Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Grub For Lunch?

Recently I captured a few shots of this Robin snacking on a couple of grubs. Honestly, I was surprised at how close the bird allowed me to be and yet it still went on with its business...must have been hungry! So, take a look at this backyard visitor and notice what is between its beak.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

'Blue Angel'

This type of Japanese Fan Columbine, Aquilegia flabellata Ministar, is a compact variety with bright blue and white short-spurred flowers, blue-green fan-shaped leaves and generally grows in 6-8 inch mounds. This perennial attracts hummingbirds and is also commonly used as a front-line border in flower and rock gardens. Enjoy a close-up view of this popular columbine variety.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Instead of inchworms, you may use the term loopers or spanworms; however, each refers to caterpillars that do not have appendages under their mid-sections and move by grasping with their front legs and then drawing the back legs to that point and creating the image of a loop. Next, the front legs release and attach to a new location while the back legs follow.  This process continues as the larvae of the Geometer moths seem to "measure the earth" as they move.  Have a look!

Friday, May 25, 2012


For the past few weeks peonies have been in bloom, and today's photos feature some of those enormous pink flowers plus one bud that has a dreamy appearance with its white, red and green swirls. As well as their remarkable size and beauty, the fragrance is wonderful. Perhaps you can still locate a few for a bouquet to adorn your indoor space.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Happy 6th Birthday!

Today's post is a long-distance birthday greeting dedicated to my nephew who is also my godson.  Playing video games, wearing clothes that are blue, laughing at his grandpa's silly jokes, teasing his grandma, learning addition and subtraction facts and harassing folks with his farting machine are some of his favorite pastimes.  Enjoy these photos and look at how you've grown, little man!  Have a great day.

As a toddler

With his mom riding the Hawkeye Express

Christmas 2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Little Visitors

This past weekend my brother, his wife and their two little ones visited my parents. Of course, I adore the kids and snapped several photos of them as they played outdoors. My favorite is of my niece and the strong wind making her very fine hair stand on end! As she gets older she probably won't find that picture flattering!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ants, Ants & More Ants!

As the peony bushes filled with buds, I knew ants would be present; however, I must admit I did not expect to see this large species that has hair on some parts of its body! And, since I do not know much about ants, I would guess that the extra large ant occupies a significant role in that colony as the smaller ants appeared to be feeding or exchanging something with the bigger one! Watching that through my camera lens was so intriguing that I wanted to share with all of you. The photo with hundreds of ants was taken as I walked on a path beside the Mississippi River; however, I have no idea as to what all these ants are doing. Enjoy a look at something we usually consider a nuisance.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Like their relatives Carnations and Sweet Williams, Dianthus, or Pinks as they are often called, have single or double blooms with fringed edges. Most Dianthus have pink blooms with white or red accents and are fragrant. In addition to their beautiful flowers, Dianthus plants are known to be hardy and deer resistant! So, if you live in a region with weather similar to Iowa, you might consider adding some of these pretty pink varieties to your flower garden.

Friday, May 18, 2012

In Black & White

Since I enjoy editing photos, today's post features a few interesting selections. Can you identify the subjects?  If not, the captions contain the answers.

An oval window 
A house for Purple Martins
Beams of the Julien Dubuque Bridge across the Mississippi River


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Playful Pooches

How about a few furry friends to brighten the day! These three charming faces will probably make you pause and smile just thinking about all of the mischief they could get into if given the opportunity. And, of course, these photos will also warm your heart as you recall fond memories of a beloved past or present pet.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


At this time of the year Irises grace numerous landscapes and gardens. Just as the term iris implies, their blooms are available in a rainbow of colors, including shades of yellow, crimson, copper, henna, blue, gold, violet, pink and more. In addition to diverse colors, irises also vary in height with dwarf and intermediate varieties available along with the standard tall bearded types we so often see. Enjoy a close-up look at some of these flowers and their foliage.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Simple. Serene. Stunning. These thoughts come to mind when I recall how I felt when I stumbled upon these beautiful scenes. When we take time to notice, nature offers some amazing free gifts!