Category Archives: Flowers

My Fear Doesn’t Stand a Chance

If you are near your Photography 139 Calendar, you know that today is a big day for the Photography 139 Universe. Today is Naima’s birthday!


Photo of the Day 0003 - May 5, 2014

Naima's Dickcissel Adventure

Naima at Dickcissel Park

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima Post Surgery

While Naima is spending her birthday socially distancing as there has been a resurgence of Covid in Iowa and in most of the United States. You can still leave your gifts for her on the front porch. She might even come out and greet you.

Not enough Naima photo for you, click on the link below to peruse over 700 of them:

Naima

Happy birthday Naima!

+++++++

I took a ton of alternate images for my favorite theme BLACK AND WHITE. Here is a collection of them:


Black and White Alternate

Black and White Alternate

Black and White Alternate

Nature's Amen - 2020

Nature's Amen - 2020

Hose

Black and White Alternate

Black and White Alternate

Black and White Alternate

The Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

The Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

The Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

The Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

The Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

The Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

The Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

The Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

The Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

Unceasing Effort - 2020

Unceasing Effort - 2020

Digging for Gold - 2020

Painted without Instruction - 2020

Last Penny - 2020

Last Penny - 2020

Last Penny - 2020

Last Penny - 2020

Still have one more collection of these pictures to share!

May Flowers

I need to start by wishing Jay a happy birthday, so happy birthday Jay!


Mankato Road Trip - 2009

9 Emotions Project - Jay Janson


I hope your birthday is as amazing as you want it to be!

+++++++

Here is a collection of pictures I took in my backyard in the middle of May:


Flower

Lilac

Lilac

Lilac

Lilac

Lilac

Flower

Nature's Amen - 2020

Whispering Beauty - 2020

The Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

The Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

The Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

The Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

The Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

The Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

Water Drop

Water Drop

Water Drop

Water Drop

Water Drop

Water Drop

Water Drop

Water Drop

The picture of the peony bud is bittersweet. I planted peonies in my yard about 3 years ago. I probably didn’t pick the best spot for them because they have never bloomed. In fact, that peony bud is the first time it has budded. One single bud. I was super excited, but then the bud never bloomed. It kind of just withered on the vine. Maybe next year.

Gross

Unfortunately, this year, a few dandelions managed to sneak though and ruin the appearance of my beautiful lawn.

But sometimes you have to make do with what you have, so I used this is a chance to take some macro images of dandelions.

Also a picture of my beautiful lilacs in there too.


Gross

Gross

Gross

Gross

Gross

Gross

Gross

Gross

While dandelions do ruin a perfect lawn, they do serve a purpose in macro photography. So, there might be more dandelion pictures in the future.

East of Omaha

About 10 days ago I replaced the sink in my kitchen. By replacing the sink in my kitchen, I mean that Duncan’s came in and replaced my sink.

Now I’m not a person that is particularly passionate about my sink. However, my Mom is for some reason. So she really wanted me to replace my sink.

Once it became something that was going to happen, I was surprised about all the opinion I suddenly had on my sink. I’ve always hated my sink. Once you have used industrial sinks (like in a restaurant) home sinks do really suffer. I didn’t get a sink like that, but it did influence the sink I did get.

Here are some pictures of the old sink:


Old Sink

Old Sink

Old Sink

Here are some pictures of the new sink:


New Sink

New Sink

New Sink

New Sink

I got a white sink to match the counter. I got one big compartment because I wanted to be able to soak big thing in their entirety. Like frozen fish cooking sheet and grill grates. Then the last thing that mattered to me was that I wanted the faucet to also double as a sprayer.

Any ways, I like it.

+++++++

Today is a cleanup of a few small picture collections from April and early May.


East of Omaha

East of Omaha

East of Omaha

East of Omaha

East of Omaha

East of Omaha

East of Omaha

East of Omaha

East of Omaha

East of Omaha

East of Omaha

East of Omaha

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Okay. These are the last tulips pictures from 2020.

Iowa State Walk – Beta

Yesterday I pointed out that Pufferbilly Days was cancelled. Yesterday the Farm Progress Show in Boone was also cancelled. This is an event that brings over 100,000 people to Boone over 3 days. Cancelling it was the right move. Here is part of their press release:

For more than 65 years, farmers have turned to the Farm Progress Show and Husker Harvest Days for the latest information about new products and tools they can use to boost productivity and profit for their operations. However, for the first time in its history, the show won’t go on. In the best interest of our visitors, exhibitors, partners and staff, Farm Progress has made the difficult decision to cancel both shows in 2020 due to rapidly changing conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Show management had confirmed earlier that the two shows would be operated differently with physical distancing a requirement, along with other health and safety changes to the events.

While state and local officials had expressed support for both shows, Don Tourte, Senior Vice President, Farm Progress said that in a very short time it became apparent that the situation across the US had rapidly changed.

“We have been working with officials in Iowa and Nebraska for our shows, and we appreciate the support they expressed for us to hold the events,” Tourte says. “They are critical partners to us, and we are all disappointed to not host the events this year, but feel confident that this is the right decision for our community.”

Rising concerns

One of the key features of both shows is their attraction to visitors from across the country, and across the globe.

“Within days of our commitment to hold both farm shows, more than half the United States saw a significant spike in new cases of COVID-19. We have a multi-generational audience that travels from all across the country and around the world to attend the shows and based on that we felt it better to reconsider the traditional show for 2020 to prioritize the safety of all. Our community’s safety is our priority, always,” said Matt Jungmann, Events Manager, Farm Progress.

“Within the next two weeks tents and other work would be underway on site. We had to make a decision based on the current landscape so that our exhibitors and suppliers wouldn’t potentially waste valuable time and resources,” said Jungmann. “While we are hopeful that case numbers throughout the country will decrease soon, we felt compelled to make a proactive decision on our community’s behalf, given the information we have today.”

+++++++

This collection of pictures is the balance of images from a walk I took around Iowa State’s campus back in early May with Teresa.


Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Iowa State Walk - Beta

Iowa State Walk - Beta

Iowa State Walk - Beta

Iowa State Walk - Beta

It truly is the most beautiful campus in the world!

Frozen Fish Power Rankings

This is amongst the most important works I’ve ever done on this website. For Lent, I was going to attempt to rely as heavily as possible on fish for my protein. However, part of the way through Lent, the pandemic hit and my diet became a lot less discretionary. However, since I was doing way more cooking for myself, I did start eating more fish for my lunch.

It is not an exaggeration to say that since I started working from home, I have used my oven more than the previous nine years that I have owned it. You are thinking that is hyperbole, but I normally go months without using my oven. Now I use it at least 4 times a week. Sometimes, it is daily.

After trying a different types of fish, I decided to rank ten of them as a public service.

I followed the baking instructions to the letter. Feel free to make fun of my cruddy cooking pans. I don’t take pride in my pots and pans. It is one of the great things about being me.

Without further adieu, I present:

FROZEN FISH POWER RANKINGS

10. SeaPak Budweiser Beer Battered Cod


SeaPak Beer Battered Cod

SeaPak Budweiser Beer Battered Cod isn’t just not good. It is terrible. It doesn’t taste like “beer battered”. It tastes like you are holding a swig of beer in your mouth and then somebody has shoved a little bit of fish in your mouth.

I don’t have any more pictures of it, because I decided to do the Power Rankings after I tried it and it is so terrible (and also crazy expensive) that I couldn’t bring myself to buy it again, just to photograph it.

9. Van de Kamp’s Crunchy Fish Fillets


Van de Kamp's Crunchy Fish Fillets

Van de Kamp's Crunchy Fish Fillets

Van de Kamp's Crunchy Fish Fillets

Van de Kamp's Crunchy Fish Fillets

Van de Kamp's Crunchy Fish Fillets

Van de Kamp’s Crunchy Fish Fillets are a marked improvement over SeaPak, but still not very good. Despite claiming to be crunchy, they were a touch soggy. Which is a common theme with Van de Kamp’s products.

8. Trident Pubhouse Battered Alaskan Cod


Trident PubHouse Battered Alaskan Cod

Trident PubHouse Battered Alaskan Cod

Trident PubHouse Battered Alaskan Cod

Trident PubHouse Battered Alaskan Cod

Trident PubHouse Battered Alaskan Cod

I picked this fish up because I wanted an even 10 fish in The Frozen Fish Power Rankings. I had high hopes for it because the fish lacked any form of uniformity. Looks like it was made by the hardworking indigenous people of wherever. Like the well-established champion breakfast pastry, Toast ‘Ems. However, they just aren’t good. I still have a bag of these in the freezer weeks later.


7. Hy-Vee Crunchy Fish Fillets


Hy-Vee Crunchy Fish Fillets

Hy-Vee Crunchy Fish Fillets

Hy-Vee Crunchy Fish Fillets

Hy-Vee Crunchy Fish Fillets

Hy-Vee Crunchy Fish Fillets

Hy-Vee Crunchy Fish Fillets

One thing I liked about the Hy-Vee Crunchy Fish Fillets is that they were inside a plastic bag, inside the cardboard box. I’m normally not a fan of excessive packaging, but that plastic bag allowed me to store leftover fish safer. Unlike Van de Kamp’s that when you open the box, those leftover fish are on their own. The Hy-Vee Crunchy Fish Fillets are the first one on the list that I would buy again. Although, I’ve seemed to discover that I’m just not that big of a fan of “Crunchy” fish.


6. Van de Kamp’s Beer Battered Fillets


Van de Kamp's Beer Battered Fillets

Van de Kamp's Beer Battered Fillets

Van de Kamp's Beer Battered Fillets

Van de Kamp's Beer Battered Fillets

Van de Kamp's Beer Battered Fillets

Finally, a beer batter fish where the beer taste isn’t overwhelming. Still perhaps a little too strong, but manageable. A good frozen fish product here.

5. Gorton’s Crunchy Breaded Fish Fillet


Gorton's Crunchy Breaded Fish Fillet

Gorton's Crunchy Breaded Fish Fillet

Gorton's Crunchy Breaded Fish Fillet

Gorton's Crunchy Breaded Fish Fillet

Gorton's Crunchy Breaded Fish Fillet

As you will find, Gorton’s dominates the list. They are a good 45% more expensive than Van de Kamp’s, but they are worth the premium. Maybe it is because they use pollock and Van de Kamp’s isn’t all that forthcoming about what type of fish they use. Maybe it is the superior resealable bag packaging. Maybe it is because the Gorton’s fisherman definitely knows what you did last summer. Whatever it is, they are the best fish brand and Crunchy Breaded Fish is their worst offering.

4. Gorton’s Beer Battered Fish Fillet


Gorton's Beer Battered Fish Fillet

Gorton's Beer Battered Fish Fillet

Gorton's Beer Battered Fish Fillet

Gorton's Beer Battered Fish Fillet

Gorton's Beer Battered Fish Fillet

As a general rule, frozen beer battered fish didn’t score great on this list. This is the highest ranking achieved by a beer battered fish. But of all the beer battered frozen fish, this was by far the best. The batter was on point and you can taste the lack of mincing. Nice job Gorton’s!


3. Van de Kamp’s Crispy Fish Fillet


Van de Kamps's Crispy Fishy Fillets.

Van de Kamps's Crispy Fishy Fillets.

Van de Kamps's Crispy Fishy Fillets.

Van de Kamps's Crispy Fishy Fillets.

This is by far Van de Kamp’s best offering. It also turns out I’m a bit of a sucker for crispy fish. Van de Kamp’s isn’t very forthcoming with what kind of fish they us, other than it is wild caught. But I can says that their crispy batter is solid.


2. Gorton’s Crispy Battered Fish Fillet


Gorton's Crispy Battered Fish Fillet

Gorton's Crispy Battered Fish Fillet

Gorton's Crispy Battered Fish Fillet

Gorton's Crispy Battered Fish Fillet

Gorton's Crispy Battered Fish Fillet

This is where Gorton’s really nailed it. It is really a coin flip between this and the top ranked fish on this list. Once again, pollock. Battered. Crispy. A little slice of fish heaven.

1. Gorton’s Potato Crunch Fish Fillet


Gorton's Potato Crunch Fish Fillet

Gorton's Potato Crunch Fish Fillet

Gorton's Potato Crunch Fish Fillet

Gorton's Potato Crunch Fish Fillet

Gorton's Potato Crunch Fish Fillet

Breaded. Not battered. Gorton’s isn’t real forthcoming about the type of fish. Don’t care. It is 100% whole fillet and 100% delicious. Trust me. Next time I see that Gorton’s is on sale, I will be packing my freezer!

A word about tartar sauce.

I tried to use the same tartar sauce for every fish that I tried. I am a big fan of the Hy-Vee tartar sauce. It is reminiscent of Long John Silver’s tartar sauce. I was going to use the Bennett Family Tartar Sauce recipe, but that involves the Bennett Family pickle relish. It is delicious, however, you wouldn’t be able to duplicate it at your homestead. So I decided to go with the Hy-Vee brand tartar sauce.

Only a funny thing happened…


Tartar Sauce #1

I wasn’t paying attention and when I bought tartar sauce and I accidentally picked up Kraft. I didn’t think it would be a big deal, but turns out it was a big deal. Kraft Tartar Sauce is wretched. It requires spitting it in a garbage can and then scrubbing your tongue down with boiling water.

I quickly changed to Hy-Vee Tartar Sauce. I haven’t looked back.

I think I might do a power ranking of frozen sausage pizzas next.

+++++++

A reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is ABSTRACT:


WEEK 250 - ABSTRACT
ABSTRACT

Remember an ABSTRACT picture is a picture that breaks the subject down into shapes and colors. It does not look like the subject.

The easiest way to do this is to take an out of focus picture of a subject.

You can also take a picture of an existing piece of ABSTRACT art.

Happy photo harvesting!

Iowa State Walk – Alpha

Back in early May, I took an early afternoon walk around the Iowa State campus with Teresa. It was a good replacement for going to Pella, since going to Pella in early May, in the middle of a pandemic seemed like a terrible idea. Plus, how snooty are the people of Pella?

This isn’t completely a collection of tulips, but there are many tulips in this collection.


Iowa State Walk

Iowa State Walk

Iowa State Walk
I reserve comment on this “art”.

Iowa State Walk

Iowa State Walk

Iowa State Walk

Iowa State Walk

Iowa State Walk

Iowa State Walk

Iowa State Walk

Iowa State Walk

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Still Laughing - 2020

Iowa State Walk

Iowa State Walk

Iowa State Walk

Iowa State Walk

Iowa State Walk

Iowa State Walk

There is one more collection of pictures from this walk still in the hopper.

WPC – WEEK 249 – ROAD TRIP

Once again, no problems reaching double digit submissions! 38 straight weeks! Once again, I didn’t have to send out any reminder text messages this morning.

Not going to lie, even though this week’s theme couldn’t be easier, I worry that the streak might end at 38. I guess we’ll find out.

But you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about participation rates. You came to see the submissions:


WEEK 249 - ROAD TRIP - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 249 - ROAD TRIP - MONICA HENNING
Monica Henning

WEEK 249 - ROAD TRIP - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 249 - ROAD TRIP - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 249 - ROAD TRIP - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 249 - ROAD TRIP - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen

WEEK 249 - ROAD TRIP - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 249 - ROAD TRIP - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEK 249 - ROAD TRIP - AARON BARNETT
Aaron Barnett

WEEK 249 - ROAD TRIP - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 249 - ROAD TRIP - JESSE HOWARD
Jesse Howard

WEEK 249 - ROAD TRIP - JESSE HOWARD
Jesse Howard

WEEK 249 - ROAD TRIP - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

WEEK 249 - ROAD TRIP - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

But enough dwelling on the past. Time to look to the future. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future! This week’s theme:


WEEK 250 - ABSTRACT
ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT! What a great theme! But what is an ABSTRACT picture? Think of it like this, rather than taking an accurate picture of a subject, you are taking a picture that breaks the composition down to colors and shapes.

There are a couple of easy ways to do this. First, take an out of focus picture of something. Bright and colorful subject work best for this method. The reveal picture, for example, is an out of focus picture of flowers.

Another method is to take a long exposure and move the camera around.

Another suggestion is to just take a picture of an existing ABSTRACT piece of art. Once again, ABSTRACT is where the subject isn’t depicted as it actually exists. For example, there are a ton of ABSTRACT pieces of art hanging up all over the walls of just about every office. Including the computer mine.

I look forward to seeing your interpretations!

+++++++

HOUSEKEEPING


A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

The picture has to be taken the week of the theme. This isn’t a curate your pictures challenge. This is a get your butt off the couch (my personal experience) and put your camera in your hands challenge. Don’t send me a picture of you next to the Eiffel Tower, when I know you were in Iowa all week. I will point out that I have let that slide some in the past. I will not in the future. Since it is literally about the only rule.

Your submission needs to be emailed to bennett@photography139.com by 11 AM on the Monday of the challenge due date.

OR

I now allow people to text me their submissions. In the past, I had made exceptions for a couple people that aren’t real computer savvy, even though it was an inconvenience for me and required at least 3 extra steps for me. I am now lifting that embargo because I have a streamline way of uploading photos. I’m not giving out my phone number, but if you have it, you can text me.

It should be pointed out that this blog auto-publishes at 12:01 on Mondays. So it wouldn’t hurt to get your picture in earlier.

That is it, them’s the rules.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION DIVISION

Nobody showed class, taste, and sophistication this week by signing up for a Photography 139 email subscription. I’ll try and do better next week.

+++++++

That’s all I got for today, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will commune right here again next Monday. Hopefully it will be a very abstract Monday!

Such a Classic Waste of Cool

Another week of working from home almost in the books. I don’t even know how long it has been now. I don’t that much has changed. I still listen to 96.1 in the morning. In the afternoons, there isn’t really anything designated any more. I’ve been listening to podcasts I suppose. But not exclusively.

One positive or one thing I’ll miss when I get called back to working in the office is this: I’ll missing sitting under my cherry trees with Naima and eating my lunch. Listening to the birds. Feeling a warm breeze. It is very peaceful, but also makes it hard to go back to work when my lunch is over.

I have been working on the basement, but the project has become more ambitious than expected. There will be pictures when it is done, but it is several weeks out, at least. I’d guess I’m about 35-40% done.

Logan helped me big time last Saturday with the interior of the project. The Citywide Cleanup was also a big help. Lots of stuff hit the curb and are now on the ash heap of history. Although I’m still finding plenty of stuff that needs to hit the dusty trail. Andy helped me get rid of some of that too.

+++++++

I took several YELLOW pictures for this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. I’d like to share the one’s that didn’t make the cut for Monday’s reveal at this point:


Such a Classic Waste of Cool

Such a Classic Waste of Cool

Such a Classic Waste of Cool

Such a Classic Waste of Cool

Such a Classic Waste of Cool

Such a Classic Waste of Cool

Such a Classic Waste of Cool

Such a Classic Waste of Cool

Such a Classic Waste of Cool

Such a Classic Waste of Cool

Such a Classic Waste of Cool

Such a Classic Waste of Cool

Such a Classic Waste of Cool

Such a Classic Waste of Cool

I always have fun playing with the “creative” settings on my camera.

+++++++

This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is ROAD TRIP:


WEEK 249 - ROAD TRIP
ROAD TRIP

A ROAD TRIP is any photo that involves a ROAD TRIP. Doesn’t have to be a large ROAD TRIP. The reveal photo was taken when I went on a ROAD TRIP to get gas. A ROAD TRIP photo doesn’t even have to be taken on a ROAD TRIP. It can be taken showing planning for a ROAD TRIP or preparing for a ROAD TRIP.

Happy photo harvesting!