Monday, July 31, 2023



When I refill the feeder the young mourning doves all come.  Their favorites are the cracked corn and also the tiny thistle seed that is scattered all over the deck floor. 



My first marigold is in bloom.  I used last years seed and only the taller variety of marigold germinated.  They are just as tall as the zinnias. 

The dinner plate hibiscus is doing better now that I am watering it frequently.  The drought still caused some of the buds to just shrivel up and die.  The plant gets watered now everytime I water the tomatoes plants. 

The tiger lily is blooming strong. I just noticed that there are two stems of blooms.  That is pretty good for a plant that I didn't remember was even planted there.


 While taking out the garbage this morning I heard a jet overhead and had to search for it.  The sound isn't always telling one where it really is.  I did have my camera with me as I was going to shoot flowers instead.  The aircraft probably is headed to Minneapolis unless that it took a turn west once it got out of the area. 

The day turned out to be a hot one again today. It is ten degrees cooler but 85° F. in the full sun is still a pretty hot day.  I did a little work outside this morning but shut it down by noon.  We are told that we will keep getting cooler temps as the days go by.  Good bye to July.  Where has the summer all gone?

Thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, July 30, 2023






It started off to be a cool morning but it has now heated up again.  The sound of someone mowing their dormant grass is a strange one.  There are some kids in their pool to our south.  We hear them but the trees block all of the views of an active splashy pool. 

Thanks for checking in today. 

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Saturday's Stuff...

 The thunderstorms have passed us by too many times. The sun's setting has given us a great glow in their clouds. 

No rainfall means I have to water things daily.  I discovered today the reason that I am disappointed with my tomatoes this season.  The drought has caused the plants to not flower anymore.  I found a stray amount of flowers on one plant but the most of the plants are not acting normally.  These two tomatoes shown look great but there are only about two more on there. 

I spot mowed the yard today.  I have tall green grass under my front yard trees and shade at the back of the house.  They grass was shaggy there.  Here is what my yard looks like now with the Canada geese replicas.  Most of my yard is now dormant. 

I have started to bring in a few zinnia blooms for us to view from inside. There were actually trimmed off to encourage more blooms on some zinnias in a flower box. 

I always try to grow something each summer in my antique flower pot. The pot was from my parents garage and I am sure that it was moved from the farm to the city. It is probably fifty years old or more.

We are not as hot today but 87° F.  is still hot.  That will be our  high though and not 99° F. like we had yesterday.  I visited my doctor yesterday in Des Moines and it was an effort to get from the parking garage to the building.  We are predicted to now slowly cool down the next few days. I do plan on grilling tonight out on the deck.  I will be ducking in and out to get the job done.  

Thanks for stopping by today. 

Friday, July 28, 2023


 My first bloom on my triple trellises.  I used older seed so I didn't know what color they will be.  I like this as all my others are purple in the other garden area.

From the back view of the three trellises you can see I have lots of vines that should give me some more blooms.  I will be excited if I can get at least one more bloom tomorrow. 

I am going to have to be a butcher and cut some of these vines away from the sunflower.  They are choking the tall flower and I will still have blooms even if I cut half of them away from the stem. 

I am heading downtown today to go see my Endocrinologists.  It will be hot but we should be alright.  My weather report for today is it is hot.  We are at 90° F. right now. We are headed to 95° by late evening.  I know most of my blogger friends are also hot so we just have to go through it.  This is usually our late August weather. 

It seems to be the season of losing people.  A friend of mine that was a year younger than me, died from pancreatic cancer.  Her whole family would visit us at the farm for a fun farm visits when I was a kid They came often as her parents enjoyed visiting  from their small city home. Her older brother is still best friends of my older bother. She had married a minister and did a lot of missionary work in here lifetime.

Another person that died recently was a man who was two years older than me.  He played basketball with my brother in high school and I am sure I crossed paths with him a lot at a small school hallway. He had recently written me about my brother who had passed away in 2008. His older sister was in my second to oldest brother's class in high school. 

The last person that I see in an obit that has passed was a former teacher friend.  I taught at the same time as him for 21 years.  He was our son's teacher. He left high school teaching and went to Iowa State to teach science for another 21 years. He taught high school teachers how to teach DNA and helped them grow things in the classroom that were like DNA.  He also died of pancreatic cancer and was three years younger than me. He had just retired two years ago.   Enough said about that for today.  

Thanks for checking in today.  This is not word checked today.  Look for mispells.

Thursday, July 27, 2023



We have 50,000 bike riders taking off this morning from Des Moines headed out on a 80 mile journey to the next big city.  RAGBRAI is at its 50th year anniversary with people from all over the states meeting to cross the state of Iowa in seven days. Peopled from countries all over the world also ride in this event.  It is quite a sight to see the continual flow of bikers going down the highways and byways on a designated route. It was reported about 100 persons checked in to the local hospital to get checked out for heat exhaustion. None remained in the hospital but got revived and hydrated.  I guess there were some broken bones that received treatment.

It was not good weather today.  The heat was high and the humidity was overwhelming.  We had a heavy cloud cover all day and a rain system did pass north of us giving them a good rainfall.  I went to get groceries this afternoon and I am not going outside again.



Thanks for stopping by today.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Hot Heat........

Christmas is coming to Hobby Lobby.  See up on the shelves in the back of the picture all of the Christmas balls. There was another shelf that wrapped around the corner of the same amount.  They do have sections of Christmas things up already. The use to say then needed to have it all up by the fourth of July. They are a little late with that but one can get pumpkins for Halloween and Thanksgiving right now also.  

My cactus is really liking the heat and dry weather.  I haven't watered it since I took it outside but there is so much humidity that I bet it is getting moisture from the air. 



The heat is really making its mark on the clouds this morning.  The earth is tilting back and the sun does not show up between the two trees on the left.  It is noon and it is 91° F.  Iowa has had a bike ride event for fifty years now. It is called RAGBRAI.  Participants start riding at the Missouri River side and they ride for seven days across a designated route over to the Mississippi River.  The larges number that I have heard of the estimates is 40,000 bicycle riders.  Today in the heat they are coming south through our town of 70,000.  The route will divide our city in half as they close off a lot of streets.  One has to consult a map to figure out how to get to the west side from the east side. Apparently there are places where the bikers have to obey the street lights.  Our major road is closed so we just won't plant to go to the other side. I think they will open things up at five o'clock as all should be into the south Des Moines site.  We did make it to my wife's doctor appointment this morning.  When we returned we met the overflow, diverted traffic onto our road.  There were hundreds of cars and trucks coming south as we travels north. 

I took a shot from the balcony of my yesterday's project. I dug up a large hosta and planted it in five parts along the edge of my newly surfaced stairs.  You can see our grass has gone dormant now when you look out into the open areas. We need rain. 

The birdseed isn't all eaten.  I have to hand pull weeds of corn, millet and whatever that is in the bag.  When I finished pulling I looked down to see I had pulled up a mini sunflower.  It has been in the pitcher for about a week now and is dong well as a cut flower. 

Home inside for the rest of the day as we are too hot.  I hope some of you out there are not having this weather.  My brother in Arizona is worse off than us.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Tuesday's Things....

 When you plant a cottage garden without a plan things come up and surprise you. I had forgotten that I had this form of a tiger lily.  There is a special name for this but it isn't a true tiger lily. 



Another recent surprise bloom in the cottage gaden was this day lily.  It is different than all the others that I have.  Unfortunately it is planted right next to an iris plant.  I can know how that happens but I will have to move some things.  They both will get dug at the same time as they are that close to each other. 

A new phlox that I bought a couple of years ago is still struggling.  I am sure it is too crowded but it was planted during the two years of drought so it hasn't had a chance to get rooted in solidly. 

The is a phlox with the same story.  It will get established with me watering it often.  It isn't so crowded . It just takes a few years to get going. 

It was 77° F. already when I went outside to work.  I spread a sack of dirt along my new stairs to help make a dip in the yard that goes along it.  I moved a hoasta today and split it up into five plants.  Iwill have to water every single day to keep them alive.  I did go around to photograph a few new things.  I am at the point that I have too many shots of flowers.  I am trying to find ne things to shoot. I am inside already by 11:00 as it was too hot.  I hit the showers and then rest after working outside. 

Stay safe out there.

Monday, July 24, 2023

Taking Photos in the Heat.....

 I have lots of vines but no blooms.  The boxes sit on the northeast side of the house, the house is built at an angle to the the world, and it gets full sun late afternoon.  It causes the planters to dry out almost every day.  I still like it and it is an improvement of that thug vine that use to grow there. 



The gazing ball is always a challenge as it reflects the photographer every time. The pink rose is doing so well in its second blooming for the season.  It sits in contrast to the neighbors bright red knock out rose. 

My own knock out rose is still developing its new buds after I had trimmed it all back.  There are three rare blooms on the one bush in the front yard. 

He isn't a pet but he does seem not to be frightened by my working out there with him.  I was watering tomato plants and would walk around to the other side so as not to disturb the sweet young one.  He did leave after I stayed and water more plants closer to it.

I know I am just loading down my post but the cropped close up shows it in detail.  I like how the rabbit just sits there and turns back and forth on the ledge without any difficulty.  I guess he may want some of those leaves that are on the other side of the fence.  I have seen rabbits take in a full developed sunflower leaf and suck it in eating it so quickly. There are some leaves I guess I could pick and leave for it to eat. 

My dinner plate hibiscus is blooming now.  I keep watering it but the heat and drought seems to make it look a little under the weather. 

The buds for the hibiscus look like this.  This one is going to be opened tomorrow. I have lots of buds.  

I had an appointment this morning, early, with an endocrinologist.  I got an early text to tell me she was not going to be in the office today.  I had eaten light breakfast to not screw up my blood counts and then all was shut down.  I did get a call about twenty minutes later and a nice guy called to find a time for me to come in later in the week.  I was surprised that I could get in on Friday.  It messed up the whole morning as I was up early and off my normal schedule.  I did get outside and work in the garden and sort of straighten out my day.  We are up to 91° F. now and I am not outside.  The heat brought me in as it was overwhelming.  

Thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, July 23, 2023


 The heat seems to give us interesting morning cloud formations.  The clouds do all clear and the sun starts doing its job.





I haven't grown dusty miller for years.  I just happen to see it at the nursery and picked one up for the front step's flower pot.


 The story is too long to tell you about why I have all these wagon wheels from my wife's father's farm. I like them and hope that agatiized petrified piece of wood rock doesn't ever get moved. The rock came from Wyoming, another long story.  I could see someone making a movie of that heavy wagon wheel rolling down the steps, bouncing and crashing into the neighbor's fence below. I probably should go ahead now a roll it carefully down the steps and find a new place for it to be. The old steps seem too unsteady for me to take it down and I didn't want to carry it.   It is very heavy.


 The last bloom of this day lily is not gone.  It was a good season for it even though the drought did make it seem more subdued and less vigorous.

We are having a quiet Sunday with no plans.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Sun Shinny Day....


Solar flares shining through the sunflower. It is a tall one and still has not developed it bud. It will be a big bloom. 

The field lily has only one stalk on it this year but I am so glad it has become established.  I remember when one could see this ditch lilies spread from a farmstead and it would be growing all along the ditch of a big highway.  Eventually it would get mowed down but that didn't keep it from spreading.

I have two helpers while I am outside working.  One is older than the other so I can tell them apart.  This is the youngest one of the two. 

I remember that I complained about how exhausted I was when I trimmed back all the dead blooms on this rose.  Not it is all filled in with new flowers. 

The rose bush is really showy from a distance. It has the neighbor's knock our rose, red, and it too is reblooming. 

I worked outside this morning getting many small jobs done.  I put almost all of my tools away now from the stairs project and took in all the leftover wood scraps. The wood scraps could become another project.  It is warmer today and I was glad to get back into an air conditioned house.  It is a full sun day and it will heat us up.  It will cause me to water everything tomorrow.  

Thanks for stopping in today.