Friday, September 30, 2022

Friday Fun.....


A sparrow with a speckled chest.  I guess I never really noticed that some of them have markings there.  He is willing to be an acrobat to get seed out of the feeder. 


 Another shot of his daring feats while on the feeder.  While talking to my neighbor yesterday afternoon we saw a downy woodpecker trying to dig a hole in one of my birdhouses.  That's not in my plan. 

The colder temps are shutting down my roses now.  This is one of the few that is left to see. It is tattered and torn but still has good color.

My red sedum is actully looking red this year.  The plant is really showing good color but I need to cut down my old peony bushes so it can be seen. 

The blue morning glory is showing off for me.  I planted them late and they really did take off anyway to give me lots of blooms.  I washed the front of the house siding this morning with the power washer.  The front of our house is a one story ranch so it didn't take so long.  I now have three sides of the house washed.  It is funny how it didn't look dirty but now it really does look clean.  I returned to the one end side to finish up some of the higher parts.  It is now done too.  One big side to do.  I will wait to do that next week.  I need to rest up for the last side.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Cold and Clear....


 The sparrows get hungry enough that they will eat off of this kind of feeder.  Normally it is house finches that eat here along with chick a dees.  I did go out and dump some more birdseed in the adjacent feeder.

The cold air turns the purple morning glory into a redder flower.  Only happens in the fall as the days of their bloom time is getting close to frost destruction. 

The cooler temps also makes this into a deep blue color.  The close to frost temps did wilt the leaves of this vine but they did come back today looking alive and well. 

My very first Ebay purchase was this cup and saucer.  I really liked the painted decoration, decal, on the dish and cup.  It was not such a mistake but it is a lot smaller than I expected and I was so inexperienced at being online shop sites.  

I then also bid on this at the same time and paid way too much for it.  I have not bought anymore of them even though I noticed I could pick up the whole set for $800.   That isn't going to happen and I have never bought anything online sinc.  Greenwood Tree is the name of the pattern and it is made in England. 

I took the day off from power washing my house.  I can get back on it tomorrow.  I mowed the front yard this morning.  It is nice to have green grass again.  We are cold but it is warming up to 70° by this afternoon.  Fall weather isn't my favorite as I don't like the season that follows.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Wednesday's Ways.....

 The frost really did not happen but the leaves of the plant were wilted most of the day.  There are so many buds that I hope the vine recoups from the very cold night.  I think we were down to 36° F. and it did stay cold all day. Our high was 64° F. which isn't bad if you wear a hooded sweatshirt when you are outside working. 

This morning there was this one painted lady out and about.  It actually was sunning itself to warm up from the chilly air. 

A female downy woodpecker showed up at the suet feeder this morning.  I had a male show up last week so I was glad any woodpecker would return to the feeders. They are all so busy eating that it is hard to get them totally in focus.  The bottom of the yellow feeder is in perfect focus. 

With a turn of the head I got a portrait of the downy. It is in focus.  It was there to eat seed from that feeder at first before it moved over to the suet. 

Because of the threat of frost I picked some tomatoes.  They will ripen inside.  The northern Iowa area did get a harder freeze but we did luck out as not getting that cold. 

I mowed the back yard this morning wearing layers to keep warm.  It was really needing it so I just plugged through it.  I then returned to my power pressure machine to start washing the north side of the house.  It is going to take me one more day to get that done.  It is a lot of time and work to get it all washed down. When I return it will require step ladders and a tall ladder to reach all of it.  I am going to take tomorrow off from the house washing though as I need time off from it. Thanks for stopping by today.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Tuesday's Things....

  Faded but in great form the zinnia is in decline. The color is a deeper purple because it is fading.

Hurricanes give us strange cloud formations here in the middle states. It is a different kind of texture because of the mixture of cold air mixing with the warmer sunshine. 

I have lived here for five years and I have never had a house with vinyl siding.  I had to buy a power washer and wash the house just like you would with your car at the car wash. The dust doesn't really get washed off of the siding on certain sides of the house.  The mold can and did form on that dust and so one can't wash it off with a garden hose.  I now have the northeast side of the house done after a two day effort.  Only three sides of the house to go.  The northeast side of the house also has some mold as it is shaded all day because of the houses placement with the lot.  The power sprayer works but I still had to go over the areas many times to get it to cut the dirt and stain.

Fall is upon us.  The sunflower has leaves in decline as the colder days keep up in our air. It is cold work working outside and I have to wear my parka to stay comfortable to be out there. 

The hardy geraniums did not do well this summer.  I keep getting thTese small groups of blooms that look like they are struggling.  The drought kept them from doing well even when the received watering from the watering can. 

These hardy geraniums are blooming but as you see they are not robust.  The rains did bring them back but it is really the first time they bloomed.  The would bud and then just dry up and look like they had been frosted. 

This is the last of the phlox blooms.  I will have to stop washing the house and mow tomorrow.  I am two days behind my neighbors in mowing but Wednesday and Thursday are my two days to mow.  I held to that because my grass is so green and it seems sad to mow it down.  

Time to shut this down for today.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, September 26, 2022

My Zinnia Report....







You can see that the earliest blooms are now faded.  I will be collecting seed in three weeks getting ready for next years planting.  It is cold this morning and I will not work outside until it warms.  The grass can just wait and I will stay inside on Monday.  I could just take the whole day off.  Thanks for checking in today.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Sunday Sun....




The gathering of painted ladies butterflies were joined with a few monarchs at the zinnia garden.  I have read about painted ladies migrations in Europe but never heard or saw one here. An old high school friend who lives in New Hampshire shared that he sees them there. The monarch migrations I have experienced at our old place where hundreds, maybe thousands would come through town and cover whole trees and bushes.

 It was a warm humid afternoon and they were everywhere.  I see this morning that some are back.  I guess butterflies do like to warm their bodies before they move around.  We were cold most of the morning but we are now nearing 70°.

Birds eat when they get cold. The sparrows were out there in our cold weather picking at the seed quickly. 

I have been practicing blowing on my shofar horn. It is a ram's horn from Israel. One is suppose to blow it today at sundown. It is the beginning of the New Year there.  I really need to practice as the small end of the horn has an unusual opening. There is no mouthpiece like one gets on a trumpet.  The ram sheds its horns each year so they don't harm the sheep when they collect them from off the ground.  If I get good at blowing it I should go out on my deck for all the neighbors to hear. It might drown out their swimming pool music.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Saturday Flutters.....


While talking on the phone to my cousin this morning I looked down to see monarch butterflies all over the zinnias.  I will have to go out and  photograph as soon as my neighbor gets through mowing his yard.  I saw one monarch only earlier this morning but apparently they are migrating right now.

I can build the trellis but for some reason I still don't have my rose attached to it.  I took the photo to remind me to get to it.  The climbing rose is healthy and is all wet right now as we got a rain last night. I can't attach all the stems but getting some of them tied up will help keep it from spreading out onto the yard.  Mowing around it is always a challenge.


The "knock out" roses did bloom again. There aren't as many blooms but they are great to see.  This will be there last set of blooms for this year. 



I visited that flower garden and discovered that all the fluttering wings were two kinds of butterflies. There was a migration of painted lady butterflies and a couple of monarch butterflies.  I stood out there for a long time and watched and snapped. The two on one flower was uncommon so I was so glad that I could capture it. 


There were a dozen painted ladies or more.  They were hungry.  The sun was shining and the temps were getting warm and I could still feel the humidity from the rain the night before.  They flitted back and forth as if they were in competition to get to the one or two special flowers.  The monarchs even sparred with them over the spots.

I took many photos and tossed many of them.  You can't get a butterfly to hold still so I took shots continuously to hopefully capture open wings or some perfect pose. There were only two or three monarchs but I was glad to see that they too are migrating.  It has been a quiet Saturday. We went from running the heat this morning and I had to turn on the air conditioning this afternoon. It is fall! Thanks for checking in today.

Friday, September 23, 2022


 I really like to work on the potter's wheel.  I never thought about becoming a popular potter as there seems to be way to many of them out there.  I like the chunky pots they make for normal use of coffee drinking and other types of human use.  I really am looking for a more artistic refined shape of clay pottery that reflects good design with it shape and surface being more classic.  This bowl shape could echo the clay mixing bowl shapes but it also echos the classic Chinese carved bowls. 

It is sort of a folly for me as I am making things that I don't need.  I am working for the creative energy that has to be used to make a more perfect pot.  The wood shop is being invaded by this exercise. The throwing of pots is keeping me from doing other projects that I am interested in but when the weather turns cold I can't work on the outside potter's wheel. 

I am using recycled clay.  It is inferior as I have to get it wet enough to work with and not to soft to keep me from working with it. I get into trouble with recycled clay as sometimes there are dryer chunks in the clay.  As I work with it I may have a taller vase that ends up being a small bowl because the chunk messed up the middle of the pot and it tears apart. I searched for a place to buy processed clay and I found a place in Iowa City.  It is two hours drive away from where we live.  I looked again on the net  a couple of weeks ago and found a wonderful art store that is in downtown Des Moines.  Instead of two hours travel it is only eight miles from where I live. My goal is to use up all of the recycled clay first before I consider buying processed, pugged clay.  I did find glazes at the downtown store so I don't have to pay shipping for theat.

My old table that held my saw is now being used for a drying surface for clay pots. The dryer they become the more white the do become. 

A large majority of the potters who mass produce things for sales don't take the time to carve the foot of their pots.  I follow a young potter on the net who makes wonderful mugs and bowls but he never finishes off the pieces.  My university college professor would scold him for leaving the bottoms flat.  That young potter sells most of his things locally and he is a good craftsman.  I am trying to regroup and perfect the art of pottery as I rebuild all my pottery making muscles.  

Thanks for stopping by today.