Sunday, June 25, 2017

6/25/17

My image today goes back to A Sreamfest in Michigan that I got to attend a while ago and where I got to ride behind the beautiful Daylight locomotive.  This is a former Southern Pacific GS-4 which is a streamlined 4-8-4 wheel arrangement locomotive built in 1941 by the Lima locomotive Works.  It's bright color and matching color passenger cars made for a beautiful sight back in the day and still do to this day. 


Saturday, June 24, 2017

6/24/17

It's a cooler day out today and reminded me of our Spring weather.  Nice.  I decided to share a photo from this Spring of a lovely Tulip I captured in Wamego, KS.  I loved the light pastel purple of this one.


Friday, June 23, 2017

6/23/17

I have not seen many butterflies around my home lately.  There have been a few but not as many as I would like especially since I have planted a number of new plants for them.  When I was out on Konza Prairie during the first weekend in June I did see a number of Monarchs which made me happy.  A lot of those were even busy making more Monarchs.  This one though was just enjoying the Butterfly Milkweed and I captured it when it stopped for a moment to enjoy this bloom of it.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

6/22/17

So one more hot day and then a few nice and cool ones it looks like, yay.  Today's image is a close up of a Bumblebee that was busy working on the blooms of my Butterfly Milkweed plant a couple weeks ago.  He did not seem to care much that I was taking it's photo, it was just furiously digging in the blooms so I was able to get fairly up close and personal.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

6/21/17

Happy Summer Solstice!  It's officially here even though we have been feeling like summer for about a week now.  Here are some lovely wild Sunflowers to celebrate the day.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

6/20/17

Hot days already, yuck.  Will be interesting to see what July and August are like.  My image today is of a Ladybug I was able to capture on a Milkweed leaf.  It was looking for Aphids and there were some further up the plant.



Monday, June 19, 2017

6/19/17

This is an image that I captured out on Konza Prairie while walking out there in early June.  The Bird Poker theme today was Passerines and I had to look that up but it is the more scientific name for a perching bird.  This Dickcissel certainly fit that very well as it was perched high up in a dead tree.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

6/18/17

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!  My image today is from the land of steam where every Father's Day weekend they hold Steam School.  This is the locomotive I get to help operate just heading out with our first passenger for Kid's Day which is held on Saturday of that weekend.  This is a basically, 14 inch scale Wagner type locomotive built in 1942 that began life operating at Niagara Falls.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

6/17/17

I was able to view a large number of Geese families the other day.  Usually there are no birds on this particular pond but this day there were at least 8 families of Geese floating around, I think more.  This is a shot of 2 of them.



Friday, June 16, 2017

6/16/17

Fridays are all about bokeh for me so I thought I would share this lovely Daisy shot I took recently.  These are growing beside my pond and the bit of pink bokeh is a Water Lily blooming behind them.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

6/15/17

This is an older image that I captured a while back when I was in Scott's Bluff Nebraska.  This Magpie was standing on this rock face and I liked the Minimal look of it plus it was a good shot, for me of a Magpie.  😉


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

6/14/17

This is something fun I found out on Konza Prairie a couple of weekend's ago.  I don't know who made it but thought it was rather fun.  A Fun Fact:  Grasshoppers consume the most amount of plants and grass on the prairie, even more than the Bison.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

6/13/17

So the post for these last 3 days are related.  The bridge in Sunday's image is where I was standing while capturing this guy since he was not all that thrilled about me getting too close.  He was sitting on the shore of the pond from yesterday's image.  It's a great pond to observe nature.  I think this is a Bullfrog and it was huge.  If I had held it, it would have taken up my whole hand.  I was happy that it posed a bit so I could get some shots, it was a bit skittish.  


Monday, June 12, 2017

6/12/17

Another hot one today.  The wind is supposed to pick up again too.  Sigh.  I captured this image a week ago Saturday.  I liked it for the bokeh created by the water and out of focus Damselflies.  This is a group of Blue Damselflies with the one in front being well reflected in the water of the pond at the railroad from yesterday's image.


Sunday, June 11, 2017

6/11/17

Posting a bit late to day as we had company.  My image is fitting for today since it is pretty steamy outside.  90s and very windy today.  Ugh.  This is from last weekend when I went to the 12 inch scale railroad I get to play at.  This locomotive is my favorite one to run.  When I took this image it was being run by another of the people who get to come play and he was just heading over the main bridge on their setup.  The pond was quite full that day due to all the rain we had been getting and made for a nice scene I thought.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

6/10/17

Well, the heat and no rain seemed to have arrived as we are heading up into the 90s for several days.  I took this image a week ago Friday on a beautiful evening out on Konza Prairie.  It's a 2 shot panorama looking east in the setting sun.  People think Kansas is flat but my area is not, it is the Flint Hills due to all the Flint rock found in these hills.  It's a beautiful sight to see all the green open space of the Tall Grass Prairie out at Konza.  The trails in the image were created by the Bison who, unlike cattle, generally walk in a single file line.  Unfortunately they were not visible on this evening, they were most likely down in the valleys. 


Friday, June 9, 2017

6/9/17

When I was out on Konza Prairie last Friday evening I captured some shots of my favorite grass.  Partly because it is one of the few I can remember the name 😃 but mostly because of how it catches the sunlight in the seed heads.  It looks almost like it is glowing.  I chose this photo today because I loved the bokeh in it too.  


Thursday, June 8, 2017

6/8/17

I have not seen a lot of butterflies around my home lately.  I believe this happened last year as well so hopefully a normal lull.  I was able to capture these two Red Admirals enjoying the blooms of some Tall Phlox earlier this Spring.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

6/7/17

I captured this image out on Konza Prairie on Friday evening in late sunlight.  It's me trying to be artsy with a different angle image of this lovely wildflower.  This is a Showy Evening Primrose which are blooming like crazy in our area of Kansas this year.  Even along I-70 I have seen huge groups of them blooming.  It's been quite lovely.  

Remember There are pages of this blog of wildflowers by color to help you identify what you are seeing out there.  😃


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

6/6/17

When I was out in Pennsylvania in March, I was walking by the creek that runs by my dad's house.  This Great Blue Heron suddenly took off and was flying by and I was pleased to capture it in focus and so close.  I always love how their long legs hang out behind them as they fly.


Monday, June 5, 2017

6/5/17

When I went to the Overland Park Arboretum, I was able to view many varieties of Iris that were in bloom at the time.  It was very interesting to see all the different types there are.  These that I took a macro image of are similar to Blue Flag Iris, which have more narrow petals.  Blue Flag are may favorite and the color of this one is a lot like it.


Sunday, June 4, 2017

6/4/17

My image today goes back to Cass Mountain Scenic Railway in West Virginia and i decided to go for an antique look.  This is the Heisler type locomotive sitting ready and waiting to run on the day we were there.  Heislers were designed for logging railway work and were geared differently than a typical locomotive.  It was the only one I have ever seen and it was great to know they still operate it.


Saturday, June 3, 2017

6/3/17

This weekend I am spending some time a couple of evenings out at Konza Prairie, last night and tomorrow evening.  Sunday night is the annual Wildflower Walk at 6:30pm where you can walk the Butterfly Hill Trail not normally open to the public.  This is one of the views you can see on the walk.  This is actually the edge of Konza and a cattle pasture adjoining it.  It show off the type of hills prominent in this area of the Flint Hills though captured in evening light.  This is a 2 shot panorama.


Friday, June 2, 2017

6/2/17

It's Friday!  Short weeks always seem long, it's very weird.  My image today is of some Orchids that are in the office at work.  I shot them against a light wall and gave them a bit of a glow for a dreamy effect.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

6/1/17

I captured this image out by Milford Lake at the big pond out there which is called The Gathering Pond, I have been told.  It does seem to be a gathering place for different types of birds.  I usually see some type of waterbird whenever I visit there.  This Pelican was typical of ones I see though, not usually happy with me around taking their photo.  He was swimming away and looking over his shoulder to be sure I wasn't following.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

5/31/17

The wildflowers in Kansas are blooming like crazy right now due to all the rain we have had.  Speaking of that, the annual Wildflower Walk on Konza Prairie is this Sunday, June 4 at 6:30pm.  It's a beautiful evening walk.  I took this image recently after one of our rains of a Cobaea Penstemon in bloom.  These are one of my favorite wildflowers with their color and shape.

Remember, this Blog has pages of Wildflowers by color for your use in identifying what you see out there blooming.  I have photographed and shared many of the common ones and a few not so common as well.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

5/30/17

The wild Turkeys have been hanging around my yard a lot the last few weeks again.  They usually eat seed from the feeder but I have been bad at keeping that filled.  I saw one eating Mulberries that had fallen a couple of evenings ago.  They roost in the trees in the ravine behind my house.  I captured this male in some morning sunlight that really showed his neck off well.  This morning I was talking to him and he seemed to answer back but I think he was really calling to the 2 hens that usually accompany him.  😄


Monday, May 29, 2017

5/29/17

Wishing you a pleasant Memorial Day today.  My image today is a combination of 4 different images "Focus Stacked" together to create more detail at close range.  This is a Gazania bloom macro.  I have had a pink variety of this flower before but decided to try this vibrant yellow variety this year.  It's quite the burst of color on my deck.


Sunday, May 28, 2017

5/28/17

So the last couple of days I have been over at a friend's house at his Garden Railway Steam Up get together.  People from neighboring states and a few even further come and bring their live steam G Scale locomotives and run them on his tracks.  This is a panorama made of 3 images for focus of some of those locomotives.  My Accucraft 3 Cylinder Shay is the one on the very right.  I did something for the very first time to share, I took some movies of my locomotives in action.  I have shared one of those to YouTube and it can be viewed at this link:   https://youtu.be/N__lScFEyYo


Saturday, May 27, 2017

5/27/17

Well the day is starting out dark and rainy but looks like it should be clearing off.  I decided to share an image I think of as nature's firework.  This is an Echinacea also known as a Cone Flower just beginning to bloom that I captured last week just after a rain.

This is also to note that this Blog contains pages of Wildflowers in Kansas that I have separated out by color to help you find and identify the more common ones you may find and wonder what they are.  Hope you will take a look.  The links can be found at the top of the page.  On phones it appears as a drop down, at least on Android.


Friday, May 26, 2017

5/26/17

Posting early today because we had a short workday today to lead into the nice 3 day weekend so yay.  This is another shot of a beautiful group of Tulips in Wamego Kansas this Spring that I titled Take A Bow.  


Thursday, May 25, 2017

5/25/17

Today's image is a little bit different.  This is a young Great Plains Skink.  When they are born they are all black with bright blue tails and as they grow to adulthood fade to the more mottled look and loose the blue color to their tails.  Skinks are also able to detach their tails when caught by them at will and then grow a new one back in approximately 3 months.  A great form of defense for them.  This Skink is one of the more common lizards found here in Kansas along with Collard Lizards.  I see these guys around in my garden fairly frequently when I am watering.  In this image I captured it on the patio.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

5/24/17

I am trying to grow a couple of varieties of the larger Columbine flowers in my garden again.  I have not had much luck in the past but hopefully I have found a good spot for them this year.  I am trying a partially shady spot to protect them from our summer heat which they apparently do not like.  I shall see how this goes.   Fun facts: The genus is Aquilegia which comes from the Latin  term for eagle of aguila because the shape of the flower head reminds of an eagle's claw.  Columbine comes from the Latin term for dove because the inverted flower looks like 5 doves clustered together.  It's a lovely plant and this version is the state flower of Colorado.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

5/23/17

I was at the Overland Park Arboretum in Kansas a couple of weekends ago.  It was the second time I had visited there.  It's a beautiful place with lovely places to walk with many varied plants, flowers and trees.  The large Allium flowers, part of the Onion Family, were in bloom and I captured them in front of one of the waterfall features.  


Monday, May 22, 2017

5/22/17

More rain today.  Nice to not have to water much but....  I captured this male Cardinal one morning a couple of weekends ago when we had a sunny one.  I loved how the sun showed off it's red color so well and the bokeh of the grass.



Sunday, May 21, 2017

5/21/17

We get to see the sun today and great temps, how nice.  My image today is of the Large Scale steam locomotive I get to help operate up in Rollag Minnesota.  This is a coal fired 14 and 3/4 inch (basically 15 inch) scale Wagner built locomotive that used to operate at Niagara Falls back in the late 1940s and 50s.  It's quite fun to run and it will be operating soon for Kids Day on Father's Day weekend and then again on Labor Day weekend for the annual Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion. I captured it sitting on the bridge in the circle of track that it operates on.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

5/20/17

Well, looks like maybe we will be a couple of days without rain now and hopefully see the sun.  I captured this image this morning, just about 30 minutes ago.  The Baltimore Orioles are back in full force this year, we have at least 3 pairs that come to feed at the liquid feeder and the jelly.The Mulberries are ripening so I am wondering if they will keep coming but we shall see.  They did last year.  This is a beautiful male enjoying a jelly breakfast.


Friday, May 19, 2017

5/19/17

My image today is another of the little bird that I was watching swoop and get worms out of the grass.  I found out with some help of a couple of birders over on G+ that this is most likely an Eastern Phoebe.  It was fun to watch and pretty tolerant of me.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

5/18/17

We are into a nice stretch of cool weather and I will enjoy it while I can.  My image today was taken earlier this Spring.  The Honey Bees were visiting the Grape Hyacinths.  I love to capture them in flight and this one came out pretty well.  To get them in focus and in flight you have to have patience and watch then and how they move about because you have to anticipate where they will go next to get a decent picture.  Sometimes you get lucky and get photobombed by them too when you are photographing a flower, that doesn't happen very often.  This one I worked at.  😸


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

5/17/17

My image today is appropriate because it was taken on a windy day in Minnesota and we have been having very windy days here.  This Swan family was not thrilled with me being around and taking their photo so they were heading for the reeds.  The little ones were very cute I thought.  I took this image at Tamarac Wildlife Refuge which is always a good spot to see some kind of wildlife.




Tuesday, May 16, 2017

5/16/17

This photo today is a bit different.  Sometimes I like to play in Black and White photography which is what I basically learned in.  This old cultivator lent itself well to a monochrome treatment.  It sits on a friend's family farm.  I gave it a bit of a gritty look which went well with the piece of equipment which worked in the dirt and grit.


Monday, May 15, 2017

5/15/17

Hot hot for a couple of days.  Ugh.  I love Columbine flowers but I have a hard time growing them to come back.  Maybe it's the heat.  I am trying this variety and a pink one in a different spot and hope they do better, if not I think I will give up.  I do have another variety which has smaller heads and different color that is a more wild type that does very well.  Anyway, it's blooming at the moment and looking quite lovely.  This is a macro shot of one of the blooms.



Sunday, May 14, 2017

5/14/17

This image comes from the same time as last week.  We were at the Steamfest in Michigan and Nickel Plate 765 was out on it's excursion and we were chasing.  By the time it got to the town where it was going to turn on the wye to head back it had begun to rain for a few moments.  I liked the moodiness that gave the image.


Saturday, May 13, 2017

5/13/17

A beautiful day in the neighborhood before we heat up again.  My image is of a colder day but one of the best Blue Jay shots I have ever been able to get.  It was at the in-laws home and out their window.  It sat for a bit fairly close and posed so nicely for me.  They usually are moving around quite a bit and looking for food.  I got quite lucky with this one.


Friday, May 12, 2017

5/12/17

Quite the beautiful day today, I wish it would stay like this for a while and not get hot like it's supposed to.  Last Saturday, which was another beautiful day, I was at the Overland Park Arboretum.  They had several varieties of Peony flowers in bloom.  This is one that I liked a lot.  I have a white one in my garden but it is different than this one, mine is more of a ball shaped type.  It's been a good year for Peonies, I have the most amount of blooms ever.  It smells wonderful.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

5/11/17

Well, we got rain this morning which was nice except it poured pretty hard, I would rather it was slower.  At least I get a bit of a break from watering my new plants.  😄  I saw this guy flying around and enjoying the Salvia last week.  I believe it is called a Snowberry Clearwing Moth.  It was fun to watch it hovering around and drinking nectar with that long tongue.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

5/10/17

I was at the Overland Park Arboretum this past Saturday.  It's a beautiful place to visit and walk around with all the flowers and trees.  There is a large pond there and some turtles were hanging out by the shore.  People were feeding bread to the fish and one turtle seemed to be enjoying it as well.  I think most of them were looking for other food.  I was able to get a good shot of this guy that showed off his colors well.  I believe this is a Western Painted Turtle.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

5/9/17

Another hot one today and then hopefully cooling off a bit.  My image today is of a bird I was able to watch and photograph late last week.  It was sitting in the branches of the Sycamore tree and would swoop down towards the grass.  At one point it came back up with a worm which it ate.  I am not sure of the type and also posted it to G+ with all the birders there, hopefully someone has an ID.  It looked like a Flycatcher in my book but not sure if they eat worms as well.  Anyway, it was very neat to watch and did not seem to mind at all that I was there taking photos of it.



Monday, May 8, 2017

5/8/17

Is summer here already, it's quite warm out today with mid 80s already.  Stressing out my new plants with this kind of heat.  My image today makes me cooler looking at all the water.  😅  This is an older image taken during a visit to Chicago, my favorite city.  I took this from up in the John Hancock building and it is looking out towards Navy Pier and Lake Michigan.  If you view large I believe you can see the state of Michigan way off in the distance.



Sunday, May 7, 2017

5/7/17

So it is nice and sunny and warm, a beautiful weekend.  My image today goes back to a summer evening in Owosso, Michigan when we went to a Steamfest and got to ride behind this beautiful locomotive.  This was the night before at a photo-shoot opportunity.  The Southern Pacific 4449 Daylight locomotive was positioned on the turntable for photos.  It's such a lovely streamlined locomotive and beautifully colored I think.  It's passenger cars were colored in the same style making it a lovely train in it's day quite different from the usual black locomotives and duller colored passenger cars.