Saturday, March 31, 2018

Saturday's Blowing in the Wind......

Saturday morning looks good but the wind is strong. It will be blowing colder temperatures for the afternoon. The Easter Egg hunts didn’t get rained out but the winter coats were needed to make things be better for the kids. Our church prepared 15,000 eggs to hand out today.

Last evening we had similar cloud formations.  This is the sun starting to set in the east. I have to stand on my front door step and look to my right to be able to take this shot.

The green cast on the grass does make this look like spring.  I don’t have a lot of things up yet but I have found two of my transplanted peonies do have sprouts on them. Two out of four is good. I am trusting the other two will catch up too. Some of my iris that I moved are doing well along the fence.  I hope that some of these new things will give me blooms.  I was thinking that maybe I need to map this garden out on paper and then I thought, no. The red twigs are covered with leaves and I will wait for it to warm to see if I will rake them out or just leave them for mulch.

While filling the feeders on Saturday I had a cup or more of seed left over in the container.  I just dumped it on the table. Later the house finch made me smile as it stood in the middle of it and helped himself.

Some juncos do stay around durning the summer even though the bulk of them head north, some all the way up into the arctic areas. They are fun to watch as they have no hesitation in finding the food and eating it. They are bigger than finches so they do dominate the feeder unless a morning dove comes along.

We had a good morning at the bookstore today.  We have missed off and on with our battle with upper respiratory conditions.  We both are so much over it with just a slight chance of it coming back in the evening or when we get tired.   The bookstore was not crowded today until the noon time an then people were flooding inside. I hope all of you are well today and I do hope you have a great Easter Day.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Friday’s Final Weekly Report........

They are a pleasant surprise for me. I didn’t plant them but I do get to enjoy them. I went out this morning to get newer shots and they are not opened yet. I am struggling to get a good shot of some white crocus but the camera just doesn’t like white objects.  I will try when the light has changes and to when they have become open today.

A single bloom of one that is planted away from the bunch. I have never had multiple colors on crocus before but they really are striking. The tulips are still coming up but we will have to be a lot warmer than this before they will start to bud.

The poinsettia was a gift back in November and it is still hanging on.  The green leaves really are looking better now that the reddish ones. Lots of times I loose these plants in the coldest of winters as the soil dries out on them suddenly and everything shrivels up.  There is no bringing them back.  If I keep it going,  I could get it into a planter for outside putting it in the shade of the deck. I set it in the big window for now so the plant is going to be really happy with all the strong light.

I had a very disappointing experience while I was taking this shot.  I didn’t have my camera out and a red tail hawk or one of a similar kind was flying directly overhead.  It was circling and apparently looking for something to eat.  The sun was shining and the feathers were showing through the light of the sun  .  What a great picture that would have been but...I didn’t get the  camera whipped out soon enough.  He kept circling and went southeast of me down the fence row. So I took this photo of the pussy willows and blue spruce instead. It just isn’t so exciting for sure.

One of the things that I like about living here is the traffic of birds going overhead. It is not unusual to see seagulls flying high in the sky or other larger birds.  The Canada Geese have settled down now but it isn’t unusual for a couple or three to fly over honking along the way. The migrating smaller birds have been going over the past few days.  We are just close enough to timber lands surrounding our building development and close to the Des Moines River that also is connected to Lake Saylorville.  I have only seen one chickadee so far and I may not see any more.  They do like dense timber areas and the houses cause there to be too many open areas.

The investment people in our lives gave us this birdhouse last fall. I think it is intended to be a wren house. I placed it out with the suet feeder to see if I could draw in some small bird.  The suet feeder has not drawn in any woodpeckers. We have a sunny day today with a possibility of it warming up.  It is suppose to rain tomorrow on all the Easter egg hunts. I hope they get some break in the weather for that.

Thank you for checking in today.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Thursday’s Bird Report......

The evening sky to the east shows an opening in the sky.  The clouds that were coming here are still here to stay today.

One of the two morning doves is finding plenty of seed to eat. The camera caught the bird in a way that the tail looks really short but it isn’t. I was watching the two of them walking up and down on the neighbors fence railing.  They were like kids as the would walk the plank and then jump over the post and then keep on walking.

You can see her that the tail really is the normal length. I cought it preening the back feathers.

The goldfinch here is turning more yellow as the season continues. I am not certain but I believe this is a female where its back will stay the brown color. I was concerned about them not coming to the feeder but now I have problems of them flitting in and out quickly sending all the house finches and sparrows scattering.

The male house finch is becoming a deeper red now with the female continuing to stay their camouflage brown. The newest visitor of the feeders was the female cardinal but I have not seen her since her one visit.

The male goldfinch is showing more bright yellow as it grows in its new bright feathers. If you glance back up to the female shot you can see big differences between their colors.

We have a cold day ahead of us today with some strong winds.  I guess the weather fronts just have to keep mixing back and forth until we reach our true spring weather.  We don’t have plans for today but I am still going out to see what is coming up in spite of the weather.  I hope everyone will have a good day today.  Thanks for checking in at the blog.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Moon’s Shots in the Day..........

The evening moon seems to be visible with our cloudless sky. We have had clouds for so long that I wondered where it was.  I discovered a few days a go that it was a day moon.

Yesterday’s sunset shows how we have clouds and here there is some clearing taking place. I think this is my favorite tree in the neighborhood and the other is the one I see when I take the sunrise shots.

As the sun rises, the female house finch gives me a glaring glance. She may be reminding me to get this sock filled up with seed soon.  I will shock her by putting up a second one to increase my bird traffic.

I just now remembered that I haven’t posted my newest female bird on my post.  I should have started with it but the moon did kind of make a good draw in for the post.

I had watched a  couple of female cardinals chasing back and forth with a male but the one of them came to the feeders yesterday. I had taken the photos, downloaded them, but then did not get them to my photo file. I did get that error corrected. I was disappointed that I had taken many shots of the bird but only two of them were successful.  A couple that I took through the screen door were very worthless. I have been taken photos lately with the subject’s head being cut off in the visual.

My last fall harvest of sunflowers are now being place out for the birds and two squirrels. It took them a while to find the seed head.  I keep thinking that I would see the male cardinal out there but he seems to stay away from the deck floor. I will have some shells to clean up in the future as the plow through the seed heads.

The good thing for the cardinal is that he did have a choice in finding a mate.  I don’t know how soon they start to nest.  I will keep my eye on the area to see if I can see any nest building going on in the blue spruce.  I do know that the goldfinches did have to successful nests of young birds last summer. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the doves nesting somewhere near here.
This is a happy face of a dog that has control of the whole world. He is doing so much better.  I saw him last night get up off of a rug and walk to the other side of the kitchen. That was a first for a long time.  He usually needs to have me pull forward on his collar to help life his back end.  I have to have a leash on him to keep him out of trouble again as he hurries to the fire hydrant. He keeps changing as he grows older.  He has decided that he doesn’t need to eat dog food in the morning. He isn’t hungry or eats a few treats after our breakfast and he seems to be good. He then eats a big supper without hesitation.

I did have a great meal at The Olive Garden for my birthday and the birthday cake is going to last for quite a few days.  I am adjusting to my new age number of”68" and my older brothers keep telling me I am so young.  My oldest brother is 9 years older than me and the second oldest is 7 years older.  When we all get more balding and gray it really doesn’t seem to be much of a benefit to be younger. The other brother that was three years old passed away at the age of 61 years so I guess my older brothers think there is a big gap between us age wise.

We are going to be 61 degrees F. today. That is so wonderful.  I bet I will be able to watch the bulb plants shoot up and out.  Thank you all for stopping by today.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Spring, Where Art Thou ?

Spring in a vase works good for me until the weather does actually warms up some. I live in a large city but I refuse to act like it. I bought a bundle of the flowers and the check out lady commented on the flowers. She and I preceded to have a great discussion about our spring bulbs and what was coming up right now.  She had bulbs on the east side of her house and the daffodils were almost in bloom. I had to by a large pizza because that is the only size that they had in supreme.  We discussed cutting it in half and freezing the one half.  Two people were never going to be able to eat that large of pizza. I figure that the checker really is kind of bored and needs to expand their thoughts beyond placing the next item on the scanner.

The colors are bolder in this batch but the same kind of grouping is done each time with two kinds of mums, a carnation, a batch of daisies and the sprig of lilies. The are in water when they are displayed  but do like being home in a vase where they bloom out more fully.

When I was walking outside with Barney this morning we had a flock of redwing black birds flying over.  They have a distinct sound and make it while they are flying. I could hear another flock in a set of trees making there specific bird call.  We use to have them migrate through at the old place filling up all the branches in the three old silver maples trees. I always think about them being along lake shores in cattails making their warning calls to try to protect their nest.

The junco was peaceably siting on the rail enjoying seeds while we ate breakfast this morning. The birds eat one last time in the evening before the sun sets.  They act like they are really hungry even though they could have been at the feeder any time of the day. I am going to have to refill my thistle seed sock soon and it is getting to be low.

I failed to get this shot posted a few days back.  The snow was being blown around with strong winds and I just happened to capture his messed up top feathers.

I will finish off today with the visual evidence of cake that my wife baked for me. Red Velvet with cream cheese frosting makes into a fine birthday cake.  I bought a vanilla flavor ice cream that was called “homemade vanilla” which really did match the flavor of ice cream that was cranked out by hand.
Thanks for checking in today.  I hope everyone is well and that spring is coming to your neighborhood soon.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Birthday Blues......Not!

It is funny how this is the same moon now as we had back in 1950.  Some things do not change.  I was born in a hospital in Clarke County, Iowa.  That building was torn down years ago. My parents lived on a rented farm in a house that was down a dirt lane off a gravel road.  Little did I know that I would travel by bus later to that same house too deliver kids from school all my school years. We moved away from the rental in 1953.  The land sat about two miles from a then small town of Hopeville.  All that is left there now is a church and a rambling school house that has fallen to the ground. The cemetery is a large one of all the residents buried there of the town.  The extended families also chose to be buried there on that rolling hilly land with wild cedar trees. People are still being buried today. A lot of the people in the area where we lived had family ties back to that town of Hopeville.

I snapped shots of these kinds of clouds last night when the moon was out and about. The jets of Omaha were doing their thing in the sky with about four of them laying skylines everywhere. They tended to cross each other making various X shapes in the sky.

Our local air force base had all of the jets eliminated by the previous administration. The turned it into a droid base, testing and developing them. Training for them was also a positive before the soldiers would be shipped overseas.  Recently the helicopters were brought back and we see many of the flying in formation as they are overhead night or day. It is strange at first to see four helicopters flying in a block formation.

The yellowish spot is probably a daffodil bud.  I did plant some but was not sure where they were. My birthday’s of the past would land on a snowstorm days or a rainy days.  I guess I do remember some birthdays with sunshine days. My first cousin Carolyn was born the day before me, so the families on my mom’s side would use that as an excuse to have family dinner on the Sunday near to the days.  My mom would make a cake with candy Easter eggs on them and my cousin’s mom  Lois, would always make a cake with that cooked sticky frosting.  Lois is the only living relative left of that whole family on my mom’s side. She was a sister-in-law stop my mom.

My wife bought me a paint set that had this easel in the kit. I can set it up and paint while sitting down at a drawing table. The birthday card is a cut out shape of a train with a white backing. The surprise is what is inside the card when it is opened.

As it is being opened this is what you see.

I have watched a show that shared how one of the companies made this specialized pop-up cards.  I have seen them in bookstores. I am assuming other card companies are trying to make them as this one is really fancy.  Its detail is so great and it is amazing that it can again be folded closed.

Some years, the birthday is just another day but as I keep getting to the older years I do have to stop and think about it.  I find it strange that the body is telling me that I am getting older when my brain really isn’t thinking so.  All that happens in life, just happens, and now I look back in amazement of from where I have come. God’s been with  me all along the way and he never said things would be perfect but it would be good.

 My graduation class is getting all excited about the 50th year reunion his summer.  I really don’t get so thrilled.  I don’t want to go back to those days.  Only a few of them  have remained good friends even though we don’t live close to each other. I really enjoy those as they have aged with me. Of course a couple of them I am related to as it was a small town and our class averaged 23 students most of them time.

It is a rainy day and we still have snow on the deck.  We are going to eat out tonight and not really party much.  I can smell the cake in the oven and the dog is sound asleep in the middle of the living room. I and the dog will get wet when we go out over the noon hour.

Thanks to you all for stopping by today.  I wish you well

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Sunday Afternoon...........

The mourning dove normally could not eat at this feeder. I had set it on the railing so the sock feeder would be more easily reached. So yesterday during the snow storm, the bird just landed there to get out of the wind and to eat seed too.

The hanging  icicle was created in the evening after our rain, sleet, and snow yesterday. I don’t think the finch is looking at the ice but it does make a good story. As things have warmed up today the many kinds of bird are coming to the feeder. They certainly could not have had any open time to feed with the continue snowfall and wind. Our Sunday really has not warmed up so much but enough to melt off the majority of the snow.

Yesterday we had a day that looked like this.  Everything was covered with this wet snow. Today the sculpture has warmed up a bit and is almost clear of the snow and ice.

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We do have a day off from this and tomorrow it will return.  I guess I do remember we have early spring weather with spotty snow showers along with rain. Our grass is start to free a little bit but it has a long ways to go.

Thank you for stopping by today.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Snow Day.......

The flock of geese have snow on their backs again this morning. Areas north of us are to get eleven inches of snow.  We will only get a couple of inches.

The female house finch is not going to be bothered with the ice as long as there is some open loose seed to eat. She and her mate are the only two to visit the feeders so far this morning. The winds in the night had messed with this feeder and the sock feeder, making everything twisted and out of position. I think it broke this feeder but I won’t try to fix it until the seed has been eaten out of it.

The male seems to be able to drive its beak into the webbing covered with ice to get seed. This kind of weather really will keep them from thinking about nest building.

Yes, he is still around.  I think the cardinal is waiting for a mate too.  I did see him chasing two females three days ago but I have not seen a pair since that. My males must all be sub par.

I have revived this plant.  My wife’s friend was out of  her apartment for a long time.  When we checked in on it I watered it.  When we moved her back in to her apartment she told me to throw it away. I guess now that it has two blooms I can give it back to here.  I think this is a form of calla lily because of the two blooms that it has on it.

We will be held inside today because of the weather.  It will be interesting to see if it does warm up in late afternoon. Thanks for checking in today.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Friday’s Shots......

They are a passive bird that does sit and meditate for a long time. They had left my deck and landed on the fence as shown.  They did not leave for fifteen minutes or more as they just perched on the fence

Sitting in the grass and waiting and watching  Eventually he picks up some fallen seed from the feeders above on the deck.

He is still available.  Once he does get a mate, he then will be busy building a nest and then running for food for the babies. He should just keep resting because he is going to be tired.

The chives have survived.  I had rescued it from the garden where the former owners had dumped it upside down in the garden soil last winter. I righted it in the spring and planted it back right with the world. It did do well and I think I  split it into,  planting it in another location.

I took a shot of the first woodpecker at my feeders. He hasn’t hit the suet feeder but he did seem fascinated with the thistle seed. It is a blurry shot but it does show that it is a downey.  It could be a hairy downey but I don’t have any other bird to make size comparison.

I moved the suet feeder down to the maple tree.  I think eventually the woodpeckers or bluejays will hit it.  I don’t live in such a dense timber like I did at the old place.  I may not see many or maybe it is just taking time for them to find it.  The leaning photo shows the geese are grazing around in the yard.  I like how the leaning photo is the best I could so yesterday afternoon.

It is a gloomy Friday and I doubt we get out again today. I did sneak out yesterday for a grocery run.  I only bought a half of a load as it came to only fifty dollars. Normally it is always a hundred dollar run when we both go to the store.

Take care everyone and thanks for stopping by today.