Wednesday, December 31, 2014


It's New Year's Eve and bitterly cold, 7 F this morning.  Yuck.  This is an image from last summer that brings me some warmth today.  I observed this Swan family at Tamarack Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota.  Tamarack is a great place to visit, lots of wildlife and nature and wildflowers to observe, it's just beautiful.  These Swans were on one of the large bodies of water there.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Well winter had to give us one last blast before the end of the year, only a high of 12 F today.  Yuck.  I am really wishing for summer today, not a fan of this kind of weather.  I took this image late this past summer/early autumn of a Viceroy butterfly on my Autumn Sedum.  You can tell it's a Viceroy and not a Monarch by the very defined line on the rear wing.

Monday, December 29, 2014


I took this image this past winter, in February, after a decent snow.  This female Cardinal had just visited the feeder and then came and sat on the railing with the seed in her mouth.  We have a chance of snow today but even if it happens I highly doubt it would be this much and that's actually fine with me.  :-)

Sunday, December 28, 2014


Those of you who only visit my Blog may notice a trend on Sundays.  I post a lot of trains and such mainly because over on Google + I co-curate a theme called Steamy Sunday and we encourage others to post photos of steam.  They can be anything steamy, even the steam off a coffee cup, I just happen to enjoy trains as does the other curator who is from Australia.  Anyway, this is a bit different, it's a steam traction engine that some friends of ours own and operate at the Steam Threshers Reunion up in Rollag, Minnesota.  I was trying out a new B&W style, with a copper tone to it and thought I would share it today.  This is a 28 HP Minneapolis.

Saturday, December 27, 2014


An arctic front is on the way so our warmer temps will be leaving.  Dreaming of Spring today with this image of Daffodils that I took in my yard.  If you enlarge the image you can catch sight of a spider waving Hi!

Friday, December 26, 2014


Posting late today as I was out doing various sight seeing activities all day.  Dreaming of Spring today with this image of a female Tiger Swallowtail on Lilac blooms.

Thursday, December 25, 2014


Merry Christmas everyone who celebrates and Happy Day to all!  Hope you are having a great day no matter how you spend it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


Happy Christmas Eve to all who celebrate and happy day to all!  This image is part of the Christmas Village that used to be my mom's that my dad gave me a couple of years ago and I have enjoyed since.  I took part of it to work for us to enjoy in the office there and I took this image of it early one morning before all the lights were turned on.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


Well, I saw the sun for a half hour maybe today.  Sigh.  This is getting old.  So I'm thinking of summer and of butterflies.  These are two Postmen Butterflies that I observed at the Butterfly Pavilion outside of Denver, Colorado this past summer.  A great place to visit with lots of beautiful butterflies.

Monday, December 22, 2014


We're getting some rain today before it turns cold again.  Wish we could get even more rain but I'll take what I can get.  This is an image from this spring that I was playing with and decided to share.  Can't wait till spring is here again and we have tulips up for real.

Sunday, December 21, 2014


Well, the sun is gone again on this penultimate Sunday of the year.  Looking back to Rollag, Minnesota in this image of locomotive 353 pulling the train around by the roundhouse.  It has just left one of the passenger pick up points and is heading around to the other.  Everyone can ride this train for free and it is a great way to get from one end of the grounds to the other.  I decided to process this with a sepia effect for an old time feel and quite like the results.

Saturday, December 20, 2014


We get to see the sun again!  A beautiful blue sky for the first time in many days!  This is another view of the sunset out at the Geary State fishing Lake that I took back in October.  I shot this version as I was on my way back to the car.  I liked the look of the light in the clouds and the color it was creating.  I also liked how it looked on the water.

Friday, December 19, 2014


Well another day where we have not seen the sun.  I am beginning to forget what it looks like.  This image is from a lovely day in June in Minnesota.  I was out with some relatives on a photography outing and we saw several of these yellow Lady Slipper flowers.  The shape is what gives them their name and they are part of the Orchid family.

Thursday, December 18, 2014


Well we got some snow but it only ended up being a couple of inches so just enough to make it very annoying.  So dreaming of summer again.  This is a Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly that was on some garlic blooms in my garden that have gone a bit wild.  This type of butterfly is very small, only about 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches wide.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Really have gone in to winter now, a winter storm watch is underway.  We are not supposed to get much and I hope we don't.  I took this photo back this summer at the top of Mount Evans in Colorado.  It was incredibly cold and windy up there but this mountain goat seemed to not mind with it's lovely fur coat.  Wish I had had the same while I was taking the shot.  I did have a jacket thankfully but it was still pretty chilly.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Well, we are back to winter now.  Knew those warmer temps couldn't last.  This is from this past summer on Mount Evans in the Bristle-cone Pine Forest in Colorado.  They grow at a high elevation so the view is quite lovely across the mountain range.  The clouds added to the view as well. I love the shapes of these Bristle-cone Pines.  They seem to twist and turn as they grow.

Monday, December 15, 2014


So yesterday it was 60 degrees out and today it's snowing.  Ah, weather in Kansas, gotta love it.  Or not.  This is an image I took this past fall at a friend's house of one of their roosters.  They raise chickens for their eggs.  She got a poultry one by mistake and she makes sure it exercises every day so it doesn't get too heavy like they are supposed to do if you were going to eat them.  Too cute.  This guy was very handsome so had to get a shot of him strutting around the yard.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Today is our 5th dreary day in a row.  Have not hardly seen the sun in these days.  Not getting any rain out of it either.  Our best chance is for this evening.  Hope we get it.  This image was taken on a dreary morning in Rollag, MN at the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion.  Locomotive 353 is about to head up the hill, the steepest grade on the track, to the station where passengers load and crews change.  The hill and improper operating on the fireman's part has caused many a repair to flues.  If the fireman opens the firebox door to add coal as it is going up the hill and working hard it draws in too much cold air and causes expansion and contraction in the flues that carry water through the boiler.  This then causes them to leak on the area where coal is and then you have big problems.

Saturday, December 13, 2014


Hey, cool date today!  12/13/14  :-)  This image was an experiment with a fade effect in Photoshop.  It was inspired by a line in an Elton John song, All my pictures seem to fade to black and white.  I liked how it turned out so thought I would share.

Friday, December 12, 2014


I love Bleeding Heart flowers.  They are so unique and interesting.  I had never seen white ones until I saw these in Minnesota this past June.  They may be named something else but the shape of the flowers and leaves are the same.The white version is lovely in it's own way as well.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


I took this photo this past summer.  I was thinking this was on my Hibiscus but it's actually on my Rose of Sharon I realized.  It's a lovely Tawny Emperor Butterfly, one of the few that came to visit this year.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Dreaming of warmer days again.  We are in for at least 5 days of cold and dreary and probably won't even get any decent rain out of it.  This is an image I took on a walk of some Wild Alfalfa with some afternoon sun on it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


This is an image from this past June on the day of the Bi-Plane Fly-In that takes place annually in Junction City Kansas now.  Not many planes were able to come due to the stormy weather leading up to it but the day turned out to be lovely with great temps, a light wind and a lovely sky.  This is an image of one of the planes taking off for a flight around the area. 

Monday, December 8, 2014


Today was lovely, almost spring like after the cold temps we had been having.  I took this image this past spring and thought I would share it today as it was fitting.  Temps are dropping tomorrow, knew it couldn't last.  This is a macro image of a bearded Iris in my garden.

Sunday, December 7, 2014


One full week of December gone already, Christmas is coming fast.  Hope your preparations are coming along OK. My image for today is two locomotives getting ready to be put to bed at the engine house in Chama, New Mexico. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the locomotives are usually not cooled down all the way, they are kept warm so if they are needed quickly they can be heated back up to operating temperature faster and moved out onto the line to take over.  It's quite the operation there.

Saturday, December 6, 2014


This is a gorgeous red sunrise I was able to observe and capture from the porch at work in very late October.  Usually a sky like this should mean rain due to the old poem "Red sky at morning, sailors take warning" but all we got was a sprinkle that didn't even wet the whole ground.  The sky was beautiful and wonderful to see though.  I was glad to have captured it when I did as well because this vibrant color did not last long at all.

Friday, December 5, 2014


I planted this flower this summer.  When it bloomed I took this photo of it.  The problem is, now I can't remember what it is.  ah well, it's pretty I thought.  If you know what it is, I'd appreciate and ID.

Thursday, December 4, 2014


Posting at lunch today because I have lots to do after work.  I didn't get to see many butterflies in general and especially not Monarchs this summer.  However, late in the year a few came through on their migration I imagine and stopped for nourishment from the Autumn Sedum.  I was able to capture these 2 together.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


I took this in Minnesota in September.  These were a white variety of Wild Aster that was in bloom there and I took a macro image of.  In Kansas we have a pink and purple variety of these.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


This is an image of some fall grass that I captured at sunset out at the Geary State Fishing Lake one evening.  I liked how it silhouetted against the sky.  I believe this may be Indian Grass.

Monday, December 1, 2014


It's the first day of December and dreaming of summer which is a long way off.  This is an image I was able to get late this past summer of 3 different types of birds.  A lovely bright Goldfinch was eating seeds from a dried Sunflower while a Baltimore Oriole looked on.  A House Finch, I believe seemed to have caught me watching.  :-)

Sunday, November 30, 2014


Well, it's the last day of November and it's turned back to winter again today.  Yesterday it was in the 60s, today a high of 30.  Yuck.  Thinking warm steamy thoughts with this shot of the 12 inch scale train from the railroad I volunteer at outside of Topeka.  The train had just climbed the hill and come into Hawkin's Gap named for one of the owners and made a very steamy image on a cool day.

Saturday, November 29, 2014


This is a female Praying Mantis I saw hanging out on the hummingbird feeder after work one day.  Not sure if she was catching any bugs but she seemed content to stay there for a while and watched me as I took her photo.

Friday, November 28, 2014


It's Black Friday here in the US where people go out shopping at horrendous hours of the day and night and fight crowds of people for buys.  There is nothing I need that badly to go out shopping on this day for.  This Queen Ann Lace on black is the closest I'll get to Black Friday participation.

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the US!  These are some leaves that I saw on a walk this summer and liked how they were back lit.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


It's the first day of my Thanksgiving break!  Yay!  Today's image is of a little guy I found on a Milkweed leaf this past summer.  I believe that this is an Argus Tortoise Beetle.  They usually are found on Bindweed.  Must not have been enough around at the time.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


I decided to try another split tone and I liked how it turned out so I am sharing it here as well.  i thought the process lent itself well to this type of image.  This is the Columbia-Wrightsville bridge in Pennsylvania.  This is the longest multiple arch concrete bridge in the world, 6,657 feet including the spans over land.  This was a split of red and yellow on a B&W image giving it the sepia look.

Monday, November 24, 2014


I was going through some older photos this weekend and found one that I thought turned out pretty well but had never shared.  I took this last winter of a male Cardinal posing for me on the bird feeder pole.  Everything outside right now is brown and blah, going to be a long winter.  At least Christmas decorations will help.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


We had a couple of warmer days, I think it's supposed to go back to winter today but the break was nice.  This is an image from this past June when we were at the Cumbres &Toltec Railway.  This is locomotive 487 being put to bed in the engine house located in the yard in Chama, New Mexico.  The locomotives are not truly ever shut down fully, they are kept warm and somewhat ready in case an engine has a problem on it's scheduled run and then another can be quickly brought up to operational status and switch out.  This rarely happens but is done to make sure everyone's excursion is a successful one.  I decided to process this one with an older look.

Saturday, November 22, 2014


Well, seems all we can get for rain these days is drizzle.  That doesn't help much, just makes it even more dreary out.  This is an image from October when I was up and out early and it was very dewy out.  I took this image before the sun burned it off and liked the sparkly look of it.

Friday, November 21, 2014


Not many butterflies in the garden this year.  Most of them seemed to come late in the year.  This image was taken in October so was even into Autumn.  This little Skipper was feeding on the Zinnia flowers that were still blooming.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Well, Autumn was quite short this year.  Only about 4 weeks at most and then we went straight to 20 F for a high so all the leaves are brown.  At least there are photos to remind me of some of the color we did manage to have for a while.  I have heard of this as 5 Leaf Ivy.  Someone who saw it said they thought it was Virginia Creeper.  Whatever it is it gets nice color in the fall.  :-)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Still dreaming of summer though it is warmer out now.  I guess I should be glad I don't live where they are getting all that snow!  This is an image of some wild Blue Flax that I photographed out in Colorado.  I love these dainty little flowers and the lines in the petals.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Wishing for warmer days.  I think we are going to get a bit warmer for the next few days anyway.  This was taken a while back of a dragonfly perched on the side of a small tree.  When I looked at the image on my computer screen I saw it had a snack.  

Monday, November 17, 2014


Taking a break and posting a bit early as I have some business to attend to later.  This is another version of a Meadowlark I was able to capture on a walk a while back.  I loved how the top of the cedar tree that it was perched on curved and the bird's pose.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


I was going through some older images and I decided to share this one today to think warm thoughts.  Winter has arrived early and woke up to a bit more snow today though nothing like what they had predicted,  Anyway, this is Dragon Mouth Spring from Yellowstone National Park.

Saturday, November 15, 2014


So, we are having our first snow this morning.  Only flurries right now and not amounting to much.  I am thinking back to warmer days though and this is a photo from then.  I took this image back in early October while on a trip for work and able to view the sunrise.

Friday, November 14, 2014


This is a macro image of my Toad Lily in bloom before something ate about half the plant.  still not sure what was causing all the problems and why it was so bad this year, possibly the drought?  Anyway, the Toad Lily has such unique flowers, reminds me of an Orchid.  Apparently the name is due to the fact that some think the mottled look of the flower and that they prefer moist locations reminds of a toad.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Thinking of summer while experiencing this bitterly cold January type weather.  UGH  I hope this is not what winter is going to be like the whole time.  I had a Monarch visit my garden very late this year.  This was actually taken on the 26th of October which is quite late for them to be around and about the only flowers left for them to feed on were Marigolds and Zinnias which this one is perched on.  I used this image for the last one of my Split Tone Challenge and thought it turned out well.  It can be seen using the link in the About Me section on the right of the Blog.  I learned a lot about a process I had never tried before and even liked how the images came out.  :-)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Posting a bit early and quickly as we are going to a show tonight.  This is the lower part of Minnehaha Waterfall in Minneapolis, MN.  I was just learning long exposures for waterfalls at this point and I think it came out fairly well despite that.  :-)  I used this image for my Split Tone Challenge today which can be viewed over on G+ in the link in the About Me section at the right of this Blog.