Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Barn Charm

A late afternoon drive-by barn shooting…


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Barn charm

Monday, January 30, 2012

New Calf

Recently, a red and white Holstein calf was born here at our farm. 

Annika's red & white calf Her parents are black and white Holsteins that have some red and white in their ancestry.  I wish she would stay this color, but we’re told she will look more black and white as she gets older.

Friday, January 27, 2012


Afternoon sky from a couple days ago…

Jan 25

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Snow Dune

Jan 24 (2)Was walking around yesterday hunting for snowdrifts to photograph.  Found this one which almost reminds me of sand dunes I saw out West many years ago.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Snowy Branches

Jan 23 (1) dry brush

A couple mornings ago there was snow all over the tree branches.  This photo has the “dry brush” effect applied to it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Barn Charm

8th022 Thanks for stopping by!  To view more Barn Charm photos or submit your own, visit the Bluff Area Daily blog.

 Barn charm

Monday, January 23, 2012


After it snowed the other day, I attempted some snowflake photos.  This first one was taken with the Nikon 55-200mm lens:

Jan 21 (2) sandstone And, this close-up shot was taken with my newly-purchased Opteka macro lens attached to the Nikon 18-55mm lens:

Jan 21 cropped Ever since I was a kid, I’ve wondered how it is that snowflakes always have six points.  There’s a scientific explanation, of course, but its fun to just wonder!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Shadow Shot Sunday

From last fall…midday shadows at the Cordova Tower near Red Rock Lake in Iowa…

10.22.11 (73)

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Shadow Shot Sunday 2

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Photo Edit

Was about to delete this photo yesterday but then decided to work on it in Photoshop…

Jan 10th (1) Ended up upping the contrast, adding the ink outline effect and a canvas texture.  Just for the heck of it.   

Jan 10th (1) ink outline canvas Looks like a fall scene, but actually is from earlier this month.

Friday, January 20, 2012


Sunrise scene from a few days ago…

Jan 15 (3) Thanks for stopping by!  Visit Skywatch Friday to view more sky photos or submit your own.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Its Cold Out

Here’s a photo from a few mornings ago…

Jan 14 (2) Yesterday, our weather was sunny, but very cold, so I stayed in the house except for doing calf chores.  Its the time of year for catching up on reading.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Am not in the mood to traipse around out in the cold outdoors with the camera, so here’s a photo I took last summer.   

June 20, 2011 Effigy Mounds & Pikes Peak (7) I wish I could say this fern was growing in the yard here on our farm, but actually it was along the trail at Effigy Mounds National Monument near Marquette, Iowa.  As I get ready to click “publish”, the thought crosses my mind that the green of this fern will clash with the green background of this blog, but that’s the way it goes. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Barn Charm

The sign reads “Livery Stable”, but it looks like a barn to me.  It is located at the Motor Mill historical site in northeast Iowa.  This photo was taken last fall.

Motor Mill 10.16.11 (79) To find more Barn Charm photos or submit your own, visit the Bluff Area Daily blog.

Barn charm

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hooray for Snow!

Because we now have snow, how about some snowy photos! 

This first one was taken through a window of our farmhouse.  The summery green of the yew fronds looked almost tropical to me…

Jan 14th Here’s a morning moon being stalked by frosty pine tree branches..

Jan 14 (18)

And, lastly, here’s some icy-etched coneflower heads…

Jan 14 (36)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Shadow Shot Sunday

A shadow shot from autumn of 2008…


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Shadow Shot Sunday 2

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Before & After

The other day when snow was finally in the forecast I quick took this snapshot of some squiggly soybean rows…

Jan 11 (2) Now with snow on the ground, the same rows look like this…

Jan 13

Friday, January 13, 2012

Creek Photo Edit

This first photo scene was taken out of the second photo…

Jan 10th (9)

Jan 10th (8) Photo taken during that golden hour mentioned a couple posts ago.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


A sunrise scene from last week…

Jan 6

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Snow At Last

Exciting news!  A few inches of snow blew in overnight leaving mini-drifts and random artwork…

Jan 12 (1)

Golden Hour

Yesterday I needed to run an errand and decided to try make it coincide with the “golden hour” when slanting sunrays of late afternoon provide wonderful lighting for photos.

Jan 10th (4) This rusty old bridge seemed to match perfectly with the trees beyond.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wolf Moon

January’s full moon is called the “Wolf Moon”.  It glowed bright in the western sky yesterday morning.   

Jan 10 I took the first photo with the 18-55mm lens and then switched to the 55-200mm lens for this next picture:  

Jan 10 (13)

I don’t have the right equipment to snare a good close-up moon shot, but it was fun trying!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Barn Charm

Snapshot taken a few years ago near Blairsburg, Iowa.  I drove over there to look at wind turbines and also found this round barn.
West of Blairsburg, June 2008
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Barn charm

Monday, January 9, 2012

January Scenery

Snapshots from a couple days ago…

Jan 5th (1) “Why blog these scenes?”, you may ask…

Jan 5 (9) 

‘Cuz there ain’t much else to take photos of around here this time of year…

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Shadow Shot Sunday

Here’s a snapshot taken in springtime a couple years ago.  The painting on the shed doors is a winter scene, however.

7th059 (3)

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 Shadow Shot Sunday 2

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Morning Pink

The southwestern sky as seen on my way to the barn yesterday morning:

Jan 6 (2) To the southeast it looked like this:

Jan 6 (1)

A few minutes later the sun climbed completely above the horizon and the pink tones disappeared.  The same clouds were still there but were only gray in color.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Loadin’ Up

Late yesterday afternoon found us loading up the old 630.  Its headed to the repair shop after fainting dead away at the sight of our neighbor’s shiny new John Deere tractor the other day.  (See blogpost of two days ago.) 

Jan 5 (2) Also packing up to leave the farm was our college son, signaling that the holiday season is now officially over.  I made sure to send along any remaining Christmas cookies and snacks.  We don’t need them around here anymore, that’s for sure.   

Thursday, January 5, 2012


This morning, a frosty sunrise here in Iowa…

Jan 5

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Another New Lens

The previous post was about the wide-angle lens I bought recently.  It cost around $15.  I also purchased an Opteka 10X Macro lens for about the same price.  Nancy at A Rural Journal had mentioned using that lens so I decided to consult Google to get more info, expecting it to be expensive.  What a pleasant surprise to find that this macro lens was very affordable!  I immediately ordered it (from Amazon.com), along with the wide-angle one.

Here’s my first attempt at using the macro lens which screws right onto my Nikon D40’s Nikkor 18-55mm lens.  This little building sits inside a snowglobe and is less than one inch wide:

Jan 4th 

I also discovered that the wide-angle lens will screw onto the macro lens and had to find out what results could be achieved with that combination.  You have to get really close to your photo subject.  The windmill on this little Dutch ornament is about one inch tall in real life:

Jan 4th (1)

I’m looking forward to using these lenses next spring and summer when the wildflowers are in bloom! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Lens Meets New Tractor

This afternoon our neighbor drove in to show off his brand spankin’ new tractor.  He had ordered it last summer and then was allowed to watch it be assembled at the John Deere Waterloo Tractor Works in November.  Pretty cool. 

I will use the image of this gleaming green machine to demonstrate how that wide-angle lens I mentioned yesterday works.  This first photo was taken without the wide-angle lens.  My Nikon D40’s regular lens was set at its widest setting, 18mm:

18mm While standing in the same spot, I attached the wide-angle lens and took this next picture, still at 18mm.  Vignetting does occur.

18mm with lens This next photo was taken with my camera’s regular lens set at its closest range (55mm), without the wide-angle lens:

55mm With the wide-angle lens attached, the same shot looks like this:

55mm with lens They even let me climb up into the tractor.  Wow, the cab was so clean it was almost scary!

Jan 4 (6)

Over on the side sat this cute little “command center”, looking for all the world like an electronic toy!   

Jan 4 (7) The engine was idling and you can see that we were using 0.6 gallons of fuel per hour.  We were traveling at 0.0 mph, and this tractor has a grand total of 4.6 hours on it.  When you’re looking to purchase a used tractor, instead of asking “How many miles are on it?”, you ask, “How many hours does it have?”