Tuesday, August 15, 2017


This is a different type bird I was able to see and capture while I was at the Grand Canyon in July.  While hiking on the North Kaibab Trail at the North Rim of the park I spotted this Scrub Jay sitting in the midst of a tree.  They had been flying around in one area of the trail and were quite difficult to capture but I got a couple okay images of which this is one.

Monday, August 14, 2017


The Dragonflies have been around more lately as well.  This is, what I believe is, an immature Twelve Spot that was having a stare down with me.  😁  Actually, I shot this with a telephoto so it was just nice enough to pose for a bit.

Sunday, August 13, 2017


Today's image is another that was done to recreate an 1800s image taken by my favorite photographer of the old west, William Henry Jackson.  My photo is at a different angle because I didn't have the freedom he had to get off the train but was taken at about the same spot.  This is our train on the Durango & Silverton Railway headed back to Durango.  This shot is taken along the Animas River and Needle Mountain can be seen in the background.  I have included WHJ's image below mine for easy reference again.

This is William Henry Jackson's photo from a book that I have of his photos.

Saturday, August 12, 2017


I had posted an image of one of these a while back that was fairly artsy.  This is just a straight up one where you can really see how this flower gets it's name.  This is a Pincushion Flower.  I can't seem to get them to grow so this is from my friend's plant.

Friday, August 11, 2017


The Painted Lady and Painted Beauty Butterflies have been enjoying my flowers in fairly large numbers.  It's been very cool to see.  I have a large bunch of volunteer Zinnias growing in the backyard and they are a great draw for these butterflies.  I was trying to photograph this Painted Beauty on the Zinnia flower but it took off as I took the shot so not in perfect focus due to the movement but I thought it was still a cool shot.

Thursday, August 10, 2017


The Cicadas have really been loud lately.  This is an older image I was able to get during the year when they had their 17 year emergence and were quite abundant.  It is sitting on the wall of one of the buildings at the Large Scale railroad I get to play at.  I had a very shallow depth of field so only a line of the image is in focus but worked well for trying to get the Cicada captured but that's what gives it the different look.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


While I was on vacation this year I spent some time on historic Route 66 in a couple of towns in Arizona, Flagstaff and Williams.  This image was taken on the first evening in downtown Williams.  A good number of the shops and restaurants had neon signs.  I liked these two in particular.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


Today's image is a bit different but interesting I thought.  We had some damage to electronic equipment about 2 weeks ago now.  While out walking around in the yard last week I spotted my neighbor's tree looked odd.  On investigation, it was obvious that it was hit by lightning.  The left image is a panoramic taken with my phone and if you click and view large you can sort of see where it started way up in the tree.  The image on the right shows how it came down the trunk on the other side as well and threw dirt out of the ground.  It's pretty wild how it did that and tore strips out of the tree like that.  Oddly enough, even though it's a lot closer to my neighbor's house, there was no apparent damage there but ours 30 to 40 yards away received some.  Pretty odd and interesting how lightning works. 

Monday, August 7, 2017


I was able to get this image in Alexandria, Minnesota at Lake Agnes.  I captured this Pelican as it came in to land on the lake after a flight.  I got lucky with the timing and the splash.  I actually came up with a name for it which was obviously Splashdown.  😁

Sunday, August 6, 2017


Well, I think we have had enough rain for a while.  We have had about 5 inches in less than 24 hours.  We needed rain but not all at once.  Sheesh.  My image today was taken the day before I rode on the Durango & Silverton Railway when I was down in the Animas River Canyon trying to recreate 1800 era photos.  This shot is of the K-36 locomotive Number 481 that pulled the train I was on the next day.  Here it is moving along the famous High Line area at a speed of about 5 miles per hour due to the steep drop off.

Saturday, August 5, 2017


On my summer vacation this year I spent 3 days visiting the Grand Canyon.  I had been there before several years back but it was combined with riding the train out and back so I only spent less than a day there altogether.  This trip 2 days were spent at the South Rim and then the middle day I traveled to the North Rim which was a new experience.  It takes at least 4 hours to drive there from the south but you can see the lodge there at the North Rim from the South.  It would be easier if they just built a bridge.  LOL  Anyway, this is a 3 image panorama taken from the North Kaibab Trail looking towards the South Rim.  Kind of a different image as the North Rim is not as visited and therefore not as commercialized which was nice.Of course this image is best viewed large by clicking on it.

Friday, August 4, 2017


The small types of butterflies are back in my area in abundance now that it has turned cooler.  My new perennial garden is paying off and my choice of potted plants and Zinnias as well.  This is one that I think is a pretty type with it's deeper yellow color but it doesn't have a pretty name.  It's an Alfalfa Caterpillar Butterfly that was enjoying the Gaillardia or Blanket Flower in my new garden.  The bokeh for today is provided by some limestone rock that surrounds the garden. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017


While I was in Minnesota on a photography trip when I got yesterday's photo I also was able to get this image.  We were at a little know park and it was beside one of the 10,000 lakes there in Minnesota.  I captured this Heron flying overhead.  I got lucky with this shot in that it was in focus as well. 😃  I know I have mentioned it before but I love how their long legs hang out behind.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


When I was in Minnesota in June I was able to go on a photography trip with my mom-in-law and her brother.  We always have a fun time and get to visit interesting places.  I saw this guy on our stop at Alexandria and had to share him.  He guards the town and Lake Agnes there.  He is known as America's Biggest Viking.  He was quite huge.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


Yikes it's August already and school will be starting soon.  The summer goes so by so fast.
Today's image is of a perfect bloom I was able to capture from one of the Sunflowers I am growing.  I tried 3 different varieties this year and they are all producing so that was great.  This is obviously the Red variety and I was able to capture it before the bugs got to it.  It's petals were just perfectly formed too which doesn't always happen.  It was just a lovely example.

Monday, July 31, 2017


Wow, it's the last day of July.  This summer is just flying by.  This is an image I took out in Silverton Colorado and I was surprised I got one without  train in it but I think I was on the train when I shot this.  😁 This is the view to the south of town and in July there was still snow in the Mountains.  In the lower area you can see two waterfalls created by the snow melt runoff.  The Durango & Silverton Railway ride is really great for beautiful views such as this. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017


Today's image is of our train in Silverton Colorado.  It had just turned on the Wye there which is a set of tracks large enough for the train to fit on in the shape of a Y pretty much but crossed at the top by the main line.  It allows the train to back in and then pull out in the direction it wants to go in or vice versa.  In short it allows the train to be headed in the direction it needs to be.  We had 2 hours in Silverton and we spent part of it watching the 3 trains, including ours, come in and maneuver about and taking photos. 

Saturday, July 29, 2017


This is an image I captured a while back out at Milford Lake in the Milford town area.  Herons are very camera shy it seems in Kansas.  they are not good about posing, if I want to see one close up I have to travel, ours just fly away.  I love how their legs hang out behind as they fly, neat birds.

Friday, July 28, 2017


Woohoo, we finally had a refreshing morning!  Looks like cooler temps for a bit too, nice.  My image today is another for National Moth Week.  This is a Snowberry Clearwing that came to visit the Milkweed that I transplanted due to the road construction and was able to keep alive and it came back this year.  I did it for the Monarchs and so far they have not found but other creatures in nature have enjoyed them so still a win.  This image is best viewed large by clicking on it so you can see all the hairs and such on the moth.  Amazing what you can capture in a photo sometimes that you don't see with your eye.

Thursday, July 27, 2017


So this is another of the cute Chippys that greeted our Durango & Silverton train during one of our stops along the way.  The Chipmunks were playing alongside and looking for handouts I am sure.  It's really not a good idea to feed wildlife, it can put them in danger they wouldn't otherwise be in and our food isn't what they naturally would eat and can make them ill.  I can see why people do it though, a face like this is hard to resist.  😀

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


It's Animal week as well this week so my shots are either moths or animals if you were noticing.  😉  This is another of Arizona's lizards that I captured during the walk on my last day at the Grand Canyon.  I spotted this one around some trees I was photographing.  This is a Desert Spiny Lizard and must be one of the more common types seen because it's picture and ID was up in some of the buses showing things you could see in the park.  It also was not fond of having it's photo taken but paused long enough for a couple shots as it made it's way towards some rocks.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


This week is National Moth Week and is supposedly a worldwide event for the appreciation of moths.  I captured this image a while back and thought it might be a rare visitor to our area as I could not find it in my book.  I submitted it to a moth site for ID and I was close on what I thought it might be but wrong on the version.  As the second half of it's name implies, it's fairly common, Scopula Ordinata.  Ah well, still an interesting and lovely one I think.  Butterflies and moths are very similar but you can usually spot the difference by their antennae.  Butterflies have smooth, slender ones and moths will be feathery or comb like in appearance.

Monday, July 24, 2017


While riding the Durango & Silverton Railway in southwestern Colorado we all saw and were entertained by this horse and rider.  There was an area early in the ride where they came alongside and seemed to be racing the train for bit.  It was obvious they do this fairly often as there was a well worn path where they were racing along.  It was fun to watch for us on the train this beautiful horse race alongside.

Sunday, July 23, 2017


Today's photo is another one that is in the style of my favorite photographer, William Henry Jackson.  I shot this image while riding the train so the direction of it is off but both shots were taken at the same place.  This is the Durango & Silverton Railway High Line.  The train is only allowed to go 5 miles an hour along this area so it was a good place to get several shots.  I always like to sit at the rear of the train for opportunities such as this.  As you could see from my photo a few weeks back, we were quite high up, this only gives a sense of it as my camera did not take as wide an angle shot.  In the reference photo that I shared below mine, you can see WHJ's Special train that he used to travel the line and he would have been off the train on the tracks taking this photo with the train stopped at the time.  As always, you can click on each to see them larger.

William Henry Jackson's photo from my book, Rocky Mountain Railroad Album

Saturday, July 22, 2017


So hopefully our last boiling hot day for a bit.  I captured this image of this Lizard out at the Grand Canyon on one of my hikes there.  I believe this is a female Plateau Fence Lizard.  She was not too fond of having a photo taken but I got lucky when she posed a couple of times long enough to get a few shots off.  

Friday, July 21, 2017


Boiling hot again today, hate to even go outside much.  I got this image about a week ago of a young Twelve Spot Dragonfly that was sitting on the Hibiscus trees I have in the yard.  I loved the creamy leaf bokeh behind it.  I learned something about Twelve Spots because I never knew they started out with a golden color and then turned blue-white with age and developed the more spot looking wing.

Thursday, July 20, 2017


Hot, hot, hot.  Ugh.  I hate it when I long for a 90 degree day as a cool one which is supposedly coming this Sunday.  Anyway, my image for today is of a flower I can't seem to get to grow but my neighbor can.  This is a Pincushion flower and it is 3 images focus stacked together to bring out all the detail in the flower.  I then put a bit of a glow on it.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017


I haven't shared a butterfly for a while so here you go.  😁  This is a shot I got a while ago on a trip to Denver and a Butterfly house just north of the city.  This is one of my favorite tropical butterflies, a Paper Kite, perched on some Penta flowers I think.  Paper Kites are fairly large butterflies and quite beautiful and dainty even though larger.  Their wingspan is a good 4 inches or even more across.  I've seen one that was at least 6 inches across.  Could be this one.  LOL  It's been a while.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


When I was riding the Durango & Silverton Railway, our train made a few stops for water and also to let some people off her were going hiking or kayaking.  Their equipment was stored in the old boxcar behind the locomotive.  On one of the stops there were some cute Chipmunks running around.  I am sure they were looking for a handout from the passengers.  This one happens to be eating on a piece of plant it found.  

Monday, July 17, 2017


Interesting date today, a lot of sevens.  Will it be a lucky day?  :-)  My image today I got a couple of weeks ago over at a friend's house.  She is very lucky to see these guys quite often as they nest in the woods near her home and visit her yard to hunt and drink from her bird bath.  I was lucky to see them one night while I was over there and this is one of the images I got that I was pretty happy with.

Sunday, July 16, 2017


On Sunday, July 2, I spent the day doing something steam related and rode the Durango & Silverton Railway in southwestern Colorado.  It's a great ride through some fantastic scenery and one I definitely recommend.  I was able to get a lot of different shots in different locations so most of the year will be focused on this railroad.  :-)  Today's image is of our locomotive heading out to hook up to our train that morning to pull us to Silverton and back from Durango.

Saturday, July 15, 2017


I hadn't gone out to shoot a sunset for a while.  I had some time last night and with the clouds in the sky I felt I had a shot at getting a decent one and I was not disappointed.  This is the sunset over Geary State Lake, south of Junction City, last night.

Friday, July 14, 2017


I captured this bird a little while back in my backyard.  He was moving around quite quickly but I finally captured it on my railroad crossing sign that I see needs restoration badly again.  Anyway I believe it is a very young Bluebird.  

Thursday, July 13, 2017


Today's image is an older one that I tried to be a bit artistic with.  It's a photo of a Rhododendron that I tried to make look like an oil painting.  It's best viewed large to see the brush strokes.  😉  Even without the effect I liked the lighting on this.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


Since we all need to feel cooler in this heat, how about a shot of a duck couple in the lake at Alexandria Minnesota.  This is a Blue Winged Teal pair that I captured while up there in mid-June.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


This is a cool tree I have seen on both of my trips to the Grand Canyon.  At first it was the bend in the tree that really caught my eye but when photographing it from this side it also appears to have a face in it.  I thought it made for a quite interesting subject with the Canyon as a backdrop.

Monday, July 10, 2017


We went to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon on this trip for a day as well.  While there on a hike I saw this bird originally on the trail but then it flew up into the tree and I was able to get a good shot of it.  I'm not sure what it is and am hoping someone will help ID it.  I think it is a type of Grosbeak, in Googling it appears to be a Black Headed Grosbeak.  I liked the coloring on it.

Sunday, July 9, 2017


Last Saturday and Sunday I was in Durango Colorado to photograph and ride the Durango & Silverton Railroad.  Those who follow my Blog will know that an influence on my photography comes from William Henry Jackson, who is most famous for being the one to photograph Yellowstone to help make it a National Park.  He also did a lot of Colorado railroad photography.  He has a rather well known image for those that follow his railroad work of the D&S on the High Line in the Animas River Canyon.  I attempted to re-create that shot on this trip.  I am not in the same exact place as that has been washed away I believe but I got fairly close.  I put a tone on it to make it even more similar.  I am also posting his image below mine for easy reference for those not familiar with the image.  It's a copy out of a book I have of his photography. 

Original image below by William Henry Jackson

Saturday, July 8, 2017


So this past week I was away on vacation to Colorado and Arizona.  This view is actually taken from Utah, another state I was able to tic off as having been in.  A lot of movies have been filmed in this area and I could see why.  It was fairly desolate and beautiful.  The rock formations make it very iconic looking.  This is a 3 shot panorama.  I used a polarizer filter as well and was glad I had it along as the sky on the whole trip was rather hazy, most likely due to the fires in southern Arizona.  This image is best viewed large by clicking on it.

Friday, July 7, 2017


My image for today is of my neighbor's Day Lily.  It was a nice bright reddish orange color that reminded me of a flame.  Since Fridays are for bokeh, it has a bit of house siding bokeh.  😉


Thursday, July 6, 2017


This is an image I was able to get a while back of a Bumble Bee enjoy the Butterfly Milkweed.  It was just about to land on this bloom when I captured it.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


I captured this image in Minnesota a couple of weeks ago now.  I had never seen this behavior for a Redwing Blackbird.  It was hoping around on Lily pads and sticking it's beak into the flowers.  I'm not sure of it was trying to eat the flowers or if there were insects inside it was trying to eat or what.  It was rather interesting to watch though.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


Happy 4th of July to the US and good day to everyone else!  Here are some Black Eyed Susans from my garden creating some natural fireworks.

Monday, July 3, 2017


This is an image I capture recently.  I'm not sure if it was some kind of standoff or coincidence.  Not sure if Ladybugs eat ants or maybe vice versa.  😊  Anyway, I thought it made for an interesting subject to photograph.  I captured this on the leaf of a milkweed and the shadows gave it that blue-ish cast.

Sunday, July 2, 2017


This is an image from Memorial Day weekend when I was over running Live Steam G Scale engines with some friends.  The building it is going past is a Coaling Tower modeled on one similar to the one at Chama that belongs to the Cumbres & Toltec.  He did a beautiful job on it.  If you would like to see this scale model in a video with another live steam locomotive, I posted a short video on You Tube here.

Saturday, July 1, 2017


Posting quite late today as I was out all day.  It's already July.  Since we have had a bit of rain lately it reminded me of Spring when the waterfall was flowing at the Geary State Fishing Lake.  This is a regular exposure shot and not my usual long one.  Still looks quite nice I thought.

Friday, June 30, 2017


We had more rain last night, all the flowers are loving it.  My image today is of some Sedum that was blooming earlier before the heat and dry hit, it is not fond of that.  This is 3 images stacked together to bring out details of the flower yet keep the background out of focus.  I love the focus stacking process, amazing to see the details that pop out as it combines the images together like the little web fiber in the lower left area.  View large by clicking on the image to see what I am referring to.