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My Neighborhood

country road
ISO 800 85mm f/9 1/800sec

hay bales
ISO 200 70mm f/9 1/200sec

ISO 200 55mm f/8 1/40sec
**This shot above, “Soybeans”, is entered in Dawn@MHSH’s photo contest sponsored by National Geographic and Energizer. You can enter, too.**

twin hay bales
ISO 200 70mm f/16 1/60sec

twilight over Iowa
ISO 800 52mm f/13 1/60sec

My Handy Man is afraid that you all will think we live in the sticks. But, um…. we do.

I love living in the sticks. Sure, there is no pizza delivery – or any delivery for that matter. And the town closest to us has 1 stoplight, and no fast food. But out here, a boy can be a boy. On our property we regularly see owls, fox, deer, turkeys and bats… among other things. And on a clear night, the sky is amazing. So, sure, I complain about Iowa being the arctic tundra (I cannot believe there is an entire nation north of us. You poor, poor cold people!). And sure, I do miss having a neighborhood Starbucks sometimes… but it is just really beautiful out here this time of year.

Have you ever been to Iowa? Where do you live? Can we see?


  1. I’ve driven through Iowa but didn’t know anyone there at the time so we just passed through from San Diego to Minneapolis. Now I know someone in Iowa and can have some rockin’ Italian food if I’m ever passin’ through. (Do you like how I just invited myself to dinner at your place? Hee hee ๐Ÿ™‚

    I now live in Oregon and I’ll have to shoot some pictures of our neighborhood. What a fun idea!

    BTW, you know if you’re ever in Oregon my mom will feed you Filipino food until you can’t breathe any more. Just so you know ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Your “neighborhood” is beautiful!!! I’ve never seen that part of the country . . . might get a chance to if I take my kids to see my grandparents this summer. Still debating – it will be a looooong drive! I live in FL on the Gulf Coast. We live in a rural-ish area, but there isn’t much land. Just water. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. lovely country..I live in a city [not a big one] but a city nevertheless but we have country within 5 minutes and for the first time I am feeling the pull

    anyhoo lovely neighborhood : )

  4. Beautiful! You live where I want to live. Well, not specifically Iowa – I mean, in the middle of nowhere. *grin*

    I don’t know if I’ve ever been to Iowa – yeah it seems like something someone *should* know, but see – we traveled through the states a bit as a kid and I don’t remember all the states we drove through.

    As for where we live – ha. Shall I just hold up my mittens? *grin*

  5. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL! No, I’ve never been to or driven through Iowa. I’ve rarely been out of the south, except for our Honeymoon to the Pocono’s. I live in a rural area of Alabama, but all the “modern amenities” are a mere 20 minutes away (including Starbucks)! :o) Where you say you live in the Artic Tundra, we live in the “Armpits of He**”….lol! Our ONE snow this winter was our first “real snow” in about 10-15 years! However, you will find no shortage of 100 degree days around here. I’ve lived here my entire life, and I wouldn’t change that for anything in this world!

  6. i love living in the sticks of arkansas. iowa is beautiful!

  7. I would LOVE to live in the sticks. That is still my plan someday. I think it’s the best place to raise children. They learn so much. Good things that is not all the worldly things. I am from IDAHO which everyone mistakes for IOWA. Last year got married and now live in that nation to the north…Canada! It’s beautiful for those few months of warmth. I hate the cold. Can’t wait to move back to the states in the sticks. Great idea by the way I will have to take some pictures of my town.

  8. I have been to Iowa. I lived in Orange City {Tulip capitol of the Midwest I think} when I was in college @ Northwestern. I only stayed three months because I missed my boyfriend back home in WA. He dumped me 3 months later :(. IA holds a special place in my รขโ„ขยฅ, I would not have met my DH if I had not gone there. Love the laid back attitude of the people there and the genuine friendliness. I thought it was so funny that when an emergency vehicle was going down the street, everyone came out on their porches to see what was going on!

    I live in the desert now. The city I live in is called Surprise! Love that. The development where our house is, is called Surprise Farms. We are surrounded by fields that grow corn {I guess IA doesn’t produce enough!}, watermelon, cotton and more.

    I’ll show you more next week! Darcy, what time of the day did you shoot these pictures? Will you share your settings. I am a NIKON girl to the core and trying hard to soak it all in. Please spread the Nikon love!

    • Sure, I’ll edit the post right now to add back in the settings.

      These were all shot between 7pm and sunset (9:30ish) on a clear day.

      • Okay – the settings are in. My disclaimer is that the camera and lens are new and I still rely heavily on my in-camera meter. I have a few sunset pictures coming up where I got a little more confident and was able to shoot by instinct rather than rely on my meter. It always wants to shoot like it’s broad daylight, so it takes some practice to ignore the meter and figure out the combo that works to get the light you want.

  9. I grew up a city/suburban girl in Chicago, and have been to Iowa several times, always envious of your wide open spaces.

    Now I’m one of those “cold people” living (north fo the artic, as you would say) in rural Manitoba, Canada. We dwell on 20 acres in a farming province, and I know I am exactly where God wants me!

  10. Oh Darcy, what a nice neighborhood! A nearby Starbucks and pizza delivery really aren’t that beautiful.


  11. Wow. These are really gorgeous photos.

    Sometimes I think I would like to move out into the sticks because I wouldn’t order takeout. Iowa. I’ll have to visit that state sometime.

  12. I would love to live out in the country. Maybe not as far as you live, but far away from where I live now. I can throw a rock and just about hit Memphis. Most of the time I’d like to.

    I wrote about where I live in my Blog Around the World post if you’d like to revisit. But get ready to stay a while, ’cause I talk. A lot.

  13. Beautiful. I will post pics soon of my area. Of course, those nice pictures of your “neighborhood” make me want to come visit! :o)

  14. Oh so beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing! I think I’ve driven through Iowa before. I’ve done 2 cross country trips. It would have been my worst nightmare in my city days. I’m digging it in my late 30’s…very late 30’s!

    I live in NC outside of Greensboro. Where I live is considered the country, horse farms and rolling hills…however, we have a Starbucks about 10 min. away…it is new, as is pizza delivery in the last 2 years. Funny how we judge civilization as to our closest Starbucks!

  15. Hey, guess what? It looks like your were in my neighborhood. Where you? ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m trying to figure out the same things with the light meter.

    I love a gleaned field. They seem to be magical at Twilight dont’cha think?

  16. I’ve been driving through Iowa at least a couple times of year for the last 13 years. I love your beautiful state, but last January I got my car stuck in 2 feet of snow off I-80. Not fun!

    Parts of my neighborhood look very much like yours. I love the idea of sharing pictures of where we live, I’ll have to post soon.

  17. It is so beautiful there! I love these. Are you enjoying your camera?
    Thanks for entering the contest!

  18. You live amongst beautifulness. Even sans Starbucks and fast food.


  19. Nikowa@KHA says:

    OOH those are beautiful country shots! ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Just beautiful, peaceful and what looks to be the perfect place to raise boys!

  21. It’s more that I’ve been through Iowa rather than to Iowa. But it is beautiful this time of year, isn’t it?

    We lived for seven years in Hillsdale, Michigan, which I imagine to be not unlike your part of the world. We moved there when our oldest was 10 weeks old. The other two boys were born there. Now, we did have neighbors–we lived right in town–but it didn’t take very long at all to get out of town. I mean, WAY out of town. The biggest event of the year, hands down, was the County Fair.

    And you know what? I thought that living in a little Midwestern town was just right for that part of our life. There’s something very nourishing about being away from all the lights and attractions of city life. It’s a good life for little boys. And their lucky moms.

  22. Yeah, but do you get to play, “Is That A Man Dressed As A Woman?” or “How To Get Everything Done Without Moving The Car Because It’s An Afternoon Cub Game Day?”

    Seriously, beautiful shots. You can smell the clean, fresh air just by looking at those gorgeous pictures. I’m looking forward to the wide open spaces of our current road trip.

    If you get to Chicago, drop me a note. Would love to get ya a latte, espresso, cappucino, what-have-you!