Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I have been working in the flower and veggie gardens quite a bit of late and I am getting behind on the classes I am currently taking online. So today I decided to work on those.
One of the classes is on Joggles, also a great place to find things. Sharon Boggen from Australia is the instructor and this is a design I am working on for lesson 3. It is an excellent class and I have enjoyed it.
I actually have a real, studio journal now. I haven't posted in it everyday, but close. Some days make up for those I don't get around to posting. And then I save little pieces of paper with ideas on them and stick in there. Not always convenient to take it all the places I go. It has been an excellent exercise.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Road Trip!!!

I might get this blog post done. Not sure as I have had it half
completed and lost it.

Today we went on a road trip. Joedy had been wanting to go to Parks, NE more specifically Rock Creek State Park. So we headed out after Sunday dinner.

We went up the river road to St. Francis, KS. Stopped there at the "K" store for refreshments, good thing too as we were gone over 6 hours.

Our first item of interest were the "Breaks", which are north of
St. Francis. The photo doesn't do them justice. Very interesting formations that would be interesting to explore, if it weren't for snakes. I am sure there are a number of rattlesnakes around these as it is prime country for them.

So on to Parks, which has a post office by the way. As we left Parks and came around a bend we see this sign "Sage Hill Vineyards" and they are open. Okay we have to stop and check this out.

We cross the cattle guard into the pasture and take off on this trail that meanders through pasture, yet all the time our destination is in site. We cross over a small stream, the Dickcissels, Meadowlarks, Lark Sparrows and other birds were singing away and then another cattle guard to arrive at their vineyard and tasting room.

A very nice place and we go in to check out the wine. It wasn't long after we were there that one of the owners finds out we are from Burlington and she asks if we know her husband's sister, who lives
in Burlington. Guess what we know her. Small world. The other
couple that were there at the same time were from Goodland, KS and they ask us if we knew another family that lives there. Yes, we know them too. After we have had a few samples and visit we purchase a couple of bottles. We are going to let the red age a few years. Thought I would take a photo of the road as we were leaving. It is worth the side trip. And the gentleman who owns Sage Hill is in charge of Rock Creek fish hatchery.

So we head on to the lake and come across a doe. I thought I had seen a fawn by her side, but when we backed up to check she was
the only one there. She did give Joedy a nice pose for a photo op

We saw a number of turkeys on our trip and we did see one doe with a fawn along the way. Another turtle today, so that makes 2 turtles in a week's time. Pretty good for not having seen any turtles for years. A couple of snakes we did not recognize as well.

We arrived at Rock Creek State Park. A very nice little lake surrounded by a number of different trees and shrubs, along with some wildflowers, wild roses, and numerous water lilies growing on the north end. The mulberries were ripe too. I thought the most interesting item was the equipment that I am assuming they use to open the gate to allow water to leave the lake. If it isn't what they use, it is still one of my favorite things of the day. There were a few people still there and they have built little jetties out into the lake that people can fish from and there are picnic tables on them as well. A very nice place.

On our way to Parks we came across a ranch that apparently isn't used anymore. This was on highway 34. The corral had a beautiful crop of sunflowers growing in it. We didn't know if they had been planted or if they had come up volunteer. It would be a great site to see when they are in bloom though. Doubtful that we will drive back that direction to check it out.

We attempted to find one more area of the breaks called Devil's
Gap, but failed to do so. I believe we went too far south before
going west. However, we saw some great areas of the breaks, a huge wind turbine they are erecting in the town of Wray, CO. Not sure what words would describe it. Maybe out of place. I wonder how long it will be that the turbines are defunct and sitting around unused like many of the houses we came across today? Yep, you got it, I am not a fan nor a proponent of the things.

We decided to go to Beecher Island, came across more breaks on our way there. The Arickaree River flows through here and it was
the site of an Indian and Calvary battle. There were a couple of tents sent up i n the campgrounds. Can't say much for the river though. Our daughters attended 4-H camp here years ago and came home with food poisoning. So much for extension agents knowing how to take care of food. Of course it wasn't their fault.

After 212 miles, we returned home. We caught the sun setting in the west on our road trip.
We were both tired and glad to be home.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Something old & new & tiny

Sunday as we were looking for wildflowers in the pasture, we came across this flower. I have looked it up and believe it to be a Carolina Larkspur. I had not see one before and they are very noticeable in the pasture as they are 12-18" in height. The best part was that I noticed the little bee in the photo after I loaded it onto the computer.
We then went up to Bonny Dam so we could see how high the water was now. It is somewhat better than last year, but it is still very depressing. Their were only a handful of people out there and normally on Father's Day the place would have been packed. There is talk of draining it, so who knows what will happen over time. Many memories.
On our drive east of the lake, we came across this old house. Can't remember the name by it, but it is close to the KS border. I have started taking photos of old buildings as they seem to fade with time around here. I can think of 6 homes that no longer stand that I went by on the school bus each day. And I went to a birthday party at one house, stayed all night in another, visited a friend in another one. Time changes things. People and structures come and go in our lives. Makes one realize how fragile life really is and to enjoy each moment. There are no guarantees in life, no matter how hard some try to convince us they exist.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer is here!!!

It is officially summer on the calendar and summer outside. We had a cool spring, which was very nice. The heat is on now, but then it should be as it is the 3rd week in June and wheat harvest is around the corner and the corn is in need of some heat units so it can get going.

I wanted to get some photos of wildflowers blooming in our pasture, so I got with it and went out on Friday afternoon when I
was suppose to be cleaning house and took some.
I like cactus flowers, just don't care for cactus. The dried blossoms on these even have a nice peachy color.
The other photos is a flower I call Prairie wine cups. Have no idea if that is right or not. Need to go to the wildflower site and look that up.
We went out yesterday afternoon and found some more. Some I had not seen in years. So we have had a good wildflower season.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Studio Journals

I am currently taking an online class on Studio Journals with Sharon Boggen. I have been told and read a number of times that it is important to keep a journal, a place to store future ideas for projects, things that one finds interesting, but I have never done it. So when I came across the class on Joggles a few weeks ago, I decided it was time to bite the bullet.

I did rubbings today and I was surprised with some of the results.
I did like the leaf rubbings and found that it helps to rub some from the back side. This rubbing is of a sunflower leaf.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Another storm gathers force as it and others swept across the plains of eastern Colorado this afternoon and evening. This storm was nothing more than a few clouds on the tail end of a powerful storm system that had produced tornadoes and hail, 75 to 100 miles west of us. Within a half hour it had grown into this. Fortunately it was moving rather rapidly and eastward into Kansas.

We have had numerous storms over the last 10 days and everyone holds their collective breath as the storms build here or come in from some other direction.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

still flowering

I was surprised to see this peony looking as fresh as it does in the garden today. We have been receiving rain showers during the night and it usually takes care of the large, heavy peonies. I really like the delicate pink color of this one.

The poppy just opened today. I hope to make an appliqued piece some day using one of the poppies for a desgin. They fascinate me.

I was very happy to see this red peony several years ago. We had redone the flower beds and this peony didn't show up for 4 years. I was afraid we had lost it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

House Plants?????

The plants should be outside, but they are in the house. We have had numerous severe thunderstorm warnings and today is no different. The plants came in at midnight last night when the NOAA weather radio went off and I left them in today as there is a great deal of moisture around and new storms headed this direction. The plants are still pretty small so I don't want them damaged before we even get a good start on the growing season.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

towel bars

Not the most exciting photo compared to what I have been posting or at least I don't think so, but these things made me think of a number of things this evening.

The towel bars have been a pain in the *&(^ from the beginning. But it made me think of how far cameras had come. Certainly would not be worth discussing towel bars as they are way behind cameras, along with the people from which I ordered the towel bars. But the cameras these days are awesome!!!! I have a nice camera, but it is nothing compared to others I have seen.

I took photography in high school and we used the little box cameras. To develop the film, we threaded the film on spools, placed the spool in a canister, closed the lid and poured the solution into the canister. I might add that this was down in total darkness. We then set a timer and then washed the film. wWe let the film dry, then we would put the film into the next thing, mind is blank at the moment, load the photo paper in trays position everything, and then print the photo. It was still pretty dark. Then it had to go into 3 different solutions and then a water bath, then the photo would be hung up to dry. 1 good photo per roll was about all one could expect.

I much prefer what I do now days! I am able to take 100's of photos, set the camera on a docking device or use a hot wire and download those photos in minutes. Then play with them on Photoshop. I guess I am just trying to figure out why towel bars haven't progressed any more than what they have??!! I don't mean the heated ones, one that would just stay together would be nice and have a reasonable amount of space between the two towels when it is a double towel bar??? Apparently people are much more interested in camera development.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Little Surprises

The other day I was watering the ivy that hangs in the structure. I noticed some fungus growing on one of the posts. I had not seen this type before and have found it at the base of three of the poles. I enjoy finding little surprises in the garden. There is always something new and different. I like the shape and coloration of these little things. Took a few photos of the bark left on the pole as well, some interesting texture.

The other photos are of flowers. These are the first two water lilies of the summer. They are a delicate pink and are small, another surprise the other day. They are one of my favorites, but then they all seem to be that. The other lilies seem to be off to a slow start, but it has been cool. We placed some fish in the pond a week ago, hopefully they will live. We need to clean it.

The Siberian Iris are blooming now and the surprise here is that they are so short this year when everything else is amazing. I have several groups of these and the blue one finally bloomed this year, the biggest surprise. This variety is Cesar's Brother, the most dependable one for me.

The peonies are larger than they have ever been and the poppies are 8" across. I have never had such beautiful, spring flowers. I hope the summer day lilies are as nice.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Catching Up

Thought I would catch up on a few things today. Posting for one.

The poppy is currently blooming in the flower garden. I love these flowers, one of my favorite. Hoping to raise some grape colored ones this coming year. They last a short time and take up a good deal of space, but are well worth it.

The other photo is of the chocolate flowered vine. I was cleaning around the area where it grows and noticed all of the stems that have wrapped themselves around the support wire.

When we first planted the vine we had a difficult time training it to go up the wire and on top of the structure. There is a good deal of it on top now. A couple of branches had escaped the wire and were after a Columbine.

Monday, June 1, 2009

June !!!

I cannot believe that today is June 1st.
The peonies have opened and I believe it is a bit early as they were open the third week of June 10 years ago.
I also had an Oriental poppy open today. It is the one of the pale pink ones. I wanted to take a photo of the poppy, but there is a storm brewing over us at the moment, so thought it best to come in and post it later.
I purchased some new poppy seed this year and one is called grape. Until later.