Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Nebraska Travels

 Good Day All! Time for me to start filling in more information and pictures to bring us up to speed on our fall trip to celebrate a special occasion for me.

As we traveled between Omaha and Aurora,NE. there were so many things that caught my photographer's eyes. Of course I can't share all of them at once... So, I'll just get going and see what we can get accomplished today.

I caught  a low-flying  airborne object glinting in the sun headed over Eastbound Interstate 80 traffic several times ,east of Aurora. When it became apparent that it was a plane, it began cutting north to make it's circle to drop what we believe was seed in the practice of Aerial Seeding for cover crops.

Taking pictures out the passenger side window I followed him as his path went away and returned at least four times until we caught up to him.

This was the last pass as we drove out of camera range.

 There are eleven westbound Rest Areas scattered along the 455 mile Interstate 80 system through the State.

This particular  Rest Area introduced us to the upcoming Great American Desert , which was located 50 miles to our west.Please click here to find out  facts about the desert.

This Great Platte River Road Archway Monument an oasis that has been photographed by many a traveler - the challenge will be repeated by many more  as others enjoy their travels through Nebraska .
The day was bright and clear...

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post my photographer's eyes kept scanning the roadway and fields.

Look what we SAW!

Does anyone remember who this famous British cartoon character's name might be?

If I'm not mistaken,given a few years of exposure by our grandchildren and nephews , it would be Thomas the Tank Engine getting a lift to his next destination!

Ending the post on a cheery note! I'll be working on more pictures and thoughts to share.

Glad you are riding along to catch the views. Have a Great Day!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Custer State Park

Welcome to Custer State Park!

What a great way to be greeted by the people of South Dakota...Into a park that holds many kinds of treasures.

This year to celebrate my belated 60th Birthday event - to see the Custer Park Buffalo Roundup... Corey and I headed for "The Hills", as they are lovingly referred to by friends and family. I came to know the Black Hills after the Rapid City flood  of June 9,1972, when I came to a  Church sponsored Work Camp to help clean-up the aftermath.

As we entered the park this lone young bull was rising and stretching after his late afternoon nap. He was certainly an impressive against the backdrop of the  surrounding landscape. The grassland was showing it's well grazed fall length.

Remaining on the move as we passed by other tourists trying to get pictures of this statuesque Buffalo we headed further into the park.

Many years ago on a trip through "The Hills" the Pronghorn antelope were feeding at a location just beside a grated opening into another section of the park. As we passed this same location this year, once again we discovered how unconcerned these animals were at our vehicles presence.

I had quite a few minutes to concentrate on this digital capture before another car came up to replace us without disturbing this single animal.

In our travels along the winding road we came upon an indigenous Merriman's Wild Turkey population.

This particular subspecies Meleagris gallopavo merriami is found throughout  the Rocky Mountains and the neighboring states of Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota as well as much of the high mesa areas of New Mexico.  They live mailnly in ponderosa pine and mountainous regions.

I know you've probably heard about, or seen the Wild Burro population roaming the Custer Park.

We had to laugh! This Burro just kept standing at the window of this SUV even though it didn't appear they were sharing any edible treats as we waited.

Once during the visit the owner of the SUV climbed out from the opposite side to document their gray long-eared guest.
Just a little ways further down the road we were taken aback how brashly this coyote ran out in front of two cars passing in the opposite direction.

Maybe it had heard it was protected within it's territory?

Not an unusual creature being one of three seen in the short-time we drove around and most likely related to the ones that you see crossing the road in your own neighborhoods.

We finally located where we would be coming on Saturday,September 29th, to view the rounding-up of the Buffalo herd.

The fall thinning activity keeps the herd strong by lessening the grazing pressure during what can be very harsh winter conditions...It also helps to bring revenue to maintain the remaining animals by selling breeding stock and adding to the commercial meat supplies. 

Time for us to leave the park for the evening but as we exited, the Pronghorn group which had waited so patiently for our return was still relaxing and chewing away at the grasses.

If you look a little closer, you will see another dominant member of the Black Hills fauna, the Prairie Dog. Those little dogs are fun to watch when they get excited! They run to and fro,popping up and down in their holes when they are being pursued by the wiley coyotes.

Thank you for stopping by to read about another day in our journey. Just a note to let you know that I'm going to mix things up a bit . However, I assure you that there I'm going to be share some-more pictures that could bring a smile to your lips.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

On our way to Estes Park

A couple of weeks ago we packed up some of the stuff I had prepared for breakfasts and lunches and headed off for a 5 - Day travel intensive excursion to Estes Park and beyond.

Sometimes when I get back from a change of venue I get another kind of reality back  again. What wasn't accomplished when it was to warm outside is now waiting for me.I don't mind. There is weed whacking to be done, trimming trees and shrubs, mowing the lawn,doing the laundry,taking care of the animals. Catching up on this and that...I guess you can say Life Happens. Enjoy it while you can...

Today, I'd love to begin sharing some pictures documenting our surroundings heading out from the Des Moines area through Nebraska so I wouldn't spend the hours on the road in one big nap.

The early morning start was to allow for daylight hours at Estes Park upon our arrival. 

As we went from Des Moines to Council - Bluffs we saw how the Wind Generators have increased in number along the I-80 corridor - to add to what we are seeing promoted as an alternate energy source.

One of my favorite early morning pictures for our first day on the road. Catching the rays  of the rising sun, a backdrop for the long haul trucker. Somehow as I concentrated on the backdrop I caught another traveler driving across my rear-view mirror. So many levels of interest to keep me thinking once I got to process the images.


Entering Council Bluffs traffic increased as rush hour was reaching a peak period.

The last time we passed through the Council Bluffs/Omaha Metro area was two years ago, when we enjoyed our  Wedding Anniversary trip with our family.

Once in a while I saw metal sculptures that definitely catch my attention and from time to time on these posts I will share them...

These particular sculptures made me think of flowers, or maybe even Edward Scissorhands but then of course you might see something different. What does it look like to you?

My on the run pictures of the two Sportsman's Paradises just off I-80 - Bass Pro in Council Bluffs taken with my Canon 7D and Cabela's in  La Vista  snapped with my cell phone since I couldn't get my big camera situated in time for a left-sided backwards shot behind the driver.                            

One last thought for the first few hours on the road.

The Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum have placed a reminder of part of our military history in plain sight.

If you haven't had a chance to get out there to see what it's all about...Maybe get a group  together and enjoy a day trip,

Thank you for riding along and I will be back soon to share another leg of our journey soon.

Have a Great Day!

Midnight Rescue

I knew I wasn't destined for a full nights sleep but I was roused earlier than I had hoped. As I was lying in bed trying to determine first of all what was happening, I listened to judge the location from whence all this disturbance emanated. Eventually, I determined the FURIOUS scratching and chewing were coming from without our window in the well of the egress.

My personal alert system went off and told me if I didn't want to be driven crazy from all the noise I would need to approach the difficulty by first finding out what was causing all the commotion. This scenario had only been played out in my thoughts prior to this time. 

What would I do to rescue an animal that fell into the window well and couldn't find the escape route back out?

I finally decided to put on my coat to go outside with Sadie Sioux who darted about with the fresh scent trails sending her off in a commonly traveled corridor. If there was anything running free around the perimeter of the house she would chase it away...I've learned that given free space most animals will flee instead of taking on a threatening stance.

Now what was the source of all my angst just before midnight?!?
                                                           My 11:45 PM wake-up call!

Aha! Instead of trying to figure out a method of demise in such close quarters;I implemented something that made sense to both myself and the little bandit. 

Keeping Sadie back until the critter examined that modified tree limb wasn't quite as hard as I had thought. Maybe, she realized that her reward would come in the chase if she allowed a small bit of calm in the prelude. 

I didn't wait many minutes into the new morning before all was completed. The young raccoon fled with Sadie just at it's rear to keep it moving in the other direction. However, now more than ever, since there has been an interest shown in altering the fabric of our home, a deterrent needs to be implemented.

Oh! Since Hubby slept through all of it. I've got pictures to share.

Have a Great rest of the Day! 
As I wrote about my experience of the first little bandit, I heard familiar scratching and once again headed outside to  enlist the assistance of the modified tree limb. It took these two longer to realize their  provided escape route. I truly dislike the thought of the marking scent they leave to entice others to follow. I don't want to get out of bed to chase them away every night. : )

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Celebrating Another Birthday

Today is a Mile Marking Birthday for me. I'm adding a Zero to the sum total of all the time I've been a citizen of this planet.

Thank you God for the years you've given me to be a light to someone elses path.I have to thank my husband Corey for sharing this vocal artist and his songs of praise early in our relationship. They meet my needs at different stages in my life.

Thank you for joining me today to celebrate my birthday!

You have a Great Day!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Fourth Annual Marshalltown Fly-in

I want to invite those that have  Saturday, September 16,2017 from 7A.M. - 11 A.M. open on your schedule...It's a come and visit for a little while and then you can take off to fulfill the rest of the schedule for the day. Maybe even come and have some breakfast if you don't want to pull out the griddle...give yourself a weekend break.

                                                       Hope to see you there!

                                                                 Have a Great Day!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017

A week ago Corey and I  had one of the greatest opportunities of our lifetime together.
Along with many other die-hard astronomy  hobbyist we ventured  to a point in the United States easily accessible to us and other family members.

Our trek took us to Kirksville,Mo. on Sunday afternoon. A way point between where we could decide early the next morning,August 21st, what direction to go to find the clearest sky.

All weather reports at 4:00 A.M. on Monday had rain in the western section of  the Eclipse Path in Missouri...So, we headed off towards two other potential locations in the St. Louis area to get as much sun - camera exposure as possible.

At Columbia, where cloud cover was encircling our travel corridor we headed East towards our destination of Washington,Mo. to meet family, before deciding whether to seek the first planned destination at Saint Clair, to get an additional 11 seconds added to our documentation experience.

 The State of Missouri prepared  those who may not been aware already of the heavenly changes about to take place during the daytime travel time.

We came across this warning twice from Columbia to Warrenton.

It truly would be a shock if the skies grew dark at noon.Which they did!

I'm hiding in plain sight to the back left by the open car door.

One of our candid family moments at the Waters/Yoest home as we chose to stay with our larger family group for the total Eclipse.

It definitely was a blessing to witness one of God's magnificent natural events with others who waited expectantly for the appointed time....
Corey was able to get some fantastic eclipse stages starting at the right and working your way to the left. We had both Corey's camera and my camera in operation with Corey manning them both...His brother Bryan was able to coach him into great results with a 5-minute primer on my camera settings.

Here's a Great Big Thank You for Family, Food, and Fellowship!

Have a Great Day!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Crop Duster

We go through the summer season here at Timber Life with our eyes to the sky.

Actually, I guess we could say that about anytime of the year. Life gives us so many wonderful things to focus upon. 

The other day I heard a familiar sound floating about the neighborhood. My curiosity got the best of me.Just had to look!

I knew it could be a Crop Duster beginning the task of blanketing the corn, to protect it from the damage caused by unchecked insect populations. So, of course I grabbed my camera and headed outside!

This was a turn around trip to get headed back over an adjacent field. There were a few of them to cover the area.

A few times while I watched the plane,I smiled due to the proximity of the plane to the trees.

I knew the pilot had experience from the way he was darting and dipping, up and over the terrain.

After the first couple of trips over the field pictured above I took refuge inside the backdoor to continue shooting pictures.

I wish I could have gotten an under belly shot of the aircraft passing directly over the Ridge of the roof.

As you may have gathered already, I like taking aerial shots of flying objects from a ground elevation.

This was a finishing shot ...Time for the plane to pass on to another section,to supply a film of protection for the investment already planted.

Have a Great Day !

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Garden of Eatin'

Last year I had a great year for garden produce in the Garden of Eatin' ,after not seriously planting a garden for years it was a wonderful reward.

Although a challenge  came in July, when I came down with a Pneumonia like respiratory ailment, I continued to harvest and share what the garden provided.

The planting season of 2016 allowed me to have most of my harvesting done  by early  September...I had bunches of pumpkins,and varied squashes as the year of plenty came to a close.

This year, I've had somewhat of a setback for getting things accomplished. Timing  and the determination to get things haven't always gone hand-in-hand.

I did find some great looking tomatoes and a calibrachoa to plant at Victorian Acres  south of Adventureland in Altoona.

Pictured to our left is an Heirloom Tomato variety called Mortgage Lifter.

It is a Beefsteak variety that can reach up to 2 lbs. per fruit, an indeterminate plant that sprawls to nine feet.

The developer of the breed is said to be Willam Estler of Barboursville, West Virginia, in 1922, but not register by him until 1932.

Questions have been raised about whether, or not Mr. Estler was  actually the developer, since some sources of information attribute  development to M.C. "Radiator Charlie" Byles in Logan, West Virginia in the early 1930's. I've heard it became a form of income during the Depression. Possibly another questionable fact passed through the generations?

I'll have to let you know at a later time if I get a harvest.
This year I bought Burpee's Better Boy plants for the cages

 I planted 6 tomatoes in the garden,4 in cages and 2 left to sprawl,all of them have constant prunings that will probably continue as the new growth emerges.

Then planted to the right of the caged tomatoes were 3 - Eggplants, and 8 Pepper plants. Yesterday, 1 Eggplant and 4 Pepper plants still are rooted.

To the back of the garden I planted green beans.The green beans have been nibbled down to the junction under the first set of leaves after reaching what appeared to be a promising future. Harvest not expected....

Many years ago I manufactured my own tomato cages from concrete reinforcing wire. I had been disappointed by the ones provided in the retail establishments. Now, I can have healthy TOMATO PLANTS.

 One of my favorite tomatoes now is the Russian Black Krim.
It's one of those items that was introduced to me by another person who found it to be tasty. My Mom always was trying things...I saw it advertised in the Heirloom  sections of the seed catalogs, but of course taking that step to try it only came after some produce sampling and encouragement from one who couldn't grow it on her own.

It is a dark fleshed, firm, sweet fruit and well worth a try if you aren't familiar with it already.

 I continue to look for a possible tomato harvest from the interior of the tomato cages and as a backup, a potted plant. 

Not to give total authority to the denizen of the Timber I planted two pepper plants in pots as well.

Here's wishing you all, "Have a Great Day!"
Part of My 2017 Denizen of Timber Life...Aren't they cute?!?!?

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Iowa Falls July 4th Fly-in

The morning came early for me, so I bided my time by checking the weather, and watching conditions out the backdoor as the sun rose.

The plans to attend the Iowa Falls July 4th Fly-in were in a brief holding pattern due to developing fog in the area. Pulling up the AWC Aviation weather we plotted our course for ground travel since the Voisin 35 is still in the shop .
The wind generators along HWY 65 were shrouded with fog on our way north.
There were two planes that stopped the show for me...

The Jet in center stage is called the Milleneum Phenom, made alot of  us  take time to snap some pictures.

Interesting to know that it hails from Mason City. Awesome Plane!!!

Then the second plane that made waves for me was the amphibian version of the Cessna 182T plane,also flying in from Mason City.

Due to the weather there wasn't a large number of aircraft while we were at the airport, but I've shared the ones that caught my eye. A few even attended the EAA 675 Fly-in on September 16,2016 Checkout my Facebook page to see my collection there...please click here

Here's hoping you had a safe 4th as well.

Have a Great Day!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Our Celebration

We found ourselves back in river country to celebrate our Anniversary...

The Saylorville Dam park system is a favorite spot for almost any special occasion in our book. They have some really nice shelters that provide
grills on the inside,  put a fire in the Barbecue for ambiance on a cool day, or if you like the outdoor grilling experience you can find that too.

Eyes to the Sky were key words for the after barbecue festivities.We kept our eyes scanning all sides of the river and the airspace around us...
Blue Herons - Photo by Corey Butcher

Blue Heron - Photo by Dianna Butcher

Blue Heron - Photo by Dianna Butcher

If it isn't one kind of bird it's another! Photo by Dianna Butcher

 We found ourselves  beginning to have some competition with strong breezes and developing clouds. It was a surprise to see this little Cirrus circling Ankeny airspace in the pattern it had chosen.

Photo by Dianna Butcher

If you've reached some years of  life experiences,do you ever go back to see your first home? Whether it be where you lived as a child growing up, or maybe after the schooling and onto the becoming Man and Wife part of life.

You've heard the word "We" used multiple times in this post; of course that was the subject for the day.

We decided to check-out our humble beginning.

As a young married couple we lived south of  Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary. We didn't attend but had the opportunity to meet some fine individuals that were apart of the Music Ministry studies at the time. I was invited to play their piano that occupied a great deal of space within their apartment. My knowledge of the keyboard wasn't as great as theirs but was told my sight reading ability was good. I smiled and said "Thank you"...

Well, it's time to close this little post and wish everyone a "Have a Great Day!"