Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Snow Geese......

It is a cool shot but the snow geese are not in focus.  I took the shot from the edge of the highway zooming in from a major farm field to the next farm field where thousands of snow geese are eating a corn field. The trees are up against Beaver Creek. It is too much distance for my camera to handle. I still like the effects of the trees behind all the white geese.

This is a shot of them all resting and eating.  I have never seen snow geese migrate through central Iowa.  I lived in Sidney, Iowa 45 years ago and the major migration of all kinds of birds followed up and down the Missouri River valley. When I saw this along the highway on my way to the old place, I did not hesitate to stop and turn around to see this sight.

The snow geese is easily spooked so when a truck would drive by they would scatter up into the sky like a bunch of mosquitos. The camera kept getting blurs but I just wanted you to see how many of these that there are.

This field in a very large one that stretches all along the river bed and trees. When I returned by the flocks they were already escaping and headed further north.

It was exciting to see this.  I shared photo on my Photo a Day yesterday and they were only a handful of geese flying over the house.  I did hear on the news that they were over in the next county so I was glad that they were still there.  I ran into a bald eagle, ducks also and some trumpeter swans as I drove home today also. It was a good day.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Borrowed from the photo bank on the internet.  I never got close enough to get one like this.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


Morning’s glow was a great sight to see. The winds from the south started to blow in flurry cloud formations.

They made great patterns in the sky showing all the wind currents that were blowing them around. While out there I did have a surprise.

I could hear them and when I saw them way high in the sky, I shot some blind shots. This is not in focus but it does show what the looked like.  I think they are snow geese, which don’t hang around here all winter. There were many “v" formations connected to each other as they flew up in the breezes.  These are true migrant birds as they were not just flitting around trying to find gain feels or water.

This was a flock of them that were later and I guess they will catch up eventually.

Some people still have snow piles along the road as they piled it instead of scattering along their drive. I have not piles left but there is still ice and snow in the backyard where it has been shaded.

The back of the house has a lot of shade so ice still exists on the steps. I have grassed areas next to the patio that still are soggy and frozen at the same time.

The good news that I have is that we have robins. I took Barney out in the morning and I almost missed them.  The trees have some fruit on them from last fall and they were eating on them. I sneeze on on fruit and it still was juicy even though it was shriveled.

The other good news for me is the look of these cemetery iris. They are in frozen soil and are still growing. In a few weeks I will be able to see how all of the transferred plants will have fared.

It was nice to get outside and see the gardens.  I didn’t even wear a stocking cap as it wasn’t cold enough for it.  I thank you for stopping in today.  Spring really does encourage me and help be feel that I am going to survive this winter.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Monday Shots......

It was here for such a short time that I couldn’t get a good shot. The downey is pretty but I haven’t seen in at my suet feeder at all during this season.

Mums are showing up but aren’t too far along. I need to get out and survey what is happening in the backyard.  Today is a warm day and most of the snow is gone.  It feels good not to be overdressed for extreme cold temperatures. 

The squirrel is glad to have had the feeders fill up. Like them or hate them, they just are being squirrels. 

I bought some thistle seed to day to get my goldfinches coming back.  I know they are out there but they really don’t like much in the random bird seed variety. 

I am ready for spring but I know better as I have lived in Iowa all of my life. We can get stops in March and ice and snow on May Day.  I do think the warmer times are here for a while and that make me happy.

Thanks for checking in on my post today.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Sunday Shots....

Thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday, February 24, 2018


The sparrow duo are so glad to find something to eat. The skillet works well until it fills up with rain water. The snow and ice then freeze over and I have to lean the pan on its side against the deck rail.

It is a blurry shot of the squirrel trying to get into the neighbors back yard, two lots over.  He did return after walking the fences to get to our deck. That is when I took all of yesterday’s shots. It is fun to watch them walk all the different kinds of fences.

My violets are not doing so well at this time of the year.  I think they like it better in air-conditioned temperature and the heat is hard on them. The soil seem to dry out much faster and effects the blooming. This is the lonely one violet that is in bloom right now.

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The house finches are alway a loyal couple.  I enjoy shooting shots of them as they don’t spook so much when the see the camera. The sparrow spooks at any sign of movement.

The last grocery store bouquet has lasted a long time. I had to throw away a carnation but all the rest have lasted weeks.  This photo is little bit blurred but the color of the flowers is so great to see.

We are staying home today as freezing rain and snow mix will be going on all day.  When I took Barney outside this morning we were pelted with sleet and rain. The hood of my coat sounded like I was getting bombarded. I could still hear the roar of the traffic on the interstate but I was wondering when that would slow down with a buildup of snow and ice. Winter continues in Iowa and we survive.  Thanks for stopping in at the post today.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Today is Friday.......

The squirrel has been scampering around for a few days, walking the fences.  I think a neighbor two doors down must have some feeder as he seems focused each morning to get to their back yard. My feeders for a while were not accessible as he has a fear of falling.

I rearranged the feeders two days ago and I do think the squirrel likes the new location.

The new arrangement of hanging feeders means he can get to both of them. He explored the first on on the corner and he can lean and grasp on the edge of the feeder.

Checking out the next tray feeder he really is enjoying the feed. I don’t know if squirrels have pouches in their mouth like a chipmunk but I would be surprised if they didn’t. He did get his fill and has left now.  I suppose he is in one of the large trees down the hill a block away. It is worth his while for now to stock up for the next snowfall.

The feeders are also busy when the squirrel is not around. We will melt some ice and snow today as we are already around 32 degrees F.  It will go a little higher and the sun is shinning.

No plans for today and are staying home with projects. Thanks for stopping by today.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Good morning

As I spread open the curtains in the morning, all three cockatiels head towards the window end of the cage. They see  many things and squawk if they feel any bit threatened by another bird outside or a squirrel. They really do know that I have come to open the drapes and the noise they make is one of excitement. .

More snow for us today and the freezing rain is predicted again. I walked out on the deck to refresh the feeders and the snow did give the ice coating some texture.  I still held onto the ice covered railing just in case that I needed to catch myself. My truck on one side is still covered with ice.  The side that saw sunshine did melt everything away. The sun did help to remove some ice even though it never got any warmer than 25 degree F.

The large pot of oxalis was outside all summer.  The seemed to have a swag most of the winter. I guess with the longer days the plant decided to put out new sprouts.  It is like a projecting haircut with the new stems are all tight and compact.

It will be nice to carry this back outside on the patio in late April. I will probably sprinkle some fresh soil on top of it to keep it fortified.

The wild birds seem to be the same ones every day.  I think it interesting as to how the weather keeps some birds away and others don’t seem to bother.   Junco birds come every day.

I have a project going, making a platform in the laundry room.  Our washer and dryer are stacked. The dryer is too high for my wife to see the numbers and timer light.  I made a five inch high platform that won’t be in the way for the washer and will be helpful for her to see the command buttons.  She didn’t tell me but she couldn’t reach the back of the dryer inside to pull the clothes out. I am not done with the platform as I still have to cover it with carpet on all sides. I am so glad I could do that for here.  It is one of those things where I wasn’t paying attention to problems with the tall drier. It is better that I did it but sure have done it a lot sooner.

I hope all are well and that you have a good rest of the day.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Wednesday’s Things.......

We still have ice and I could not  walk out onto the deck. So this is a shot taken by leaning out of the patio door, shooting blind. The weather today was mostly sunny but there is still coating of ice on trees and cars parked in the shade. Our deck doesn’t get sun during the winter so ice still coats all the chairs and tables and deck railing.

Putting a cast iron skillet with seed did bring some birds as the regular feeders are iced over and I can’t walk out to them to fix things.

Junco birds seem to be the only birds at my feeder the past two days. So I did get a lot of photos of them.

They look like they are wearing a hood or over coat with the way the dark gray is positioned on their bodies. Their wings have great streaks of white on them and the tail feathers sometime spread just a little showing a white streak of feathers in the middle of the dark tail feather.

Barney did not hurt himself on the iced sidewalk yesterday. He really dislikes walking on the frozen stiff grass.  Fortunately this morning the grass was less frozen so he could walk around a lot better,

I removed half of the water yesterday from the tank and scraped the inside glass with razor blades. I have a chemical to put in the water when that much water is changed so it doesn’t shock and kill the fish.  I did also try to keep the water temperatures similar as I refilled the tank.  This morning the tank was clear.  A normal water change for fish is to take one tenth of the amount each week and replace. After a few weeks the law of averages tells us that the tank is completely converted to all new water. Goldfish tolerate the nitrate build up easily but they really are better if they get some water changes once in a while. The build up of nitrate in the tank usually kills tropical fish quickly

Closing down today with all the info that you many not want.  I appreciate your stopping by today.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


We started to get freezing rain around midnight. It has been predicted for two days. so no one was surprised.  I have seen worse ice storms in my life but this one is dangerous. I haven’t seen any traffic on our street but there are some cars on the one street over.  My one neighbor, one street over,  let his truck run for a half hour before he went to work. I am sure he wanted to get all the windows thawed out and clear.

The junco birds were out and about this morning trying to work with the slick surface. The little short ice cycle decorations on the rail show that the rain isn’t very heavy. After this shot was taken we had a sleet storm leaving white ice pellets all over everything.

The birds do have this curious look about the ice wondering what is going on with this weather.

There are so many movies that include  few dinosaurs and when I saw this scene on my pottery shelf I had to snap it.  I had set the two plastic creatures out when the grandkids were around.

The pottery gives the effect of sandstone formations as they walk by on the shelf.  I have large figures like these as our oldest son loved the dinosaur world when he was young.

The glass tihings keep getting moved around as I stuff more things in the area. The basket is from Madagascar  and holds seashells and the flue in the from is from a candle holder that has never been connected to its base because of the move.  I am thinking the base may not have come down to the new place. The base might be in the landfill.

My basement expose does get boring but I don’t have to go outside to take shots. The old bottle in the shot are just junk.  I know that an outside person could come in and get rid of them in less than30 seconds. I may reach a time that it will happen by me.  The box is a set of dishes that haven’t been unpacked.  It is an antique set of dishes that I bought at an auction in Coin, Iowa back in 1974. I think I had bid it up to six dollars. I then later bought more for the set from an antique shop that made my collection big.

The dishes will make it upstairs eventually as we keep rearranging and settling in our dishes and pots and pans. The pattern is called Mildred and my  wife and I used it for everyday for a lot of years.. It seemed to fit well with our antique walnut tables.  We did have wedding china that we use for special occasions. Eventually we were lured into buying Blue Willow dishes and other store promotions to give us a variety.

I would  never have imagined that there would be a group of people in the USA  that are loyal users of this dish brand. I thought I was unique having discovered the old dishes and living an antique life. The dishes were made at the Mt Clemons Pottery factory and were sold at S.S. Kresge’s.  I follow a Facebook group who collects the dishes.  The Facebook group is called For the Love of MILDRED. Those of you  who are curios about such a kind of Facebook group you should check it out. It is interesting to see pictures of the old factory and see how people really do like them.

I think it will be a quiet day around here as we are not going anywhere.  I can barely get the dog outside but we have been out a couple of times. The frozen iced grass is hard for the dog to walk on and I don’t like it either. Thank you for stopping by today.