Sunday, August 31, 2014

Marquette, Iowa Flea Market Stare

A stare from a native American bust/statue/figure head at the Marquette, Iowa flea market looks over the Mississippi River from underneath the Iowa-Wisconsin bridge today. The colorful plaster was listed at $25. The flea market continues into day 3 of the Labor Day weekend event in Marquette, located just across the river from Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Iowa Interstate #509 Moves Out of Maintenance Works

Iowa Interstate Railway locomotives are kept in tip-top condition at the new maintenance works near South Amana, Iowa. The facility opened in 2012 and employs up to forty workers. This west bound train consisted of four locomotives pulling ethanol tankers somewhere. Iowa Interstate operates 600 miles of track between Chicago and Council Bluffs.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Goose in Evening Light

Evening light can be dramatic. Golden rays of the low sun angle flooded the lily pond area of Amana, Iowa yesterday. This Canada goose was in a pack of a half dozen birds who allowed me to get fairly close for a decent zoom lens shot. With so many geese like these around (and their litter) its hard to remember a time nearly forty years ago when it was rare to see them outside of migration time. Open water and more food sources available within city limits have created a situation of year round presence for the stately bird.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Ready for a Painting

Those 19th century impressionists were always seeking the perfect light and clouds for their works of art. Well look no farther than your friendly Midwestern sky. This summer's sky has offered spectacular views of billowing clouds made just for capturing on canvas or in pixels.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sunset on CID

Another beautiful sunset over the control tower and hangers at the Eastern Iowa Airport (CID,KCID) near Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


A warning sign expresses either an opinion or a warning near the low head dam at Palisades State Park near Mount Vernon, Iowa.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Supermoon - Crappy Focus

This was my best shot of terra luna last Saturday as it became Supermoon, skimming some 37,000 miles closer to us than normal. Despite the revealing dust and smudges on the telephoto lens I continue to not be able to find infinity focus, and that's trying both the manual and auto-zoom settings. If anyone has a tip to nail crisp focus of the moon and stars please let me know.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Not a Good Day for Sailors on Lake Macbride

Two days ago the weather was perfect with low temperatures and steady breezes along Lake Macbride in eastern Iowa. What wasn't perfect were the sailing skills of at least two sailors. Within a span of an hour two rented sailboats tipped over while making hard turns into the stiff wind.

Fortunately in both cases the crew was able to right the sailboat and climb back without too many injuries. Several close-by boats maneuvered to help but in both cases the downed crews said they were okay. I suppose if someone watched the rented boats leave the harbor and tac on the lake they would see this same sight repeated every weekend during the summer. Inexperienced sailors learned the hard way how to ride the waves. Crews from both boats wore life vests which probably saved them but not their electronics.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Despite the Fall Colors Autumn is Not Here Yet.

It can't be autumn yet at Lake Macbride in eastern Iowa. I'm going with a diseased or damaged tree has turned a rusty color in early August. Hopefully the turning leaves are months away rather than just around the corner. On the other hand its been a cool and wet summer following an impossible winter. Enjoy the warmth while we can.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Sunshine on My Shoulder

Boating on Iowa's Lake Macbride is a popular activity. This no-wake lake makes it ideal for cloth sailors, pontooners and kayakers to wonder about without worry of faster craft making waves. Today the sky was blue, the wind was perfect for sailing and sunshine was on the shoulder.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Alburnett, Iowa Cattle Watch Who is Photographing Them

A field full of these cattle types munched on lots of green grass thanks to generous rains this season. These are extremely curious cattle and very watchful of stray photographers wandering around their world.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Treadwear Traction and Temperature

The three Ts of tire selection and performance; treadwear, traction and temperature. Looks like there's some good thread left on this farm equipment related tire but a closer look shows deep cracks. Maybe this would make a better swing seat.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Rural Granary Along Abandoned Track

North of Vinton, Iowa is this old granary or mill. While its exterior is kept clean and painted, the structure is no more than a relic of the past. The trail to the right is on the site of a former railroad line. Rail cars stopped at the granary to be loaded with local produced grains.

These tall structures were probably more common throughout the Midwest grain producing areas.

While this structure still stands, modern replacements are either cylinder shaped grain bins located on individual farm property or most likely, the local towering grain elevators that dot small towns throughout corn and soybean producing states.

Monday, August 4, 2014

A Puppy's Stare

It was a cool, breezy day. The window of the locked pickup was down enough for a puppy to pop his head out and greet auction goers. His owner checked on him every 15 minutes but he really wanted to be outside and be part of the auction.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Iowa's Beautiful Corn

Healthy rains this spring helped to create outstanding crop stands this season. While much of Iowa has been two weeks without wide spread rain the record amounts earlier this spring and summer have combined for perfect soil moisture in most areas.

In this particular field just southeast of Alburnett, Iowa, the end rows of corn show a bit smaller stand and are lighter green in color - perhaps indicating a wet area or depleted fertilizer content. Interior rows show a healthy dark green and of uniformed height. Superb moisture at pollination time means the corn ears will be large and filled out. If an early frost doesn't upset the growing time, the 2014 crop is expected to be the largest in history. Its an impressive scene to see miles and miles of healthy corn around the Hawkeye state.