It's the last day of April and still having those April showers for May flowers though it looks like maybe they will let up for a while soon. My image today goes back to the beautifully kept No. 7 locomotive at the Greenfield Village of the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn Michigan. I just love the color of this locomotive and they keep it spotless even though it is a coal fired locomotive which can be a bit difficult. It is one of 3 locomotives that they run. Each one runs for 2 weeks at a time, then goes in for maintenance while another runs for 2 weeks, goes in and so on. It runs around the park all day and you can ride as many times as you like for just 5 dollars. Well worth it I thought. I captured it here pulling out of one of the stations on the grounds.
Sunday, April 30, 2017
Saturday, April 29, 2017
Well, it's a dreary morning today with rain. At least it's a nice slow penetrating one which makes it good for those May flowers. Speaking of which, my image today may brighten things up a bit. This is a close up of one of my Heliopsis blooms from last summer. Heliopsis is in the sunflower family. I am looking forward to this blooming again because the butterflies really seemed to enjoy it. It bloomed most of the summer into autumn.
Thursday, April 27, 2017
So it was a bit frosty this morning. I am hoping my plants survived it OK, I just planted 10 new things this past weekend. Sigh, this time of year is tricky. My image today is of the waterfall at the Geary State Fishing Lake south of me this Spring. I am always amazed that such a waterfall exists near me in a place you would not think would have an at least 30 foot high water feature like this. When it rains it is just beautiful. I captured it this day in late afternoon sun and i like how the light rays played into the image.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
It's gotten rather chilly the last couple of days. Probably more normal for this time of year but we were spoiled. My image today is from a windy day this past February. I was able to capture this female Cardinal sitting in the Mulberry tree right outside the window. She was being a bit ruffled by the wind but posed very nicely for me to get a close up photo of her.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
In Wamego Kansas where they have the Tulip Festival every year they also have an old Dutch Mill. I was looking for my info on it and noticed that the Redbud trees that are in my previous images of it are now gone. I wonder why they removed them. Anyway, this is a 3 shot vertical panorama done with my 70mm lens. A Mill in Kansas with Tulips is a rather unique sight I think but made for a lovely one.
Monday, April 24, 2017
This is an older image that I should out on Konza Prairie on a walk one evening. This is a male Dickcissel and they are common to our area of Kansas. They look similar to the Western Meadowlark but they have a smaller beak and different tails. You can tell it is a male by the small V on it's chest. Their name comes from the sound of their song which they are often seen singing while sitting out on the prairie like this.
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Today's image goes back to West Virginia and the Cass Mountain Scenic Railway. Cass is a former logging railroad and the Shay locomotive is seen here pushing our train up the mountainside through some lovely wooded scenery. I decided to give this image a more vintage feel by processing it in Black & White.
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Happy Earth Day! Hope you will take some time today to think about the earth and life on it and how you can help to make it better. It's just about planting season in many parts of the US, so as you think about what to plant you can get plants that will help butterflies. Plants native to your area are best. Annuals like Zinnias that you can plant from seed fairly inexpensively are a great choice. You can see in my image for today that the butterflies do indeed enjoy it and because they are long lasting, are a source of food for them when everything else has finished blooming. I captured this Painted Beauty on the Zinnia blooms late last autumn.
Friday, April 21, 2017
It's been a long week and I needed something bright and cheery today. This is one of the groups of Tulips that Wamego, Kansas has growing in their City Park for their festival. The Tulip Festival is this weekend, hope they are still blooming well. I loved the color combination of these so thought I would share it today. I loved the bokeh that the orange ones made in the background.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Posting a bit later today as I had a meeting. This is another example of the nature that has come back around due to the warm weather we have been having. This Green Metallic Bee which, I believe, is a female of the species Agapostemon Splendens because of the mostly green butt, or technically abdomen, where males have a yellow and black butt. My Star of Bethlehem flowers were blooming all over for Easter this year and this bee was sure enjoying this one.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Nature is appearing again all over now that the warm weather is here and the rains as well. I captured this Ladybug that was out this weekend on a Tulip bloom in the garden. It was very nice that this little guy posed so nicely for me. I am always happy when I see a Ladybug around, they are so cute.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
I went to Wamego Kansas this past weekend to see how the Tulips were doing. Wamego is known for it's Tulip festival and has very large groups of them growing in the City Park and various areas in town. The Tulips were at their peak and looking quite colorful. I couldn't remember having seen ones in a burgundy color like this before so I had to get some photos and decided to share this macro which really shows off the lovely rich color.
Monday, April 17, 2017
I love seeing these birds around. They are usually the last to the feeder in the evening and the male has a fairly distinctive chirp. This is a female Cardinal that I captured sitting in the Walnut tree in the backyard in winter. It's a bit puffed due to the cold as well.
Sunday, April 16, 2017
My image today once again is of the locomotive I get to help fire on during Labor Day weekends at the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion in Rollag. The May issue of Trains Magazine that is out right now features this locomotive on the cover for an article on steam at threshing shows. I think that's pretty cool. The 353 is an ex-Soo Line switch locomotive and I captured it with it's train picking up some passengers one foggy morning last September.
Saturday, April 15, 2017
I was out at the railroad I help with yesterday and noticed one area that because of all the recent rain, had a lot of moss growing. I decided I wanted to get some macro photos and while getting ready, this guy came into view. I found out after I photographed it that it was a Jumping Spider so I was pleased it just sat there while I photographed it and didn't decide to jump at me or my lens. 😄 I was proud of myself for even taking this as I am not very fond of spiders and glad that it turned out pretty well.
Friday, April 14, 2017
I've been very happy to see the butterflies around this Spring. This past weekend there was a Monarch visiting as well and I was able to capture it in flight as it visited the Dandelion flowers in the yard. Most people try to rid their yards of Dandelions as weeds but I like to have them because the butterflies and bees enjoy them in the Spring when there are not many other flowers blooming.
Thursday, April 13, 2017
With our warm weather the Honey Bees are back and out gathering pollen. I captured this one as it was zooming in on a Grape Hyacinth in the yard. It's great to see them again.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Posting late as I was out of town at a Conference all day. Last Thursday I went back out to the waterfall at the Geary State Lake. We had had some more rain and I had not gotten a couple of shots to work out that I took the first time and so wanted to redo. This is the result of one of them. The waterfall was flowing quite nicely, even a bit stronger than it had when I was first there. The light was good as well and I was able to get this 3 second exposure with an ND filter.
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
The fruit trees around town have been in bloom for a while and making everything look so lovely. In the City Park this Crabapple tree was blooming quite profusely and adding a lot of color to the area. We had a freeze last night and I have not yet had time to see how everything that was coming up did through it, hopefully Ok since it's getting rather late for freezing now.
Monday, April 10, 2017
With the really warm weather we have had the last few days, the butterflies are back! Yay! The Red Admiral Butterfly is one that is very common in Kansas and is usually one of the first to be seen in the Spring. I captured this one enjoying the Lilac blooms this past Saturday in the wind. A bit of movement can be seen in the image. I captured this in a moment of relative calm in between it rocking back and forth in the wind.
Sunday, April 9, 2017
Today's image goes back to Cass Mountain Scenic Railway in West Virginia where they have one of the few of these locomotives still in operation. This is a Heisler type locomotive named for Charles L Heisler who designed it. It was not as popular as a Shay or Climax style, probably because it went into production after them but was a logging type geared locomotive. It's cylinders were set at 45 degree angles where a Climax was at 25 degrees. There were only about 625 of them produced but they were built up until around WWII while the Climax locomotives stopped production in 1928. This one sits warmed up and almost ready to go should it be needed that day at Cass to pull a train of tourists on the old logging route.
Saturday, April 8, 2017
Well, it's going to be summer today, it's already in the 60s at 9:30 in the morning and heading towards the 80s. My image is from after one of our recent rains. It's an experiment in photo focus stacking and is 3 images put together. I can see I should have taken a few more shots to bring all the drops into focus so this was a good experiment to see how it works and I did bring 8 raindrops into focus with the technique instead of just 2 or 3. These raindrops are on Columbine leaves in my garden.
Friday, April 7, 2017
I was able to get today's image in the City Park a couple of weeks ago. The Crab Apple, I believe, trees were in full bloom and so I took some shots of the blossoms. I liked this one especially because of the bubble bokeh produced by the other blossoms.
Thursday, April 6, 2017
So, some surprise rains yesterday when we really didn't need them. Weird. We wish for rain and then get too much. :-) My image today is one I captured very late January of this year of a Goldfinch taking off from a branch of the Birch Tree. I named this one Lift Off. 😄 Because of the warm winter this Finch already was getting back some of it's bright gold color. I was pleased to capture this unusual pose in focus as well.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
I went to the Geary State Lake Waterfall this past Saturday. With the 4 inches of rain that we had had it was flowing pretty well. It still amazes me that I lived in this area for over 25 years and never knew something like this was so close until about 3 years ago. It does only flow well when it rains well so I guess that is part of it. The photo is a 4 second exposure. The filters I was using give the image and odd color cast which I am having to experiment with how to get rid of it. While playing I decided to see what this image would look like in B&W and I liked the result. I gave it a slight sepia tone as well.
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
The Redbuds are in bloom, in fact probably mostly done now especially with the rain. This area of Kansas with the Flint Hills and then these trees blooming and given them and the pasture lands color is a quite lovely sight in Kansas in Spring. I thought this one of the neighbor's was rather nicely formed as opposed to mine which are up against Cedar Trees so only have branched out on one side. When they are in fill bloom, like in this image, they appear more pink but the closed buds are more red.
Monday, April 3, 2017
Well we are starting off April very wet that is for sure. We are getting our April showers for May flowers. Hope it doesn't all come at once though. The Daffodils have sure benefited from the rain. This is a macro of one of my more interesting varieties with the orange center.
Sunday, April 2, 2017
This is a bit of a different shot. This is a closeup of the 15 inch scale, actually 14 and 3/4, Wagner locomotive that I get to operate at the Western Minnesota Steam thresher's Reunion in Rollag every Father's Day and Labor Day weekends. It's just starting to pull out here and the cylinders are open to let out any water that may have built up in them while it sat because that could cause some damage. You only want nice dry steam to operate with. They do this on the full size locomotives as well which is what my fog images of 353 were showing in operation.
Saturday, April 1, 2017
Happy April Fool's Day! Hopefully no pranks are played on you today. My image today is another of the Bald Eagle I was able to capture at Milford Lake this winter. It seemed to be intently looking for a fish or possibly it was just wishing I would go away and stop taking it's photo. 😁 Since it's been so warm i wonder if they are nesting here or have gone further north.