Of summers end

September 1, 2017

Last night the weather estimator on our local tV news said a
haze was coming in from the wildfires and it would make an
interesting sunset. He also said we may be able to smell smoke.
For a change he was right.

While the sky didn’t turn a vibrant orange at sunset, the sun
did turn red just before. That coupled with the moon being
visible and the slight trace of wood smoke was somehow calming.
But there was more to be done inside so I put off savoring the
moment until after the wife left for work.

While I was outside having a smoke and looking at the moon
shimmering through the haze I couldn’t see how the day could
end any better. And the man in the moon agreed. We laughed over
the fact that the bushes won round one and he liked the picture
I took earlier of a Nuthatch.

Some days it helps to be lucky. After the wife left I went back
out and noticed the haze lifted. Since we could both see and
hear each other better we talked again. I mentioned things I
wanted to get done this weekend and he claimed he still had a
sore spot where someone in a funny looking spaceship landed on
his face, then got out of the ship and rammed a flag in his nose.
I could only imagine.

All in all, another great day on the east coast Iowa. Enjoy our
Comments are always welcome.


Is curiosity dead?

August 8, 2017

As the moon came up through the trees last night I thought back
to our visit to the county fair and after talking with the man in
the moon he agreed the fair had changed since the last time we

When we walked through the livestock barns it became clear we
had the place to ourselves and the arena for the horse show was
placed so far back on the fairgrounds it could have been in a
different zip code. And again, not nearly as many spectators as
days gone by.

While meandering we saw majestic Belgian horses being led
into a trailer and quarter horses getting a workout with their
riders in the ring. We saw tigers, elephants, a wild animal
show, and even New Mexico duck racing. Yet the biggest crowds
could be found near the food vendors and amusement rides.

This country boy doesn’t get it. Have we gotten to the point
that snapping a cell phone picture of your child getting
strapped into the roller coaster more popular than teaching
said child about the world around us?

Now they could have went through the livestock barns and gazed
upon the horses and tractors before we arrived. And we did see
parents with children at a small wildlife show that brought
everything from armadillos to wolves onstage, but the numbers
were few.

I also know the rides are fun and the kids enjoy them, but how
many opportunities does one get to see a six-horse-hitch pull
a wagon and make it look easy? Has instant gratification taken
the place of curiosity in the children?

The man in the moon then informed me that you can’t take the
country out of the boy. He’s right because the simpler things
mean more to me.

Enjoy our tuesday. I’m leaving in a bit to visit with the
Antique Farmer and get his take on it.
Comments are always welcome.

Shooting the moon

April 2, 2017

When I first got my DSLR the more research done just raised my
curiosity. Most of what I read stated one needed a tripod to
take a picture of the moon, and perfectly dark surroundings.
My naturally curious brain was left in doubt.

If the earth is orbiting the sun at around 67,000 mph and the
moon is orbiting us at about 2,290 mph, why does the camera
have to be on a tripod? Yet I was continually told it was a

Now on top of the earth and moon being in motion there are
times when clouds will get in the way. The final piece of the
puzzle was these same articles telling me about the necessity
of a tripod also said you need at least a 600mm lens to take a
good picture of the moon.

I do have a tripod and longer lenses yet prefer my trusty
100-300 mm lens. If you are older and have used a long lens to
shoot hand held you will know why. So I decided to use what I
want and see how it worked.

The picture above was taken March 31, 2017 on a clear night
The settings were shutter 1/500 of a second, aperture f/5.6,
and ISO 400. It was taken with the lens at 300 mm. Not perfect
but I’m happy with it.

When I started this quest, using a kit lens, I started with
the settings at shutter 1/250, f/5.6, and ISO 200. I don’t
lower the shutter speed if the moon is too dark I raise the
ISO. If the moon looks too bright I raise the shutter speed.

There have been clearer shots and cloudy shots, but to start
I used the settings mentioned above. And I do use a tripod when
taking pictures of stars in the night sky. That may get mentioned
in another post.

Enjoy the rest of our Sunday as the work week starts tomorrow.
Now I’m going to enjoy the Snicker’s bar I have chilling in the
Comments are always welcome.

Of rare days

March 7, 2017

I knew the moment I woke up this morning it was going to be
one of those days. Nothing was on fire or needed fixing, yet I
still knew in my gut I was going to have one of those days. It
really hit me as I was taking a picture of the moon and
realized I hadn’t done a post yet. (Said picture of moon is
below as evidence.)

One of those days where the sky looked like blue satin
highlighted with white cotton candy clouds. Birds were out in
abundance and singing while the squirrels scampered away with
stolen peanuts.

Even the sunset, though muted, was a sight to behold. I lost
even more track of the time as the stars took turns twinkling
for attention. And I owe it all to sleeping through the night
last night. Four and half hours of blissful, uninterrupted

That happens so rarely anymore I knew the distractions would
be too many and too fast. Even though I put up the good fight
the entire day passed by while I marveling at what a
beautiful place we live in.

Not much time to cruise the information highway when you’re
standing outside with so much to see and so little time to
see it. So enjoy the rest of our Tuesday. Soon we’ll be into
Spring, things will green up, and the weather will get nicer.
Comments are always welcome.

Should have stayed in bed

February 10, 2017


Last night I laid the body horizontal around 1 am thinking to
awake around 5 to have time to read the paper and have a ton
of coffee before shopping for groceries. Instead I woke up,
hit the head, and made a pot of coffee all before realizing I
had woken up at the crack of 3 am.

After reading the paper and several cups of coffee while the
wife still slept I decided to open the new bottle of mouth
rinse. If you don’t know what mouth rinse is just think mouth
wash for cheap people. I can usually buy a half gallon of the
rinse for what a pint of wash cost.

Like a lot of things in our lives today said mouth rinse has
a child-proof cap that I think should be labeled “If you are
a senior citizen with arthritis you will not be able to open
this bottle.” Yet also like a lot of things in our lives today
I have a way to work around the problem.

I take a utility knife and cut off the bottom of the cap and
thus it opens like a regular bottle. This morning I slipped
so the knife went into my palm and left a pretty good gash.
Not wanting to wake the wife early I rinsed off the wound as
good as I could, dumped iodine on it, and plastered a few
bandages over it.

That seemed to work well and when the wife got up she put a
fresh bandage on it before we went to the store. As I was
placing the last of the groceries in the trunk the wound split
again. Not wanting to bleed all over the car I removed the
leaking appendage and held it up while I got in the driver’s

The wife stuffed a tissue up coat sleeve while I held the
other end over the cut so no blood got inside the car either.
After unloading the groceries I remembered a first aid kit
from my contracting days, and sure enough, we found a
butterfly bandage that worked great. So far. I should have
stayed in bed.

The full moon is out tonight, hope you get a chance to see it
and if not we shared a picture. Now I go in search of a pizza
with my name on it.
Comments are always welcome.

Lucky day

December 14, 2016

It happened again. I had a good supper, went to bed by 10,
and woke up at the crack of 3 am. Some days it doesn’t pay to
think things out. So I grabbed my house slippers, camera, and
jacket to catch this shot.


I did find out that my fleece sleep pants don’t do well in
below zero wind chills. This evening, with the temperature
hovering near 12 and a 25 mph breeze, I tried again. This time
I did have my jeans and a hat added to my earlier wardrobe.
When I first went out the moon was still in the trees.


Once I got inside the wife was informed the stars were out in
a glorious night and I asked her if she wanted to go out a little
later while I took a picture of the moon. Yeh, that went over
like a lead balloon. So I put a bigger lens on the camera and
went back out for one more shot.


I know, the moon even looks cold in this one. Didn’t see any
snow or the man in the moon though so it must be a little
warmer up there. And as I was walking around the house I
noticed light coming from across the street from this.


What a great day, hope yours was just as pleasant. Now I need
a pizza to warm me back up.
comments are always welcome.

Moon flight

December 13, 2016

Now that all the computer gremlins have been run off and the
phone is still working we thought an update was in order. I
have busy chasing moonbeams, sun devils, and below zero wind
chills while trying to talk the wife into joining me. Yeh,
that didn’t work out so good.


I didn’t get frostbite and I got the picture above so the
day is considered a great one. The moon had barely cleared the
treetops to the east when I snapped a few shots to add to my
collection and imagine my amazement when I saw the plane
heading right for the moon.

My luck is holding out. Tonight into tomorrow those who tell
us what the weather might do are talking double digit wind
chills. And I’ll be sitting right here, in our abode, except
for a short excursion to visit Dad.

Since our phone is working once again and the computer has
been purged we should be able to get back to regular posting.
Things seem pretty glum when you can’t even get online to tell
everyone you can’t get online.

Some have said to use my smart phone, but since I don’t own
one that would be a trick. I have an ancient flip phone that
serves me well and no desire to upgrade. If the need to get
online strikes me I have the desktop, a laptop, and a tablet.
If all of these are out, I have books and know how to use them.

Stay warm, drive safe, and keep the shiny side up.
Comments are always welcome.