Monday, April 30, 2012
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Scenes like these are everywhere on rural Iowa roads as farmers busily prepare the soil and sow the seeds for this year's crop. Although most producers use large, modern tractors and implements, a few, as featured in one of these photos, still use relics from decades past. Quite a contrast when compared with those models equipped with climate-controlled cabs and auto-steer!
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Within the last week someone placed this adorable pink flamingo garden decoration between two boxwoods in front of our house. Not sure how long it was there before I noticed; however, THANKS as it is a perfect fit and adds a pop of color to the mostly green landscape. Nevertheless, I must also state that we are NOT actively seeking additional pieces of outdoor decor as some of you folks might mistake my gratitude as an invitation to deliver more items that may not be perceived as sooo cute! Anyway, now that some of you are laughing at the thought of all the former pink flamingos that adorned our lawn on various occasions, take a look at this cutie!
|During an April shower|
Monday, April 23, 2012
As mentioned in a recent post, tulips are some of my favorite spring bloomers as well as subjects for photographing; hence, I have more. Enjoy these vivid colors and bold shapes! Stay tuned for another edition of tulips in the near future.
Friday, April 20, 2012
Although we don't have pets, I am still fond of furry four-leggers, including these farm cats. When working in our vegetable garden, I am often accompanied by a couple of these friendly felines who want my undivided attention as well as some fresh water. By the end of the summer we have become good friends and I start to recognize their individual purring as they make their way across the yard to join me in the rows of yellow wax beans.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
One of my favorite springtime arrivals is tulips as they paint the landscape with a multitude of colors and provide a long awaited reprieve from the often harsh, cold winter. Even as a child I was thrilled to see the green tips as they emerged around the edge of our circular flower garden. For this Iowa girl, tulips bring a bit of whimsy and refresh our spirits as they subtly announce, "Warm weather just ahead!"
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Need a mid-week boost? These adorable faces should help. The first little woman is darling in her Easter outfit; however, she appears to be more concerned with chewing on something in order to soothe her teeth that are almost visible.
Next is an animated toddler who is delighted to have found plastic Easter eggs filled with candy. Her chin is proof that she liked what she found.
The third photo is of a smiling, adolescent brother-sister pair that actually seems to like one another. May these cuties brighten your day.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
About the time daffodils and other spring bulbs start to bloom Bluebells do the same. While looking at that photo be sure to notice the clusters of pink buds that will become the blue bells. Since Bluebells like moist soil and some shade, you might find these in a woodsy area or along a damp shady border of an existing garden.
The second photo is of something I never knew existed until after I took the photo and had to find out the name. Perhaps the same for you? Nevertheless, the amazing ruffled pink blooms of the Flowering Almond shrub captured my attention as they looked like enormous kernels of popcorn lining the branches. Set against the trees and lush green grass, this bloomer dazzles all who take time to notice its explosion of petite pink flowers.
Monday, April 16, 2012
While on an excursion to the ancient Mayan city of Tulum, located just off the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, I was thrilled when a pair of Hooded Orioles landed and started feeding in a blooming bush right beside me! In fact, I was so delighted that I really had to focus on containing my excitement so I would not disturb the birds and could get some decent pictures. This opportunity just does not frequently occur!
Anyway, although the male and female were both present, I was only able to get some good shots of the male. He was brilliant orange with distinct black patches and whitish wing bars while she was primarily an olive-yellow tone with similar markings on her wings. And, just to clarify, the photo of the male turned upside down (below) is just how he appeared feeding on the bright orange blossoms! What a beautiful sight.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Animated. Mischievous. Nimble. These descriptors come to mind when I see squirrels frolicking in the yard, raiding bird feeders, tightrope walking electrical lines and chasing one another from tree to tree. And, just thinking about their crazy antics makes me laugh. So, today's photos include some scenes where I captured them doing what squirrels do best -- eating, slithering through tight spots and eating some more.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Everywhere all sorts of things are blooming, including rhododendrons, forsythias, flowering crabs and magnolias. In addition to their spectacular color, some are also delightfully fragrant. Forsythias are some of the earliest to bloom in the spring; therefore, due to this year's mid-March warm spell, most reached their peak a few weeks ago. Regarding the rhododendrons, be sure to notice their thick, somewhat leathery, dark green leaves that remain after the beautiful clusters of blooms have withered. In these parts the Saucer magnolia tree, with its large white to pale pink flowers that appear before the leaves, is a common sight in many yards as it can handle the often harsh winter conditions. Finally, there are several varieties of flowering crabs that thrive in Iowa and provide glorious shades of pink, white and red along with a pleasant fragrance.
|Blooms of a Saucer magnolia|
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Since our vegetable garden is located near this site, last summer I had ample opportunities to witness this enormous undertaking and capture a few photos of the construction phase. Now, a year later, most of these rural gravel roads are quiet again except for the local farmers preparing to plant corn and soybeans; however, the landscape is permanently dotted with these energy-producing giants that tower above the horizon and can be seen from miles around.
Of course, as a former Spanish teacher who taught one of the world's most famous novels, Don Quijote de La Mancha, I can't help but wonder if, someday while I am picking strawberries or tomatoes, I will be greeted by the famous crazed knight-errant and his squire, Sancho Panza, as they roam the countryside restoring order and fighting injustices by performing chivalrous deeds. So far, no sightings!
|Cranes played an integral role|
|Construction, August 2011|