Tuesday, October 17, 2017


This is an older image I took on an outing in Minnesota.  I have been to the Buffalo River State Park a couple of times and this was taken there.  This park is near Hawley Minnesota.  It's a bend along the trail of the Buffalo River.  I'm already dreaming of summer days.  😊

Monday, October 16, 2017


I had shared this guy up close a little while ago.  This image shows it with it's long tail.  Some lizards will shed their tails easily to escape from prey but this one only does it if absolutely necessary as it uses it for balance.  This is a pretty common lizard in Kansas, and called a Collared Lizard due to the black band around it's neck.  I am pretty sure this is a male because the females are not so green.

Sunday, October 15, 2017


Today's image was taken from the train while riding the Durango & Silverton Railway.  The train was on the High Line as we were heading back to Durango.  I like to sit near the end of the train to get images such as this when it is in curves.  We were only moving along at about 5 mph here due to the steep drop off so that helped in getting a good photo as well.

Saturday, October 14, 2017


I woke up to some much needed rain again.  Nice.  Today's image goes back to my trip to the Grand Canyon in July.  While I was there on the third day I was hiking for a bit on the Bright Angel Trail.  This image was taken from the trail and you can see more of it in the bottom center.  I definitely did not go that far!  😅  This is a 2 shot panorama looking towards the North Rim of the canyon.

Friday, October 13, 2017


Happy Friday the 13th!  It's usually a good day for me, I shall see how it ends.  😉  Seems Fridays have been for butterflies but I have had great opportunities for butterfly images this year.  I think I have enough shots I could post one every day but that may bore you.  This one is a Silvery Checkerspot that I captured in July on the Butterfly Milkweed.  It sat quite well for a macro shot of it.  I also realized this was a positive ID on a new one so I have updated the Butterfly Page as well.  

Thursday, October 12, 2017


We are back to warm weather again after a day of very autumn temps.  My Zinnias were still good and the butterflies were back so all is well.  This is an image I took on a day like yesterday this past spring in Pennsylvania on the Conodoguinet Creek.  It was the first time I had ever seen a Hooded Merganser duck in real life.  It was not real happy about having me around and trying to take a photo so it took off and I was, fortunately, able to capture it somewhat in focus.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


It got pretty cold here last night but I don't think enough to kill anything but tender plants, we shall see.  Since late summer and now into early autumn, the Goldenrod has been in bloom.  There are several different varieties in Kansas and this one is Prairie Goldenrod.  I find it interesting how the colors change in the wildflowers as the year progresses, autumn ones are mostly yellows and purples. 
Due to that I was able to update those 2 pages of my Blog of the Wildflowers in Kansas.  They can be a help to identify what you are seeing so hope you will check them out.  They are linked at the top of the page on computer and on a phone on Android off the home button at the top, sorry couldn't check IOS.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


Wow, a real autumn day today and then back to summer again.  We even have to worry about frost.  This was taken on a totally different day when it was quite warm out.  This tree stands on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.  It's an old twisty Cedar tree and I love these trees.  They seem to have so much character in their twisty shapes.

Monday, October 9, 2017


I bought a Penta plant this spring for the first time for some color on the deck and it was a great choice.  It has drawn in a lot of different types of creatures from Praying Mantis to butterflies to moths like this one.  This is a Snowberry Clearwing Moth enjoying the blooms one day a few weeks ago.

Sunday, October 8, 2017


Hmm, something went weird with my postings for the weekend but they are both there so it's all good I guess.  😉  My image today goes back to some Garden Railway fun at a friend's house and his nice layout.  I took this in the evening at almost sunset so the smoke has a bit of pink color in it due to that.  It was steaming very nicely in the cooler evening.  This is my C-21 locomotive and I had shared a link a while back of it running on Youtube so if you missed it, here it is again:  https://youtu.be/WrMf8inrSkc  It runs on butane and water and is a great running engine.

Friday, October 6, 2017


So all summer I have mainly been seeing Painted Lady butterflies.  Recently I have had a Monarch visit.  I captured it visiting the Zinnias on Saturday.  If you ever want a cheap flower that's fairly easy to grow and attracts butterflies, Zinnias are it.  very popular wit them.  Autumn Sedum too though not as cheap to start.


I took this image while I was out on Konza Prairie last Sunday.  The Bison were visible from near the Barn.  They were on the move on the hillside and I was able to capture a few of them.  

Thursday, October 5, 2017


Dreary days we have been having and not really that much rain to show for it.  At least we are getting some.  I thought this image would brighten things up a bit.  This is a Katydid, also known as a Bush Cricket in Europe, that I captured this summer on my Neighbor's Geraniums.  The camera I used is having exposure issues but I like the effect I was able to get due to that.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


I captured this image in my neighbor's yard this summer while watering her plants.  This is a Collared Lizard that I saw several times and was pretty shy but this day I was able to get an image.  This type of lizard is fairly common in my area but I don't see them often.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


This is an older shot of a bird I don't get to photograph in my yard very often.  I hear them around all the time but they don't come into view even when I try to entice them with peanuts.  The Titmice eat those instead.  I got lucky this past winter when one sat in the Walnut out in the backyard long enough for me to get a few shots off through the window.

Monday, October 2, 2017


Once in a while I like to get back to my roots in photography and work in Black and White images.  I used to even process my own film back in the day.  These days with digital it's much easier.  I thought that this Gazania bloom provided a good subject to play with and this is also a 2 image focus stack to bring detail out well.

Sunday, October 1, 2017


Happy October!  My image today goes back to the first day of July when I was in the Animas River Canyon taking photos of the Durango & Silverton Railway trains on the High Line.  This is Locomotive 486 returning from Silverton with it's train for the day and traveling along at the speed limit of 5mph.  

Note: To process this image I used a new HDR program from Macphun called Aurora.  I was impressed by how it brought the rock color out and kept the photo looking natural.

Saturday, September 30, 2017


It's the last day of September and winter is coming fast although it doesn't much feel like it most days.  I have not shared a sunrise image in a while and we had quite a beautiful one yesterday morning that started the day off nicely.  The red color was painted on the clouds even to the west which was where I noticed it at first and had to go get a shot. 

Friday, September 29, 2017


Painted Lady butterflies are about the only butterflies I saw this past summer.  They were very enjoyable and photogenic though.  I think they got used to me hanging around and taking their picture.  I captured this one enjoying the Strawflower plant that is on my deck.

Thursday, September 28, 2017


This week has been crazy busy and I feel like quite the busy bee.  Today's photo is appropriate,  a couple busy Honey Bees on the, not really, Obedient Flower in my garden.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


This is an older image of some birds I hope to see around again this winter.  These are Cedar Waxwings and I love their faces that look like they have masks on.  They don't visit my yard very often as I don't have the kind of trees that provide the food they look for.  If they visit my yard it's to have a drink from the pond in the back.  This isn't the best shot I have ever gotten but I liked that I was able to capture 3 of them together.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017


I saw this grass this summer at the edge of my driveway.  The heads reminded me of Sea Oats but they are much more slender.  In looking it up, I believe this is Japanese Brome Grass.  Very nice with the curved stems and it had great bokeh behind it too.  

Monday, September 25, 2017


I was talking about this photo elsewhere and I mentioned barns in the Midwest are usually wood but then I got to thinking about my Saturday image of the barn at Konza and that's not totally true either.  I shot this in Spring in Pennsylvania.  Their barns have a bit different shape than Midwest ones with the overhangs and a lot will have slot style windows.  I love barns and always thought it would be neat to have a house made out of one.

Sunday, September 24, 2017


Today's image goes back to the Durango & Silverton Railway.  This is the first train of the day just leaving the station at Durango to head to Silverton.

Saturday, September 23, 2017


I took this image back in June after an evening out at Konza Prairie.  This is the stone barn at sunset that has been restored and converted into meeting areas.  Some of the barn features and woodwork and stone was kept in the interior restoration and it is quite beautiful inside as well as out.

Friday, September 22, 2017


Autumn is officially here but you would never know it with the temps.  Plants know though as they have been slowing down in growth and the grasses have produced their seed heads.  This is a Foxtail grass head that I shot backlit from the sun last week.  I liked this one due to how it looked like it was glowing and also the great bokeh produced behind it.

Thursday, September 21, 2017


Not fond of this hot weather we are having again.  This is more like early August than end of September.  My image today is one I got in Minnesota while I was photographing some bees enjoying the pollen of some Hollyhock blooms.  I was disappointed that the Bumblebee itself did not get in focus but I really loved how it's shadow turned out.  😃

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


I was out watering potted flowers the other day and saw some movement in the Penta.  I looked closer and saw it was a female Praying Mantis who wasn't all that thrilled to get wet.  She went to the underside of the leaves which is where I was able to capture her looking at me.  Such cool creatures.  

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


When I went to the Grand Canyon I really wanted to see and capture a Condor image.  I had seen one on my first trip there and was hoping to repeat that.  I was beginning to become disappointed that I would not see one when on the last day I got lucky thanks to the hubster.  We were at the overlook by the El Tovar Hotel and he could see something big flying below that looked different but couldn't tell what it was for sure.  I saw it as well and was able to capture it and it was not until I zoomed in on the photo and saw it's distinctive head that I knew then that I had finally captured a Condor.  It's not the best image and you have to look for it but it was in focus and it made me happy.  I actually captured a few different ones swooping around below me that day.

Monday, September 18, 2017


We finally got a bit of rain the last couple of days.  Not really as much as we need but better than nothing.  I decided to share this image as the Sunshine we missed out on for a bit.  😃  This is an image of the red Sunflower I had growing in my yard that turned out so beautifully perfect.  I had a few produce but not as nicely as this one did.  I played with the image and muted the leaves around it.

Sunday, September 17, 2017


My image today is another of the locomotive I help fire on at the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion over Labor Day weekend.  I captured it on the shift before mine at the point where it is beginning to start up the main grade to the station. A lot of times at this point you will see dark smoke due to the coal dust from the coal just being added.  It is at this point where you, as the fireman, want to have your fire how you need it to maintain pressure as the locomotive works hard to reach the top of the hill without having to open the firebox doors.  If you open them while it is working hard, the change in temperature from the colder air coming in can cause the metal to expand in the tubes and make them leak water.  This is not a good situation to have water leaking on a fire you are trying to maintain.  It's very challenging but fun and I am glad I get to do it for 4 shifts out of a year.

Saturday, September 16, 2017


Posting a bit late today.  I was out playing trains until these clouds rolled in and brought some rain with them.  These are Mammatas clouds and usually indicate severe weather but it was just a bit of thunder and lightning and some rain.  I captured this Wig Wag signal with them as a backdrop.

Friday, September 15, 2017


Yay, it's Friday!  Fridays are all about the bokeh so this shot of a few of the many Painted Lady Butterflies in my yard is appropriate.  They are really enjoying the Autumn Sedum, that has been one of the best plants for attracting butterflies.  I have also posted a video on Youtube HERE where I captured them flying around the Sedum.  There has to be a good 50 of them at least.  It's really magical to walk by and have them all flutter around.  I'll be sad when they all finally leave.

Thursday, September 14, 2017


I had not seen the Honey Bees around for a good while in my yard.  Lately they have returned in good numbers.  They are enjoying the Autumn Sedum and also, like this one, the Obedient Plant.  I find that name ironic as that plant spreads like crazy but at least it is pretty and the bees get benefit from it.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


So the leaves are starting to change and fall but we are heading into a couple of very hot summer days with highs in the 90s.  Part of the change could be due to that we need rain badly.  This is the longest time without this year.  My tank I use to water with is about empty.  Anyway, my image for today is from my garden in the late afternoon this summer.  A Sunflower and Wooly Verbena combination that were nicely back lit. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


This is another view of the Grand Canyon.  I took this image partly because of the very determined trees that are growing on a bluff. It always amazes me how resilient trees can be in where they try to grow.  It looks like there is nothing there to give them any nutrients to grow yet there they are.  

Monday, September 11, 2017


There has been quite the explosion of Painted Lady butterflies in my garden in the last few days.  I have had a lot of them around this summer in the perennial garden and on the Zinnias but they are here in great numbers now that the Autumn Sedum is blooming.  I can see at least 50 of them at one time and it's quite lovely when I walk past and they all flutter around.  I captured this large group of them just yesterday.

Sunday, September 10, 2017


I was in Rollag, Minnesota last weekend, the land of steam for Labor Day weekend and the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Show.  On Sunday morning as I was heading to breakfast they were just moving the locomotive I get to help fire on out of the roundhouse and on the turntable to move it to the mainline to start taking passengers around the grounds.  The sunlight and cool morning made the steam billowing out of the cylinders show up nicely.  The locomotive is an ex Soo Line switch engine and is 97 years old this year.

Saturday, September 9, 2017


My trip to the Grand Canyon this year was quite fun.  It has such amazing views and photos can't capture it completely.  I did several panoramic shots that do a better job of capturing the vastness of the area.  This one is a 4 shot stitched image that I took from the South Rim while hiking it on the last day there.  Of course it is best viewed large by clicking on it.

Friday, September 8, 2017


On Fridays my image is mostly about the bokeh and this week I have an image that I thought had the perfect bokeh in it, a steam train.  I captured this shot of the Black Eyed Susans in one of the gardens at Rollag Minnesota during the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion this past weekend.  The locomotive I get to help fire on was just passing by at the time and made for the perfect bokeh background for them.

Thursday, September 7, 2017


My Salvia is always rather popular with the bees and butterflies.  This was a Cotton Square Borer enjoying it one afternoon.  They are fairly small and usually in motion but this one posed for me for a bit.  Their name is not very flattering either but I think they are fairly lovely.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


I am sharing another water bird today due to playing Bird Poker over on G+.  This is one I captured in June on the lake outside Alexandria Minnesota.  I had to look this one up but I am pretty sure it is a Lesser Scaup.  I love the yellow eye.  Apparently it is a common diving duck.  

Tuesday, September 5, 2017


This is another image I was able to get of a Loon in Minnesota this year.  I thought it looked so tranquil just floating on the pond that evening.  They are beautiful birds, I love their feather pattern.

Monday, September 4, 2017


Happy Labor Day in the US!  For a lot of us, it's a day off, for others it's just a normal Monday.  😉  This is a Blue Damselfly that I captured sitting on the Limestone rock that I have surrounding my garden.

Sunday, September 3, 2017


This is the locomotive I get to help fire on, ex Soo Line Switcher 353 pulling away from the passenger pick up area by the water tower on a cool morning.  The sun was just breaking through the trees and the steam from the cylinders was really showing off well.

Saturday, September 2, 2017


This is a 4 shot panorama that I shot from the Arizona side of Monument Valley.  It's quite an interesting, desolate and beautiful place with the rock formations.  You can see the famous Mitten formation.  As always, view larger by clicking on the image.

Thursday, August 31, 2017


Happy 1st day of September!  Autumn will be here before we know it.  Sigh.  I took this image of some lovely Hollyhocks and I really liked the bokeh in the background from the tree leaves.


The last day of August and still nice weather.  Looks like a couple of days coming up will be more like what August usually is.  I captured this image of a Bumblebee enjoying one of my other different Sunflower varieties.  This is a Lemon yellow variety and it did have a nice paler yellow color to it as compared to other Sunflowers.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


This is another image I got of one of the cute Chipmunks that were looking for a handout from the people on the Durango & Silverton train.  He posed quite nicely for me so had to share him.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


I took this shot while hiking on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.  I love the old Cedars and Pines on the area and I thought this one with it's twisty shape was very interesting.  The format turned out square for it because this is a 2 shot tall panorama.  I had a zoom lens on at the time while walking and I was too lazy to change it so just shot it that way.  I thought it worked well for the subject anyway.  😂