To sunny days

September 14, 2020

The rain has stopped and since Saturday the sun has been out again.
We are not complaining. We got out to take a few a pictures but for
some reason the only critters out were the feral cats and kittens.

This kitten kept hiding under the car until I started petting two
of the mama cats then came over and stood in line to get her ears
scratched before leaving.

The gray kitten, along with her sibling, went for a walk in the
footsteps of their mother. Patches, their mother, is a calico yet
seems to have solid color offspring. Don’t know if that’s the norm
or not but after two litters all kittens are solid colors.

One of Tippys kittens was having a serious moment while sunning in
the driveway. She didn’t share whatever was on her mind.

This one just cracked me up. Seemed so curious about everything and
rarely sitting still. It was the first time I’ve seen this bunch out
since they were born. Sure there will be more sightings.

Did see one black squirrel for brief moment before it jumped through
the gap in the fence and wasn’t seen again.

Have more pictures taken yesterday but don’t have them uploaded yet. May even have a shot of geese flying over, just not south. Won’t be long. Enjoy our Monday. Now for some coffee.
Comments are always welcome.


Rain and cats

September 8, 2020

Our drought has ended here on the east coast of Iowa we heard on the news this morning. Seems I slept through some pretty heavy storms that dropped a couple of inches of liquid love from above. Checked the basement after hearing the news and so far it’s dry.

The other day our skies were full of clouds that looked so great
we had to get a few pictures. We knew the rain was coming and took
the pictures to pass the time. Can think of worse ways to spend some
time.

One of Tippy’s kittens was keeping a close watch on me as I spun
around to get cloud shots from different angles. Don’t know if the
little thing thought I was crazy or dangerous.

Two kittens were playing around while mama just stood watch. Guess
she’d seen enough and needed a break. Said kittens did finally settle
down and enjoyed the day.

As much as the white kitten keeps clean this one always looks like
it just woke up from a nap in a dumpster. They seem to like the
wifes car to hang out under and play around.

We’ll leave it there for today and hope you enjoy our Tuesday. Now
I need some coffee.
Comments are always welcome.


Sky watching

August 31, 2020

Been sky watching and caught a shot of the moon before it was a full
moon. Still looked great but didn’t have much to say this time around.
Next time we’ll have a good chat.

Looking northeast from the alley came this view the other day. To
me it looked almost like an old postcard. This tree and our old pine
survived the derecho and are standing tall.

To our north, the clouds just danced across the sky as they made
their way to someone else’s imagination. We enjoyed them while they
were here.

Due east sits these two trees and got lucky with this shot. It just
made me smile for some reason so I took it.

To the south of our place sits this church steeple nestled in the
trees and the sky there always calls to me. Or it could be the
neighbor, I’m not sure.

Finally, to the west the sky was a pastel delight. Not sure what the
clouds are called but watching them roll by was like looking at a
trout in a clear stream. Colorful to watch.

I can’t finish this without a cat picture. This kitten is one of
Mama Cats latest litter. Must be a super kitten as even closed gates
can’t contain her.

Enjoy our Monday, the first day of a new week and the rest of our
lives. Now for some coffee.
Comments are always welcome.


Plenty of critters

August 22, 2020

The trash pandas came back with a show of force and didn’t seem
happy to see me standing between them and the cat food bowls. They
started with hissing at me and standing their ground.

When they realized that wasn’t working their leader decided to try
begging for their supper. If they would have belted out a few bars
of ‘Danny Boy’, I may have been impressed.

Even the birds were eyeing the cat food. This robin was atop the
old pine tree looking for an opening to swoop down and steal a
nougat of the feral cats food. He didn’t get any either.

Put the camera on special effects, without checking the settings,
and snapped this shot of some flowers growing on a retaining wall.
The colors are so far off it somehow works for me.

Before changing the settings I took this shot of Lil Bit and with
Halloween coming up it grew on me. Makes her eyes look almost evil.
It’s not for everybody but later I’ll try another shot with the
settings changed and see what happens. I realize it isn’t an accurate record of what I saw, but I’ve taken a liking to it.

And that concludes the nickle tour of the wild critter kingdom we
call our neighborhood. At least the hawks haven’t been taking any
of the smaller critters lately. Must figure it’s slim pickings.

Enjoy the rest of our Saturday as before we know it Monday will
be here. Now for some coffee and leftover pizza. The store had
a sale on them and we stocked up.
Comments are always welcome.


Storm video and more

August 21, 2020

If you’ve ever wondered what 140 mph straight line winds look like,
watch the video above. Our local weather service has updated the
numbers are now saying the winds were that high in Cedar Rapids.

This was during the derecho which hit Iowa on Monday of last week.
We live east of Cedar Rapids where the video was taken and only got
winds of a little over 100 mph here. These storms are something else
and now we’re told that Iowa is prone to such storms. Welcome to
2020.

Not sure what causes these things but hope another doesn’t visit
anytime soon. And we still can’t find the mayonnaise we’ve been
looking for since we had to throw the old bottle out.

On another note, this crow and a few friends, set up a chat fest
in the neighbors old oak tree. Don’t know what they were saying but
they were loud.

This spider web survived the storm and I noticed it now had a leaf
stuck in it. At least I don’t remember seeing a spider pull one into
a web before.

Speaking of webs, this spider has a huge one going around the back
bushes. At least it isn’t anywhere we could walk into it. Said
spider may have a drinking problem as we’ve seen better looking webs.

Enjoy our Friday as we will. Now for some coffee.
Comments are always welcome.


Bit late

July 31, 2020

After the errands were ran and the groceries put away I grabbed the
camera to see what was outside. Looked up on a power line and saw a cardinal sitting there. Usually they fly away before the camera can focus, but this one sat there.

Made me believe that someone in Heaven was thinking about me and
was giving me a sign. Not sure of what, yet it put a smile on me. Got back inside, the camera put away, and the phone rang. Caller ID told me it was our youngest calling from Tulsa.

And after a nice chat we said our goodbyes two hours later when it
hit me that a post wasn’t up yet. Funny how time seems to go so much
quicker as we get older. What I used to do all day long now takes me
all day to do.

We did notice that while grocery prices haven’t gone up, they also
haven’t come down either. Even the sale items don’t seem as good a
deal as we got when this year started. Sure wish things would get
back to normal.

Makes one think there’s a bad moon rising. And the moon with all
the dark clouds around it last night gave one an eerie feeling. At
least it was cooler. Been going outside more and that made me see
that the lawn needs mowing tomorrow. Nothing like job security.

Today looks to be a good one also with the TV off. No media keeps
me in a good mood. So Enjoy our Friday even if you have no plans.
Now for more coffee and a cheeseburger.
Comments are always welcome.


In focus

April 21, 2020

Been hearing a woodpecker but hadn’t been able to locate him. About
10 years ago it was easy, look in the neighbors tree and you would
find it. Then the tree got cut down and I’ve been looking ever since.
Turns out he’s in a tree a couple of lots away and has moved west.

This robin was easier to spot but didn’t hang around long. The
orange on him really stands out beside the green buds on the new growth trees to our north. Not sure what he was looking at, but he was a lot closer than the woodpecker.

When I glanced south this little guy on a nearby rooftop was looking for something and doing so intently. He seemed healthy and did fly away after a short time. This roof is a hangout for several different types of birds.

Then looking down, a bumble bee was buzzing around doing whatever
bees do.

Wasn’t prepared for how fast their wings move and thought a shutter
speed of 1/1,000th of a second would be fast enough. And the wings
came out blurry. Next time we’ll speed it up.

These pictures were all taken in our neighborhood respecting the
safe distance rules, the property of others, and the safety of
critters in mind.

This is late, we know it, and have no excuse. It’s just been one
of those days. As always I figured better late than never. Enjoy our
Tuesday as it’s almost over now.
Comments are always welcome.


Day eight

August 20, 2019

Everyone in our group, except yours truly, decided to have a
little pool party but the wife thought the water was too cool. At
the time it was 92 degrees and sunny!

Our youngest child decided this was as much as he was taking off
for the pool time. Since the deepest part of the pool was only 5
feet deep this wasn’t a problem.

Eventually he took off the t-shirt but not his hat and sunglasses.
Everyone looked to have a good time, including me as I got to take
pictures from the umbrella at the table.

As you can see in the picture they all had a great time cooling
off in the heat of the day.

And our granddaughter had a lot of energy to burn and our
daughter in law was there as her spotter. All in all it was an
easy way to waste a few hours in the heat of the day. They got
cooled off, I got some pictures, and all were happy.

The wife has been bugging me to get her picture in this chair.
She calls it the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ chair so even though I had
a long lens in the camera I got the picture.

Today will be our last full day here as Wednesday we head back to
Iowa and the wifes cats, Mama cat, and all her kittens. We hope
it’s cooler there than it is here.

Enjoy our Tuesday as we’ll be enjoying ours here. Now I only have
about 400 more pictures to look at before I’m done.
Comments are always welcome.


Failure to communicate

July 6, 2019

The wife claims I’m hard of hearing while I say I’m easily distracted. Case in point is these pictures. I went out yesterday to mow the lawn and noticed this dragonfly on a phone wire. So of course I ran back into the house, grabbed the camera, and got a few shots.

Of course after I took the pictures it was time to upload them to the computer and downsize them so they load faster online. When that was done it was time to see which ones I liked the best, which are all here.

After that was done it was time for coffee with leftover pizza and once that was finished it was time to get busy. Except I got distracted again. I was wondering; if a turtle left San Fransisco at 9 am Tuesday, how long would it take for him to get to Phoenix.

Then back on the computer to find out how fast a turtle moves, and how far it is from San Fransisco to Phoenix. After getting differing answers from the search engine I decided it could wait. Time to get back to chores. In the kitchen and remembering the I forgot just what it was I going to do, I had a cup of coffee.

So when this gets posted I’m off to mow the lawn today. Unless I get distracted again. As I told the wife, my body might be getting older but my mind still works. Hopefully the lawn will look better this afternoon. Enjoy our Saturday as soon the weekend will be history.
Comments are always welcome.


A good Sunday

May 6, 2019

After the lawn mowing and a short chat with our neighbor I came across the bird pictured above. My first attempt at a Kodak moment didn’t turn out well so I got out my zoom lens and was happy with the photo above.

I have no idea what type of bird this is but will keep looking through my books and hopefully come up with an answer. The bill is too long to be a sparrow and the coloring matches nothing I’ve seen before. At first glance I thought it had armor on the wings and tail.

This picture was taken without the zoom and the first one I took. It’s also a little too dark for many details to stand out. Thankfully my feathered friend waited around until I could get a closer shot.

Then last night I happened to catch on of the best sunsets I’ve seen here in Iowa from our back yard. I know the trees and few buildings mar the view but I work with what I’m given. It was something to see.

Finally, this house wren flew onto a branch of the old pine tree and I thought he made a good contrast to the tree colors. I’m either going to have to figure out how to get bigger birds around or get a longer lens. As always you can click on the pictures to see a larger version.

Enjoy our Monday as it’s here rather we want it or not. Now I need some coffee to get ready to face the day.
Comments are always welcome.