Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Peace In The Country

Here's something I don't usually do. I have a couple of nice country scenes I captured while I was out. I was out on a normal everyday nature adventure and both of these scenes made me stop the truck so I could get out and get pictures.

I'm not so sure I was able to duplicate in these pictures the beauty I found here. For some reason, it never seems to work out that easily. Maybe you just have to be there, or maybe I just need to be better at taking the pictures. I'm not sure either one of those will happen anytime soon though, so this is it.

Up above is the farmyard where Old 79 lives. I saw this scene before I saw her. The buildings out there all alone among the trees just seemed so nice. This is what I like about the country. It's so quiet and peaceful. And if you look in the right direction you can see for miles and miles.

When I lived in the city I used to say that everyone can do this. But country living isn't for everyone. But you can visit the country from time to time. A good relaxing drive along some old country roads might be fun. You won't know that it's true until you try it. I'll talk to you later.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Old 79

I've been a little distracted recently because I'm building a new business. So I haven't been able to do quite as much here. Even so, I was still able to get out and take some pictures of these lovely bovine creatures.

I wasn't quite sure what to do with these pictures until I saw Old 79 staring back at me as my camera clicked away. So I focused my camera right on her. I had to do it because she was the one who wanted to be a worldwide star.

Here's the whole little herd of cows that she belongs to. Most of them seem disinterested for the most part. They are just enjoying the trees on this wonderful sunny day. If I was a cow I would be doing the exact same thing.

That's strange. I don't think I've ever imagined what it would be like to be a cow before. It must be kind of boring, just standing around and eating grass all day. I'd go kind of crazy. What would I do without access to the internet? I'm glad I'm not a cow. How about you? I'll talk to you later.

Monday, October 9, 2017


I'm back after a week off. I got a little sidetracked there for a few days. It's been raining non-stop here and it almost flooded again. So I've had no nature pictures to post. So after a week I finally got out and got some new pictures to share with you. Let's see what I got.

Okay, look at the center of this top picture. Does that look like a fish there on the end of that log to you? It did to me. So I took a few pictures to get a closer look and to see what I had there. But what was this thing really?

I think it still looks kind of like a fish, but it's really just part of another log sticking up out of the water. This is the kind of strange and goofy thing that I like posting about. It seems like a normal stupid mistake look-a-like of a fish, and that's what makes it fun. This is exactly the kind of thing that makes an everyday adventure.

And this last picture shows you the view I had of this fake fish when I took the picture. Look towards the middle left of the picture. You can see a small red circle if you really squint your eyes. That's where I saw this fishy. Now you know why I didn't know what it was when I saw it.

This gives you an idea of what can happen with nature watching. Sometimes you think you have a fish, but then you only have a piece of wood. That kind of thing happens a lot to me. I'll talk to you later.

Monday, October 2, 2017

This Is My World

It's been hard for me here. I love this place where I live, but there is always something missing. It's the trees. Where I live there are endless grasslands and cornfields. But there aren't many trees. What made me love nature are the forests. But they are mostly missing here.

So, what could I do? Well, the first thing I did was I spent the first few years here in a confused and frustrated state. I didn't know what to do or where to go. Nature was so different. I liked it, but I loved my forests. And I had none here.

Then this year I finally accepted things the way they are. I love it here too much to go somewhere else so I decided to learn more about nature here and learn to love it too. So that's what I set out to do, and it has worked excellently. But I do still miss my forests. So I decided to do something about that too.

There are places I have found where I can go to be in the forest. This place in my pictures is one of them. It is here that I can breathe deeply and feel the complete joy of nature. Places like this inspired me to start this blog.

I often fantasize about building a shack in the middle of one of these forests and just living there forever. Maybe I should buy a big place with a small forest in it and do that at least part of the time. I don't have the means for that quite yet, but I am getting closer. One of these days I'll be ready.

But then I look down at my smartphone and realize that I need to get back home. Walking these trails was relaxing and refreshing, but it's time to get back to work so I can come back out here again.

And I love my computer too. Oh, and money. I love money. I can't make money on a nature trail. But I can come back out to the nature trail more often if I have more money. And one day I can just buy my own nature trails if I have enough money. So the practical world calls me to work. Then I can come back out here as often as I want. I'll talk to you later.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Can Turkeys Fly?

Have you ever wondered if turkeys could fly? Many people think they can't. I remember years ago on a comedy TV show called "WKRP In Cincinnati" the radio station on the show did a promotion where they dropped turkeys from a helicopter. The turkeys inevitably thudded to the ground. It was a huge disaster. The last line on the show was the station manager saying, "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly." So, is that the verdict? Is it settled then?

No. The turkeys in my top picture seem to be flying just fine. But wait! They don't seem to be very high off the ground, do they?

That was going to be my proof. I guess I'll have to go even further. Let's go to the next picture then.

This turkey above is flying just fine, isn't it? Maybe. It doesn't seem to be very high off the ground, does it? Maybe it's just hopping. Sometimes pictures can be deceptive. So maybe that's not proof then. Let's move to the next picture and see if I can finally show you flying turkeys.

You looked ahead, didn't you? I knew you would. So you already saw this picture above of these two turkeys in mid-flight. They are indeed flying. I'm not sure there can be any mistake about it now.

But they don't seem very high. Maybe they can only fly a little bit. And the first one doesn't look very graceful, does it? That second one looks like a regular old bird though. It's flying just fine. But maybe we can do a little better here. Let's move to the next picture.

Now this turkey here is up there pretty far. And you can see that it is indeed a turkey. Turkeys aren't the best flyers, but they can indeed fly. They like to sleep in the tops of trees around here. They have to get up there somehow, and they don't climb. Now you can call all your friends right away to inform them that turkeys can fly. Go on. Do it right now. I'll wait.

You're back from your call? Let me quickly tell you how I got these pictures. I stopped on this dirt road because I saw one lone turkey wander into the ditch at the side. I wandered over there to get a couple of pictures when all hell broke loose!

It wasn't just one turkey. It was an entire flock. As soon as I got near, turkeys kind of erupted everywhere. The flock went flying in every direction. I would have gotten video, but I was too surprised to do much of anything except get these pictures I have here. I hope you like them.

So that's my story. Turkeys can fly. And I am a close-up witness to this ability. This was another everyday adventure that I will never forget. This was a good one. I've wandered into some doozies in the past. I wish I could have described it a little better, but this will have to do. I'll talk to you later.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Ducks On The Pond

There seem to be many creatures in the pond I like to watch. I've seen turtles and many types of birds. Oddly enough, I've never seen any alligators. I guess I would be the first one to see an alligator in an Iowa pond. But I have ducks instead. They're just as fun. They really are.

I followed these two to their destination on the other side of the pond. They wanted to be over there because I was over here. Ducks always seem to swim away from me. Not like my old friends, the geese.

These ducks in the last two pictures were very difficult to see because of the bad lighting. I edited the pictures as much as I felt was reasonable so I could share them properly without them looking too obnoxious.

You can see both ducks if you look at the pictures very closely. They really are there. I mean it.

Why do I share these pictures that are so hard to see? Why not just share the good ones? Because that wouldn't be real life. These shady pictures are real life. This is how I really saw the ducks. This is a real experience. What I really like to share is my experience, not some old fancy pictures.

So this was a view of another everyday adventure by the guy stuck in an old smelly rat costume. I rented this suit nine years ago as a joke. I wonder if they're still waiting for me to return it. I probably never will, even if I somehow get this zipper unstuck, because I probably owe them a great deal of money for it by this time. I'll talk to you later.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Stalking The Bison

Do you see them? Do you see the bison in the picture above? No? Look closer. Those dots in the middle of the picture are the herd of bison that I've been tracking.

Maybe this picture just isn't good enough. Maybe you actually want to see some wild bison. Okay then. Move on to the next picture.

Here's the zoomed in super camera version of that same herd of bison. I couldn't really see them well with my own eyes, but the camera could see them just fine. Admittedly I saw them well enough to guess what they were down there. I just wasn't sure if it was bison that I was seeing. All I knew before I lifted my camera was that they were moving. That was good enough for me.

This herd was spread out a little ways from each other. These two were to the far left of the others. The top one is an adult and the bottom is a juvenile bison. I took several pictures of these two, mainly because I was able to find them with the camera. It wasn't easy to direct my camera specifically on any of them because they were so far away. One little shift and I would lose my subject.

Here's that same two, but a little closer. I was amazed that I was able to zoom in this close. I think this was as far as my camera could go. Remember, with my own eyes, these were just dots in the grass below.

You probably can't tell, but I took these pictures from a very high hill looking down into a valley where the bison were staying for the moment. The hills make some things a little easier to find.

In years past I would not have found these bison. I wasn't out enough. Now that I go out several times a week I see many things. I get to see the bison routinely. I try not to write about them too much so they won't get boring for you. I hope this time was fun. I'll talk to you later.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Ratty's Nature Video

I'm going to try something different today. Have you noticed it yet? I have no pictures. Just a video. I wouldn't have been interested in the pictures anyway this time. I only really care about the video right now, so I cut out all the other stuff to get right to the point.

This video features some of the things that I've seen around here in the past month. There are some butterflies, bison, and sunflowers. I also have a few other things in here. My videos aren't masterpieces, but I still think you'll be entertained. So give this one a try because I think you'll like it. I'll talk to you later.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Mushroom Village

Alice took a small bite of a small mushroom and shrunk down to a size even smaller than them.

"Come live with us as the Smurfs do," said one of the now huge mushrooms.

Alice wasn't sure that was such a good idea, so she took another bite out of one of these mushroom houses.

After she grew big, Alice looked down at the tiny mushroom village and thought she would like to be very far away.

The mushrooms said, "Where will you go? Who will you visit?"

Maybe she should visit the other side of the world. The mushrooms whispered their farewell to the wind. Soon it was down, down, down the rabbit hole.

I'll talk to you later.

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Last Sunflowers

Before I had lots of sunflowers. Now I have close-ups of sunflowers for you. After all, I did promise to bring you some close-ups. I must admit though, these pictures are a few days older than the other sunflower pictures. It's because the sunflowers are now gone. The season is over for them.

But it's not over for me. I'll be bringing you many many things new and old. I still have some older things I want to share, and I'm still going out there for more. I'd love to share it all, but I'm sure some good things will fall by the wayside. It's always a shame when that happens.

I recently saw some of those huge sunflowers that are the size of kitchen clocks, but I was too busy that day to stop and get pictures. Unfortunately, when I went back those big sunflowers were already wilting away. I guess there's just no way to get absolutely everything. Maybe they'll be back next year.

The temperature has cooled down a bit here after a hot spell. Maybe it won't get that warm again this year. I'm going to miss the warm weather. Let's see if I have a better feeling about fall this year than I have every other year. I'm going to try very hard, even though I always moan to myself how much I dread fall.

But I've been having so much fun up until this point. It just can't stop now! Can it? Not if I can help it. I'm going to continue my everyday adventures, and soon it will be a new spring and time to start all over again. I'm determined to make it all fun. I'll talk to you later.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Rolling Around

Why is this horse lying down? The answer is that it's not. It's rolling around in the grass. Just having fun. They all do it from time to time. I guess that's what you do when you're a horse. I think I'd do it too if I was a horse. Looks like fun.

I should have taken a video of the horse rolling around, but in my excitement, it never occurred to me to do it. So what did I do? I just took as many pictures as I could as fast as I could. That's what I always did before.

The worst part about not getting the video was that I missed it all happen twice. After the horse was done rolling on the ground, it got up, shook itself off, and then did it again. It must have felt pretty good the first time.

I've had these pictures for a week and a half. They were ready to post almost right away. I didn't do it because I just can't find the right words to go along with the pictures. So this is what I have. I guess sometimes the pictures are mostly good by themselves. But I really do like saying at least something.

I'll have a little more to say in my next post. And of course, it will be something you'll love. I'll talk to you later.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Most Sunflowers I've Ever Seen

I found a field with millions of sunflowers. It's just amazing how many there are. I'm sharing the best pictures of them with you. But I'm not sure my pictures can do the enormous number any kind of justice.

I wish everybody could have been there like I was just watching all of these flowers swaying in the breeze. I had my stereo on in my truck and it seemed like the sunflowers were moving to the music. Such a wonderful sight.

You can't see it, but there is a highway behind me here. I had to pull over and stay in my truck to get these pictures. I also had to be quick about it before some other speeding vehicles came by. I had at least a few seconds because I'm still out in the country, but it's a busy highway for being in the country.

I see deer along this same highway almost every day, but I never have time to get any pictures. I also didn't take any close-up pictures of the sunflowers this time. You can click on the pictures to see them better. I'll give you some excellent close-up pictures of sunflowers in the near future though.

I missed my usual Monday post because I was in the hospital having surgery. I won't say anything else other than I'm fine now. I could give you all the disgusting details, but that wouldn't be any fun. So I'll just leave it at that.

Back to the sunflowers. I did get some great video of this bunch of flowers. I'll include it in my next video. I want to put the video together right so you can see the sunflowers swaying to the music just like I saw them. It's not quite ready yet because I've been moving a little slow with everything recently. I hope to have it up soon though. I'll talk to you later.

Friday, September 8, 2017

The Hidden Great Blue Heron

I finally found the prize I was looking for! I found this great blue heron in the same pond that the turtles live in. This was the kind of thing I have been looking for in that pond all along. I just knew one of these birds would return.

The first time I visited this pond I saw a big bird in the water there. I don't remember whether it was a heron or an egret, but I knew I wanted to go back with my camera for one of those big animals. It took me all summer this year, but I finally did it.

This picture above is my first picture of the heron.

What? You don't see it?

I didn't see the bird at first either. I was just taking random pictures of the pond.

Look at the far left of the picture right in the middle. The heron is right behind that clump of tall water weeds. You may have to click the picture to get a better look. Maybe you still can't see it. That's okay, I didn't either.

I finally saw it when it got scared and decided to fly away. These birds don't fly very fast so I was able to get a few pictures of it in flight. It even took me a few seconds before I recovered from being startled from the sudden movement to get the pictures.

Then I had to run to another section of the hidden pond to find out where the bird landed. I had to run past lots of trees that blocked the pond from view. I was surprised that I found the heron again at all. But I got several more pictures after I did.

It took a few minutes for the bird to notice me there furiously taking pictures. But when it did it flew away again to another hidden place in the pond. This time I couldn't find its new destination. That's okay because I got the pictures I wanted. Now this great blue heron will be a worldwide celebrity.

It's taken some time, but I'm finally seeing the animals again. I'm getting acquainted with nature again. The summer is at an end, but there are animals in the winter too. And soon enough warm weather will be back again. I'm ready for it all. I'll talk to you later.

Monday, September 4, 2017

My Cow Friends

Something I haven't really shown you very much is my subject for today. It's cows! I never really think much about them because I see them so much. But not everybody sees very many cows, if any at all.

In the past, I would get close enough to take pictures of a small herd of cows, and just like most animals at the time, they would turn and run away. But I seem to have a better feeling about me this year. These cows looked at me and came closer.

This young lady in the picture above may not have felt as good about me, but she still looked and came closer. I got the feeling that she didn't like my presence very much. She seemed kind of protective of the rest of the herd.

That's something else I've noticed about animals when I'm really one with nature. They are not afraid of me anymore. These cows mostly were not, but they were cautious. So I'm getting my nature mojo back. Soon they'll be trying to get me to come closer. I'll have birds landing on my arms. I just hope they aren't the size of cows when they do. I'll talk to you later.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Alice And The Mushrooms

The mushroom said to Alice, "Come closer, and I will tell you the tale of The Everyday Adventurer."

But when Alice moved closer a rabbit hole opened up and Alice fell in. Down, down, down went Alice past the center of the earth. Alice fell all the way to the other side.

When Alice looked around this new place on the other side of the world she saw another mushroom that looked strangely like the first.

When Alice looked down at it, the mushroom whispered to her, "Come closer and I will tell you about My Journey to get here." Alice was confused, but she liked this new mushroom.

The two mushrooms were brothers from opposite sides of the world.

I'll talk to you later.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

More Turtles, More Logs

I got a little distracted there in my last post, but now I'm back to my normal sane self. Sane? Anyway, I told you a couple of weeks ago when I posted pictures of a turtle on a log that I might one day see more. Well, that day is here.

Not only did I find another turtle, but I found two turtles! You thought you were special getting to see one unique turtle, but now there are more. That pond must be full of them. And only we get to see them. It's in the middle of nowhere.

But wait, there's more!

I saw something shiny on a log not far from the other. It was a little obscured so I couldn't see it very well. So I decided to zoom in with the camera and take a closer look. It was indeed another turtle!

So it's not just two turtles this time, but three of them. I did see another shiny spot, but I didn't have the forethought to get any pictures. Maybe there were even more turtles there that I ignored. I'll never know.

And I'm left with one thought. What will I see next in this pond? The turtles made an excellent everyday adventure. I've now gotten more pictures of animals here in this pond than anywhere else around here. I'll keep going back to this new favorite place. I'll talk to you later.

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Return Of An Old Nemesis

I was wandering around minding my own business. I wasn't anticipating taking any pictures at all. That may be why you are wondering exactly what it is that you're looking at.

At the bottom of that tree, you might see a little speck of color. That is my subject of the day. I only had my phone camera with me so I couldn't zoom in enough to get a proper picture.

I wish I could have shown this little rascal to you a bit better, but I do still have something for you. Would you like to know now what the heck I'm talking about?

It's the return of my old nemesis, Flynn, the squirrel adventurer. Just look at him standing there laughing at me. He's been tormenting me for years. This little scoundrel followed me all the way from Michigan to harass and taunt me once again.

He's the only one to ever get a picture of me and put it on this blog. He's been making fun of me for nine long years because I put on this rat suit as a joke and the zipper got stuck. I've been unable to get out of it ever since. I gotta to tell ya, the smell in here is ungodly.

If you are at all curious as to my insane rantings, and you want to read the whole story of my adventures with Flynn, then do a search on this blog for "Flynn". You'll see the whole horrible truth.

I'll talk to you later.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Eclipse From Where I Live

What you see above is about as much of the eclipse as we got around here. It wasn't the complete and total thing, but it was a very interesting experience anyway. And as usual, I don't just have pictures. I will describe my pictures in my little story because that is the best way.

I was lucky just to see what I got to show you here. The weather forecast said it was going to be cloudy here with probable thunderstorms. I planned to try to see it even though I figured I'd only see clouds. But when I went outside the sky was very clear. I was extremely lucky.

I had already planned out my viewing location. I went to a very quiet place I often visit in North Sioux City, South Dakota. I chose it because it is surrounded by cornfields with nothing to obstruct my view. And very few other people ever visit this place.

After I got there I did a few other things for awhile because I was kind of early. But when I finally got into position to look for the eclipse to begin, I saw that it was already well underway. The picture above is one of the first I took after getting my phone camera adjusted enough to see it well enough.

I used my phone camera because I had a filter for it to see the eclipse through. I think it did okay for just a phone. I did have to manually adjust some of the settings though. Maybe I could have gotten it a little better with some practice, but how often is there time to practice this?

It was right after I got that picture at the top that the expected clouds moved in. Now I couldn't see anything through my filter, so I took it off. The sun was now dim enough through the clouds to see with the naked eye. So I took a few pictures before the clouds hid everything all the way. What you see above is the moon moving the other way across the sun. The eclipse was now ending.

It didn't get very dark here, but the light did dim quite a bit. It kind of looked like the day at sunset. As I was driving home the clouds turned almost black, and the sky opened up and we had a huge thunderstorm. I almost couldn't see the road as I traveled home.

I delayed my post that I usually deliver Monday just so I could bring this to you today. I hope you like it. It's not something you see every day. I'm sure you've seen better pictures of this eclipse on the news. But these pictures are from someone just like you. I'll talk to you later.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Just a Turtle On A Log

I visited that pond where I see water birds from time to time. The birds haven't shown up in a while, but I found something just as good. I found a turtle on a log!

Oh, you think, "So what? It's just a turtle." But I don't see many turtles around here. I have seen other turtles in this pond, but these are the first pictures I have of one from here. Who knows? Maybe I'm the only person ever to get a picture of a turtle from this out of the way country pond.

So think about that for a second or two. Now you're not just seeing a picture of a random turtle. You're getting to see something only a few people in the whole world have ever seen. Maybe that makes you special in some way now. You are part of a rare few.

This idea is maybe the main thing I love about nature. It's the thought that I'm the only person to get to see the things I see. That's much better than sitting home watching a ball game or something just like everyone else. No. I want to explore the unknown. And that's what I do every time I'm out there.

Now, this turtle didn't know it was helping to make me unique in any way. It was just sitting there on that log enjoying the sun. I'd guess that it didn't even know I was there. If it did it would have dropped itself back into the water with a plop. That's what they usually do.

And I'll go back to this pond again. Maybe I'll see another turtle. I probably won't feel quite as special about it when I do. But maybe I'll see more than one. Or maybe I'll see something completely unexpected. That last part is why I go. I'll talk to you later.