened but should be some time today. I mentioned earlier that I cut it way back and watered it frequently.  It did respond to the care and now has many buds on it. The real test of course for Iowa gardeners is to see if it will winter over for spring blooms.

I am concerned that I have strayed from having a good variety of things on the blog.  I have a shelf project going on and I have other things going on outside.  I didn't post a single zinnia today and that is probably a good start for change.

Thanks for stopping by today.  This photo reminds me that I need to fill the feeder again.  Have a great day.