Golden Delicious

Golden Delicious Apples Thunder and lightning kept me up all night, and the rain continued to fall gently during breakfast. The rain stopped, but cloudy skies prevailed as we departed at mid-morning for our annual family apple picking. The sun was just beginning to peak through when we arrived at the orchard near Mondamin, Iowa. … Continue reading Golden Delicious

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Hoover’s Birthplace

Hoover's Birthplace Just east of Iowa City on I-80 is a sign, "Herbert Hoover's Presidential Museum." Literally, just off the north side of the Interstate is the entrance to the 31st president's birthplace and museum. Born in 1874 in West Branch, Iowa, Hoover was the first president born west of the Mississippi River.  Prior to … Continue reading Hoover’s Birthplace

Iowa Rice Paddy

Missouri River Flooding - 2019 In mid-March, over two months ago, the Missouri River got out of its banks from Sioux City, NE down to Hamburg, IA, flooding towns and cropland. Hundreds of people lost their homes, thousands of acres of prime farmland was destroyed, and I-29 was closed for six weeks. This picture was … Continue reading Iowa Rice Paddy

Apple Picking

An overcast sky and mid-forty temps made for a crisp day of apple picking near Mondamin, Iowa.  No tree climbing was allowed so teamwork was necessary.  A dad and uncle support a 10 year old picker, while young cousins catch the harvest below. Thought for the Day:  Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is … Continue reading Apple Picking

Madison County

Made famous by 1992 novel by Robert James Waller, 1995 movie starring Clint Eastwood  & Meryl Streep, and 2013 Tony Award-winning musical, the "Bridges of Madison County" actually exist.  Madison County, Iowa is southwest of Des Moines. The covered bridges that were subject of the famous title are still standing and a couple are still … Continue reading Madison County

Consciousness-Based Education

In the small town of Fairfield, Iowa there is Maharishi University of Management.  Cool, I thought, until I found out it is not a business school. Their website states that, "you study traditional subjects while experiencing inner growth". There are less than 1800 students (0nly 400 undergrads) enrolled in what appears to be a self-contained … Continue reading Consciousness-Based Education

American Gothic Update

We went to Eldon, Iowa to see the original home that Grant Wood used as a background for his famous "American Gothic" painting.   Don't let the run down appearance of Eldon scare you away, the American Gothic Museum is first class; i.e. modern, very well done with knowledgeable and dedicated staff. The Staff provides … Continue reading American Gothic Update

High Trestle Trail

A 10' wide concrete ribbon winds its way through central Iowa for over 25 miles.  What once was a Union Pacific railroad has been converted to the nicest bike trail I've ever seen. Beginning in Ankeny, Iowa the High Trestle Trail goes through farmland, rolling hills and woodlands, ending up in Woodward, Iowa.  Before reaching … Continue reading High Trestle Trail

Corn Huskers

August is prime time in Nebraska for sweet corn; local farmers sell it out of their pickup trucks along the highway outside of town.  A dozen fresh-picked ears cost $5.50, but they always throw a few extra ears in your bag. These young lads from Iowa are getting their first experience at husking corn.  Looks like they've … Continue reading Corn Huskers

The Thinker

I found this seven year-old deep in thought in the Reflecting Garden of Reiman Gardens in Ames, Iowa.  What was he thinking? Thought for the Day:  The most important thing we can do is inspire young minds and advance the kind of science, math and technology education that will help youngsters take us to the next phase of … Continue reading The Thinker

Salisbury House and Gardens

Hard to believe I was in Des Moines, Iowa when I took this picture.  The Salisbury House is an exact duplicate of the King's House (owner's name, not title) located in Salisbury, England.  The vegetation, layout, grounds and even the weather made me think I was in the UK. Carl Weeks, who made his fortune … Continue reading Salisbury House and Gardens

Iowa Landscape

Every time I cross western Iowa on I-80, I see these majestic wind turbines spread across the countryside.  I marvel at their simplicity: three blades rotating quietly in the wind, harvesting megawatts of power without consuming any natural resources. The wind turbines (wind mills are so passe') along I-80 seem to be multiplying like rabbits, yet they do … Continue reading Iowa Landscape

Hogback Covered Bridge

The 1995 film, "Bridges of Madison County" starring Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep, made famous this area in south central Iowa.  So, one hot day last August, I meandered through Madison County and saw four of the six covered bridges. This one is Hogback Covered Bridge, built in 1884 and measures 97 feet long.  It is … Continue reading Hogback Covered Bridge

Loess Hills

The Loess Hills of western Iowa don't look like anything special from the air.  But a light dusting of snow and twilight provides a magical image. I imagine it would seem much darker on the ground because the sun has fallen way below the horizon, but from this elevated vantage point there is plenty of … Continue reading Loess Hills

Follow the Leader

This image reminded me of simpler times, when you played all day and into the night, with few worries.  But, this image is a "fabrication", a composite of six different photos merged to create a visual image of distant memories.  The sky was taken 45 years ago in South Dakota.  The dead tree is from … Continue reading Follow the Leader

Mutant Apple

Where did this odd ball come from?  Picking apples at a commercial apple farm near Mondamin, Iowa has become an annual fall ritual for me and the fam.  Clean country air, several varieties to choose from, and lots of fun. I found this half yellow, half red apple in a row of Chieftan apple trees; … Continue reading Mutant Apple

Super Heroes

I went to the Iowa State Fair today: terrific, a world class event.  I was surprised and thrilled to see that my daughter received a 2nd and 4th Place ribbon for her two entries in Handmade Children's Clothes.  Super Heroes are very popular now, and her 4 year old son is crazy about them. She … Continue reading Super Heroes

Flashbacks

You ever have flashbacks?  You see or hear something that rewinds your brain to a memory so vivid it feels like yesterday?  I "flashbacked" to second grade when I saw this old-school playground in Adair, Iowa.  Adair lies in the middle of the state along I-80; a small town with a once-bright, but now faded, … Continue reading Flashbacks

Strawberry Bandit

Going to the pick-your-own berry patch is always fun ... but you have to watch your bucket very carefully.  I found this little guy wandering around the Iowa berry patch gobbling up strawberries like there was no tomorrow. Once he found strawberries in easily-reachable buckets, anyone's bucket, he stopped foraging through the plants for his … Continue reading Strawberry Bandit