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. 


Saturday, May 6, 2017

5/6/17

Wildflowers are blooming already since our weather has been so warm.  I captured these on some  land near me that is a small bit of prairie.  This is Fringed Puccoon that is blooming right now.  It's a blend of 2 images to bring out more focus and detail of the plant in a process called Focus Stacking.  
As a reminder, I have pages here on the site of a lot of the common wildflowers seen here in Kansas that you can use as a reference guide divided out by color to make them easier to ID.


Friday, May 5, 2017

5/5/17

Lovely to see the sun these days.  It's finally Friday.  I'm beginning to think there's a full moon lately.  Anyway, my image today is more about the lovely bubble bokeh behind these leaves than the leaves themselves.  I do love the texture of these leaves, they are slightly hairy and it seemed to come through in the photo.  You can be the judge though.  :-)


Thursday, May 4, 2017

5/4/17

It's Star Wars Day.  May the 4th Be With You.  😁
My image today is of a Honey Bee that was busily working on the Salvia in my garden.  It didn't seem to care that I was there wit my camera and getting fairly close to it.  Salvia is a great plant for Spring especially because it blooms early and provides food for the bees and butterflies that are around early.



Wednesday, May 3, 2017

5/3/17

A bit more rain today though we missed the bulk of it which is good, we have had enough for a bit I think.  My image today was taken this winter and I got lucky that this Titmouse sat and posed for me out the window for a few shots.  It's rare when they sit still but this one was quite the poser.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

5/2/17

My image today is of one of the Tulips I had in my yard this Spring.  I had planted quite a few 3 years ago but not many come up any more.  My neighbor and I were talking and a beastie may have got the bulbs from below.  I plan on planting more bulbs this fall and will protect them this time.  This particular Tulip was from a gift my Sis-In_law had given me for Christmas and I then planted the bulbs outside.  Was nice to see one bloom.


Monday, May 1, 2017

5/1/17

Happy May Day!  We still had some rain this morning but hopefully a break for a bit now.  My image today is of a beautiful place in my part of Kansas.  This is Butterfly Hill out on the Konza Prairie when the Butterfly Milkweed was about in full bloom.  It's so lovely to see the oranges and reds everywhere on the hill.  Konza Prairie's Annual Wildflower Walk takes place this year on June 4 and it's a great opportunity to see sights like this and areas you don't normally get to visit.